Minimum agenda for national reconstruction

Image: Eugênio Barboza
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By JOSÉ RAIMUNDO TRINDADE*

A programmatic proposal for an urgent and necessary agenda to rescue Brazil

In the article “Neoliberalism and authoritarianism” published on the website the earth is round, we established that the conjuncture placed in Brazil would only be broken from the construction and social conviction of a political, economic and social program centered on eight points, in that text we observe the limits of the Brazilian social-democratic and radical left of envisioning a social project that defeat the bourgeoisie and propose a national project. We return to that article and now deal with a programmatic proposal that contributes to the aforementioned project.

In the aforementioned article, we observed the possibility that Brazilian society could establish a certain “necessary social rupture”, the logic of which would be to propose and carry out a program with eight central elements: “(the) total rupture with the fiscal-dependent regime of the last thirty years ( …); (b) comprehensive progressive tax reform (…); (c) renationalization of the main companies in the energy and mineral sector (...); (d) reconstruction of the National Innovation System (…); (e) productive sovereignty project (…); (f) technological completeness project (…); (g) exclusive constituent assembly with gender parity criteria; (h) federative renegotiation”.

After many months and with increasing changes in the situation, we have to go back and deal, now in more depth, with what we call a program for a “necessary rupture”. Firstly, it is worth noting the main elements of conjunctural change, so that one does not have tactical illusions, given the degree of organizational and social mobilization problems posed, as well as that one does not establish leftist fantasies, nor reformist illusions. The above program remains fully valid and it will be based on it that we will deal with our perception of tactical and strategic intervention.

The national situation evolved from five vectors of influence that conditioned it:

(i) the economic vector, in general the neoliberal agenda is incapable of establishing cycles of growth, this has been something visible in the last 40 years in any capitalist country. The reasons for the low growth relate both to the rentier logic, the center of rentism, and also to the characteristics of the new technological standard established since the 1980s. The Kondratief cycle that begins with neoliberalism in the 1980s presents an important aspect, the technologies are much cheaper and much less employing than the technologies of the Keynesian cycle (1930/1980).

The Marxist Mandel (1985) had already observed that planned obsolescence was a key component of the new accumulation regime of “late capitalism”, but in addition, new technologies were and are much less intensive in fixed capital, something that establishes a new temporal configuration for capital gains (profitability) and deepens its crisis of decline in the rate of profit.[1]

The backward perception of Brazilian economist ideologues who remain subordinated to the alleged possibility of accelerating economic growth based on the logic that the expansion of markets would be enough to impose increasing rates of profitability for the various capitals, national or foreign, constitutes a false mistake and continued stupidity . The inability of these ideologues to read reality and see how robotics and artificial intelligence are non-Schumpterian technologies are part of this macroeconomic impossibility of the current cycle of capital.

Faced with this characteristic of low structural growth, foreign or imperialist capital imposes a growing need for effort on the main peripheral centers, establishing an accumulation regime for the peripheries, even and especially those with great wealth like Brazil, in which value transfers (in Marxian terms, added value as surplus value) are accentuated, creating the need to annul any limit of sovereignty in order to comply with the logic of dependence and transfer of surplus value. This logic leads to a growing change in the Brazilian economy and society, either by de-industrializing, or by subordinating to increasing transfers of values, via public debt or plundering the productive base, such as the privatization of the electricity and oil sectors.

Capitalism in the current cycle has enormous difficulty breaking this force of inertia. However, in peripheral and incomplete capitalist economies like the Brazilian one, curiously the technological forces of the third industrial revolution can dynamize it, the problem is the degree of subordination or dependence.

(ii) The oligarchic vector, or how the Brazilian State is conditioned by the power relations of the regional bourgeoisies. In a very general way, only the forces around the left (PT, PSOL and PCdoB) and Fascism (Bolsonaro and company) are of a national character, and most of the political forces are localized, regional or even municipal associations. This form of social and political existence ends up weakening any type of national decision.

(iii) The vector of social struggles, something that is projected from 2020 onwards and establishes our ability to exert pressure on the current regime. The class struggle has always been a central component and in the Brazilian case, the organization and movements of society have always been fundamental in the decisions and directions of that society, say Lula, constitutes the most elaborate face, at world level, of an organized movement of Brazilian society, this is not negligible, on the contrary it is the basis of institutional interaction in the country.

