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by MES / PSOL

On December 2, 3, the VI PSOL Congress took place to define the political orientation, the electoral tactics and the election of the new party leadership.
The VI PSOL Congress took place when we are entering the year of the most unpredictable presidential election since 1989 at the time of a national, economic, social and political crisis. When the people do not trust the current regime, they do not believe in their fundamental institutions or in government, much less in Parliament.

At the same time, the social combatants are unable to present their crisis by their own strength. In front of that, Temer advances with regressive measures (Labor and Social Security Reform) without there being a pole that can effectively confront it and impose defeats on the government.

This happens because of the lack of decisive action by our class that allows the old leaderships – political and union – to remain unreached. Lula is an accomplice of this situation and his strategy is to pass the adjustment and present himself as an alternative in 2018, preferring that Temer does the dirty work.

 

The social inertia motivated by the great agreement between the parties of the political caste and the leaderships of the trade union centrals (which more than just received 500 million to lift the paralysis of 05/12) led to a relatively easy approval of the labor reform and the maintenance of the government Temer.

Despite not being demolished, the popularity of the government continues very low and does not tend to get out of there. Its wear is so powerful and the political regime so incapable of producing expectations of improvements, that the two candidates that are strengthened are those of Lula and Bolsonaro. Both candidates express the brutal crisis of current representation.

 

Parte superior do formulário

Lula would have to be in appearance an expression of what is in essence: a mass leader of the past, incapable of projecting a new perspective for the future of the country. But no. His appearance is one of those who insist on being the head of a block of political and social forces that he led that is no longer a democratic alternative for the workers. Lula still has the passive electoral support of a sector of the town. The policy of small compensations to the poorest sectors of their two governments still attracts these sectors of the masses, especially in the Northeast. It also channels the intention to vote of parcels of youth facing the Temer government, intellectual sectors, peasants and urban working classes where the PT still exists, although it is at the lowest level in its history.
Bolsonaro in turn tries to capitalize on an anti-regime mass base, particularly the most desperate sectors of the lower middle classes and more declassed popular sectors disappointed with the PT. There is a plot of society that happened to hate “petismo” and is also removed from the traditional parties of the bourgeoisie. He wants the crisis to move to a reactionary order. One of the most popular sayings of Bolsonaro is: “Good bandit is dead bandit”.
The polarization between these two names proves that there is a picture of interregnum, a national characteristic and of this historical period in the country, where the old man died and the new one was not born. These are typical periods of appearance of morbid phenomena, as Gramsci said. In the case of Brazil leaders of the past, unable to create alternatives are still alive and reactionary forces appear as novelties.

 

However,  PSOL is the party that stands out as a real possibility of a politics of emancipation, capable of running as an alternative, or as a mass pole that strengthens a democratic and popular perspective and more difficultly an anti-capitalist perspective.
The strength of the party was expressed in the municipal elections of 2016 where in many cities the party disputed with the PT the most important force place of the so-called left field. And the most advanced situation was and is Rio de Janeiro where  PSOL is developed overcoming the PT and where our party has mass influence and is the alternative against the current regime and against the extreme right.
However, as we will see later, the party Congress did not take steps to present PSOL as a national pole.
If PSOL is struggling, the Brazilian bourgeoisie does not have its electoral policy resolved. The bourgeoisie is reasonably unified in the defense of measures of economic adjustment. However, he finds it difficult to find a candidate with an electoral weight that during the campaign does not discourage the favorable speech to the measures applied and that once in the government gives continuity to them.

 

The electoral scene is still unstable and Lula’s own candidacy has great potential to be contested despite the fact that his name will polarize the electoral process. Lula hinders PSOL’s adoption as an alternative as a result of the party’s abdication of having a fight against corruption, thus taking off clearly from “lulismo”.
Despite these difficulties and the missed opportunity of having an orientation to present itself as an alternative at the national level as a party capable of mobilizing against the adjustment plans of the bourgeoisie and of posing as a combat party to the corruption that marked the governments of the PMDB, PT and PSDB and their allies. However, PSOL is still the party with the most conditions to fill the space on the left.
This political capital exists because it was founded by answering the liberal social course of the Lula government; for independent participation in elections; for the combativeness of the militancy and for the action of PSOL parliamentarians. It is well known that the discourse of the federal bloc, especially Chico Alencar, stands out because it is pronounced strongly in favor of the Lava Jato, a policy that is not part of the Socialist Unity field, the majority in PSOL leadership.
The party has occupied space, and such space exists in some sectors – in youth, in the working class – and has increased. It has also increased by the greater protagonism in the LGBT community, in the women’s movement and the black movement. Although Congress did not do it, PSOL is the only Brazilian party that can respond to the need to build an alternative

