Unify the struggles to defeat the
coming anti-working class offensive in Brazil!
By the Communist League - Brazil
Liga Comunista - Brasil
Liga Comunista - Brasil
The wave of popular protests in Brazil of June reflected the exhaustion of the current cycle of capitalist accumulation in the country. The population was on the streets in June to protest against the unbearable cost of living increase. Inflation has been continually growing since 2012 because the employers rely on the rise in the price of goods that employers for their profits after the arrival of the economic crisis in the country.
Already in 2012 the first reaction against this cost-of-living increase came from organized workers, when the number of strikes recorded in the country reached almost 900, the largest number since 1996. The industrial proletariat managed to recover most of the purchasing power of their wages in relation to inflationary losses, followed by retail workers and, finally, the services.
According to the Dieese (Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies) during the governments of Lula and Dilma (2001-2012) productivity in manufacturing industry grew by 26% in 2010 and industrial production by 39%. Since 2005, manufacturing has shrunk 11% (down from 79% to 68%) of the total formal jobs generated in the production, i.e., while the falling rate of profit in the world and particularly in the U.S. In Brazil the rate of profit tended to grow thanks to the overexploitation of the working class.
This data is important because it is in the sphere of production where material wealth is created which disperses in the spheres of circulation (financial capital, commercial capital) and this then feeds the machinery of the capitalist State. The added value is realized in the market, i.e., with the sale of goods produced in the factory. The rate of profit caused by this increasing productivity reached its zenith in 2008 and begin to plummet in 2010.
The Dilma Government then gave an artificial extension to the accumulation cycle through the market by the consumption of the population, on the one hand and, on the other, the reduction of taxes for certain sectors, such as the multinational capitalist automobile manufacturers. Here it is worth noting that the “apple of the eye” of production of the PT governments achieved a profit margin of 10%, twice the global rate of automobile manufacturers. Because of the increase in car sales in recent years, and profits, automakers accounted for almost 20% of remittance of profits abroad made by companies from Brazil in 2011. This also demonstrates how beneficial the slave-like agreement was with Metalworkers Union of São José dos Campos (CSP / Conlutas) for the imperialist multinational GM. It made vast profits for their Yankee masters.
However, the stimulus to consumption was not made by wage increases, but by increasing credit. By 2012 the debts accumulated by families reached its limit and the bubble burst. (see box on housing bubble). For more than a year we denounced the “anti-crisis measures” of Dilma, “killing the thirst with salt water” (the Bolshevik # 10). We pointed out that preventive Government policies would make the crisis explode with even more force in the country by leveraging existing super-speculation to its extreme limits and that a true “time bomb” against the proletariat was in the making. This would create relative impoverishment by increasing the distance between the value produced by the worker and the amount of this wealth from which they acccrue their spending power and this would create debt bondage. It was clear that such an economic growth based on the maximum indebtedness of working families, deceptively promoting by “able to access everything in the middle class” by the PT (the ruling Workers Party), buying “their dreams of consumption” without any salary compatible for this would run out soon. These had now changed to middle class status and were affected by poverty, do you think that they have now become further impoverished when in reality they were always poor workers who were now driven by the consumerist wave and need to face the reality that they are still poor?. Thus the economic crisis arrived in the country late in 2012. Even the mainstream media bosses and government of Dilma pretended that the situation is serious only in Greece, Spain, Portugal, etc.., The masses feel that inflation, loss of access to transport, health, education and the corrosion of their conditions of life.
THE IMPOTENCE OF THE DEMONSTRATIONS WITHOUT THE ORGANIZED CLASS AND WITHOUT A REVOLUTIONARY WORKER PROGRAM
This is how these semi-spontaneous protests, unconsciously against the increase of these measures, have become the largest mass mobilisations in recent history of the country, more than two million people came out to protest and this has spread to about 600 cities.
