Tag Archives: PT

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. “


image source

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. “


image source

Breaking boundaries in video games like Portal and Bioshock is neither holy nor wrong | Instant News

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2
Screenshot: Limits Limits (YouTube

Every Friday, AV Club staff started our weekly open thread for discussions about game plans and recent game triumphs, but of course, the real action is in the comments, where we invite you to answer our timeless questions: What Are You Playing This Weekend?

Everyone remembers this moment Gate when they first noticed that the strings appeared, so to speak, and that the sleek science fiction test chamber you were served by GLaDOS’s seemingly friendly sound was nothing but smoke and mirrors. At some point, everyone notices cracks in the walls, scribbled scribbles telling you “the cake is a lie”, and discarded trash some one who experienced all of this before you. It’s all the things the game says you shouldn’t “should” see, but when you do, it marks the point where Gate stops being a fun puzzle game, and starts to get a little scary. Reality is not real. These are tricks designed to get you to complete a specific task.

This is also a trick that has been implemented in many other games, from Stanley’s parable to Bioshock, and while it can be cool and unsettling if done right, you are still only seeing the reality the game developer intends you to witness. If you ask me, this sort of thing gets downright terrifying when you stumble upon a crack that the developers never intended and manage to peer into a dark and abandoned world that no one should see.

If you’ve ever played 3D video games, especially those that had the type of bug affectionately referred to as “jank” (cough Bethesda cough), You’ve probably seen an error where your character falls through an invisible hole in the floor and you can look up to see the thin cardboard structure and the endless expanse of “sky” where this world was created. I’ve always found that sort of thing really creepy, because it violates established rules about the reality that video games present. If you fall to the floor, for example, there is no way of knowing what you will see in the bottomless abyss that consumes you because the fabric of reality has effectively left the window.

YouTube channel likes Boundary Limits have built up a successful following by exploring this sort of thing from an archaeological perspective, using mods or hacks to take control of a video game camera so they can fly it or aim it wherever they want. The idea is that you can see the Easter eggs that developers are smuggling in just to make themselves laugh, or maybe learn about how the game loads the interior of a building by actually hiding it deep underground and moving players to it when they walk through the door. It’s like going backstage at Chuck E. Cheese, but instead of looking at a rat costume and empty machine, you’ll find a vast desert of darkness, a mysterious black cube serving some unknown function, and creepy close-up eyeballs. .

In 2019, PT fans know that if you hack into the camera and pull it from your usual first-person perspective, you can see that Lisa, the ghost that haunts you during the short game, is actually hovering over your back and disappearing from view the entire time. There’s no way to see it there in the game, and he’s probably just there as some kind of spooky sound trigger (or maybe so the game doesn’t have to load his model separately and be able to move it right away where it needs to be), but knowing that he’s being there all the time and you can’t turn around and catch it – no matter how fast you are – making things that much creepier.

To me, this isn’t just scary because PT is a horror game. I find all of these things extremely terrifying, but in a way I almost don’t want to forget. I like to see what’s behind the walls, say, school level Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2, because I was curious to see what the developers would put in a room that the average player would never see. But I still cringe about it. Maybe because this is something unique to video games (or at least a virtual world)? Turn the camera on a film or TV show, and you’ll see crew members watching everything that happens. Look behind a wall in real life and you will not see a bottomless hole becoming an unmarked void; You will only see whatever is behind that wall.

As Gate test room, video games are all smoke and mirrors (Google “frustum culling” some time for some real superficial magic). But the thing about smoke and mirrors is that they usually cover something ordinary. That’s how developers think about the empty expanse surrounding their game world, but it seems to me to be haunting. So covering it up is not a trick, and is more of a compassion.


image source

The Brazilian Workers’ Party promotes military police in mayoral elections | Instant News

Mayor elections to be held in Brazil between November and December this year saw a turn by all factions from the ruling class to the hated Brazilian military forces, including the deadly state-based military police corps.

This year’s elections are the first to be held nationwide after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro came to power. Expressing the important collaboration of all established political parties with their authoritarian characteristics, the number of candidates for mayor or deputy mayor from the TNI or Military Police has more than doubled this year in relation to the last mayoral election, which was held in 2016.

Image copyright Marcelo Camargo / Agência Brasil Image caption Brazilian military police confront protesters

The 2018 elections have seen a tripling of Congressional caucuses consisting of former members of the Armed Forces or Military Police. In his first year in office, Bolsonaro filled his cabinet with high-ranking Armed Forces officers – who comprise 36 percent of senior cabinet members – while doubling the number of military officers in the lower echelons of the federal government, including the administration of state enterprises.

To implement a deadly “herd immunity” policy in response to the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, after two medical experts stepped down as health minister in two months, he appointed an active duty Army general to the post – an act without precedent even in under the dictatorship. He also filled the Health Ministry with an unprecedented number of military officials.

The first two years of his presidency also saw increasing threats by Bolsonaro against the Supreme Court (STF), which is investigating his involvement in organizing right-wing demonstrations and meddling at Rio de Janeiro’s Federal Police stations to protect his son, Senator Flávio Bolsonaro, from corruption investigations.

Military cabinet members, such as the head of ultra-right intelligence, General Augusto Heleno, spoke publicly of the “unpredictable consequences” of the investigation reaching the president, while Supreme Court judges publicly consulted military commanders about what steps to take next. The quasi-legal theory that Article 142 of the Brazilian Constitution allows the president to summon the Army if the Supreme Court or Congress “goes beyond their duties” – in this case by trying to hold Bolsonaro accountable for criminal activity – has been supported by Attorney General Augusto Aras.

