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THE CONSERVATIVE REACTION IN BRAZIL

THE PENDULUM HAS SWUNG TO THE RIGHT IN


THE WORLD SCENARIO

This paper dissects the current global economic crisis and its causes and
consequences in the Americas and Europe. It notes that from the beginning
of the present century onwards, the left wing governments that were elected
in much of South America improved the lot of the poorest sections of society
but did not curb the power of the entrenched business elites and landowning
oligarchies in a context of economic decline and malaise. The dysfunctional
democratic system of Brazil and the influence of the reactionary upper classes
served by the media and supported by neoconservative Pentecostal evangelist
churches, led to the overthrow of President Dilma Rousseff in a soft coup
aiming to restore fiscal austerity and liberal economic policies.

MARCOS COSTA LIMA AND JOYCE HELENA FERREIRA DA SILVA

he neoliberal way of conducting economics and politics has failed on


a global scale, as proven by falling rates of economic growth and the
expansion of wealth and social inequalities that eventually compress
demand and cause large-scale deflation. Associated with these two indicators is
the fact that a number of states have fallen under the influence of transnational
corporations (TNCs) that operate through a system of financial dominance
(Franois Chesnais, Les Dettes Illgitimes. Quand ls Banques Font Main Basse sur
les Politiques Publiques, Paris: Les ditions Raisons dAgir, 2011). Most powerful

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are those that influence overall economic policy, notably those that follow and
align with the policies of the United States of America (US) and are mainly
from Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Canada,
Australia, New Zealand and Benelux countries. The global economy established
a hierarchy of conforming states or
The issue of unemployment in
units with varying capacities, whether
economic, military or technological. countries that have followed
This hierarchy headed by the US, welfare policies since the posteventually drove the world to the war years has made European
economic and financial crisis of July working populations opposed
2007 and there are few signs of the crisis to migrants. Europe has become
being over soon. The global economic
more conservative and reactionary,
and financial crisis manifested itself
when markets began to generate a trend accentuating features typified
towards autonomy in the interests of by xenophobia and fascism.
money and fictitious capital, which The European Union has
increased to levels beyond control. demonstrated intransigence to
In addition, there were problems the world and its own labour and
related to worldwide unemployment
socialist parties have adopted
as well as systematic reductions of
public spending in social policies that traits of neoliberal governance.
benefited workers and marginalised sections. Big capital also associated itself
with partners in postcolonial countries, which adversely affected workers. Thus
in todays world market, global chains of TNCs dominate, influencing political
domains as well.
The economic dominance has led to direct competition for workers in
terms of employment and wages among countries of the same continent and
between continents within the framework of the present globalised economy.
This gives each bourgeois group, whatever its place in the changing hierarchy
of global capital, an unprecedented strong position with regard to its own
workers including migrants (Franois Chesnais, Une Situation Systmique qui
est Spcifique la Financiarisation Comme Phase Historique, 2014, online at
http://www.npa-ariege.org). Offshore systems, using the global workforce in an
unprecedented way generate long-term unemployment at the heart of the system,
as visible today especially in Europe. The issue of unemployment in countries
that have followed welfare policies since the post-war years has made European
working populations opposed to migrants coming from Arab and African
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countries, especially those fleeing conflict in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.
Europe has become more conservative and reactionary, accentuating features
typified by xenophobia and fascism. The European Union has demonstrated
intransigence to the worldforgetting that at the end of the nineteenth century
its workers were welcomed throughout the Americasevincing a shift towards
the right wing and its own labour and socialist parties have adopted traits of
neoliberal governance.
Moreover as Jean-Marie Harribey (La Crise est Bien Celle du Capitalisme,
Les Possibles,Numro 9, Printemps 2016) analyses, governments have redoubled
efforts to impose austerity on their people. Central banks have started panicking
as their policies have had little impact on economies and merely magnified
financial bubbles. The seeming permanence of the crisis undermines the
arguments of those that see it as only a financial one, a result of perceptions
and mimetic phenomena without engagement with the productive system or
the social relations that established it. The structural nature of the crisis also
contradicts those who believe that financial stimulus will be enough to overcome
difficulties. Latin America too has returned to economic and political instability.
Over the last 15 years legitimately elected governments took a different direction
from the past, practicing social and redistributive policies while keeping their
economies within a liberal framework. This process that began with Hugo Chavez
in Venezuela was furthered by Luiz Incio Lula da Silva in Brazil and eventually
spread throughout South America to Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru
and even Paraguay, the country par excellence of the agribusiness oligarchy where
two per cent of landowners control 85 per cent of the land.
THE IMPACT OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRISIS

