Marxists and elections

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By RONALD ROCHA*

The tactical center of opposition resistance is condensed in the line of strengthening the broad democratic front and mobilizing large popular masses to stop the self-coup process

Brazil – taking big steps – is approaching the municipal elections that will take place in less than four months and whose campaigns have already started in practice. Needless to spend many characters to demonstrate how important they will be. Instead of punctual and dispersed facts in each parish, as suggested by common sense and the cold letter of the laws, the claims embody a comprehensive political process, which ranges from the recomposition in parliaments and governments of municipal entities, typical of the federative state form Brazilian, through its existence and repercussion throughout the national territory, to its interference in the correlation of forces between the various subjects in dispute.

Furthermore, they open up the chance for proto-fascism to assert itself in local political societies, whose establishment it still seems to him as indispensable as it is untrustworthy. Finally, they will take place in the context in which the self-coup plan persists, but without achieving, until now, sufficient brute force. The democratic regime survives by the sum of public opinion and opposition militancy with resistance in sectors of political society and state bodies, including Congress and the STF, in addition to a certain inability of monopoly-financial fractions and the Armed Forces to assume the putsch to restore a regime similar to that of 1964, but embodied in the militia leader.

In this complicated picture, full of unresolved contradictions, which presents several possible scenarios of high instability, to the point where nobody, except for charlatanism, can guess what will happen in the next two years, much less at what moment, the ballot boxes of November represents a thermometer and a movement on the political chessboard, which must be taken very seriously as important opportunities for combating the extreme right and occupying institutional positions. Oblivious to the opportunities that are unfolding and the dangers that are threatening everyone, two procedures that are harmful to democratic, national and progressive resistance remain.

One is abstentionism, which, in its open, public, and avowed variant, makes any characterizing description a truism. However, it also appears as disdain in the face of clashes from above, in which case it assumes a vestal stamp in the face of actions understood as intrinsically “dirty”: understandings, commitments, agreements, alliances, consensuses and concessions, never! Concrete conditions, responsibilities or purposes would not matter. They are discourses that are not always attached to revolutionary theory, but generators of suffocation and passivity in the oxygen-free environment of anarchist or “leftist” ghettos, according to Lenin's diagnosis of “childhood illness”.

Another is the “semi-abstentionism” named by Gramsci – cf. Prison Notebooks, vol. 3 –, which has been imprisoning certain currents on the left. Often, the bias appears as an intention to use electoral processes for mere agitative or propagandistic demarcations, in puerile political reductionism. However, it also manifests itself, either as circular attempts to maintain or increase, alone, the suffrage previously accumulated by the acronyms, or by the concession in adding a little more to their molecular and narrow coalition, limiting the front to subtitles with “ideological” identity. ” of a self-proclaimed socialism, which often revolves around social-liberalism.

The classics and the suffrage

In the face of proto-fascism encamped in the Central Government and surroundings – whose local supporters already operate and present themselves as electoral alternatives that cannot be ignored or underestimated – similar approaches, in addition to being inappropriate in the context, prove to be incompatible with the historical experiences of the movement and the workers' struggle. This is why this article begins with the providence of reconstituting the Marxist references and elaborations that recorded them in writing in various periods, throughout the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, as well as achieved excellence in terms of methodological acuity, analytical concreteness, ideological commitment and practical binding.

In 1848 the Communist Party Manifesto, written by Marx and Engels, stressed that “in order to elevate the proletarians to the status of the dominant class” it is necessary to “win the battle of democracy”. He was referring to the struggle within the “representative regime”, constituted in the “modern State Power” – P. I, § 12. After the revolutionary wave that swept Europe in the following years, the Central Committee of the League of Communists, in his famous Message of 1850, drawn up by the same authors, insisted that “no working class be denied the right to vote” for the national legislature, “under any pretext, not even by any artifice of local authorities or government commissioners”.

