Ghostly narrative

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By CRISTIANO ADDARIO DE ABREU*

Virtual reality already makes up a large part of the economic and social world: either Latin American and European countries create a range of digital platforms, or they will lose sovereignty

There is a debate on social media sparked by an interview with Vladimir Safatle who states that the “left is dead”. This statement, as one listens to the professor's speech, crystallizes into an initial rhetorical argument, whose strategy would be to call on the left as a whole to reflect on its "refoundation": almost aspiring to make a reset general, in a situation that he sees as a total defeat, both of the bases and of the tactics and strategies, on the horizon that is still shared by this political field.

The subject is obviously too ambitious, and even though rhetorical arguments can be revitalizing in the public debate, in search of general controversies, I confess to being uncomfortable with the strategy launched there, not achieving real conviction, after listening to the professor's arguments.

It is curious how there is so much verbiage to criticize “the left”, but there is not the same critical anger against this “new”, and growing, right-wing camp… Or “new right”. I confess that I do not agree with the old argument that “the left commits itself, then it can be held accountable”, unlike the right… Such double standards in politics it does not contribute to a better reading of reality, on the contrary: it worsens understanding, and worsens problems.

To understand what is happening to the left, it is necessary to look at the general picture. Is the left dead? And on the right: what was left of it? Let us remember that the party that in Brazil hegemonized the political leadership of the national right, since the 1990s, was the PSDB: a party originating from the PMDB, opposed to the military regime, with bridges at the university, in addition to expressways with the corporate oligopolitical media. The repeated defeats of the PSDB in returning to the Palácio do Alvorada since 2002, culminated in the political indigestion of the campaign of Aécio Neves, grandson of Tancredo Neves, and whose spoiled refusal of “Neves Neto” to recognize the 2014 electoral defeat, threw Brazil into coup precipice, ending the “New Republic” organized since 1985.

The whole tragedy is well known, with the Lava Jato operation destroying national companies in a neocolonial way, under the guidance of the US Department of Justice, with the anti-industrialization chorus of the oligopolitical media supporting it, with an entire campaign of political/institutional/destruction. industrial sector in Brazil. But at the end of this true civil war against the PT governments, what resulted? The PT was the party that, alone, had the largest bench in 2022, besides the president! And the PSDB: it was the party that died in this coup process that started in 2013/2014.

Therefore, be very careful with death decrees.

What died, in Brazil, and increasingly in the world, is the old so-called civilized right, dropping its fantasies and exposing an international extreme right, conservative in customs, but hysterically neoliberal in economics. What differs from “classic” fascism: this “new extreme right” has a unified external direction. Therefore, this neo-fascism differs from the nationalism of the experiences of the 1920s/1930s: because it is already a fascist International.

In the Brazilian case, paving the way for this neo-fascist phenomenon, the one who died in Brazil was the former tucanato, the PSDB, and the right that remained from the tucana euthanasia is an anti-political right: a coup leader in everything, contrary to dialogue and debate, to reading and law. At the limit, even contrary to Politics, which is the art of opposing disagreements, principles and interests (the interest is legitimate!), and that throughout these oppositions in the Polis builds the possible agreement. What in US political culture they call compromised: the parties give in on secondary points and agree on a broad center. This is politics! Being able to negotiate discordant projects, creating a temporary general equilibrium result. Which is never a perfect result for the parties, but which responds to the main desires of the most representative groups.

But what is moving forward is the impossibility of any agreement, with this impossibility of politics. Because the right that remained, after the Civil War that destroyed Brazil, which began in 2013, is almost praised by Professor Safatle, who sees coherence in it (he says: “it delivers what it says it will deliver…”), in that it is a anti-political right, very different from when representatives of the right were figures like Jarbas Passarinho, or even Magalhães Pinto…

But what emerges in the political field of the current right is a pornographic festival of bestiality, with the private taking over the public, the individual over the collective, with the absurd being used in a spectacular way to disqualify everything that is public, everything that is political, and celebrate economic ultra-liberalism in a rapid and dishonest way at any cost. Speech is debased and violence is always eroticized by this “new right”, the result of infantilized adults.

