The refusal of Javier Milei’s “bus”

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By TARSUS GENUS*

This is the first time that the strongest and most “massive” challenge to the “system” comes from sectors of the extreme right and the political right, in fact, with the visible subtraction – in this field – of any revolutionary solution in evolution.

1.

In the first months of Jair Bolsonaro's government, the president, now in total moral and political disgrace, said in a meeting with the governors of the Northeast (July 2019) about Governor Flávio Dino, the following, recorded for posterity: “the worst ( governor) is from Maranhão, there has to be nothing for this guy.” Lack of decorum, political discrimination in the Federation, intentional behavior classified as arbitrary exercise or abuse of power, which did not provide any media scandal, although the moment recorded in the country's political history as an example of how the State is corrupted and the state is put into decay Judiciary of the Presidency.

The institutions, at the time, accommodated in fear, in the doubt that generates passivity or in explicit complicity, did not react. I remember this fact to celebrate President Lula's position as Head of State, in treating the most authoritarian and right-wing governors in the country - but elected within the same rules that elected him President, with the institutional respect that their positions deserve, seeking to make viable projects of public interest in the territories under their jurisdiction. Treatment of a metal worker, Head of State and Government, who founded more Universities in the country and developed social programs that became global examples, working within the narrow limits given to him by the global empire of financial capital, whose flows and debts move in the world without pity or mercy.

2.

Elon Musk, “excited about the possibilities of artificial intelligence”, says that it “can create (as Friedrich Hayek defended) universal income and eliminate the need to work”. The thesis mixes a “terrible idea” – according to the most primary neoliberal ideologues – such as the “Bolsa Família” (put into effect by President Lula), with the idea of ​​a classless society: “free from needs”, as Karl said. Marx, soon freed from work as a “penalty”, with the victory of the “reign of freedom”.

This ideal of a perfect society came from a revolutionary idea from the last century, but Elon Musk's defense is mere right-wing irony, based on an idea of ​​a “perfect society” based on the perfect functioning of the market, so it goes – even if insincerely – in the direction of basic income (Universal) by Eduardo Suplicy.

Lula and Suplicy have to do – with each other – as supporters and militants of the PT, but Elon Musk only has to do with the legitimization of his businesses, which expand to the Peruvian highlands with incentives for bloody coups to facilitate their access to lithium , a precious mineral coveted by large businesses in high informational-digital technology. Lula is a character, like Suplicy, of the best possibilities of a less violent capitalism, but Elon Musk is an apologist for the falsifications of mercantile reason, for his own wealth. What opposes Lula and Suplicy to Elon Musk is the concept of the human, for solidarity, versus the selfishness that falsifies the perfection of the market.

3.

Some episodes that appear to be fragmentary facts of history can be considered as part of the political upheavals of the 30th century which, projected in the first XNUMX years of this new (old) XNUMXst century, make up a challenging design for the entire thinking left. It was the time of the emergence of Thatcherism, the rise and then the weakening of military dictatorships in Latin America, the change in the processes of capital accumulation, combined – from then on – with profound changes in the world of industrial work and the global market. It was the dilution of the old political values ​​of the militant proletariat and the fragmentation of its party struggles and its union-labor battles.

Much has been written and debated about this new scenario in the last 30 years, when it was emerging on the horizon of the various classes and social sectors involved, but the majority of socialist party leaders still focused on the merits of their origins, not paying attention to the new world – crueler and more complex – that already appeared in those symptoms. Javier Milei's recent electoral victory in Argentina and the tactical defeat of his extremist reform plan in the Argentine Legislature spark new reflections.

The first of them is that the refusal of Javier Milei's “bus” was not a defeat of his neoliberal, authoritarian and radical project, today embedded in the average consciousness of the Argentine people. Not a victory for the left, which is a minority in Parliament, but it was the victory – through rejection without unitary economic principles and without a unifying nation project – of a set of political forces that do not have a minimum strategy to reform the mythical idea of ​​an original nation. of historical Peronism.

This man, who has already ventured to lead the country with the right-wing liberalism of Carlos Menem, was not even able to present an authentic candidate of popular Peronism and competed, winning with a politician from another background, Anibal Fernàndez – an honest and dedicated cadre of traditional politics of the country – which did not even have clear conditions for governance and ended up failing as an alternative for power. “The links of political representation today” – I wrote 10 years ago – “are no longer achieved through doctrinal formulas or even through daily participation in the economic struggles of anyone”.

