Exits for the political moment

Image: Wal


Considerations based on an article by José Dirceu

As I consider comrade José Dirceu to be one of the most lucid analysts of our politics and recognize his importance within the left, I felt encouraged to comment on his recent article “Impasses and solutions for the political moment”.

As a good strategist, he starts from the tactical plan with a situation analysis that explains the existence of a correlation of forces adverse to the left and that reveals a threat to the governability of the current government. And that, in addition, it takes advantage of the political support of its base that is necessary to implement its campaign proposals.

Going to the strategic plan, he outlines a “development program… based on… a political commitment from the democratic front… objective and feasible, capable of mobilizing the different sectors of society: business, workers, academia and middle classes”. Something that others, without his competence, who minimize the markedly antagonistic character of peripheral capitalism, naively call a national project.

The Program contemplates “three fundamental axes” whose materiality as public policy is already underway: “the New Industry Brazil (NIB), the Growth Acceleration Plan (PAC), and the Ecological Transformation Plan”.

In what follows, maintaining its concern with governability without increasing what in “About governance” we call conservatism of the government project, I show how the actions that these axes intend to trigger demand the mobilization of an actor that most left-wing leaders have not adequately considered.

Although it is subsumed in one of the “sectors of society” capable of providing “outlets for the political moment”, the “workers”, the Solidarity Economy actor must be, whether for obvious strategic reasons or for crude tactical reasons of governability, individualized.

An actor today almost made invisible by a left that limits the overcoming of capitalism to the struggle of just one segment of the class who, as they do not own the means of production, are forced to sell their labor power, that of formal workers.

An actor who, although as old as capitalism itself and who made a name for himself in its most severe crises, did not make it into economics, administration or engineering books. But, nevertheless, because it is connected to production, consumption, and finance arrangements (based on collective ownership of the means of production, solidarity and self-management) increasingly recognized around the world as essential to prolonging our life on this planet , needs to be mobilized to enable the success of the Program formulated by José Dirceu.

To do it, brevitatis causa, as jurists say (or being synthetic and direct as this means of communication requires), I will stick, as I can better defend them, to arguments that I have explained in the articles to which I will refer those who read me.

For the same reason, I will not refer to what has been published by other people who work in collectives such as the PT Sectors, the Public Policy Monitoring Centers, trade unions, existing groups in public universities also dedicated to the topic, or to the initiatives to train Solidarity Economy managers, in which I participate.

I will limit myself, in each case, to a critical assessment of what is disclosed in relation to each axis; and the convenience of incorporating the Solidarity Economy into them.

Regarding the first axis, the NIB, I wouldn't have much to add beyond what I discussed in “Talking about the New Industry Brazil”, to show the colleague with whom he was talking the ten boundary conditions that must be present for it to be successful.

There I show the “problem” that it, uncritically and extemporaneously, will tend to reproduce by proposing a business reindustrialization that has as its central character (to be subsidized to carry out investment and job creation) those who, exploring more profitable opportunities, such as associated with agribusiness, mining, financial and real estate speculation, caused the deindustrialization that is intended to be reversed.

Of the almost four thousand words contained in the article, brevitatis causa, I select these: “Would offering the property class (their companies and their public agents) the promised 1% of GDP per year – 300 billion in three years –, meager, compared to the 6% of public debt, the 10% of tax evasion, the 3% of corruption, the 5% of tax waivers and exemptions on profits, dividends, exports, property, and the more than 15% of public purchases – will it engage in NIB?”

With regard to themes related to the industrial economy and the innovation economy, the feasibility of “Brazilian” companies being willing to emulate the Asian experiences of catch up to “surf” the sixth wave of ESG and 4.0. There is sufficient evidence and abundant empirical information to argue that, in a country where the goods and services that the culturally imitative market demands were already engineered in the North, and where the profit rate (probably the highest in the world) depends on absolute surplus value and not relative surplus value, this is unlikely to happen.

And it is precisely for this reason, as I explained to my colleague, that “solutionatics”, which has been referred to as solidarity reindustrialization – a non-exclusive and supplementary alternative to corporate reindustrialization – has been increasingly discussed by the left.

To get to know it in some detail and evaluate its relevance and complementarity in relation to the NIB, I consider that what I discussed in that article and in “Solidarity Reindustrialization”, is enough. My expectation is that José Dirceu, with whom I don't have the intimacy I have with that colleague, but whom I respect as a companion from whom I have learned a lot, will be able to take advantage of them.

