Tag Archives: pseudo left

Municipal elections expose to the right of Brazil’s ruling class | Instant News

Brazil holds its first round of municipal elections on Sunday. The electoral process was marked by the highest rate of abstention in the last 20 years, exceeding 23 percent. It has also witnessed an accelerated shift by the Brazilian bourgeoisie to the right, with fascist attacks on democratic systems and increased state surveillance of social media.

One of the factors contributing to low voter turnout in a country where voting is mandatory is the uncontrolled COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. Following a drop in contamination levels in September and October, Brazil recorded a rapid rise in coronavirus cases, with the average number of new cases and deaths nearly doubling in the past 10 days, according to Worldometerdata. Brazil already has a total of more than 5.9 million cases and 166,000 deaths.

Voters on Line in Rocinha, Brazil’s largest favela, in the southern zone of Rio de Janeiro.

But golput also reveals the discrediting of Brazil’s entire political system in the eyes of the broad working class, which is increasingly dissatisfied with conditions of mass poverty and social inequality.

There were a large number of protest votes, which added to the abstentions, exceeding the votes for first-place candidates for mayor in Brazil’s 483 cities, including 18 capitals. In the country’s largest city, São Paulo, the votes for protests and abstentions reached 3.6 million, while the votes for the top two candidates totaled only 2.8 million.

The election was a failure for the Workers’ Party (PT), which ruled the country for 14 years, as well as for a candidate backed by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. PT, which in 2012 was selected in the first round in 630 cities, won only 179 municipal elections this year. Bolsonaro, whose fascist party Alliance for Brazil, which he founded in 2019, has not yet been officially recognized, is backing 59 candidates, with only 10 elected.

There has also been a significant decrease in the number of candidates elected by the traditional bourgeois parties, the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB) and the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB). The parties with the biggest gains were the Progressive Party (PP) and the Democrat Party (DEM), the latter winning six capitals in the first round.

This result was enthusiastically celebrated by the Brazilian media, which characterized it as a victory for “traditional” politics and for “democracy.” In an editorial, Folha de S. Paulo celebrated the “moderate conservative choice” and declared: “Two years ago, national and state elections were characterized by right-wing waves, often with populist and authoritarian tones, and rejection of traditional politicians and parties. This scenario has changed. “

The conservative State of S. Paulo, following the same line, states: “The catastrophe of Bolsonaroism and Lula-PTism at the ballot, two years after they starred in the polarization that plunged the country into an unprecedented moral crisis, is great news for Brazilian democracy. … traditional politics are being appreciated again. “


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While Brazil’s Bolsonaro remains silent, the Workers’ Party and the pseudo-left welcomes Biden’s victory | Instant News

With Donald Trump refusing to admit to his electoral defeat, announced on Saturday by all major US media outlets, his political ally in Brazil, Fascist President Jair Bolsonaro, is one of the few world leaders who has yet to take a stand. US election results.

On Saturday evening, Bolsonaro made an unscheduled live broadcast on social media, asking his supporters to cast their votes in Brazil’s local elections, which start next Sunday. Without speaking directly about the United States, he warned: “You look at the problems in the world, how the politics are in the world.” Referring to the election of Luis Arce from Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) in Bolivia, he continued: “several countries [in South America] is being painted red again. “

Image copyright Rodrigo Stuckert Filho / PR) Former President of PT Dilma Rousseff toasts to Biden during his visit to the US

Brazil’s vice president, Army Reserve General Hamilton Mourao, spoke Monday about Bolsonaro’s silence in the US elections. Raising Trump’s false accusations of electoral fraud, he said: “I think President [Bolsonaro] was waiting for the end of the chaos there, discussion, whether there was a sham vote or not, to give his position. “Mourao added:” And I think it is clear that the President, at the right time, will greet whoever is elected. “

In contrast to Bolsonaro, other national leaders, such as DPR president Rodrigo Maia, a member of the Democratic right, immediately welcomed Biden’s victory. On behalf of the House of Representatives, Maia declared: “Joe Biden’s victory restores true liberal democratic values.”

