The post-election path

Image: Marcio Costa


The defeat suffered by Bolsonarism in the elections did not come from parties on the left. On the contrary, it was imposed by traditional conservatism

Each one sees, apprehends and analyses, as well as draws conclusions and elaborates proposals, from their own angle, constrained by their social insertion and by ideological mediation, from which they overflow, for political reasons, interests of another order or even even the intoxication of desire.

However, the need to know the world around us and draw practical consequences from learning requires attention and respect for facts. If in times of social calm such a procedure is necessary, in the current period, in which political, union and civil freedoms, in addition to popular rights, remain under the threats of obscurantism, revisionism and denialism, it is essential and imperative.

Considering the plethora of tables, numbers, analyzes and perspectives produced within left-wing activism, largely imprisoned within the limits of factual inventories, the phenomenal sphere, various oddities and psychopolitical miseries, it became necessary to open a clearing and regain commitment to reality as a whole.

Despite the strength of the Federal Government, its fanatical militancy and a partly loyal mass base, what is certain is that the Bolsonarian reaction was defeated in the electoral process, including its most retrograde hosts, such as the Rio de Janeiro ultra-right and religious fundamentalism. .

Your plan failed. Proto-fascism was unable to reinforce its national movement with local candidacies or install new institutional support points, as it was far from electing the large number of councilors and mayors it intended, clearly identified with its purposes and methods. Nor did it manage to multiply, in the projected dimension, its organic base, its unifying centers and its poles of hegemonic dispute. Much less could he occupy wider spaces to enlist his horde, create better conditions to garner new support, influence internal relations within the National Congress and put pressure on other state instances. Nor did he accumulate more strength to reactivate the self-coup process and prepare for clashes already marked on the political calendar, including the presidential election.

In addition to being bitter about not realizing what they intended, Bolsonaristas were defeated in important capitals of the country, such as Belém, Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and São Paulo. The importance of the defeat in the capital of Rio de Janeiro and in the land of Raquel de Queiroz stands out. Although difficult to measure, the number of Falangist councilors – spread across myriads of parties – fell short of his prognosis.

Once the self-coup impetus had cooled down – although still latent –, the objective of unifying the extreme right right now and filling the party's deficiency by gathering scattered parties, was defeated and, at least immediately, postponed. The postulants clearly identified with proto-fascism in the Bolsonarist matrix fell short of what they expected. The palace's attempt to advance further on the national scene and definitively catalyze the various fractions of the extreme right, extensively to other conservative segments, failed.

The reasons are several: the worsening of the economic, social and health crises; the loss of popularity of the presidential figure, as indicated by polls; the reluctance of some parties of the traditional right with ultra-reactionary and obscurantist agendas; the constraints generated by approaching pragmatic-physiological parties in political society, inside and outside the National Congress; institutional pressures and counterpressures; internal disputes within the state apparatus; the processes of purges and splits within the rising camp in the 2018 elections; the distancing of right-wing personalities in relation to the Planalto Palace, among others.

Bolsonaro was far from unifying the extreme right that took hold since the first attacks on federal governments after 2002, on Lula himself and on Ação Penal 470, passing through the 2013 demonstrations, the removal of former president Dilma Rousseff, the mediocre government that succeeded it and the arrest of the former president, even reaching the election of the militia captain.

Although its boss and his plans have set a pace, the proto-fascist reaction, especially with the control of the articulation capacity exercised by the Planalto Palace, is still alive and strong. It will not wear out automatically over time, nor will its weaknesses mean a quick revival of the popular field.

The defeat suffered by the presidential camp did not come at the hands of the popular, democratic and progressive parties, with their allies. On the contrary: the Bolsonarian setback was imposed by traditional conservatism, whose current composition brings together a vast spectrum of opinions, currents and political parties that from 2018 have approached the extreme right, with more or less commitments, but now seek a health dispute as an instrument to assert their own political alternative.

The patchwork quilt that received the generic and simplistic nickname of “centrão” from the communication monopolies, absorbed even by sectors on the left, brings together a set of acronyms and projects on the right, which defend democratic spaces and coexist in these environments.

Within it, or around it, are ideologically stable parties and, even with their own nuances, committed to liberal or ultraliberal canons and policies, as well as others attached to the most shameless “take it, give it away” and even rent acronyms. Some of them were part of the support base or even participated directly in the social-liberal governments of former presidents Lula and Dilma, having the same behavior.

Its propagated equidistance in relation to the two poles that disputed the direction of the country in the last period – the extreme right and the options more to the left – yielded fruits. The amontado grew politically and electorally, presented itself as an alternative, won the elections, showed muscle and will seek, from now on, to establish itself on the national scene as a different conversational possibility and in contradiction with Bolsonarism, from now until the elections from 2022.

By presenting themselves divided to the people and before the Brazilian electorate, the parties on the left in the national political spectrum became smaller and sealed the results of the election. The numbers said that such forces abdicated their role in the defeat of Bolsonarismo. By launching themselves alone and crumbling, they tacitly accepted the game proposed by the traditional right, they did not dispute the destinies of Brazil in a broad way and did not accredit themselves to the Brazilian people.

The disunity meant that the population stopped seeing these parties, in isolation, with few exceptions, as a real alternative to the current situation, the Federal Government and Bolsonarismo. The broad fronts that articulated in the second rounds made it clear that unity was possible and necessary, since, after all, the electoral rounds are part of a single process and not two different elections.

By giving up a unitary national movement that would reveal a vigorous, powerful and really new path in the cities – thus integrated with popular sentiment – ​​and provide security to the great national masses, the democratic and progressive parties contributed, and a lot, to the computation Finally, the developments and implications of the electoral result in the current correlation of forces.

