On Sunday 28th of October was the second round of the general elections in Brazil. The capital’s favourite candidate and a supporter of the military dictatorship, Bolsonaro, won the presidential election with 56% of the votes. The parties originally from the working class (PT-PCdoB, PDT, PSOL…) only received 42% of the votes as a whole on the first round. The abstention was higher than 21%. Blank and null votes amounted almost 10%. Bolsonaro’s PSL received less than 12% of the votes in the legislative elections, the PT more than 10%, and no other party received more than 10%
Bolsonaro prepares a new anti-workers’ dictatorship
As a fetishistic gesture, the candidate Bolsonaro simulated a gun execution. The vice-president Hamilton Mourão is a former general. The new president clearly introduced his program: “preparing such a liquidation that Brazil has never known before, expediting the huge cleansing from the marginal reds of the country”, putting an end to the Landless Peasant Movement, treated as “terrorist”. He intends to name as the Minister for “Justice” the judge Moro, who dismissed Rousseff and imprisoned Lula. Under the pretext of the fight against insecurity, Bolsonaro aims to create his own militias and to send the police and the army against the workers’ movement. He wants to allow his supporters an open access to guns; he gives a free rein to the cops and soldiers in killing the criminals and the suspected delinquents. During the electoral campaign, several aggressions occurred against workers’ activists, homosexuals, feminists, Blacks, students…
Bolsonaro wants to have his hands free on the behalf of his class, the bourgeoisie; this is why he aims to get rid of “the reds”. He was backed-up by the joint staff, sponsored and supported by the big firms and by the landowners, stimulated by the US imperialist State. He wants to privatize the public firms, to restrict pensions and school bursaries, to cut the taxes on firms, to increase indirect taxation, to make the labor market more flexible, to cut spending on education, to allow unhindered looting of Amazonia while denying any right to indigenous peoples. By the way, his victory -which was expected after the first round– was warned by a spectacular increase of the stock market.
Lula and the PT’s devotion to the bourgeoisie paved the way to reactionary politics
How did things end up like this? How have we moved from Lula’s first election as a president in October 2002 to the threat of a crushing of the working class in late 2018?
This is an outcome of the betrayal by Lula and the PT, of the approval of the bourgeois state (including the judiciary, the police, the army…), of the defense of Brazilian capitalism, of the unwillingness to target the exploiters (agricultural, industrial, financial… capitalists), of the government alliances with bourgeois parties (PSDB, PMDB…). Lula and the PT never dared to arm the people.
It happened that the capitalist minority kept all the economic power (the ownership of the means of production, the potential to exploit and to lay off) and it preserved most of the political power (law enforcement bodies at their disposal).
As the capitalist crisis hit Brazil, the first measures taken in favor of the poor melted like snow in the sun, because of the policies led by “popular front” type governments. The 2010 economic growth was still 7.5%, stimulated by the raw material exports. While preserving capitalism, it allows some redistribution of income. Yet after the 2010 Rousseff reelection, growth is only 0.2% in 2014, and then the economy entered into recession.
In August 2016 the ruling class removes the elected president
Alongside the economic crisis, the Brazilian bourgeoisie requested the masses to pay the bill, while increasingly unwilling to cooperate with the PT in the government. In 2013, there was no shortage of public funds for the juicy works intended to host the Football World Cup, with 11 billion euros given to big firms in the construction sector, which now support Bolsonaro. Besides, Rousseff class collaboration government cut in the Bolsa Familia program and in public education, it liberalized deforestation…
Unlike what the leaders of “reformist” parties all over the world pretend when they get to power, the bourgeoisie does not limit its pretentions as a gratitude for concession, contrariwise it uses it for preparing its counter-offensive.
Did the PT succeed in reconciling with the joint staff through a 42% increase of the military budget? Did he succeed in softening up the evangelical churches in committing itself, between the two rounds of October 2010 election, not to legalize abortion and homosexual wedding? Did the PT succeed in having the PMDB, the PP, the PRB as faithful allies in including them in the government and in appointing PMDB’s Temer as vice-president to Dilma Rousseff? In 2016, theses parties plotted the clinical coup that ended to Roussel’s impeachment, to her replacement by Temer, to the procedure for banning Lula from standing again at the election and eventually sending him to jail! Yet the PT and the PCdoB formed in 2018 an electoral coalition with the same kind of party, the PROS.
