Marx, Touraine and Lincoln



The struggle to save democracy from fascism and rebuild it on the basis of a social and democratic State based on the rule of law


The morning of June 12, 2023 was reserved for two strange events, in my already short life: the surprise with the reading I did of the newspaper Zero hour, in the article “June 2013, 10 years later”; and with the impressive chance that reading has given me. I came to the conclusion that “chance” is richer than life plans and than our competence in changing “being in the world”, of this same life. Chance changes life more without warning and with more emotion, but in these strange moments when everything is “naturalized” in politics, cute animals are virtualized and a new (I don't know if real) humanity is emerging on the closed horizon, it's good to pay attention. Pay attention to “chance”.

Let me explain: the well-assembled article, written by a journalist who seemed professionally serious to me, brought various information and opinions about the historical events of June without, at any time, the text dealing with the most relevant subjects that give it meaning, which it really surprised me. editorial line of RBS? It could be, but the journalist always has the flexibility to say relevant things, in this case, something like “Who financed those movements?” And much more: how they connected with a fascist unconscious (or conscious?) that throbbed in the pores of gaucho society.

It is evident that here in Rio Grande the “journeys” had a (scarce) participation of popular movements of the left, but, in general, they were anti-systemic movements – without a defined line or political project – that led to violence without a project, to a false “revolution” without utopia and without method. After all, the parties were cursed, hated and expelled, but those who defended this expulsion were there to make their false parties of global authoritarianism, in accelerated advance.

The attacks or attempted attacks on shopkeepers, on the buildings of the Judiciary, on the Júlio de Castilhos Museum, on journalists' workplaces, were a clear expression of what would come years later, with the occupation of the STF and the Planalto Palace: fascism in its pure state, mixed with the coup d'état of organized marginality.

How did the movement participate in the illegal overthrow of President Dilma Rousseff? What is your relationship with Lava Jato? What about the Curitiba gang? What “good” did he do for Brazilian politics, which “is no longer the same”, as the newspaper itself says in passing, because “Brazilian politics changed from then on”. These important matters didn't deserve a word in the story, though - as the movement empowered a fool to get to the government after he propagated torture as a legitimate method of investigation - this would be an angle June could not miss in a consistent report. . If that doesn't matter it's impossible to know what really matters!

I write this article in dialogue with the matter of Zero hour, also because it published some good information, offered by me as an interviewee, totally secondary in the speech I made to the reporter, describing the behavior of the Military Brigade in those events. However, no allusion to the set of my responses appeared in the interview, which sought to challenge common sense about the month of 2013, summarized by Globo network with the enigmatic phrase “the giant has woken up”. He remembered? Or nearly died, that is the question.

In fact, as shown in Hybrid war against Brazil (Hilton Freitas, Likjidbook, p. 59) the country “was the target of a Color Revolution, which was first expressed in the said days of June 2013 and matured in the demonstrations of March 2016, in favor of the 'impeachment' of President Dilma ”. And he continues: “without the “mainstream media” establishing “control of perceptions” of this entire movement, “the parliamentary coup would not have been consummated” and Bolsonarism would not have thrown us into hell, into demoralization and an almost successful attempt. successful liquidation of our Justice System from the Curitiba gang.

Studies on the “social war” expanded a lot from that June onwards. The national and international bibliography is vast, but I highlight here a very primary excerpt on “hybrid wars”, from the book of the same name (Andrew Koribko, Expressão Popular, p. 70) which makes an interesting synthesis on the theme: “the objective is create a hive mind of countless individuals who engage in the crusade against the government and become one mind. The hive can then be manipulated for tactical swarm raids, which are the manifestations of armed chaos theory and which it is extremely difficult for authorities to prepare to repel.


Here comes the “chance”. As I was confused, even with the role I played as a former governor of the state, when collaborating with that article, I went to look in my archives for something that enlightened me. It was the 12th of June. I found in my bookshelves a letter from Alain Touraine, dated the same day, in the year 1997! 26 years ago, therefore! So I thought that the randomness of the dates would help me to think a little about democracy, the perspectives for the future and even about the contributions of the press, to shed a little more light on the magnificent episodes of recent history.

