An agenda to free Brazil

Image: Vasco Prado


The resumption of works at the Abreu e Lima Refinery goes against neoliberalism and exposes a much deeper and more structural struggle for the country's sovereignty

“Investigating coup interference, as if it originated in a universe parallel to the democratic universe, is a mistake. Assaults on power can happen in any regime, but parliamentary coups, like the one that occurred in Brazil in 2016, only exist in systems of representative democracies”.
(Wanderley Guilherme dos Santos)

The late political scientist Wanderley Guilherme, former researcher at IESP-UERJ, published a classic work entitled “Who will give the coup?” (Brazilian Civilization, 1962), inaugural treaty for which he gained notoriety for having foreshadowed in 1961 the coup d'état, by the military, against the then president João Goulart, which was only definitively launched three years later, on April 1, 1964.

A coup against democracy is a perverse choice. The evil intentions that drive the coup group are collected and recognized only over time. Political science consecrates a coup as a political act of treason. It is an extreme resource through which sectors of the ruling class use it to recover threatened privileges, preserved within an unjust and unequal order built throughout the history of a given society.

On the 22nd, Monday, the Newspapers in Brazil published an excellent article by journalist Leonardo Attuch in which the author denounces the message given to President Lula, by the American Empire, through the Brazilian conservative capitalist media, so that Lula “does not dare to develop Brazil in a haughty way”.

Political science scholars know very well that the first point of a Public Policy Cycle to be defined for its implementation is the formation of the Agenda. In other words, the set of problems or themes considered relevant, by authorities and other stakeholders, in a competitive space of disputes, to integrate government programs, with their respective budgets, aiming at a real application based on concrete decision-making for its implementation. In this sense, it is known that the conservative media complex exerts strong pressure on public opinion to form Public Agendas, based on the interests it defends and represents.

In the aforementioned article, Attuch points to the central issue in dispute: the development of Brazil aimed at a protagonist and sovereign role on the international scene, with the resumption of the strategic reconstruction of our energy company – PETROBRÁS – dilapidated by the nefarious and unscrupulous action of the Cartel Lavajatista, as well as, at an internal level, for a territorial distribution of public investments as a way of facilitating the growth of the country's less developed regions.

With the resumption of works at the Abreu e Lima Refinery, located in the municipality of Ipojuca – PE, the most modern in Brazil, it is projected to generate 30 thousand direct and indirect jobs, adding, among other products, around 13 million liters of Diesel S10 per day to national production. When fully operational, the Abreu e Lima Refinery will earn R$100 billion per year.

But why does the Brazilian ruling class repercussion in an angry and orchestrated way such imposition of the Empire, preventing the liberation of Brazil, the implementation of a Liberation Agenda? What is so specific about a neoliberal State that puts it in mortal combat against any and all forms of welfare state that aims at justice, social inclusion and international pride?

As Professor Alaôr Caffé Alves (State and Ideology. Dialectic, 2023), Starting in the 80s of the XNUMXth century, Capital implemented an insane race, reformulating methodologies and production processes with a view to finding new paths to the trend of decreasing the average rate of profits and combating increasingly deeper recessions, in an effort to spoliate new areas of human activity, shamelessly invading public spaces, to achieve greater private appropriation of the social product.

This process caused Capital to sharply increase economic productivity, the expansion of markets worldwide, accelerated accumulation, the exacerbated expansion of credit and the consequent reduction in jobs (structural unemployment). It is during this period that we witness the diversion of large and significant amounts of capital from the field of material production to the international compositions of financial capital in a way never seen before.

Thus, the broader and more intense social productive potential is in contradiction with the forms of monopolized, centralized and concentrated appropriation of private capital. This tends to generate major crises in the capitalist system, due to the growing contradiction between the enormous private appropriation, increasingly centralized and concentrated, and the ever-increasing reduction in the collective distribution of the social product, increasingly accentuating social inequality.

Thus, the contradiction between the concentration of income and wealth, with the ever-increasing increase in the private nature of the appropriation of the social product, causing great differences in social conditions, with populations becoming increasingly needy, exponentially increases the need for goods and public services and community social protection. This contradiction will progressively generate great tension between collective needs and the strong concentration of capital in the scope of increasingly usurping public goods, services and values ​​from the private sector, through privatization.

Neoliberalism, to achieve these objectives, adopted certain fundamental measures. Through the propagation of hyper-individualist ideology, it decomposes society into entrepreneurial individuals to the detriment of the ontological value and competence and social protection of communities; national and international markets are widely opened; the deregulation of financial capital at a national and global level is encouraged; the transfer of labor-intensive industries to national and international peripheries is promoted to exploit low wages; policies are implemented to reduce workers' real wages; new technologies for the production and circulation of goods are incorporated (Toyotism); labor rights are changed and made more flexible; social security is privatized; natural resources are intensively explored; public services are privatized; the State's responsibilities regarding social rights are weakened; the privatization of energy, natural and mineral resources is promoted. In short, the Market and the private sector become the unconditional and organizing nucleus of the social, political, cultural and economic life of the entire society.

Social inequality, becoming increasingly accentuated, generates the worsening of conflicts between social groups and classes, making social movements increasingly effective in denouncing the plundering to which entire populations are subjected. Due to neoliberal ferocity, political reality is hampered on the side of consensus building, marching towards the emergence of increasingly explicit confrontation.

As a way of guaranteeing neoliberal hegemony, groups, organizations and political parties of a Nazi and fascist nature emerge, whose objective is to establish, through violence, the dominance of authoritarian neoliberal forms of State. Consequently, the neoliberal State entails enormous intrinsic difficulties in promoting democratic processes, establishing itself as an expression of the historical exhaustion of the bases and conditions of the capitalist mode of production.

Therefore, what can be seen in this period, materialized in the blatant intimidation carried out by the conservative corporate media against Lula, due to the resumption of works at the Abreu e Lima Refinery, is not a mere political polarization, as common sense insists on parrotically reverberating over the basic tension that moves the present time. This is a much deeper and more structural struggle. Lula knows this very well and continues to point out the need for a substantial change in the unfair conditions that guide life in society.

*Alexandre Aragão de Albuquerque Master in Public Policy and Society from the State University of Ceará (UECE).

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