Extent and limits of electoral success in Brazil

Taking up the narration of thelast week’s meeting with Stedilechief executive of the workers of the land in struggle, in the light of the results of the ballot in Brazilit is necessary to underline the importance of this electoral result, capable of modifying, as underlined by the Brazilian intellectual, i power relations at an international level. As in the case of Bolivia, also for Brazil the results of the elections risked being distorted by the delay with which they arrived, in this case in particular of the seats in the poor areas of northeastern Brazil, where the majority for Lula was overwhelming. So it is not understood how this important statement is the product, in the first place, of one great popular mobilization who seems to have sensed that if there are no significant changes since political point of view there cannot be any significant ones social transformations. Moreover, this mass mobilization was also favored by Lula’s great ability to animate crowds.

The importance of shifting the struggle to a political level has been fully grasped by the Sem Earth movement (Mst) that – after the great social commitment in the production of food to feed 33 million hungry people, during the tragic period of the pandemicrun in the worst way by the Bolsonaro government – since August has been actively engaged in election campaign. Thus, in the course of the latter, the masses were able to make an important experience of force of popular unity well beyond the parties that represent them.

As for the Lula government, Stedile envisages a “transition” government, which will be fully occupied in the first six months to cope with major emergencies produced by the Bolsonaro government. It will be, first of all, of fight hungerthe unemployment and the lack of a fixed abode, scourges that affect millions of Brazilians. You will have to cope with the deindustrialisation of the country and the environmental tragedy that has hit the lungs of the world, the Amazon.

The possibility of producing – by exploiting the new government no longer an enemy – of structural transformations is a challenge for the Brazilian left which will have to clash with the reality of a country which, together with South Africa, has the sad primacy of highest socio-economic inequalities in the world.

In this regard, the question oforganization of the masses. From this point of view, the left, not only in Brazil, must make one serious self-criticismbecause he unlearned how to do the basic work, preparatory to the great socio-political struggles. This is a decisive lesson for relaunching the class struggle, which requires a painstaking work where it takes great patience and humility.

In this regard, however, as Stedile does not tire of emphasizing, the political formation of the militants. This is a decisive question because without adequate political training the left, Stedile warns, risks disappearing. This point must be placed at the center of the self-criticism process. It is no coincidence that the Landless Workers’ Movement has started a great process of training the trainers. On the other hand, the great Brazilian manager cannot help but be dejected how little leftist forces internationally invest in this crucial aspect.

Stedile then goes on to face the great challenges with which the left will necessarily have to deal. First of all, it will be necessary to be able to prepare a response equal to the real assault that capital, in order to face its own crisis, is carrying out against nature. Naturally, Stedile is not concerned with clarifying a problem for the planet, but rather a problem for man. All the more so since we are faced with a problem on which i our classics they can help us up to a point, since such a dramatic situation was literally unimaginable in Marx’s time. On the other hand, what bodes well is there ability to mobilize the younger generations that these problems continually stimulate.

On the contrary, Stedile is very clear in his judgment on the United Nations annual meeting on climate change (Cop 27), scheduled in Egypt, where efforts will be made once again to cover the enormous responsibilities of capitalist companies and their real environmental crimes. In short, it will be a big new one proud of hypocrisy.

With the need to denounce the latter, the second great challenge for the national and international left is immediately connected, that is, with the ability to develop mass communication. From this point of view, Stedile considers the challenge of building one to be decisive alternative culture. To mobilize the great masses, one must learn to speak to their hearts. From this point of view Stedile underlines that in Brazil the question of developing a “mystical“Able to reveal the great” mysteries “of the gods political projects (revolutionaries) of which the left should be the bearer. In this perspective they have great importance symbols, flags to implement a mass culture. Therefore, to win back the consensus of the masses, the left must be able to use culture in alternative forms. Not surprisingly, the bourgeoisie very much fears this potential, so much so as to prohibit cultural events from influencing the electoral campaign in Brazil. The cultural battle is therefore central.

