Eastern Marxism

Moritz von Schwind (1804 -1871), The Guardian of the Tower, Oil on canvas, 1852.


Why doesn't Jones Manoel love Losurdo anymore?

On April 2, 2016, Jones Manoel posted on Facebook: “No, we do not provide any support to the PT Government and we do not enter into the hysteria of the coup. We are on the street against the fiscal adjustment, the criminalization of the popular struggle and the right-wing attacks inside and outside the government.” (We highlight) Months later, the coup of imperialism and big capital showed that it was indeed real and that it attacked the PT government to strike the workers, the population, the Brazilian nation.

Jones Manoel is a born political transformer, eternally on the hunt for “likes”. O YouTuber it went ahead, without contrition for the arrogant ignorance of the political reality that poured water into the mill of the coup d'état. Afterwards, he reconstructed himself as the poster child for neo-Stalinism and its Brazilian prophet, the faker Domenico Losurdo, who also suffered from severe amnesia about his past sins, especially the very serious ones.

Dark Side of the Moon

The Italian "regenerator" of Marxism, in a bias eastern allegedly emancipatory, never tweeted or bellowed about his proposal, in the 1970s, for an alliance between the Italian left and the right, fascism and imperialism, to oppose, according to him, a invasion of Italy by the USSR, associated with the Italian Communist Party! Or his support, at the same time, for imperialism in Angola, by harshly attacking the MPLA and slandering Cuban internationalist fighters. (Cf. MAESTRI: A, 2021, p. 78-82.)

Now, Jones Manoel has outdone himself. Feeling that, in order to continue his political cabotage, he was sailing with “a lot of ballast and little sail”, as we will see more slowly, he threw overboard everything he had said and defended previously, especially his master and idol, Domenico Losurdo! In “One step back to take two more steps back (...)”, he violently attacks the economist Plínio Arruda Sampaio Júnior, in order to throw a smokescreen to cover up his transformist operation, that is, the abandonment of the stage proposals. (LAZZARI & MANOEL, 2021.)

The article is difficult to read in terms of form and approximate in terms of historical, economic and political data, twisted according to needs. It is signed in partnership with Gabriel Lazzari, National Political Secretary of the Communist Youth Union of the PCB, which suggests the overall objective of the operation, as we will also see. Until the publication of the present essay, as noted, Jones Manoel had moved successfully and with the support of the media, mainly publicizing Domenico Losurdo and his apology for pro-capitalist neo-Stalinism, in the flavor of “market socialism”.

Losurdo Announces the Death of Socialism

Losurdo announced and trumpeted the death and failure of “Western” Marxism. This, always according to the Italian, due to the utopianism and messianism, of Judeo-Christian bias, that Marxism would drag, since its foundation by Marx and Engels. A pathological tradition that would have been followed and aggravated by the elite elite who embraced and expanded “Western” Marxism — Franz Mehring, Rosa Luxemburg, Lenin, Trotsky and many others.

The megalomaniac Italian set out to teach how to overcome that resounding failure. It would be found in “Eastern Marxism”, which would have abandoned chimera the emancipation of work, workers' power, the internationalist overcoming of national States, the construction of socialism, in the here and now, by building strong national States, in close collaboration with the national and international bourgeoisie, scorching the workers.

The concrete example of the success of the Eastern Marxist recipe would be China, of Deng Xiaoping and Xi Jinping, with its “market socialism”, which proposes a historical preamble, strongly capitalist, of perhaps a century, preceding the beginning of the construction of socialism! Century during which the Chinese worker will work twelve hours a day, six days a week, the famous 9.9.6, generally without the right to paid holidays, without public health, etc. in favor of the flourishing of domestic and foreign billionaires. (Cf. MAESTRI: A, 2021. p.83 et seq.)

Stalin and the Revolution by Stage

O love of Losurdo by J. Stalin was mainly due to Stalinism having forced the communist movement and the international proletariat to forcibly swallow the proposal of a “revolution by stages”, that is, the submission of workers to their national bourgeoisies, in advanced countries and late. The same Chinese proposal, just mentioned, is the need for a first long period under the command-association with capital so that, someday, in the distant and hypothetical future, the second can advance, that is, the struggle and construction of socialism. (MAESTRI, A, 2021.)

O stepism collaborationist was hegemonic in the PCB until it was denounced, without success, by Luis Carlos Prestes and Anita Leocádia Prestes, in 1980, when they claimed the socialist character of the Brazilian revolution, in the “Letter to the Brazilian Communists”. (PRESTES, 1980.) Policy embraced in 1992, twelve years later, during the “revolutionary reconstruction of the PCB. (PINHEIRO, 2019.) In Brazil, only organizations claiming to be part of the IV International, from the 1930s, and POLOP, since 1961, defended the socialist program for the Brazilian revolution. (MAESTRI, 2019, p. 201 et seq.)