Biden’s victory was also celebrated by the country’s main bourgeois newspaper. The conservative State of S. Paulo published an editorial with the headline “Relief,” stating that it didn’t matter if Biden would live up to his promises. What is important, for Estadão, is that most Americans have decided “to leave to a traditional and experienced politician the task of leading the country in this time of deep crisis” and that “this powerful message will be heard around the world, but especially in countries plagued by savage populism. inspired by Donald Trump, like Brazil. “

A similar position was taken by former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso (FHC) of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB), a reliable spokesman for the interests of Brazil’s ruling class. FHC stated: “In two and a half centuries, no American president has attempted to delegitimize the electoral process, one of the fundamental foundations of democracy. Who is now doing it systematically and deliberately. Therefore, his re-election poses a huge risk to democracy, and not only in the United States. “


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The Jacobin praised the re-election of the New Zealand Labor government | Instant News

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Election victory in New Zealand has been glorified by Jacobin Magazine, a false-left publication associated with the Socialist Democratic Party (DSA), a faction of the Democratic Party.

An article entitled “Jacinda-Mania Is Not Enough for New Zealand, Māori, or Environment Workers,” by Ben Peterson, an official at NZ FIRST Union, declared the Labor Party victory “a victory for the entire political left, brimming with the prospect of victory. next. “The government, said Peterson, could be pressured to make” radical changes “to improve the lives of workers.

Apart from a few left-sounding phrases and some light criticism, the article basically echoes a publication like New York Time and Nation, which praised the Ardern government as “progressive” and “inclusive”. Although Peterson did not mention the upcoming US election, Ardern was widely presented as a model for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, whose right-wing and pro-war campaign was supported by the DSA and Jacobin.

Jacinda Ardern in 2018 (Source: justice.govt.nz)

With the capitalist system in its worst crisis since the Great Depression, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, Jacobin regards New Zealand as evidence to suggest that capitalist governments can still carry out progressive reforms. Among Democrats and their supporters, New Zealand appears to have replaced Sweden as an example of a “socialist democratic” country. Sweden can no longer serve this purpose since its government spearheaded a “herd immunity” policy that allows the spread of the coronavirus. It has been adopted by ruling classes around the world, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths.

However, presenting the Ardern government as a left-wing alternative is a total forgery of its records since 2017.

Peterson praised Ardern’s response to the pandemic, including the relatively tight lockdown, but without mentioning that it was only implemented in response to mass pressure from the working class, including health workers and teachers. An online petition demanding the lockdown drew tens of thousands of signatures, raising the specter of a growing labor movement independent of trade unions that opposed the lockdown until the government finally imposed it.

The article also glorifies Ardern’s economic response, stating that “the wage subsidy scheme and other forms of stimulus [kept] unemployment was much lower than originally estimated. “

In fact, the Labor-led government is leading the biggest attack on the working class for generations. In just a few months, unemployment has skyrocketed from about 4 percent to a real rate well above 10 percent. And it is likely to climb higher, with the prediction that New Zealand could experience a second recession next year. Median income has plunged 7.6 percent this year, the first drop ever recorded.

Government stimulus packages, like in every other country, provide tens of billions of dollars for big businesses, while the Reserve Bank prints up to $ 100 billion to buy bonds from banks and shore up their profits. Financial and business circles have welcomed The Labor election victory saw him more stable than his rival National Party and better able to implement the drastic austerity measures that would be needed to pay off the debt accumulated by saving the rich.

Large companies, which receive millions in so-called wage subsidies, tax breaks, and other government assistance, have rendered thousands of workers redundant. Trade unions have played an important role in working with employers and the government to prevent an organized movement against layoffs and pro-business restructuring.

Peterson’s FIRST Union, for example, recently told workers facing redundancy at retail chain The Warehouse that they could not go on strike and instead issued fruitless pleas to the company to reconsider its plans to fire as many as 1,080 people. The union then encouraged workers to re-elect the government which had subsidized The Warehouse’s wages of $ 67.8 million.