The anti-politics agenda of this extreme right is guided by the single agenda of ultraliberalism, which is not hidden at all. to the TINA (there is no alternatives), which kills and emasculates any policy, which is the art of opposing interests, generating new results through friction: but like any other path, it is prohibited by the followers of the anti-political/ultraliberal sects (in economics) of this “new” extreme right, politics She was murdered like this!

As there can be no other way, in fact, there can be no politics: which is the art of negotiating interests, using the cracks of contradictions in conflicts to dig, yes, new collective alternatives!!!

It is obvious that this “new right”, new (sic) extreme right, are new clothes for neoliberal dogma: the neo-scholasticism of neoliberalism[I] it is an anti-scientific dogmatic, as it lives in a pseudo-logical deductivism that denies history and facts, experiences and events. Therefore, such an economic vision is not scientific, as science needs to support deductivism with inductivism, historical facts and empiricism, together with logical deductions. And not defend the sacredness of old petrified logical deductions. This dogmatism of neoliberal scholasticism denies facts and reality: it is militant historical denialism, which screams that if facts deny their theories, let historical facts be exploded.

This right is a historical denialist, (and therefore) a scientific denialist, and thus it emerges, Orwellian-style, as a denialist political result of politics itself.

Which right lives and which left died?

The world has entered a period of systemic crisis, of systemic transition between the North American capitalist accumulation cycle and a Chinese capitalist (???) accumulation cycle (Giovanni Arrighi). The work of the Italian thinker is used here as the basis of this text: in his central work, The long twentieth century, Giovanni Arrighi constructs a sweeping historical/analytical work interpreting historical capitalism.

The synthesized use of Giovanni Arrighi here is made not to deal with his immense work, but to draw the general background of this “death of the left” picture that this article deals with. Because what the world is experiencing in this third decade of the 30st century is a systemic crisis that threatens to culminate in a generalized war: as wars of systemic transition between cycles of capitalist accumulation tend to be: a “XNUMX-year war” emerges on the historical horizon of current hegemonic conflict between the USA and China.

How was the transition from the “Genoese cycle” to the “Dutch cycle”, with the “original” 30 Years War (1618-1648), ended in the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), which gave rise to the world of state political sovereignties, diplomatic balance, and religious freedoms subject to the sovereignty of States: States had sovereignty to impose their religion in their territories.

This entire Westphalian edifice forms the political foundations of the national sovereignties that made up the political world as we know it after the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), as well as after the Napoleonic wars that generated a relative peace of 100 years in a strictly European framework, and this Westphalian tradition also it is at the root of post-World War II institutions, such as the UN and Bretton Woods, which created diplomatic channels after the “30 Years War” (1914-1945) between Germany and the USA in the XNUMXth century. This Westphalian tradition is the path to valuing politics and diplomacy, negotiation and balance, therefore, multipolarity.

In this “new 30-year war” that emerges on the historical horizon, there is the imperial path of the USA, NATO, and their allies, drawing something similar in the XNUMXst century. XXI to what Spain tried in the XNUMXth/XNUMXth centuries: the imperial exit.

And there is the Westphalian solution, political, diverse and plural, forcing us to dialogue with political solutions that we often disagree with, but that exist across the planet, with the different faces of local and regional leaders emerging on the stage of central history, always disputed.

Obviously, the solution here called Westphalian is the solution that values ​​political dialogue and Politics itself: logically with disagreements, it is necessary to dialogue and find compromised possible on the horizon. Thus putting history back at the center, with States as the basis for managing people, as well as capital and markets.

But what is happening in the world political framework is a true murder of the Policy for the enthronement of the imperial “solution”: a completely emptied UN, in a world of degraded “national sovereignties” (a model taken to the heights by the European Union), with States in a state of rigidity. under the TINA doctrine, subjected to the mega financial conglomerates of monopoly capitalism (Big Tech forward).

