The history of Popular Action – III

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By REGINALDO BENEDITO DIAS

The trajectory of the AP according to Duarte Pereira

The Marxist-Leninist People's Action

The question of the vanguard party, linked to the formulation of the revolutionary strategy, prevailed in the debates in the following conjuncture. Not that the internal dynamics were limited to theoretical debates. There is, for example, taking a position and adopting actions with a view to the immediate preparation of the people's war, through the analysis of strategic areas (AP, 1969b). But the debates on the definition of the party's question and strategy subordinated the other agendas.

Synthesizing the problem experienced at the time, in which there was a proliferation of organizations that declared themselves to be Marxist, Duarte Pereira (2014) commented: “The following problem arose: the organization became Marxist [...]. A principle, which belongs to Marxism, came into question, that in a country it makes no sense to have two Marxist parties to represent a single class, the proletarian class. It is a principle of Marxism. It may be debatable, today it is debatable, but the principle exists. Where there is a proletarian class which has a party to represent it, there cannot be more than one party. It starts with the idea that there can be no antagonistic contradictions between workers, especially among proletarian workers. There may be non-antagonistic contradictions that are resolved, through internal struggle, within the same party. That's the basic reasoning. The question remained: “we are not the first Marxist party. There are others. Ultimately, should we unite with these other forces or do we stand apart?” This generated the discussion of the so-called Unification of Marxist Forces, which would lead, in short, the majority of AP leaders and militants to think that this party was the PC do B, and that they should join the PC do B. shared this point of view. He shared the point of view that integration should be done with other forces and with the main hub in AP”.

Summarized in the quotation above, the process would take place between 1969 and 1973, characterized by intense debates and fierce disputes around the conceptions. In the aforementioned commented periodization, he systematized: “1969-1971: AP struggles to correct the errors of its proletarian movement. 1971-1973: The new AP struggles to carry out its proletarian movement to the end and create the conditions to join the PC of Brazil”. The first interval was called the “Period of the self-critical movement” and the second the “Period of the struggle for unification” (PEREIRA, 1973).

An important chapter in this historical plot took place at the Second Expanded Meeting of the National Directorate, in June 1969. Emphasizing its break with the past, the AP promoted a debate on the international revolutionary tradition, from the times of Marx and Engels to the lived, governed era. , in his evaluation, by the thought of Mao Zedong. He did the same exercise about the Brazilian revolutionary tradition. On both sides, it stresses the struggle against petty-bourgeois deviations and manifestations of revisionism. At that juncture experienced, it would be contemporary revisionism, represented mainly by the policy of the Soviet Union on an international scale and, on a national level, by the PCB. Through the systematization of 12 tasks, it established criteria to carry out its self-destruction as a petty-bourgeois organization to the end and complete its process of proletarianization (AP, 1969).

In relation to the crucial theme, the thesis was approved in favor of the Reconstruction of the Unified Workers' Party of Brazil, through the redefinition of the Marxist-Leninist proletarian forces. In that scenario, marked by the existence of different revolutionary organizations, the criteria should be guided by the clear, theoretical and practical definition and assimilation of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong thought and integration with the fundamental masses. The main pole to direct the regrouping would be constituted by two organizations originated in 1962, AP and PC do B, considered able to perform the tasks required by the third stage of Marxism.

Questions raised during the debate left the question of the origin of the PC do B unfinished, that is, if it was the old Marxist-Leninist party, reorganized in 1962 after purging the “revisionism” that had taken over the PCB, or if it was an organization born of their dissent. Taking a position on this issue influenced the alignment of the internal debate.

In the II RADN, the AP reconstituted its internal direction with the formation of the Provisional Executive Committee (CEP), whose members would make up the leading core until the 1972/73 split: Jair Ferreira de Sá, Duarte Pereira, Paulo Stuart Wright, Aldo Arantes, Haroldo Lima and Renato Rabelo. In the words of Duarte Pereira (2014): “We started a process of correcting those mistakes and taking another path”. Within the CEP, the “self-critical movement” emerged, aimed at correcting the errors of the AP “proletarianization” process. It implied reviewing structures, recruitment methods, spontaneous conceptions of people's war preparation and even the understanding of Marxism-Leninism and the question of the vanguard party (APML, 1973b).

