after the elections

Image: Silvia Faustino Saes
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By MARCOS SILVA*

Enemies in power and other powers

Ash Wednesday, it went wild: everyone is already suffering normally and, however, we have to sing.

Elections are very important, but there are other ways of social struggle for the transformation of the country. Winning elections is great and then the fights continue in new ways. Losing them is really bad although it doesn't mean the end of the world.

The 2020 Brazilian municipal elections had a terrible overall result for left-wing political sectors: large-scale victories of right-wing candidates – not center-right, this fantasy brand that boils down to… fantasy brand (v. Bolsonarist centrão) .There were very sad defeats of left-wing candidates in these elections: São Paulo, Porto Alegre, Recife… In another important Brazilian city, there was no left-wing candidacy in the second round: Rio de Janeiro. And we had melancholy cases of cities and more cities without left-wing candidacies with expressive votes even in the first round – ugly horizons.

Balance in the media and social networks: the PT is over, the ghostly center-right (the same one that overthrew Dilma Roussef and fell silent in the face of praise for Brilhante Ustra and the whole of the previous dictatorship) triumphed; left, if any, will be only Boulos and PSOL.

Boulos and PSOL did not emerge now, they were, are and will be important, yes, but not only them. Why can't the left be multiple and learn from its differences? Anti-PTism is anti-leftism.

PT lost.

The euphoria with this defeat is so great among its enemies that they come to celebrate Boulos and PSOL as a fresh, tolerable, perhaps sympathetic new left.

Goodbye to illusions: when Lula began to stand out as a Brazilian union leader, in the 70s of the last century, the most visible enemy of the left for those in power was the PCB, the petty ones of the estadita (dura) even wove some mild praise to the new name – smart, agile. Elio Gaspari himself recorded this deceptive liberal elegance in his books about the 1964 dictatorship! Machiavelli: what serves to weaken the enemy must be praised for better neutralization of the parts that one wants to destroy, including the momentary target of praise.

PT can end, of course: everything that is solid melts into air.

Is it over yet?

Anxiety about trumpeting this announcement suggests otherwise: why kick a dead dog?

The announcement of the defeat of the PT and the other lefts is so strong that it deserves an editorial and a column signed in FSP on December 1, 2020, same page 2. This is the strength of anxiety.

It's important to recognize defeats, shake the dust and turn around because the next battle has already begun.

The once powerful communist and socialist parties in Italy and France have not won national elections for some time. Silence would be the worst answer. Rethinking communism and socialism in the face of destructive capitalism in today's world is urgent.

The right strengthened in Brazil in 2020 is the same that gave birth to pockets and does not cease to ovulate similar ones, waiting for compatible inseminations. Bolsonarism is more than the pocket citizen. There are internal disputes in this universe that cannot be confused with forces that deserve our hope. Those who slandered in the municipal elections cannot be treated as an ally for the day after tomorrow, except if they make harsh self-criticism without the right to tourism between the first and second rounds.

Alliances are very necessary, preconditions and crystal balls excluded. Disputing hegemony in advance, without even knowing which cards are available in the hand, is losing the game before the first move.

How easy it is to blame losers for the situation they find themselves in! More complicated is identifying the enemy's strength – money, lack of scruples and self-confidence – and countering with weapons different from theirs.

In the 2018 presidential elections, some said that the left would need to learn from the right to communicate, the right would know how to talk to its voters. Well, the right knew and knows how to speak its contents and its actions to attract voters who don't think. Our difference will never be confused with the tics of mice and other rodents. We need to invent other lines, never repeat the horrors of right-wing language only with new clothes. Other projects, other words. It becomes urgent to invent the consolidation of the other.

The bar is heavy and it could get worse, it will only change if we treat enemies as enemies.

Parties can be much more than public office managers in the conquered administrative machine. Do you want to be?

Social movements dependent only on parties and governments annihilate themselves, at most they are reduced to their appendages.

There is no Don Quixote without Sancho Panza.

Defeated projects keep memories of struggles, they are more than defeated.

The fight!

* Mark Silva is a professor at the Department of History at FFLCH-USP.

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