And now, suddenly, but discreetly, Jones Manoel throws Losurdo to the heap of history, the place that effectively fits him, and, with his associate in the aforementioned article, declare themselves for the socialist program and enemies of stageism, since the beginning of time. And, citing the Cuban revolution, they undertake an embarrassed defense of the “permanent revolution”, proposed by León Trotsky, since 1905, and by Lenin, in the theses of April, 1917. (TROTSKY, L. 1963; LÊNIN, V., 1917 . )

 Piranha Ox

Lazzari and Manuel now defend, correctly but confusedly, the need for workers in semi-colonial and colonial countries to advance in an associated manner with democratic and socialist tasks. And, of course, Jones Manoel, in order to disguise his political chameleonism and not completely divorce himself from the neo-Stalinist public, carries out a veiled attack on “Trotskyism”, when he irresponsibly claims that Plínio Sampaio Filho would be “historically linked” to the Trotskyism that continues to be, for Manoel, the quintessence of evil. In this article, Plínio Sampaio serves as the “piranha ox” of the passage, by the now ex-losurist, from the margin of etapismo to that of the socialist program.

I believe that I am not wrong in proposing that Plínio Sampaio Júnior compete with Florestan Fernandes' proposals for a “revolution in order”, followed by a “revolution against order”. Always a revolutionary figure, the brilliant Marxist economist habitually militated alongside comrades, groups and organizations that claim to be Trotskyist, without ever having belonged to an organization with that orientation. Which I sincerely regret.

Despite not agreeing with the classic formulation of Florestan Fernandes, I fully agree with Plinio Arruda Sampaio Filho in his proposal of “neocolonial reversal” which, I believe, was never analyzed with due attention. A reality that, for my part, I define as a “globalized neocolonial” metamorphosis of the Brazilian State and nation. (MAESTRI, 2019, p-331 et seq.)

          The Devil Doesn't Exist

Formulation against which Jones Manoel and his accomplice stand up, simply registering the lack of understanding of the centrality of imperialism in the 2016 coup. YouTuber transformista already accepted the materiality. Both accuse Plínio Sampaio Júnior of being a “mystifier”, for denouncing that, in Brazil, political power also tends to be captured more and more by imperialism and big capital. They simply do not see or hear the herd troop that marches furiously on Brazilian society.

On the contrary, they swear that, “despite all the external interference”, “there are no indications that the political-administrative control” of Brazil “will (be) carried out by another State”, being all of it in the hands of the national dominant classes . We have seen that Jones Manoel, by denying the existence of the coup, when he was about to launch his assault on the State, the nation and society, supported and legitimized big capital.

Now, in 2021, repeating 2016, the YouTuber strengthens the uninterrupted action of imperialism in the coup and its institutionalization, proposing it as non-existent and, perhaps, another collective “hysterical” illusion. And even more. The article defines the existence of an extreme right with a “foot planted in coercion”, very evil, and a “classic right” with a “foot planted in consensus”, with “progressive overtones”. Believe who you want!

Brief Review

Especially from the end of the 1990s onwards, capitalist hegemony gave rise to the formation of nation-states. Delimited territories under bourgeois political hegemony, with a national community with the same legislation and, in general, the same language, traditions, etc. — England, France, Holland, Italy, Germany, etc. In Europe, this transition took place with the victory of the national bourgeoisies over the feudal classes, or through the extension of the bourgeois revolutions. It guaranteed a captive market for national industrial production. (HOBSBAWM, XNUMX).

In the Americas, during the crisis of Iberian colonialism, independent States emerged, which did not become Nation-States, as they did not carry out their democratic revolutions — Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, etc. Marxism defined these and other independent states as semi-colonial regimes, governed by native ruling classes but maintained under “metropolitan” economic dominance. Just an example. After 1822, England maintained superior economic dominance over the former Lusitanian colony, but only in 1850 managed to impose an end to the transatlantic slave trade, defended tooth and nail by the State and by the hegemonic Brazilian slave classes. (CONRAD, 1975.)

The “Age of Nations” was a period of great apogee of national capitalism and its inevitable overflow of its borders, through flagship imperialisms — English, French, American, Japanese, etc. The capitalist mode of production has maintained its essence, from its exordium to the present day, in the context of the current pathological radicalization of its profound tendencies, permitted by a survival that far surpassed its “period of use”.

senile capitalism

The current “Globalization Era” is the time of “senile capitalism”. (MANDEL, 1985.) The failure of the world revolution made impossible the essential imposition of an international socialist organization, across national borders, one of the great reasons for the failure of the USSR and the workers' states. In this context, the profound tendencies of capitalist production gave rise to its hegemonic nuclei to undertake the internationalization of the economy, societies and nations. Reality required by the development of material productive forces, in the face of tenancies and pathological needs of capitalist production.

