Brazil Impeachment

Special Supplement,
May 2016

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

Click on image to left for pdf version of complete issue.

“Operation Car Wash”: An Attack by the Police and Judiciary Threatening Democratic and Labor Rights
Brazil: No to Impeachment!
For Workers Mobilization Against the Rightist Bourgeois Offensive
No Political Support to the Bourgeois Popular Front Government

For the past month, Brazil has been engulfed in a deep-going political crisis. A million people marched in right-wing protests around the country on March 13 demanding impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party. In response, a half million protested in the streets on March 18 against impeachment, followed by tens of thousands on March 24 and 31. Meanwhile, a runaway corruption investigation threatens basic democratic rights. At the same time, the popular front government continues to push anti-working-class policies in its attempt to conciliate the aggressive right wing, and the left is divided between pro- and anti-government blocs. The Liga Quarta-Internacionalista do Brasil, calls for workers mobilization against impeachment and the bonapartist threat, and at the same time to use that power against the attacks on working people by the both the feuding bourgeois forces. Brazil: No to Impeachment! For Workers Mobilization Against the Rightist Bourgeois Offensive, No Political Support to the Bourgeois Popular Front Government (April 2016)
Lesson of History: Trotsky and Lenin on Kornilov and Kerensky (April 2016)
SL/ICL Impeached By Its Own Past
For the first time in a decade, the Spartacist League and its International Communist League have published an article on Brazil. The article presents no program for class struggle in Brazil. Its sole purpose was to attack the Internationalist Group and the Liga Quarta-Internacionalista do Brasil as supposed “Militant Supporters of the Popular Front,” and to divert attention from the SL/U.S.’ recent expulsion of the Better-Late-Than-Never Faction of the ICL, which posed a sharp and effective challenge to its zigzagging opportunism. The SL/ICL’s claim that to oppose the seizure of power by the den of thieves in the Brazilian Congress together with a judicial apparatus working hand-in-glove with pro-imperialist reactionaries and increasingly assertive militarized police forces you must be for the current government is pure sophistry. But the SL has an additional problem: back in 1998, the latter-day Spartacist League opposed the impeachment of Bill Clinton. By the SL’s current logic, it thereby supported Clinton and the Democrats. The IG and LQB oppose impeachment in Brazil while calling for workers mobilization against the ominous judicial/police offensive targeting the working class, and against the anti-worker policies of the popular-front government. SL/ICL Impeached By Its Own Past (May 2016)

Dossier: Responses to the ICL Smear Campaign Against Brazilian Trotskyists (May 2010)
World Capitalist Economic Crisis Behind the Rightist Offensive
For Class Struggle Against the Bonapartist Threat in Brazil
In the present acute political crisis shaking Brazil, a string of explosive revelations, shifting parliamentary alliances, arbitrary actions by the repressive apparatus and huge street mobilizations are presented in the bourgeois media as a struggle over “corruption.”  The idea that there is a moral “cleansing” underway among the rulers is an illusion and a pretext. In reality, there are three main elements of the crisis: a political struggle marking the end of the popular-front government, a blatant attempt by the judicial and police organs to free themselves of all civilian control on the road to an authoritarian regime, and underlying it all, the consequences of the world capitalist economic crisis. In Brazil, the street protests over the last year are the result of the defeat of the struggles of the “hot winter” of 2013 and of the struggles against the World Cup of soccer. The government and its left satellites have labeled the offensive against President Dilma Rousseff a “coup d’état.” In itself, impeachment does not signify a rupture of the bourgeois-democratic “order.” But if the repressive organs gain autonomy to effectively dominate the government, whether by a coup or behind the façade of a “technical” or “transition” government, this would in fact be a “state of exception,” inherently anti-democratic even within the bourgeois framework. For Class Struggle Against the Bonapartist Threat in Brazil (April 2016)

The Role of Imperialism and the Military in the Brazilian Political Crisis
For 13 years, the popular-front government in Brazil has acted as firemen for the IMF in Latin America and as the sheriff of Yankee imperialism in the Caribbean, providing mercenary troops for the occupaiton of Haiti. In general, Washington doesn’t want big upheavals in the largest country in Latin America, but there is no reason to presume that the would-be masters of the planet always act with consistency. Judge Sérgio Moro is working in close collaboration with U.S. authorities, and the whole so-called Lava Jato (Car Wash) investigation is being carried out in accord with capitalist sectors seeking to further open the Brazilian oil market to imperialist penetration. What is taking place is a employer-media-judiciary-police movement with at least some support from imperialism. Even if it does not result in a classic military coup, it points to an authoritarian outcome, a strong state whose job is to impose, with an iron fist, the budget cuts, reforms and privatizations demanded by capital, which the popular-front governments have only partially implemented. Now they want to go all the way. The Role of Imperialism and the Military in the Brazilian Political Crisis (April 2016)

Brazil’s Opportunist Left Tailing After the Bourgeois Blocs
For the last year, Brazil has been shaken by an acute political crisis pitting the bourgeois popular-front government of Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party (PT) against the traditional right-wing opposition which wants to throw her out of the the presidential palace. However, the government and opposition share the same fundamental program, of resolving the capitalist economic crisis by attacking the working people, while they may differ (at times) only over the rhythm and degree of the attacks. In this context of a dispute between two bourgeois forces, the Brazilian left is divided into two major camps: the pro-PT camp, which chants “não vai ter golpe” (no to a coup d’état), and the anti-PT camp which chants “throw them all out.” In reality, both pro- and anti-PT camps are appendages of the conflicting capitalist forces. Now with the addition of escalating arbitrary judicial and police actions, what’s needed is not an illusory “third camp” on the terrain of bourgeois democracy but a working-class opposition with a program of revolutionary struggle against the entire ruling class and against the danger of an authoritarian outcome. Brazil’s Opportunist Left Tailing After the Bourgeois Blocs (April 2016)

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