 

The composition of the VI PSOL Congress
The Congress was attended by 380 delegates elected representing approximately 27 thousand members gathered in the grassroots plenaries. The congress revealed a composition with significant weight of the feminist and LGBT movement and with the growing presence of the black movement, and of indigenous peoples. It is significant that the sectorial parties have had significant representation and that they can continue to advance, with the support of the party. There is still a lack of unity and greater articulation in the intervention, but there is a reasonable accumulation to account for this challenge.
On the other hand, the weak point remains the labor movement. The insertion of the party is weak in the big factories and in the battalions of the proletariat. We have a working presence among professors, Metro workers, Petrochemicals, but without being an important presence in the congress. The diversity of movements is extremely positive, shows the dynamism of PSOL between these sectors and the possibility of the party to consolidate as the main tool among them. At the same time, we cannot lose sight of the urgency of the party to strengthen its relationship with the workers’ struggle so that PSOL is the party capable of offering an anti-capitalist alternative that strategically questions the regime of private ownership of the means of production. Without this, it cannot be structured as a party capable of taking on the mass mobilization as its central political orientation and becoming the real alternative of power to the regime.

 

Distorted representation and lack of political response.
Despite the significant number of militants gathered in the plenaries, the Congress had a distorted representation due to the disproportionate weight of the delegation of the State of Amapá.

This state chose almost the same number of delegates as Rio de Janeiro. In Rio, PSOL has reached a mass electoral force due to its social insertion and the weight of its public figures. In Amapá, the main leaders of PSOL left three years ago for the Marina Silva Network and govern the state capital (Macapá) with DEM, a right-wing bourgeois party. This town hall has secretaries accused of having slave relations and supporting the right-wing Bolsonaro.  PSOL – Macapá is within this scheme with four secretaries in the government and with indicative of support to the DEM as candidate for governor of the State. The high number of delegates of that state for Socialist Unity is explained by the use of that municipal apparatus. That is also why we cannot say that all the votes counted are in fact militants who participated in Congress consciously and actively of party politics. That is because the representation was distorted and that is because Socialist Unity had the majority.
From the point of view of the political response, the Congress did not measure up to the current needs by not pointing out a plan of struggles and a strategy to unite the resistance to anti-government measures to the construction of an alternative pole in the country. .
In this Congress, unfortunately the PSOL resigned from defining a name for the presidential contention. This decision was postponed for a more restrictive electoral conference than Congress. Neither was the debate on economic measures, and the balance of the experience of the PT governments.
In the field of elections, the majority chose not to have a decided position favorable to the fight against corruption, different from the position adopted by Luciana Genro and the MES. An important sector of the nucleus directed by Socialist Unit was against the Lava Jato, being this point weak of the government Temer and of the main parties of the order.
Since most of the PSOL leadership is not prepared to integrate the fight against corruption, our party suffered a deep political paralysis in recent months which left the field free for Lula, who won part of the PSOL space. And this also allows Bolsonaro to capitalize on the right they just indignation of the people against those who steal their wealth. Unfortunately, today Bolsonaro is the strongest right-wing representation of an “anti-system” sentiment. Thus, he also takes space from PSOL. Because most of the US

Despite these political problems, the PSOL continues to develop as a party differentiated from the political caste and capable of defending democratic and workers’ rights. However, due to the political mistakes made in the previous period, especially minimizing the importance of the fight against corruption, the party does not appear for the moment as a weighty alternative for the presidential race.
But the fight for an alternative PSOL remains open
The Congress voted to decide in February the name of the presidential candidate, in the expectation of a definition of Guilherme Boulos that has not yet decided to be one. We argued that the PSOL should have a candidate and what does not mean to detract from the possible candidacy of Boulos. Being without a candidate now weakens the party and opens more fields for the right and petismo. If Boulos did decide to be a candidate, in that case the PSOL would have all the conditions to make an evaluation and decide what to do before it. But to be without a candidate now means to remain in a vacuum.
Our current considers that Boulos may be a candidate that contributes to the growth of PSOL and its construction as an alternative pull. It is a genuine leader of the social movement. It has in its favor the fact of being a leader of social struggles, which translates into a fundamental programmatic point of ours: it conceives of social mobilization as the axis of the policy and this is not a minor agreement. Since one of the greatest risks of the PSOL is to crystallize as an electoralist party, whose strategy is based on the struggle to elect parliamentarians, abandoning the strategic need to be a class struggle party.
Boulos is the leader of the Homeless Workers Movement that recalls social mobilization and argues that it is in the position of command of politics. The point is that the program is not condensed to that. It is necessary to have a program of rupture with this finished regime that proposes measures to combat the big bourgeoisie. There are issues in which we have differences and we must seek the maximum approximation, trying to get Boulos to approach the maximum of the discourse and positions that Chico Alencar expressed in the National Congress and that guaranteed a lot of success for the PSOL federal bench. At other points we are aware that we can have identity. This is the case of the fight against the PMDB and the parties that composed the PT government at the time, the fight against privileges and the power of financial capital.

