The coup, Lula and Alckmin

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By PLINIO DE ARRUDA SAMPAIO JR.*

In the capitalism of neocolonial barbarism, bourgeois despotism must be exercised brutally and without hesitation.

“When you win with the right, it's the right that wins” (R. Tomic).

The demobilization of the impeachment campaign gave Bolsonaro’s misgovernment a year to live. Notwithstanding the serial crimes of responsibility of the madman installed in the Planalto, Brazilians are condemned to put up with their misfortunes at least until 2023.

The bourgeoisie takes advantage of the lethargy of the streets to deepen economic liberalization, the deconstitutionalization of social rights, the hollowing out of civil liberties and the environmental free-for-all. The ultimate objective is to strip the 1988 Constitution of all its democratic, republican and nationalist content. In the capitalism of neocolonial barbarism, bourgeois despotism must be exercised brutally and without hesitation, either by an openly dictatorial political regime or by a ruthless authoritarianism with only a slight democratic veneer.

Hence the strategic importance of the 2022 elections as a means of legitimizing the virulent blows perpetrated against the working class after the outbreak of the economic crisis that has dragged on for more than seven years. The new wave of attacks, which began with Dilma Rousseff's electoral fraud in 2014, when the failure of the class conciliation policy was wide open, changed in quality with the parliamentary conspiracy that took Michel Temer to the Planalto Palace in 2016 and defined terrorism from market as a guideline for economic policy. Capital’s offensive reached its climax with the arbitrariness and legal violence that culminated in the completely fraudulent electoral process of 2018 and, subsequently, in the strategy Blitzkrieg of dismantling public policies, attacks on civil liberties and the dismantling of the national State.

Stroke stabilization is not, however, a simple operation. The challenge facing those who fight for an authoritarian solution within the order, without an explicit break with democracy, is to rebuild, from the rubble of the New Republic, the caricature of a New Republic, which, in appearance, preserves the democratic façade national and, in essence, be unequivocally antisocial and authoritarian. If the New Republic ended as a tragedy, the New Republic that is intended to be built is already destined to be born as a farce. It fits in a society in civilizing crisis, under the command of a vassal bourgeoisie, committed to the dismantling of the Nation.

The precariousness of the electoral solution to the serious crisis that shakes Brazilian democracy is evident in the uncertainties that surround the very holding of the 2022 presidential election. of the TSE, with the responsibility of supervising the fairness of the electoral process, is quite worrying. Rather than representing a guarantee that the voters' will will be respected, as presented to public opinion, it means greater interference by the military party within the Judiciary, further deepening the Armed Forces' tutelage over national life.

In this context, Lula's move towards a broad front against Bolsonaro, who has his maximum coronation in the hypothesis of a Lula-Alckmin ticket, was received by the establishment oppositionist as a lifeline that would unify Greeks and Trojans. By joining the Grão-Tucano, a historic enemy of workers, students and teachers, Lula inescapably joins the new generation of attacks by the fundamentalist neoliberal order.

The power of corruption and co-option of the Brazilian bourgeoisie is unlimited. Victims and executioners fraternize to make the illusions of an impossible conciliation of classes rise from the ashes. Surrender to the demands of status quo it is unconditional. Linked to Opus Dei, a champion of fiscal austerity and liberal reforms, a trusted man for Faria Lima, a top-10 candidate for the bourgeoisie in 2018, the “neo-companion” has always been implacable with those from below. His record speaks for itself: Castelinho massacre; Pinheirinho massacre, repression of the June 2013 Journeys; persecution of students who fought school closures… The complete list would be endless.

In the absence of a vigorous mobilization against the economic model and in favor of a democratic solution to the political crisis that shakes national life, the masses are left with no alternative. There is no doubt that the minimum dose of poison does less harm than the maximum dose. It is not impossible that a future Lula government will be able to curb the reactionary offensive on the customs agenda, temporarily cool down capital's attacks against work and the environment and even partially recompose the assistance policy for the underprivileged, slowing down the senseless march towards the barbarism.

However, no society goes through a process of neocolonial reversion with impunity. Brazilian society sinks into the swamp. Even if the economic and political conjuncture is favorable, which does not seem at all likely, a future Lula government would not have the slightest condition to modify the structural conditions responsible for the systematic lowering of the traditional standard of living of workers. The chasm between what Lula appears to be – the defender of the poor and the oppressed – and what he actually is – a talented political cadre at the service of a plutocracy that broke all moral links with the subordinate classes could not be greater.

With nothing to offer the subordinate classes, the owners of wealth and power take advantage of the absence of an agenda to break with the economic and political model to shield any questioning of the overwhelming offensive of capital against workers' rights, public policies, national heritage and the environment. Lula, who is not innocent, is at the service of this project.

The fundamental task of the anti-order left is to criticize the illusions of a way out from within neoliberal institutions and present to the working class a program of struggle that points to the need and possibility of a socialist revolution as the only antidote to capitalist barbarism. To live up to the challenges of our time, it is urgent to build a left-wing political front, unified around the flag of substantive equality, which points to popular intervention as the only strategy capable of interrupting the vicious circle of the business dictatorship that condemns Brazilian society to a miserable end of history.

* Plínio de Arruda Sampaio Jr. He is a retired professor at Unicamp's Institute of Economics and editor of the website Contrapoder. Author, among other books, of Between nation and barbarism – dilemmas of dependent capitalism (Voices).

 

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