Ukraine, Chile and Colombia – War and Democracy in the Global Space

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By TARSUS GENUS*

Considerations on the new emerging power relations in Latin America and the Northern Hemisphere

Byung-Chul Han closes his already classic book infocracy (Penguin, 2021) stating that “in the totalitarian state built on a total lie, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”. His statement is consistent with a brilliant statement made by Yanes Varoufakis, at the height of the Greek crisis, when he said that austerity was not an economic policy, but a moral fable.

The world press is full of information that circulated this week about the impotence of liberal democracy to respond to the challenges posed by the financial globalization of the world, which does not even find a decent reception in the context of indebted national States. Nor political coalitions able to enunciate alternatives that integrate their country in the world, while preserving work and combating hunger, inequality and social desertion.

The first round of French legislative elections on June 12 saw an abstention rate of 52,5%, with a rate of 75% among young voters. At the same time that the victory of Gabriel Bóric in Chile and Gustavo Petro in Colombia established a new progressive articulation in Latin America from Chile, Argentina and Mexico. Brazil will likely elect Lula president of the South American territorial and economic giant.

These victories are not those of the traditional forces of the left of the last century. They are new political forces raised by new generations of fighters, who distance themselves both from traditional European social democracy and from the old Soviet recipes that left Latin America in its ballast of courage and dignity in the Cuban Revolution. Today, what hurts and scares the Latin American political reaction is that Cuba exports doctors and humanized health, no more guerrilla movements and assault on state power.

On page 3 of the Spanish newspaper The country (18.06.22) rests the following epic headline: “Kiev warns that it can only win if the West accelerates the shipment of weapons”. In two distant points of the globe, Latin America and Eastern Europe, the two strongest symbolic elements of the tragedy are located. In it, the US empire, articulated with the Europe of austerity, is fighting on the one hand, and on the other, the old Russia stripped of its fantasy of proletarian solidarity, replaced by the defense of the sovereignty of its nation-state.

The nuclear wasp nest is stirring and Latin America is moving towards democracy and the Republic, territory in which the left has abandoned its weapons to bet on the rule of law, periodic elections and the republicanization of state institutions. No one can guarantee in advance whose victory in the Ukrainian war will be. But what can be guaranteed in all letters is that the process of social and political democratization in Latin America will not be welcomed by the American empire, which insists on selecting only those who interest it for the dialogues that could define the future of the continent. This has historically been treated by the US as its favorite backyard for private accumulation. At this time, the war industry is boosting the American economy and the European Union will certainly prepare a new phase of austerity to recompose its economy integrated by the large private corporations that are at the center of its capitalist development.

At the end of your little classic commitment zone (1992) Perry Anderson asked whether the further progress of a cosmopolitan modernity would "dissolve or intensify" what was once thought to be characteristic of national identities. The question would remain suspended for a while, although the current trend was already visible on the horizon since the first fascist outbursts of Donald Trump.

Some political events around the world, in these last 30 days, have shown the relevance of Anderson's question, since the great policies of the new power blocs – in the financial globalization of those who govern our lives – have generated, not a cosmopolitan society agreed between National states, but an intimacy perverted by the power of money that replaced the ideological links and old protocols of the Cold War with post-truths built on the margins of History.

The favorable ground was created for trying to cancel liberal democracy, encouraging apparently non-ideological warlike adventures, to seek a pragmatic sense, without mediations, aiming to serve those who invest in NATO's war machine. Machine, as we know, destined not to defend democracy and the modern republic, but to block Russian capitalist development, which emerged with China as a new player global, resulting from the disintegration of the former Soviet world and which disputes its position in the world as a capitalist nation-state.

The November elections in Brazil will be able to elect, in the first round, a progressive South American leader who has always been a moderate in economics, but also a radical democrat in the good sense of the expression, tested in hard battles throughout his public life. At a time when the external and the internal are confused at every step, in any realistic political strategy, Lula will have a great responsibility. It will need to understand the existing difference between the main democratic partners in Latin America in order to reconcile the great internal policies of economic redemption and sovereignty, with the claims of a cooperative and self-determined insertion in the world, without submission to any pole of hegemonic pretension, which always intends to Latin America to the role of captive territory for their geopolitical interests.

Lula has already shown the world what he is capable of. The political coalition now assembled around his public figure guarantees that he will be able to unify Brazil in search of a new destiny of sovereignty and democracy.

*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. Author, among other books, of possible utopia (Arts & Crafts).

 

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