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Image: Fábio Miguez (Jornal de Resenhas)
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By MÁRIO MAESTRI*

Commentary on the reception of the work of Domenico Losurdo

The attempt to save Domenico Losurdo by PCdoB ideologues has been miserable. Fernando Garcia, taking a Master's degree in History, produced a critique of my essay –Dominic Losurdo: a Hoax in the Land of Parrots – which constituted a true “salute to the flag”. As I highlighted in my reply, he slipped around the edges and did not respond to even one of the multiple central objections I made to the two landmark books by Domenico Losurdo. Repairs that allowed me to qualify the Italian as a fake and fake ideologue.

This time the attack was made by a more senior and better-known member of the PCdoB. Professor João Quartim de Moraes, philosopher by profession, former full professor at the State University of Campinas from 1982 to 2005, attacked me with his article “Besouro hunting eagle”, in which the eagle would be Losurdo and the Besouro would be me, slack say. That is, the PCdoB does what it can, in defense of the Italian, using its small and thick artillery. Also serving me as an adage referring to the animal kingdom, he would say that the “mountain gave birth”, in this case, “two mice”.

My critic unfetteredly praises Domenico Losurdo as “one of the most important Marxist authors of his time” – that is, from 1980 to today! Strange. I have visited Italian bookstores without finding a book by the man on display. And he goes on to make a summary apology for the Italian's philosophical works. Not being a philosopher, I leave this criticism to those who are able and interested. But it would surprise me that someone with such intellectual laxity, in the two works I analyzed, was a rigorous thinker in other areas. And I emphasize, again, that I focused my review on the two works of greatest political influence by the Italian – Stalin: critical history of a black legend. (Rio de Janeiro: Revan, 2019) and Western Marxismal: how he was born, how he died, how he can be reborn (São Paulo: Boitempo, 2018.)

And, after the philosophical eulogy, my antagonist continues coquettishly without facing the real discussion, now praising his hero in italics for the defense he would have made of the USSR when it was “dismantled”; for his denunciation of NATO; for his critique of the “universalism of liberal ideology” and the “ethnic and racial discriminations of colonialism”. I apologize for stating the obvious. Without getting into the character of these criticisms, they have been and have been made radically and sensitively by literally thousands of “Western Marxists”.

On the “ethnic and racial discriminations of colonialism”, I myself have worked exhaustively over the last forty years, focusing on Brazil, and always supported by primary documentation, which is always recommended! And I published my production, in book form, in Brazil, Paraguay, France, Belgium and Italy. I don't quote because everything is available on the internet. Like so many other fellow historians of mine, who did the same job as I did or did it even better. Nothing new on the front either. Just “wax nose”, not to say “zucchini” varied, of the polemicist who resists to address what matters.

My detractor also praises Domenico Losurdo's one-legged criticism of “Western Marxism”, which would have practiced the “concealment of the colonial question” and suppressed the “national question”. To this question I devoted the entire second chapter of my essay, previously published in isolation. I highlighted there the literal insanity of the Italian in liquidating the referential authors of Marxism – Marx, Engels, Rosa, Lenin, Trotsky, etc. And this, among other laughable reasons, due to having -according to him- been steeped in the Judeo-Christian tradition! Thing

crazy! About that, neca beetle killer shuttlecock!

And I recorded Domenico Losurdo's concealment of political and physical solidarity with the anti-colonial struggle and in defense of national rights in the best “Western Marxist” tradition, in Europe itself. And I named the oxen. I highlighted the cunning ignorance of the Lusodian critic of the entire Latin American Marxist tradition and of its main theorists – Jose Carlos Mariateghi, Caio Prado, Guilherme Lora, Ernesto Che Guevara, Jacob Gorender, Rui Mauro Marini, Milcíades Peña, Mario Roberto Santucho, among others. so many others. Tradition that faced, theoretically and practically, the struggle for national independence, the anti-imperialist struggle and the struggle for socialism. A fight in which thousands of Latin American Marxists left their lives. For Losurdo, “third-worldist in the Euro-centric flavor”, South and Central America simply do not exist!