In January of the previous year, when proletarian candidacies had been banned by the counterrevolution, Marx had insisted on participating in the elections, supporting allies. Faced with the misunderstanding of sectors linked to the staunch Workers Association of Cologne, he replied that it was not about proclaiming principles, but about strengthening the opposition to the Prussian government, puppet of the then absolutist regime. He also said that such a policy can be applied by democrats and liberals, to conclude, as narrated by Claudin in his Marx and the Revolution of 1848: “it is necessary to consider the facts as they are” and to unite “with the other parties, also of opposition, to prevent the victory of the common enemy”.

Engels insisted on the same subject, tirelessly. In 1894, writing to Turati about the situation in Italy, he named his hope that the class struggle, even without the protagonism and leadership of the proletariat, then still numerically reduced, could result in a “ministry of 'converted' republicans”. , which “would give us universal suffrage and greater freedom of movement […], new weapons that should not be despised”. Finally, he asserted: the “bourgeois republic […] would further expand freedom and our field of action, at least at this moment. Marx said that the bourgeois republic is the only political form in which the struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie can be resolved.”

A year later, Engels – Introduction a Class Struggles in France from 1848 to 1850 – he stressed the lesson of the German workers to the workers of the whole world, “showing them how universal suffrage is used”. He recalled that “the Communist Manifesto had proclaimed the fight for the right to vote, […] one of the first and most important tasks of the militant proletariat”, which provides it with “a unique instrument to get in touch with the popular masses”, besides “forcing the opposing parties” to expose “their conceptions and actions”. Finally, he cited “the words of the French Marxist program”: transforming the right to suffrage, “from a fraudulent means, as it has been until now, into a means of emancipation”.

Thus, he continues, a tribune was opened to the socialist representatives Reichstag” – German Congress –, “from where they could address their opponents in parliament and the external masses, with an authority and a freedom completely different from those enjoyed in the press and at rallies”. He continues: “with the victorious use of universal suffrage, a totally new way of fighting comes into play for the proletariat”; “State institutions […] offer more possibilities for the working class to fight them”. The verve of his mention of the “parties of order” is justified, which, in despair, repeat “the words of Odilon Barrot: la legalité nous tue, legality kills us”.

It is known that the Second International, whose main figures distorted the passages cited above to convert them into an innocent profession of possibilist and adaptationist faith, finally ended up in ministerialism and parliamentary cretinism. Not by a long shot, however, was the capitulation a pretext for the revolutionaries to fall into self-isolation. The Russian experience proves it: in 1909, even during the Stolypinian reaction, the Bolshevik periodical Proletarians away the fraction otsovista – “withdrawal” –, who under pseudo-revolutionary phraseology defended abstentionism. Its members wanted to leave the legislative forum – in this case, the Third State Duma – and rejected any legal forms of action.

In April-May 1920, approaching the Second Congress of the Communist International (IC), Lenin maintained – Leftism, childhood disease of communism – the classic conduct: “The 'Left' communists, Germans”, they say, “with the greatest disdain and the greatest frivolity”, in “rejecting in the most categorical way any return to the parliamentary methods of struggle, which would already have historically expired and politically". The accusation of “'Return' to parliamentarism!”, in addition to being criticized for its “ridiculously presumptuous tone” and for its “evident falsehood”, ends up being refuted in three questions: “Does there already exist, by any chance, a Soviet republic in Germany? So how can you talk about 'return'? Is this not an empty phrase?”

He continues: “Parliamentaryism has 'historically lapsed'. That's okay as propaganda. But no one ignores that from there to overcoming it in practice there is a huge distance. For many decades it could already be said, with good reason, that capitalism had 'historically expired'; but that doesn't even prevent us from being forced to sustain an extremely prolonged and tenacious struggle on the terrain of capitalism. […]. In universal history, however, time is counted by decades [...], ten or twenty years more or less is of no importance; […] it is impossible to assess its value. Thus, using the criterion of universal history for a political-practical question constitutes the most glaring theoretical error”.

At the congresses of the Third International

Gramsci, in Prison Notebooks, when reflecting on the passage from the “war of position” to the “war of movement”, refers to Lenin's observations to explain a fundamental transformation with enormous tactical impact. He also writes based on two years of direct observation as a deputy for Veneto, a region in northeastern Italy, since his mandate was interrupted by his arrest in 1926. He then noted that, in a more pronounced way in today's society, the State, in addition to material, is supported in a chain by innumerable trenches in civil and political society, rooted in the national conditions in which the class struggle takes place.