The bourgeoisie itself –its big firms, its leaders– has been overcharging, buying free passes for conducting huge operations, among which public works. In addition, the bourgeoisie itself –its State, its justice- mounts the Lava Jato operation. It is supposed to shed some light on the corruption in which political representatives from all sides are blithely involved, but it concentrates its blows only against the PT and its leaders.
It is under a nationalist and clerical motto learnt at the army –“Brazil above all, God above everything else”– that Bolsonaro, a marginal deputy and formerly a loosy soldier, could portray himself as a crusader against corruption. Moreover, most of the private media owned by a few families have the upper hand and keep up with him very shortly. Like in France in 1936-1937, in Spain in 1936-1938, in Chile in 1971-1973… the Popular Front paved the way to the reaction, kept partly the masses away from the PT and made possible Bolsonaro’s electoral victory.
Mobilizing all the exploited and all the oppressed against the reaction
The 2018 general elections confirmed the blow that the working class and youth received in 2016, but they are not crushed. Their willingness and capacity for mobilization are still strong, as they proved in 2016, and also in 2018 with women’s demonstration under the catchword #EleNão. The workers and students can prevent the worst from happening, namely the end of the democratic liberties, the mass repression, a ban on their organizations.
A condition is to get organized on a clear basis: independence of the working class, unity around the working class of all the exploited and oppressed! Yet the PT does not draw any lesson, since it intends to keep paralyzing the workers in giving them hope in particular sectors of the exploiters.
The 28th of October the main union leadership, the CUT, called for “the unity of the democratic-popular forces”. In panic, the PT leaders, who are primarily responsible for the 2016 defeat, go through their subordination; they want to enlarge their alliance with the PROS to “all the democrats” in order to create a “democratic resistance front”. The PT presidential candidate Haddad claims that he intends to “represent an opposition that puts above all the interests of the nation”. Surprisingly enough, this literally corresponds to Bolsonaro’s motto! The “interests of the nation” specifically correspond to a continuation of the political alliance with the bourgeoisie, arm in arm; This has always chained the proletariat to its own exploitation, to its own oppression.
The PT, PCdoB, PSOL… preach pacifism, which amounts to give free hands to Bolsonaro, to the joint staff, to the cops, to the landholders’ goons.
The bourgeoisies all over the world go on the offensive against the gains of the workers’ movement as they were obtained in each country: public health, public education, social security, retirement pensions, legal guarantees against abusive sackings, limitations of labour time, collective agreements… Everywhere the governments pass laws squeezing the liberties and the democratic rights, which are also crucial conquests of the workers’ movement struggle against capital. The US government imposes a new blockade on Iran. The Turkish government triggers again the war against the Kurds. The general trend is of militarism, strong states and the ensuing strengthening of the forces of repression.
This is a qualitative leap. The overthrow of Dilma and the electoral victory of the army in civilian attire both tie in with the election of al-Sissi, Trump and Duterte, with the Salvini-Di Maio government and with the Modi government, with the Islamist regimes in Pakistan, in Iran and in Turkey, with the Brexit referendum… Fractions of the bourgeoisie all over the world slide into religion, xenophobia, protectionism, into the accelerated destruction of the environment, the hate against the migrants, into anti-socialism in order to maintain private property and the rule of profit by any means.
Against the rising barbarism, the proletariat must be able to reopen the way to the fight against capitalism, to the workers’ power, to socialism.
The crucial fight of the working class, of the farm workers, of the student youth, of the slum dwellers, of the Native Americans, of the conscript soldiers… first entails class independence.
Unity of the workers’ organizations CUT, CTB, CSP-Conlutas, PT, PSOL, PCdoB, PSTU, PCB, PCO… to an immediate workers’ united front!
Establishment and centralization of self-defense committees in the firms, the neighbourhoods, the favelas, the schools, the universities, the regiments…! Preparation of the general strike!
For all the democratic liberties! Freedom for lula!
No unions’ proposal to Bolsonaro! Defense of the social security and of all the workers’ gains! All workers’ demands! Down with Bolsonaro and the military government! For a workers’ and peasants’ government arising from the mobilization!
Establishment of a workers’ revolutionary party based on the Bolshevik party in the whole country!
5th November 2018
CoReP (Germany, Austria, Canada France, Turkey)
IKC (Spanish State)