A few grams of intellectual integrity would require that the two PCdoB ideologists address, when criticizing me, what I criticize in Domenico Losurdo, highlighting precisely the strange proposal of the death of “Western Marxism” and its salvation by the “Eastern”. The latter was pioneered by Stalin, when shape the first. Also about all this, not even a measly line. In his quasi-religious praise, my opponent falls on his knees before Losurdo for having published, “at the end of the last century, the article 'Panama, Iraq, Yugoslavia: the United States and the colonial wars of the XNUMXst century'”.

Always without discussing the quality of Losurdo's criticism, I record that the contestation of imperialist action has also been made in a qualified and astute manner by thousands of “Western Marxists”. And even the beetle that writes to you, in the heat of events, in the press, on the radio, on television, in books, impugned the counter-revolutionary initiatives of the imperialist in Afghanistan, Poland, the USSR, Yugoslavia, Syria, Libya, North Korea. In unconditional defense of those States without, of course, supporting their leaders and statesmen. And this in such a pioneering way that, in the 1990s, when the “end of history” reigned, the beetle was invited to give, despite being admittedly Trotskyist, a salute at a congress or regional convention … of the PCdoB, in RS! A party that, in those years, briefly flirted with the socialist program, only to later abandon it and betray it mercilessly. Therefore, up to this point, it follows in “sausage stuffing”, with little meat and a lot of tallow!

After a long Italian encomio, the beetle exterminator finally refers to my essay, which he forgets to reference -as intellectual integrity dictates, professor-, perhaps accustomed to the lax use of his peninsular idol in terms of the demands of serious writing. To this end, it resumes the article of its predecessor, which refers -this yes- correctly! There, the teacher becomes attached to the limit of the visible. He suggests that I didn't read the two books that I commented on in detail, citing the pages of stumbling blocks, inventions, slander. He centers the criticism on the emphasis I gave to the scarce approach of Marx and the use of Hegel as a kind of passe-partout, in Stalin. Which gave rise to a crass error in the name index of the book. The meal started with a real pastel de vento!

And the thing that was bad, got worse. The sinister ideologue, now without the slightest fear of ridicule, accuses me of eating “in the hands of “imperialist ideas” for using the term “globalization”. In my 163-page essay, with the two main chapters dedicated to recording, in form and content, the false and farcical character of the Italian neo-Stalinist ideologue, this is what I choose to highlight. I am ashamed to have to remember that “globalization” is a polysemous term, which I used, like so many others, to define the growing integration and subjugation of world society by big capital, especially after the capitalist restoration in the USSR and China. The argument already suggests a fearful mouse that does not want to approach the beetle.

And he follows the pedobista pushing with his belly. I find out that I use “the term 'national' pejoratively, treating it as a 'Stalinist' thing”. And that, at “the time to attack China (…) he (that is, I, the beetle) rediscovers national interests to denounce, intrepidly, 'the great Chinese imperialist capital'.” It is true that I challenge the Lusordian proposal of a “national revolution”, as opposed to the workers', socialist and internationalist revolution, the basis of the Marxian and Marxist worldview, unavoidable in the past and even more so in today's “globalization”.

I do not attack the Chinese nation, which I have publicly defended against the current offensive of hegemonic US imperialism. But, not being the “poster boy” of big Chinese capital, Registro, supported by the Leninist category of “imperialism”, the already mature character of Chinese monopoly and imperialist capital. In 2019, China was the fourth nation in the world in capital exports, with 8,9% of international investments, after Japan (17%); the United States (9,5%) and the Netherlands, 9,4%. And I defend that the investment of Chinese capital in Brazil is just as deleterious, from the point of view of the population and the nation, as the Japanese, American, Dutch, etc. investments.

