Disruption Left and Coalition Left

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By LUÍS FELIPE MIGUEL*

Comment on the article by Mathias Alencastro

The article by Mathias Alencastro published in the printed edition of the newspaper Folha de S. Paul, saluting the Lula-Alckmin ticket, is – to use EP Thompson's expression – “a planetarium of mistakes”.

He starts from the dichotomy between a “rupture left” and a “coalition left”. The first would be inspired by the theories of Ernesto Laclau and would have Podemos as its biggest icon. The second would have arisen in opposition to it.

It seems that the history of the left begins around 2010. The possibility of a classist left is simply erased. The long trajectory of social democracy disappears and becomes a reaction to the “radicalism” of Pablo Iglesias or Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

O Die Linke German is presented as “predecessor of the We can“, which is completely meaningless. The article states that the Die Linke “didn't even get into parliament”, which is factually wrong – he didn't reach the barrier clause, but still secured 39 seats, thanks to the peculiarities of the German electoral system.

The article treats democracy as an abstraction, therefore it is incapable of questioning itself about the dynamics of de-democratization; reduces “left” to a label devoid of content; flattens the differences between the global North and South. Happily includes Alckmin among “the democrats”, erasing the 2016 coup and Lava Jato from our history.

It is significant above all for the typical use of the adjective “republican” – the stew with chayote would be nothing less than “a republican revolution”.

“Republican” is, in many speeches, the euphemism for accommodation and capitulation. It is “republican” the left that gives up its program – and the right that accepts the existence of the left, as long as it is diluted and harmless.

In fact, republican values ​​assert themselves when it is possible for all social interests to participate in the political dispute, under the most egalitarian conditions possible, without the imposition of vetoes.

To get there, we need a left willing to confront.

PS.: And the text still comes out on the day we celebrate the victory, in Chile, of a left that illustrates everything that the columnist says is doomed to failure. Terrible timing!

* Luis Felipe Miguel He is a professor at the Institute of Political Science at UnB. Author, among other books, of The collapse of democracy in Brazil (Popular Expression).

 

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