In the absence of an imposing force, the open space was occupied, with little opposition, by the conservative world. Throwing it to God will give, the great majorities opted, at this moment, for the shortcuts of the democratic liberalism, safer, less risky and more full-bodied.

Therefore, it must be recognized that the defeat was the result of: objective historical conditions existing inside and outside Brazil, which determine a strategic defense in class struggles in different areas; of the strength gathered by the enemy on the various fronts; the pusillanimous posture of the liberal sectors; and, with rare exceptions, the sectarian, exclusive, arrogant, self-sufficient and particularist policies and postures developed by parties identified with the tradition of the Brazilian left.

The justifications and pretexts, the explanations and subterfuges, are recounted in gusts. However, it is clear that the electoral result fell short of expectations and nothing hides the fact that the entire left, in a broad sense, divided, continued its march of retreat in number of votes and posts within the State, which began in 2016: will govern 286 fewer city halls, or 26,38%, and elect 1.561 fewer councillors, or 13,6%. In cities with more than 500 inhabitants, where their legal parties achieved better results, their parties accounted for only 22,7% of the proportional suffrage.

The weak electoral performance of the left in the first round highlights the role of the broad fronts carried out in the second, the possibility of disputing the majorities “from below” and the duty to achieve a stable, permanent union that transcends electoral issues.

It is good to remember that the left is made up of and represents a social and ideological diversity of different classes or fractions, which are wrapped up or not in the current parties. It encompasses segments committed to the proletarian historical project of human emancipation, socialists of various stripes, generically anti-capitalists, reformists of various extractions, such as former labor, radical-democrats, social-liberals, popular sectors "improvers", specific movements, as well as bourgeois sectors regional groups and fractions of capital excluded from the monopoly-financial condominium, which adopt democratic, national-developmentalist positions and critics of ultraliberalism.

Overcoming past conflicts and highlighting retail differences; this legion of currents, which expresses what is most advanced in Brazilian civil society, needs to constitute itself as a unique articulating and encouraging center, capable of polarizing and building a democratic and progressive opposition movement in the country. Such a movement has to bring together all interested parties and materialize in a front of parties and other political organizations, including party sectors, which includes ideologies, backgrounds, opinions and plural practices. A front, by the way, which since the ousting of former president Dilma has been establishing itself as an unavoidable obligation of social pioneers.

Far from dilettantism and cantankerousness, as well as leftist phraseology that feeds delusions and illusions, the main lessons to be extracted from the elections aim to enhance the political accumulation achieved in the electoral process, maintain and weld the alliances reached in the first and second rounds, establish common tactics, promote unitary and unifying actions in daily struggles on different fronts – above any and all nominata, whether of personalities, parties, entities or doctrines. It never hurts to repeat that what is at stake is what really matters: the future of the country and our people.

In order to pave the way for unity, it is urgent, respecting the particularities, formulations and accumulations of each party, to leave aside long and detailed programs, more appropriate to ideological agglutination, governments and other situations. The unit must rise from a platform of basic national demands, lean, that contemplates the greatest needs, demands and afflictions of the “below”, that is easily appropriated by the great majorities and that can replace the Brazilian people in the condition of protagonist of his own destiny.

The platform must be linked to a permanent and regular agenda for debates, an emergency action plan and a general mobilization calendar, involving: parties and sectors, trade union entities, organizations and popular movements, parliamentarians, state and municipal governments, extended portions of civil society and; in particular, the large masses. The national salvation agenda, integrated by the defense of the country's sovereignty, democratic freedoms, popular rights, civil conquests, cannot be at the service of an electoral calendar, although it must take it into account.

As diverse as the statistics are, all the analyzes and perspectives made within the left Postgraduate Course , all of them, without exception, indicate – each in its own way – the need and importance of union and unity of democratic, progressive and popular forces for the next conjunctural period.

Therefore, it came from the approximations, the interlocutions, the dialogue, the movements, the negotiations and the referrals in the sense of the frentist construction. Abandoning doctrinal assertions and sectarianism; it is time for many to open themselves up beyond their circles, however large they may be, and join in the organization of a force capable of powerfully facing the hot times announced by the guaranteed resurgence of the conjuncture.

Again: the truth is that to face the extreme right in a context of worsening economic, social and health crisis, the crash, unemployment, general impoverishment, authoritarian threats and tragedies, consequences and possibilities that spring from it, will not be Solitary speeches, doctrinal raptures, professions of faith or internalist reasons are enough, whether their prophets are aware or not.

Everything points to an increase in the temperature of the class struggle in the coming period. To face the current situation and the Federal Government, the articulating center of the extreme right in the country, it is urgent to join forces to build and spread across Brazil the widest possible unity between the democratic and progressive segments of Brazil. This requires political-practical commitments, transparency, determination, skill, flexibility and, above all, tactical breadth. As the prodigal sons of the tricentennial songbook of Minas Gerais and the Sertões, Beto Guedes and Ronaldo Bastos, illuminate: “One plus one is, always, more than two”.

Bolsonarismo, and everything it represents, remains the central enemy to be fought at all costs. In the face of the economic and social crisis and the aggravating effects of the pandemic, the answers and intentions announced by the Federal Government only corroborate this path. Therefore, the nuclear tactical axis, around which the platform and actions must revolve, remains the same as before the elections: the fight against proto-fascism and the extreme right, with the aim of isolating, detaining and defeating Bolsonaro, putting an end to his government and its reactionary policies.

*Savio Bones is a journalist and director of the Sergio Miranda Institute.

Originally published on the portal Brazil247.


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