AND Editorial 2 June 2021

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New Forces

Although it is not yet clear what will be the consequences of the demonstrations of last May 29th, one thing is certain: they unequivocally demonstrated that Brazil is heading for gigantic political clashes in the coming months, to which all social classes, without exception, will be pushed. Unemployment, hunger, inflation, health and police genocides, the homicidal acorn of Bolsonaro and his TFP (Terraplanists, Fascists and Pandemics) marches stir up and will stir up the masses to fight. In the face of this real lion, the Braga Netto, Helenos and other coup generals are but paper dwarfs. The signs of revival are felt everywhere, and range from their most conscious expression, organized around the Manoel Ribeiro Camp and the League of Poor Peasants, to the growing engagement of middle and intellectualized layers against the government, and are confirmation of what the great rebellions of June 2013 so forcefully announced: the new cycle of a revolting rise of the mass movement, after decades of lethargy and relative disengagement with the fate of the country, fueled by the adherence of most of these sectors to the social-democratic governments of PSDB and PT.

We said, in our last editorial, that Colombia serves us as an example and, at the same time, a warning. The wave of popular rebellions, which has been shaking South America since 2019, will not fail to pass through Brazil. The instability of the region, as bourgeois analysts say, rests on quite objective bases, such as the dismantling of even the modest industrial parks installed here, the deterioration of income, the impressive succession of decades lost to the cause of the obstinate servile commitment of the local ruling classes of big bourgeois and landowners to imperialism, mainly North American, and the illusion of so many in a national development under its heel. On a political level, this retreat of social rights coincides, in our countries, with the processes of “re-democratization,” which only proves the hypocrisy of the liberal bourgeoisie and its little brother, petty-bourgeois opportunism, incapable of carrying out even reforms (in theory) compatible with capitalism. The ultimate base of our secular tragedy, the latifundium, continues intact as the main economic pillar, perpetuating the legions of miserable people that, after generations being plundered in servile relations and later expelled from the countryside, flood the great metropolises where they are the breeding ground for the same voracious exploitation. The bloody, genocidal action of the official and extra-official apparatuses of repression against the insurgent masses (apparatuses whose structure was set up during the military regimes, preserved and sophisticated after their end) is the only Latin American social policy to deal with dissidence and poverty. A “dialogue” in which the arguments mobilized are the threats of a coup and states of exception.

What we saw in Pernambuco, with the cowardly, cold and criminal action of the Military Police against the peaceful protest, which resulted in two transient workers being blinded by rubber bullet shots, is a sign of the degree of violence that the next wave of demonstrations in Brazil will have to face. It turns out that the recent Chilean and Colombian cases, not to mention our own June 2013, prove that repression fuels mobilizations, and these are radicalized at the same speed as reactionary savagery beats down on them. Unlike the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois liberals, whose class nature is to vacillate and betray, betray and vacillate – as we have seen with plenty of evidence in the pusillanimous performance of “Their Excellencies” in a CPI made for electoral purposes – the popular masses do not lack combativeness and willingness to make the greatest sacrifices in defense of their interests and their dignity. If up to now this combativeness has not yet been able to find a direction capable of extending it to its ultimate consequences, at least on a scale relevant enough to interfere in the situation as a whole, their struggles are preparing it. The capitulation of the opportunist directions, followed by shameless betrayal and a prolonged hangover, has been the rule. We will see what happens when that potentially infinite force of mobilization converges with the conscious action of the organized ranks of the proletariat.

Fools may ask, “but where is this strength?”; or, “although the situation is indeed explosive, the revolutionaries are weak, minority, etc.” These obtuse unbelievers do not realize that strength is proven and strengthened in the struggle itself, like a muscle that develops through effort, and that consciousness rises by acting under direction endowed with a scientific understanding of reality. It is precisely such a “favorable objective situation” that allows a minority political organization – but one that is well cohesive and able to identify and focus on the critical point in each stage of the struggle – to grow and become an irresistible force, covering in weeks or months a terrain that in normal times would cost years and decades to cover. Those metaphysicians, slaves to routine, were addressed by Marx, when he said that “each step of real movement is more effective than a dozen programs”. This has nothing to do with renouncing vanguard theory. It is precisely the rightness of this theory and the commitment to it that obliges everyone to act, with the utmost decision and farsightedness.

The magnitude and depth of the general crisis of the decomposition of imperialism and the resulting explosiveness of the masses on a world scale intuit that universal history has entered a new epoch of revolutions. The national situation, as part of this formidable crisis, points out in the already stormy times we are living through that great struggles lie ahead. The price of liberation will be expensive; it can only result from painful and prolonged labor. But the reaction will pay more dearly with its ruin: the dark and unfathomable tomb. The condition for this is to put an end to conciliation, to negotiated solutions, to reformist illusions of failure so often repeated, to compromise with the old, to timidity, to paralysis, to hesitation.

Abandon the electoral illusions and get ready for the fight!