In May 1971, the Third Expanded Meeting of the National Directorate synthesized a new phase of debates and disputes. From that meeting onwards, the AP began to organize itself along the lines recommended by Marxism-Leninism. The organization had its name changed to Ação Popular Marxista-Leninista (APML). It then constituted its Central Committee (CC) and its Political Bureau (BP). The latter was composed of CEP members. There was also the permanent secretariat, composed of four members. The first secretary was Jair Ferreira de Sá and the second, Duarte Pereira.

Despite this important modification, in the interval between the two expanded meetings, the deepening of the debates brought out the heterogeneity of the former “Current 1” and gave rise to the emergence of differences and divergences in the ruling core. On the one hand, the questioning of the interpretation of Brazil as a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country and the conception of the national-democratic revolution became explicit. Spokesman of this divergence, the leader Paulo Stuart Wright also proposed the construction of an entirely new type of party, typical of the time lived (WRIGHT, 1970).

On the other hand, other leaders approached the PC do B, based on affinities of program and conception about the character of the revolution. In October 1970, at the eighth meeting of the CEP, Duarte Pereira, considering it unsustainable that the AP behaved as the main pole, defended the point of view that the unification of the proletarian forces should occur “taking the Communist Party of Brazil as a base” , receiving support from Aldo Arantes and Haroldo Lima (APML, 1971c).

The resolution extracted from the III RADN, called “Basic Program”, systematized what the directors called a “transition formula” that would allow the reopening of the debate (APML, 1971c), by incorporating aspects of the disputed positions. The deepest differences should be referred to a congress, to be convened in due course.

According to the “Basic Program”, the APML was theoretically based on the scientific and universal principles of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. In the characterization of Brazil, it was stated that the country's complexity would combine semi-feudal and feudal relations, with a predominance of capitalist relations (APML, 1971a). The APML's minimum program was the national, democratic and popular, anti-imperialist and agrarian revolution. It should be stressed that this was a new type of national-democratic revolution. The main political task was the immediate and active preparation of the people's war. It is also defined that the objective was to build a party of an entirely new type, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist. It was considered that in Brazil there was a Marxist-Leninist party, the PC do B, and other Marxist-Leninist forces.

The end of the internal struggle

When the III RADN took place, according to a document that summarized its results, there were five trends present in the debate (APML, 1971b). In the phase immediately following the edition of the “Basic Program”, seen as a temporary compromise solution, the dispute would narrow with the polarization of two positions. On the one hand, the leadership of the APML formed a majority favorable to its incorporation into the PC do B, based on the affinity of programs and the recognition that it would be the historic party of the working class, founded in 1922 and reorganized in 1962. On the other hand, a minority wing of the leadership defended the strategy of the immediately socialist revolution and the need to form an entirely new party, typical of the stage experienced by Marxism.

Within the Political Bureau, although there was no total coincidence of positions among all the members of the blocs, it is known that the division took place in the following terms: Duarte Pereira, Aldo Arantes, Haroldo Lima and Renato Rebelo would support the position that became the majority, while Jair Ferreira de Sá and Paulo Stuart Wright would be the leaders of the so-called minority.[I] Before explaining the specificity of Duarte Pereira's position, it is worth describing the main facts of the outcome of this clash.

Developments rushed forward. In July 1971, shortly after the III RADN, the Political Bureau, in an extraordinary meeting, formalized a new referral. Indeed, it approved the proposal, presented by Duarte Pereira, that the PC do B should be the pole of unification, based on the principle, attributed to the Third International, that wherever there was a Marxist-Leninist party, the task of the communists was to strengthen it. . An extraordinary CC meeting was called to assess the decision and draw the consequences.

In November 1971, the CC approved the unification proposal around the PC do B and convened the II Congress of the AP to make the final decision (APML, 1971c). In both meetings, there was resistance from the ward that opposed this understanding. The decision was based on the recognition that it was the historic party of the Brazilian proletariat, but there were still conceptual, programmatic and organic issues to overcome.

Through its newspaper “A Classe Operária”, in November 1971, the PC do B rejected and disqualified the AP proposal, referring to what was contained in the “Basic Program”, especially the characterization of Brazilian society and the objective of training of a new party. Arguing that the regrouping of revolutionary forces should strengthen the PC do B, the true Marxist-Leninist party in the country, he called for individual membership of APML militants who had reached that conclusion.

