Is fascism or Bonapartism coming to Brazil?


By Fabian Naistat- La Marx International 10/12/22

All leftist groups and parties say that the extreme right is growing in Brazil, the working class is in decline, that the Armed Forces have a leading role in the country's political situation, and that Brazil is heading towards a fascist, or a bonapartist regime. But what characterizes the world situation is a revolutionary rise of the masses and a very serious crisis of capitalism. Every week new revolutions and insurrections arise, the working class develops strikes and mobilizations all over the world . The Ukrainian masses are defeating Putin. And the few Bonapartist regimes that were built before the fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008/09, Iran, Russia, China, Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela, are in crisis,

Putin finds himself in a serious crisis with the Russian people openly opposing military recruitment, in Iran the masses in insurrection against the dictatorship, the same in Cuba mobilizations against the dictatorship more and more daily, the regimes of Venezuela and Nicaragua isolated and hated by the masses. Is it possible that the whole world goes one way and Brazil the other? Even analyzing the situation in Latin America, we will see that an insurrection broke out in Ecuador, the Boric government in Chile was defeated in its attempt to establish a new Constitution, the Argentine government and Peronism plunged into a deep crisis. Demonstrations began in Mexico against the army, accused of being responsible for the Ayotzinapa massacre. Is it possible that all of Latin America goes one way and Brazil the other?

Hypothetically yes it is possible. The problem is that in reality there is no element that supports the affirmation that Brazil is going to Bonapartism, on the contrary, all the electoral data and the reality of the country show that in Brazil the same elements that are going around the world are taking place. So let's work with the reality data to come to the right conclusions.

Capitalist coalitions emerge weakened from elections

All the media, and the leaders of the bourgeois coalitions, agitate that in the first round of the elections the coalitions emerged stronger from the election, that Bolsonaro grew and is stronger, and that Lula grew and is stronger. But the data of reality shows the opposite. Bourgeois coalitions and the regime spent millions of dollars and enormous resources to force millions of Brazilians to choose only two possibilities. The other candidacies were testimonial, the set of resources of the multinationals, the bourgeoisie and imperialism were concentrated in Lula and Bolsonaro. And what did they get?

The specific data, and of the 156,453,354 million Brazilians with the right to vote, 51,072,345 voted for Bolsonaro, this represents 32% of the total population. He only received votes from a third of the population. In relation to the 2018 elections, of a total of 147,299,471 voters, Bolsonaro obtained 49,277,010 million, which means 33% of the total population. In 2022, the total number of votes for Bolsonaro increases, but since there are more Brazilians eligible to vote, Bolsonaro has dropped one point from 33% to 32%. Despite the millions of dollars, the propaganda of the multinationals, the millions of the State used for the "Auxílio Brasil" plan, the support of governments, mayors and Protestant churches, Bolsonaro does not advance among the Brazilian people.

Despite the millions of dollars and all the pressure from the state and the political superstructure, it is a weak government that has the overwhelming majority of the population against it. Lula, in turn, of the 156,446,127. people with the right to vote obtained 57,258,115, 36.5%. Get the support of more than a third of the population. Only 10 million votes increase compared to the 2018 elections, from 32% to 36%, a very weak growth, despite the fact that Lula is in the candidacy process, they take him out of jail to rebuild this coalition Despite the millions of dollars from the multinationals, from the State, from the pressure of all the social and political organizations in the country that respond to the PT, this coalition grows to 4%.

In the field of bourgeois democracy, a government is considered strong when it has 50% or 60% support. The crisis of the Brazilian bourgeois democratic regime lies in the fact that the two capitalist coalitions, supported by imperialism and the Brazilian ruling classes, will have to apply a brutal plan against the people to get Brazilian capitalism out of the crisis with only a third of the support of the population, that is, the government that takes office will have the majority of the population against it. This shows that the majority of the workers and the people in Brazil advance in their consciousness and do not believe in the candidates and parties of the bourgeoisie, as happened in the past.

We do not believe and denounce bourgeois democracy

With the second round, the two coalitions will have more votes, but they do not qualitatively change the situation, since the second round is a forced polarization that forces the masses to opt for one of these two variants. It is part of the traps and farces of bourgeois democracy. All the leftist parties base their analysis on data provided by bourgeois democracy. Because what we need to clarify is: Is bourgeois democracy really the expression of the will of the Brazilian people? Should we believe the data presented by bourgeois democracy?

