The new age of politics

Image: Reynaldo Brigantty
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By LUIZ MARQUES*

The reconfiguration of geopolitics on the world map favors growing countries if they seize the opportunity to lessen ties of subordination

One of the great interpreters of Brazil, Caio Prado Jr., emphasizes that colonization was, from the beginning, subordinated to the pace of development of global capitalism. The modernization of the country inherited a dependent character. In the 1990s, the protoneoliberal Fernando Collor de Mello started privatizations and increased dependence on dynamic centers. The “maharaja hunter” summarized the ruin of political representation and the economic chaos of the dictatorship in the theme of corruption. Fernando Henrique Cardoso assimilated the Washington Consensus (1989) to obey the dictates of the “new world order”, removing the regulation of the economy from the State's aim. O laissez-faire it sharpened the nails and tamed the ego of the intellectual who asked them to forget what he had written.

Our insertion in the “world-system” – a concept elaborated by Immanuel Wallerstein based on the idea of ​​a world-economy formulated by the historian of “long durations”, Fernand Braudel – made us supporters of the great powers. A situation that has not changed radically in the PT's governance, despite the social, educational and naval poles advances. Even with the synchronic conquest of governments in the region, the progressives restricted themselves to a technocratic developmentalism with a script social-democrat (Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador) to build the Social Welfare State through consensus, without stirring up class feelings in the fight against iniquities. Conflicts went under the rug, with the exception of Bolivarian Venezuela.

The experience had the support of 87% of the Brazilian population (Ibope, 2010), and pointed out ways to instigate Mercosur trade agreements, articulations above the mercantile logic of Unasur and other initiatives of continental integration to put in better conditions the Latin American nations in the context of globalization. The ongoing actions of President Lula 3.0 indicate that, with lessons learned by iron and fire, we are still in pursuit of the Lighthouse of Alexandria. This time, with greater awareness of the boycott of uncultured elites, with an atavistic mongrel complex.

Sectors associated with foreign capital ask for “Lulinha peace and love”. At the moment, another persona celebrates the BRICS, challenges US imperialism, praises multipolarity, questions the dollarization of transnational trade and, in alliance with China, creates trade facilitation groups, peaceful application of technologies (Cbers-6 satellite), science and innovation cooperation in the areas of information and communication, television co-production, industrial investment, digital economy, social and rural evolution, and combating hunger and poverty. The signed Sino-Brazilian memorandums imply investments of R$ 50 billion for the reindustrialization of the nation. Great fresh start.

With the electoral, but not political, defeat of the project that waved an illiberal exception regime – Brazil returned to the stage. At the World Climate Conference (COP 27), environmental activist Al Gore explained to the leaders of the North and South hemispheres that, “by electing Lula, the people decided to preserve the Amazon”. A responsible decision for the future of the planet and humanity. The climate hecatomb and the threat to biodiversity have opened horizons that transcend the totalitarianism of merchandise. We are living between two very different worlds, the unipolar and the multipolar. One takes a long time to die, while the other is already born, to evoke the Gramscian metaphor. The West's inability to symbolically metabolize the profound shift in models has sacrificed Ukraine.

The reconfiguration of geopolitics on the world map favors growing countries if they seize the opportunity to lessen the ties of subordination. Due to its demographic density, GDP strength and geographical position with border extension in Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and the French Overseas Department, Brazil is the key piece in the equation. As a result, Latin America itself returned to the political, economic and cultural theater.

In the 1930s there was a dispute between three alternatives to classical liberalism (Nazi-Fascism, Soviet Communism and Keynesianism), all anti-liberal. In the first quarter of the XNUMXst century, with the crisis of democracy, extreme right-wing obscurantism and left-wing enlightenment compete for space. The PT's resolution to mobilize organized civil society and revive the Popular Struggle Committees with a unifying role in the last elections, in order to bring the social base closer to the government program, is illustrative. Recognition of National Conferences by the State-movement, with broad citizen participation, works like an institutional vitamin supplement.

Emir Sader's assertion in the article “The refoundation of the State and politics”, in The Crisis of the Nation-State, book coordinated by Adalto Novaes. “The Participatory Budget was the most important democratic advance after the fall of the dictatorship and the reestablishment of the rule of law in Brazil. It consists of the embryo of a refoundation of the State beyond the state/private dichotomy, because it is founded in the public sphere”. Despite the experience of the Participatory Budget taking place in an adverse political context, marked by the collapse of the former USSR and located outside the revolutionary eruptions of history textbooks in which subalterns broke the cycle of domination, the fact is that the siege of monetarism ideology left gaps open to plebeian creativity.

Nothing to prevent the fiscalism of the flowers of evil. “The informalization of labor relations, along with record rates of structural unemployment, accompanied by forms of precarious work, disrupted the social fabric, affecting it in its entirety, including the segment that remains within labor relations. The breach of formal contracts, with what they mean as a double path of rights and duties between the individual and society, generates new forms of exclusion”, accuses the editorial advisor of the New Left Review. Then the bad got worse. The excluded ones were cancelled.

Emir Sader's criticism dates back to 2003, long before the approval of the Outsourcing Law (2017) which commemorated the overexploitation of labor in the government of coup leader Michel Temer, by building a bridge back to the standards of colonialism in the slave period. The past of horrors extended to the present, where racism and sexism forge subjects of non-rights in a social system with a predominance of predatory primary-export and financial oligarchies.

The challenge lies in recovering the dignity of politics and overcoming neo-fascist negation: (a) of the free market, which converts citizens into passive consumers; (b) the traditional media, which legitimizes individual civil disobedience to the detriment of collective protest activities; (c) the Judiciary, which as a rule criminalizes inter-party negotiations to compose a coalition with job sharing, as occurs in any geography to form a parliamentary majority and; (d) fiscal adjustments, which erode democracy and discredit politics. These are the four capitalist horsemen that contribute to the depoliticization and demoralization of politics.

Today, the process of hegemony of the ruling classes is translated and consolidated under the baton of rent seeking in finance, the precariousness of work occupations and deregulations. The belief prevails that the danger hanging over freedom does not come from tyranny, but from equality. Plate full of neoliberal preaching by Friedrich Hayek, co-founder of Société du Mont-Pèlerin, which considers inequality to be the value par excellence (!) for the aggrandizement of individuals and collectivities, replacing the slogans consecrated by the French Revolution. It was left to impolitics to follow accumulation and destruction, contrary to the principle of public happiness.

But its discredit, if surprising, did not configure an unavoidable destiny. It is possible to re-dimension the policy with the tuning fork of material guarantees for the exercise of full citizenship. The means are linked to the ends. As the Portuguese proverb says, “there is no good thing that lasts forever, and no bad thing that never ends”.

Refounding politics with participationism is equivalent to empowering democracy to dispel anti-political pervasiveness in society and protect republican institutions. For the researcher at the Institute of International Relations at UnB, Danielly Ramos, “the partnership with the Asian giant puts strategic cooperation back on track” – in its own currency.

Donald Trump associates the withdrawal of the dollar from transactions with defeat in a world war. O jus esperniandinot for the march of multiple polarity. As in the song by Ivan Lins and Vitor Martins, we enter a New time. The watchdogs of the imperialist press bark, the caravan passes. The dream isn't over, John.

* Luiz Marques is a professor of political science at UFRGS. He was Rio Grande do Sul's state secretary of culture in the Olívio Dutra government.


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