By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, applaud and support the people of Brazil in launching mass protests against the Brazilian government and its anti-people policies. These protests broke out in mid-June apparently against the 10-per cent increase of transport fare in Sao Paolo and spread rapidly throughout Brazil to denounce even far more serious social and political maladies. By June 20, hundreds of thousands of people had poured into streets to protest in various cities.
The broad masses of the people have militantly condemned corruption, the high costs of living, the rise of unemployment, the deterioration of public services, the mounting tax burden and the rise of criminality. They have been outraged that billions of dollars are spent to host the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio but there is little money for hospitals, schools, public housing, transportation projects and other social services.
The people have expanded the exposure of the rotten character of the Brazilian ruling system. The government is supposed to be run by a so-called Workers’ Party headed by a coalition of 16 parties. But it is in fact a government serving the interests of the foreign and domestic big bourgeoisie, the landed aristocracy and corrupt bureaucrats.
It is carrying out a neoliberal economic policy which favors the interests of the multinational corporations and local exploiting classes and aggravates the problems of inflation unemployment, income disparity and poverty behind the glossy facade of a big gross domestic product, high rise buildings and conspicuous luxury spending by the exploiting classes and wealthy tourists.
With a population of more than 190 million, Brazil boasts of a gross domestic product of $2.4 trillion that is the seventh largest in the world in 2012 and claims to have a middle-income population (No. 78 at $ 11,800 per capita). But in fact the foreign corporations and the local exploiting classes gobble up the social wealth created by the working people and plunder the natural resources without limit. The toiling masses of workers and peasants are reduced to a life of minimal subsistence, penury and misery as well indicated in the favelas.
The mass protests are continuing even as the forces of the state use violence and deception to stop them. The current government of Dilma Rousseff is frantically trying to put down the flames of public protest by promising the investment of $23 billion in transport, increased social spending, curbing the inflation and political reforms either by constitutional amendment or legislative action. All these promises are meant to cool down and redirect the mass protests.
The crisis of global capitalism has resulted in tightening the international credit that used to buoy up the regime of the Workers Party. Rousseff and her political crew are backing out of their promises so early by saying that they can provide more social services only by raising the tax burden of the people. They do not mention at all how they give tax cuts to the multinational corporations and how they allow big unrestricted outflows in the form of foreign debt service, superprofit remittances and capítal repatriation.
Even when they reach their peak and begin to ebb, the mass protests do not disappear so long as the root causes of the social problems persist. The mass movement comes back with a vengeance, with a more principled and effective leadership of the mass organizations and the revolutionary party of the proletariat, and surges to a new and higher level of revolutionary struggle.
The Rousseff government cannot solve the fundamental social problems because it is an instrument of foreign monopoly capitalism and the local exploiting classes and aggravates such problems under the neoliberal economic policy. The growth rate of GDP of Brazil has fallen to less than one per cent. It has never been a real measure of progress for the people but it now reveals the stagnation and regression of the economy. It reflects the worsening crisis of the Brazilian social economy and that of global capitalism.
The militant mass protests have manifested the desire of the people for revolutionary change.
It is the duty of the revolutionaries to build a genuine revolutionary party of the proletariat and stronger anti-imperialist and democratic organizations as the reliable core of the mass movement in the current and future uprisings of the people. Spontaneous mass uprisings are like bubbles that burst and fade away, if there is no solid mass organizing and revolutionary education carried out to build a lasting mass movement.
We support the determination of the people and revolutionary forces of Brazil to continue launching mass protests and build a strong revolutionary party and mass movement to remove the oppressive and exploitation conditions in their country. We call on all global region committees, national chapters, member-organizations and allies of the ILPS throughout the world to support the struggle of the people of Brazil for full independence, people’s democracy, social justice and economic development for the benefit of the people and not the imperialists and local exploiting classes.