Thus, the socialist revolution is something much more complex than political acts or spontaneous spillovers from the economy, as it requires objectivity, strategy, the subject and the relevant tactics. By the way, according to the Sardinian philosopher, journalist and politician – Prison Notebooks, vol. 3 –, in elections “ideas and opinions” are never “born” naturally “in the brain of each individual”, since “they had a training, irradiation, diffusion, persuasion center”, which “elaborated and presented them in the political form”. The vote is, therefore, “the final manifestation of a long process” that forms consensus and dissent, interfering in the “national will” through the counter-hegemonic struggle.

It is not by chance that the seven conclaves held by the IC, in its 24 years of life, set the agenda and discussed several times, with heated debates, the line that should be applied by the member parties in the face of the electoral-parliamentary issue. In 1920, the Second Congress severely refuted “the 'anti-parliamentaryism' in principle, conceived as an absolute and categorical rejection of participation in elections and revolutionary parliamentary action”. Then, reverberating the position of the Soviet bench, he harshly qualified it as “a childish and naive doctrine, which does not withstand criticism”. The final document is signed by the members of the national representations present – ​​Lenin among the delegates.

He continues: “Recognizing […], as a general rule, the need to participate in parliamentary and municipal elections, and to work in parliaments and municipalities, the Communist Party must solve the problem according to the concrete case, taking inspiration from the specific characteristics of the situation". To conclude: “boycotts of the elections or the parliament […] are, above all, admissible in the presence of conditions that allow the immediate transition to the armed struggle for the conquest of power”, that is, when a revolutionary situation is configured and also the elements subjective elements indispensable to the passage, as Lenin studied carefully in the essay The bankruptcy of the II International.

The IV Congress, held in 1922, just a month after the March on Rome and the appointment of Mussolini as head of the Italian Government by the cornered King Victor Emmanuel III, therefore already facing the urgent task of “organizing resistance” to the extreme -right-wing movement and promoting the “tactic of the united front”, recalled that “the fascist delirium”, metaphorically called “the open domination of the white guards”, is directed “generally against the very foundations of bourgeois democracy”. In another passage, he values, “in Sweden, the result of the last parliamentary elections”, allowing “a numerically weak communist party to play an important role”.

In 1928, the CI, even recognizing the presence of the fascist danger and maintaining the front policy, recommended exclusive agreements from below, repaying with similar coin the anti-Sovietism of the social democracy. But the Dimitrov Report to the VII Congress, from 1935, recomposed the tactical axis: “today, the millions of workers who live under capitalism are compelled to decide their attitude towards the forms who wear the bourgeois domain. We are not anarchists and indifferent to the type of existing political regime: a bourgeois dictatorship in the form of a bourgeois democracy, even with very limited democratic rights and freedoms, or a bourgeois dictatorship in an open and fascist form”.

To repeat, with a keen sense of urgency in the face of fast-moving reaction: “Now the fascist counter-revolution attacks bourgeois democracy in an effort to establish the most barbaric regime of exploitation and suppression of the toiling masses. Now the working masses in many capitalist countries are forced to make a choice. final, and to do it today, not between the dictatorship of the proletariat and bourgeois democracy, but between bourgeois democracy and fascism.” This is what, in capitalist society, impels the workers to defend the democratic regime, when the most reactionary fraction of the bourgeoisie attacks it in a fiercely counterrevolutionary period.

Clearer it couldn't be. The practice of the Communists was completely and radically consistent on the eve of and just after the Second World War. On the Spanish Civil War – triggered by the Franco coup, massively supported by the Nazi-fascist Armed Forces sent by Hitler, Mussolini and Salazar –, Dimitrov commented in the text The Popular Front, 1936: “the combatants of the republican army, who fight on the walls of Madrid, in Catalonia, in the mountains of Asturias, throughout the Peninsula, are giving their lives to defend not only the freedom and independence of republican Spain, but also the democratic achievements of all nations and the cause of peace”.

