Collapsed Progressivism in Iberian America, Brazil’s case —

How social democracy in Europe is leaving a perfect situation for ultraconservative and quasi fascist governments

Alejandro Teitelbaum
 

The electoral triumph of the far right in Brazil is due to multiple factors; yet the main factor, as the fundamental and priority task, is the failure of petismo (Workers Party), to transform the economic, political and social structures of the country. A failure attributable —as we will see in detail— to the fact that it never aimed at such a transformation, but, on the contrary, contributed to its strengthening and consolidation. This is how the gap between the poorest and the richest continued to increase: the richest continued to enrich themselves and the poorest continued to impoverish themselves. Even the publicised anti-poverty and indigence programs were a drop in the ocean of pauperism and destitution that persists in Brazil.

Other factors are the lack of class consciousness among the popular majorities that they failed to acquire due to the synergistic effects of their living conditions and the influence of social-democratic and "progressive" ideologies. And, incidentally, the unchallenged power of the dominant classes that contributed to the electoral result, which has used all the resources always at its disposal —media, judicial, political, economic, ideological, etc.— to ensure the continuity of the system, including in its most aberrant forms. Those who lament this use ignore —or pretend to ignore— that it is not circumstantial, but inherent to the dominant system, which includes pure and harsh violence when the system deems it necessary for its preservation.

Corruption has also exerted its weight, because regardless of the veracity of the accusations against Lula da Silva, corruption enjoyed total impunity during the PT (Workers’ Party) governments and contaminated all the powers of the State and all or almost all the political parties. Dilma Roussef was not dismissed because of corruption but for violating tax regulations, masking the budget deficit; a reason more than debatable to dismiss her, especially with the vote of parliamentarians who, for a good part, were notoriously corrupt, including Temer, who succeeded her in the Presidency. The issue of public sense of safety also influenced the decision of the voters, in a country where crime increases as a result, among others, of the increase —without any prospects for a solution— of unemployment and poverty.

Essay prepared on December 2018.. For a full review of this essay, click here or on the picture to download the pdf file.

  

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