Actualité > Brazil : Jair Bolsonaro elected President

Brazil : Jair Bolsonaro elected President

On Sunday 28 October 2018 the extreme right-wing candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, was elected President of the Republic of Brazil.

Standing as the nominee for the Social Liberal Party (PSL), the former army officer and self-avowed misogynist, racist and homophone Bolsonaro has never concealed his intent to set up a reactionary regime. Since leading the polls, acts of racist, sexist and homophobic violence have flared up all over the country. Since as early as 25 October, the army had already taken over 27 universities and banned antifascist and opposition meetings.

As far as the economy is concerned, Bolsonaro espouses an equally aggressive policy involving slashing workers’ rights, a forced march towards privatisations and opening the country up to foreign capital. The poorest segments of society (workers and poor peasants) will be the first hit. Both the imperialist powers and the Brazilian monopolies were more than happy with this candidate as he opened his arms wide to capital. The newly-elected government has announced its intention to resume exploiting the natural resources in the Amazon rainforest, plundering still further the lands of the indigenous peoples for private gain. None of this bodes well !

Bolsonaro rose to power primarily thanks to the vote of a part of the bourgeoisie and the petite bourgeoisie, radicalised on the right : a mainly white population which controls wealth and wields power over the country. To a lesser extent, he has also garnered the backing of a part of the popular classes who feel let down by Lula’s Workers’ Party (PT) which governed from 2003 to 2011. This vote, together with the high level of abstention, which reached 21% despite the fact that voting is mandatory in Brazil, stand as proof of the failure of the reformism promoted by the PT. The failure to address the aspirations of the popular masses. The failure to really change the harsh reality of the life of millions of women and men throughout the country. A failure sullied by corruption scandals.

But while the Brazilian elections were widely covered by the French media, we should not forget that this swing towards reactionary politics goes beyond Brazil. The Philippines, Turkey, the USA, India, Italy, etc. have all recently elected reactionary governments, often referred to as ‘populists’ or ‘populist extremists’. They are indeed extremists : bourgeois, capitalist extremists. And while they pretend to question the political and media power of the ruling elites, they never actually undermine Capitalism and the State, claiming instead to run them better.
This on-going political crisis which continues to spread is the direct result of the global economic crisis. Beneath their inflammatory rhetoric, what these ‘populists’ are really about is the violent restructuring of Capitalism. Not every political crisis necessarily heralds a revolution and may instead unfortunately lead to upheavals which are nothing more than the continuation of the Capitalist system. The 1930s stand as an example in point.

The outcome of the elections in Brazil is, therefore, a reflection of the swing towards reactionary politics, a trend which will be unleashed on the Brazilian workers, poor peasants and proletariat, as well as the ethnic, gender and sexual minorities. These popular masses are already steeling themselves for the attacks which are bound to come from this new government. The trade unions, the universities, the women’s, LGBT, antiracist environmentalist and indigenous movements are all readying themselves for the long struggle ahead in defence of rights and freedoms. We declare our support for and our solidarity with these popular masses in the face of the reactionary forces.
But as Communists, ours is a revolutionary support for all of those who seek in this bleak hour to combat one clear target : Capitalism and the bourgeois State. It is no time for despair, striving instead to concertedly regroup and organise the most conscious sectors. The time has come to sweep away the old world which destroys lives and the environment. The time has come to bring together the force of the working and common people of Brazil in a fight against the ultra-reactionary Bourgeoisie, freeing them of all of the electoral and reformist delusions touted by the PT and others with the aim of achieving the Socialist revolution.


OCML Voie Prolétarienne, 8 November 2018


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