left in debate

Image: Jan van der Zee


Presentation of the recently released book, meeting of interviews conducted by Diana Assunção

left in debate brings together interviews made by the portal Esquerda Diário with social leaders, political figures and intellectuals about the dilemmas of the struggle for socialism in Brazil. Organized in the middle of the electoral campaign, which polarized the country between Lula and Jair Bolsonaro, the book presents, in colloquial language, a didactic introduction to the thinking of different spectrums of the left against the order on the challenges of the moment. Dealing with a wide range of issues, the interviews conducted by Diana Assunção discuss the most burning problems in national life and the theoretical, practical and organizational tasks that must be faced.

The initiative to open a frank debate between political forces that have not surrendered to the misery of the possible could not be more opportune. By exacerbating the contradiction between capital and work, the deepening of the capitalist crisis intensifies the class struggle. Moved by the need to intensify the mechanisms of labor exploitation and by the instinct of political survival, the bourgeoisie organizes an overwhelming offensive on a global scale against workers' rights, social policies and the environment. Capital accumulation and barbarism inextricably feed each other, imposing on capital the need to organize a preventive counterrevolution on a global scale that guarantees the indefinite continuity of chaos capitalism.

In social formations of colonial origin, which remain trapped in the webs of underdevelopment and dependence, as is the evident case of Brazil, capitalist barbarism takes the form of a process of neocolonial reversal, whose essence consists in the progressive lowering of the traditional standard of living. of workers and the galloping devastation of nature. The particularly perverse character of the liberal-peripheral accumulation pattern undermines any possibility of a bourgeois domination pattern with some democratic and republican content. This is what ultimately conditions the terminal crisis of the New Republic and its disastrous consequences on national life – one of the issues discussed in the book.

At a time when workers, traumatized by the threat of a civilizing crisis that calls into question the very survival of Brazil as a national society, are faced with the arrival of a government of national salvation, which seeks formal solutions to real problems, the interviews carried out by Diana Assunção throughout 2022 rescue the importance of the class perspective, founded on the tradition of revolutionary Marxism. This is the only antidote to the end-of-history ideology that reduces politics to the administration of barbarism and limits society's alternatives to the claustrophobic horizon of choosing the “least worst”. Addressed to socialist militancy convinced of the urgency of going beyond capital, left in debate it is an invitation to dialogue between Brazilian revolutionaries. This is an auspicious initiative for the anti-order left to leave square one and start a reorganization process that, combining struggle and criticism, opens new horizons for the working class.

*Plínio de Arruda Sampaio Jr. He is a retired professor at Unicamp's Institute of Economics and editor of the website Contrapoder. Author, among other books, of Between nation and barbarism – dilemmas of dependent capitalism (Vozes).


Diana Asuncion. Left in Debate. São Paulo, Edições Iskra \ Esquerda Diário, 2023.


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