fter analysing the April 2016 update of Tracking Indexes for the Global
Economic Recovery, Eswar Prasad and Foda Karin (A Recovery of Sorts
could Prove Fragile and Fleeting, 10 April 2016 and April 2016 Update to
TIGER: Tracking Indexes for the Global Economic Recovery, April 2016,
Brookings, online at http://www.brookings.edu) assert the following.
The world economy continues to be beset by mediocre growth, hesitant or
impotent policy actions by national governments and a dearth of confidence

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among households and businesses. The worst may be over but after yet another
year of tepid growth in 2015 the world economy in 2016 faces the unsettling
prospect of more of the sameat best.

The confidence of American households has yet to return after the subprime
crisis of the summer of 2007. According to public opinion, problems facing
the US in descending order are the economy, the situation in Iraq and Syria,
the failure of the education system, the bad functioning of government and the
precariousness of the health system.
Jean-Marc Lucas (lections Amricaines: Le Poids du Contexte, le Choc
des Programmes, Problmes conomiques, no2954, Septembre 2008, pp311)
points out four negatives factors contributing to the crisisunemployment
especially in the manufacturing and
service sectors; the return of inflation; At the beginning of the industrial
the housing crises caused by huge loans revolution, the difference in per
for mortgages that led to the world capita income between Western
bubble resulting in a loss of property Europe and the periphery did
for many and finally the crisis on the
not exceed 30 percent. In 1997,
stock exchange that led to a drop in
share prices. Household equities thus a fifth of the worlds population
suffered a double shockin finance living in the richest countries
and real estate. Lucas (ibid) adds that was 74 times richer than a fifth
multinational companies and TNCs of the population in the poorest
suffered less from the deteriorating countries.
economic situation than households,
banks and stock exchanges. As these companies are global, they were in a better
position than others to take advantage of the world economy and the depreciating
dollar. In February 2009, US industrial production recorded a fall of 11.2 per
cent, the largest decline since 1975. The use of installed capacity reached 70.9
per cent in the same month, equalling the lowest level ever registered (Lucas,
ibid, p4). In addition, the annual accumulation of current deficits showed a net
external deficient position of two trillion and 500 billion dollars in 2006 or 19
per cent of the gross domestic product. The automotive industry an American
standard symbol of power entered into a pre-bankruptcy situation as did other
emblematic sectors such as air transport and banking.

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THE WIDESPREAD CRASH

ashington Mutual (WaMu), a Seattle based company over a hundred and


twenty years old, played a major role in corporate collapse in the US. In
filing for bankruptcy it declared a debt of over eight billion dollars. This however
did not represent all expenses, as many liabilities were distributed among various
subsidiaries many of which did not ask for creditor protection. WaMus debt
was not the largest of American bankruptciesLehman Brothers debt was $613
billion. JP Morgan Chase took over WaMu becoming the largest American bank
in terms of deposits. Lehmans filing for bankruptcy on 15 September 2008, set off
a chain reaction that exposed the ailing American financial system to the public.
The fall of the American International Group adversely affected various groups
from Norwegian pension companies to investors in the Reserve Primary Fund, a
mutual fund considered as safe as cash. The impact of financial markets on major
financial institutions like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, regarded as Wall
Street pillars, made the Federal Bank and Treasury officials submit an aid plan.
This paper does not go into the details of the crisis that impacts the world even
today. However as Franois Chesnais (Crise Financire: Quelques Dtours par la
Thorie, 2008, online at http://www.fondation-copernic.org) stated at the time:
We are facing one of those moments when a crisis expresses historical limits
of the capitalist system. This is not some theoretical version of the final crisis of
capitalism or anything in that style. ... We have to understand that we are facing
a situation in which the limits of capitalist production have been expressed. The
difference with reference to 1930 is that at that time China and India where
semi-colonies, whereas today they are the countries with the highest growth
rates worldwide and fully participating in the single world economy, unified
and hitherto unknown as a historical stage of capitalism.