Within the APML, the repercussion was mediated by the positioning on the subject. As a general trend, those who favored unification around the PC do B assimilated the criticism and maintained a dialogue to revise their own positions in favor of that party's conditions. Conversely, opponents accused the PC do B of trying to break up the APML, calling for a position in defense of the organization. The internal division would not have reversal (DIAS, 2004).

In September 1972, with the intensification of the dispute, there was a fracture. Accused of factionism, the leaders of the minority wing – Jair Ferreira de Sá and Paulo Stuart Wright – were removed from their leadership positions and then expelled from the APML. In the organization's hierarchical layout, with the dismissal of the first secretary, Jair Ferreira de Sá, the second secretary, Duarte Pereira, rose to the position of main leader. Soon after, however, disagreements led him to step away from the direction.

As he addressed in an interview, while the Bureau was composed of six members, there was a majority of four against two in favor of rapprochement with the PC do B. After the expulsion of the leaders of the minority wing, the differences between the four remaining leaders became explicit (PEREIRA , 2001). Ultimately, he found himself isolated compared to the positions of the other three members of the Bureau, who led the process to completion.

According to the book by Haroldo Lima and Aldo Arantes, to consummate the incorporation into the PC do B, the positions of the APML were refined and the primacy of that party and its political strategy recognized. For those who commanded this outcome, the Second Congress, previously thought to define divergences, would have lost its function. In addition, due to the recrudescence of repression, it would be risky to carry it out to make an already consolidated decision (LIMA & ARANTES, 1984).

The concluding act was narrated as follows: “On May 17, 1973, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Marxist-Leninist Popular Action of Brazil released its last circular, indicating the procedure agreed between the two directions for joining the PC of Brazil ” (LIMA & ARANTES, 1984, p. 158). It appears that there was no formation of a new party or merger of organizations. In practice, APML leaders and militants were incorporated into the PC do B, although the act was surrounded by a symbolic meaning of extinction of the first organization.

This did not subtract, however, the dispute over its organizational and symbolic legacy. On the one hand, those who joined the PC do B embraced its history and began to explain the APML experience through the prism of this final decision. On the other hand, the so-called minority, referring to capital episodes as “the split of September and October 1972”, sought to reorganize the APML, to dispute the memory of the internal struggle and to update, according to its orientation, the revolutionary strategy. With this beacon, the APML was reconstituted and existed until 1981, when it participated in the founding process of the PT (DIAS, 2004; AZEVEDO, 2010). As the incorporation of the majority to PC do B was not automatic, extending through a transition phase until approximately 1975, the two groupings claimed, for a period, the name of the organization.

Estêvão, APML and PC do B

Protagonist of the opening and conduct of the debate about the unification with the PC do B, Duarte Pereira's position would be different in the concluding phase. In a statement to AEL, he commented: “Due to the irony of history, I do not want to highlight myself, in that first meeting I was the only one to raise this position of unification with the PC do B. Initially, all the others were against it. Today, they are PC do B leaders and I was excluded from the process” (PEREIRA, 2001). To clarify his position, he produced an extended text when he donated the documentation he collected to the AEL. In the statement given on the same occasion, he also detailed some facts of the process.

Duarte Pereira's involvement in the rapprochement between the two organizations dates back to the first dialogues, which took place in the late 1960s. At that time, the PC do B still treated the AP “as a Christian organization, reflecting the positions prior to the coup, showing a complete misinformation about the process we had been through” (PEREIRA, 2001). He revealed that there was encouragement from the leaders of the Chinese PC: “As we defined ourselves by a Marxist vision, they began to insist that it made no sense for there to be two organizations such as Ação Popular and PC do B, with increasingly confluent positions, and remain as different organizations” (PEREIRA, 2001).

At first, triggered by Duarte Pereira, the leader responsible for assisting the National Student Commission of the AP, contacts with the PC do B had the objective of unifying the intervention in the UNE. After that, he held a meeting with Pedro Pomar, from the leading core of the PC do B, to broaden the scope of the dialogue. Afterwards, there was a new meeting with representatives of the two organizations: Pedro Pomar and Carlos Danielli participated in the PC do B; by AP, Jair Ferreira de Sá and Duarte Pereira. From then on, “we started having systematic contacts to discuss positions and joint work in other areas. And, little by little, we began to discuss political and ideological issues” (PEREIRA, 2001).

