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

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Visually challenged lady seeks appointment with Gujarat CM, is 'unofficially' detained

By Pankti Jog*
It was a usual noon of November 10. I got a phone call on our Right to Information (RTI) helpline No 9924085000 from Ranjanben of Khambhat, narrating her “disgraceful” experience after she had requested for an appointment with Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani. She wanted to meet Rupani, on tour of the Khambhat area in Central Gujarat as part of his Janvikas Jumbesh (Campaign for Development).

Violent 'Ajodhya' campaign in 1840s after British captured Kabul, destroyed Jama Masjid

Counterview Desk  Irfan Ahmad, professor at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany, and author of “Islamism and Democracy in India” (Princeton University Press, 2009), short-listed for the 2011 International Convention of Asian Scholars Book Prize for the best study in Social Sciences, in his "initial thoughts" on the Supreme Court judgment on the Babri-Jam Janmaboomi dispute has said, while order was “lawful”, it was also “awful.”

There may have been Buddhist stupa at Babri site during Gupta period: Archeologist

By Rajiv Shah
A top-notch archeologist, Prof Supriya Varma, who served as an observer during the excavation of the Babri Masjid site in early 2000s along with another archeologist, Jaya Menon, has controversially stated that not only was there "no temple under the Babri Masjid”, if one goes “beyond” the 12th century to 4th to 6th century, i.e. the Gupta period, “there seems to be a Buddhist stupa.”

Bullet train acquisition: Land holding worth Rs 1.5 crore, Gujarat govt 'offer' Rs 8 lakh

By RK Misra*
Foundation stones laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi litter India’s cities, towns and villages, but there are few projects which he has pursued with such perseverance and tenacity as the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train one. However, the overwhelming state power notwithstanding, the farmers, whose lands are being acquired for the Modi government’s dream project, have no plans to give up the fight.

VHP doesn't represent all Hindus, Sunni Waqf Board all Muslims: NAPM on SC ruling

Counterview Desk
India's top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), even as describing the Supreme Court's Ayodhya judgement unjust, has said, it is an "assault on the secular fabric of the Constitution". In a statement signed by top social workers and activists, NAPM said, "The judgement conveys an impression to Muslims that, despite being equal citizens of the country, their rights are not equal before the law."