Return to the path of hope

Image: Vinícius Vieira


Five initiatives that could allow the Brazilian left and center-left to resume dialogue with the majority hope of Brazilians

It is necessary to overcome the subordination negotiated with the neoliberal power system, expressed in the so-called New Fiscal Framework, to carry out the program elected by the Lula government and meet the majority desires of the population.

There is a convergence of opinion polls from several institutes – Quaest, IPEC, DataFolha, Atlas, CNT/MDA – indicating that since the beginning of the second half of 2023 there has been a decreasing trend in the popularity of the Lula government. According to these institutes, this trend has reached a critical point in the last two months. Those who evaluate the government as excellent/good are tied in proportion with those who evaluate the government as terrible/bad.

These indices follow a pattern already known in the 2022 elections: approval of President Lula's work is majority only in the Northeast and a minority in all other regions; it is majority among women, black and brown people, Catholics, among those who receive up to two minimum wages; disapproval is majority among white men, as income increases.

In the Quaest survey, the reasons for discontent with the government are asked. 49% of those interviewed believe that the government is in the wrong direction compared to 41% who say the opposite. 38% against 27% believe that the economy has worsened. Among the main problems, 23% cite the economy, 19% health, 17% public safety. The IPEC Survey carried out on April 4 reveals dissatisfaction on fundamental issues. In the fight against unemployment, 40% bad/terrible versus 26% excellent/good; in relation to inflation, 45% bad/terrible versus 26% excellent/good; in health, 42% bad/terrible and 28% excellent/good. In education and the fight against hunger, the government's assessment is better, with higher rates or a technical draw for a positive assessment.

In the April Quaest survey, 63% believe against 32% that Lula is not fulfilling his campaign promises in government. Among those who voted for him, 71% would repeat their vote and 19% believe they made the wrong choice. In a new Quaest survey carried out between May 2nd and 6th, 55% believe that the Lula government should not have a new chance in 2026 against 42% who would be in favor of his re-election. Of those who voted for Lula in the second round of the 2022 elections, 74% would repeat their vote and 23% would not (almost ¼ in elections that were decided by a small margin).

These surveys indicate that there is a dangerous process of erosion of the hope built in the years of resistance to the governments of Michel Temer and Jair Bolsonaro and which achieved a decisive but still fragile majority in the 2022 presidential elections. Clearly, the Lula government has not been consolidating and much less expanding a majority of support against the neoliberal extreme right.

This process of erosion could crystallize into a dramatic rupture in the coming months, creating a profoundly negative scenario for left-wing or center-left candidates in municipal disputes in the capitals and main urban centers of the country, compromising the future of the government itself. It can also, of course, be reversed through new initiatives and strategies from the Lula government, which bring it closer, despite neoliberal constraints, to the program elected in 2022.

A fatal diagnostic error

Popularity is the fundamental anchor of resistance and the main asset of an anti-neoliberal government. If it loses it, it becomes increasingly hostage to neoliberal institutions and regulations, paving the way for the rise of the far right. Why was there this serious trend towards a decline in the Lula government's popularity?

The hypothesis that is almost always raised first is that the government communicates poorly or insufficiently. Certainly, the government is faced with two powerful enemy and adversary networks: that formed by Bolsonarism, with the direct support of the North American extreme right, and that of the large communication companies, committed to permanent neoliberal harassment of the government's actions. In view of them, the structural communicative deficiency of the government and the Brazilian left is evident, which has not yet found a solution. According to this hypothesis, the government's good initiatives in public policies and in its own macro-economic conduct would have their effects dampened or neutralized by enemy and adversary counter-propaganda.

The most intelligent and referential communication theories indicate that a person forms their opinion by receiving news and opinions, talking about them in their social networks and contrasting them with what they experience in their reality. The formation of what has been called an eco-system of manipulation and fake news certainly strongly biases this process. The core of the most fanatical Bolsonarists would continue to have a negative assessment of the Lula government even if it offered them heaven. But an important portion of those who voted for Jair Bolsonaro, a large portion of people who are not polarized and an important portion of those who voted for Lula form their opinions about the government with a fundamental reference to real life experience. And these people are formulating a negative or non-positive assessment of the Lula government.

In short: although it is a very influential issue that acts negatively, the government's deficient communicative capacity does not explain the main dynamics of the process of the Lula government's loss of popularity among those who do not make up the hard core of Bolsonarism.