Duarte Pereira observes that the AP's range of relationships was broader: “At the same time, we were doing international work with several other parties in Latin America, with Marxist organizations, with Marxist-Leninist parties from various other parts of the world” (PEREIRA, 2001). It pays attention to relations with the Brazilian Revolutionary Communist Party (PCBR). He informs that there were the first contacts, but no meeting between the leaderships, because the mentioned party was hit hard by the repression and suffered dispersion. With armed organizations involved in kidnapping operations, expropriation of banks, actions of mutual support were considered, but “there was no possibility of a great convergence of positions” (PEREIRA, 2001). The debates that preceded and marked the realization of the III RADN are representative of this process, as well as the referrals immediately after.

The episode of the edition of the newspaper “A Classe Operária”, through which the PC do B disqualified the unification proposal presented by the APML “Basic Program”, was highlighted in the interview with AEL. Duarte Pereira points out that the PC do B pointed out that the APML document reconciled positions and contained a Trotskyist deviation. In his assessment, the PC do B's response was “untimely”, because negotiations were underway between the organizations, and it was based on a faulty and out-of-context analysis of the meaning of the “Basic Program”. He recognized that “it was a document of commitment, but its main feature, for those who examined the history of the AP, was progress, approximation of the Marxist-Leninist positions of the PC do B. And not the opposite” (PEREIRA, 2001).

According to Duarte Pereira (2001), the alleged Trotskyist deviation[ii]could be identified in the positions of the “minority” and not in the theses of the “majority”. Thus, “by attacking the majority, they were criticizing the positions that the majority defended as if they were Trotskyist positions”. He assesses that the crisis provoked by the PC do B demonstration generated a climate of rebellion and gave arguments to the “minority”. It also expresses its divergence regarding the referral, stated by the newspaper “A Classe Operária”, that APML militants and leaders who were Marxists should break and individually join the PC do B.

In order to overcome the impasse, there was a search for dialogue and negotiations with the direction of the PC do B. Duarte Pereira, who represented the AMPL in this rapprochement, clarifies the terms of the dialogue he had with Carlos Danielli, of the PC do B: “I made the criticism and I showed that their assessment was absolutely wrong, that their proposal was also completely outdated. It was no longer a question, at that time, of each one leaving individually and leaving behind an organization with the weight and history of the AP. It was about making that fight inside. If, in the end, the majority didn't want to do this process, that's fine. If a minority held on to this perspective of unification, it could leave. It would have fulfilled its role and its effort within the organization. Each organization could go its separate way and then we would approach them individually. But we had to wage this theoretical and political struggle within the AP. It made no sense to abandon this field like that, as we are the main leaders of the organization (PEREIRA, 2001)”.

As a result (PEREIRA, 2001), “they made formal and personal self-criticism and became convinced that the tactic they had advocated was wrong. They suggested that the document had been drawn up by a leader, but had not been the object of collective deliberation, because there were no conditions to hold a meeting in that context. They undertook to publish a new article in “A Classe Operária”, making a self-criticism of the previously expressed positions and redirecting the process”.

Duarte Pereira (2001) laments: “When all these things were in progress, the PC do B suffered repeated blows. Guerrilla (from Araguaia) appears. Repression focuses its attention on party organization. They suffer the blow not only in the guerrillas, but in the central leadership itself. Carlos Danielli falls, who is killed in prison. This disrupts, suspends initial contacts, including with people who had been interlocutors and had verbally assumed these commitments. This is the case, mainly, with Danielli”.

The fact is that the long-awaited reassessment article was not published. Instead, underlines Duarte Pereira, some leaders of that party encouraged the division of the APML. He cites an example that occurred in Bahia, where a sector of the APML left the organization and joined the PC do B.[iii] Looking in retrospect, he notes (PEREIRA, 2001): “Until today they have never reassessed this”. As a record of the negotiations, he adds: “During all these years, I kept the letter that Danielli handed me by hand, making self-criticism, proposing these referrals. It is in the documents of this collection that I deposited” (PEREIRA, 2001).

Reading the text, entitled “To conclude the process”, informs that the PC do B, evaluating the process experienced in the AP as positive, saw with sympathy the revolutionary tendency formed within it and supported it. He also assures that he agreed with the integration of PA militants and cadres who supported a Marxist-Leninist position. It would be up to the AP to delimit the Marxist-Leninist positions, in opposition to the so-called petty-bourgeois and neo-Trotskyist tendency.

