democratic revolution



Premises for a country freed from fascism and with institutions that reconcile freedom and real possibilities of equality

The complicated relationships between “tactics and ethics”[1] within the leftist movements originating from the French Revolution, they remain “hot” until today and latent, in the current national political scene. The left as a whole in Brazil, by fully integrating itself into legality, stripped itself of the old vision that understood adherence to “bourgeois” democracy only as a tactical moment to, afterwards, appropriate the State through paths outside the order . This position merges – within a leftist ethic – tactics and strategy, which merge into a new democratic and republican project, for a country freed from fascism and with institutions that reconcile freedom and real possibilities of equality.

By considering democracy as a “universal value” – from its integration into legality and order” – the left moved to the line of Carlos Nelson Coutinho and Enrico Berlinguer,[2] to mention just two big names in socialist politics. Both had a communist background and witnessed, in their respective eras, the great changes in politics and the global economy, even if they had not yet had the opportunity to witness the most recent technological changes, which allow, for example, to radically combine democracy direct and political representation.

As a historical counterpart, it was quite clear both in Latin America and in the US that the traditional right and radical conservatism – formerly preachers of political liberalism – moved in the opposite direction. They began, mostly, to consider their own liberal democracy as a simple tactical mediation, to be discarded as a low-cost perforated “weed”, when they felt their class privileges partially threatened, even by timid democratic reforms of a social nature.

In the great social and political struggles of our time, particularly in the national liberation struggles, such as – for example – in the Algerian Revolution, the Vietnam War, the Cuban Revolution, in guerrilla and terrorist actions – as well as in the Military Coups in Latin America, the Ethical questions about violence – revolutionary and state – remain, especially when violence focuses on human beings who do not consciously participate in political power conflicts. It is a really important subject to think about republic and democracy in the immediate future.

Violence taken as an action that causes physical and mental damage to the enemy or adversary group, in the political struggle, in fact only continued with the terrorist ethics of the Holy Inquisition at the end of the Middle Ages, but its consequences throughout modern history – with or without examining their assumptions – emerged globally with the themes of “social peace” and “peace between States”, in the last two modern centuries.

perpetual peace, the genius work of Kant with his idea of ​​a Humanity of equal states and without conflicts – from utopian socialism to that of Marx – and the attempts of “peaceful coexistence” of the USA and the USSR, in the Soviet era, were buried in the past. The current century begins lost in the revival of fascism, in the most extreme forms of environmental damage, in the infantilization and feminization of cheap labor and equally in the spread of hunger, as a strategic “necessity” for the implementation of the transition to the insane utopia of the stateless ultraliberalism.

Now these themes have been reinforced in hybrid wars, in coups and sectarian violence, in network terrorism, in the military domination of territories (in search of the last sources of fossil energy), themes that are revitalized in the chaos dominated by global financial capitalism. Migrations caused by hunger, the extinction of the State's public purposes and the identification of freedom – not as elements of an integrated community life, but with adherence to market values ​​– is what unifies the strange economic alliance of the ultraliberal right with late fascism .

György Lukács defended in the article “Bolshevism as a moral problem” that through relative “evil” (violence), one could reach a greater “good” (the Social Revolution). But after the Stalinist period and the invasion of Hungary by the Red Army, he began to speak of “effective democracy”. And also to fight the bureaucratic dictatorships of the East, as well as the manipulative democracies of the capitalist West, where Nixon, according to him, could do the same as Hitler without dismantling the formal democratic order of the USA.

These inverse signs, which reveal that for the ruling classes, democracy today is only tolerated, while it serves them for the continuity of unlimited accumulation and – for the left – it becomes universal in value, is a concrete and current issue. : regardless of whether these options were chosen poorly or well, by the conflicting parties they will last for a long cycle.

Which parties, at least formally considered left-wing, formal or informal political groups, classes or class fractions, personalities and organic movements that can participate in a united struggle against fascism, are not yet given and they do not correspond, necessarily to its relations with the economic base of society. What will move them in this historical anomaly will not be just their economic needs (nor the long narratives of the past), but the seduction capacity of the proposals that dispute their conscience in the present.

This awareness, today, is motivated more by symbols, short phrases and phenomenal statements about how to get out of this life – at the same time somber and bright in the daily life of the market – and less by utopias that have become distant from real life. The extreme right and the reactionary right have already confessed that their central idea is violence and coups, torture and death, social eugenics, sexism and racism. Let's put unity for democracy around rejection and construction and organize ourselves for the next fights (until when?) within the order.

*Tarsus in law he was Governor of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Mayor of Porto Alegre, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education and Minister of Institutional Relations in Brazil.


[1] See the homonymous essay by Györg Lukács, from 1919.

[2] Carlos Nelson Coutinho. Democracy as a universal value. Rio de Janeiro, Salamandra, 1984; Enrico Berlinguer. Democracy – universal value. Rio de Janeiro, Counterpoint, 2009.


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