(iv) Institutional disorder and military power. The Brazilian bourgeoisie has always been fragile, due to the characteristics of dependency and the logic of imperialist accumulation, its social interaction has always required a moderation of institutional military or judicial powers, forms or states of bureaucratic power that assume enormous decision-making capacity and political and social belligerence . Since the PT's fragile reformist government, as is also observed in countries like Chile and Argentina, these institutions have deepened the incapacity for an autonomous existence of US imperialism and have become, more and more, forces of intervention contrary to any sovereign capacity. national. We are facing two forces (military and judiciary) that do not conceive of Brazil as an autonomous society.

(v) State inability to act, whether coordinating investments or regulating price standards. It is worth denoting that the suicidal fiscal regime established since 2016, but which deepened something already established much earlier (LRF), has become one of the main elements of social disorganization, not only due to the logic of the socially minimal State, but also for imposing the financialization of the entire society, literally everything that is done, work, collection, payments, everything is destined to transfer value to rentier sectors, with EC 95/16 being one more step towards subordinating this society to rentier gains and maintenance of imperialist power. The logic of the car wash is a deep logic of dependency, and the military governments of Temer and Bolsonaro deepen this and do so through the imposed tax regime.

Faced with the conjunctural vectors exposed and, mainly, knowing that this logic is in deep crisis, whether due to the limits of the expansion of accumulation in the current period, or due to the structural crisis of US capitalism.

From this set of vectors, their complexities and how they act, we must establish a minimum program, knowing that this government agenda is part of the reasons for social intervention and class struggle in Brazil.

Total break with the fiscal-dependent regime. The destruction of the State's fiscal management capacity through EC 95/16, a central component of the logic of reorganization of Brazil's sovereign power of interaction. This condition suffocates the impossibility of any democratic or popular management in smaller governments (states and municipalities), instrumentalizing the national authoritarian and centralized logic.

The logic of freezing the primary budget, that is, spending on education, health, public policies in general, and even investments, for twenty years, until 2036, dismantles the power of state intervention and weakens any possible way out of this iron circle; finally, due to the neoliberal logic itself, there are no government policies that stabilize the system, and any planning scenario that would make it possible to break the recessive cycle is absent, with only fallacy, empty speech and the permanent litany that with each new reform.

The maintenance of EC 95/16 makes any exercise of democratic power in the country impossible, its condition is authoritarian and venal. The austericide fiscal regime is related both to the dismantling of social policies, as well as the greater transfer of values, via public debt, to the international controllers of the Brazilian State. Breaking with this is fundamental.

Comprehensive progressive tax reform. The tax reform to be debated and established in Brazil is related to three mechanisms to be implemented: firstly, the regulation of the IGF (Imposto dobre Grande Fortuna), something that has been going on in several countries and that has not been regulated in Brazil since 1988. This tax would reach only 0,1% of Brazilians and would make it possible to reduce indirect taxes, improving tax neutrality and reducing regressivity. Second: organization and regulation of VAT (Value Added Tax) from ICMS/IPI/Confins, establishing a federative equalization chamber. Finally, the adoption of the Progressive Income Tax, with a band of increasing rates and greater exemption for lower incomes; as well as the effective corporate income tax.

Renationalization of the main national strategic companies: Companhia Vale and Petrobras. These two companies account for almost a third of Brazil's investment capacity over the last fifty years, in addition to the control they have over Brazilian soil and subsoil. Renationalizing Vale and Petrobras is a fundamental point for Brazilian development and the establishment of strategic policies for the country.

Rupture, revocation and social reorganization of the labor and social security reform. These two measures taken by the neo-fascist and anti-democratic governments established in the last six years, make any degree of civility in the country impossible, deteriorate social relations. As a form of action, these measures constitute the rescue of a considerable portion of the Brazilian people, and should be the first measures to be taken by a social reformist government.

The four points raised are part of an urgent and necessary agenda for the reconstruction of Brazilian sovereignty, other points must be interposed in the dispute and struggle of national classes.

*Jose Raimundo Trinidad He is a professor at the Institute of Applied Social Sciences at UFPA. Author, among other books, of Agenda of debates and theoretical challenges: the trajectory of dependence (Pakatatu).

 

References


Ernest Mandel. late capitalism. So Paulo: Nova Cultural, 1985.

Jose Raimundo Trinidad. Agenda of debates and theoretical challenges: the trajectory of dependence. Bethlehem: Pakatatu, 2020.

 

Note


[1] See https://aterraeredonda.com.br/o-futuro-da-economia-capitalista-no-brasil/?doing_wp_cron=1642291299.7636399269104003906250.

 

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