It also states that the PC do B considered useful “a letter from its direction to the majority of the AP with the aim of helping the ongoing process of unification” (DANIELLI, 1972). The premise, however, was the conclusion that “a Marxist-Leninist party already exists and its position is correct” (DANIELLI, 1972). It was necessary for the AP members to reach common points of view with the PC do B. He explains: “It is not simply a matter of adhering to the guidelines of the PC do B, but of reaching the same conclusions. There cannot be two lines and two correct programs” (DANIELLI, 1972). As for the II Congress of the AP, assessing that its realization would depend on the circumstances, he advises: “The important thing is that the great majority discuss the base document and approve it” (DANIELLI, 1972).

Underlying Duarte Pereira's testimony is the understanding that the referrals and the result could have been different. It is not possible to assess the feasibility of this hypothesis. It is difficult to interpret the deeper layers of the negotiations, developed in direct interlocution, beyond what is read in the text of the document. In any case, regardless of the scope for managing divergences such as those espoused by Duarte Pereira, the assumptions were established, establishing the primacy of the PC do B and correcting its program and strategy. APML members should come to those conclusions.

In the scheme he sketched out in 1973,[iv]Moved by the search for unity, Duarte Pereira recognized, as the most important lesson, that the duty of Brazilian Marxist-Leninists was to strengthen the Communist Party of Brazil. More: “the PC of Brazil is the only true party of the working class; revolutionaries who want to be guided by Marxism-Leninism must unite in the CP of Brazil and help it fulfill its mission” (PEREIRA, 1973). However, in another intervention, he explained that he had, at that time, important disagreements and claimed channels to exercise them in the other party: “If these disagreements existed, I could only join the PC do B if the party recognized that they were legitimate and that I had the right to continue defending them through appropriate channels” (PEREIRA, 1999, p. 21).

An important ideological divergence between the APML and the PC do B concerned the characterization of “Mao Zedong thought as a new stage in the revolutionary theory of the world proletariat”, that is, “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism” (PEREIRA, 1999, p. 7). Duarte Pereira, (1999b, p. 9) claims that he rejected the reassessment without a careful analysis that encompassed “the questions of the 'historical period' and the 'theoretical stage', and not just the 'type of party'”. Additionally, he reveals: “Having received the task of giving final form to the so-called 'Unification Thesis' (with the PC do B), […] I was able to re-read documents from the CP of China, the CP of Brazil [… ] and in the reassessment of our own debates” (PEREIRA, 1999, p. 9).

Identifying the root of the error, he concluded that, despite the change in the correlation of forces and the presentation of new challenges, “neither the theoretical basis nor the form of organization of the Marxist-Leninist proletarian parties needed to take on entirely new characteristics” (PEREIRA, 1999, p. 9). Indicating that a succinct reformulation of the position was incorporated into the document “Victory of Marxism-Leninism”, published by the newspaper “Libertação” in April 1973, when the “majority” publicized the exclusion of leaders of the “minority”, he adds that “a reassessment more developed should appear in the final balance of the AP” (PEREIRA, 1999, p. 9).

Untied “the knot of the incorrectly characterized historical period” (PEREIRA, 1999), other questions remained. An exhaustive exposition of their divergence can be found in the document “Estêvão and the Communist Party of Brazil”. Within the limits laid out here, the synthetic approach he offered in a lecture is illuminating: “It would be difficult to explain all the reasons […]. He thought AP should unite with PC do B under conditions. Because the positions that the PC do B had were not in the AP tradition. Criticism of the Soviet model since the “Base Document” has been part of the AP tradition and I personally have never renounced this criticism. People understood the historical role that Stalin had played in the construction of socialism, in the defense of the Soviet Union, in the Second War, etc., but one could not give up criticizing the mistakes, the crimes that had been committed. And that needed to be discussed. China discussed it, but PC do B and Albania did not admit this discussion. It was a decisive question. The other decisive issue was Brazilian society. At the degree of development of capitalism that we already had, at the degree of industrialization that we had already reached, it could not be considered a semi-feudal, semi-colonial society.[v]That debate was present and I never agreed with it.[vi] I thought that we should unite through a congress that would debate these issues, and that would unify them among us (from the AP), and that would pose them as issues for the PC do B itself. It was not a vision to incorporate just to quantitatively strengthen the PC do B, was a perspective to incorporate to mutually renew ourselves in the face of new challenges and new tasks” (PEREIRA, 2014).

