AND Weekly editorial – Save how, what democracy?

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Editorial Staff of AND

25 OCTOBER 2022

Weekly editorial – Save how, what democracy?

Photo: AND Database

The latest Datafolha poll (20/10) recorded a technical tie between the ultra-reactionary Bolsonaro and the Pelegão Luiz Inácio (45% vs. 49%, respectively). The opportunists, revisionists and the entire monopoly of the liberal right-wing press are in an uproar, clamouring – openly or subliminally – for the popular masses to subscribe to the “national pact to save the old democracy” by electing the PT. And the majority of the poor and even the middle sectors, all of them crushed, reply: “Save what? How?

Yes, the deep popular masses did not experience democracy, so often enunciated in declarations led by Fiesp-Febraban, under the trumpets of Rede Globo and with the admiring sighs of the opportunists and revisionists of the fake electoral left. We repeat: this word is an empty concept, the cries of threat against it do not move the corners of the metropolis and the country. And it is not that the two thirds of the population who do not want to vote for Luiz Inácio are indifferent or support, in their entirety, the military regime. Even if they reflect on their resentment of the atrocious attacks by Bolsonaro and his predecessors on democratic rights and their fundamental interests (they do their calculations, and they will be paid dearly!), the masses do not see in the old democracy a vessel for their interests, but, on the contrary, they see it as the regime in which everything was promised, almost nothing was given and many rights were taken away, as it is. Basic things, achieved in the mid-1950s (such as labour and social security rights), went down the drain in the course of a mere 30 years of “Democratic Rule of Law” with the ‘Citizens’ Constituent’ and all, under the successive administrations of all parties of the old order, right, centre and “left”, without anything changing.

The most conscious masses reject the whole political system, boycotting it (more than 49 million in the first round), although they are disconcerted by the fact that the revolutionary democratic way is still weak. Those who vote for Luiz Inácio do so out of repulsion at the return of the military regime, which he represents. Those who vote for Bolsonaro believe that the system, which has always massacred them, does not allow him to govern and do the “good things” he propagates, as well as being blackmailed by the cruel manipulation of their customs and beliefs. Or what explains the election, in 2018, of a vagabond deputy and failed terrorist for president, under the false “anti-system” rhetoric? What explains that the same one, demoralised by his proven ineptitude, corruption and dubious character, continues with the first post, whose main banner is the “defence of democracy”?

That is why a certain wealthy petty bourgeois sector, moved by the attacks of the extreme right against the political regime of this false democracy, is indignant with the masses and insults them for not voting or for not following the discourse of the PT, without understanding their own ignorance. Without understanding that democracy as a “universal value” that they pretend to defend so much means nothing to the broad and deep masses, because it does not exist as such; what exists is a dictatorship of the stock market, as Lenin said, masked by universal suffrage and the maintenance of fragments of democratic rights, revocable at any need from above, and which are more evident for the better-off social strata. For the bottom of the pyramid, for mere mortals, even such fragments rarely exist. This is the harsh reality that needs to be understood.

Are democratic rights, civilising freedoms, dispensable, even if they exist in ruins? Absolutely not. They are essential, because the popular masses need and demand them, as is shown by the numerous protests against the summary executions of young people in the favelas and the numerous seizures of large estates by peasants demanding their right to land. Without such rights and freedoms, the struggle for the emancipation of the simple worker, the simple peasant, would be more difficult. The question is: how to defend them?

It is not possible to defend them through the old democracy, the electoral farce, by voting for one under the pretext of “stopping fascism”. Because the growth of the extreme right, which most threatens the few democratic freedoms, is the result of the crisis of decomposition of the reactionary state and the failure and demoralisation of the old democracy of which opportunism is a conscious part. Appealing to the masses to believe in the old democracy is the same as throwing them into the lap of a vicious coup d’état; firstly, because to delude themselves again with the old democracy will favour the coup, since this “democracy” also attacks the interests of the masses and takes away their rights, disillusionment being inevitable; secondly, because belief in the old democracy disarms them ideologically and politically, making them hostage to a lack of preparedness to resist. Will the extreme right, both civilian and military, armed to the teeth and frustrated by an eventual defeat, disappear as if by magic once the results are announced? And won’t the laws of exception, which became commonplace under the pretext of combating Bolsonarism, be used against true democrats by this aristocratic and reactionary judiciary? Will the coup generals, who until now have kept silent about the “security of the ballot box” in order to blackmail the nation, become, by divine will, faithful followers of the law? Will an eventual government of opportunism, weakened by demoralisation, elected by a minority and despite some enthusiasm, not be totally hostage to the coup generals, who will offer support, in exchange for governing in fact? And governing for whom? This is what this electoral farce can offer.

Only the revolutionary, electoral boycott, combining the sensible experience of the masses with the scientific clarity of Marxism on the nature of the old state, can demonstrate to them the necessity of imposing their will through decisive struggle for their interests and fundamental rights, without any consideration for those elected, whoever they may be. Only a new social regime, a New Democracy under the leadership of the proletariat, can guarantee and extend rights and liberties to infinity, however great the inevitable adversities for the reconstruction of a country may be. The conscious proletarian, the enlightened peasant, understood this truth long ago, and many of these masses are already moving in that direction. Believe it? This is the reality which is so difficult for the progressive intelligentsia to grasp, and the understanding of which would facilitate their struggle for true democracy, for true freedom.