How is it possible that an electoral coalition that obtains 32% of the votes ends up having a parliamentary majority and obtains victory even in important cities and states of the country, such as São Paulo? The fact that Bolsonaro has a majority in Parliament, with 372 parliamentarians, certainly has an impact on the vanguard and activism. Obviously Bolsonarism shakes its "triumph" , and the media say the same thing. But the fact that a coalition that commands only a third of the population's support has a majority in parliament, and in many states and cities, demonstrates the undemocratic character of bourgeois "democracy ". This shows that bourgeois democracy is a farce and does not represent any "democracy".

All the mechanisms of the bourgeois elections are completely undemocratic, the way in which the electoral circuits are established, the representation of the states and neighborhoods with the highest concentration of workers is diluted, only the parties that have millions of dollars can present themselves, and applies representation based on proportionality, leaving out of the calculations the millions of Brazilians who vote blank, invalid or abstain.

All these mechanisms are a fraud, a farce and end up reflecting representation in parliaments, governments, mayors, etc. that does not express the reality of the will of the people. Obviously the masses do not know this and are constantly deceived by the bourgeois and reformist parties that tell them that bourgeois elections are "democracy". But we Marxists must denounce that bourgeois democracy and bourgeois elections are not "democracy", and that the representations obtained by the coalitions of Lula and Bolsonaro do not represent the reality of what the Brazilian people think.

We do not base our analyzes on the lies spread by liars in the pay of Folha de São Paulo, or Rede do Globo, we carry out our analyzes independently of the bourgeoisie, and we reject their campaigns and lies, in addition to denouncing their mechanisms of what they call "democracy". No matters that we are a complete minority in the midst of the sea of ​​capitulations and barbarities that are now being spread by the analysts and intellectuals of the Brazilian left. They start from the basis of considering bourgeois democracy as "democracy" if they support the methods of bourgeois democracy, are complicit in its tricks, do not denounce, on the contrary, collaborate in deceiving the people of what happened in the elections are "democracy" . "

But even counting in favor of all these frauds, and anti-democratic mechanisms of bourgeois democracy, if we analyze the composition of the seats obtained by Bolsonaro's coalition, which will be the majority, we see that of the 372 seats obtained by this coalition, 99 belong to Bolsonaro. The other 273 votes mostly belong, with a few exceptions, to a constellation of parties known in Brazilian politics as "Centrao." (in English, "Center"). 

What is the "Center" ? It is a bloc made up of center and center-right parties that has been the cornerstone of the Brazilian political system, supporting all the presidents already seen in both center-left and center-right capitalist coalitions. The current president of the Chamber of Deputies, Arthur Lira, one of the leaders of Centrão and a strategic ally of Bolsonaro. Lira's party is called Progressives and supported the governments of Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, of the Workers' Party (PT), where he appointed leaders of Petrobras, supported the Temer government, made agreements with Alckmin, and has no problem ally with Bolsonaro.

Centrão acts in Congress, exchanging parliamentary support for spaces in the management of the government and the national budget. It is a power bloc that defends the bourgeois democratic regime, because it lives from that regime and bases its existence on Parliament. If the bourgeois democratic regime disappeared, Centrao would disappear with it. But then, the "wonder" of bourgeois democracy achieves that a group of politicians completely unknown to the great masses, who live fucking behind the scenes of the senate or the comrade of the legislators, making their dirty moves, and agreements, deals, and tricks , are now those who support Bolsonaro so that he has a parliamentary majority. Does this really represent the will of the Brazilian people?

Do the great working and peasant masses know Artur Lira? Do the election results show your desire to be governed by these characters? If the alliance with the ruling party is maintained, it allows reaching 372 of the 513 deputies. In the Senate, it yields 52 seats for Centrão, 14 for Bolsonaro and 13 for PT and allies. But neither can we rule out that, if Lula wins, Centrao will change its position and go on to support the next Lula government. this shows that the results of the elections do not reflect the will of the Brazilian people, and are a tangle of tricks and tricks to deceive the people.

Is Brazil advancing towards Bonapartism?

What is Bonapartism? Bonapartism is a dictatorship, a political regime based on the Armed Forces that represses the population with methods of civil war, assassinates, imprisons and tortures thousands of social, union and opposition political leaders as in Venezuela, Cuba or Nicaragua. It bans the opposition media, eliminates the rights of assembly, expression and demonstration as Putin does in Russia. You can even set up concentration camps like the Chinese regime does. Is Brazil heading towards this political regime?

