Israel Dutra – National Secretariat of MES-PSOL
Last weekend began the plenary meetings preparing PSOL’s 6th National Congress, which will take place in early December, a rich process that must involve tens of thousands of members to discuss the direction of our Party. Despite being young, PSOL must fulfill a leading role in the new political cycle that the country is experiencing, with the agony of the New Republic.
The major parties of the regime seek to recycle themselves just to keep their privileges. They exchange names – such as PMDB who will go back as MDB, PP who wants to be called “Progressives” and DEM, which is discussing the name “Mude” [Change]. PSDB’s television advertising removed from the screen all their chiefs and presented a “self-critical” vision, taking the premise that “PSDB made mistakes” … of course, but without saying which are the mistakes! The truth is that PSDB is divided, without setting on their presidential candidacy and with Tasso Jereissati being questioned as the interim head of the party, position taken over after Aécio’s audio asking R $ 2 million to Joesley Batista came public. Doria, in turn, has been received with protests wherever he goes, reaffirming his arrogant and elitist style. In São Paulo, bastion of tucanos [politicians affiliated to PSDB], the mayor and Alckmin maintain conflicts increasingly noticeable.
The parties of the New Republic carry the weight of corruption allegations, revealed by Operação Lava Jato, and are condemned by the vast majority of the population. For this reason, they are fighting desperately to carry out the plan enunciated by Jucá in the famous recording by Sérgio Machado, now through a “political reform” which in reality is a plan to defend the political caste’s interests, with indecent proposals as a billionaire election fund and the single non-transferable vote to prevent the renewal of the Congress in the next election. The implementation of a barrier clause, which is also under discussion, only serves to restrict the weight of the real left and ideological parties in parliament. It is a complicated framework, which expands the representation gap in the country and reaffirms the idea that the biggest parties turn their backs on the people.
Against attacks on the people, PSOL is increasingly necessary
Temer won the battle to remain in the government despite Janot’s legal action and the division in some of the sectors of the media, such as Globo. After winning the arm wrestling, Temer led the resistance of the investigated in Lava Jato, stating his intention to continue the economic adjustments seeking bourgeoisie’s support. He lit the yellow light of the “counter-reforms”, uniting the demands of political and economic core teams. In sequence, after handing over the labor reform, Temer, Meirelles and Moreira Franco reviewed the fiscal target and just announced the privatization of airports such as Congonhas and Santos Dumont, part of lotteries, roads, port terminals, the Mint and Eletrobrás [power company]. In a 1990’s fashion, the government announced the sale of the company that generates a third of the country’s energy and controls most of the transmission lines. A billionaire patrimony, built over decades by the Brazilian people. Still without announcing details of the operation, the Ministry of Mines and Energy said the Eletrobrás privatization process will be subscribed in the Partnership and Investment Program (PPI) and intends to sell all shares held by the Union. The consequences of this decision are serious : it puts at risk investment in electricity generation and distribution, there will certainly be a price increase for the population to ensure the profits of the new private drivers. Brazil is subjugated to transfer permanently tens of billions of reais abroad annually on its own infrastructure. The proposal to sell a state company like this one, moreover, will only accelerate the privatization rage in the states and municipalities, as was the shameful example of the delivering Rio de Janeiro’s CEDAE [sanitation company] to private sector.
Lula, in turn, campaigns through the Northeast and PT seeks to be the flagship of the government opposition. As he waves his electoral base with critics towards the government, the former president sends signals towards a recovery with the bourgeoisie. In his pre-election tour, Lula has praised Henrique Meirelles and criticized Dilma Rousseff for not putting him in government. In addition to cuddling Temer’s strong man and the economic adjustment, Lula reaffirmed his alliance with Renan Calheiros, putting him up as an associate for an electoral composition. As if wasn’t enough, Lula also put on his platform Jackson Barreto, Sergipe governor from PMDB, and met with Kátia Abreu, agribusiness leader, to announce the PT’s support to this PMDM senator in the election for the government of the State of Tocantins.
It is not from this field – class conciliation – that we will be able to build a resistance capable of facing the attacks. It is not through repeating the past that we will build an alternative in dialogue with popular indignation.