A second hypothesis, raised by sectors of the PT left, is that the government does not respond to the permanent polarization of the extreme right, always preferring the path of conciliation. This would have been the case with the military leadership after the attempted coup on January 8, 2023, in the forwarding of the agreement with financial capital in the formation of the so-called New Fiscal Framework, in the negotiations made with the evil called “Centrão”, in relations with the large agri-business, with conservative evangelicals and with Bolsonarism itself, avoiding the call for street demonstrations against the extreme right. This preference for the institutional path and pragmatically negotiated case by case would remove the ground for the mobilization of social movements, willing to support the government.

This would be another fundamental asset of an anti-neoliberal government: social, participatory mobilization in confronting the values ​​of the neoliberal extreme right. It is very clear this year that the far right occupied the streets in the first months of the year in a much more important and symbolically affirmative way than the Brazilian left.

There is no denying the fundamental truth in this second hypothesis. But it must then be recognized that the Lula government's agenda, always negotiated in a hostile or adverse institutional environment, does not encourage the organization of massive national campaigns in support of them. Again, it is people's real lives and especially the very adverse situations still experienced by the working classes that must be consulted.

Are the government's public policy agendas and general initiatives so far a sufficient response to meet people's urgent needs? The answer is no. Faced with a difficult, but not acute, situation, a gradual and procedural path can be proposed that builds responses over a series of years for those people who experience fundamental needs.

The very meaning of the answer is gradually constructed, step by step, as the answers create new possibilities. But this is not the situation experienced by Brazil after a profound impasse between popular democratic governments, which was already evident in 2014, became an open crisis in 2015 and 2016, worsened profoundly during Michel Temer's misrule and reached a calamitous standard. during Jair Bolsonaro's destructive government.

After the great tragedy in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazilians' ecological awareness is no longer the same. Brazil is experiencing a particular experience of predation on nature in the midst of the serious global ecological crisis: a peripheral economy of predation (production of grains, meat and minerals for export), with very low standards of regulation and with all of its fundamental biomes under destructive pressure . It is certain that new extreme climate phenomena will come with a vast degree of destruction. Wouldn't a large public prevention intervention program be an emergency, endowed with huge public investments and with ministerial and federative coordination?

After the criminal tragedy experienced during the Covid pandemic, with more than seven hundred thousand deaths, in the face of the most denialist government in the world and with the militarization and dismantling of the Ministry of Health, always with a serious insufficiency of resources from the federal government, it can be should we think of a normalized management of the SUS as if nothing had happened?

The dengue epidemic broke records these years with more than 400 thousand Brazilians infected, even generating preventable deaths. How can we face backlogged demands for consultations and operations, precarious health work, sanitary voids that generate enormous social costs, without an emergency investment plan and structural programs for building the SUS?

Above all, one cannot underestimate the serious social crisis experienced by the working classes in Brazil. If the impasse has been more clear since 2014, when there was practically economic stagnation (increase of 0,5% of GDP), the following years have profoundly worsened the dynamics of unemployment and precariousness. There is a structural context of decreasing the scope of labor rights in relation to the Active Economic Population, an economic dynamic of permanent pressure for precariousness amid an increasingly neoliberal regulation of the world of work and trade unions.

Without labor rights, a stable basis for a democratic regime has never been built. The third Lula government is facing a historic impasse: it cannot be overcome by a dynamic resulting from low economic growth in the midst of a deeply financialized economy. Again: an emergency and historic program would be needed to rebuild the rights of the working classes based on public employment policies and a strong increase in the minimum wage.

In summary: there is a fatal diagnostic error in the strategy of a government that thinks about resolving, in a negotiated, gradual and procedural way, a social, ecological and health crisis that has a dramatic and emergency nature. And in the hard work of Brazilians' daily lives, hope is fading.

Serious disruption of the job market

According to the recent results of three opinion polls – the France Institute (11/2023),[I] Datafolha (12/2023) and the IPEC Institute (4/2024) – the issue of unemployment appears prominently among Brazil's main problems and is the subject of a negative assessment by the government. In the first, the main problems mentioned spontaneously by the interviewees, public health leads with 19,9% ​​of mentions, followed by unemployment/underemployment with 12,5% ​​of mentions.

