Editorial Office of AND
18 October 2022
Weekly Editorial – The useless vote of the electoral farce
Photo: Nelson Almeida / AFP
In spite of the discredit they inspire, the polls bring to light a fact, one of the most important to gauge the degree of decomposition of the old democracy: the rejection of both candidates. The latest Datafolha survey (14/10) calculates a sharp rejection of both: Bolsonaro has 51% and Lula, 46%. Of the 49% who are supposed to vote for the petista, 20% – almost half – do so with the priority of “defeating Bolsonaro”. Meanwhile, 63% of Bolsonaro’s voters give “great importance” to religion when deciding their vote, of which a huge portion vote for him due to the image of religious persecutor attributed to Luiz Inácio. The campaigns of both parties have reached the point of only talking dirt of the competitor, aiming to increase rejection, as seen in the last debate.
These are clear signs of the rottenness that the political system of this old state of big bourgeois and landowners, servants of imperialism, especially Yankee imperialism, has reached. These corrupt elections are only important for the ruling classes, because they are the only ones who need them to decide which of their factions will take over and which regime will rule to manage their colossal crisis and save the old order of exploitation and oppression threatened with collapse. The next elected representative, whoever he may be, will be a legitimate representative of nothing but himself, and the same will be true for the resulting political regime. He will necessarily be elected by a minority – around 50 million, approximately one third of the total number of people eligible to vote – and, within this minority, almost half do not support the elected, but rather reject the “opponent”. This means that those who will actually vote because they believe in the elected representative will be around 17% of the total number of people eligible to vote. And it should be noted that this extraordinarily small part of the population does so without any enthusiasm, with the vast majority simply casting their useless vote in despair.
This reality is not by chance, nor is it indifferent to the old order. It is not by chance, but due to the historical and political bankruptcy of the old democracy. The current pact imposed by the dominant classes – the 1988 Constitution – which promised “citizenship” and fundamental rights “at any cost” for the people, was not able to fulfill its commitments, nor could it prevent the decomposition of the system of exploitation and oppression, which it covers up and legitimizes. A system which, in order to survive, needs to destroy the few rights won by the popular struggle, and whose old democracy could not be anything other than a complete and increasingly open farce. It is enough to cite the “Social Security Reform”, which practically snatched the right to retirement from the next generations; the “Labour Reform”, which annihilated the unions and destroyed the historical rights of workers and public servants. To stay only in the most recent attacks, which are part of a long process carried out by successive governments.
The lack of legitimacy of the electoral farce is not an indifferent fact either. The reactionaries fear, in their heart of hearts, the repetition of a popular uprising like 2013-2014, but more conscious, forceful and profound, in the most proletarian and poorest layers of our country, which would make it more determined and marked by greater revolutionary violence. Such an uprising is inevitable, because reaction can only give survival to the old order by attacking more severely the historic rights that have been won and by repressing more brutally and cowardly the masses in struggle in defence of these. The old democracy can only prevent the struggle of the masses against such attacks, with any success, if it is imbued with a certain popular credibility. And what credibility has, to “pacify” the increasingly rebellious mood of the masses, a government – whatever it may be – elected by a minority, and in whose minority only a small fraction actually votes out of acceptance of its proposals, and even this does so without any hope and out of rejection of the contestant? Not to mention the complete repulsion that the masses feel for the other institutions of the old genocidal and corrupt State. Disillusionment is guaranteed, and resentment will come in the form of big mobilisations, whether it takes time or not.
The picture is one of advanced decomposition of the old State, whose general crisis has dragged the military to its centre, passing through the High Command of the Armed Forces, not only from guardians of the old order of exploitation and oppression, but also to tutors and even disguised intermediaries in the institutions and in the fragile governments voted for in the electoral farce.
Hence it is an innocent dream of some, and a malicious discourse of others, to propose the “useful vote” to prevent Bolsonaro from being re-elected, when, in fact, all votes are useless to the people in this electoral farce. The far right that he heads will not disappear, because it emerged from the historical and political bankruptcy of the old democracy; bankruptcy that cannot be circumvented. This extremist force will continue to exist, and will act with even more reactionary violence if it is defeated in the elections. Nor will the coup pretensions of the generals, both active and retired, disappear, but will grow in direct proportion to the explosion of popular rebellions. This inevitable march towards fascism cannot be extinguished by the electoral farce of the old democracy, since it was the failure of the old democracy and its agonising political system that generated it. Today, in Brazil and in the world, we are living through those historical moments, when the old regimes have begun to succumb, because the new regime – in our country, of the Democratic, Agrarian and Anti-imperialist Revolution – will advance to replace it part by part in the country, until it triumphs everywhere. The new revolutionary order needs to be built, and the more this pending and delayed task is postponed, clinging to illusions, the more the coup d’état and the march towards fascism will progress. Only the democratic revolution will defeat them.