Political bandits

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By TARSUS GENUS*

It is from the radical separation between morals and politics and the new anonymous forms of mental control of individuals to form groups of political bandits, that the clay of the future is being molded

“The rigid, tailored and prefabricated imposition of the historical course blocks the assimilation of other schemes of historical understanding.” (Norberto Bobbio, arguing that no theory of History, nor of politics, is eternal).

The three main axes of the first year of Lula's government were guided and fulfilled within the narrow margins of republican democracy: the war against hunger resumed; Brazilian foreign policy removed us from global shame under the command of a head of state who was respected and aware of his global power and responsibilities; and the fiscal framework was intended to be the crossing from an impoverishing and cowardly economy to a new dynamic of Brazil's integration into the global capitalist system, in its best possibility. In a world at war and in a period of energy transition and recovery, by nature in rebellion, of the devastations unleashed against it.

Javier Milei's victory in Argentina with 55,69% of the votes, in the second round of the presidential elections, was celebrated with national flags raised high and with the screams of the infallible right-wing groups, who came – in a mad state – to tear up the national currency and use her as confetti at your demented carnival.

It was the celebration of the victory of a candidate and also a melancholic end to a long period of identity crisis in the Argentine country, from the left to the more traditional political forces: victory of “libertarian anarcho capitalism”, defeat of a model without direction and without ideas and definitive sweep – in my opinion – not of Peronism as an authoritarian and popular “social” path that had already exhausted itself long before, with the death of Perón, but of a movement fragmented into multiple currents since the return from exile of the “Great Leader” . Perón was a great leader for Argentina, because in public education and in the fight against hunger, it should be compared to England, not Switzerland, just as Fidel is a great revolutionary for Cuba, because his country should be compared – in hunger and education – with Haiti and Paraguay, not with the United States and France.

The Latin American leaders who humanized their developing nations – by combating hunger and establishing free public education for their people – faced decaying colonial structures, were connected to their time and, at the same time, ahead of it. I am not referring here to the hundreds of revolutionary leaders who died for the utopias of socialist equality, but rather those who came to power – inside or outside the order – and left examples that improved, to some extent, the lives of their respective peoples, creating a “progressive” and socially democratic national memory: José Battle y Ordoñez, President of Uruguay, Juan Domingo Perón, President of Argentina, Getúlio Dornelles Vargas President of Brazil, Jacobo Arbens, President of Guatemala, General Velasco Alvarado, President of Peru, are examples of leaders who – against the imperial colonial tide – left examples of political dignity for their descendants or developed State policies that influenced their respective national civilities.

All of these great leaders had some type of connection with part of the ruling classes in their respective countries, co-opted them for a certain period and were also co-opted and betrayed by them, in more acute cycles of crisis or confrontation with the interests of the colonial system. -imperial. The margins for maneuvering for the implementation of national democratic projects, however – sometimes wider, sometimes narrower – were gradually narrowed, with the transformation of the colonial-imperial system into the complex domination of financial capital, already disseminated as a mobilizing force in the integrated world. , based on internal power structures, inside and outside dependent countries.

This is how the constituent force of popular sovereignty has been diluted in current Western democracies: separating equality from freedom and quickly eroding the legitimacy of popular governments that promised social reforms and improvements, both through income and social protection.

Lula, in Brazil, is the revised exception in the memory of these great leaders of the past, who established a special exit for Brazil in his first year of government. Those leaders left a trail of hope, today revived by him as an especially moderate democratic progressivism, now with even narrower margins for maneuver: Salvador Allende's generous socialist exit, with the depth he professed, no longer has the possibility of prospering ; the mobilizations of populist progressivism ended in economic failure and its inability to renew itself; the reforms, within the constituent popular sovereignty, increasingly lost their authenticity, sometimes suffocated by horizontal network participation. These, which are what we make of them, have so far proven to be inept at creating more democratic and supportive relationships between citizens and have proven to be more appropriate for the domination of market fetishes and for deceiving that everyone can be their own entrepreneur.

Juarez Guimarães, in a brilliant text on what would be a “democratic socialism” based on popular sovereignty, shows that the neutralization of this revolutionary principle of political democracy was done, firstly, with a concrete separation between the “principle of freedom” and the “ principle of equality”. Two failed experiences in the last century showed the terrible difficulties faced by the left, when it tried to integrate – within democracy – “freedom and equality”, towards a society that was at least more egalitarian: the experience of the elections for the Weimar Constituent Assembly, in January of 1919, with a majority of social-democratic delegates, from whose failure emerged – not the minimum equality – but the maximum inequality without freedom of the Nazi-fascist regime –; and the experience of Salvador Allende's government, between 1970 and 1973, when the President was beaten by the Armed Forces, which led to a brutal bloodbath, burying freedom and equality in the same tomb as liberal democracy.

The crisis in Argentina, which elected Javier Milei, the Weimar crisis, which generated Nazism and sank the German revolution, as well as the crisis of the Allende government, deposed “left-wing” parties and government leaders, depending on the era in which they emerged, which had many confrontations and common characteristics: contrast between poverty and wealth with no visible ways of overcoming it, financial speculation fueling daily inflation, capitalization of the “upper classes” outside the current monetary standards; frequent increase in the cost of living without State solutions that could be applied without dismantling the formal economy; real or imaginary increase in corruption, rise in crime rates, all creating a political-social situation conducive to facilitating electoral unity between conservatives, extreme right, traditional right with criminals of all orders and hierarchies.

Processes similar to the Argentine process, with the victory of leaders like Javier Milei, could potentially occur in many places in Latin America. The phenomenon no longer originates from an isolated political movement, but is already peculiar – on a global scale – as it serves to grow “democracy fatigue”, which generates serious social dissatisfaction, whose “ethos“Political” is conducive to demagogues and sociopaths gaining power, through forces outside the liberal-democratic “game”. Those who enjoyed coups in the old ways of military personnel occupying radio stations and palaces also got tired, as they were – at least for some time – attracted by coup guerrillas in networks dominated by new and bold means of co-opting subjectivities formed in the market.

The old responses of resistance to social oppression of class, race, sex, however, generate a sum of repressions and individual hatred within these new forms of struggle, originating from different types of unhappiness, which add up to dispersed individuals, in limited groups, not more masses identified by classist ideologies, but united by a mortal hatred of the present.

It is from this radical separation between morals and politics and these new anonymous forms of mental control of individuals to form groups of political bandits, that the clay of the future is being molded. Providing possible solutions to regulate the platforms that host them, quickly improving public safety conditions for people to live and work, filling the fiscal framework with regulatory standards that generate income, work and new collective identities through decent work, will be the cement of democratic reintegration between the affirmation of freedom and the possibility of greater equality. It seems little, but it is a lot, in a world that is falling apart. It is the true beginning of the third Lula government, which meticulously prepared the political conditions to make this possible.

*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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