Is communism coming?

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By LUIS FELIPE MIGUEL*

According to Datafolha, half of Brazilians fear the arrival of communism. But what exactly is meant by communism? What does this half understand by capitalism and the implications it has in their lives?

Half of Brazilians fear that the country will become communist, says the Datafolha research institute.

Opinion polls need to be analyzed with caution. As Pierre Bourdieu demonstrated half a century ago, they treat as convictions what are merely answers to questions that, in fact, people don't even ask themselves.

Still, one has to ask: what fuck would it be communism, so that half of our compatriots think that it is about to arrive?

A sense of “communism” refers to societies in which everything is common to everyone. In which there is no "mine" and "thine". As in so many non-European peoples, for whom the first task of the colonizer was to teach the meaning of “private property”.

Is Brazil today on this path? Hard to believe.

Another sense of communism refers to the society envisioned by Karl Marx. In it, there would be no State, repression or inequality. Necessity would be abolished and everyone would be completely free. Harmony between individual and community would naturally occur.

Are we getting there? It does not seem.

It is more reasonable to imagine that by “communism” people mean the kind of authoritarian government that prevailed in the former Soviet Union and that remains today in countries like China, North Korea and Cuba. Does anyone really believe that there is, in Brazil, some relevant political force that plans to implement this model?

There is a fourth sense of "communism". It is everything that the delusional far right is not. Who spread this meaning was the (now silent) Olavo de Carvalho, who said that the FHC government was communizing Brazil. So “communist” is the Globo, Gilmar Mendes, Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron. Even Sérgio Moro had his communist phase, in the short period of time when he got angry with Jair Bolsonaro and tried to act as a “third way”.

It would be nice if, instead of feeding the irrational fear of a bogeyman created by right-wing misinformation, Brazilian voters were able to discuss what they really want for their country. If he understood what capitalism is and what implications it has in his life, what socialism is and what socialism can be, how an effective democracy should work.

There is only one way to get there: political education. It is up to the left to promote it – because, for the right, alienation and misinformation are advantages.

* Luis Felipe Miguel He is a professor at the Institute of Political Science at UnB. Author, among other books, of Democracy in the capitalist periphery: impasses in Brazil (authentic).

Originally posted on the author's social media.


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