The Age of Nations was overcome through the supranational impulse of big capital, supported by singular state nuclei, such as the USA, China, Germany, Japan, etc. It is a period of transition that advances fighting and bending social, national resistance, etc., proceeding to literal global social barbarization. The current strong depressive social trends, intrinsic to the pattern of reproduction and accumulation of capitalism in its senile stage, put the very survival of humanity at risk. They can only be overcome by socialist revolution and reorganization of nations.

Em Revolution and counterrevolution in Brazil: from 1530 to 2019, I tried to outline the process of evolution of our country from a colonial to a semi-colonial nation and its metamorphosis into a nation-state, starting in the 1930s, when hegemonic national industrial capital, concentrated in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo , took the reins of the country, displacing the dominance of the pre-capitalist ruling classes. (MAESTRI, 2019.)

Autonomy and Submission

A movement of economic and political autonomy of the national bourgeoisie, which has always been opposed by imperialism, especially US imperialism, supported by classes and factions of internal classes associated and submitted to it. Paradoxically, the moments of greater bourgeois national autonomy, with a relative retreat from the country's semi-colonial character, took place during populist developmentalism, in the years 1930-1950, and in the years following 1967, in a dictatorial context.

With the failure of those two movements, the lack of decision and capacity of the Brazilian ruling classes to direct the struggle for national emancipation, essential for autonomous capitalist development, was proven. They left an empty space never occupied by the national working classes, the only ones capable of directing this emancipation, in a social and national sense. That is, associating the fulfillment of the inconclusive democratic program with the socialist program.

Since the sad outcome of the “Brazilian Miracle” and the so-called redemocratization of the country, in 1985, all succeeding national governments, without exception, have abandoned any autonomist ambitions. On the contrary, they allowed and promoted the internationalization, denationalization and deindustrialization of the country, according to the requirements of big capital. They literally prepared the impalement, by big international capital, beyond appearances, of the effective political direction of the country, formerly exercised, for better or for worse, by the national ruling classes.

          Nothing will be like before

An uninterrupted process that prepared the country for the 2016 coup, completely different from the political regime that prevailed after the “revolution na revolution” of 1967, when Castelista liberalism was defenestrated by authoritarian national-industrialism, driven by the industrial capital of São Paulo. Regime that aimed at building, on the backs of workers and the national population, a “Brazil Great Nation”, unacceptable to imperialism.

From 1967, the military dictatorship led to the strong expansion of the productive forces in Brazil. The 2016 institutional coup was organized and coordinated by US imperialism, during the last Obama administration. It had as local administrators the high command of the armed forces, the high and medium courts, the mainstream media, a political class already committed solely to particular economic interests. Social and professional factions consolidated by the accelerated disintegration of national society in previous decades.

The 2016 coup has aimed and led to the destruction of the productive forces in the country. He promoted a profound metamorphosis of the nation, promoting and seeking to consolidate its transition from a semi-colonial country, with political autonomy from the native ruling class, and central economic control by international capital — a nation of status defined by Plínio Sampaio Junior as “neocolonial” and, by me, as “globalized neocolonial”. Project currently in advanced implementation phase.

Globalized Neocolonial

The “Globalization Era” is characterized by the dissolution of the previous model of nation-state, replaced by a national organization where the eminent domain of economics and political management, in terms of major decisions, passes into the hands of large international capital, logically through local managers, as noted. It is embarrassing to have to explain that this is not a return to status classic colonial, like that of Colonial Brazil, with political control exercised directly from Lisbon and by those born in the Kingdom.

It is a new order in the making in which national political decisions are framed-limited by international legislation and norms and by the de facto autonomy of conglomerates national under direct imperialist control. This process has been promoted, especially after the destruction of the USSR, in countless regions of the world, through different modalities and rhythms.

We have extreme cases of nation-puppets or semi-puppets born out of the destruction of the USSR, Yugoslavia, etc. and the victory of the world counterrevolution in the 1990s. Nations devoid of de facto political and economic autonomy, such as Slovenia, Albania, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, etc., managed in many cases through NATO and the Union European. Or like Haiti in the Caribbean, Libya in North Africa, etc.

not so subtle elegance

There are old nation-states that are losing their autonomy in an increasingly less subtle process, as in the cases of Italy, Portugal, Greece, under the strict control of the Deutsche Bundesbank and the European Union. They no longer have the de facto right to define the national budget, to elect anti-European top leaders, etc. NATO's extracontinental expansion constituted an instrument of this supranational government according to the interests of hegemonic imperialist capital.