As stated above, from 2008 to the present day the crisis has worsened globally.
The economies of Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain collapsed, while others such
as Iceland, Ireland and Europe Union countries are still stuck. The European
Central Bank and the Bank of Japans aggressive attempts to boost economic
activity, stave off deflation and increase exports have met with limited traction.
The spectre of policy interest rates persistently at or below zero, along with further
direct asset purchases and attempts to keep currencies weak, show how these and
other central banks remain the focal point of policy action long after the financial
crisis (Prasad and Karim, ibid). Moreover, German Chancellor Angela Merkels
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attitude has not made things easier. As per Yanis Varoufakis (Democratising the
Eurozone, Project Syndicate, 4 September 2013), Judged by this standard, the
Eurozone, comprising nineteen established democracies, lags behind the largest
non-democratic economy in the world. Warnings have come from others as well.
Robert Reich (Austerity 101: The Three Reasons Deficit Hawks are Wrong,
Project Syndicate,19 October 2015) in addressing Republican hawks stated
that measures to control expenditure were wrong and would lead to disaster.
The warnings are applicable to Europe as well for dealing with the crisis. Reich
suggested the following three points in another direction.
First, deficit and debt numbers are meaningless on their own. They have to
be viewed as a percent of the national economy.That ratio is critical. As long
as the yearly deficit continues to drop as a percent of the national economy,
as it has been doing for several years now, we can more easily pay what we
owe. Second, America needs to run larger deficits when lots of people are
unemployed or underemployed as they still are today, when millions remain
too discouraged to look for jobs and millions more are in part-time jobs and
need full-time work. Third, deficit spending on investments like education and
infrastructure is different than other forms of spending, because this spending
builds productivity and future economic growth.

Four basic determinants help understand the phenomenon.


Economy: Financialisation and oligopoly, bubble economy drive, public
spending cuts and structural unemployment
Policy: A system that increasingly moves away from voters and deepens the
states relationship with big business, naturalisation of political phenomena,
electoral processes
Environment: Voracity of capital over finite resourcesair, sea, forests, water
and expanded obsolescence
Psyche: Control of information by large groups of media individualism,
hedonism standardisation of behaviour, absence of critical thinking, inability
to think of change
The paradigm crisis is based on three pillars of twenty-first century policiesthe
privatisation of the public sphere, the deregulation of the business sector and
reducing taxes on large corporations. These measures are all profitable to big
business through cuts in public spending. However, the crisis spread globally as
a crisis of employment and deflation.
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THE INCREASE IN INEQUALITY ACROSS THE WORLD

he capitalist system has increased inequality worldwide. There is a


concentration of income and workers are threatened by unemployment
due to the expedient measure of outsourcing production to offshore peripheral
countries. For over 200 years, global economic inequalities have increased. At
the beginning of the industrial revolution, the difference in per capita income
between Western Europe and the periphery did not exceed 30 percent. In 1997,
a fifth of the worlds population living in the richest countries was 74 times
richer than a fifth of the population in the poorest countries (Paul Bairoch and
Maurice Leboyer (Eds), The Main Trends in National Economic Disparities since
the Industrial Revolution, London: Macmillan Press, 1981). The three figures
below explicate the roots of the contemporary crisis. The first shows the difference
in two time periods of the uneven distribution of gains from the mid-1940s to
the mid-1970s (Keynesian) and the second from the mid-1970s to the mid2000s (neoliberal). After the end of the Second World War until the mid-1970s
the average income for the bottom 90 per cent of households was 83 per cent
in cumulative per cent growth whilein the secondperiod it fell to 10 per cent.
Uneven Distribution of Gains Since Late 1970s Different from Earlier Era, When
Growth Was Widely Shared
Cumulative Percent Growth

250%
200%

232%
Per-Capita National Income
Avg. Income, Bottom 90% of Households
Avg. Income, Top 1% of Households

150%
100%

90%

83%
64%

50%
20%

10%

0%
1946-1976

1976-2006

Sourse: CBPP calculations based on data from economists Thomas Piletty & Emmanuel
Saez & BEA and Census data. Adjusted for inflation using CPI-RS.

