dark socialism

Images: Tabitha Mort


The PDT needs unions, social movements and Universities

Lula's rise as a union leader made the PT the main left-wing party, with Leonel Brizola's PDT as its main rival on the left. With the PT's electoral victories starting in the 2000s, the party took a great lead as the largest left-wing party in Brazil today.

The PT's two decades of leadership on the Brazilian left, which brought together support from center-right parties to communist parties, is a concrete reality that is difficult to change. However, the PT's sharp drop in popularity since the impeachment/coup against Dilma Rousseff left an opening for new, different political forces to emerge.

On the right, the PSDB disappeared and Bolsonarism emerged, on the left, however, no alternative has emerged so far. The biggest candidate to succeed Lula as leftist leader is Ciro Gomes, and the main party seeking to overcome the PT is the PDT.

Despite its electoral advantage, it was not the results of the polls that made the PT the main left-wing party in Brazil. In fact, the PT's electoral performance was the result of the party's hegemony in unions, social movements and universities. If it were not a majority on these three fronts, the PT would not be a majority in the electoral dispute.

The PT's main focus of political activity was the unions. Composed of organized workers who are largely more educated than the average Brazilian worker, the party managed to strengthen its base with unionized workers, winning disputes with capital and also winning over part of the non-unionized Brazilian working class. Unions are the main axis of action for any left-wing party that seeks popular support from the masses to implement socialist public policies that require some degree of rupture with the social and economic structure.

It is trade unionism that organizes strikes in various sectors of work, mainly in the public service, and strikes are the most effective way of political organization for workers and, to a large extent, the only effective instrument for labor gains. It turns out that, in today's world of work, outsourcing and precariousness have reduced the collective aspect of workers and led to an every-man-for-himself situation. It is a great challenge for Brazilian and global trade unionism to reorganize workers in different sectors of the economy.

In addition to the unions, the Workers' Party also gained strong support and strategic partnerships with social movements, the main one being the MST. Social movements play the role of being popular organizations that bring together precarious, underemployed and unemployed workers. In addition to reaching part of the marginalized population that does not enter the unions' organizing radar. In an underdeveloped country like Brazil, where half of the workers do not have formalization, unions alone do not reach the necessary volume of workers for there to be political strength on the streets so that major structural transformations and ruptures with the system are possible. Thus, a working class organization needs not only unions, but also social movements.

Social movements are the main pillars for carrying out civil disobedience actions that question the capitalist social order and highlight the country's class conflicts. In addition to serving as a platform for the formation of militancy and political leadership that goes beyond partisanship. The actions of social movements usually bring together greater radicalism than union action. This is expected since the most marginalized population has less to lose than salaried workers, which gives them more courage and boldness in confronting the system.

On the other hand, a left-wing party lives not only among the masses. There is also a need for an intellectual vanguard that discusses reality and contributes to workers having an efficient government program and an effective strategy for coming to power. Furthermore, a party is not only made up of members and leaders, but also of its cadres. In this sense, a party close to the University is a party with better cadres.

If unions bring together the middle class and social movements bring together the most marginalized social classes, universities are generally composed of the highest classes within the working class and part of the national petty bourgeoisie. Despite being far from the harsher reality of average Brazilian workers, the higher and more educated classes have always played a role in the social transformations that represented victories for the Brazilian working class.

In this way, if a left-wing party, such as Ciro Gomes' PDT, intends to surpass Lula's PT as the party that unites the left in Brazil, it is necessary not only to focus on electoral strategies and party alliances, but to direct its militancy to conquer universities, unions and social movements. Because, if the Brazilian right can be simplified as being made up of the tripod of banks, agriculture and the military; the left can be seen as the union of universities, unions and social movements.

Leonel Brizola's dark socialism will only have a place in Brazil if it first conquers these three fertile grounds of the left in the country. As long as we believe in the idea of ​​winning over a portion of the national bourgeoisie to put into practice a national development project, the Democratic Labor Party runs the risk of never returning to the size it once was. Since it is known that even the least backward part of the Brazilian bourgeoisie only tolerates working-class policies if there are organized workers in the streets pushing for the implementation of their policies.

If the PT really abandoned its old socialist pretensions and the new PDT militancy intends to resume brizolismo and fight for Ciro's PND, there are all these necessary transformations to be carried out in the unions, social movements and universities so that the Brazilian left changes its position. expensive for a more socialist and bolder proposal than PTism has become.

*Bruno Machado is an engineer.

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