Skip to main content

A weak left and other reasons for right wing forces' "victory" in Brazil, other countries

Brazil's far right leader Jair Bolsonaro
By Sheshu Babu*
With the far right victory in Brazil, many analysts are predicting domination of right-wing ideology in the coming years. This may sound true, as elections in many countries reflect this, but deeper analysis might reveal the actual state of affairs.
Supporters of right point out at the outset that left ideology is on the decline. When compared to the days after Russian and Chinese revolution after World War-II, there is a perceptible setback to leftist rule, as many nations which had communist and socialist governments are being headed by right wing fundamentalists now. After Lenin, Stalin, Mao etc., there have been very few leaders, who could gain confidence of people and lead them from the front.
Noah Milliman ("Why are right wing populists winning everywhere?" October 30, 2018, theweek.com) says, "...anxiety about order traditionally pushes the public to embrace parties of the right, who most credibly promise to restore order, whether... fighting crime or preserving a familiar culture. And anger at corruption and elite self dealing quite naturally drive the public to drive to punish established leadership and give new comers a try and to seek out newcomers who viscerally share their frustration." 
The setback may prove costly if the problems remain unaddressed for their future.

Real statistics

In reality, the right wingers assume office by thin margin and manipulation through divisive tactics. For example, in India, the right wing had less than one-third of the people's support. In US, Trump, whose victory was termed landslide, was in fact, very close one. The percentage of votes won by Trump is hardly a comparison by historical standards ("Trump Landslide? Nope, Robert Farley", posted on November 29, 2016, www.factcheck.org).
John Pitney, a professor of American Politics at Claremont McKenna college, put together a chart showing Electoral College Share and showed that Trump ranked 46 out of 58 out of US presidential elections. There were also claims of illegal voters influencing elections, which raised controversy.
The myth of 'far right' victory in Brazil can be busted by statistical analysis. The boycott of elections by 42 million registered voters who did not go to polls or voted void or blank, is one of the largest electoral boycott in recent history. The actual number may be even higher as many adults had their titles canceled and young people of 16 to 18 years did not issue the electoral document out of discredit and repudiation of the farcical processes (October 30, 2018, anovademocracia.com).
According to TSE calculations, about 30% of eligible Brazilian voters did not choose any of the candidates by abstaining or voting void or blank. Abstentions alone amounted to 20% of the eligible electorate. Even with vast coverage of press and campaign, Bolsonaro could muster 39% which is closer to abstentions and boycott votes.
The campaign by people's movements made people realize the futility of false democracy and need for a change in the system for a new democratic revolution. The historic boycott reflects growing dissatisfaction with the present democratic set up and step towards emergence of popular struggles to protect workers rights as well as focus the crisis in dominant classes.

Need for mobilization

Discontent with the present system is latent in most countries. Right wingers are taking advantage of the growing unrest and, with the help of modern technology along with constant rhetoric of fanaticism, nationalism, false promises of rooting out corruptions, etc. are influencing docile masses to garner just enough votes to gain majority.
In some cases, the whole electoral machinery is being manipulated in such a way that the results declared show ' thumping' majority which is just ' simple' majority ("Erdogan of Turkey wins narrow referendum victory, April 17, 2017, washingtonpost.com, and "Philippines Duterte wins decisive victory", May 10, 2016, www.wsj.com), with controversy on counting of votes) . This reflects that ' elected' persons or parties do not enjoy majority support to rule.
The 'weak' left is unable to mobilise and channel dissatisfaction into potent force and struggle against the bourgeois democratic set up. If sincere leadership takes up the total responsibility of directing and monitoring masses towards a new welfare democracy, this is the opportune time for fruitful and successful struggles.
---
*Writer from anywhere and every where, supports egalitarian society and freedom of expression

Comments

TRENDING

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.

Oxfam on WB project: ICT 'ineffective', privatised learning to worsen gender divide

By Rajiv Shah 
A top multinational NGO, with presence in several developed and developing countries, has taken strong exception to the World Bank part-funding Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project in six Indian states – Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha – for its emphasis on information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled approaches for teacher development, student assessment and digital platform for early childhood education.

Coal blocks for tycoons: Rinchi village tribals may be declared forest land encroachers

By Gladson Dungdung*
On June 18, 2020, the Government of India initiated the process for auctioning 41 coal blocks for commercialisation. These coal blocks are located in different states within India and most of them fall under Fifth Schedule areas. The Indian government claims that their decision to auction these coal areas is a big step towards making the country Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant) in the energy sector.