In the face of overwhelming social opposition to Bolsonaro’s policies, what he sees as “left” opposition to his government, the Workers’ Party (PT) and the pseudo-left appendage, the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL), are trying to give the left a cover-up of the essential premise. from his government: that the military is a fundamental arbiter of the political situation in the country.

The vehicle for this campaign is running two Military Police officers for the mayor and deputy mayor of the states of Bahia and Rio de Janeiro respectively.

In Salvador, the capital of Bahia, which was controlled by PT for four consecutive terms, the party was elected as a candidate for Military Police Major Denice Santiago, despite facing public opposition from local party constituencies. Santiago, who joined the party at the behest of far-right governor PT Rui Costa, was oddly promoted in racial and gender terms, as he heads a special division of military police tasked with ending domestic violence against women. He was named the first black mayor of a city nicknamed “Black Rome”, because it has 80 percent of the black population and is a major center of African-Brazilian religion.

The grim reality is, however, that the Bahia Military Police, after four periods of PT rule, are the second deadliest unit in the country. A full third of the interventions result in death, and more than 700 people are killed each year, from a population of just over 15 million.

Meanwhile, PSOL has selected a candidate for deputy mayor of the Military Police Colonel Íbis Souza. The head of the board of representatives, state representative Renata Souza, was also praised for being the first black woman to head the state legislature’s human rights commission. The list was chosen after the preferred candidate from the party machine, federal deputy Marcelo Freixo, refused to run, alleging that PSOL’s electoral coalition was too narrow. Freixo came second in the 2016 mayoral election, nearly beating out evangelical chauvinist Marcelo Crivella, with support from a number of Catholic sectarians and business interests.

In a press release announcing Lt. Col. Souza’s choice, PSOL is doing its utmost to appease a constituency of youth that has previously sought to appeal by denouncing Rio police, who kill more than 1,800 people a year, out of a population of just over 16 million. It stated that Souza’s candidacy was “an important indication that policing and human rights can go hand in hand.”

The party has always presented assassination operations of the Military Police as a result of racism against their very black victims, avoiding in any way an appeal to all working class youth against the entire capitalist country.

In both Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, PT and PSOL brought identity politics to its logical conclusion, as a way of providing stability to a capitalist state that was increasingly cruel in the face of growing social opposition.

Most significantly, the two parties also took a step further in what was central to their opposition to Bolsonaro: denouncing him not as a threat to workers, but to Brazilian capitalism.

From the first signs that Bolsonaro could be elected in 2018, both PT and PSOL attempted to frame Bolsonaro as a threat to the interests of the Brazilian ruling class, citing his election as a possible source of commercial and geopolitical isolation, given Bolsonaro’s alignments with Washington’s unilateral policies, which clashed. with European imperialist interests and influencing Brazil’s relations with China.

PT seeks to withdraw the military by highlighting Bolsonaro’s international isolation on geopolitical issues, with former foreign and defense minister PT Celso Amorim claiming that the military can “save Brazil’s foreign policy.”

Meanwhile, PSOL, which draws its main electoral power from Bolsonaro’s home state and its political base, Rio de Janeiro, has sought to highlight the “damaging” effect on the political shaping of Bolsonaro’s involvement with organized crime in the city. To the extent that PSOL uses “human rights” rhetoric to denounce organized crime in Rio, and in particular the vigilante police gang promoted by Bolsonaro, the “militia”, it is out of fear that opposition to militias and Bolsonaro among workers will turn against the capitalist system. itself.

Those efforts culminated in March and April with 2018 presidential candidates PT and PSOL calling for the resignation of Bolsonaro and national unity around his vice president, General Hamilton Mourão, to better handle the COVID-19 pandemic. The PT filed an impeachment clause against Bolsonaro for “threatening the security” of the capitalist state by provoking social opposition with a deadly “herd immunity” policy.

This opposition is an inevitable result of the unprecedented growth of social inequality in the last five years of the continuing economic crisis, a process accelerated by the criminal policies of the ruling class against COVID-19. pandemic. The increasing role of the military, and especially the murderous and criminal Military Police, is an expression of this objective incompatibility between bourgeois-democratic forms of government and social polarization.

Under these conditions, despite their “left” rhetoric, both PT and PSOL mask the dangers posed by the growing right wing in Brazil’s military and police. This is part of an international trend rooted in the incompatibility of the bourgeois-democratic method of government with the progress of the capitalist crisis. Its expression has been found in the use of highly militarized police and anti-immigrant forces to terrorize workers in US cities, and in the massive penetration of German security forces by neo-Nazi elements.

These efforts find very fertile ground in Brazil’s military police and have been consciously promoted by Bolsonaro and his 2018 election allies, such as Governor of São Paulo João Doria and former Governor of Rio de Janeiro Wilson Witzel. All of them sought to make low-ranking Military Police officers one of their main constituencies, and sponsored a shoot-out policy that saw police killings soar by 30 percent in the first months of 2020 in São Paulo and to the highest number in 22 years in Rio.

That PT and PSOL carried out a pro-military campaign that portrayed the Military Police as a democratic constituency opposing Bolsonaro’s right-wing policies, is an indictment against the class character of these parties. Although their bitter dispute with Bolsonaro centers on foreign policy, both PT and PSOL fear the working class more than Bolsonaro himself. They tried to give the murderous and repressive apparatus of the capitalist state of Brazil a “left” cover because of fears that Bolsonaro was not quite prepared for the impending social explosion.


image source

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.”


image source