On the one hand, he understood that the II Congress of the APML, in addition to resolving the opposition between the disputed camps, would have the role of resolving the contradictions of the majority. On the other hand, he did not agree with the unilateral revision of the APML positions, as if all the errors belonged to it and all the merits to the PC do B (PEREIRA, 1999). With no channels to negotiate his position, he was on the sidelines of decisive referrals.[vii]

Both in his statement to Unicamp researchers and in the essay he consolidated on related themes, he mentioned that the PC do B, only in that decade, had reassessed negative issues of the Soviet experience and the characterization of Brazilian society. He considered this to be evidence that dialogue with the AP legacy would have been positive. He also found that the change in position was not accompanied by self-criticism (PEREIRA 1999 and 2001).

The epilogue or the afterstory

In his most recent public intervention, Duarte Pereira added elements to his interpretation of the phase after the split of the APML and the incorporation of the majority to the PC do B. During a period, the two wings, the majority and the minority, claimed the name of the APML . The first because, even with joining the PC do B, he would maintain the organization's structures until 1975. The second because he maintained an organization referred to in the name of the APML and in its history until the beginning of the 1980s, under the leadership of Jair Ferreira de Sá (DIAS, 2004; AZEVEDO, 2010).

Duarte Pereira is critical of the fact that the former leaders of the APML, already incorporated into the PC do B, have temporarily maintained some structures: “They continued publishing (the newspaper Libertação), they say for security reasons, not to make it clear that the unification of the two parties had taken place, but also for reasons of disputing influence, disputing militants. They continued presenting themselves as AP when they no longer had anything to do with AP” (PEREIRA, 2014).

More delicate is the fact that Duarte Pereira became convinced, based on the evidence he collected, that the incorporation of the main leaders to the PC do B occurred in 1972, and not in 1973, as stated in the official manifestations of the APML: “They officially entered into May 1973. There is a resolution that says 'Let's join the PC do B'. I was no longer part of the direction he approved. In reality, and today I have several testimonies from them, they entered in October 1972”.[viii]He exposes the gravity of his inference (PEREIRA, 2014): “It is a reason for personal suffering, because we expelled Paulo Wright and Jair (Ferreira de Sá) for factionism, but factionism was already being practiced by these companions. It is a situation that is absurd”.

More broadly, he interprets that, despite the enormous divergences that separated the “majority” from the “minority”, there was a common point: “On the part of all its leaders, not only on the part of the leaders who joined the PC do B, but from those who kept it organized for some years yet, it was already proposed that it (the AP) unite with other organizations around positions that were not its historical positions. This also occurred with the other sector that did not join the PC do B (PEREIRA, 2014)”.[ix]

Duarte Pereira calls this last phase post-history. It thus consolidates the following periodization: “The PA has a pre-history, a period in which it exists in a marked way in national life and has a post-history, when it begins to disappear as a unified and autonomous organization” (PEREIRA, 2014). It appears that the “history” ended with the outcome of the internal struggle.

In the second half of the 1970s, Duarte Pereira was engaged in the project of the newspaper “Movimento”, one of the most emblematic of the alternative press of resistance to the dictatorship. In clandestine conditions, he produced the series of editorials known as “Popular Essays” (AZEVEDO, 2011). At a certain stage, he signed materials with the pseudonym Alfredo Pereira, whose initials form the acronym AP. It was an ironic attitude of resistance in those dark times. With the amnesty, he returned to work as a journalist or technical writer for various agencies and companies. He no longer had organic links with parties. For a period, he had the expectation of resuming negotiations with the PC do B and maintained proximity, but with time he withdrew.

At the end of the interview with AEL, he declared his condition of political isolation and reaffirmed, nevertheless, four commitments that he intended to preserve for the rest of his life: 1) with the working classes; 2) with the socialist project; 3) with the understanding that socialism cannot be separated from democracy for workers; 4) with Marxism, understood in its dialectic of renewal and development, in complete rupture with a certain dogmatic tradition (PEREIRA, 2001).

Final Words

Understood as an expression of the field of memory, Duarte Pereira's interventions are valid, in themselves, as a narrative about the history of AP. Whether in the approach of facts and conjunctures, or in the appreciation of the successive redefinitions experienced, they offer dense subsidies, elaborated by the protagonist's subjectivity, for the interpretation of the experience as a whole.

