Joāo Pedro Stedile, one of the national directors of Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) provides an analysis of the situation in Brazil and the forces backing former President Lula.
The current crisis has affected the historic interests of the bourgeoisie. To give you an idea, during the past six years 28,000 industries have closed down, I’m not talking about restaurants or small bars, but 28000 industries. I think only Argentina and Colombia have as much total industry as that which they’ve closed in Brazil. The environmental crisis has affected the agribusiness of the bourgeoisie, it has affected productivity because here in São Paulo we depend on the rain that comes from the Amazon, it has affected the production of cane, of orange, which are the two principal agricultural products of this state.
In politics as well, the bourgeoisie is worried because historically they need a state that can guarantee stability and protect them from social conflict. The ghost that haunts them is the possibility of social conflict, but the current political crisis has only deepened social conflict, there is no solution and they know it. So if you look at what they’re saying in their media is that after four years of crisis there will be a social convulsion, and nobody knows how that will turn out. Not even the left has the capacity to organize all those people.
What has changed in Brazil this year? The classes have changed their political positions. The bourgeoisie that once marched united and gave us four coups is now divided, thanks to god and to the contradictions in the class struggle. A small part of the bourgeoisie is with Bolsonaro, but they no longer represent the majority who used to support him and financed him with two huge servers firing out 80 million fake news messages per hour. That campaign was a hurricane aimed at the heads of the poor. Some of those resources came from the campaign of Donald Trump who’s no longer in power. It was discovered later that of the two servers that fired out this fake news, one was in Israel and the other in Taiwan, those were Bolsonaro’s links with the extreme right, and now they aren’t there for him.
A large part of the bourgeoisie tried to build a third way, neither Bolsonaro nor Lula, but what happened? Their parties and leaders couldn’t unify the bourgeoisie, if they had then they would win these elections, because they have all the economic and media power, they managed to put a psychopath in the presidency.
I’m convinced that the majority of the bourgeoisie are now with Lula. On Tuesday, Lula held a dinner with the 100 biggest businessman of Brazil, these are the people that control the country’s GDP. There are 200 businessmen that control the GDP, only 200 because capital is very concentrated here, about half of them are connected to international capital and banks. Out of those 200, 100 of them had dinner with Lula and applauded him. That means that the economic and media power controlled by these people is turning against Bolsonaro.
Middle class and working class
The middle class also supported the four coups in this country, they have extremely reactionary views. Now, around 90% of the middle class is with Lula, these people were the first to migrate from supporting Bolsonaro to supporting Lula. We can see this in the cultural expressions of the middle-class youth, you will have seen the ‘Rocking Rio’ festival where tickets cost 80 USD. Every night there were 200,000 young people, every night they were chanting ‘Bolsonaro out, viva Lula’. The middle class alone is not very powerful because they’re only about 8% of the population, but they have a lot of influence on the working class, remember that Brazil is the country with the 3rd highest number of domestic servants, there’s 8 million of them. They are very influenced by what their employers say.
Among the working class there has also been a change. The working class didn’t come out to defend Dilma [during the coup], it was only us militants who mobilized, around 50,000 people. Meanwhile, the middle class mobilized half a million in the marches against Dilma. That’s because workers were suffering the effects of the crisis at the time, but neither Dilma, nor the PT, nor the MST, were able to explain that the crisis was a crisis of capitalism, not the government. Of course, Dilma made the mistake of trying to govern with the capitalists instead of combating them, that was her undoing. Her economy minister was Joaquim Levy, imposed by the Banco Bradesco and the IMF to look out for the interests of international finance capital. He was Dilma’s Minister. However, now, the working class, through its parties and unions, are all with Lula.
This new correlation of forces has allowed us to analyze the situation and say that yes, we are going to win these elections. The social power of the 3 classes is with Lula. In the past week, the strength of that social force is finally being reflected in the polls. Lula is now 7 points ahead of Bolsonaro, so we can say that mathematically, we’re pretty sure that Lula will win in the first round.
So I think we should meet on Monday to do an analysis, or I guess we could drink all the Malbecs that the Argentinians have brought us!