AND: Editorial – Crisis of bourgeois democracy in the ‘old world’

We publish an unofficial translation of the last Editorial of A Nova Democracia.

The false social democratic left fails and the disruptive rhetoric of the far right exploits reactionary nationalist chauvinism and all sorts of repulsive prejudices to try to divert the masses from class contradictions and the solution through proletarian revolution.

The advance of the far right of the so-called “European Parliament” is an expression of the stage of the imperialism crisis, the projection of this onto its superstructure, which especially reflects the degree of illness of its institutions, the political agony of the values of an old democracy in bankruptcy and of a type of State in an advanced stage of reactionarization. The biggest victories of the ultra-reactionaries took place in France, Germany and Italy. Emmanuel Macron, the reactionary French president, was forced to dissolve the French Parliament and bring forward the legislative elections, and if the result also gives victory to the far right-wing Marine Le Pen’s party, the government will have to be divided.

The failure of the so-called bourgeois democracy is closely linked to the critical environment of lack of perspective among the popular masses, a context that leads to a revolutionary situation that has been fueled by general strikes and explosive revolts for more than a decade. On the other hand, such bankruptcy also produces a culture of decomposition from which the far right is nourished, as is actually happening. After all, with the end of the so-called “welfare state” – a kind of social-democratic State – the labor, social security and social rights that integrated it there on the “old continent” were dismantled. Repression and exploitation deepened. Despite high-sounding speeches about freedom, the proletarian and other popular masses in Europe are experiencing high interest rates, the energy crisis and high inflation, and the worsening of the crisis due to the war in Ukraine. The imperialist war, on the borders of the European Union, also undermined the old order with the pessimism it fostered. In this context, in which the revolutionary forces are still weak and the false social-democratic left muddies the progressive banners, in the arena of electoral farce the far right with its disruptive rhetoric is more attractive than the policy that now fails and which, furthermore, it exploits low instincts, raises reactionary nationalist chauvinism in the face of the inevitable and successive waves of illegal immigration and all sorts of repulsive prejudices, rooting a peculiar type of false ideological unification around customs and traditions to try to divert the attention of the masses of class contradictions and revolutionary class struggle as the only solution. This, however, sooner or later, can only lead to the unmasking of the far right, as the basis on which it relies, once in government, is also one of crisis and it cannot do anything other than demoralize and unmask itself, repressing even more savagery the masses struggling for their trampled rights. A similar thing, as has happened throughout the third world, was seen in Brazil, in 2022, with Bolsonaro, and throughout his government and continues to ferment under the coalition government of the opportunist electoral “left” with the traditional liberal right.

The political situation in our house seems to follow the same pattern. On the 8th, Tarcísio de Freitas – Bolsonaro’s creature – met again with great tycoons and journalists notorious for their reactionarism, this time, at the Esfera Guarujá 2024 Forum. There, he spoke on his projects as governor, such as presenting his CV to 2026. He even presented such projects in case he became president: “I believe in a Brazil that will have a market economy, that will take advantage of its full potential, that will make the energy transition. We will continue to believe in a SUS [Translator’s note: Sistema Único de Saúde – Unified Health System] that acts universally, in free and quality education” – that is, the scrapping of Health and Education with its gradual privatization and in leaps and bounds. But let no one be mistaken: “I am a Bolsonarist and I will continue to be a Bolsonarist”, he said. This did not stop him from being enthusiastically applauded: the press monopolies report that the Bolsonarist, with his humor, even made the select public laugh.

The president of the republic, on the other hand, sinks into his own contradictions, acting like a crazy plumber. The government that took office with the slogan that “Education is a priority and an investment”, continues to disregard the federal education strike and insists on a 0% adjustment for 2024 – the federal police officers had better luck, and, without even going on strike, got raises which reach 77%. What will be the secret of this feat? On the top of it, Luiz Inácio called on the university rectors on the 10th to announce more funds for structural reforms, in an effort to divide the salary recovery movement and frame the rectors. However, at the event, he blamed the strikers: “There are not many reasons for the strike”, he said, and added: “The one who is losing with this strike is Brazil, are the students. And it’s just because of 2% or 3% that people stay on strike”, stated the pelegão [Translator’s note: unionist at the service of the State and bourgeoisie]! Finally, he shouted: “Do you know what was offered [to the strikers]? You know!? Because, in Brazil, there are many union leaders who are brave enough to declare a strike, but not to end a strike!” Uhhhhhh!!

While refusing to negotiate with the workers, Luiz Inácio met his ministers again, on the same day, to demand more negotiation with the Bolsonarist “centrão” – towards which the president is much more receptive and malleable. The amount allocated to parliamentary amendments this year could reach R$50 billion – while the budget for federal educational institutions is R$6 billion, when the minimum amount to maintain their functioning should be R$8.5 billion , according to ANDES [Translator’s note: teachers’ union]. From there we can see which are the pelegão’s priorities.

Bolsonarism thanks you.

There is another similarity between Brazil in 2024 and the history of Europe. After the first imperialist world war, Germany, defeated and humiliated by the Treaty of Versailles, ceased to be an Empire and became a democratic Weimar Republic at the end of 1918, which was formal progress. Social democracy in coalition with the liberal bourgeoisie took over the government: great promises of progress, individual freedoms and social rights, “capitalism with social concern”, this was the promise made – but not without spilling the blood of revolutionary workers and sailors , such as the shameless treason of the murder of communist leaders Rosa de Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. It was the “Golden Age of Weimar”, full of hope for reformists. The underground, however, was corroded by the economic crisis, inflation, conspiracies within the highest military ranks and the rise of Nazism as a fascist mass movement – which fed back to the extent that the radiant promises of social democracy resulted in failures and frustrations, followed by repression and tougher penal laws against popular unrest and revolutionary forces. We all know the rest of the story: the rise of Hitler and Nazism in the following elections.

The working masses must impose their will and interests through the force of their mobilization, without regard for palace agreements, which can only result in defeats and frustrations for the broad masses and the strengthening of Bolsonarism. Raise the workers and toilers movement, peasants, students and small owners for their rights, build the General Strike of National Resistance and accumulate forces to achieve true democracy through revolutionary means.

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