Peterson falsely claims that workers have won significant profits in the last three years. She stated that following the national nurse strike in 2018, the government “dramatically increased the salaries of nurses and added hundreds of more staff to wards.” The strike, part of a revival of the working class struggle in New Zealand and internationally, was strangled by the trade union bureaucracy. The New Zealand Nursing Organization imposed a hugely unpopular deal that included no significant staff increase and a pay increase of only 3 percent, effectively freezing wages relative to the cost of living.

The ruling elite clearly anticipates a further escalation of class struggle, which the Labor government and trade unions will be tasked with suppressing. The new government is already showing signs of nervousness about what to implement. Although the majority of Labor as a whole allows it to govern itself, the party is engaged in two weeks of talks to reach some sort of agreement with the Greens. Labor, it seems, feels that it may be necessary for the Green Party to project a false “progressive” image as the government launches its right-wing agenda.

Significantly, Jacobin made no mention that New Zealand was a US ally or that Ardern had strengthened ties with the Trump administration. His government labels China and Russia as major “threats” to the international order and is spending tens of billions on upgrading and expanding the military to be integrated into US war plans.

In 2017, Labor only came to power thanks to a coalition deal, which the US ambassador publicly endorsed, with the NZ First Party, a racist party that has repeatedly demonized Muslims, Chinese and Indian immigrants. The Ardern government imposed class-based restrictions on immigration and attacked migrants during the pandemic, including by refusing to provide unemployment benefits to the thousands of people who lost their jobs.

Jacobin spewing media acclaim for Ardern’s response to the March 2019 massacre of 51 Muslims by fascist terrorist Brenton Tarrant. According to Peterson, Ardern showed “genuine concern” for the victims and “his response was an important rejection of racism and xenophobic politics,” even though Tarrant’s anti-immigrant excrement closely resembles Ardern’s ally – NZ First.

Peterson falsely described NZ First as a “center-right populist” party and made no mention of the racist positions or anti-immigrant policies adopted by the Labor Party. This is no accident: the unions in New Zealand, like in the United States, are steeped in nationalism and xenophobia. FIRST Union, despite feigning concern about the exploitation of migrant workers, repeatedly scapegoat migrants for lowering wages and taking jobs “New Zealanders should do”.

The circumstances surrounding the Christchurch terrorist attack have been deliberately shrouded in secrecy, with the royal commission of inquiry being carried out entirely behind closed doors. But it is clear that the attacks could only have occurred because police and intelligence services in Australia and New Zealand ignored threats of repeated violence by fascist groups and by Tarrant himself.

The Ardern government’s primary response to the massacre, namely Jacobin support, has introduced greater power for the state to censor “extremist” content on social media – a force that is certain to be used against left-wing groups and workers.

Jacobin His position in the Christchurch massacre is in line with his efforts belittling the dangers of fascist violence in the United States, including a Trump-inspired plot to kidnap and kill Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The magazine aims to sow the complacency of subjecting workers and youth to big business political parties, whose policies create the conditions for the growth of the right: Labor in New Zealand and Democrats in the US.

The cheerful response of the international pseudo-left to Ardern’s re-election exposed the gulf that separated them from true socialism and internationalism. These groups represent part of the middle class, including the trade union bureaucracy, whose aim is to improve their position in capitalism at the expense of workers.

The Ardern government pledged to increase the role of trade unions as industrial policemen, through a corporate wage fixing mechanism erroneously called the Fair Salary Agreement. Peterson praised this policy, without mentioning that the goal was to forbid strike during industry-wide payment negotiations involving unions, employers and the state.

Workers and young people internationally should not be fooled by promotions by the pseudo-left of the NZ Labor Party and the Green Party. Ardern will form a right-wing government that is sure to come into conflict with the working class, which will seek to counter the historic assault on their living standards, and against the threat of war and right-wing groups. Exposing lies Jacobin and similar publications are essential for building the necessary socialist leadership in preparation for future revolutionary struggles.