The letters are important because they register political wills for construction, cowardice or courage, but the omissions are also important, because they register the shy silences of fear or the hesitations propelling the emptiness of the lie. The letter that honored me, sent by Alain Touraine, has two passages that make every minute of my life of political and intellectual militancy proud, as he says, among other things: “I read with great interest the document you sent me in Spanish and English. Your point of view on the need to rethink, in a new and global way, the terrain of politics in the face of the current triumph of internationalist finance capital seems to me to be very correct, (with the class struggle) replaced today by a conflict between economic networks , financial, media, and the effort of communities, nations or social groups to rebuild a space of self-determination”.

“In Brazil” – continues the master – “an important obstacle to political renewal is precisely the relative weakness of the executive power in the face of pressure groups and interest groups that prevent any broad policy of social transformation”. And he continues: “Your letter arrived very recently and I answered it immediately, because its date is May 7 (1997), which indicates that it took a while to arrive, and I don’t want you to think that I am not interested in your thought. On the contrary, I thank you very much for the opportunity to have contact with such a well-elaborated work.”


I turn to another letter far superior to mine to Alain Touraine, which is very precious to me: the letter that Marx sent to Abraham Lincoln, in May 1865, which certainly recalled that the whole of Europe had supported the Confederates (slave-holders) in the Civil War, letter in which he paid homage to the sixteenth president of the USA. The philosopher recalled that “there (in the USA) the idea of ​​a great democratic Republic had sprouted, from which the first Declaration of the Rights of Man came out and from which the first impetus for the European revolution of the XNUMXth century was given”, after having said that “if the watchword reserved for his first election was resistance to the power of the slaveholders, the triumphant battle cry of his re-election is death to slavery”.

The letter made it clear that slavery was not only a brutal inhumanity, but would also delay the struggles of wage workers in emerging capitalism and block the formation of intermediate classes, favoring the fortunes of slave owners and harming the new capitalist buyers of force. of work in the factories, which were beginning to be installed in the great metropolises of the time. Today, unemployment, informality, precariousness and human misery have the same effects on Brazil: how many heads are lost? how many arms languish? how many children disappear in the crowds of misery in countries like ours?

It seems clear, from then until today, the importance of the democratic question, superior to the other themes of the political agenda in the liberal States of the West – including the urgencies of the environmental agenda – for several reasons. Among them, two are fundamental: first, because the right, as a rule, wants reforms that “discipline” freedoms, so that the global economy can “use” a restricted liberal democracy, both to subject environmental issues to the interests of private accumulation, and to adapt liberal democracy to the limits imposed by the global financial system. Second, because if democracy does not prove effective in lifting the majority out of poverty and misery, what emerges is the dictatorship of fascism, not a libertarian revolution.


It may seem like reductionism, but left and right have opposing views on how to deal with – for example – global warming and the political system, as well as the opposition and the possible adjustment to be made between political freedoms x economic freedoms. They are opposites because the objectives of these “parts” are diverse, as far as what can be done today with chances of success, as about laying the foundations of a new world order, and even as about the future of Humanity: the left, as a rule, it supports the need for “more democracy” and not restrictions on republican political liberalism. Environmental balance, human rights, social exclusion, immigrants, drug and people trafficking, state terrorism, are themes that divide, both conceptually and in everyday life, governments considered – today – to be right or left, all over the world.

In relation to human rights, in particular, the difficulties are very great, since practical questions arise when this theme enters the political conjuncture, in which, on the one hand, American cynicism brandishes “freedom of the press” in favor of Venezuela. , while “extraditing” a journalist whose crime was to demonstrate this same cynical capacity of the empire to deal with its partners by spying on them 24 hours a day, as shown by the journalistic investigation work of Julian Assange: “Put it drastically: we found him We are currently in a phase where, with regard to the international protection of human rights, where this is possible it may not be necessary, and where it is necessary it is much less possible” (Bobbio, The age of rights, Campus, p. 60).

Rereading Alain Touraine's letter – on the same day of the month he wrote to me years ago – and remembering the old Marx's Letter to Lincoln, dealing with the same themes we deal with today, in the struggle to save democracy from fascism and rebuild it in the basis of a social and democratic State of law, encourages merging the ideas of equality and freedom, which are contained in the great revolutions from 1789 onwards. With their failures and setbacks, they are always present, which made Cesare Pavese say that “writing it is always the desire to reduce to clarity, the indistinct and the irrational, which is hidden in the depths of consciousness", which - in my specific case were there very clear and luminous, in a letter from Alain Touraine, who died on June 9, 2023 at 98 years of age.

*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).

the earth is round exists thanks to our readers and supporters.
Help us keep this idea going.

See this link for all articles