Therefore, “the death of the left”, in this context, is a sign of a greater death: it is the death of politics itself, within a world system that is rapidly heading towards totalitarian monopoly capitalism, especially under the naturalized dominance of Big Tech, with its hypercapitalism of monopolistic/monopsonic platforms.

Under the impact of the second industrial revolution, latecomer countries used the mechanisms of state companies to achieve sovereignty in strategic areas of basic industry and energy (Mexico under Cárdenas, Brazil under Vargas…), and thus save their independence. For some time now, the digital revolution has imposed a similar solution on us: above all, due to the communication control it imposes on people.[ii]: being left-wing means openly defending state-owned solutions in strategic areas, as is increasingly the case in the very real digital world.

In fact, regarding “freedom of expression” on the platforms of monopoly capital concentrated in Silicon Valley, the much-vaunted success of far-right content producers on the networks is obviously not a coincidence, it is not a merit of their talent: such platforms digital companies use their hidden algorithms to leverage the propagators of the far-right agenda: this is increasingly noticeable.

But the general public naturalizes such communication platforms, and confuses (is induced to confuse) the concepts: such platforms, associated with the US State (in China their companies are associated with their State), as in the case of Europe and Latin America , we are completely under the communicational control of BIG Tech of the USA, which are already means of public utility in today's world, and which therefore need, not only regulation, but national counterparts: there will only be a solution for countries that create some of their own digital platforms.

Virtual reality already makes up a large part of the economic and social world, but they are outside the social and political controls of Latin American and European countries: only responding to the US Congress. Either countries create some range of digital platforms, or they will lose sovereignty.

But to do this, the left needs to invoke, and positivize, a forgotten entity (on purpose), but which surrounds all the problems (and solutions) invoked by the people, an entity repressed by the “left race and gender”, by the “moderns”, but which haunts the left like the ghost invoked by Marx and Engels around Europe in 1848: the State entity.

Resurrecting politics, and the left, is resurrecting the nation-state

The “alive” extreme right is growing because it talks about nationalism! Even though it is completely neoliberal in economics (see Meloni in Italy, not to mention Tarcísio in SP, or Milei in Argentina). The left needs to speak loudly again about the state, about state-owned companies, to propose a real solution to the problems of this platform monopoly capitalism. The historical picture that rises on the horizon calls for and demands more and more State, despite the liberal dogmas, the wind of history imposes the State solution, for the entire scenario that emerges today: crisis and climate catastrophes, spreading wars, cybersecurity, communicational sovereignty, energy sovereignty, food sovereignty….

The extreme right in the 21st century, no matter how much it defends “nationalism”, “national values”, and all national verbiage, it is in fact completely colonial/internationalist in economics. But just her (lying) speech defending the nation already gives them a vote. Therefore, being left-wing in the 21st century requires assuming an open speech about strengthening the structures of the nation-state, defending strategic state-owned companies, and economic nationalism, in defense of jobs and industries. Including so that the State entity can reverse and minimize the causes and effects of the climate crisis: this chronic international crisis, even this, requires greater presence and sovereignty of national States in action against it.

The left needs to steal nationalism (fake) from the right, and defending a statist, interventionist, regulatory nationalism of the economy and its monopolies. Recovering the power to make public policies from the States, industrial policies from the States and thus recovering politics for the people.

Clausewitz already taught that war is politics by other means, as what is emerging in the world is a bloc of central monopoly capital determined to wage war at any cost against the rising forces. That is why such monopolistic forces seek to exile politics from the planet: to impose the path of war on a world under neoliberal totalitarianism. Either humanity rescues political action, or it will fall into the precipice of war, which is on its way to being a total war. The death of politics, imposed by unquestionable neoliberalism, is the imposing alley leading the world towards total war. The silencing of politics, increasingly imposed on the people of the world, is the battle cry of imperialism.

*Cristiano Addario de Abreu He has a PhD in economic history from USP.

Notes


[I] https://gmarx.fflch.usp.br/boletim-ano2-09

[ii] https://www.brasil247.com/blog/a-inteligencia-artificial-e-a-estrada-da-servidao-voluntaria

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