In the December 2023 Datafolha survey, the topic of unemployment ranks fourth with 7% of mentions. In comparison with the previous survey, it fell slightly: in September of the same year it had registered 9%. For the same survey, the fight against unemployment in the Lula government is seen as excellent or good by 26%, while 41% consider it bad or terrible and 33% regular.[ii] For the IPEC Institute, the Lula government's performance in combating unemployment is considered fair, bad or terrible for 70% of people interviewed, slightly higher for women and young people up to 24 years old, precisely a segment that concentrates the highest unemployment rates.

Since the beginning of President Lula's third term, expectations about changes in the level and structure of employment have come to rely heavily on the resumption of economic activity. However, evidence has shown that, even though a strong tendency to create jobs persists, they are insufficient in the face of a highly unstructured and unequal job market.

General working conditions have changed in an absolutely unfavorable way in the last decade. The participation of multiple forms of precarious work has greatly increased, marked by the absence of ties, part-time contracts, intermittent contracts, pejotization, the release of unrestricted outsourcing, self-employment, self-employment, enhanced by the labor reform and the strong presence of work organized and controlled by companies on digital platforms.

Unemployment is a challenge throughout the country, although it is concentrated in the Northeast and Southeast regions due to their population size. Around 76% of unemployed people live in these two regions. The unemployment rate of 7,9% in the 1st quarter of 2024 does not reflect the reality of several Brazilian states, whose rates are above two digits, highlighting regional inequalities, considering that the highest rates are concentrated in the Northeast and North regions.

Over the last decade, unemployment went from 7,1 million in 2012, the lowest level under Dilma's government, to 13,4 million in 2017, 12,8 million in 2019 and 10,0 million in 2022, reducing to 8,6 .2023 million in 1 and stabilizing in the 2024st quarter of 2012. Even so, we continue with an unemployment level above 1,5 at 0,5 million and a 7,9% higher rate. The current unemployment rate is XNUMX%.

The data also reveals that people without jobs are black women, with higher unemployment rates at 11,7% and young people. 35,7% of unemployed people are between 14 and 24 years old; 91,7% are concentrated in urban areas and have low education. The time spent searching for work is also more unequal among women, 24% of white women and 27% of black women had been without finding work for more than 2 years.

Two aspects of this reality need to be highlighted. The first concerns the significant number of people who abandoned the search for work revealed by data referring to the Potential Workforce[iii] which increased from 5,6 million in 2012 to 6,9 million in the 1st quarter of 2024. The second refers to discouragement, a condition in which people gave up looking for work: it grew 91%, from 1,9 million to 3,6 .2012 million, between 2024 and 10,5. Therefore, if we consider the potential workforce plus the discouraged, the number of unemployed people would double, since there are 74,7 million people who find themselves in these two conditions. Among those in the discouraged condition, XNUMX% are black people.

And for people who managed to enter the world of work, underemployment, undocumented employment and self-employment stand out. Underemployment due to insufficient hours worked[iv] is a condition in which individuals would like to work more hours than they are actually working: there are 5,2 million in these conditions, according to data from the 1st quarter of 2024. The hypothesis is that the most vulnerable sectors (young, smaller education and regions with a less organized labor market) are those in the most extreme ranges of time dedicated to work, as they are self-employed and underemployed for insufficient hours. 49,9% of people declared as underemployed received up to ½ minimum wage.

Self-employment represents 25% of the total number of employed people (25,4 million) and 66,4% do not contribute to social security. If we consider only those outside the social protection system, there are 16,8 million self-employed people, 13,4 million undocumented employees, 4,4 million undocumented domestic workers and 1,4 million who work to help the families. In total, there are 36,1 million, that is, 36% of the total number of employed people. But if we include people who are unemployed, underemployed, discouraged or in the Potential Work Force, we will have 52,2 million people who find themselves with some degree of vulnerability or precariousness.

The dismantling of labor rights with the approval of the labor reform and the expansion of outsourcing in 2017 further deepened our already fragile labor market and its reversal presupposes reducing the pressure on the large number of people who make up the reserve army. These atypical forms can be contained as long as there is a vigorous employment generation program by the State.

Another equally important aspect concerns the distribution of income. According to IBGE data, in 2023, the 10% of the Brazilian population with the highest per capita household income had an income 14,4 times higher than the 40% of the population with the lowest income. This difference is the smallest ever recorded by the continuous PNAD. The 1% of the population with the highest income receives 39,2 times more compared to the 40% with the lowest income.