It would be expensive to systematize, in each context addressed, the different contributions to the debate. In the diachronic line, it appears that his biography, intertwined with the collective experience, is representative of the dynamics of the political, ideological and organic transformation of the AP in favor of the adoption of Marxism-Leninism, in a conjuncture of rise of the revolutionary perspective, as interpreted by political agents. More than a participant, he was one of the leaders and creators of this process. However, despite having been a forerunner of the unification proposal with the PC do B, assumed by the majority wing of the AP direction, he differed from the terms of conclusion of the process.

Regarding the outcome of this process, decisive in the composition of his memory, his narrative mentions negotiations that could have altered, if not the conclusion, at least the development of the plot. It is not a question of making counterfactual history here, but of verifying how this information helps to understand the process more broadly. Still referring to this episode, Duarte Pereira recently added his conviction that the incorporation of the main leaders to the PC do B occurred before the officially announced date. If this inference requires an academic investigation, it cannot be ignored, since it potentially interferes with the understanding of the chain of events and the entire plot.

In the elaboration of the memory of his generation mates in the leadership of the AP, it is not rare to identify the influence of the organic choices that they assumed afterwards. As Duarte Pereira did not establish relations of this nature, his memory, in a way, is parameterized by the links with the history of AP, although resonances of later experiences and reflections can be identified.

In this vein, his interventions systematize his commitment to the positions he took in each situation and to the dynamics of PA policy redefinitions. If there is a teleology that explains the past from the present, the main regulatory framework is the outcome of the disputes that he experienced as leader of the organization. Furthermore, with the organic independence of the later period, he revisits history and tries to extract, without the revolutionary urgency of the systematized formulation in the PA years, the virtualities of policies in his time. Hence the fact that the testimonies broaden the nuances of the approach, without directly colliding with the main goals of the analysis sedimented as a leader.

It is useless to speculate how his memory would have been elaborated if he had followed, despite the exposed divergences, the same path as the other members of the majority of the Political Bureau. Based on the documentation and his testimonies, it is more productive to see that he stopped following that path, in 1973 and later, for justifying his commitment to the legacy of the AP and refusing to carry out a unilateral review.

The AP's history is littered with disputes over facts, processes, and the overall meaning of its experience. There are different memorialistic narratives produced by the characters, each with its legitimacy. Elaborated with erudition and method, Duarte Pereira's contribution, quickly systematized and analyzed in this chapter, is one of the most informative and thought-provoking.

* Reginaldo Benedito Dias He is a professor at the Department of History at the State University of Maringá.

To read the first part of the article click on https://aterraeredonda.com.br/a-historia-da-acao-popular/?doing_wp_cron=1630978328.1571218967437744140625

To read the second part of the article click on https://aterraeredonda.com.br/a-historia-da-acao-popular-ii/?doing_wp_cron=1633007508.0554749965667724609375

References


POPULAR ACTION. Base document, 1963.

__. Political Resolution, 1965.

__.  History, 1966a.

__. Research on the situation of the organization, 1966b.

__. Resolution on the Theoretical and Ideological Debate, 1967.

__. the six points, 1968a.

__. two positions, 1968b.

__. Self-criticism of the National Directorate, 1968c.

__. Unmask Rolando's opportunistic and provocative group, 1968d.

__. Audacity in objectives and rigor in methods, 1969.

__. Actively prepare people's war – carry out research of strategic areas – deploy support bases in the field, 1969b.

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Notes


[I] It is not excessive to point out that Jair Ferreira de Sá broke with the main goals of the “Six Points Scheme” and started to defend the strategic conception that characterized the line of the so-called minority wing.

[ii] The minority wing did not identify itself as Trotskyist. The linking attempt, formulated by the PC do B and its internal opponents, resulted from its defense of the immediately socialist revolution and the proposal to create another party, when the Communist Party of Brazil already existed.

[iii] This split was led by João Batista Drummond, known in the APML as Evaristo, who became leader of the PC do B and would later be assassinated during the repression in the Chacina da Lapa, in 1976.

[iv]At the conclusion of the text “Estêvão and the Communist Party of Brazil”, he referred to the annexes that contain this scheme as follows: “I add, as annexes, two scripts that I sketched out in April 1973, when I still had the expectation of participating in the elaboration of the final document describing the experience of Popular Action. They serve as indications of my vision of the trajectory of the AP and my effort to seek, to the limit, unity with the other companions of the 'majority' of the AP and with the PC do B” (PEREIRA, 1999, p. 24).