The second figure shows a 2011 global wealth pyramid, which measures the
overall wealth of the world adult population82.1 per cent of the worlds wealth
is appropriated by 8.7 per cent of adults in the world.
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Figure 1. The global wealth pyramid


29.7 mn
(0.5%)
USD 1 million
USD 100,000 to 1 million

USD 10,000 to 100,000

USD 10,000

Wealth range

USD 89.1 trn (38.5%)

369 mn
(8.2%)
1,066 mn
(23.6%)

USD 100.6 trn (43.6%)

USD 33.5 trn (14.5%)

3,054 mn
(67.6%)

USD 7.6 trn (3.3%)

(Number of adults percent of world population)

Total wealth
(percent of world)

Sourse: James Davies, Rodrigo Lluberas and Anthony Shorrocks, Credit Suisse Global
Wealth Databook 2011
Fictitious Wealth (financial assets) and Real Income (world GDP) in trillion dollars
25000

20000

15000
Assets
GDP

10000

2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010

000

1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1991
1990
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

5000

The third figure shows the advance of rentier capital on a global scale from 1980
to 2010. The bottom line shows the evolution of the gross domestic product and
the upper one shows financial assets measured in trillions dollars. As such it is

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not surprising that the crisis has deepened. As Canadian activist Naomi Klein
(This Changes Everything: Capitalism versus the Climate, New York: Simon and
Schuster, 2014) asserts, Forget everything you think you know about global
warming. The really inconvenient truth is that it is not carbon but capitalism.
THE RISE AND FALL OF THE BRAZILIAN LEFT IN RECENT TIMES: THE
PENDULUM HAS SWUNG BACK TO THE RIGHT WING

he left cannot be treated as a homogeneous or even static concept with a


certain set of assumptions or fixed agenda. This may be verified empirically by
recent experiences in South America with the rise of leftist governments especially
from the early 2000s. In this context, the left assumes a reordering perspective in
the international system, defending the horizontality of international relations. In
the internal sphere, the left engages in agendas for combating social inequality and
extending basic rights to the working class. However, except in the most extreme
settings, as in the case of Hugo Chavez, most leftists preserved the economic
privileges of the elites that later turned against them, culminating in the end of
these models in the region.

Extreme Poverty Rates in Brazil between 1990 and 2014 (in per cent)
25,00

20,00

15,00

10,00

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2006
2007

2005

2003
2004

2002

2000
2001

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

1994

1993

0,00

1990
1991
1992

5,00

Source: Institute of Applied Economic Research(IPEA), Brazil

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Lulas election in 2002 cast doubts in the market about the continuation
of the orthodox economic policies of Fernando Henrique Cardosos neoliberal
government. The maintenance of the prerogatives of the national economic elites
should not overshadow one of the main achievements that brought national and
international recognition to Lulalifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty.
Social programmes such as Bolsa Famlia were expanded, credit was made available
to many and the minimum wage was raised with a real increase of 76 per cent
(Presidency of the Republic of Brazil, online at (http://blog.planalto.gov.br).
During the two Lula mandates and the first and the beginning of the second term
of Dilma Rousseff, there was a phase of economic growth based on increase in
consumption and the modification of the terms of international exchange, which
led to a growth in Chinese demand and rising commodity prices that benefited the
Brazilian agrarian export sector. The graph below shows the significant reduction
in the rate of extreme poverty in Brazil, especially during Lulas two governments
due to his active policy of income distribution. Between 2003 and 2010 the share
of the population in extreme poverty fell from 15.18 to 7.27 per cent and between
2011 and 2014 decreased further from 6.31 to 4.2 per cent.