In 2019, the difference was 48,9 times[v]. The factors that help explain these more favorable differences for reducing differences are associated with the increase in the value of Bolsa Família, the reduction in unemployment and the increase in the minimum wage. Even though these results signal improvements in income distribution, we remain one of the most unequal countries in the world. In 2023, 57,9% of people lived in households whose per capita household income was up to 1 minimum wage.

The false assumption is that the government, when financing the generation of occupations through expenditures, opposes the interests of businesspeople, employment obtained through increased expenditure benefits everyone because it contributes to economic expansion, income, consumption and investments, but if we consider only political motivations, any power that can be given to the government to autonomously increase its own expenses becomes a powerful instrument in which capital control based on “balance” loses its effectiveness, as Kalecki said.

Negotiation subordinated to neoliberalism

Between the hope of Brazilians and a clear dynamic of its realization lies the power system of neoliberalism, inherited from recent decades and dramatically deepened under the governments of Michel Temer and Jair Bolsonaro, which imposes a dynamic of financialization of the economy. This is defined as a process of capitalist accumulation oriented towards unproductive financial gains, which reinforces the colonial ties of historical-structural subordination of the country, subordinating the entire economy and the State's own actions to its logic in networks.

What does this mean in practice? For 2024, interest payments on public debt are expected to be 740 billion, that is, 6,9% of GDP. It is more than triple the federal government's investments in health, around nine times the federal investment in education, more than seven times the Lula government's spending on infrastructure. Financialization seriously affects family consumption, as the average personal credit rate in 2022 was around 30% per year.

Business investments, which due to the high cost, are discouraged in favor of rent-seeking investment in securities with a pre-fixed value. According to calculations by professor Ladislau Dowbor, 82% of the seven trillion reais public debt stock is the result of the dynamics of interest on interest and not direct State spending.

Now, this dynamic of financialization prevents the deep and structural confrontation of unemployment and precarious work, the recovery of wages and the necessary and unavoidable investment in social policies, in addition to increasingly encouraging the concentration of income. In short, it prevents the reconstruction of the social foundations of democracy in the country.

An excellent platform to think about this impasse, from a historical and structural point of view, is the reflection of economist Leda Paulani in a long essay “Walking on thin ice. The New Fiscal Framework and its antecedents”, written in May of this year. He seeks to explain why Brazil, without net external debt and with vast dollar reserves, without the injunction of the IMF, with a relatively low internal debt compared internationally, persisted in applying neoliberal macro-economic policies, charging exorbitant interest rates and the so-called fiscal austerity.

The answer it constructs is historical and dates back to 1980, with the arrival of Reagan to the US government, and the sudden and radical increase in US interest rates, which led to the external debt crisis in countries indebted at floating interest rates, such as Brazil. From then on, during the Fernando Henrique Cardoso government, new regulations, laws and institutionalized dynamics were built that, in fact, meant the crystallization of a power structure for the financialization of the economy, now having public debt as its center.

The Lula governments, even after 2006, operated within existing gaps, exploiting a situation favorable to the export of commodities, but “without changing the legal, institutional and socioeconomic frameworks that gave prominence to wealth and financial interests”. There was an important moment, in response to the 2008 international financial crisis, in which a process of exiting this dynamic began, but it was not consolidated. The Dilma governments were installed in the midst of this structural institutional limitation, already faced with an adverse international economic situation, with an irregular and unbalanced dynamic, ending up ceding, at the beginning of her second term, the Ministry of Finance itself to openly governance. neoliberal.

This neoliberal institutional legacy would have been deepened with the anti-labor laws approved during the Temer government, which led to the generalization of outsourcing and precarious processes, and the poorly called autonomy of the Central Bank, approved under Jair Bolsonaro's government, which removed control sovereign decision of the elected president to choose the direction of that institution, which is now entirely captured by the big banks and financiers.

In this context, the New Fiscal Framework would be a kind of pragmatic choice, strongly circumstantiated by the existence of EC-95 (which constitutionally prevented new public and social investments for a long period) and by a National Congress, strongly conservative and neoliberal. It would be less a sovereign act of will and more a highly constrained decision that would expose the third Lula government to a severely limited step and at permanent risk.

One can and should engage in dialogue with such an intelligent reflection, which exposes, above all, the politics of the economy and how it conditions the very path of the country's democratic reconstruction. Its center is to expose the contradiction between the sovereign will resulting from the election of Lula, conditioned by the strong vote of the neoliberal extreme right, and the institutional legacy of the neoliberal power regime. In this sense, there are three hypotheses that should be worked on.

