Brazil's PT.

Carlos Eduardo Rebello crebello at antares.com.br
Mon Jul 22 17:11:39 MDT 2002


In general, I agree absolutely with Yates' presentation of the present
situation in the PT; however, let's examine some issues closer.

> Date: Sat, 20 Jul 2002 23:39:40 -0400
> From: Les Schaffer <schaffer at optonline.net>
> Subject: (fwd from Michael Yates)  Brazil's PT
>
> : I attended a talk on Saturday, July 20, given by Jose Dirceu,
> president of the Brazilian Workers Party.

Dirceu is in the US, meeting
> largely with business and politcal leaders, trying, I gather, to
> assure them that a PT victory by Lula da Silva this Fall will not
> unduly threaten business interests.
Dirceu answered it at some length.  He said that the
> ability of the PT to deal with the response of imperialism to its
> programs would depend on: -its alliances with Brazilian business (he
> seems to believe that there is a segment of the Brazilian business
> class which is primarily nationalistic).

Yes, this is a very old piece of Left ideology in Brazil, inherited by
Dirceu from the 1950s and 1960s Stalinists, that the hub of the class
struggle in Brazil is the opposition between "pro-imperialists" and
"progressive/nationalistic" fields; add only that, in the 1960s, the
pro-imperialist field was supposed to mean, above all, "feudal latifundia" -
something that at least made more sense, when one thinks of the backward
social realities of rural Brazil _in the early 1960s_; today, such a
programme is nothing other than wishful thinking.

After roughly 40 years of active internationalization of the Brazilian
bourgeoisie - expressed,e,g., by the fact that the second foreign investor
in Brazil today, after the USA, are the various tax heavens where this
bourgeoisie keeps its financial assets - to bank on the support of the
"progressive bourgeoisie" is to count on the support of the most backward
layers of this bourgeoisie - which are today,I think, siding themselves to
the the cart of the Right-wing populist Ciro Gomes, who is steeply ascending
in polls.

 Note that it was _not_ inevitable that such backward layers of the
bourgeoisie, and the petit-bourgeoisie as whole - both deeply wounded by
Cardoso's neoliberal policies-  would choose to side with a Right opposition
in the upcoming elections; only,the fact that Lula and his party fell
willingly into the blackmail posed by the bourgeois press, Imperialism and
their mouthpieces in the Cardoso government, that they had to take a stand
for "stability" seems to have _repulsed_ decisively the "middle class" from
Lula.

It's instinctively felt that any kind of Left government that assumes power
in Brazil will have to face all kinds of blackmails, sobotage, wrecking and
therats from a bourgeoisie that will be not shy about, say, associating
itself with rampant organized crime; therefore the necessity of such a
government to take from the start a clear stand _against_ ruling class
interests.

Lula's wishy-washy attitude - besides pointing to the bourgeois, left
social-democratic character of the PT-does little in the way of
confidence-building among his potential "middle class" voters; if one is to
elect a weak "Left" government prone to be deposed at anytime and which
proposes itself, at best,as only a Cardoso-government-with-an-humane-face,
then- such electors seem to think- better to try one's luck with a Rightist
tough guy with an attitude.

> I left with the impression that James Petras' assessment of the PT in
> his recent Monthly Review article is correct (Petras thinks tha tthe
> national PT has moved decisively to the right).

Absolutely.

Carlos Rebello


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