Artur Lira president of the Chamber of Deputies and one of the most important representatives of the Centrão

To establish a Bonapartist regime, the Brazilian bourgeoisie needs a strong government that has the support of important sectors of the mass movement. The existing Bonapartist regimes were constituted from important economic concessions with which they won the support of the mass sectors, when another situation of world capitalism was lived. This is how it was in Russia 30 years ago, Iran 40 years ago, Cuba and China 50 years ago, Venezuela 20 years ago, Nicaragua 40 years ago, etc.

Will the next government in Brazil follow the policy of Putin, Ortega, Maduro or Díaz Canel? We do not understand what the global left is based on to affirm this. The next capitalist government that emerges in Brazil will be a weak government, without any possibility of granting concessions to the masses for the world crisis of capitalism. At most, it will continue to grant millions of subsidies to contain poverty, as Bolsonaro has been doing and practically all the capitalist governments in the world are doing. Is there any sector of the Brazilian bourgeoisie that proposes this type of political regime? Did propose it the Center? Lula proposes? Bolsonaro made threatening statements against democratic freedoms. Is the claim that Brazil will have a Bonapartist regime based on Bolsonaro's policy in recent years?

If are based on Bolsonaro's policy in recent years, must urgently modify this characterization, because what Bolsonaro and the Brazilian bourgeoisie have done in recent years is the opposite of going to a Bonapartist regime. In March 2021, the Bolsonaro government plunged into a deep crisis. With millions dead from the pandemic, a deep hatred of the population towards the government, and cornered by several calls for impeachment, Bolsanaro changes his policy. He removed Ernesto Araújo from the cabinet, the main representative of the far-right ideology in the cabinet, and appointed Senator Ciro Nogueira as minister of the Civil House, the main government position after the president. Ciro Noguerra is a representative of the "Center".

In this way, Bolosonaro made a deal with Centrao, placing Centrao officials in key government areas, and agreed with them to establish the "Auxilio Brasil" Plan (English "Aids Brazil Plain"), which now provides subsidies to 20 million people. In this way, and faced with the possibility of a serious political crisis, Bolsonaro made a 180-degree turn in his politics. When I came to power, Bolsonaro spoke of never making agreements with "corrupt politicians" linked to Lava Jato or Odebrecht and ended the "Bolsa Família" plan. But he ended up agreeing with corrupt sectors linked to Lava Jato, such as Centrão, and established the "Auxililo Brasil" plan, which is the same plan carried out by Lula for decades.

While Lula looked at his politics "to the right", agreeing with Alckmin, Bolsonaro turned around politically agreeing with Centrão, and adopting the plan to distribute millions of social subsidies as the "progressive" government of Kirchnerism in Argentina does, or Lula did during decades. Do Bolsonaro's agreements with Centrao indicate a path towards Bonapartism? Is the implementation of the "Auxilio Brazil" plain a bonapartist measure? When the global left says that Brazil is moving towards Bonapartism, does it say that it will not support it if it supports itself in Parliament if it supports the military? Will the next government break with Centrão? Will it begin to persecute opponents, to eliminate freedom of the press, of assembly, to eliminate unions and social organizations, without being able to make concessions to the masses?

Auxílio Brasil is Bolsonaro's plan to distribute millions of poverty subsidies

Our vision is completely different from that of the global left. The next Brazilian government will depend on Parliament, on the agreements with Centrão, on the institutions of the bourgeois democratic regime, as Bolsonaro has been doing. The next government cannot go out and violently repress activists, persecute opponents, that would cause a popular revolt, the Brazilian bourgeoisie is not suicidal. The cases of activist deaths are few and sporadic, they exist as in all capitalist countries, but not as part of a systematic plan. The axis of the government is not going to go out and assassinate activists, the axis will continue to be the distribution of millions of subsidies to avoid revolts and co-opt activists, that is what really happens in the political situation in Brazil.

There is no element of reality that indicates the trend towards fascism or Bonapartism in Brazil. Otherwise. Even less is there the possibility of fascism in Brazil. But the leaders of the Progressive International, of the entire world left, of the entire Brazilian left, unaware of reality, constantly agitate the imminence of fascism to justify their shameful support for Lula. Because Brazil is not going in the opposite direction to where the world is going, it is going in exactly the same direction. During the height of the Bonapartist dictatorships or military dictatorships in Latin America, the persecution of union leaders was common, dissident meetings were interrupted by shootings and imprisonment. The massacres are remembered for a whole generation. None of this is happening today in Brazil. "Front for Peace and Democracy" is not the stick, but the carrot and the consultation.

