Re: Lula, Chávez and Mao

Carlos Eduardo Rebello crebello at
Mon Sep 29 16:00:12 MDT 2003

You will forgive me, Julio and Nestor, but I hated the Euzkerra post. Its
main line of reasoning is: there are petit-bourgeois Left intellectuals who
criticize Lula -therefore they must be wrong. What I'd never realized is
that there was so much petit-bourgois resentment in the PT's ranks. The
whole text is a self-contradictory mess, praising Mao's purges of said
petit-bourgeois intellectuals in the "let a hundred flowers bloom" episode
and at the same time bashing Chavez for "bringing Venezuela to the brink of

I'll put things thus: petit-bourgeois or not, the Brazilian intelligentzia
has a right to act upon the principle that social being determines
consciousness. When the Lula government imposed a reform of the social
security on the lines of Pinochet's Chile, taxing and slashing retirement
payments and pensions for today's civil servants and privatizing social
security for future ones - as well as pillorying the civil servant in
general- what did he expect?

When Lula's Minister of Education echoes the WB and IMF and says that
Brazilian public universities are "elitist" contrvances and that what Brazil
needs is a subbotinik of middle-class intellectuals to alphabetize
illiterates who, in an stagnant economy, would simply relapse into
illiteracy as soon as the campaign was ended...what did he expect from the
rank-and-file academic community?

As to Commander Castro, I understand he wants all the support he can gather
I would think him crazy, were he to jeopardize the Cuban revolution by
choosing to "expose" Lula - who has taken a good position of support of
Cuba, which is, sentimental overtones apart, the same policy _all
post-military dictatorship Brazilian governments have taken. As Mangabeira
Unger has said, and I tend to agree, this is no positive sign; it's only
that in Brazil paying lip-service abroad for the good causes (for a more
"just" settlement of the foreign debt, "softer" IMF strictures, etc.) has
become a means of compensating for sorry domestic policies.


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