In Brazil, the present impulse of globalized neocolonial reversal proceeds through a leap in quality in the pluri-decennial movement of deindustrialization, internationalization and denationalization of the national economy. It radicalizes the transformation of the country into a producer of industrial goods with low added value and an exporter of minerals; energy – oil, gas, etc.; of grain. A country today already dominated by the consumption of foreign technology. All under the hegemony of big international capital.

With the 2016 coup, this leap in quality materialized through the razing-disorganization-liliputization of what little there was of national monopoly capital, in favor of large foreign capital, with emphasis on the large contractors — Odebrecht, AOS, Camargo Corrêa, Andrade Gutierrez, etc.; Embraer; JBS/Friboi; Petrobras, Banco do Brasil, Caixa Econômica Federal, etc. Economic devastation movement accompanied by the destruction of labor legislation; the general deregulation and liberalization of national legislation in favor of big business; etc.

The illusion of national autonomy is due to the management of the nation by politicians, members of the judiciary, administrators, etc., nationals, highly remunerated, made up of big capital bosses, with emphasis on thousands of starving officers of the armed forces, such as proposed. Behavior already naturalized in the new order. A movement to dismantle the nation, carried out without any resistance — if not with the collaboration — of the various strands of the so-called opposition, equally interested in even marginal and formal participation in the administration of the State.

All Power to the Soviets!

Jones Manoel and his partner fantasize about an untouched Brazil, where the “great monopolies of the national bourgeoisie” abound, alongside “international conglomerates” that equally know the “participation” of “national capital”. In 2021, there would be nothing new on the front of the Brazilian “nation-state”, where, according to them, “full bourgeois democracy” would reign. Another biased defense of the non-existence of the deleterious action of imperialist capital, not just the US.

The duet undertakes a strong critique of Plínio Sampaio Júnior's proposals for an essential transitional program, especially in the current moment of ebb of the social movement, crushed by the 2016 counterrevolution — which Jones Manoel seems to continue to disbelieve. Among the claims put forward by the critic are the “suspension of the public debt”, the “nationalization of the financial” and “banking” system, the expropriation of Vale do Rio Doce and so on. A lion's hunger, for a proposed reformist!

Strangely, the article does not advance proposals that complete or replace the programmatic points criticized. They would be useless, because, according to Manoel & Lazzari,  “the proletariat” would not have “objective conditions to change the pattern of accumulation before changing the pattern of political domination”. That is, before carrying out the revolution and “making himself a ruling class (…).”

Flustered in defending the “socialist program”, which they are unaware of, one and the other suggest, as a minimum program, everything, in the here and now. That is, the assault on the Palácio do Alvorada, for now! Any proposal, slogan or transitional program that is not Soviet Brazil, therefore becomes petty bourgeois reformism! However, the population's call to arms, to bayonets, to cannons is accompanied by indirect criticism of the population's right to arms!

Changing Course, Changing Leaders!

Jones Manoel suddenly abandons the phased revolution, “market socialism”, his italicized guru, and starts to defend, as if he had always done so, the “socialist program” and the “permanent revolution”. He doesn't mention his idol yesterday's ideology. Dead king, post king. But he continues in the habit of unbraked praise. Manoel & Lazzari praise Edmilson Costa and his article “Brazil is ripe for socialism”. (COSTA, 2013.)

The interesting text by the current general secretary of the PCB, written eight years ago, three before the coup, with an optimism that proved to be undue, is the object of devout praise, in the style of students sucking up to the professor. The brief essay is defined as one of the “best syntheses of understanding the fully capitalist character of the mode of production that dominates in Brazil”. They describe the academic and communist leader as an “orthodox”, “creator” and “analytical” Marxist.

Edmilson Costa is praised for proposing the need to “build a vanguard party”, with which thousands of Marxist militants in Brazil agree. The crux of the question is, however, how to do it, in a revolutionary sense, especially in the context of the profound disarticulation of the world in the world, with emphasis on Brazil. A step forward in this construction is precisely to fine-tune the program of transitional claims, essential in times of ebb.

Need that the two critics reject, defending, as a program, the proposal of the socialist revolution, already essentially propagandist and innocuous. Therefore, Jones Manoel abandons the gaudy shirt of stageist and pro-capitalist Lusordism that he wore in recent years for the unexpected, albeit confused, defense of the “socialist program” and the “permanent revolution”, which he suggests he has always embraced. We risk proposing a merely exploratory explanation for the strange political-ideological operation.