Financing from
BNDES funds

Housing Finance

January 2008

Rural credit

Other directed
credits

0,45

0,4

5,99

10,84

December 2013
15,11

23,75

15,72

32,75

48,78

50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0

45,7

Relative Share of Directed Credit Modalities (January 2008 and December 2013)

microcredit

Source: DepartmentofStatisticsandSocioeconomic Studies, So Paulo, A Evoluo do


Crdito na Economia Brasileira 200813, Technical Note, 2014, p16

Credit expansion was a restraint instrument of the global financial crisis and an
important policy for the acceleration of the economy in both the Lula and Dilma
governments. As per the graph below there has been a significant expansion in
real estate credit.
In the field of education, many policy initiatives were taken especially for the

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high school system and universities. Both public and private higher education
was expanded. The number of federal public universities rose considerably during
Lulas government. Despite some criticism regarding the quality of expansion,
14 new universities and 126 new campuses were created while the number of
municipalities with federal institutions increased from 114 to 237 between 2003
and 2013 (Valorizacao do Ensino Superior, Lulas Institutes, online at, http://
obrasilqueconquistamos.com.br). Investments were increased to develop teaching
programmes, for the recruitment of new teachers and in research. There was also
an increase in enrolment in public higher education with the federal network
totalling 504,797 registrations in 2001 and 938,656 in 2010. In addition, the
number of scholarships offered to students in higher education more than doubled
from 2005. The graph below shows the number of scholarships offered by ProUni
between 2005 and 2011. ProUni is a Ministry of Education programme that
provides partial and full scholarships in private higher educational institutions.
These are for low-income students who have attended public high schools or have
studied in private schools on full scholarships. In the Lula and Dilma governments,
422 technical schools were also opened and a network of technical schools for
a unified health system created to develop a joint strategy and foster collective
discussions and knowledge to further professional health education.
ProUni Scholarships Offered Per Year 200511
247.643

241.273

2009

2010

254.598

225.005

163.854
138.668
112.275

2005

162

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The social advances however did not adversely affect Brazils economic
elites. A prime example is the financial sector, whose hegemonic role was not
challenged. Instead, there was a significant increase in industry profitability,
especially compared to the sectors of the real economy (Eduardo Costa Pinto,
Bloco no Poder e Governo Lula: Grupos Econmicos, Poltica Econmica e
Novo Eixo Sino-Americano, Rio de Janeiro, Masters Thesis, 2010, p307 and
Reinaldo Gonalves, Nacional Desenvolvimentismo s Avessas, Circuito de
Debates Acadmicos, IPEA, 2011, p18).
Financial dominance has concrete expression in the appropriation of the
economic surplus. To illustrate, the average rate of return (profit/equity) of
the 50 largest banks is always higher than for the 500 largest companies in
each year of the period 200310. In this period the average rate of return of
the largest companies is 11.0 per cent while the rate of banks is 17.5 per cent
(Gonalves, ibid, p14).

Apart from the financial sector, the agrarian export and industrial sectors also
benefitted during Lulas administration as they were given access to credit through
the National Bank for Economic and Social Development. However, the issue of
progressive taxation was not addressed and the lower strata of the social pyramid
continued to pay relatively more taxes than the rich. Thus discontent erupted
in Brazil in 2013 generating a serious crisis affecting not only the economy but
also politics.
According to Samuel Pinheiro Guimares (Impeachment, Golpe de Estado
e Ditadura de Mercado, Austeridade para Quem? Balano e Perspectivas do
Governo Dilma Rousseff, So Paulo: Carta Maior, 2015, p352), two policies in
particular mobilised the market and media against the Dilma administration
the economic policy aimed at decreasing interest rates and the issue of media
democratisation.
The financial and banking systems are the main instruments of concentration
of wealth in Brazil. By reducing public bank interest rates and forcing the
reduction of private banks interests the president transferred wealth to society
and the state from private banks, their shareholders and public bondholders.
The president reached the heart of the concentration mechanism of the

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economic system and angered the conservative sectors that today are asking for
the privatisation of public banks (Guimares, ibid, pp223).

