How Did the Far Right Win in Brazil? – Emre Gültekin
To begin with, Brazil which is one of the biggest economy of the world made some movements that can make the working class delighted; the poor citizens were supported with Bolsa Familia (family allowance) programme and subventions were increased. But, the main sources of inequality in the country remained to be in its proper place. Lula achieved to make an impression of an independent left-wing figure; on the one hand, with the support for poor labourers, on the other hand, with “anti-imperialist” discourses and internationally with political relations with the countries which are the target of the USA; like Iran, Venezuela and Cuba. However, on the other side of the coin there lays a Lula who makes a compromise with IMF, avoids moves that can subvert the system and fulfils the demands of the Brazilian capital. For this very reason, the ruling classes tolerated Lula’s pragmatic tendency and his left-wing discourses, even when they didn’t like it. After all, it was the protection of the ultimate interests which was important.
On the other hand, Brazil, just like Turkey, experienced an economically false blossom with the gaining of a global monetary expansion and a price increase in agricultural products. Yet, with the crisis of 2008, Brazil got its share from the economic collapse influencing the whole world. While the subventions for the working class were being cut, inequality and poverty deepened. In some sort, the economic crisis was the event that unmasked the “reformist left” position of Lula and then Roussef.
If remembered, in 2013, the working class and the youth in Brazil had also poured into the streets at the same time with the Gezi Resistance (in Turkey). PT government declared a kind of martial law in the poor favelas and transferred billions of dollars to the football organization while the poor are suffering from deep poverty.
The problems of Brazilian workers are not limited to only the economic issues. The crime rated in favelas is on the top and this situation couldn’t be solved during the ruling time of PT. Now, Bolsonaro states that they will take radical precautions to reduce crime rates arouses interest.
While the right wing in Brazil was manipulating the rising protests in 2013, at the same time they made every effort to overthrow PT. Moreover, the reactions of the middle and upper classes, whose life standards were deteriorated with the little subventions that PT was giving to the poor, were directed to the working class. Anti-Communist campaigns were organized over Lula and Roussef who were called as “Communists”. A climate of fear was created through the collapse of Venezuela. In this whole process, PT pacified the struggle rising from the low segment of the society and desubjectified them. This made PT vulnerable to the right-wing opposition’s attacks. Neither Dilma Roussef when she was dismissed by the judicial decision, nor Lula, who was expected to be a candidate in the elections even seen more likely to win, when he was put in prison, couldn’t activated the labourer class. The reason why is quite simple; the poor masses are extremely aware that they have been diverted by PT for 14 years.
It was the disappointment that brought Bolsonaro to power, and this is a bad imitation of the processes which happened in many countries. Bolsanaro’s rise to power can create a turning point for Latin America. Unless the capitalist crisis deepens, and the left elements organize an alternative, in almost every country, the political charlatans like Bolsonaro can take the power by trampling the working class.
*This is a shoter version of the original article.