Returning to Bulgaria, in 1946, the leader who won the Nazi dungeons and courts, as well as exercised the function of general secretary of the Executive Committee of the CI during one of the toughest periods of its history, was elected parliamentary and held the position of First -Minister. Even after the victory over Nazi troops and with the presence of Soviet military forces since 1944, the Bulgarian Communist Party continued to implement the policy of alliances outlined in 1935 and prevailing in the course of World War II. It thus managed to maintain the same composition established during the resistance period, as it was necessary to defeat the collaborationists and create a new hegemony.

Brazilian elections in the first 50 years

World War II ends with the global geopolitical recomposition and the entry of capitalism – as matured imperialism – into Phase A of the IV Long Wave, according to Kontradieff's periodization. The socialist camp and the Golden Age they set the suffrage into which Marxists entered with considerable experience. In Brazil after the Estado Novo and with its first 23 years of life, the Communist Party of Brazil (PCB) gathered some accumulation and acted in a reconstructed democratic regime. Founded in 1922 and then banned, it had regained legal status in 1927. The formation of the Bloco Operário showed that the newly created acronym had prepared itself to participate in the electoral process.

The front, even restricted, managed to make a federal deputy, but the Party was banned again. In October, already as the Bloco Operário Camponês (BOC), it elected two councilors in Rio de Janeiro. In 1929, he launched Minervino de Oliveira for president, winning a small vote. Then he placed himself on the sidelines in the Revolution of 1930, ignoring the political issues at stake. This posture, inspired by the VI Congress of the CI, underwent some critical revisions in the tactical transition ended by the Dimitrov Report, in 1935. The BOC was dissolved; however, changes were slow. Prestes, who had tried in vain to get closer to the PCB, only joined in 1934, at the top, three years after settling in the USSR.

The communists, equally alien to the 1932 civil war, launched candidates for the Constituent Assembly a year later, on behalf of the Workers and Peasants Union, without managing to break the isolation. In 1935, when Nazi-fascism and the integralist synonym were advancing, the famous National Liberation Alliance emerged, not by chance compatible with the new line of the IC, approved in the VII Congress. Prestes returned to Brazil in April and shortly thereafter the anti-fascist front was banned. With no electoral option, the November insurrection prevailed, finally defeated. With strong repression, institutionalized in 1937, the Party was only able to reorganize itself after 1941, through the National Committee for Provisional Organization.

In 1943, with Brazil's participation in the war and in the climate of a world alliance against the Axis, the Mantiqueira Conference elected Prestes as general secretary and proposed a national union with Vargas. In 1945, the party leaders, then granted amnesty, joined the movement for the Constituent Assembly. The PCB rescued its electoral record, grew and at the end of the year ran for the Presidency with the candidacy of ally Yedo Fiúza. It obtained 10% of the votes, electing 14 federal deputies and one Senator, Prestes, in the Federal District where the victory was repeated in the municipal elections, forming the largest group in the Chamber of Councillors. However, the legal space would be closed to him for the third time.

In 1947, the TSE canceled the registration and then the parliamentary mandates of the PCB, which was responsible for August Manifest, in 1950, with demands of an anti-imperialist and anti-landlordism nature, in addition to recommending a blank vote for the Presidency, but launching candidates for deputy in other parties. In opposition, he organized campaigns for peace and the nationalization of oil. In 1954, during the IV Congress, when Vargas committed suicide, the tactic had to take on popular indignation. In the following year, the vote for Kubitschek-Goulart was justified as an action in defense of the democratic political regime and to combat the coup d'état, however, with signs of national-developmentalist illusions.

The XX Congress of the CPSU sharpened the internal crisis, but the Party, in defending national sovereignty and freedoms, was growing. From 1958 onwards, electoral participation generated progressive and “nationalist” benches in an environment marked by the monopolist-financial concentration of capital and by acute social conflicts, added to the “cold war” and – with the Cuban revolution and the emergence of the Chinese pole – to the growing complexity in the socialist field. The 1960th Congress, in XNUMX, in addition to maintaining the traditional stage-based political doctrine – “the Brazilian revolution is anti-imperialist and anti-feudal, national and democratic” –, began to conceive reforms and industrialization from an evolutionary angle.