In this regard, I intervened by asking whether the main problem of the left, not only in Brazil, is the opportunism that pushes it to seek consensus towards the centercompletely abandoning its task of revealing its own (revolutionary) political project, the only one able to progressively overcome the structural crisis of capitalism, that is, the construction of a socialist society. On the contrary, even in Brazil the left, rather than developing thethe only real alternative to the crisishe tried vainly to govern it and, in this way, it has ended up appearing before its own social classes of reference as part of the problem rather than the solution. Therefore the bourgeoisie managed to overthrow in the previous leftist government of Brazil was a coupprecisely because the popular masses did not defend it, in that too much compromise in crisis managementrather than committed to its solution. Thus, overthrowing the PT government, as Stedile himself had shown, the bourgeoisie had been able to exploit the right-wing vice president, who succeeded Dilma Rousseff, to overturn all the conquests in favor of the popular masses of previous years. It was a script that had already been successfully tested in Paraguay. It is striking, speaking of lack of self-criticism, how the dominant component of the Brazilian left is repeating the same fatal mistakewith an election campaign aimed at conquer the center and a right-wing vice president.

Stedile agreed with my speech. However, he added that although it is true that the left has not developed significant anti-capitalist proposals, the problem is that its solution to the crisis must not only be expressed in programs, but it must prove practicable. From this point of view Stedile believes that it takes a lot of patience as the times are not ripe, since the mass mobilizations at the international level are still experiencing a profound crisis. It takes, therefore, a painstaking work, which requires great patience and humility, to rebuild mass mobilizations.

On the other hand if the left is experiencing one long political crisis, things are certainly not better for the right. According to Stedile, Meloni’s success will also be short-lived. The bourgeoisie has more and more difficulties in governing the crisis and so on it burns its standard-bearers in no time, as we recently saw with the British Conservative government sitting in office for just 45 days. Not to mention that the major capitalist power has long been governed by a real “walking corpse”Like Biden. All this shows that it is not possible for the one bourgeoisie political solution to the crisis. Although the crisis will continue, as left and right do not seem to have real and viable solutions, however, according to Stedile, our generation will witness the release of the crisis.

On the other hand, the bourgeoisie is proving to be able to carry on its own reactionary responses to the crisisdeveloping the military apparatus and stepping up the assault on natural resourcesto their privatization, with the aim of profit from the commons.

Stedile denounces how monstrously theinvestment in arms starting from the United States and like the bourgeoisie it blows on the flames of latent conflicts at the international levelto develop more and more outbreaks of wars in which to consume i capital invested in the military field.

In this regard, to the question of the position of the left in Brazil on the war in Ukraine, in the face of the divisions present in his analysis by the Italian left, Stedile denounces the deep racism of European public opinion, full of indignation for a war on their own continent and absolutely indifferent to the many other wars on other continents.

For the rest, the recipes prepared by the bourgeoisie in the face of its crisis are definitely nefarious. Investments in arms can only reproduce deaths and destruction on an ever-widening scale, while the capitalist exploitation of natural commons, starting with water resources, can only widen the devastation of natural habitats.

Moreover, this assault is also at the center of the constant attack of the imperialist countries of the north to the natural resources of the subordinate countries of the south. Thus three large Western companies have taken control of Brazil’s water resources, which assure them, as Rosa Luxemburg had rightly denounced for some time, extra profits.

If war favors capitalist accumulation, it does nothing good for the left and the popular masses. Therefore the majority of the Brazilian left is against the war. On the other hand the real causes of the war in Ukraine they must be sought, Stedile underlines, in NATOwhose countries need to export war to continue exporting arms and, to that end, are conducting a proxy war against Russia.

Therefore, among the main reasons for the war, there is the severe economic crisis which affects the United States and, more generally, the NATO countries, which need war in the face of their loss international hegemony. So the current conflict in Ukraine is a great opportunity for war profit for the great Western capital in crisis, as usual paid with the blood of the workers who are, as usual, the victims par excellence of such conflicts. Therefore for Stedile the only way to really fight the war not only in Ukraine consists in fighting for it dissolution of NATO.

04/11/2022 | Copyleft © All the material is freely reproducible and only the mention of the source is required.

Extent and limits of electoral success in Brazil – The Future City