The Revolution Against Liberal Democracy

Image: Brett Sayles


The sense of urgency of the appeals from the popular-democratic field is real

After the mobilizations of October 2nd, spread across cities in the country and abroad, assessments of the events converged. By bringing together political parties, social movements, trade union centrals and groups opposing the misgovernment led by Jair Bolsonaro, the promoted acts condensed the organic dissatisfaction of society, in the face of the pandemic and economic crisis. However, punctuations made about the demonstrations instigate some considerations, in view of the next steps. In political theater, the essence of the social must not be lost, despite the temptation for occasional customizations.

The movements that reached 700 thousand demonstrators, added, are repeated without significant increase in adhesions, unable to overcome the barrier of one million. Added to this is the news that Genocida has generated an avalanche of followers (including robots and robots) in the lawless land of Instagram. Others argue that the poor's material mobility problems create an almost insurmountable wall on the outskirts. The fact is that the mobilizing key did not find the lock to the demands resulting from poignant constraints. This contributed to limiting the presence of those engaged in the traumatic struggle for survival. Social inequality was reflected in political participation.

The emphasis on the agenda is inevitable, which, at first, was restricted to the impeachment of the armed militia and to broad, general and unrestricted vaccination. Inflation hit double digits on average. Hunger, unemployment, precarious occupations, informality, evictions for non-payment of rents made living a hellish condemnation for the majority riddled by exploitation. This explains the continuous absorption of pressing demands, felt in everyday life, such as the inflationary price of gasoline, cooking gas and food.

There was a mismatch between the political moment and the socioeconomic moment in the portal of concentrations. The slogan “Bolsonaro Out” expressed a degree of politicization that did not challenge the citizenry as a whole. It did not correspond to the immediate needs of very low income. Thus, he did not effect the mediations in the minds and hearts of the people. The “concrete” is the dialectical overlapping of the empirical with the abstract, in consciousness. The denunciation of hundreds of thousands of deaths, due to negligence and prevarication in the acquisition of immunizers, as well as the unofficial choice to fight the pandemic with herd immunity due to contamination, without vaccination – did not help to give “concreteness” to the watchwords.


Traditionalism vs. Modernity

The negationism presented with the fetishist award of individual freedom was not limited to the insurgency of the first representative et caterva. It was taken over by neo-Pentecostal temples that contested the health ban on agglomerations, with an eye on tithing, and by the Federal Council of Medicine when it sanctioned the prescription of quack remedies responsible, not for cures, but for deaths. Namely, Hydroxychloroquine and such recommended by ideologized agents who pretexted total independence in the (mis)treatment of patients. But they didn't go to funerals. It is the rebellion against the controls.

The recording in which the CFM president states that he “is with Bolsonaro” because the Workers’ Party (PT) governments founded courses “to popularize medicine” speaks for itself. The testimonial, petty, belittles the ethical-professional commitment of the category with the health of Brazilians, by advocating the shortcut of the scarcity of services to boost the income earned by the category. The director of the entity justified the satirical observation, by the writer Eric Nepomuceno, about those who “confuse the Hippocratic oath (the wheat) with the oath of hypocrites (the weeds)”.

In the business media, the hype about miracle cures, anti-scientific, turned into a false confrontation of “narratives” of equal cognitive relevance. The clashes were the scene of the dispute between the far-right Traditionalism and the values ​​of Modernity (science, universities, the World Health Organization / WHO). The notion that the areas of knowledge expressed only narratives was born with postmodern reflections that, involuntarily, brought water to the mill of obscurantism. Truth and lies then became two sides of the same coin. The customer had the option on the menu. Freedom of expression disguised the dissemination of bizarre opinions that threaten life.

The combination of factors, ranging from demands (political, when dissociated from the socioeconomic base) to the conditions of poverty and misery of millions of families, resulted in statistics that indicate, in opposition events, a majority percentage of participants from the middle strata. It is necessary to combine the spheres, political and socioeconomic, to make a visible leap in quality in the demonstration of “plebeian power”. The previous demonstrations were adequate and impactful enough to contain the green-and-yellow parade of the fragrant CBF street team. Now, they demand adjustments and improvements to continue. As usually happens in history, the experience opened the windows of understanding. It's time to learn lessons and move on. With humility and vigor.