The first hypothesis would be to clearly superimpose the sovereign will resulting from the elections with the institutional legacy of the neoliberal power regime. That is, to begin a process of rupture and transition to a new macro-economic institutionality when the government is installed, which would allow a strong resumption of economic growth, with a resumption and structural deepening of social inclusion and income distribution policies. This hypothesis is called transition to overcoming financialization.

This hypothesis would, however, be institutionally prevented by the “autonomy” of the Central Bank (run by an organic Bolsonarist) and by a conservative National Congress, which would probably resist a review of the EC-95, which would need a majority of 2/3 to be revoked. Faced with an attempted military coup, which required the formation of a broad front in defense of the newly elected mandate, such a hypothesis of overflow of established neoliberal legality would not have democratic legitimacy to proceed.

A second hypothesis, which was practiced by the Lula government after 2006 and during Dilma's first term, would be to arbitrate through a strategy decided by the Ministry of Finance, public banks, state-owned banks a counterpoint to neoliberal institutionality, to create autonomous dynamics in relation to financialization.

As the option of the Lula and Dilma governments was to always maintain a neoliberal direction in the Central Bank, in a clear governance commitment with financial capital, this counterpoint always meant permanent instability, exposed to international economic circumstances, and incapable of stabilizing a sustained cycle of growth with reindustrialization, consolidation of a formalized labor market, income distribution and a qualitative reconstruction, at a new level, of social policies. This hypothesis is called arbitral, that is, it would pragmatically arbitrate developmental, labor and social inclusion policies in permanent dispute with the logic of financialization, which would remain.

A third hypothesis, which is being practiced by the third Lula government, is that of negotiated subordination. It would differ from the second hypothesis, in the sense that the counterpoint of the Ministry of Finance, public banks, state-owned companies would be constrained by a systemic power of financialization that was more institutionally developed than in the previous Lula and Dilma governments. There may be different degrees of subordination and negotiation.

In an objective analysis, the New Fiscal Framework presents an important degree of subordination, further deepened by the goal of a zero deficit in the primary surplus in its first year. It is already installed and projected in the midst of such a dynamic of financialization, without a decisive counterpoint, which prevents a course of reconstruction.

Start overcoming the neoliberal power system

The final months of the first half of 2024 saw the dramatization of the impasse of negotiated subordination to the neoliberal power system. In a clear media campaign led by the Bolsonarian president of the Central Bank, at the same time that the president of the Senate blocked projects to increase government revenue in the face of scandalous fiscal privileges, there was a halt in the process of reducing the economy's basic interest rates, and a pressure, supported by neoliberals inserted in the Ministry of Finance, for the disarticulation of the constitutional floors for investment in health and education, a new attack on workers' rights, a proposal to unlink INSS pensions from minimum wage readjustments. Ultimately, it is about moving from negotiated subordination to a process of open self-destruction of the Lula government in the face of its social bases.

Three highly positive facts have so far countered this movement of the neoliberal far right. The first was the biggest national strike of administrative technicians and professors from universities and federal institutes in the country in the last decade, demanding salary adjustments after years of tightness, restructuring of university budgets and fundamental changes in the career of administrative technicians.

The strike, despite not fully achieving its agenda, was able to move the Lula government to the negotiating table and make concessions that changed the initial position of incorporating in its four years the tightening of civil service inherited from the governments of Michel Temer and Jair Bolsonaro, in addition to starting a budget recomposition of investment in universities.

The second was the general movement of the Lula government in the face of the announced tragedy in Rio Grande do Sul. Legitimized by the response to the calamity situation, the federal government approved a plan, with the support of the Minister of Finance, to invest tens of billions of reais not contingent on the New Fiscal Framework.

The third was the movement of the Front for Life, which unites entities from the health movement, the National Health Council and democratic entities from across the country, in open defense of the constitutional floors for investment in health and education. After being received by the Ministry of Finance, there was a public declaration by Lula himself that there would be no reduction in relation to the defined constitutional floors.

In addition to these three positive movements, there is the victory in the streets and on the networks obtained by the feminist movement and by Brazilian women, forcing the withdrawal of the so-called rape bill, supported by Arthur Lyra, by Bolsonarian evangelicals and shamefully by the leadership of the CNBB, now dominated by conservative sectors, in one of the entity's most obscurantist positions in recent decades.

