Left on the Move Left on the Move Left on the Move

We are living through a combination of health and economic crisis unprecedented for our generation. The world has stopped. The deaths are counted in the hundreds of thousands in the world and the numbers are certainly underestimated because tests are lacking. The increase in deaths from Acute Respiratory Syndrome, without a diagnosis of Covid- 19, would give a dimension of underreporting, but this number is not available either.

The elderly are the ones who die the most, and it draws attention to the naturalness with which some rulers, such as Bolsonaro, face this fact. As if the death of an elderly person, who could live another one or ten years, were not a tragedy.

Health workers, too, fall ill in huge numbers, and many die. They are, in fact: 70% of health workers around the world are women. They are underpaid, have strenuous journeys, constant and brutal pressure, lack of PPE. It is not by chance that they are women. Work involving (poorly)paid or unpaid care, in general, continues to be carried out mostly by women.

And the pandemic has further sacrificed women, who also experience the drama of domestic violence worsening with confinement. In Rio de Janeiro, the increase in complaints was 50%. The phenomenon is so serious that the UN has issued recommendations on the subject.

The prospects are not at all encouraging, because from a health point of view, as long as there is no vaccine or effective remedy, there is no return to normal. From the economic point of view the outlook is a recession even worse than that experienced in 2008. In fact, it is the deepening of the crisis that has been dragging on ever since. Oxfam estimates that this combination of crises could generate 500 million new poor people in the world.

In the public arena an ideological polemic is growing between the extreme right and science. Trump’s attacks on the WHO, the extremely backward postures of Bolsonaro and the rulers of countries such as Belarus, Turkmenistan and Nicaragua, are the vanguard of this backwardness. The defense of scientific thought and academic research is a primary task in unity with broad sectors.

The outcome of this process is still uncertain, but it is possible to risk some predictions.

The extreme right was already taking shape in the absence of an anti-system alternative from the left. At the same time, it clashes with a democratic consciousness. With their anti-scientific negationism, Trump and Bolsonaro weakened in the face of broader sectors, aware of the importance of science.

Neoliberalism, as political thinking and economic doctrine, has weakened because governments are being forced to issue currency and debt in order to avoid absolute chaos. But the adoption of measures to save the capitalist economy will not mean the salvation of the people from increasing poverty. It must be said that neoliberal thinking is not the defense of the absence of state intervention, but the millimetrically calculated state intervention to defend the interests of capital.

The tragedy is that nowhere in the world is there a revolutionary direction with enough social force to pull out of this enormous crisis an outcome from the point of view of workers’ interests, that is, a structural change in the political and economic system.

In Brazil the situation is serious and must get even worse. In several states there are already patients in line for ICU. Doctors discuss protocol to decide who to save. The dead are piled up in cemeteries and hospital corridors.

Bolsonaro shows no empathy with the dead or with those in the front line trying to avoid deaths. He’s a coward, he’s not responsible. He threatens democratic freedoms and the functioning of institutions. He is not afraid to clearly defend the favor of his family.

The emergency aid of 600 reais has become a real show of humiliation, with people spending the night in line to get the money. It’s not casual. The goal is to generate despair so that people press for an end to isolation. Even liberal economists claim that the problem is not a lack of money. It’s time for the country to get into debt, issue currency and spend. But this stance would not help Bolsonaro to secure his social base to press for an end to isolation. After all, Havan stores need to sell.

The social base of the extreme right is fed by the despair of the struggle for economic survival. Denialism has united a semifascist line, the hard core of Bolsonarismo. Throughout his mandate, Bolsonaro and his family environment have pushed broader sectors away from the center of power in favor of the promotion of their family interests and of the extreme-right coup radicalization. Little by little, the defections led to the strong isolation in which Bolsonaro finds himself today.

The leap in the crisis with Sergio Moro’s resignation is very important. The inquiry opened by PGR will be a great stage. Moro, who knows the meanders of justice, would not be naive to shoot if he had no proof of what he said.

In less than 10 days, Bolsonaro lost the two most popular ministers of his government. He is much closer to falling than he is to giving the self-congratulation he would like. He has less strength to impose the closure of the regime. He has against him most of the governors, the main parties, the Legislative Branch, with Rodrigo Maia in charge, and the Supreme Court.

The Atlas poll, released on Monday (April 27), shows a clear fall in popularity, falling to 21% for those who credit the government with great/good, against 49% for bad, in addition to the 28% who think the government is regular. The military is apparently not comfortable but still remains, in a kind of tutelage of incapacity, waiting for the moment when they may have to assume a more protagonist role.

In opposition, a broad field has emerged that has united science, health workers, more lucid sectors of public opinion, the majority of governors and the big press, with Rede Globo as the flagship. Bolsonaro will continue to weaken and the hypothesis of a bourgeois unit to remove Bolsonaro as a “fuse exchange” is every day more possible.

It is blatant the lack of a robust left-wing opposition. The PT continues against impeachment. Everything indicates that their strategy is to let Bolsonaro bleed, preferably until 2022. We do not share this strategy attached to the electoral calendar. It could lead to a major defeat. That’s why we presented the impeachment request, which has gained social strength, with intellectuals, artists and more than a million signatures. We have been joined by several others. It’s essential to unify the requests and press Maia to accept.

It is necessary to gain strength, social base to fight for impeachment and for economic and social measures that guarantee life. The health workers, who took to the streets on May 1st in Brasília in a demonstration of a new kind, with masks and distance, point out a necessary path. We can no longer afford to just stay at home. In times of pandemic, new forms of organization and mobilization are emerging. They are urgent and necessary.

A new page to support and build new alternatives in Latin America and the world, defending the power of the workers and people against the 1% of the rich and privileged, and a society without exploitation.

Writing office

  • Pedro Fuentes
  • Bernardo Corrêa
  • Charles Rosa
  • Clara Baeder