Brazil: Bolsonaro, the bum

“Eu andei no sol em 245 cidades, gritando o nome desse vagabundo” (I walked under the sun in 245 cities, shouting the name of this bum). This is how Delegado Waldir, the leader of Bolsonaro´s party, the PSL, referred to the Brazilian president. It was in the context of a profound crisis that has exploded in the country´s governing party over an internal power dispute. The president needs to accumulate more power to advance in his anti-worker and anti-peoples plans, but the environment in his own party moves him far from this goal.

Why the crisis of the PSL and Bolsonaro?

It is not the first time that internal disputes are known in the PSL. The president set out to lead the party but has run into constant problems. Complaints of corruption, illegal lists (laranjas), dismissals, resignations and refusals to support his decrees and laws were some examples of the conflicting internal life of the party. Now it is because he intended to impose his son as party leader.

It so happens that to do what Bolsonaro wants to do, he needs a powerful social base that supports and accompanies him, and this is his Achilles heel. The social base that voted for Bolsonaro´s project was neither firm nor very convinced, so the government loses popular support with every step it takes. This weakens the government and Bolsonaro in particular, and opens situations of conflict and dispute over the power of the party and the government itself.

His other weakness is the lack of a party of his own, of a device to provide the necessary structure to govern the country. No government is sustained only by a strong personality and a strengthened presidential institution, and the president knows this very well. Hence, his insistence on fighting for the leadership of the PSL and his attempts to rally the rank-and-file. But this does not sit well in the PSL and the internal war deepens in the heat of Bolsonaro´s incipient and constant loss of popularity.

The statistics of inequality in a restless country

The day before this internal war exploded in the PSL, the rate of inequality in the country were made public. In 2018, the richest 1% of society grew economically 8.4%, while the poorest 5% fell 3.2% in terms of their income. This government widens the gap between rich and poor, in a scenario of rising social unrest.

On the same day, oil workers staged a massive assembly that discussed, among other things, how to confront the attempt to privatize Petrobras. Postal workers held a general strike of 7 days and forced the government to stop its privatizing advance and negotiate the wage scale according to inflation. EMBRAER workers also rose and staged mass assemblies and mobilizations. Before, teachers and students defended public universities on the streets. And there are dozens more examples of struggles that the Brazilian working class has been leading, which does not intend to remain idle in the face of government attacks. Unfortunately, because of the role of the bureaucratic union leaderships, these are isolated and uncoordinated struggles, something that is poses a pending task of those who defend a combative, class based and democratic union model.

How do we face the “bum”?

The solution is to build an opposition that really poses a political alternative, opposed to the right-wing and anti-people government. You cannot negotiate with the right to get rid of the right. The experience of 12 years of PT governments confirms this thesis. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen a political project that is willing to govern in favor of working people and confront the corporations that make up that 1% of the increasingly wealthy society while hunger and misery is getting worse and worse for the vast majority of our people.

The PSOL faces this dilemma. The “lesser evil” never provided any solution for workers. It is time to defend the class independence of the party and strengthen the program that arms us to fight against the attacks that imperialism still has in store for Brazil.

Today, more than ever, #EleNao, the solution is on the left. An anti-capitalist and socialist left that arises in every struggle that workers, women and the youth put up against Bolsonaro, the IMF and imperialism’s plans in Brazil and around the world. A left that is capable of living with differences to contribute to the construction of the party and the revolution so that workers may govern. From Alternativa Socialista and the ISL we put ourselves at the service of this objective.

Alternativa Socialista
International Socialist League – Brazil