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Public webinar: For a socialist program against the far-right agenda of the New Zealand Labor government | Instant News

The Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand) invites readers of the World Socialist Website list to attend our upcoming webinar, to be held at Zoom on Sunday 8 November at 16:00 New Zealand time, on the results of New Zealand’s election.

Speakers from the SEG and the International Committee of the Fourth International will discuss the right-wing agenda of the re-elected Labor Party and the need for a new socialist and internationalist party. They will refute the fraudulent claims made by the corporate media and pseudo-left that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government represents a better and progressive alternative to far-right governments in other countries.

The meeting will examine the context in which the elections are taking place: the unprecedented crisis of global capitalism triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. A new wave of class struggle is erupting, in response to more than a million deaths and mass impoverishment, caused by governments prioritizing the benefits of big business over life and human well-being.

The government responded to the left working class movement with authoritarian methods of government and by encouraging fascist forces. Donald Trump’s threat to use such force to stage a coup in the US is just the most striking example of this universal trend.

New Zealand is in no way separate from this development. The Ardern government has transferred tens of billions of dollars to big businesses and banks. New Zealand companies are undergoing a vicious restructuring, sacking tens of thousands of workers. Unemployment, poverty, homelessness, and inequality surged to levels not seen in the post-World War II period.

Following the Christchurch massacre in 2019, the Labor-led government has stepped up its efforts to deflect anger over the social crisis by scapegoating immigrants and fomenting nationalism. It also strengthens New Zealand’s alliance with US imperialism, as Washington prepares for war against targets including Iran, North Korea, Russia, Venezuela and China.

A re-elected government, in which Labor has the majority of parliamentary seats, will deepen right-wing attacks. Trade unions and pseudo-left organizations are trying to obscure this reality and to disarm the workers by sowing illusions in the Labor and Green Parties.

These illusions will be shattered by the reality of inequality and worsening social reactions. The working class and the youth will fight, as they have done for the last three years, against austerity, police brutality and militarism. But this struggle cannot continue without a clear socialist perspective and leadership, completely independent of all the capitalist parties, the trade union bureaucracy and their defenders of the false left.

The Socialist Equality Group urges workers and young people to do so list here to attend our webinar to discuss these important issues and the way forward for the working class, in New Zealand and internationally.

Meeting time:

New Zealand: Sunday 8 November at 4pm
Sydney: Sunday 8 November at 14.00
India / Sri Lanka: Sunday 8 November at 8:30 am
New York: Saturday 7 November at 10:00


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As Brazilian inequality surged, the ruling elite set racist traps for the working class | Instant News

Over the past half decade, the Brazilian working class has experienced a violent decline in its standard of living. The economic recession in Brazil, marked by a crisis in the so-called “commodity cycle”, means that in addition to the collapse and stagnation of its GDP, an already surprising intensification of social inequality.

Between 2015 and 2019, while the poorest half of the population experienced a 17 percent decrease in income, the top 1 percent experienced an increase of 10 percent. The United Nations Human Development Report, released in late 2019, reports that Brazil fell one place in the world inequality ranking to become the seventh least equal country on the planet.

This social crisis is indicated by a significant increase in unemployment, especially among young people. The official unemployment rate among young people aged 14 to 25 years jumped from 14.5 percent at the end of 2014, to 26 percent at the end of 2018. In the same period, the income of youth aged 20 to 24 years fell five times from that. of the rest of the population.

Luiza Helena Trajano, Brazil’s richest woman. (Credit: World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell)

The COVID-19 pandemic, which hit Brazil in March 2020, has exacerbated the contradictions that had developed over the past few years, bringing it to increasingly intolerable levels.

The criminal response of the capitalist ruling elite to the pandemic, guided by its profit interests, is to allow the new coronavirus to spread, claiming the lives of about 150,000 Brazilians, while deepening the economic offensive against the working class.

In the first three months of the pandemic, which coincided with a sharp decline in Brazil’s GDP, nearly 10 million workers lost their jobs, while another 11 million workers had their wages reduced. The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) noted for the first time more than half of the working age population were unemployed.