Voting, then, acquired the air of an abstract principle and further fueled splitism, especially with the decision to change the name of the Party to “Brazilian Communist”, 1961. Defeated Lott – supported by the PCB –, Jânio’s resignation and the inauguration of de Goulart, with the repeal of parliamentarism in a memorable democratic mobilization, from below and from the top, expressed the social conflicts that were also reflected in the 1962 elections and flowed into the 1964 coup. It seems that the right remembered Odilon Barrot. After the separation of 1962, the two strands found themselves unprepared: one numerous and with a mass base, but surprised and paralyzed; another, the other way around in each word.

The PCB began to fragment and the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), which had also suffered losses, received nonconformist militants. In the 1965 elections for governor, the communists suffocated conservatives unhappy with the consequences of the coup. In 1966, with the suspension of Congress, the proscription of legal parties by the AI-2 and the end of the direct election for governor by the AI-3, the State Committee of the PCB in Guanabara (CE-GB) decided to support names of the consented opposition and dissolve the University Committee, which had supported the boycott. At the beginning of 1967, the delegates elected in the base collectives, to the sectoral conference, decided to build the Communist Dissidence (DI-GB).

The “Vote Nulo contra a Ditadura” campaign in Guanabara was led by the DI-GB block, Ação Popular (AP) and the Revolutionary Marxist Political Workers Organization (Polop). The PCdoB forwarded the same position. Castelo Branco, declaring that he would not tolerate candidacies out of tune with his government, further alienated Lacerda and Juscelino who, together with Goulart, were creating the Frente Ampla, finally launched in October through a manifesto in favor of political freedoms. The communists opted to “solve the problem” not with abstract principles, but “according to the concrete case, taking inspiration from the specific particularities of the situation”, according to the old CI criterion.

From the boycott to the recovery of suffrage

Compelled, “as a supreme resource, to revolt against tyranny and oppression” – Universal Declaration of Human Rights –, the left boycotted the 1966 election, although the democratic desire was insufficient for the “immediate […] armed struggle for the conquest of power”. There were 21% null and white, almost 40% if added to the absentees. In 1970 they amounted to 30%, approaching half with abstentions. According to Veja magazine, “almost 50% of qualified Brazilians refused to choose representatives”. The data echoed the height of the student movement, the repression of strikes in Contagem-Osasco, the position of new groups coming out of the PCB, the banning of the Frente Ampla and the publication of AI-5.

In 1974, the PCdoB – subjected to a heavy siege, but organized and reinforced by the newly joined APML –, decided to maintain the boycott. However, concentrated on the dramatic situation in which the last guerrilla detachment survived in Araguaia, it limited itself to local pamphlets without major repercussions. With the proletarian strikes contained, the student movement inactive, the communist parties hunted down and the last military resistance about to be annihilated – therefore, with no other visible oppositional options in the context in which the economy entered into a long stagnation and the “miracle” failed – the invitation to vote null submerged in the rising tide that flowed into the MDB.

Meanwhile, the PCB followed a different trajectory. In internal dissent, he maintained contacts with the Frente Ampla. In 1967, Marighella, who had resigned from the Executive Committee, went to the meeting of the Latin American Solidarity Organization without the CC's approval, which expelled him in September along with six other national leaders. This measure was ratified in December by the National Session of the Sixth Congress. In 1968, Prestes said he was in favor of the armed option, but criticized the theory of the “guerrilla focus” – Régis Debray – as revising Marxism, exactly as the sector linked to the DI-GB had done, which later, in the 1968 Conference, would merge with the Revolutionary Majority of the PCB and the local structure of the PCdoB.

