Article on the Workers' Party

Carlos Eduardo Rebello crebello at
Thu Nov 25 14:51:46 MST 1999

This article, published in the very bourgeois newspaper - that couldn't,
I think, care less, and wishes to win kudos for "tolerance"- grafts on
some questions related to our recent discussions over E Timor, Haiti,
Namibia, etc.

The Workers'Party and Socialism

By Emir Sader

*O Globo*, nov. the 25th 1999

"The PT was born as the most important novelty in the transition from
dictatorship to democracy in Brazil. The Left had then a party that,
more the represanting important popular sectors, proposed itself a
struggle for the overcoming of capitalism in the framework of democratic
and libertarian socialism. After two decades, this project is faced with
obstacles produced by concrete reality: socialism ceased to be an
imediate goal of the popular forces, and it's offensively proposed [by
the modereates in the PT] to dilute [the party's goals] in a struggle
for the democratization of capitalism[...]

Recent democratic, social and civilizatory retreats had their
theoretical counterpart in the monopoly held by the liberals about
issues related to democracy and internationalization. Democracy came to
be identified with institutional parameters - elections every *x* years,
legal political perties, press in private hands - which allowed
governments like Fujimori's, Menen's, the various post-Stroessener
governments in Paraguay, post-Suharto ones in Indonesia to receive
democratic degrees[...] Among us, it was taken as granted that we live
in a democracy, albeit the overwhelming majority of the population has
no elementary rights respected, such as the right to employment, to
personal security and to a life minimally corresponding to accepted
standards of contempoarary civilization. Democracy is reduced to the
political-institutional sphere, notwithstanding the fact that we live in
a non-democratic society.


Whoever affirms that we should forsake the struggle for socialism as an
alternative [as the PT MP José Genoino, who lately affirmed that the
respect for individual rights means the respect to personal belongings
and therefore for private property!- this is an striclty personal
addendum,and not an epitome of the text, BTW-CR] has implicitly adhered
to capitalism, given the fact that each affirmation is a negation and
each negation an affirmative.What one could in this case most hope for
would be some kind of "humane", Swedish capitalism. To we, however, who
are relegated under the Equator, not even that: we are stuck with
excluding, unequal, cruel societies. To humanize them would be a sad
caricature, a farce, that has already lead Social-democracy to adhere to
neoliberalism, thereby reproducing the worst social injustices generated
by the market.


To mongrelize the meaning of socialism, to reduce it to the idea of
democratizing the undemocratizable pheriphereal capitalism, or to
limitate the struggle for human emancipation to the milestones of
liberal democracy is to surrender to capitalism, to democracy for the
happy few only, to social exclusion as a rule[...]"

Emir Sader is a Sociologist[ and Professor in the Stete University of
Rio de Janeiro].

trans., Carlos Rebello

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