Important but insufficient

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By RONALD ROCHA*

It is essential to synthesize the most general themes and demands of the democratic field, which can unify the opposition sectors, without any order or priority

On the XNUMXth, June, in the morning and in the afternoon, the squares and streets – which had been, for a few days, unduly and provisionally captive of the ultra-rightist hordes – legitimately returned to the hands of those who should belong. The possession de facto – because the expression de jure would raise a long and complex discussion about the immanent content of the State and public affairs in the capitalist economic-social formation, far beyond the scope of these brief notes – it has already been underlined in the words of Castro Alves, through endless citations of The people to power. It is worth recalling them once more: “The square! The square belongs to the people / As the sky belongs to the condor / It is the den where freedom / Raises eagles in its warmth.” As never before, the poet's verses remain current, but are amalgamated with political and tactical dilemmas, as was noticed during the week.

Last Sunday, party militants and popular activists mobilized in the main Brazilian capitals. Despite the discrepancies verified in the flags of struggle, as well as the lack of previously unified commands and purposes, with few exceptions, the “anti-fascist” protests focused, in their positive dimension, on the motto “democracy”. As the polemics demonstrated in the 1980s, the exaltation of the “universal value” refers to an abstract genericity that, without the other and fundamental levels of reality as a totality, veils, deforms and transmutes the concept into its own social being and concrete connections, withholding him the historical particularity of class. It was thus, through a revision inspired by neo-Kantian currents, that liberalism ended up hegemonizing the Second International in symbiosis with its socialist pretensions.

O noumenon – recovered by the Königsberg philosopher based on the famous noumena that Plato stuck in “pure thinking”, as a “superior reality” – is located in a mysterious sphere: an essence that never appears to the senses and that, therefore, alludes to an a priori object condition, unattainable by experience. The problem does not reside in the criterion of recognizing objectivity, which Marxism also accepts as a materialist principle, but in the postulation of a “thing in itself” – ding an sich – immune to human subjectivity and science, therefore hostile to any type of qualification. Something that admits categorical mention, but would be unknowable, that is, that would be affirmed in a natural way and that the subjects could only represent.

Such an approach goes far beyond the critical perception that is indispensable to revolutionary politics. As it is fully substantiated when residing in the sociability of capital, “democracy” lives comfortably in the legislation in force, in the summit of the best bourgeois constitutional law, in the liberal doctrine about the State, in the daily life of the monopolist-financial media and in the discourse of political parties. to the right or to the left, which reinforce and reproduce common sense. However, it tends to enter into crisis or even wither away, depending on the correlation of forces, in periods marked by the weak proletarian presence in clashes, by external war situations, by acute internal conflicts, by counterrevolutionary processes and, notably, by fully configured fascist regimes. . Furthermore, it adopts a suitably plastic content.

In his name, the 1964 coup and its ensuing regime were, with opposite signs: firstly, operated by the Armed Forces; later, fought by the opposition; next, reluctantly abdicated by the conciliatory transition; later, institutionally denied by the Constituent Assembly; afterwards, appointed in the disputes of the “peaceful” years; then, incensed by the Bolsonarian reaction; and, now, repudiated by the antonymous phrases of the demonstrations. The point is reached: in this conjuncture, in which there is a self-coup process in full gear, which must be stopped and defeated by the resisters linked to different ideologies and social doctrines, the category “democracy” translated, spontaneously and concretely, into the field of forces , popular movements and institutions, including by many people identified with socialist ideas and advanced sectors, the Jacobin or social-liberal intentions to save the rights and the political regime, constitutionally designed.

It became, therefore, the nickname referring to a name ignored by the vulgate: the political regime. It should be noted that today, its anguished evocants have been oscillating between claiming its return, as they see it as something already destroyed, and defending its maintenance, as they know that it is better to be meager than dead. Deep down, these are judgments that contradict each other in the area of ​​confusion between government and regime, even more profound in a complex nation. In Brazil, the form of the State is a Federative Republic that has three autonomous entities-segments – namely, the Union, member states and municipalities – and which, moreover, is mixed with the famous Montesquian partition of “powers”: Legislative, Executive and Judiciary. Sleep with such noise. In short, it is necessary to understand the usefulness that pragmatism sees in the shallow formula.