[v]In a book about the history of the AP, Haroldo Lima and Aldo Arantes (1984, p. 158) refer to these final episodes of the process laconically: “Duarte Pereira did not participate in this decision, arguing differences in content and method”. For their part, Gorender (1987, p. 117), in “Combate in the darkness”, and Kucinski (1991, p. 199), in “Journalistas e revolucionarios”, succinctly recorded these arguments of Duarte Pereira. In January 1973, when writing the presentation of the second edition of the collective research “Contribution to the scientific understanding of Brazilian society”, carried out by leaders linked to the majority of the APML, Duarte Pereira pointed out, referring to himself: “One of the authors of this work considers it wrong to state that Brazilian society is semi-feudal and semi-colonial, although capitalist relations already prevail in it. Every society has its own nature and this is given, in the case of complex social formations, by the predominant mode of production. Another issue is to establish at the same time the particularities that distinguish a society from other societies of the same nature. […] In line with this reasoning, one of the authors of this work manifests his conviction that, if Marxist-Leninists want to advance in the scientific understanding of Brazilian society, they must break with this survival of old dogmatic conceptions and must advance in the formulation of a concept of Brazilian society that approaches this formulation: Brazil is a capitalist country, of the dependent and underdeveloped type” (APML, 1973a, p. VIII).

[vi] After the circulation of this article, Duarte Pereira sent me an addendum that is of interest to readers: “Self-critique of Estêvão (6/6/18). Both lines, both that of the national, democratic and popular revolution, and that of the immediate socialist revolution, were mistaken. The challenge was to deepen the concept of complex socio-economic formation, both capitalist and socialist, to formulate a program, strategy and tactics suitable for Brazil” (PEREIRA, 2018).

[vii]In the Duarte Pacheco Pereira (AEL) documentary fund, there are records of debates at the time of incorporation. Noteworthy is the exchange of correspondence between Estêvão and the Fraction of the Communist Party that coordinates the integration of former AP militants, dating from the months after the Political Bureau's decision to join the PC do B. The addressees were Haroldo Lima and Aldo Arantes. Candidate to join the party, Duarte Pereira still claimed channels to express his differences to former AP militants. Its objective was summarized as follows: “Defending the legitimate rights of Popular Action and also defending the genuine interests of the working class and its party: main commitment to the party, to fight for incorporation and to lead the AP to make a self-criticism of its errors, but also an effective commitment to the AP, to defend its rights to its recognition by the Party as a Marxist-Leninist organization and the recognition by the Party of the mistakes it committed in its relationship with the organization and the causes of this mistake” (PEREIRA, 1973b) .

[viii]Introduced in the debate a short while ago, this topic deserves in-depth investigation. It should be mentioned, however, that PC do B documents influenced Duarte Pereira's conclusion. In the Resolutions of the 11th. PC do B Congress, in the section that discloses the biography of the leaders, it is verified that there were 13 members of the Central Committee who had graduated from Ação Popular, to which were added four other substitutes. The text indicates that all had joined the PC do B in 1972. The list includes the three leaders who made up the Political Bureau of the APML: Aldo Arantes, Haroldo Lima and Renato Rabelo. The three would have been “co-opted to the Central Committee” that year (PARTIDO COMUNISTA DO BRASIL, 2001, p. 316-330). In the Resolutions of the 12th. Congress of the PC do B, the entries regarding the former leaders of the APML Political Bureau follow the same pattern (PARTIDO COMUNISTA DO BRASIL, 2009, p. 348, 358 and 369). In the book that documents the votes of the Amnesty Commission of the Ministry of Justice regarding Aldo Arantes’ petition, it states: “Informs that in 1972 he joined the Communist Party of Brazil and became part of its leadership in clandestinity” (BRASIL, 2013, p. 189). In the book “Itinerário de Lutas do Partido Communista do Brasil”, Haroldo Lima (1984, p. 24) wrote: “still in 1972, the Marxist-Leninist Popular Action of Brazil was incorporated into the PC of Brazil”.

[ix]It refers to the fact that the APML, in this new period, adopted policies to create what it called the Proletarian Tendency, in association with the 8th of October Revolutionary Movement, with the Marxist-Leninist Combat Organization/Workers' Policy and with the Movement of Proletarian Emancipation, with the ultimate objective of building the vanguard party of the Brazilian revolution. In this intervention, Duarte Pereira cited the memoirs of Ricardo de Azevedo (2010), leader of the APML in the second half of the 1970s.

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