I just emphasize that solidarity reindustrialization proposes supporting the generation of work and income through the production of goods and services of an industrial nature (and I warn that it is necessary to undo the inherited and mistaken notion that industry is synonymous with a company) in Solidarity Economy networks to increasingly benefit from public purchasing. And, in the medium and long term, leveraged by solidary technoscience to be developed through the redesign of capitalist technoscience that I address in “The time for Solidarity Technoscience”.

Given that in a subsequent conversation to the one that “Conversando…” reports, my colleague said “but, given the correlation of forces imposed by the government coalition and how this actor you speak of, the so-called solidarity economy, was not present at the table where If the NIB was formulated, this is what it took to do”, I indicated, as I do now, three articles: “The Solidarity Economy as an axis of national reconstruction”; “Solidarity and political economy”; "Proposals for left-wing candidates”; is interview to Breno Altman.

In this way, I made my colleague see that those who should bring to the table the voice of the almost 80 million Brazilian men and women who have never had and will probably never have a job were left-wing leaders like him, who have been living with the proposal or at least they know the concept of Solidarity Economy.

The known downstream and upstream links that, among other predicates, industrial activity has, and the fact that the NIB is considered capable of inducing a cycle of economic and social development, almost makes it unnecessary to critically comment on the other two axes of the Program.

Regarding the second axis, the PAC, there is also enough empirical evidence to show how much the poorest population (even without the gains in efficiency, effectiveness and effectiveness that the solidarity economy can provide) has been carrying out in terms of tasks that could be financed through him.

Considering only those related to the construction and conservation of civil works, it is worth remembering that 70% of the cement produced in the country is sold “in mincemeat”, that is, to joint efforts that can, with social, economic and environmental advantages in relation to companies, receive part of the public purchase.

By way of example, I mention what I recently proposed in “Solidarity reconstruction in Rio Grande do Sul”. There I suggested the immediate creation of a task force made up of federal public agents and members of the Solidarity Economy movement to allocate resources from the federal government.

In this way, they could be assigned to teams integrated or coordinated by the Solidarity Economy movement, preventing them from ending up, directly or through the state and municipal government co-responsible for the catastrophe, in the hands of companies that would reproduce the cycle of exploitation. human and environmental degradation that characterizes them. By preventing the reproduction of the disasters they cause, given that, even if they wanted to do things differently, they do not have the organizational and cognitive capacity to do so, it would be possible to inaugurate a global paradigm on how to reproduce a structure compatible with good living.

Another example, from December 2021, is what I pointed out referring to Minha Casa Minha Vida in “Why should left-wing candidates for the 2022 elections pay attention to the Solidarity Economy?”. In a country where more than 50% of houses are built by its own residents, the program allocated less than 5% of resources for self-construction when almost 100% of those for the poorest people are built under this regime.

In parallel with the incorporation of the Solidarity Economy into the implementation of the program, I proposed that our next Minha Casa Minha Vida should have aluminum windows manufactured by the solidarity aluminum production chain. And he argued that the country that recycles the most aluminum and which is one of the most unequal in the world could not continue to “afford” itself to interrupt this chain at the point where the lady who collects cans sells the 70 of them that materialize to the middleman. his semi-slave labor for just six reais.

Regarding the third axis, the Ecological Transformation Plan, I consider that, as in the previous one, there is a lot that can be done by mobilizing the Solidarity Economy. The fact that perhaps the main challenge we have, in rural areas, is to prevent the destruction of vegetation and water sources threatened by agribusiness and mining activities, is an example of this.

It is evident that the approach usually used to curb the damage caused by these activities, given the magnitude of the task and its spread across the territory, is inconvenient. Instead of spending huge resources to move personnel to the places where they occur, it is possible to mobilize solidarity economy networks. This would allow its members, in addition to receiving remuneration from the government for this service of inspection, recovery and conservation of vegetation and water sources, to satisfy a significant part of their basic needs at a relatively low cost.

In the urban environment, where this same degradation, now due to the action of real estate speculation, has been leading to rising temperatures and increasingly frequent catastrophes, Solidarity Economy networks could be immediately mobilized.

All of this, together with what was suggested in relation to the other axes, would lead to what we refer to as the “pentagram of popular power” in the article “On governability”. That is, a process in which five feedback moments – awareness, mobilization, organization, participation and empowerment – ​​will enable members of the Solidarity Economy to manage their interests and promote their values. And, in this way, confer the governability that José Dirceu, those who read me and I myself want to ensure for our government.

* Renato Dagnino He is a professor at the Department of Scientific and Technological Policy at Unicamp. Author, among other books, of Solidarity Technoscience, a strategic manual (anti-capital fights).

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