And there ends the challenge to everything I questioned and denounced in Losurdo's two reference books. When the hungry diner was waiting for the main course, after being served gusts of wind, the pimpolho waiter presents the salty bill, praising what was not served. I wouldn't say that the sinful militant didn't read my essay Dominic Losurdo: a faker in the Land of Parrots. Only, he and his partner in the party managed in a rustic and conscious way the challenge I proposed, fleeing from it like mice flee from the cat and, in this case, from the beetle. I'd say that's why they didn't reference my book. They didn't want to leave clues to prove the stuffing they carried out.

Effectively. Not a word about the literal flat-Earther “invention” of the Third Soviet Civil War, from what would be “one of the most important Marxist authors of his time”. Did she exist, or not, estimated? Was it a mistake, an invention or a revolutionary discovery by the Italian with the nose of Pinocchio, esteemed professor? Not a word about the fanciful organization of the "insurrection" trotskyist  of 1927 against the Soviet state. Or the Trotskyist terrorists! Not to mention the justification for the destruction of Soviet power, the bureaucratic dictatorship, the literal massacre of the old and new Bolshevik guards practiced by Stalinism, the slander and destruction of the memory of thousands of internationalist communists. All proposed by Domenico Losurdo, without ever stepping foot in an archive, pontificating about Soviet history without knowing Russian, confusing facts and dates, and so on. We could say that the rats did not take their heads out of the burrow in fear of the beetle bite. Or that, with so many corpses from the past and present in the PCdoB closet, they preferred to keep the door carefully closed.

The two Pedestrian ideologues did not literally write a line about my criticism of the farcical impugnation of revolutionary Marxism by the Italian, through the liquidation of “Western Marxism”, as proposed. Everything to shift the centrality of the world of work and socialism in the fight against big capital and thus liquidate it. Lusordian proposal in favor of subjugation to the capital of the popular and working classes, not just national, for the formation of strong states, logically capitalist, following the example of Putin's capitalist Russia and Xi's capitalist China, which the Italian loved so much. Lusordian proposals that corroborate the surrender proposed today by the PCdoB through a “National Salvation Front”, under the hegemony of the worst enemies of the population, workers and the Brazilian nation.

In the present article, the two PCdoB ideologues treated me as “low”, “liar”, “talker”, “lazy”, “malandro”, “pro-imperialist” and so on. All moral qualifiers, not related to the political and ideological struggle. They never suggested my reasons for exposing myself, harshly criticizing an icon of Brazilian neo-Stalinism, which always had and continues to have the support of really powerful forces. Soon I, a “beetle” without a party, without the media, without even a small academic group.

The answer is simple. My critique of the grotesque Brazilian construction of Domenico Losurdo as a Marxist thinker is a result of my efforts over half a century to contribute, within my means, to the struggle for revolutionary Marxism and socialism. Something increasingly difficult these days, when the world of work is experiencing some of the most critical moments in its history, and opportunism invades the left that the right likes like never before. I get nothing but bludgeons from logically well-placed antagonists. But they are the bones of freely chosen craft.

I don't think the PCdoB ideologues lack intelligence. Rustic tergiversation in order not to address what is essential in the discussion is necessary to defend the nature and objectives of the party that embrace and are embraced by it. A party that has functioned for decades as an instrument of capital within the social movement. And the squalid arguments they present repeat the crippled traditional defense of all the services provided by the PC do B to the ruling classes and imperialism – I vote for Rodrigo Maia; support for the disposal of the Alcantara Base; adulation of General Mourão; I vote for the amnesty of the evangelical corporations, to mention only the last and most salient ones. Not to mention the spurious support that carpeted the political trajectory of the PCdoB in recent decades – the Sarney government, Moreira Franco, Garotinho, Eduardo Paes, etc.

Therefore, I understand and undertake this discussion as it is. Logically, this is not an academic discussion, respect for its practices is still recommended. Nor is it a debate between comrades and comrades with possible divergent proposals. I see it as a normal ideological confrontation with enemies who seek to penetrate and settle in the trenches of the world of work. And as such they must be fought.

*Mario Maestri is a historian. Author, among other books, of Revolution and counter-revolution in Brazil: 1530-2019.

[https://clubedeautores.com.br/livro/revolucao-e-contra-revolucao-no-brasil]

 

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