In 1970, the PCB insisted on supporting candidates in the MDB, moving further away from the then popular inclination towards protest. The following year, several leaders were sent abroad, including Prestes. The 1974 elections coincided with the repressive raid that would, in the first two years of the Geisel Government, imprison or murder hundreds of militants, including 10 CC members – half –, causing party disorganization. In the same period, the reaction managed to reach the CC of the PCdoB in December 1976, surrounding the meeting held in São Paulo. In the “Massacre da Lapa” Pedro Pomar, Ângelo Arroio and João Batista Drumond were executed by superior command.

This is how the “slow, gradual and safe” transition took place. In 1978, with the national connection maintained by surviving cadres, the PCdoB disputed mandates through the “Popular Tendency of the MDB”, achieving successes. In 1979 – after the Amnesty Law –, while the exiles returned, the impasses of the PCB deepened and the long schism of Prestes began, the VII Conference of the PCdoB took place in Tirana, which approved the convening of the VI Congress. Soon after, in Paris, the CC revoked it and, in Brazil, dissolved some intermediate committees. Finally, he removed five members, who became the PCdoB Left and, through the 1984 Congress, the Communist Revolutionary Party (PRC).

The 1964 regime yielded and multipartyism advanced with the left obtaining legal registration: PDT, 1981; PT, 1982; PCB, 1985; PCdoB and PSB, 1988. In the 1982 elections, with voting bound by law, the PCB and PCdoB disputed for the PMDB, while the Left of the PCdoB, in addition to acting in the substitute of the old opposition, also did so in the PT. In semi-clandestine, several communists were elected to parliaments. Immediately, the direct election campaign for president mobilized millions of Brazilians, a wide range in which the PRC, then in the founding process, maintained its tactical focus on combating the dictatorial regime through its own watchword: Diretas, com Liberdade!

The Electoral College preferred Tancredo and Sarney, initiating civil government within the military regime. In 1986 the PCB had already registered, but the other communist parties reinforced their tactics and guaranteed representatives who would later gain constituent powers through an amendment originating from the Central Government. Register: the 1988 Magna Carta managed to establish a constellation of conquests – a democratic political regime, even if restrictive, and fundamental rights –, but it also crystallized the liberal illusion that the State would be neutral: its ontology would be based on political will expressed by suffrage and placed in the hands of rulers seen and self-assumed as holders of “power”.

Internationally, the imperialist encirclement of Eastern Europe, the impasses of the socialist camp and the end of the USSR aggravated the problems of the revolutionary movement. In Brazil, they affected communist parties almost dismantled by state terrorism and newly emerged from clandestine life. In a similar situation, already precarious in itself, a wave of liquidation invaded the ranks of the PRC and the PCB, leading, respectively, their III and X Congresses, in 1989 and 1992, to extinguish them. Such organizations, recognizing themselves as tributaries of 1922, managed: one, to restore their registration in 1996; the other, to form the Communist Refoundation in 2005, to, with new militants, be called the PRC in 2018.

Furthermore, the adverse economic cycle of the 1980s, the search by the majority for compensation for deprivation, the rise of democratic clashes and the resumption of proletarian struggles, in a passage under bourgeois hegemony and with no other viable option, led, from election to election , the majority of the remaining or nascent left – the most advanced mass sectors, activists and leaders, belonging to the growing popular movement – ​​to the ranks of the PT. The young initials reached legality earlier, appeared as a novelty, accepted progressive claims and adapted well to the order, as well as expressing the social-liberal common sense in matters of organization and doctrine.

Guidelines for the municipal election

The field on the left, above the growing acronyms and fractions, tended towards coalitions with greater electoral weight. Setbacks in presidential races – Collor, 1989; Fernando Henrique, 1994 and 1998 – had the scent of victory, as they accumulated votes, seats in parliaments and counter-hegemony. The consecutive mandates of Lula and Dilma left as a balance - despite the objective and subjective limits of possibilist management in capitalist society - many economic and social changes of a national, democratic and progressive nature, one of the reasons that united conservatives to remove the president in 2016, and the extreme right to start the Bolsonarian reaction.

