Brazil: Bolsonaro’s final hours… His time has passed!

By Liaison Committee – Alternativa Socialista y Luta Socialista/PSOL – ISL in Brazil

A few hours before leaving the Presidency of the Republic, Bolsonaro is withering, but not dead politically or with the end that we wanted, imprisoned and sentenced. Between the concluded PF investigation into criminal lies in the Covid-19 pandemic and the visit to Trump in the US, eluding the presidential sash ceremony, what has most made the news in recent days is security for the inauguration of Lula-Alckmin on January 1, 2023. Not without reason, everything has been reconsidered after the failed terrorist attack planned by the Bolsonarist extreme right.

We are counting every second for the departure of Bolsonaro. Since before he took office, we have been present in the movements for “Ele não,” participating and promoting its evolution to “Fora Bolsonaro.” An overview would perhaps leave out too much of the last four years, since the attack against the working class and the poor has been uninterrupted. Briefly, we can highlight, since the last incident, two terrorist attacks by the extreme right-wing Bolsonarists in Brasilia, the country’s capital; constant failed coup maneuvers throughout the government; more than half a million people killed by the government’s genocidal policy in the Covid-19 pandemic; counter-reforms and innumerable setbacks in democratic rights; destruction of biomes in collusion with the underworld of illegality; killings of indigenous people, their leaders and environmentalists; an increase, unseen in decades, of hunger and misery; increased violence against women, Black people, and LGBT people; a dramatic reduction in the purchasing power of wages and an increase in unemployment; accusations of corruption in various areas of the government.

Despite everything, Bolsonaro has emerged unscathed so far. His departure was not produced by the force of the mobilizations, with their peak of demonstrations in 2021, but by the transition operated from above by the Redemocratization Regime. In this agreement, Lula-Alckmin accepted the peaceful transition to try their luck in the next government (and all the physiological ills of this endless negotiation). Bolsonaro, however, even with countless accusations, is still capable of saying no to what he wants, when he wants, and to get away with it.

The last two terrorist attacks in Brasilia speak of the respect of Bolsonaro/bolsonarismo for the Regime that supports him. The first on the 13th, with the Bolsonaristas setting fire to vehicles in the streets; the second on the 25th, also in Brasilia, with the arrest of a Bolsonarist businessman, acting in a group, planting bombs and carrying an arsenal of restricted weapons. These acts, on the one hand, show the political isolation of the extreme right, and their resulting acts of desperation, on the other hand, they show their accumulated hatred and the fight that this movement will wage in the period ahead.

Our response to any attack from the extreme right, which may continue under the Lula-Alckmin government, must be with the method of the mobilized working class. Contesting peoples’ conscience and politically defeating Bolsonarismo. It is an illusion to leave the resolution of this problem to the institutions of the Regime, which accepts Bolsonaro’s political life, using him when necessary – for example in the 2018 elections.

Being part of the reconstruction of the Regime?

We have profound differences with the political line that the PSOL, the party where we operate, applied against the Bolsonaro government and applies toward the new Lula-Alckmin government. Regarding the first, not acting energetically, pressing and demanding that Lula-PT-CUT not empty the streets as they did in 2021, unfortunately behaving meekly as replicators of PT politics. On the new government, pledging loyalty to a government of class conciliation out of fear, on the part of some, of facing Bolsonaro properly, in the streets, and out of opportunism, in the case of the PSOL Popular camp.

The last policy approved in the National Directorate of the party, according to the Semente field and part of the Opposition [See more], places the PSOL as part of the reconstruction of the Regime in crisis, alongside the Lula-Alckmin government. It is not the task of a party that defends socialism to be part of the reconstruction of the bourgeois Regime. The characterization of “Government of National Reconstruction,” used exhaustively by party comrades, is not above social class compositions, class conciliation, and mainly not outside class struggle – of course, if we fully agree that social classes continue to exist in contradiction between capital and labor.

The defense of our democratic gains against Bolsonarism and the extreme right does not mean the defense of democracy in the abstract. This democracy is not ours, the rights that were hard-won in this democracy are ours. The PSOL has decided to sink into the political quagmire, perhaps with no way out, of equating the fight against Bolsonarismo with loyalty to the new Lula-Alckmin government. The most feverish exponents of this line, like the PSOL Popular, advocate fighting the extreme right with positions in the Government. Boulos, for example, believes that being a left-wing opposition to the new Government places us in the camp of Bolsonarism.

It is true that politics have no manual. The new government is not the same as the one that took power two decades ago. Times are different. It will be even more regressive and dependent on institutional rules, the result of the 13 years of the first PT cycle, which completed its symbiosis with the Regime, with the party (or Lula) being one of the largest electoral machines since redemocratization. The PT and Lula are completely accommodated to the rules of the Regime, the new government will not overcome any obstacle imposed by the bourgeoisie.

Reconstituting the Regime means accepting the governability package, which currently includes Arthur Lira (PP), the Centrão’s physiologism and the corrosive corrupt governability. The logic of PT-Lula is correct, after all, as we said, they are part of the structure of this Regime and they will try to rebuild it whenever possible. The question that we leave to the honest comrades of our party is whether the PSOL should also be part of this reconstruction.

We will have numerous challenges in the coming year: fighting against the extreme right that will continue to act, even without the federal government’s machine; for Bolsonaro to rot behind bars; for the urgent demand for the eradication of hunger and misery; for salaries above real inflation and the creation of jobs with guaranteed rights; for the annulment of all counter-reforms and attacks implemented against our class; for the immediate defense of our biomes and the lives of indigenous peoples. These challenges can only be faced with the mobilization of our class, in the streets, for the restitution of our rights and the conquest of more.

In the PSOL, our challenge will be to reorganize the Left Opposition and fight for the party to not sink more and more into liquidationism, a task that the Alternativa Socialista and Luta Socialista Liaison Committee is committed to. Come and join this fight.