Two major components of the economic and political crises severely affected
Brazil, especially after the outcome of the 2014 presidential elections. The first
was a lowering of commodity prices due to the global economic slowdown,
which led to criticisms of the Dilma governments economic policy from the
banking and financial sectors and their supportive media. The second was an
artificially produced component disseminated to the public through the media
that promoted a deliberate anti-government campaignby propagating a general
pessimistic atmosphere. Although the economic effects were strong and the people
felt the results of the economic slowdown, one must not minimise the media
oligopolys ability to associate corruption and economic problems exclusively to
the allegedly ethical moral depravity and mismanagement of the Workers Party.
In the excerpt below, Perry Anderson (A Crise no Brasil/The Crisis in Brazil,
Boitempo, 21 April 2016, online at https://blogdaboitempo.com.br) summarises
what started the Brazilian crisis.
Far from picking up, the economy slowed from an already mediocre 2.75 per
cent in 2011 to a mere one per cent in 2012 and with inflation above 6 per cent
in April 2013 the Central Bank abruptly raised interest rates, undercutting the
new economic matrix of Guido Mantega, the finance minister. Two months
later, the country was swept by a wave of mass protests, triggered by higher bus
fares in So Paulo and Rio de Janeiro but quickly escalating into generalised
expressions of discontent with the quality of public services and fanned by the
media, of hostility to an incompetent state.

Even at the end of her first term in office and facing a difficult campaignand
strong media opposition, Dilma Rousseff drew support from the legacy of 12
years of the Workers Party government. The benefits of social progress led her to
victory, though with a narrow margin. On the economic front, in Dilmas second
term, there was a demand for fiscal austerity policies, which led to Mantegas
ouster and the rise of the liberal leaning Joaquim Levy who put cutting public
spending back on the agenda of economic policy.
Another issue that has weakened the federal government is the membership of
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the National Congress since the last elections. The highly conservative Chamber
of Deputies now includes not only traditional actors (ruralists) of the Brazilian
right but also politicians linked to evangelical movements, which benefits
the agenda of the right-wing. Understanding this conservative movement is
a complex task. First, it must be stressed that conservative notions reach the
population in a convoluted way. The media manipulate complex information,
reducing it to specific events as carried out exclusively by the government or they
identify systemic corruption and scandals as peculiar to a particular party or to
specific political actors. In addition, this simplification passes through slogans
that are repeated constantly until they are internalised by the population. As
Vencio A Lima (A Direita e os Meios de Comunicao, Direita, Volver: O
Retorno da Direita e o Ciclo Poltico Brasileiro, So Paulo, Fundao Perseu
Abramo, 2015, p108) asserts, it is an attempt to express in a simplified way,
complex, ambiguous issues and multiple interpretations and controversies.
Through this mechanism the media seek to reduce a wide range of meanings
to just a single umbrella meaning easily assimilateda kind of label. Thus the
two main factors influencing the political crisis in Brazil are the pressure from
the banking and financial sectors (rentier class) and the role of the mainstream
media as the voice bearers of Brazils economic elites.
The street protests started with what came to be known as the June Days in
2013. While the initial issue was public transport fares, the demonstrations soon
extended to cover more general topics with wide content such as improvements
in education and health, combating corruption and so on. There was positive
reporting of the protests by the media, as they did not represent big risks to the
existing order and were apolitical statements. The media stressed that the protests
were peaceful, democratic and patriotic and condemned more radical actions
like the black blocs. The initial manifestation had an amorphous appearance, with
a relatively diverse mix of actors and no identifiable agenda, flag or leadership.
It was a set of generic and scattered demands voicing widespread discontent.
Gradually however there was a crumbling of the structure of the social
movement and it became a mass spectacle (Marilena Chau, As Manifestaes
de Junho na Cidade de So Paulo, Teoria e Debate, 2013, online at http://www.
teoriaedebate.org.br).
The dispersion and difficulty to clearly define these manifestations is a social

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result of neoliberalism. As argued by Chau (ibid) the neoliberal project has


produced three basic fragmentations, which have dismantled the organisational
capacity of the working class.
One, the fragmentation, outsourcing and precariousness of work dispersing
the working class. Two, the reflux of social and popular movements and their
replacement by nongovernmental organisations. Three, the emergence of a new
heterogeneous working class, fragmented and still unorganised, so it does not
have its own form of struggle and will not appear in the public space and thus
is attractive to and devoured by individualist ideologies such as theology of
prosperity (Pentecostalism) and the ideology of entrepreneurship (the middle
class), which stimulate competition, isolation and interpersonal conflicts,
breaking previous forms of sociability and solidarity in a collective struggle.