The great lesson of this episode, around an agenda under strong conservative pressure, is that there is a feminist and also social potential for mobilization for transformation agendas that would need to be more activated, even as a way of altering the correlation of conservative forces that emanate from neoliberal institutionality.

It is interesting that two surveys released in recent days, by DataFolha and CNT, recorded significant improvements in the Lula government's popularity. They certainly reveal these positive moments mentioned above.

This micro-conjuncture of resumption of principled positions, of fundamental values, of righteous indignation and mobilization against the offensive of the neoliberal extreme right, can and must take shape in this immediate period in five major initiatives.

Defeat the neoliberal far right

The first major initiative is to move away from the government's public position of conforming, justifying and, at times, even apologizing for the negotiated subordination to the neoliberal power system, translated into the New Fiscal Framework. The extreme and open politicization of the neoliberal strategy, led by the Central Bank and supported by Arthur Lyra, can and must be publicly denounced with the defense of republican values ​​and the fundamental rights of the Brazilian people and the working classes.

It is necessary to speak in unison: government, left-wing and center-left parties and social movements against this real coup in the democratically elected program in 2022. It was very important, in this context, the positioning of the National Executive leadership of the PT in a strong denunciation of the Central Bank , following the position of Lula and other parliamentary leaders. Whoever sets the agenda has already won half the political fight. May the Bolsonarists pay dearly at the polls this year for being against the fundamental rights of the Brazilian people!

The second major initiative is to release the BNDES, public banks, Petrobrás and all the instruments that the federal government has to act immediately against the financialization and recessionist policy organized by the Central Bank. In the position of negotiated subordination, these powerful instruments of investment and credit leverage are tied up and largely neutralized. There is no reason not to break with this shameful conformity.

The third political movement is to begin the construction of an alternative that allows health, education and social security to leave the yoke of the neoliberal fiscal framework, as has already been proposed by the PT left in its public position in 2023. The reduction of the public deficit must prioritize cutting financial expenses and those scandalous subsidies and tax exemptions. A campaign like this has all the potential to gain the enthusiastic support of the majority of the Brazilian people, even more so if viewed with fundamental investment programs in these areas that, in particular health, are experiencing emergency situations of need.

The fourth major field of initiatives is to create opportunities through the solidarity economy, solidarity enterprises, popular economy and direct action by the State so that people have access to work and income, especially among the most disadvantaged. The State would act by creating a program to generate “Social Occupations” to include people who are unemployed or precariously employed.

It would be the embryo of a broader and more structuring proposal to create occupations that are relevant to society, based on three essential assumptions: meeting socio-environmental needs, expanding the supply of public goods and guaranteeing greater national sovereignty (care policy, science , technology, biodiversity, among others). This will be fundamental to starting a real movement to rebuild the Brazilian labor market, which is currently so unstructured by neoliberal policies.

Furthermore, consumption is a fundamental component of our economic matrix. In general, workers spend everything they earn. 32,6% of employed people receive up to 1 minimum wage. A vigorous policy to recover the value of the minimum wage must be considered a priority for the government. As in the recent past, it can be decisive for the resumption of economic growth, consumption capacity and the reduction of family debt. This policy is perfectly compatible with our economic and social objectives with real distributive effects among the poorest people.

Finally, the fifth major field of initiatives is to resume the foundations and initiatives of popular participation in the Lula government. Faced with a situation that increasingly points to initiatives to destabilize the Lula government by the evil so-called “Centrão”, governability will increasingly depend on direct support for mobilization and social participation as a way of legitimizing its agendas.

This five field of initiatives could certainly allow the Brazilian left and center-left to resume dialogue with the majority hope of Brazilians, preparing a new macroeconomic and governance moment for the Central Bank after the replacement of its current Bolsonaro leader.

*Juarez Guimaraes He is a full professor of political science at UFMG. Author, among other books, of Democracy and Marxism: Criticism of Liberal Reason (Shaman) []

*Marianne Teixeira is a postdoctoral fellow at the Economic and Social Development Program at the Unicamp Institute of Economics.




[iii] The potential workforce is defined as the group of people aged 14 or over who were neither employed nor unemployed in the reference week, but who had the potential to become the workforce. This contingent is made up of two groups: I. people who effectively searched for work, but were not available to work in the reference week; II. people who did not actually search for work, but would like to have a job and were available to work in the reference week.

[iv] These are people employed in the reference week who usually worked less than 40 hours and would like to work more hours than they usually work, that is, willing to work more hours within a period of thirty days from the beginning of the reference week.


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