Under current conditions, the class-party nexus has not dissolved, but has relativized and become more complex” (…): “the need to increase the supply of industrial employment, for example, is already in contradiction” – he said a decade ago – “with the need to preserve life on the planet and with the preservation of original communities”. And he added: “the eyes of master was replaced by control of results, horizontal cooperation between companies replaced large unified plants; permanent employment decreases, the formal autonomy of providers of new services – based on new technologies – is (an) important novelty” (…): “the concepts of economic and professional categories” have been broken (…) and the new “needs of the accumulation process (are) hostages of globalized financial capital”, (National Interest Magazine, year 9, no.33, p. 20).

4.

All of this was culminated by two major political cataclysms consolidated at the beginning of the 21st century, the century of the burial of utopias and the highest point of republican cynicism in hegemonic capitalist countries. Here are the “finishes”: the classic bourgeois revolution arrived in the USSR as the decadence of the socialist system; and the “new Chinese socialism” – guide of state capitalism (or single-party bureaucratic socialism?) – alongside the USA, become guarantors and competitors in a new global imbalance.

At this moment, the main victim of this imbalance – as were the Vietnamese in the past – are the Palestinians, not the Hamas militants, as they have their future assured by the memory of the new generations in Gaza, of the indiscriminate massacre that exploded upon its population. civil. In recent texts circulating on the networks, it is possible to gather new episodes that will compose a new totality of the crisis, including in the face of the rise of a new-type unity, which restructures the system of alliances in the political democracies still in force: the neoliberal center, the right traditional and the proto-fascist extreme right – with its hegemony – can be the protagonists of new authoritarian governments in important geopolitical centers on the planet. I believe that in the last 70 years of the history of modern capitalism this is the first time that the strongest and most “massive” challenge to the “system” comes from sectors of the extreme right and the political right, not from the left, generically referred to as the sectors that fight for an alternative, ranging from social democracy to progressive democratic republicanism, in fact, with the visible subtraction – in this field – of any revolutionary solution in evolution.

Some symptomatic examples of the evolution of this crisis, quickly collected from the networks: Flávio Aguiar: “…the star of the week was really the agricultural sector, a movement (that) started in Germany (…) and (spread) throughout continental Europe” ( Social unrest is growing in Europe, where protests from the transport and agricultural sectors haunt the world); Boaventura de Souza Santos: “anti-statism appears combined with the authoritarian mentality (from the Protective State to the Repressive State), the right began to dominate public opinion and foment social polarization and democracy once again entered into crisis” (Because Is fascism growing? How can we stop it?). “Never has a project won with the number of votes we won today, literally, the highest percentage in all of history” (says Nayib Bukele, extreme right-wing President, elected by massive vote in El Salvador – in BBC News). History seems to no longer repeat itself, neither as farce nor as tragedy, but innovates barbarism as anti-history, whose most visible examples of pain and death are the inquisition and fascism, whose greatest inducement, which although rests on the structure of classes, has its movement harmonized not by vertical party doctrines, but by the fetishistic horizontalities of the “perfect market” of planned obsolescence.

5.

The European Union's indecision regarding a collaboration regime with Mercosur exposes for Latin America as a whole (for South America in particular) the ambiguities of the so-called European Social State, to resist the rise of the extreme right, combined with their new allies from the center to the right, to form new governments around the world.

At the basis of this problem, however, is the following: who will pay the bills for the Ukrainian War? of US and European Union expenses for the War against Gaza? Who will finance, for at least 10 years, the American federal debt that exceeds (says JP Morgan Bank) 34 trillion dollars and costs 1 trillion dollars a year in interest? This analysis, touted by the Bank, is not guided by a “social” concern, certainly, but it reminds us that printing currency without backing could be the cause, in the not too distant future, of a global hyperinflation unprecedented in the history of capitalism.

The experience of German hyperinflation that preceded the Second World War would become, in this scenario, just a bad joke. Examples abound in the history of capitalism, as conflicts of this nature and scale are resolved mainly by three means and forms, which can be combined: by War between confronting geopolitical blocks of interest; by internal revolutions in the countries most affected by the inflationary delirium; or by coups d'état, on the periphery of the system, which adapt the internal circumstances of each country to a new world order. When a light of hope does not emerge at the end of an era, falsifiers of the truth thrive. They can either say that there are no innocents in Gaza or that a bloody coup is necessary, in Peru, for the nation to hand over its lithium to the owners of the world. 

The democratic oxygenation of Brazil, even within the narrow limits allowed by the world order that unequalizes and murders millions of innocent people, is a small lamp in a soulless and oppressive world, as would be any world governed by the very rich. But we can't lose our way, we can't lose hope.

*Tarsus in law he was governor of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, mayor of Porto Alegre, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education and Minister of Institutional Relations in Brazil. Author, among other books, of possible utopia (arts & crafts) [https://amzn.to/3ReRb6I]


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