It is more important that, in the ongoing class struggle, the conceptual turmoil decanted the diffuse and imprecise word that allows the urgent approximation between the defenders of the broad front – including a large number of Marxists – with the multiple oppositions influenced by the doctrine liberal, since the current epicenter impregnated in the class struggle flowed towards the democratic question. This is why it has been necessary and possible to promote consensus in favor of practical unity, even making political concessions, without giving up theoretical convictions. This is why it can be said, without any reasonable doubt: the protests that took place on the first weekly day meant a victory for popular movements in the battle in defense of collective and individual freedoms, which should not be seen with indifference.

Although without expressive participation, without the protagonism of those who produce, without a consistent direction, without a well-known center that would be nationally responsible for the convening and without a unified platform of claims – essential to put an end to the Bolsonaro Government and its policies, even to obtain partial conquests –, the act removed from the proto-fascist militias the exclusive domain of the cities. At the same time, he restarted the real extra-parliamentary struggle, thus translating, even if still limitedly, but with admirable courage, the serious economic and social problems and contradictions that plague the country, aggravated multilaterally by the ultraconservative measures dictated by the Planalto Palace. It thus expressed the wishes of the majority.

Reasons abound. Brazil now occupies the core of the global pandemic along with North American society under the Trumpist policy, composing the vexing duo that has deserved the planetary revulsion. Is the direction of the internal curve, which shows the list of those affected by Covid-19, approaching the peak – July, August, September? –, but differently in the various states and municipalities, according to local conditions and the different criteria adopted. The sole responsibility lies with the Bolsonaro Government and its representatives – the most reactionary fraction of the monopoly-financial oligarchy – who systematically sabotage the guidelines of specialists and institutions essential to health policy, as well as intentionally and publicly encouraging the universalization of the disease as a solution to pandemic evils, reaching the verge of genocide.

At the same time, the combined crisis continues – recessive, sanitary, institutional and also of the government – ​​and social problems worsen, impelling the middle classes and, above all, the “lower” classes to express their needs and anxieties as they can, in the content and form, some retreating, others taking risks to survive in the jungle of the bourgeois market. In this context, the indignation and popular pronouncements turn, especially, against the group that occupies the Federal Government and the horde that sustains it, notably against the self-coup process aimed at liquidating the current democratic regime to reimplant the mythically police-military regime. referenced in the 1964 coup, but repackaged as personal autocracy.

Faced with such a serious impasse, with no prospect of overcoming it in the short term, and with such great needs, fears and concerns are gradually giving way to oppositional political initiatives, all the more so when there is certainty that the objective limits imposed by Covid -19 will dissipate at a date far short of the Greek kalends. Therefore, it is certain that the clash needs and must continue and deepen. However, it needs to occur in a superiorly organized way and with much more amplitude. The spontaneous appeal and narrowness – taking to the streets in any way, anarchically, without articulation with representative entities and with few participants, ignoring the concrete situation – would cause serious damage to the mobilizations.

Experience shows that such mistakes vertically disorganize movements, horizontally reflect the fragmentation of the real alienated society, inhibit the broad integration of those interested, stimulate adventurous forms of action, favor the operation of infiltrated agents provocateurs and distort the role of irreplaceable popular institutions, such as the trade union centrals, the fronts that add forces and the political parties to the left. Does this mean that social pioneers should stay back, passive, prostrate? Certainly not! The situations configured right after the implantation of the dictatorial-military regime and in its death throes – respectively, from 1964 to 1968 and in the passage from the 1970s to the 1980s – show that it is not only possible, but necessary, even in certain conditions of extreme oppression, to incorporate daring conduct, under penalty of overtaking.