The youth unemployment rate skyrocketed during this period. While among the general population official unemployment was at a record 13.2 percent (and continuing to rise), among young people aged 18 to 24 it was 29.7 percent. This will leave permanent scars on an entire generation of the Brazilian working class.

The combination of job losses and falling wages in the first quarter of the pandemic resulted in a 20 percent drop in Brazilian individual labor income and a 2.82 percent increase in inequality, according to a recent study by Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). The labor income of the poorest half of the population fell 27.9 percent, compared with 17.5 percent among the top 10 percent. These figures constitute negative historical records, both in absolute terms and in terms of variation.

But the study does observe a “paradox” when considering data from income sources in general, and not just from labor. They show a reduction in poverty and inequality over the same period. The emergency aid payment of 600 reais (US $ 106) a month to a large proportion of the population resulted in, in their words, the “anesthetic effect” in relation to the real social crisis. This aid has been cut in half since September and is expected to end in December, indicating that the crisis is approaching an explosion.

While the working class and parts of the middle class have experienced terrible suffering and deprivation during the pandemic, the scenario is very different in terms of capitalist oligarchy.

In the first five months of the pandemic, even as the country’s GDP fell by more than 10 percent, Brazil’s 42 billionaires saw tremendous growth in their combined income, which jumped from US $ 123.1 billion to US $ 157.1 billion, according to aid organization Oxfam. . .

Image copyright Ben Tavener Image caption The Sao Paulo camp for the homeless in 2014.

Brazilian Forbes The magazine, which published its list of billionaires in September, noted: “Despite the many economic consequences caused by this year’s COVID-19 pandemic, Forbes list of Brazilian billionaires [in reais] broke new records of new names. There are 33 new billionaires in the rankings, 16 percent more than last year. “

One of the highlights of the list is Luiza Helena Trajano, who chairs the board of retail chain Luiza Magazine. She jumped from 24th to 8th place, appearing for the first time as the richest woman in Brazil. Trajano saw its assets increase by more than 180 percent to 24 billion reais (US $ 4.27 billion). Luiza Magazine’s stock, which emerged as the Brazilian version of Amazon, garnered nearly 90 percent ratings in 2020.

As if by chance, less than a week earlier Forbes releasing his list, Luiza Trajano became the front page of a Brazilian newspaper because of the controversy that did not center on his indecent accumulation of wealth.

On September 18, Luiza Magazine announced a national training program for “leadership positions” at companies that only accept black candidates. The company claims that the race-based training scheme is the first of its kind in Brazil. The program opens 20 vacancies for jobs that pay 6,600 reais (US $ 1,174) each month for freshly graduated candidates in any field. Shortly thereafter, the German-based transnational pharmaceutical company, Bayer, announced a training program with exactly the same requirements, with 19 vacancies reserved exclusively for black Brazilians.

On its Twitter account, Luiza Magazine describes the program, stating: “Currently, we have 53 percent of employees who are black and brown. And only 16 percent of them are in leadership positions. We need to change this scenario. “In the following weeks, in a series of interviews, Trajano further confirmed the program with a blank phrase about” structural racism. “In one of his appearances, he stated that the program should not be credited to him, but to George Floyd, murdered by police in the US !

In the face of a right wing attack on the training program, Luiza Trajano has been described as a kind of champion for democratic values ​​in the Brazilian media. He also received excessive support from the pseudo-left. Website Brazil 247, which goes along with the Workers’ Party (PT), describes him as “an entrepreneur who is traditionally linked to progressive goals in the country, has supported the PT government and fought racism.”

University of São Paulo (USP) professor Dennis de Oliveira, who became a reference point for Brazil’s pseudo-left racial theory, stated: “The Luiza Magazine initiative, apart from being a product of pressure from the black movement, also shows that the company is in tune with studies conducted around the world, especially in the United States, where companies adopt policies that promote diversity getting better results. “

In articles published on Ecoa Magazine, journalist Bianca Santana said that with the launch of the Magazine Luiza training program, “Brazil’s richest woman … announced the termination of her narcissistic contract in white.”


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