Causes of the strike at federal universities

Image: Andreea CH


About “the death of the left”, strikes and impossible struggles


Em Alphabet of collisions Vladimir Safatle proposes a provocative reflection in which he indicates that the left is dead. The left would have to reinvent itself in the current context, both at a Brazilian and global level. The proposal to manage the State (a proposal adopted in Lula's three governments) based on capitalizing the poor sectors of society and at the same time guaranteeing the preservation of the profits of the rentier elite seems to have become frayed and obsolete.

And in this scenario, obviously, the poor population is the one who increasingly suffers from social inequalities, since it is non-negotiable for any government to take away the gains of the rentier elite. Just look at the pressure suffered in recent months by the Lula government on the management of Petrobrás, which, based on its shareholders, does not wish to share the profits in favor of the development of Brazil.

Under these conditions, what Vladimir Safatle perceives is an increasing erosion of a supposed left, which tries to play the capitalist democratic game and which does not move, and the growth of a radical and fascist right which is organized worldwide and which, still I would say, he knows how to use the influence of digital technologies and social networks like no one else to establish himself and produce his own unique narrative.

All in all, the author's diagnosis seems to hit the nail on the head. However, the idealistic bias that the philosopher analyzes the political scenario to think about what the left would be like today is surprising. We live in a society of intensive flows, of hybridisms that were unimaginable until recently. And in politics it is no different. How, then, can we think of an ideal left in the practice of a government, which would turn the capitalist democratic tableau around with the snap of a finger? Does this possibility exist?

I think it is somewhat naive to believe in such a way. It is even more naive to believe in some socialist revolution or something like that. We are on the verge of a tragic human end due to the voracity of capitalism that leads the world to collapse, in which, perhaps, there is no one left to tell the story...


At the beginning of March, along the Safatlean lines, strike movements began at Federal Universities and Federal Institutes, first with technicians and now with teachers. The strike takes place for the just cause of defending public education, so abandoned by the last ultra-liberal governments, for the salary adjustment of civil servants who lost much of their purchasing power with inflation and the non-replacement in other years, but also for dissatisfaction with the third Lula's government, completely hostage to the neoliberal winds. In this sense, due to this leftist ideal, which expects, after the elections, that the government they placed in Planalto will govern from a north to the left, is why there is dissatisfaction that wants to strike.

I repeat, there is legitimacy in the strike, but it seems surreal to imagine that the Lula government has the strength to radicalize and go off the rails of capitalist democracy. It is a somewhat myopic reading of the national and even international political tableau that is taking place. After all, how to fold a congress that is the most reactionary in the history of Brazilian democracy post-military dictatorship? How to get out of the blackmail of Lira, president of the Chamber of Deputies?

Arthur Lira, and the entire ultraconservative bench elected together with Lula, has the power to say how far the government can go, which ministers should make up the government, how much the evangelical and agribusiness benches have to receive in benefits. Apart from the secret budget, or the rapporteur's amendments, which is nothing more than legalized bribery that the government cannot touch and which is greatly missed by the public coffers and projects that could be implemented in the development of Brazil and not thrown away knowingly- if there in which voter drain.

Faced with this reality, it is possible, unfortunately, to see that we have a puppet government of congress and, obviously, of the rentier elite. What to do about this? As a base that voted in favor of Lula, would starting blackmail, starting with a strike, just like congress, be the solution? Have we already forgotten the fascist government that preceded Lula and is eager to return? After all, what and for whom will the strike be useful? In my opinion, just to wear down this fragile government and strengthen the organized and fascist right.

If there is a desire to strike, if a protest is desired, it should be done for a just cause, for something that does not just destroy this supposedly left-wing government that, in truth, can only carry out the actions of a centrist government, as Vladimir Safatle would say, but which, at least, stops the bloodthirsty fascist government. If the left wants to reinvent itself, let it not be by weakening the small north on the left that we have.


Let's take to the streets, let's go on strike, but to protest against this blackmailing congress, to indicate that we support the Lula government in what it proposes from the left, to indicate that we want our government back, for the secret budget to be removed and all these power struggles of this absolutely cynical and corrupt congress, that taxes be charged on large fortunes and on churches, that the time frame and the setbacks on drug possession are reversed.

After all, Lula's election not only signaled a refusal to fascism, but also the desire for social issues to return to the fore, for us to have a government that valued forests and native peoples after a period of darkness.

*Mário Francis Petry Londero and pprofessor of psychoanalysis at the Department of Psychology at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN).

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