Intraclass material solidarity

The servile attacks on the “elites” of the decorative usurper, Michel Temer, against the unions caused havoc. Margaret Thatcher's fight against workers' enclaves in England was imitated in the Tropics. The attack on social conquests and acquired rights began with the dismantling of the unionists' actions. One of the most disastrous consequences of the Labor Reform (Law 13.467/2017) was the end of the mandatory union contribution, therefore, of the ability of unions to enlist. The acceleration of unemployment, allied to the process of deindustrialization, fulfills the same disruptive function. Syndicalism is the popular guard of the State, in any democracy. Bolsonaro did not invent anything new to screw with the interests of the salaried bloc. He followed the booklet, speaking thickly with work and, thinly, with capital.

Material issues, which make it difficult to incorporate social segments into mass processions for structural changes against the destruction of democratic sociability, weigh on the (moral-political) response to calls against the continuity of the perverse president in charge of the nation. The power of money does not only influence the composition of representation in legislative houses. It also influences access to means of transport to the places where protests are held. Economic degrowth mainly affects warriors and fighters, who live far from the conventional meeting points called by the collectives of the republican harvest. And how it is. What to do?

Here is the knot to untie. On a dialectical level, conciliate the political agenda with the socioeconomic agenda, through flags that dialogue horizontally with the needs that even curb the reproduction of the workforce, and that increase day by day. On another level, jointly developing strategies so that material constraints can be overcome by voluntary contribution to displacements. Democratic sectors of the middle class would have the opportunity to cement their critical spirit.

This could be equalized with the formation of “Leagues in Favor of Pro-Democracy Acts” for collections for this purpose, under the supervision of the organizers by delimited territories. There would be no lack of intraclass empathy. From each according to his possibilities, to each according to his needs, says the maxim. Marx and Engels, when alluding to worldviews, mentioned the “revolution dans la tete des ouvriers / revolution in the minds of the workers", reads in an entry by George Labica and Gérard Bensussan (Dictionnaire Critique du Marxisme, Ed. PUF). Here, the purpose is to allow bodies to move with political autonomy, without shackles. Militant solidarity can leverage political praxis.


Brazil's sense of urgency

The Greek-French philosopher, who came to accompany Participatory Budget (PB) assemblies in Porto Alegre in the 90s, Cornelius Castoriadis (La Cité et les Lois, Ed. Seuil), classified the borderline conjunctures as “a revolutionary period in which everyone stops being at home, being what he is, a shoemaker, journalist, worker or doctor, and becomes an active citizen who wants something for society and his institution, and considers that the realization of this something depends directly on him and the others and not on a vote or on what his representatives will do in his place”. Equalizing the relationship between means and ends implies democratizing the animus citizen intervention to achieve civilizing advances. Reason is not enough, you have to metabolize the feeling of reason with your own viscera.

The soul disposition can have either a progressive or a reactionary vector. Bolsonarist subjectivation processed the myth of a revolution against liberal democracy. Proof that the union of authoritarianism with economic liberalism engulfed political liberalism (by dragnet, the third way). Buried the fantasy of social liberalism. It doesn't matter, for the fascist imaginary, Bolsonaro's surrender to Centrão in order not to fall from the presidential chair. It is important, for the effort to understand the phenomenon, that the existence of historical and social conditions provided elements for the conviction that the right-wing extremist irruption triggered the ostentatious revolutionism. The appropriation of the systemic refusal of what is-there is a powerful force, in the hands of an entourage forged in the hatred of equality.

