Drive to win in the final turn



A series of mistakes led the “left” parties to avoidable defeats and reduced the scope of their partial successes.

In the first round – the initial phase of the same and only integral elective process, with two events closely linked to each other –, the extreme right, in the circumstances in which it openly claimed to be such or was publicly supported by Bolsonaro and his palatial grouping, generally suffered a defeat in the majority elections, even if it remained in the race until the 29th in cities with national relevance. It should be noted, however, that it managed to advance in proportional terms. It managed to keep old ones and accumulate other parliamentary posts in the Municipal Chambers, sheltered in several microlegendas while it seeks to fulfill the conditions for the legal registration of its own.

In turn, the so-called “left” – this list also geographically classified as “left” and “center-left” by some analysts focused exclusively on the phenomenon – continued on the slope started in 2016. In addition to retreating in full number of votes , lost 286 city halls, or 26,38%, and 1.561 councillors, or 13,6%. However, it escaped the cataclysm ardently predicted and desired by the political reaction. Furthermore, it continues to compete in several municipalities, including state capitals, with undeniable significance. For its part, the more traditional right – whether in its doctrinally liberal-conservative matrix, or in its physiological-pragmatic voracity – emerged strengthened.

These data, although important, are precarious for defining the correlation of forces. For the communist movement, it is obvious that elections within the logic of capital will never result in radical transformation. They occur under the social structure, the legal framework and the ontological foundation of the bourgeois-democratic regime, including the metabolism of capital as a “social relationship between people, effected through things”, according to Marx’s synthesis in The capital. Therefore, they will by no means be the preferential route taken by the suppression of the monopoly-financial and imperialist yoke or, even more so, the praxis “transcribed” towards a society beyond private property and classes.

Much less will they achieve emancipatory purposes under the restrictions imposed in Brazil, including certain rules established in the conservative transition of 1988, such as Article 142, which establishes in the Constitution the protection of the Armed Forces over "law and order" or, at least least, it gives rise to endless discussion and exegesis about its limits or intentions. Such rubbish was potentiated in these times of Bolsonar reaction and lawfare. In fact, suffrage is not even enough, per se, as a way of raising the living or working conditions of the working world and the popular classes. Voting is a social being with complex determinations, never a demiurgic volition of human history.

A similar principle must be reiterated, as well as, whenever necessary, publicized, as a fundamental theoretical assertion and a permanent political issue. A double reason justifies this quasi-truism. First, its existence in a “place” located far beyond the sensible ideology that is reproduced in the spontaneous experience of proletarian crowds. Second, its dissolution into the prevailing intellectual hodgepodge of the “left”, commonly considered Postgraduate Course and in a somewhat generous way, to put the indispensable drops on the gelatinous “is” that populate the discourses of media conglomerates and even the circulating jargon in the popular ranks.

This vague and vaunted notion embraces at least two vast spheres. One, in an essential concept that is anchored in the contemporary Brazilian economic and social formation, names only the anti-capitalist segments and associations, even if diversified and nuanced. Another, in the merely political sense of the phenomenon, without any connection with social exteriority, includes the also multifaceted role of “improving” actors, who intuit, value, think and act only internally within the limits of societal objectivity, including that of the bourgeois State, which organizes the set formed by the apparatuses and organs of power, intrinsically linked to capital and its personifications.

Such a generic and diversified field is permeated by the substances of the classes that constitute it, with their diverse fractions, as well as by the interests, ideologies, opinions, formulations, conceptions, goals and behaviors promoted or presented by its members, individually and collectively, more or less organically aggregated. It is visible – mainly or, in certain cases, exclusively – in the legal political society, where it appears as an emerged point of the iceberg candidate in successive elections. In the first round, as a rule, he was fragmented, either because of sect conviction, or because of party patriotism, or because of a crass lack of understanding of the current situation.

In fact, it resignedly accepted the constraints that were prepared for it through the prevailing electoral-party rules, accepting the provocation and the trap door astutely set up by the conservative hegemony. He did not even consider the repeated considerations: one, that the compulsory preparation of candidates for councilor does not even remotely prohibit majority coalitions for mayor; another, that subtitles are easy to collect when campaigns have dense majorities, instead of being carried out in isolated ghettos. Inertia prevailed, whose motivation begins with ingrained habits, passing through hints of self-sufficiency, and arriving at self-affirming illusions.

However, it is also clear and pacified, at least for the Marxist-oriented social pioneers, that participation in the polls, even with its intrinsic and immovable limits, is a necessary and inalienable instrument in the struggle, above all to dialogue with the majorities and build institutional points of support for the “war of position”, as formulated by Gramsci. It is only possible to circumvent this requirement in two particular situations: one, in situations such as those of 1966 and 1970, when it was advisable to actively annul the vote; another, in the midst of revolutionary processes in the process of suppressing bourgeois power, generating new state-political institutions.

In today's circumstances, that is, in the 2020 Brazilian municipal elections, it is worth mainstream: the II Congress of the CI – 1920 – energetically refuted “the 'anti-parliamentaryism' in principle, conceived as an absolute and categorical rejection of participation in elections and in revolutionary parliamentary action”. However, on the 15th, the mistakes touched the parties of the “left” – composed, say, by communist associations or groupings, passing through radical-democrats, conventional social-democrats, social-liberals and diffuse semi-anarchists, even Keynesians, developmentalists , nationalists and so on – to avoidable defeats and reduced the scope of their partial successes.

If the errors persisted, they would jeopardize important victories. Fortunately, for those who fight for real, the broad front is imposing itself as a tactic, as it is the line compatible with the breadth immanent to the socially and ideologically multifaceted “lefts” – the proletarian camp; the popular strata; the democratic fractions of capital –, as well as capable of adding new support, so that the allies are treated as such, not as occasional adherents of electoral motivation. The concrete and real course of the struggle between the classes, translated into political-practical dispute for the vote, constrains, by leaps and bounds, the inflections to approach or even coincide with the search for unity.

In this vein, the popular pole seeks, in Porto Alegre, Fortaleza and Belém, to open the previous coalition. In Recife, the democratic-progressive forces remain broken, but they introduce available bourgeois parties in their campaigns, forgetting that they should have been in the same trench since the first round. In Contagem, the second largest municipality integrated into the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte, the front grows with the participation of previously opposing candidacies and associations. In Rio, popular parties and personalities ask for a vote for Paes, aiming to defeat Crivela. In the largest capital, the Democratic Front for São Paulo is formed, reinforcing Boulos' postulation.

So, to repeat a happy expression, And La Nave Va. This time, however, even with the gloomy clouds that the prologue of the first round promised, the epilogue of the second in no way resembles the Fellinian funeral, nor does it adopt the surrealist formal resources that completed the naval entourage of the lyrical singer Edmea Tetua, much less intends to be the fake documentary about a burial. Unlike sailing across the Mediterranean in 1914, during the First World War, with the music of Nino Rota giving way to operatic form, in 2020 Brazil's democratic boat is pulled ashore, without dead divas and to the sound of jingles. The proto-fascists and the extreme right did not count on this!

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


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