Lula and the democratic front

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By AMARILIO FERREIRA JR.*

The reordering of the pieces of the national and international political board

From 1930 onwards, a historical process was inaugurated in Brazil that engendered a society marked by some structural elements – economic and political – that have dragged on until the present day. This historical inflection point longed for by the discontinuity without breaking with the profound Brazilian corporate past, whose links laid ramifications in the long colonial period of slavery and export of manufactures to the most dynamic centers of world capitalism, resulted in the crystallized cohabitation between wealth and poverty both in areas regional and metropolitan spread across the wide national territory.

We witness, from the third quarter of the XNUMXth century, the emergence of urban-industrial society marked by the absence of the two main historical protagonists of the classic capitalist social order: bourgeois and factory proletarians. Late, peripheral and imposed from the top down, the accelerated modernization of capitalist relations of production had to leaders incipient fractions of the old agrarian aristocracies nostalgic for the colonial past. Unable to establish political hegemony, during the period in which bourgeois and proletarians were historically constituted, the solution found was the institutionalization of a republican political regime based on autocracy. Then came two dictatorships interspersed with successive political crises: the Estado Novo (1937-1945) and the military regime (1964-1985).

The bourgeoisification of fractions of the agrarian aristocracy and the consolidation of the new factory working class, which was no longer formed only by the so-called “Italianinhos” and had black or mulatto skin color, further exacerbated the social conflicts related to the distribution of national income and to the implementation of public policies, that is, the advent of urban-industrial society was – organically and unitarily – based on a historical tradition based on the exclusion of the popular masses, particularly in the spheres of education and health. Thus, Brazil entered the XNUMXst century with one of the ten largest GDPs on a global scale and, at the same time, with a brutal concentration of national income in the hands of a few.

Thus, the “passive revolution” that modernized capitalist relations of production was the same one that maintained the “historical logic” founded on the exclusion of disinherited masses from republican public policies after the end of 350 years of slavery. The belated abolition of slave production relations (1888) and the maintenance of the agrarian landholding structure, inherited from the Land Law enacted in 1850, crippled the Republic and bled its groin with the spurs that systematically predated the world of work. Then, at the end of the 1889th century, a prominent intellectual, occupying the position of maximum representative of the Republic instituted from 1930, would affirm: “we are putting an end to the Vargas Era” (1945-2016). That is, not even the few social achievements obtained at the beginning of the “passive revolution” would be tolerated, notably after the XNUMX parliamentary coup.

The end of the 1991th century, however, did not only bring degradation to the national societal context. At the international level, not even the decree of the “end of history”, with the collapse of the USSR (2008), stopped the cyclical crises of world capitalist relations. Emblematic was the systemic crisis (2010-XNUMX) produced by international financial capital, that is, by the disastrous role that speculation on the stock exchanges impose on productive capital on a planetary scale. In order to artificially maintain their exorbitant profits, savings producers (rentiers) strain the international scenario through localized wars, notably in the Middle East over oil, or coups d'état in Latin America through the so-called "hybrid war". ”.

In addition, the international situation is viscerally marked by the slow and gradual process of decline of US capitalism through the displacement of the world economic center from the West to the East. This “tectonic” movement, however, opens up a contradiction: to maintain military dominance on a global scale, US imperialism systematically puts pressure on international relations, as it is obliged to maintain huge budgets to feed its arms race. But we are witnessing manifestations of counterpoints in the current and troubled international context. In this case, emblematic was the constitution of the BRICS (2009) – an organization that brings together 42% of the population, 23% of the GDP, 30% of the territory and 18% of world trade – as one of the international articulations that highlights this historical process that is ongoing since the beginning of the current millennium.

The New Silk Road (Belt and Road Initiative) and China's current trade agreement with Iran, for example, help to ease the international situation and put pressure on the US to return to the nuclear agreement with the Muslim country. The process of shifting industrial production from the North Atlantic to East Asia is inexorable, which will make it possible to constitute a new world center of material wealth with other spiritual values ​​very different from those called “Western customs”, that is, we are witnessing the transfer of the secular Atlantic axis, established by great empires (the most notorious was the British), to a new axe: the Pacific Ocean.

In the “Brazilian lands”, the political chessboard has undergone a new reordering of its parts since March 8th. The simultaneous bids of the STF, which annulled the lawsuits against former president Lula and voted for the suspicion of impartiality of former judge Sérgio Moro, catapulted the national situation to a new level marred by two antagonistic historical blocs. Thus, the ideological polarity between “national-developmentalism” and “subaltern surrender” once again occupied the proscenium of national political life. Both are historically tied to the chronological cut of 1930: the first, from the perspective of overcoming the structural elements that amalgamated with the accelerated capitalist modernity that concentrated the national income; the second, marked by the corporate logic that engendered “the big house and the slave quarters”.

The defeat of the neoliberal program and the regressive policy professed by the second historical bloc depends on the ability of the first to be able to build a broad democratic front, that is, to establish itself with all those who defend: the democratic State of law; the fair distribution of national income; and national sovereignty in a multipolar international context, based on multilateral agencies that respect the self-determination of nations.

The formation of the democratic front should not be guided by any kind of political revanchism, particularly motivated by the political consequences that have been guiding national life since 2013. After the March 10 speech, Lula re-accredited himself, once again, as the political leader Brazilian capable of structuring the democratic front and leading a government that puts into practice the minimum program set out above. The program is minimalist, but it could open up historical possibilities that would cut the Gordian and secular knots that bind us like shackles since the colonial period.

*Amarilio Ferreira Jr. He is a professor at the Department of Education at UFSCar.

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