As of 2021, Bolsonaro fully adhered, in addition to his statements and speeches, to this policy. He is similar to Donald Trump who "talks" all the time with reactionary statements, but his policy was to preserve the bourgeois democratic regime. We do not judge governments by their "speeches " and statements to the press, but by their daily politics. And that will continue to be the policy of the next Brazilian government, even if it has to implement a serious economic attack on the masses, it will seek to repress and attack the masses, but from a bourgeois democratic regime in crisis. This contradiction is what all the capitalist governments of the world face, they would like to be able to crush the masses of the world to impose their plans, but it is impossible for them.

From the economic point of view, poverty and misery are advancing, because as long as capitalism is not expropriated, it will continue to destroy the productive forces. But from the political point of view, the capitalist governments and their regimes live from crisis to crisis, product of the revolutionary rise of the masses, they are destroying their governments, their regimes and the treacherous leaderships. The few Bonapartist regimes that exist are being hit hard by the revolutionary wave of the third world, the women's revolution and the most oppressed peoples like Ukraine.

In Brazil, the bourgeoisie cannot advance to a Bonapartist regime as a result of the revolution that the people made in 2016, which imposed a relationship of forces between the classes that the Brazilian bourgeoisie could not reverse. Bolsonaro's charlatanism ended with an agreement with the corrupt Centrão, and the distribution of millions of subsidies, given the impossibility of defeating the Brazilian people, and he executed his government based on parliamentary agreements, counting on the bourgeois democratic regime.

Brazil: From one revolution to another revolution

When in 2015 Dilma Roussef wanted to attack the pensions of the Brazilian people, Brazil exploded. The mobilizations were the largest in the history of Brazil since the fall of the dictatorship, after which Dilma fell and the most important political party of the Brazilian working class began to fall: the PT. It was a February revolution that fulfills political tasks, because it forever changed the country's political regime and is changing the situation of the leaders of the mass movement. This revolution is destroying and causing a great crisis in all the leftist groups in the country.

This revolution explains the entire current political situation, explains why Bolsonarism emerged, the character of the Brazilian bourgeois democratic regime. When Bolsonaro went into crisis, the Brazilian bourgeoisie avoided another recurring February, another power vacuum through parliamentary agreements with Centrão, to avoid the fall of another bourgeois government. This agreement within the framework of the bourgeois regime allowed it to "numb" the revolution, lead the political situation towards the elections, force the 2nd round, make the masses believe that there will be "democracy".

Mass mobilizations against Lula, Dilma Rousseff and the PT 2015-2016

But it is just that, a ploy. It does not change the power relations between classes that the 2016 revolution established in Brazil. It does not resolve any of the contradictions and crises of Brazilian capitalism. And it prepares and accumulates new contradictions that will explode during the next capitalist government of the country, when the discontent of the masses and the people against the government and its measures begins. This is the reality of what is happening in Brazil. All types of predictions can be made in a document. All kinds of hypotheses can be made, such as talking about a future Bonpartism. But the hypotheses have to be based on facts of reality, they cannot be based on imaginary questions, or mere speculations not supported by real data. An erroneous characterization of reality leads us to miss political opportunities. And as Nahuel Moreno always said:"Every missed political opportunity equals setbacks and crises."

Brazil, I had a revolution in 2016 that started to destroy the PT, the main political party of the Brazilian working class. This revolution was part of a revolutionary wave that included triumphs like that same year, the Ukrainian people defeated the Yanukovych dictatorship, opening the Ukrainian revolution that now achieves a second military victory. Without understanding this revolution, it is impossible to understand anything that happens in the political reality of Brazil. The fall of Dilma was a revolution with massive mobilizations of the Brazilian people that ended an era. It is a political revolution that mortally wounded the old Brazilian political regime and began to free the working class from the chains of reformism. Today the PT is far from being the dominant party in activism and in the working and popular base of Brazil,

Only by agreeing with those rotten bourgeois parties did he get a bench of 66 seats, but he was far from the 88 deputies he knew he had at his best. The 2016 revolution began to destroy the PT and also all the reformist forces. It allows freeing cadres and developing new activists. For example, the crisis of PSOL or PSTU, it's part of the process of political revolution that the country is experiencing. Political revolution is when the masses stop believing in the old leaders and break with them.