In the current period, there is, internationally, a phase of counterrevolution in which, with few exceptions, the proletariat and the people are faced with enormous obstacles. The successive tides of protests, often vigorous as they are now in the USA against racism and the “system”, are propelled, worldwide, by the intensified contradictions in the Depressive Phase of the Fourth Long Wave. However, they take place without a clear platform, without a defined objective and without consistent organization. They come and go in their diffuse modalism, without tonality, without modulation and without resolution possible within an intrinsic logic, as they never raise their sights outside the reality that impels them, nor dialogue with the forces that can mortally wound their causes, much less do they pay attention to the organic instruments essential to radical transformations and even to substantial reforms within the order.

It was also evident that in Brazil – as in Russia between 1905 and 1912, with a greater impact from 1907 to 1910 under the violence of Stolypin – the Bolsonarian reaction imposed on the socialist struggle a strategic defensive immune to prophetic dates and subjectivist desires, however generous and morally justifiable. However, it is certain that the tactic – which is related in a creative aporia with the prevailing reality, whether in the strategic sphere or in the current fragilities – needs to include a combative spirit and initiative. In the case of public demonstrations, they must be well planned and adopt innovative ways, respecting for the time being the safety standards of participants with protective masks and standard distancing until the right turning point.

The main intention is – in addition to the immanent characteristics of the acts themselves – to accumulate the maximum forces to mobilize millions as soon as the objective and subjective conditions allow, including the end of social distancing. Therefore, the political orientation of taking to the streets has to recognize the pandemic situation and amplify the contrast with the standardized behavior by the Bolsonarist hordes, who try to justify themselves through denialism and “herd contagion”. However, what is decisive, in addition to reoccupying public places, is to place in the foreground the mobilization of the working and popular masses, including youth, the only goal fully compatible with the broad front, completing it as a driving and leading force, since the left needs to nucleate it as a more dynamic pole.

Such an objective, which only contradicts the interests of the working world and the popular classes in the minds of inveterate metaphysicians, can only be fully realized in the fold of the conjuncture. To do so, it is necessary to raise clear and unified flags, defined by direct and broad articulations between the representative entities of the democratic field, combined with more advanced party actions and with alliances in institutional environments, involving parliamentarians of various levels, mayors and governors, ministers and other members of the judiciary, loyalist military, and so on, including in municipal elections. Some will call such a conciliation policy, as it was also taxed in certain ghettos at times when communists allied themselves with bourgeois forces: in Spain, to defend the Republic from the attacks perpetrated by the international nazi-fascist coalition; in China to defeat invading Japanese troops; in World War II to defeat Nazi-Fascism; in Vietnam, to fight the imperialist occupation; among others.

In case the ridges fail or continue to waver in their ability to enforce the Constitution and other laws, the most dramatic episodes of the struggle could reach the ground. This would happen in the face of the omission of public institutions, especially the judicial and security authorities, which have the duty to stop the criminal armed phalanxes and their constant threats against parties, opposition figures, demonstrators, congressmen, the Supreme and, after all, the institutions of the democratic regime. If or when they are compelled, the multitudes will have no choice but to defend directly, with typically plebeian methods, not only fundamental rights, but also themselves.

Finally, in the face of the myriad watchwords, through which countless groups and individuals, with all legitimacy, exercise their particular preferences in the vain expectation of everyone fitting in with two or three magical words, firmly believing that the verb is a demiurge of the real, it becomes indispensable to synthesize the most general themes and claims, from the democratic field, which can unify the opposition sectors, without any order or priority. First, the formation of the broad front to stop the self-coup and save the democratic regime. Second, the mobilization of large masses to defeat proto-fascism and its militias. Third, the permanent struggle to put an end to the Bolsonaro government and its reactionary policies.

*Ronald Rocha is a sociologist and essayist. Author, among other books, of Socialism and financial globalization (Perseus Abram).

 

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