The main problem of fragmentation imposed by neoliberalism is that by losing


class identity, workers adhere to conservative assumptions, adopting ideas and
interests that are in direct contradiction with their own social inclusion. Added
to this deficiency of perception about ideological positioning, Brazil has serious
structural problems with regard to its political system, which impairs interaction
between the executive and legislature. As Anderson (ibid) has assessed, the
Brazilian political system is responsible for the lack of policy coherence and
discipline.
In Brazil, proportional representation takes the form of an open list system,
in which voters can choose any candidate from among a host of individuals
nominally standing on the same ticket, in constituencies often grouping a
million or more voters. The consequences of this configuration are two-fold.
Overwhelmingly, voters pick a politician of whom they know or think they
know something rather than a party of which they know little or nothing, while
politicians for their part need to raise huge sums of money to fund campaigns
to secure voter recognition.

The lack of consistency means that votes are not always cast in accordance
with political or ideological alignments. In other words, decisions may be taken
based on convenience or for the side that offers more short-term benefits. This

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is what led to the abandonment of the government by several allied parties


when the political crisis worsened and culminated in the approval of the
impeachment process in the Chamber The media manipulate complex
of Deputies. Those parties had adhered
information, reducing it to
to the Workers Party project for the
specific events as carried out
convenience of power and not because
they agreed with its principles. With exclusively by the government
they identify systemic
the loss of popularity due to economic or
imbalanceslow growth rates since corruption and scandals as
2011, increasing inflation and rising peculiar to a particular party
interest ratesthe Dilma Rousseff or to specific political actors.
government became the target of In addition, this simplification
protests. The economic downturn, passes through slogans that are
mainly due to the fall in commodity repeated constantly until they are
prices and the exhaustion of the internalised by the population.
growth model based on domestic
consumption, was attributed almost exclusively to the mismanagement of the
economy, which further damaged the presidents image.
Faced with a crisis, Brazils right-wing movement rose and the street protests
that gathered were mainly of middle-class reactionaries, conservatives and
a portion of those belonging to the old dictatorial period. The gap between
the executive that emerged victorious from the last elections and the legislative
conservative opposition seen as representative of the demands from the streets,
led to the impeachment process. As in a vicious circle Brazil remains caught in
a trap set up by conservative forces. The same actors have persisted throughout
Brazilian historythe landowning oligarchy opposed to land reform; industrial
entrepreneurs averse to labour rights, the payment of taxes and solidarity for
national development; an elitist middle-class that is conservative and against any
increase in welfare to the lower classes and a new constituency of Pentecostals
who are religiously intolerant and demand a reactionary agenda inspired by
US conservative politics. In this context, the incipient Brazilian democracy
whose institutions were moving towards greater solidity and stabilityhas been
challenged again. This time not by the armed forces or a violent uprising but by
an apparently legal process. There is a false representation of popular aspirations

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that mainly reflects the discontent of the elites defeated in the 2014 elections. As
President Dilma Rousseff has not committed any crime her ouster is a coup dtat
carried out by Congress, the judiciary and the media tearing up the constitution.
CONCLUDING REMARKS

his article shows that global capitalism has negatively impacted the world.
Post-neoliberalism has brought an alarming degree of social inequality with
high levels of unemployment and the loss of possibilities for social mobilisation.
The philosophy of individualism, the fragmentation of struggles and the
disintegration of labour movements have weakened the organisational ability of
the working class and led to the ideological domination of the right-wing. Both
Europe and Latin America are turning to right wing politics for solving problems.
Unfortunately, this alternative only deepens crises and increases inequalities. In
Brazil as well, the pendulum has swung back to violence and the oppression of
workers.

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