Brazil: Debates on the left. PSOL, the elections and a project in dispute

[:es]crédito de la foto: @vtiriba[:]

By Verónica O’Kelly, Alternativa Socialista/PSOL – ISL, Brazil

The unresolved capitalist crisis provokes a period of great social polarization. The right wing radicalizes and ultra-right and reactionary sectors emerge. The reformist or social democratic sectors are trapped between populist discourse and the liberal policies demanded by the market. The masses are rebelling and taking the lead in the processes of class struggle in all corners of the world, unfortunately still without a revolutionary political leadership to lead the rebellion towards socialism. This opens fundamental and urgent debates on the global left, and the Brazilian left in particular.

PSOL, a broad party in dispute

The experience of broad parties in the world has offered us some lessons: Syriza in Greece or Podemos in Spain are clear examples of the limitations of these experiences that have been definitively capitalized by the project of the bourgeoisie and the capitalist state regime. Revolutionaries cannot stand by and watch without intervening in the objective processes, which are largely a consequence of the absence of revolutionary leaderships capable of leading the mass processes. It is our duty to politically act and intervene in them. Therefore, the direction taken by the PSOL cannot go unnoticed and deserves a fraternal debate among those of us who struggle for the construction of a revolutionary party.

From the beginning until today, the PSOL has undergone a great mutation. In 2004, the policy of founding an organization that regrouped the different currents expelled from the PT, when Lula made a pro-capital pension reform, was a appropriate positioning that opened an interesting horizon for the Brazilian left, which was already beginning to experience the attacks of a government of class conciliation, as was that of Lula and the PT. Then came years in which disillusionment grew with those governments that offered great benefits to capital, so the PSOL became a pole where those sectors found refuge. Trotskyism was fundamental for the founding of the party, being the majority in the first years, but then it lost space while the reformist sectors that came from the later ruptures with the PT grew, a large sector split after the “mensalão” corruption scandal. Today the party is divided into two sectors: those who propose a “refoundation”, returning to the project of class conciliation led by the PT and Lula, who represent 56% of the delegates in the last National Congress of the party, and 44%, where there are those who, like us, defend a PSOL with class independence and a socialist program.

The majority leadership is leading the party in the direction of supporting Lula/Alckmin and the Frente Amplio with the right in the first round of the elections. We, on the other hand, continue to defend that the PSOL have its own candidacy for the Presidency of the Republic, presenting comrade and federal deputy Galuber Braga as a pre-candidate, at the service of the construction of a Left Front with the Socialist and Revolutionary Pole, PCB, UP and other parties of the left. This is a debate of a strategic nature, in which the 44% that represents the left wing of the PSOL must be the driving force, calling on the rank and file of the party to be part of it and to defend the historic project of the Socialism and Freedom Party.

Is being part of the Lula/Alckmin government the limit?

Guilherme Boulos, Juliano Medeiros and other representatives of the majority leadership are committed to the Lula President campaign because they want to be part of those who are with the “reconstruction of Brazil”. There is no doubt, there is no double meaning in what they say, it is to be part of the campaign and of a future Lula government. The question is how the comrades of the Semente camp (Resistance, Insurgency and Subverta) explain the fact of working together with these currents in the leadership of the PSOL, since according to them the limit is the composition of the government.

Valerio Arcary (national leader of the Resistance), recently wrote that the PSOL “…will not integrate any left government with right-wing parties, preserving the defense of class political independence. Tactical flexibility and firmness in principles, a Leninism for the 21st century.” Perhaps for Arcary and the Resistance, “Leninism for the 21st century” means abandoning the dispute for the class independence of the PSOL and handing it over to the control of reformist currents ready to form a government with the bourgeoisie, but this surely is far removed from any Leninist teaching. One cannot say one thing and work in another direction. The consequence of this line is the assimilation of the PSOL to the bourgeois democratic regime and its consequent liquidation, this is what Arcary does not say and hides in a “political intelligence”, according to his own words.

The Federation with REDE is a step toward the liquidation of the PSOL

Parallel to the debate on the presidential elections, another one has been opened, the formation of a federation of parties with a party financed by businessmen and banks, Rede Sustentabilidade, the party of Marina Silva, Heloisa Helena and Randolfe Rodrigues. The Federation is not just any electoral agreement, it means an agreement for 4 years, with a common program and statute, common electoral, parliamentary and executive actions, that is, the party will have to adapt its program and policies to those of a party that defends bourgeois interests. It is certain that such an agreement will change the essence of the PSOL and will make it distance itself from the sectors of society with which the party intends to build. The social base that militates, votes or accompanies the PSOL is the one that rightly fights and confronts the sectors that REDE represents, as well as a government of the Frente Amplio of Lula/Alckmin.

Accordingly, we have a fraternal debate with the comrades of the MES, who still have doubts about whether to vote in favor of the Federation with REDE. It is a mistake to raise the question only on the tactical-electoral plane, due to the issues already mentioned above. This is a decisive moment for the PSOL, in which the firm and categorical defense of anti-capitalist independence is our best weapon in this battle. Strengthening the left wing of the party, calling on the rank and file to unite and build a pole that brings together those who will not accompany the project of class conciliation, is the only alternative we have, otherwise we will be endorsing the liquidationist “refoundation” that the majority wants.

The radical left is entrenched with Glauber for the presidency and a call to the Socialist Left Front!

We know that in the rank and file of the PSOL, and in the vanguard in general, there is great concern about the course that the majority leadership is taking, with comrades who have already disaffiliated or are thinking about it. Of course, it makes no sense to remain in a political project that does not represent our struggles and is willing to cross the class barrier. That is why we call on everyone to strengthen the internal battle in defense of the independent and socialist PSOL.

To make Glauber’s pre-candidacy grow, who puts himself at the head of this battle and raises a socialist program as a banner; who defends a Socialist Left Front calling on the other parties of the left to strengthen a way out for the working and poor people of Brazil; who proposes to build a real political alternative for the 99% and does not fall for the mermaid songs of the Frente Amplio. Let us call meetings, plenaries, encounters, seminars and let us elaborate together this alternative.

To strengthen our battle against the reformist sectors or those assimilated to the bourgeois order, it is essential to build a revolutionary, anti-capitalist and internationalist organization, a consistent organization that advances and is not willing to take any step backwards. That is why we invite you to join Alternativa Socialista in Brazil and the International Socialist League in the world, to fight with us for a way out in favor of the exploited and oppressed majorities, for a socialist way out.

photo credit: @vtiriba