The paths of politics for the municipal election must consider the maisstream shaped in practice, referenced in historical records, since past circumstances always offer parameters and extend over time, as an inheritance. But the effort of theoretical appropriation of real processes never replaces concrete events, which particularly translate the class struggle. Even encompassing 170 years of global workers' combats and 100 years of Brazilian political history, past facts and texts cannot even remotely be resources of “authority”, which would be worth a mere declamation. They only represent experiences that have been tested and retained as teachings.

That is why they are useless to replace the present, even more to dominate the future, under the penalty of becoming a farce, as Marx noted in The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, complementing the Hegelian observation. Therefore, the tactic is based on the internal, current and living reality of the Country. By the way, the pandemic turned stagnation – that is, the weak, slow and inconclusive recovery from the cycle established in 2014 – into an abysmal recessive plunge and the chronic problems into a social tragedy, driven by the omission and sabotage of the extreme right. Against this background, the search for an autocratic “solution” from the top generated new impasses in different state and governmental instances.

These are contradictions that spill over into other entities. As always, social constraints will make the electoral campaign pay homage to the concrete reality in which it takes place. The speeches and gestures – driven by the federative state form and the constitutional division of competences, embedded in common sense – have to dialogue with the popular classes in the particular sphere, especially on the composition of governments and chambers. If they don't want to speak only to the “enlightened”, the candidacies must address the pertinent themes: winning the local face of the counterrevolution, sustaining the municipal rights of autonomy and defending the yearnings of the majorities as they are shown in each city.

In the current period, the Bolsonarian reaction – which fluctuates according to the correlation of forces – needs and will continue to try to combine control of the Central Government and Falangist activism, already available, with new bases planted in the 5.570 municipalities, still intended. Therefore, the main contradiction arises in the electoral confrontation, in spite of the specific terrain of the agendas, the two fields that, from now on, disentangle their best weapons, with their vision on two targets: 2020 and 2022. Until then, a lot of current will pass underneath of the bridge, with debris of all kinds. Nobody can predict when and how the end of the institutional crisis will happen, under the penalty of being considered a charlatan.

The tactical center of the opposition resistance is condensed in the line of strengthening the broad democratic front – within which the parties on the left form the most dynamic pole – and mobilizing large popular masses, to stop the self-coup process, save the political-constitutional regime and put an end to the Bolsonaro government. Among the indispensable conducts to put it into effect are the multilateral initiatives that isolate the proto-fascist hordes ensconced in the Planalto Palace and stop their ultra-conservative policies. This is the axis of unity, without prejudice to specific preferences on slogans and initiatives, variants according to territories, sectors, moments and currents.

It is about aggregating forums and actions – in civil society and political society –, adding segments that have global, partial or even occasional contradictions with official policies, extensively to all those who fight them in limited agreements, as well as exploring the differences intestines to conservative hosts through consensus in each clash. To this end, it is urgent to articulate an active participation in electoral campaigns, either by supporting majority candidates with better possibilities to unite the democratic field and defeat the extreme right, or by electing advanced councilors, committed to opposition forces and popular interests.

Especially in state capitals and other medium or large urban agglomerations, party patriotism, particularist projects, personal interests, the hypervaluation of inconsonances and the gaze fixed on one's own navel must give way to detachment, dialogue, collective spirit, convergence and responsibility policy. Historical facts illustrate episodes in which revolutionaries were exposed to avoidable defeats, due to misunderstandings of reality, minor issues or primary errors. Although it is inevitable to learn from repeated stumbles, in politics it is not enough to recognize disasters post fest, as the price may be too high.

It becomes necessary to insist, for the umpteenth time – now in a chorus with more voices –, the call for the unification of the democratic sectors. It is about building majority understandings and alliances, which are capable of reaching far beyond the organizations or associations of the left, aiming to defeat, through suffrage, in the municipalities, with emphasis on the core cities, the forces of Bolsonar’s reaction. It is urgent that the leadership of the parties identified for this purpose set an example, pave the way and keep away the crystallization of sectarian conduct. The time has come to consolidate, in general and on a case-by-case basis, the unit, with goals, deadlines, initiatives and debates. There's not a minute to waste.

*Ronald Rocha is a sociologist and essayist. Author, among other books, of Anatomy of a creed (financial capital and production progressivism)

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