[Marxism] Re: runoff may be needed in Brazil
ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sun Oct 1 20:18:53 MDT 2006
If this vote requires a runoff, which seems likely, there is going to be
a period of sharper polarization in Brazil (particularly on the right)
-- and on this list as well, I am afraid.. The fact of the matter is,
despite Lula's stance on Bolivia hydrocarbon nationalization, this will
be rightly viewed as a blow to Venezuela, Bolivia, and Cuba. It will
excite Washington and, more nervously, Wall Street about the possibility
of bringing giant Brazil into the currently very weak anti-revolution
bloc (mostly just Colombia, Peru, and Mexico at the moment). There will
be quite serious efforts to force Alckmin over the top. I wonder if the
National Endowment for Democracy will get involved.
Of course the fact that Chavez is unbeatable electorally, and Lula has
lost some standing relates to his procapitalist policies and failure to
keep his promises, etc. However, we should remind ourselves that the
coup against Allende was also made possible in part by failings of his
regime. That wouldn't make the fall of Lula a step forward for working
people. In fact, revolutionaries have to be part of the effort to
contain the shift to the right in bourgeois politics that is reflected
in the scandals, and in the pseudo-nationalist posturing against
Unless sanity prevails, which is unlikely, I don't think Helena can
endorse Lula in the second round. One problem is Trotskyist
"principle." If she does, that will be a very positive development.
Most likely she will call for abstention, against both but especially
against Lula. The forcing of the second round will be hailed as a
victory for the revolutionary left, and the forces around Helena will be
pushed further away from the real masses of workers and peasants.
The deeper problem is that this is a campaign driven by Lula-phobia,
which is simply not basically a working-class and peasant phenomena, but
a phenomenon of the middle-class intelligentsia as far as I can tell. I
am afraid that PSOL is going to be one of those leftist groups that
turns outside and against whatever forces come forward out of the masses
to lead a revolutionary process in Brazil. Lula-phobia cannot lead
Lula-phobia has also been a driving force in the international left
campaign for Helena, which struck me as a not very healthy intervention.
I'm afraid the importance of this election has not been a mere artifact
of the twisted mind of Walter Lippmann.
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