We defend the opening of a radical and open programmatic debate, including also Boulos. The task that remains pending is to immediately make the programmatic debate within the PSOL, in full consultation with the base with seminars and initiatives that put the battle of the program on the agenda.
The PSOL leadership
The new fact in the election of the PSOL leadership was Freixo’s disposition and struggle to be party president. Marcelo Freixo is the most important public leader the party has and showed in Congress that he wants an active PSOL, not a bureaucratic machine without life and without a strong relationship with society. In this battle supported by the Left Bloc. However, US insisted on a name of its current far less political social weight than Marcelo Freixo. In this way, the PSOL address becomes less representative. But, on the other hand, the prospects of building an alliance within the party are strengthened so that the PSOL is a party more linked to movements and struggles.

 

The left block gives life to the party
In the elections for the leadership the majority list of US and allies obtained 207 votes, Left Bloc achieved 148 votes, and Insurgência and independents of Rio 25 votes. In the resolutions of international and national politics Insurgencia voted with the majority field, following a line of adaptation to the policy of some conciliation with the petismo.
This result shows that the Left Block has been fundamental for the PSOL. Despite some sector or not betting on the Block, the dynamic that prevailed in Congress was a unified battle around left politics.

And in spite of the distortions of Amapá, the left had weight in the direction of the party and conquered the second place in the direction and important posts like the treasury of the party to contain bureaucratic inclinations. The construction of the Block was a victory of the MES policy. Despite the approach of the Insurgency with the majority of the leadership moving away from the Bloc, the democratic and combative pole had about 40% of the votes in Congress. If we consider that the distortion of Amapá is not part of the real life of the PSOL, we can say that  US is a minority at the base of the party.
The Congress voted unanimously for the entry of the MAIS (organization arising from the break with the PSTU) as a full member of the party. This entry is fundamental because it has great chances of strengthening the most active forces of PSOL, linked to the class struggle. Despite certain readings different from the reality, MAIS is a current that breaks with the sectarianism of PSTU and conserves experience in the struggle of classes and years of Marxist formation and internationalist culture. It is the test (equal to what happened with the Marxist Left ) that PSOL is the pole capable of regrouping the left after the collapse of PT.

 

The MES is a vital force for the PSOL
The role of the MES during the pre-Congress and the Congress showed that we are a vital force, indispensable not only to give life to the party, but with the great responsibility of contributing a lot to correct the current directions of PSOL. This year the MES took three significant leaps: our new mandates allow us to intervene directly in the local situation; we enter the union front; We expanded our propaganda and editorial capacity with the initiatives of the Magazine, the Movement website, the Stalin book of the editor Movement and the fundamental contribution with the Portal of the Left. We must bet on the dialectical relationship between the construction of the MES and the strengthening of PSOL and its anti-capitalist and democratic wings.
A long-term battle
We left the congress conscious that the battle is in full course and that in the long term; that we must both strengthen our ranks and be generous and democratic with the organizations of the revolutionary camp that correctly deposit their expectations in the PSOL. It is a long battle that depends on us and what the other currents on the left of PSOL do to move forward.
This battle also depends on the course of the class struggle. In this sense we bet on the positive reaction of the mass movement to be part of the construction of a new direction that allows us to strengthen, root ourselves more in the movement. To have the necessary patience not to fall into self proclamation and internist struggle as the axis.
On the contrary, to understand more and more that the best way to correct the current political paths of the PSOL and its regime is to intervene in the class struggle, advancing in the insertion in the movement, in political formation, in politicizing and helping that the PSOL militants and the more affluent currents are also.

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  • Pedro Fuentes
  • Bernardo Corrêa
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