Today a portion of the liberal bourgeoisie that has definitively turned to opposing the Bolsonaro government, going so far as to openly advocate impeachment, has had its street mobilization. It is worth evaluating this demonstration of strength…or weakness.
To carry out its act, the liberal bourgeoisie had direct support from part of the union bureaucracy further to the right, notably the Força Sindical, and from the bourgeois populist position of the left, or center left, if you prefer, around PDT and Ciro. The PC do B and UJS also joined, in a timid way, with the objective of going to the demonstration to defend the formation of a unitary movement of all those who defend “Bolsonaro Out”.
I am not interested here in making an exhaustive analysis of the main organizations that were embodying the politics of the liberal bourgeoisie, whose MBL, in this specific case, is the best known grouping. Although it supported Bolsonaro and continues to be an expression of the defense of neoliberalism, this grouping made a call to the forces of the so-called left and center left, to the parties that claim to be workers’ parties, such as the PT, PC do B, PSOL, as well as the central unions, to join the act. It was a last minute call, but it came to materialize in a reformulation of the initial policy of the act itself, which from an anti Bolsonaro but also anti left-wing position, became more focused on Bolsonaro Out. Not all the organizers, however, made this adjustment, like Vem pra Rua, which kept the slogan “Neither Bolsonaro nor Lula”, in a clear provocation and undisguised defense of the so-called bourgeois third way.
It is known that most of the forces of the so-called left (and center left, if we accept the definition that Haddad himself makes of the PT) decided not to join, and in this field there was a division between those who did not go and denounced the demonstration, and those who did not go but welcomed the fact that the demonstrators were finally taking a position contrary to Bolsonaro and his project of disorder, violence and coup. This last one was the position of our tendency, defending the need for a fast action of all those who want to fight for the overthrow of the government for the month of September or beginning of October. The position of those who denounced the act was basically of those who have as their axis Lula’s campaign in 2022. Such orientation was based on the certain fact that the origin of the call was an attempt by the MBL to respond to the Out Bolsonaro campaign, and that also the search for the third way was its political meaning.
But in the end, what did the day reveal? What force was revealed by the day of action of the liberal bourgeoisie? We saw that the acts had the participation of important politicians, such as the governor João Doria. They took place in several cities. The demonstration revealed itself with all the force that it could. And in this sense it was a daring exhibition. The audacity to expose themselves. The conclusion is that they showed their weakness. It was very visible that they were weak, much weaker than the MBL acts in their time as a mobilizing group against Dilma and much weaker than the Bolsonaro acts of September 7 and all the acts of the Fora Bolsonaro campaign, whose most prominent parties are the PT, Psol, PC do B, UP, PSTU and PCB. It can therefore be said that it was a failure. The liberal bourgeoisie showed that it does not have the strength to mobilize in the streets. Part of the mass bases of the movement that overthrew Dilma moved to Bolsonaro. Another part has demobilized and, at least still, has not decided to take to the streets.
I don’t think we have had any surprises. That is why it is also remarkable that the liberal bourgeoisie has had the audacity and/or desperation to expose itself on a terrain that is unfavorable to them, namely the streets. In this sense the reading should not only mark weakness. It is noteworthy that they were so determined. Were they weak? Undoubtedly. But to conclude that the liberal bourgeoisie has no importance in the struggle to overthrow Bolsonaro would be immensely foolish. The strength of the liberal bourgeoisie is not expressed in the streets, in its capacity to mobilize. It is expressed in the institutions, whether in the judiciary, in parliament, in the universities, in public opinion in general, and in the media in particular.
So it is clear that the articulations with the opposing liberal bourgeoisie and the unity of action with it to defeat Bolsonaro must be a fundamental part of a policy of struggles against the coup threats and for Bolsonaro’s fall. This importance gains weight when we are at a moment in which Bolsonaro has waved a tactical retreat that could strengthen him strategically if it means (and is already meaning) a new pact of cohabitation of important parts of the liberal bourgeoisie with the government. In other words, knowing that there is a division in the bourgeoisie, it is worth a lot to insist on a policy that stimulates this division for the simple fact that, without part of the bourgeoisie, there is no possibility of overthrowing Bolsonaro except through a revolution. And a revolutionary way out is not the most likely path. Far from it. The strongest party in the coalition of Fora Bolsonaro, in this case the PT, has as its axis the 2022 elections, not the call for street mobilization to overthrow the government. This immobilism was seen on September 7th, with the weak and last minute call for the Fora Bolsonaro acts, which put the movement at risk of failure, a risk that was not confirmed thanks to the traditional “Scream of the Excluded” and the courage of the activists who conferred dignity to the movement, despite the position of the leaderships.
The fact that a revolution is not the most probable and that the importance of unity of action with everyone for out Bolsonaro, including with the liberal bourgeoisie, should not make us abandon the banners of workers and socialism. The fact that we defend the institutions against the aggressions of Bolsonaro, should not make us embellish these institutions, as if they were expressions of the general interests of the people, not of the interests of the capitalists. On the economic level we must also present the demands of our class, and keep these banners raised in the general and unitary movement against Bolsonaro. In this sense it is fundamental to maintain independence. In the first place from the bourgeoisie, sewing within the unity of action a front of the forces that claim the working class and proposing that such a front assume the defense of the demands of the working class. But also independence within a single front with the parties that are in the Out Bolsonaro campaign, of the so-called left parties (or center left) particularly in relation to the PT, since Lula is seeking unity with bourgeois sectors and building a bourgeois economic program to govern the country.
So what now matters is the struggle to prevent democratic freedoms from being taken away from us, fighting in the streets to overthrow Bolsonaro, committing ourselves to use the elections when they present themselves, but postulating with a socialist program and politics.