Symbolic victories, strategic defeats

Image: Matej


Time does not cooperate with the working class and to face challenges and contingencies the intelligence, discipline and enthusiasm of popular fighters is necessary.

The relationship with time is intriguing, at each scale we use to measure it, to, like a camera, capture it, it becomes possible to have new elements before us that constitute a narrative of what is observed. At the same time, we have to know that controlling time is beyond our ability, that great historical changes, on the one hand, require our agency and our boldness, on the other hand, contingency and challenges do not wait for us to be prepared to face them. Therefore, wars do not wait for armies to be ready to start. Time certainly does not cooperate with the working class and for this, the intelligence, discipline and enthusiasm of popular fighters are necessary.

On the one hand, the echoes of January 8th still resonate and the extreme right remains alive and active in congress, in the media and even on the streets, now acting in a much more planned, calculated and based way on a strategy to take power , this should not be used as a justification for the left, in its plurality of parties, social movements and trade union organizations, to move away from their historical responsibilities, in promoting tactical defeats to neoliberalism and paving the way for strategic achievements for the working class in its plurality, taking as its starting point the construction of a tactical defeat of the military and the country's dominant groups, which requires a consistent stance and political will from the hegemonic political forces of the left.

About a year ago, I mentioned famine, hunger and unemployment as key elements of government policy as emergency challenges to be faced at that time. Even though the government has not done what would be ideal for me, that is, the implementation of a radical agrarian reform program, we must recognize important advances, such as the strengthening of the Ministry of Agrarian Development, the Food Acquisition Program and other countless initiatives that link the challenge of combating food insecurity with the strengthening of family farming and rural popular movements, in this sense it is also insurmountable that we highlight the important historical contingency that is still posed.

However, it is necessary to note that from a strategic point of view, there is still a lot to be done, and it seems that there is clearly a very strong tendency between conciliation and appeasement within the government, which could not be better summarized by its slogan “Union and Reconstruction”, not to say, between submission and permissiveness, in allowing nefarious actors to permeate government positions and why not, seek to implode it, as has become increasingly evident with the investigations, reports and testimonies about January 8th and its consequences.

Even so, several sectors of the democratic-popular field seem to be dedicating their energies today to the so-called “reconstruction” of the country’s institutional fabric and thus seeking to revive the policy of “pacts”, whether with the center, with industry representatives or with capital. financial. It turns out that, while on the one hand, sectors of the elites demonstrate themselves willing to these pacts, to the same extent, they always operate within the logic of their maximum program, pressing for this government, representative of popular forces and led by a party that was created in the struggles of the people, implement, in its entirety, the neoliberal agenda demarcated by austerity, the containment of social expenses and continuous privatizations.

It should also be noted that the logic of strengthening democracy and institutions does not take into account the structuring character of Brazilian politics, its autocratic trait, as very well formulated by the sociologist and historical militant founder of the Workers' Party, Florestan Fernandes. In autocratic logic, the dominance of elites forged by the transition from the slave mode of production to republicanism is incompatible with the fullness of democratic life, with the universality of human rights. It is, therefore, an extremely restricted model of “democracy”. , and in which the institutional structure focuses, above all, on the transfer of capital to large monopolies from capitalist centers.

In our analysis, the demand for democratic reconstruction may indicate two vices on the left, firstly, due to the “naivety” itself, resulting from the absence of a strategic horizon for the conquest of power by the popular masses and which is reflected in the opportunism of the great leaderships in establishing momentary pacts with the elites that guarantee them privileged positions in the institutional structure and promote momentary, but not structuring, improvements to the subproletariat, and, in the background, the very reflection of the presence of liberalism within the left, which therefore requires a political and incessant ideological ideology within the government and class organizations, thus causing the class struggle to take place in different arenas, including within the popular movement.

As we have already discussed, the popular democratic strategy needs to have as its axis of gravity the breaking, or at least, the political practice intended to break with the three complexes of contradiction that characterize Brazil's dependent and subordinate position in the world political economy. , the land monopoly, closely linked to the racial character of the Brazilian social formation, which can only be overcome with a radical agrarian reform; the super-exploitation of work, which has as its starting point its overcoming and the reduction of the working day and finally, the urban crisis as a synthesis that the city of capitalism has, concentrating all its contradictions – wealth and plunder – in its manifestation physical and that also finds as its way to overcome a radical urban reform that overcomes the extremely high housing deficit.

Without clarity on these gravitational poles of Brazilian dependent capitalism, it is not even possible to consider long-term transformations in the Brazilian economic structure, and without a break with the military tutelage that also sustains the autocratic character of the institutional network, none of these changes can actually materialize. .

Heading a radical program requires both ideological firmness and the political will of those in power to implement them, as well as, as an essential part of a process of consequent social transformations, the leadership's ability to establish correct analyzes of reality, which They will be better done by putting the class struggle on the scene as a thermometer for the advancement of progressive forces, as well as the autocratic character of the Brazilian State and its limits to the process of these transformations.

Otherwise, mistakes mean strategic defeats, not only for organizations, but for all working people, native peoples, youth and women, these are the groups that still “pay the bill” and bear the weight of the defeat on a daily basis. and the setbacks that followed the 2016 coup, which were certainly not remedied by time and which, if the cleverness of the leaders does not serve to capture time and in this window that is offered, promote a qualitative leap in the class struggle, we will remain in the dilemma that the XNUMXst century has imposed on the left: symbolic victories, strategic defeats.

Silas Ramos graduated in law from the University of São Paulo (USP).

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