In the 2022 elections, and especially in the second round, they will vote for the "lesser evil " forced to opt for what the trappings of bourgeois democracy offer them. But there is no enthusiasm or control of the old leaders over the masses. And there is the crisis of the Brazilian bourgeois democratic regime: that the political revolution is weakening the support of the regime. In the 2022 elections, and especially in the second round, the masses are forced to opt for the "lesser evil" by what the trap of bourgeois democracy offers them. But there is no enthusiasm among the masses, only a conjunctural confusion caused by the pressures of the bourgeois democratic regime. All the leaderships and the media are launching a unanimous slogan to the masses:"Go vote! A slogan that does not have a millimeter of Bonapartist or fascist politics.

But when the electoral circus is over, everything will return to reality. The bourgeoisie will have to get Brazilian capitalism out of the crisis, and it will face a mass movement that told it that if it "voted" things would improve. All talk, deception, tricks and maneuvers are over, and the class struggle will show the reality, as in all the capitalist countries of the world. What will the Brazilian people do when they begin to see that they have been deceived? Will he allow himself to be attacked without reacting? Will you accept more hunger, more poverty, without expressing discontent?

This is not what the reality of Brazil shows from 2016 to today. A few years later, years later, Brazil went through a political crisis again. In 2021, the Bolsonaro government was isolated, in crisis, the country was headed for a new revolutionary crisis, Bolsonaro could have fallen. However, the Brazilian bourgeoisie acted quickly with agreements to avoid a new episode of the fall of a government. Lula got out of prison, used his prestige and pressured social organizations so that Bolsonaro would reach the end of his term. Centrão made a deal with Bolsonaro, entered the government, filed all the impeachment requests and launched the "Auxilio Brasil" plan to prevent revolt and discontent of the masses.

The agreement between Lula, Centrão, Bolsonaro and all the political and social organizations in the country prevented another revolutionary crisis and another power vacuum in Brazil. But the next Brazilian government will have to confront the mass movement. He must implement a brutal plan against the masses to save Brazilian capitalism from crisis. It must do so with only a third of the population's support, with the historical party of the working class, the PT, completely in crisis, and with the entire Brazilian left in crisis, which also crosses all directions of social and commercial policy. union movement. .

Where is Brazil going? It comes from one revolution and goes to another. Lula, the Center and Bolsonaro prevented a revolutionary crisis in 2021. They have once again attacked the Brazilian people from Parliament and have sought to prevent another revolutionary crisis. Let's see if they can. Brazil is heading towards Ecuador, towards Chile, towards Panama, towards Argentina, towards Mexico, towards the most current and dynamic processes of the world situation. Brazil is not going backwards, it is going forwards. Brazil has the most powerful working class in Latin America. You have a young, black, female working class that will come out and fight for their rights.

The Brazilian working class is a world example. It began to destroy the PT and the Progressive International groups before any other country. They are the absolute vanguard. The Argentine working class is already beginning to break with Peronism, the Chilean working class is beginning to confront the CP in the Boric government, the Mexican working class is already beginning to break and confront MORENA, and the López Obrador government. Everything that is happening now in Argentina, Mexico, Chile, etc., is what the blacks, the poor, the women, the young people in Brazil began to do 6 years ago.

The center of our policy is to defeat the policy of the next capitalist government in Brazil. Just assume we say "it's not our government" and then call to defeat your policy. If it is Lula, we will debate with those who call for "pressure" on the government to take measures in favor of the people. We are going to denounce the Brazilian Parliament, that den of thieves, for all the agreements they make there with the Center. Let's denounce Centrão for its corrupt leaders. Let's denounce the "Aid Brazil" plan, the Brazilian people do not want alms or subsidies, they want decent and genuine work.

We will argue with those who say that if we call for mobilization , "the right-wing coup" could come . And we must regroup the best of Brazilian activism by intervening in the struggles that seek to defeat the government, confronting repression and regrouping the comrades who break with the treacherous and reformist left that will support, by action or omission, the next Lula government. Brazil cannot be understood as a country far removed from world reality, nor exempt from new political crises that can lead to revolutionary situations of class struggle and new revolutionary crises. We leave these contributions for a fundamental debate in the country with the largest and most organized working class in South America, but, above all, in the construction of the world party of the oppressed.