However these sectors who rebel against this social situation have no class consciousness about the real situation; they are feel that they are in a situation with no way out. Or they are induced to believe that their problems lie in corruption, lack of patriotism. This is how bourgeois ideology affects their judgement. Although for these sectors it is difficult to keep believing in the myth that they are middle class, it is more difficult however to abandon this myth. This contradiction manifests itself as both impotence and anger. This impotence will remain if the working class does not enter the conflict on its own behalf and reject those who pretend that a “day of struggle” on July 11 is sufficient.
Now the pro-imperialist media starts to propagandize that Brazil is expensive, that wages are high and that the labor rights and trade unions are obstacles to the fall of the “Brazil cost” (profit-Brazil!) blaming the working class for the high cost of goods (exchange value), on the one hand, and its low quality (value), on the other. At the same time, the same media employer compares prices and “value for money” and demonstrates that the goods from the U.S. and Europe are cheaper and of better quality. This is obviously to make a case for enlarging and further opening the market to the trade offensive of imperialism that requires such measures to get out of its own recession. High interest rates and low exchange rate increases the pressure for Brazil to become an open importer of goods.
Deindustrialization in not in our interests i.e. disorganisation which already growing with the dismissal of workers in the industry and this tends to worsen now with competition from imported manufactures which are artificially low in prices since the creation of the Real (economic austerity).
By creating expectations in the “national bourgeoisie” as “Força Sindical”(the main metalwork union in Brazil) the Labour movement becomes the spokesman for the National Confederation of Industry. This same industrial bourgeoisie is becoming less and less “national” and increasingly a commercial and importing bourgeoisie. An example is the recent conversion of a national park, which is to be used for engineering purposes, importing auto parts. It is no accident that the flagship of the domestic industry are the automakers.
Next the industrial bosses are preparing to convert the factories into deposits of imported goods or mere maintenance and technical assistance departments, taking advantage of the marketing networks of its industries to serve merely as a transmission belt for a new commercial offensive by imperialism.
Dilma believed that her anti-crisis policies could avoid the contagion of the world crisis in Brazil at least until her reelection. The bourgeois opposition itself had not prepared to replace the PT in the Government before that. Thus, the massive protests took the entire bourgeoisie by surprise. The rebellion would be a good time for the masses to take advantage of the confusion in the bourgeoisie, but unfortunately there was not an organized revolutionary workers’ alternative to rise up to this task. After its initial surprise capital resumed the offensive and now imperialism is blackmailing Dilma and the PT government demanding the resignation of the PT Economic Minister, increasing the pressure for the arrest of officials that threatens to engulf Lula himself with corruption scandals, campaigning on the street with “down with Dilma!” promotes alternative candidates in the Brazilian Social Democrat Party (PSDB) or the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) The polls show that in an election year Dilma could be tied in the second round with Marina Silva with neither party having a majority. Dilma has conceded her authority to the Central Bank by increasing interest rates making Dilma more dependent on the wishes of bankers and international financiers.
After the dream of being the 6th world power Brazil has woken up to the nightmare of suffering a new colonization with deindustrialization, mass layoffs, population divided at all levels, miserable wages and loss of achievements. Now the ball is with metalworkers, tankers, postmen and banking employees who in the second round of their wage campaigns need to unify the struggles and act as the vanguard of the whole working population.
Therefore, we cannot place any illusion on current union leaders in the fight to stop this catastrophe that threatens us.
We need to organize the workplaces and build working class opposition within the unions that are under the influence of the PT and other parties employers not only defend us as they are complicit in the attacks on our rights, such as the CUT defending the Special Collective Agreement. On the other hand we must not foster illusion in the PT, PSDB, the PSB or REDE, (the proto-party of Marina Silva) but we must advocate the construction of a revolutionary workers ’ opposition that seeks to win back trade unions for workers, as part of the fight to build a revolutionary workers party in the country that lead the struggle to establish a Workers and Employees Government.