The mutations of the present

Image: Saeid Anvar


And the Chilean elections and the Brazilian political-electoral process

Based on the results of the Chilean elections that elected the young left-wing activist Gabriel Boric, we can make – by analogy – a reflection on our political-electoral process, in order to understand what is “universal” about the Chilean process. This is important for the lefts that will be together, in an eventual second round, and that – surely – will have to unite to govern in a democracy torn apart by ultraliberal hatred, both here and there, siamese of the psychopathy of the fascist extreme right, in a harassed by the militia violence and unprecedented environmental destruction.

The changes in the productive base of the capital system, the destruction of the social-democratic protection system and the “liberal” dilution of the rules to protect living labor – provided in a dependent and legally subordinated manner – resulted (here and there in Chile) in the new world of liberal dystopia: it is a new and worse common life, more anarchic and “liquid”, in which the organized working classes, despite the bravery of their struggles, have lost the leading role and leftist parties, to a greater or lesser extent, To a lesser degree, they did not realize that these changes in social materiality altered communicational forms and contents, the political language of common sense and the ways in which new collectivities organize and self-organize, in relationship networks and in niches of disenchantment with “all that is there.”

Young people, women, new social and cultural actors, new work activities for survival, cruel and alternative informalities, emerged with new economic, gender and environmental demands, together with new social movements and historically dispossessed ethnic groups. These are changes that altered the hierarchy between classes – from oppressive to more oppressive and from more subordinate relationships in the production process to relationships more controlled by the result – that hit the old ways of doing politics in the face. The traditional organizations – political and corporative – that presented themselves as “representations” of the working classes, in addition to showing the weakness of traditional unionism to face the epic neoliberal devastation, negative of the protection to the classic work of the Second Industrial Revolution, demonstrated a certain irrelevance of the traditional parliamentary forms of “doing politics.”

All countries, whether members of the first level of the global capitalist system or those of the second level, have something to do with what happened in Chile, to learn and consider the economic, cultural and political specificities of each social formation. It turns out that the present is already different and even the past is no longer what was described by contemporary political science. The strong mutations of the present change the past petrified by theory.

Irrational faith in the market is an attribute of the right, which is not necessarily incompatible with fascism. It is a faith that makes it possible to sacrifice the values ​​of democracy to dictatorial authority, which here seeks to integrate – in times of crisis – the interests of “wild” capitalism and the financier elegance of Faria Lima, with the torturers in Power and, if necessary, coexist with denialism and “sanitary” genocide, if this keeps the stock market high and speculative profit producing fortunes.

The “faith” in democracy and in the Republic, on the contrary, seeks its ethical-moral and political validity, therefore, in equality and solidarity, between men and women who move both inside and outside the market, valuing it. whether because of their human peculiarities, which were acquired outside the market, which can either make them believe in something, lose faith, or continue to believe with doubts. The irrational faith in the market authorizes, as seen in Brazil, the naturalization of death and the blockade of the democratic institutions of the State, but the faith in democracy and in the Republic is necessarily dialogical, because it does not accept the call to death, on the horizon, as a solution to the riddles of the present life. What past will these people refer to? To the wild instincts of the species or to new utopias of equality and human solidarity? The Bolsonarist base has already decided its choice with the first hypothesis.

What divides the Bolsonarist camp from the democratic camp in Brazil – in the days leading up to the date of the elections – is much more than “political”, in the strict sense. It is a principled position on “what is human” and what is “rejected” – outright – as a solution to respond to dissent among humans in each specific moment of History. Those who (1) unite the market with fascism are different from those who (2) simply defend a market society, but are opposed to those who (3) defend the supreme values ​​of solidarity and equality, to subject the market to the universal interests of the humans.

This division and the understanding of these political "three specificities" distributed among the social classes in the country, are the basis of a thought through which one can think of the Common Front against fascism, in each country. In Brazil, from this base of common understanding, the proposal of an electoral front capable of facing – at the same time – the center of Bolsonarista politics of a fascist character (which is identified with death) and with “longa manus” of the ultraliberal bourgeoisie (which deifies the market) and which makes it its deadly Church.

The first memory that came to mind, when I started this article, was a letter from 1938 (information from Adorno in “Aspects of the new right-wing radicalism”) written by the liberal Wilhelm Röpke, who, along with Friedman, Hayek, Von Mises, was one of the founders of the Society of Mont-Pèlerin (intellectual elite of the right and absolutist of the market), who said in an apologetic way: “people must get used to the fact that there is also a presidential democracy, authoritarian yes – horrible dictum – a dictatorial democracy”.

The second memory comes from what I presume is the most recent book by Leonardo Padura (“Like dust in the wind”), in which the enigma posed by Clara – a character who reevaluates her years of innocence in the Cuban revolution – proposes the following: “ Believing without doubting and then losing faith, or keeping faith and continuing to believe despite doubts (...)”. The position of Röpke's liberals makes it possible to think, in its evaluation as concrete rationality, that the market – if necessary – must suffocate democracy with blood, but that the enigma that challenges Clara, in fact, asks if it is possible to believe without doubting.

The answer to the Röpke liberals was given by Hitler, with his death camps, but to Clara's enigma, Marx had already responded by saying that one of his favorite aphorisms was, according to his biographer Franz Mehring, "everything must be doubted". . Humanism, therefore, celebrates the “cogito”, and liberalism – tending to be fascist – always celebrates “strength”, in order to reach death.

An electoral front to face Bolsonaro's genocidal policy and then to govern with a democratic and republican program, in defense of life against hunger, in defense of democracy against fascism, in defense of sovereignty against automatic alignments with hegemonic countries, is the starting point for recovering the dignity of politics and the decency of governing for the concrete people of Brazil, with Clara's questions. And with the answers of the old Marx, which fuse strategy and tactics in doubt, in a single act of devolution of popular sovereignty.

*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).


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