Where does the PCB go?

The political, ideological and organizational advances and setbacks of the Brazilian Communist Party are of interest to all those who believe in the essential need to regroup revolutionary communists and internationalists in Brazil, in which this organization will, it is hoped, have a prominent role. What has given rise to concern and perplexity towards the Revival neo-Stalinist in the PCB, with emphasis on the Communist Youth Union.

This movement, never explicitly supported or repressed by the Pecebist leadership, has as its signature the sinister war cry “Stalin killed very little”. Its main animators have been the YouTuber Jones Manoel and his ideological reference, Domenico Losurdo, introduced among us by the Communist Party of Brazil, totally supportive of the preaching of the Italian, in the Maoist past alluded, as we have seen, to class collaboration, “Eastern Marxism”, the revolution dictated by stage of Chinese “market socialism”.

We are at the doors of the XVI National Congress of the Brazilian Communist Party. The leadership of the PCB comprises a restricted core that carries out various degrees of oblique defense of “Stalinism” and “neo-Stalinism”, not infrequently through formulations such as “I am neither a Stalinist nor an anti-Stalinist”; “Stalin defeated Nazism”; “Stalin built the USSR”; “Trotsky proposed abandoning the construction of the USSR in order to carry out world revolution”; the “End of the USSR began with Khrushchev”, etc. In the PCB there is also a clearly anti-Stalinist leftist pole.

Three great successes seem to militate against the old Stalinist remnants and the strengthening of neo-Stalinism in the PCB. First, the retreat of the old generation of Partidao, educated in stageism, in class collaboration and in authoritarianism, due to the reaping action of time. Second, the trotting of the PCdoB, an organized nucleus for the dissemination of pro-capitalist neo-Stalinism in Brazil, towards a possible merger with the PSB and the abandonment of the last merely symbolic references to communism. The PC do B is today structurally social-liberal.

And, finally, the recent, important and little-known option of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) for the socialist program and its very harsh criticism of stageism and the Stalinist times. Party, even in the not-too-distant past, was staunchly Stalinist. At the end of the 1990s, the KKE promoted annual and eclectic “Meetings” of “Communist and Workers' Parties”, all with organic or political links to “orthodoxy”, with emphasis on that of the CPSU. Now, the KKE advances the explosion of that organization, demanding a break with the collaborationist organizations that integrated it and the radical option for socialism and internationalism. They advance the need to rebuild the Communist International liquidated by J. Stalin, in 1943, to reassure big international capital. (MAESTRI, B, 2021.)

        What shirt will I wear to Congress …

In recent years, the YouTubers, bloggers, influencers, etc. they imposed themselves on the virtual means of communication, winning over a young audience, born in the middle of the digital era, commonly not used to reading and, in many cases, to a more in-depth reflection and study. Relying on important support, Jones Manoel made great use of the dissemination of Domenico Losurdo's neo-Stalinist books and proposals to transform himself into a young PSCB media star.

Jones Manoel has opted for a media profile of a controversial, aggressive debater and an appealing and increasingly histrionic media body image has been built. A political-communicational project that is in line with the current strongly identitary Pecebist orientation. In this process, an external captive space was built, with the young public, and an internal one, in relation to the part of the militancy and leadership of the PCB. Therefore, he cannot participate in the next congress under the proposed conditions.

Introducing yourself to the Pecebist national conclave wearing the Losurist and neo-Stalinist shirt means strongly compromising the possibility of institutional progression leveraged by the tens of thousands of “likes” conquered in recent years. Jones Manoel takes off his neo-Stalinist shirt, forgets Domenico Losurdo, quickly pulls a brand new socialist virginity out of his conjurer's hat. The objectives of the operation seem to be worth “a mass”.

* Mario Maestri is a historian. Author, among other books, of Revolution and counter-revolution in Brazil: 1500-2019 (FCM Editora).

We thank the linguist Florence Carboni and the historian and architect Nara Machado for reading.



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MAESTRI, Mario. “The Greek Communist Party Crossing the Rubicon: The Revolution Is Socialist, Worldwide and Lacks an International”. Counterpower, March 11, 2021. https://contrapoder.net/colunas/o-partido-comunista-grego-atravessando-o-rubicon/ (B)

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PINHEIRO, Ivan. The revolutionary reconstruction of the PCB. PCB. December 1, 2019.  https://pcb.org.br/portal2/24421/a-reconstrucao-revolucionaria-do-pcb-2/

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TROTSKY, Leon. The permanent revolution. Paris: Minult, 1963. 377 p


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