Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?


The Bolsonarian reaction has threatened not only national interests, but also the constitutional political regime and the working-class associations themselves.

“I thought how uncomfortable it is to be locked out; and I thought how much worse it is, perhaps, to be locked inside.”
(Adeline Virginia Woolf)

The film Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, whose masterful cast is formed by Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal and Sandy Dennis, under the firm direction of Mike Nichols, the magnificent script by Ernest Lehman – based on the homonymous play by Edward Albee –, the melancholy score by Alex North and Haskell Wexler's somber photography presents a bitter, acidic and wounding drama in the relationship between destructive characters, leading the helpless audience to a disturbing outcome. If revisited now, on the eve of municipal elections, it can be said that it seems, before la lettre, a psychoallegory of the political impasse currently experienced by the shattered democratic field in the country.

Municipal elections will take place in just two months, plus a few days. Next week, candidates for local governments and city councils will be registered in 5.570 municipalities. The postures and speeches of the parties on the left with notarial registration have already been clarified. All, “like this or that”, recognize the serious situation and the risks that the Nation is experiencing. When questioned, they recognize – even without theoretical rigor, consistent analyzes or appropriate notions – that the Bolsonarian reaction has threatened not only national and progressive interests, generically, but also the constitutional political regime and the working-class associations themselves.

However, very strangely, with some honorable and important exceptions, they are reluctant not only to accept the essential understandings for victory against the candidates linked to the extreme right, but also not even to reveal their differences to form what they say is a “left front” and which, in fact, is just a “left” coalition in the social spectrum. There are two questions. Why has such fragmentation been imposing itself as a “natural” fact? What causes such a disagreement, in addition to miseries and pettiness such as scenes of sectarianism, intransigence, careerism and even resentment? The answers need to look and see the political society in its entirety.

The biggest enemy of the broad front is, without a doubt, external to the opposition sectors present in civil society and political society: it is the Bolsonarist grouping, extensively to the Planalto Palace, to the reactionary hordes and to the monopoly-financial capital that, respectively, , command, nucleia and represent. He understood and knows very well that the democratic union would isolate him in the Central Government, would make his agreements with physiological-bourgeois parties unfeasible, would put the impeachment, would jeopardize its ultraliberal intentions, strengthen the sectors that were not aligned in the October-November elections and threaten the continuity project for 2022.

This is why the situationist tactic, especially recently, integrates the efforts to attract the geographically called “centrão”, to come to an understanding with the liberal-business factions in privatist or anti-labour projects and – a behavioral constant in the counterrevolutionary crusade – to aim the attack at reluctant currents , indistinctly naming them as communists and focusing fire on the divergent vectors that, in their judgment, have greater strength and capacity to resist their purposes. It was such partial purposes that allowed a certain flexion “at the top” towards the Realpolitik, after the momentary paralysis of the autogopist offensive against the National Congress and the STF.

Meanwhile, the broad meeting to stop proto-fascism and put an end to the Bolsonaro Government with its policies, even awakening the enormous sympathy of militancy and democratic, progressive and anti-imperialist voters, raises disdain, neglect or resistance from various sectors on the left, precisely those who should be among the most sensitive and most interested in consolidating it, including to preserve their own institutional survival, not to say physical. It is enough to remember what happened in the country between 1964 and 1988, especially in the phase known as State Terrorism, whose peak occurred between 1969 and 1976, with the legion of murdered and tortured.

Deep down, parties that, in the tradition of the Second International, lack a revolutionary ideology, abdicate the human-emancipatory goal and are composed of dispersed masses instead of organic militants, tend to substitute tactics for gestures that “hold” or expand their interests. niches of adherents or voters, either for the careerist reason, or for the noble, but illusory, intention of making a homogeneous government and, therefore, “capable” of assuming “power” by suffrage to promote transformations. In the changeist variant, they dream of overcoming, through the "model" of alliance, the "coalition presidentialism" which, according to their imagination, would be the villain of possibilism and paralysis in "socialist" governments or such.

Just like that “Prussian” mentioned in Marx's “critical glosses” in 1844, they want to carry out social reforms with an electoral soul. This is why they need moral imperatives, prejudices and coalition criteria present in internal common sense – and digestible by their public –, targets of hostile polemics to mediated options that translate partial objectives in the class struggle. Each problem corresponds to the dilemmas that will animate the permanent civil war, always converging on home-made compositions, not infrequently through previews that are incompatible with the political united front, as they block concessions, feed disagreements and generate “pure” slates or only with more of the same.

Empiricist arguments abound, in profusion: local conditions, programmatic incompatibilities, supposedly radical slogans, positions in the past, poorly explained idiosyncrasies, the narcissism of showing one's face, the legend to elect parliamentarians, the barrier clause and so on. against. But they all boil down to the hard truth: the criterion is internalist, sovereign in the face of national and popular interests, which are submerged in the cold waters of empiricism. Thus, pettily, the protagonist subject and the transforming tactic die, which only revive through a whim of the conjuncture or through some historical-social imposition, not always when indispensable.

As necessary by-products of traditional party jellies, amalgamated with phenomena that arise spontaneously in the class struggle, internal or often external fractions multiply, in the form of groups with their own platforms and interests, each one acting for itself. The more organically fragile or ideologically diluted, the more they consider it a matter of life or death to inscribe “revolutionary phrases” in representative entities and in electoral discourse, as they lack places to promote, with autonomy, their strategic line, when they have it. In this environment, the vice of the circle becomes a virtue: fronts, no; if it is to concede any, let it be “from the left”!

O mainstream Marxist in terms of doctrine and organization, which ranges from the League of Communists, whose statute Marx drew up, through the Bolshevik experience, to the present day, differs from anarchist, individualist and isolationist standards, in conception and practice, since it can assume as a corollary tactical flexibility whenever necessary, as it certainly is today. It does not need thunder and lightning, as it has the maximum program and, in the case of Brazil, a minimum program based on the democratic, anti-imperialist, anti-monopoly and anti-landlordism axes, whose center is the implementation of the People's Democratic Republic, a political regime indispensable to socialism as transition.

The communication system of a revolutionary party must always defend and propagandize them, with independence and clarity. It does not need and should not propose them, as parallelepipeds, to entities representing the masses and electoral platforms, at all times, as if they were dogmas. Sees tactics and strategy as interconnected but distinct domains. He never forcibly mixes them up, nor does he need to behave as if each conjunctural clash were the inexorable ceiling of a historical time. It has the obligation and freedom to formulate – and apply – its partial objectives and the most appropriate guidelines, with a view to strengthening popular struggles, including the accumulation of forces.

By the way, the difference between political reaction and revolutionary situation makes up the beabá of the communist movement, theoretically fixed by Lenin in The bankruptcy of the Second International. Underestimating it is one of the most effective recipes, either to miss opportunities or to suffer serious defeats and setbacks. Here comes the imperfection of the metaphor Albeean: wolf – wolf – evoked in Woolf, by subtle pun, is enough to express ferocity in the intimate suffering of Hollywood characters, but incapable of measuring the tragedy that threatens the Brazilian people and now requires, to refer to militiamen, the image of pack. As much as it calls for tactical mediation, the moment demands responsibility.

*Ronald Rocha is an essayist, sociologist and author of Anatomy of a creed (financial capital and production progressivism).


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