To resist the attacks and build an alternative, PSOL’s 6th Congress can’t avoid to make the good debate. We can’t let the criticism of the regime in the hands of demagogues and conservatives, such as Doria and Bolsonaro. To stop neoliberalism, the Party must make concrete proposals of resistance, but also progress in the formulation and program updates, so that the country’s main problems can be faced. It is necessary to propose measures such as a tax and fiscal revolution so that the rich pay the bill of the crisis; confronting rent-seeking by decreasing interest; a new exchange rate policy and the audit of public debt with suspension of payments; a new economic policy aimed at generating employment and income, putting on the agenda the fight for agrarian and urban reform; and construction, through popular mobilization, of new institutions to put down this political regime, which was unable to offer any concessions and declared a war against working people and their rights.
PSOL should vocalize measures to dialogue with indignation and claims of millions, articulating the unity of all social movements that want to actually resist governments’ neoliberal adjustment. This is one of the main challenges of our 6th Congress.
On the last weekend, we started to present our theses throughout Brazil, with our various partners. In São Paulo, we launched the candidacies of Sâmia Bomfim and Carlos Giannazi for the municipal and state presidencies of the party; in Rio de Janeiro, we built our thesis with fellows from Coletivo Marxista Paulo Romão; in Brasilia, we built the thesis with comrades from Barulho, launching Fábio Félix as presidential candidate of PSOL-DF [Federal District].
“É tempo de partido” [“It’s Party Time”]
As part of PSOL’s left wing, along with 12 other organizations, union leaders and social movements, parliamentarians, councilors, regional committees’ presidents, we present an important manifesto for discussion with party members and militants. We have just released, with these comrades and organizations, the manifesto “It’s party time”. The initiative seeks to bring together different partisan visions for a convergence able to compete for a new orientation:
“Instead of a party of affiliates, we must turn PSOL into a party that is an instrument of struggle against the reforms and for overcoming the Lulism. International experiences have shown us that the most radicalized positions, able to expose the system’s cracks, have gained ground, like Corbyn in England and Mélenchon in France, even if they do not express a directly revolutionary pole. Any illusion in renegotiation with Lulism or the lesser evil policy is the right way for our defeat. “
In our view, the main contradiction of PSOL is having a combative militancy, with militants who are references in the struggles and in parliament, but with an internal practice of limited participation, in addition to plenaries driven by physiological relations. The greatest evidence of the distortion is still Amapá. PSOL still keeps positions in Clécio’s municipal administration in Macapá, who is now in Rede with a DEM’s vice-mayor. The sector which has currently the majority in the party leadership not only keeps positions in the administration, but also mobilizes important part of their members in Macapá. These are thousands of affiliates who unbalance the correlation of internal forces, but do not reflect the practice and program of the party, strengthening bureaucratic contradiction which hinders further growth of PSOL. Overcoming this contradiction, building a livelier and militant party, is another challenge of the 6th Congress.
PSOL as an alternative in the reorganization of the left
Lastly, we believe that there is a long process of recomposition of the left. The experience with PT generated skepticism and confusion in broad fringes of activism. PSOL, founded in 2004 precisely in the midst of the struggle against the Lula’s pension reform, seems more updated and necessary than ever. The spirit of the struggles in June 2013, when the anger took the streets, still follows latent, but did not win a political match up, as occurred with the rise of Podemos in the wake of demonstrations of “indignados” from Spain. PSOL must continue fighting to represent that expression of indignation of the Brazilian youth and the people. For this, we must build a new hegemony on the left, in alliance with other social movements, incorporating dissent from other parties, sectors, fields and fighters, seeking to be the synthesis of a socialist project for the twenty-first century.
Our battle is not limited to partisan landmarks. We are on the eve of the congress of CSP-Conlutas, which has been gaining ground as the recent elections on oil tankers and Fenametro [subway workers federation] show. However, the strengthening of CSP-Conlutas is still far short of the needs of the labor movement. That is why we are also assembling in this space an opposition bloc that brings together many of the tendencies of PSOL, who act in this central union, and independent activists.
We will take forward the guidance to make PSOL an alternative in areas where the reorganization of the left will be discussed, indicating the limits of Lula’s strategy, and showing the need for our own candidacy in 2018, with a program that goes beyond the illusions of years of class conciliation. This is how we will be following the debates promoted by Frente Povo Sem Medo and MTST on the platform “Vamos.”
With the optimism of the will, we are stepping to build a stronger and more combative PSOL in its Sixth Congress.