Focusing on the forthcoming elections to effect changes is betting too many chips on the weakened institutional framework. It is to ignore the delegitimization to which the institutions of the Republic submitted with obsequious silence, in the face of the illegalities of Lava Jato in paving the way for the fall of President Dilma Rousseff (2016) and the impediment of the candidacy of Lula da Silva (2018) by propitiating the rise of fascism. The drama involved the Federal Supreme Court (STF), no one doubts it. If politicism is a mistake, institutionalism is doubly so under current circumstances. Walk the wire. Waving a new kind of governance is crucial to show the light of hope at the end of the tunnel.

In the raging sea of ​​neoliberal destruction that engulfs social and labor rights, the drowned do not have the breath to wait for the lifeboat. The sense of urgency of the appeals from the popular-democratic field is real. Brazil can't take it anymore. The intertwining (woven into watchwords) of politics with the socioeconomic, class cooperation with the materiality of mobilizations to transcend the ongoing nightmare and, together, the results collected by the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) of Covid-19 will contribute to warm up the sense of urgency. The same does not equate to the philosophical irrationalism of the coup d'état, obviously. This one competes in a XNUMX meter lane. Socialists and Democrats run in the marathon to rebuild the country. The energy to maintain atavistic privileges is distinct from the democratizing struggle for the distribution of the right to have rights. The anti-fascist and anti-neoliberal endeavor must continue advancing, step by step.

In short, this is the way to resolve deep social inequalities and to enjoy the collective freedoms that guarantee authentic individual freedoms. Nothing to do with the narcissistic-arrogant disobedience to the guidelines and protocols established by the health authorities, the mockery of social isolation, the drug prescriptions that promise what they do not deliver, the indifference towards the suffering of the working people or with the accountability of liberal democracy for the crimes of capitalism with its claws sharpened by financialization. Everything to do with the humanization of society. – Until the victory!

* Luiz Marques is a professor of political science at UFRGS. He was Rio Grande do Sul's state secretary of culture in the Olívio Dutra government.


See this link for all articles


  • About artificial ignoranceEugenio Bucci 15/06/2024 By EUGÊNIO BUCCI: Today, ignorance is not an uninhabited house, devoid of ideas, but a building full of disjointed nonsense, a goo of heavy density that occupies every space
  • Franz Kafka, libertarian spiritFranz Kafka, libertarian spirit 13/06/2024 By MICHAEL LÖWY: Notes on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the Czech writer
  • The society of dead historyclassroom similar to the one in usp history 16/06/2024 By ANTONIO SIMPLICIO DE ALMEIDA NETO: The subject of history was inserted into a generic area called Applied Human and Social Sciences and, finally, disappeared into the curricular drain
  • Impasses and solutions for the political momentjose dirceu 12/06/2024 By JOSÉ DIRCEU: The development program must be the basis of a political commitment from the democratic front
  • Strengthen PROIFESclassroom 54mf 15/06/2024 By GIL VICENTE REIS DE FIGUEIREDO: The attempt to cancel PROIFES and, at the same time, turn a blind eye to the errors of ANDES management is a disservice to the construction of a new representation scenario
  • Introduction to “Capital” by Karl Marxred triangular culture 02/06/2024 By ELEUTÉRIO FS PRADO: Commentary on the book by Michael Heinrich
  • Hélio Pellegrino, 100 years oldHelio Pellegrino 14/06/2024 By FERNANDA CANAVÊZ & FERNANDA PACHECO-FERREIRA: In the vast elaboration of the psychoanalyst and writer, there is still an aspect little explored: the class struggle in psychoanalysis
  • Volodymyr Zelensky's trapstar wars 15/06/2024 By HUGO DIONÍSIO: Whether Zelensky gets his glass full – the US entry into the war – or his glass half full – Europe’s entry into the war – either solution is devastating for our lives
  • The strike at federal Universities and Institutescorridor glazing 01/06/2024 By ROBERTO LEHER: The government disconnects from its effective social base by removing those who fought against Jair Bolsonaro from the political table
  • PEC-65: independence or patrimonialism in the Central Bank?Campos Neto Trojan Horse 17/06/2024 By PEDRO PAULO ZAHLUTH BASTOS: What Roberto Campos Neto proposes is the constitutional amendment of free lunch for the future elite of the Central Bank