atypical elections



The enigma is whether mere demarcation is capable of producing policies capable of confronting the effects of the fascist emergency.

Viktor Orban won the elections in Hungary. Here, Jair M. Bolsonaro establishes a political field that can make him viable as a strong candidate in a second round, soon after Gabriel Boric's victory in Chile. The electoral process is a decisive moment in the dispute for hegemony in liberal-democratic society, as instantaneous visual information – predominant in these processes – presents itself as a kind of “history in progress”, within which, in each episode of the hegemonic dispute, the “visual” is a simplified form of explanation.

Based on visual information – with telegraphic messages of hate in sequence – the event can be presented as “unique”, with or without connections with the past. Through it, history can appear as pure everyday life: Fixed history where the passive spectator can enjoy it without any commitment to knowledge of the present.

The production of information in networks, in this way, facilitates the creation of minds without memory, as if life were an unstable “perpetual present”, but always accompanied by the gaze. In this perspective, living is not a sequence of history, with origins and consequences, but a flow of moments without hierarchy and without values: memory is suffocated by the infinite superimposition of other new facts, equally disconnected from each other, equally “disposable”. and equally linked to the present of the market, where “stability” and anarchy follow each other. Thus, the present tends to be appropriated as if the future were and is, consequently, the acceptable truth.

The enigma at the beginning of this century of destruction of classical bourgeois society is whether mere demarcation (not the absence of demarcation, but mere demarcation) is capable of producing policies capable of confronting the effects of the fascist emergency. In Chile, this occurred, but outside the party system of liberal democracy. In the imagination of common people, as a rule, the destruction of this present is always a destruction in which the disturbing facts of common life are always “seen” as contrary to the (false) security and stability that we already have. In Chile, mobilized by women in struggle, young people, those “outside” the sumptuary market, the hungry of all orders overcame this contradiction and made creative indeterminacy win.

The left born from movements in Chile began to take into account that the boundaries between classes were no longer demarcated as they used to be, so the way individuals apprehended social reality was no longer the same. Exclusion and precariousness – on the one hand – and, on the other hand, also the business classes, were no longer (and are not) grounded in the “classic” bourgeois ideology. Their Faustian-productivist mantle was dissolved and in them only ideological residues of the implantation of the nation built in local markets, already disaggregated by the global power of “money capital”, remain.

The absence of clear and defined boundaries between classes, from a cultural and existential point of view, does not, however, mean greater proximity between them. It means greater fragmentation in the social totality, which not only deconstructed the traditional values ​​that unified and opposed them, but also determined that, instead of approaching them through negotiated contradiction, they began to move away in their reciprocal dilution.

Uncertainty also confers extraordinary instability on the privileged sectors within the system, associated with the fate of money capital: the irony is that, if they are strong enough to create the crises they themselves enjoy, they also have less and less control over the your national destination. In this context, the exclusive demarcation fixes irremovable political fields, in which fascism reproduces itself, but the conception that guides the struggle for hegemony creates “commitment zones”, which obstruct the murderous extremism of fascism.

The projects of the “classic” period of republican democratization through traditional demarcation were based on today disorganized identities that, in their daily social relations, are increasingly informed by violence (outside of politics) or by corporate micro negotiations. The dispute for hegemony in society, as a consequence, makes demarcation actions secondary and makes predominant actions that guide individuals and social groups – beyond ideologies – with political projects that combat uncertainty. The grouping around certain driving ideas, which have a more constitutive character and less demarcating content, becomes fundamental for the production of a new emancipatory imaginary.

Gramsci, at his time, already criticized “denucism” – a traditional form of “demarcation” –, whose “critical activity was reduced to unveiling tricks, provoking scandals, scrutinizing the private lives of representative men”, even forgetting another proposition of the philosophy of “praxis”, namely, that “popular beliefs”, or beliefs like those, have the validity of material forces”.[1] It is not for nothing that the traditional press always adopts a generalized “denunciation” and, at the same time, refuses to recognize the existence of fundamental alternatives to neoliberalism.

It is up to all those who have not given up on the utopian ideals of equality to rescue the strength of politics, giving new energy and new vitality to the democratic process and to the struggles for equality. The reactionary renewal of liberalism (Wallerstein)[2]in the digital-informatics era; the microelectronics revolution; the communications and information revolution; the emergence of thousands of new cutting-edge professions; the new individualized leisure in “games” and the breakdown of national identities are some of the changes that produce a new and diluted sociality, in the words of Frederic Jameson, with the hysterical sublimation of the present.[3]

Those excluded from revolutionary technological knowledge, those alienated from information without hierarchy regarding human values, those “without” the prospect of bread, land, affection, shelter and conviviality, thrown into marginalization and unemployment, horizontalization, intermittency and precariousness, come dissolving the ethical standards and morals of work that formed the workers' identity and the meaning of the revolution. This changed political life, but it can boost a left that asserts the values ​​of equality of the old revolutionary subject, together with the practices of democratic radicalization of the new movements and the traditional working classes: the old classes are languishing in the new genetics of capital, as well as how Enlightenment values ​​are being prostrated by the emergence of fascism.

In these elections, all of that will be up for grabs, as it was in Pinochet's Chile and Viktor Orban's Hungary. In Allende's Chile, we won. In Lukács' Hungary, we lost. In Brazil, we will win.[4]

*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).



[1] GRAMSCI, Antonio. Selected Works. Lisbon: Editorial Estampa, 1974, vol. I, p. 310.

[2] WALLERSTEIN, Immanuel. After Liberalism – In search of the reconstruction of the world. Petrópolis: Voices, 2002, p.23.

[3] ANDERSON, Perry. The Origins of Postmodernity. Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Zahar Editor, 1999, p. 67-68.

[4] This text is inspired by what was published in the magazine Theory and Debate no. 53.


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