The victory of February 8

Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson, Study to 'Return to the Trenches', 1914-15
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By RENATO DAGNINO*

Many on the left, rightly concerned about confronting fascism, undervalue defense and the attributes associated with it.

As a left-wing fan of a football game where our usual opponent is the team on the right, Thursday's result washed my soul of the many defeats we have suffered. Domestically and internationally, well-funded and literally armed, he has been preparing to defeat us for centuries.

Our attack, which with explosion and power scores goals, suffers the most dangerous fouls and scores victories, and for this reason it is more valued, was brilliant.

But the defense had prepared itself, with the “game vision” it has. Remember that it is the defensive players, with their resistance, who learn to properly calibrate the team to take advantage of the explosion of the attack. Which explains why they are the ones who become coaches of our national teams. Despite this, many on the left, rightly concerned about confronting fascism, undervalue defense and the attributes associated with it.

This victory, which shows the importance of those who play in defense (with their knowledge of the opponents, vision of the game, strategic perspective), deserves to be taken into account. This is what is done here by bringing it to the analysis of the four modalities in which our government has to compete. That is, to correctly assess how our preparation should be to change the overall score of the modalities.

For the “confronting the fascist right” modality of the February 8th game, which involves explaining and punishing its crimes, the fight against disinformation that it promotes, it seems that the explosion (and the opportunism inherent to it) is being well calibrated for the defense with reflection and resistance that it possesses. The defense is preparing scoring opportunities.

The victory gave relief and encouragement to left-wing spectators. And, judging by the influence of PIG among those who vote on the right, we added points to the overall score. And we increase governability; something that in the short term is crucial to implementing our political project.

The second modality – “confronting the smelly right” – involves changing the legal framework of the inherited State in the direction of the necessary State. A process that, contrary to those who spread the myth of State policies, depends on the will and capacity of governments to reorient public policies, is underway.

Here, internal dissent is a symptom that the left is moving forward. More than in the first, where the evident brutality of the opponent sets an almost consensual policy agenda in the short term, here there seems to be a lack of listening, reflection, discussion, debate, which would mitigate the natural reformist tendency.

Highlighting the horror that the first modality is showing, this trend highlights that we must accumulate forces with the smelly and more civilized right that we were used to playing with. A fallacy is taking shape that says that given the correlation of forces we have, the necessary lowering of the political agenda to co-opt sectors of the property class and the urgency to act by doing what is possible, there is no reason to waste time discussing our political project.

If we get rid of this fallacy, do not lose the strategic “South” that should guide us and discuss possible alternatives more rigorously, we will conclude that we do not need the smelly right to win in the two other modalities.

In the third modality – “confronting the madness of the owning class” – our victory is to allow the working class to achieve what it achieved in past championships in the social, economic, environmental and cultural areas. And that it recovers, in the medium term (if we have time to avoid the collective suicide to which it is leading humanity), the ground occupied by the property class after the 2016 coup.

Here too, that fallacy tends to privilege the opportunism of the explosive attack over the reflexive posture of defense. And hindering the conception of policies that overcome the reformist tendency to face present challenges in a little reflected and discussed way, with recipes coming from the past or from strange contexts; and to miss out on future-bearing opportunities.

Here, the example of what happens in the work and income generation submodality is enlightening. The fact that of the more than 140 million people of working age, only 37 have a formal contract is a challenge! The opportunity is the Solidarity Economy (based on collective ownership and self-management) that is emerging around the world as an alternative to the suicidal civilizational crisis.

The defense is not calibrating the attack so that our team can reflect and discuss how we should develop. We are excluding solidarity reindustrialization to concentrate the state subsidy allocated by Brazil's new industry in the hands of the same property class that deindustrialized the country for its benefit.

The fourth and final modality – “building the future” – groups games that are not (or until recently were not) of immediate interest to the odorous or fascist right. Because they take place in policy spaces where results only occur in the long term, or because they consider that they have always won in them, and can continue to win, essential gaps appear to build the future.

This is the case of cognitive policy (education and science and technology), a space where the left, to implement its project, must radically change its vision. By freeing themselves from the trans-ideological myth of the neutrality of capitalist technoscience and, adopting processes of socio-technical adaptation in our teaching and research institutions, knowledge workers must redesign it in the direction of solidary technoscience.

We have immense needs for collective goods and services, which to be adequately satisfied require the consideration of complex and original techno-scientific demands embedded in these goods and services. They are the thread that runs backwards, so that we can win in other modalities.

A supportive cognitive policy that unlocks our underutilized techno-scientific potential will allow us to leverage, with an increased level of efficiency, efficacy and effectiveness, the actions necessary to “confront the madness of the property class”.

As hardware, orgware and software solutions that are socio-technically aligned with the values ​​and interests of the Solidarity Economy are incorporated into our public policies, it will become increasingly evident that we do not need the smelly right to face the fascist one.

The millions who will participate in solidarity production and consumption will generate income to avoid the social democratic trap that tries to make the capitalist market and State more efficient to implement socializing policies. And, growing in awareness, mobilization, participation and empowerment, they will be the guarantee of the governability we need for our civilization project to be successful.

* Renato Dagnino He is a professor at the Department of Scientific and Technological Policy at Unicamp. Author, among other books, of Solidarity Technoscience, a strategic manual (anti-capital fights).


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