The world is plunged into a crisis in which all the consequences are not yet glimpsed. According to Martin Wolf, of the New York Times, in an extreme situation, the pandemic can produce up to 60 million deaths, a number similar to that of the Second World War. This devastation adds to an unprecedented social-economic crisis.
PSTU – Brazil
The pandemic was predicted by scientists, but governments have not avoided it or prepared to face it. Why? Because the capitalist system is absolutely obsolete and destructive. It is a system aimed at accumulating capital and generating profit for an ever-smaller number of billionaires, irrationally devastating the environment and making millions of human beings disposable things, producing legions of unemployed. Each day this system throws humanity into stark crises and scenarios of barbarism and horrors that are getting worse. In the face of the crisis, they postpone the response. They only respond when profits are threatened, and they respond insufficiently. See Italy, where the working class is being forced to work in the industry: so, correctly, workers begin strikes and demand social quarantine.
In Brazil, a catastrophe of enormous proportions is approaching: in the healthcare system, economic and social. The geometric expansion of infection by the coronavirus is already underway. The numbers are underestimated, as no mass tests are being done.
Bolsonaro and Mourão’s attitude is to defend barbarism. After saying that the pandemic was just a phantasy, he encouraged and participated in a rally in defence of a dictatorship when he should be quarantined. Realising that his popularity was plummeting, he tried to disguise it, but then he showed his true colours. The policy of Bolsonaro and Paulo Guedes is to do nothing or almost nothing. Letting everyone get infected, and to let dye whoever dies. He takes the opportunity to lower wages and rights and facilitate layoffs.
The “Out with Bolsonaro” grows
It is necessary to say that those who try to advocate capitalism with a “more human face”, such as governors, the Congress Speaker Rodrigo Maia, etc., present proposals that are totally insufficient and do not fail to promote layoffs and unemployment at a time like this, as São Paulo state governor João Doria does. The Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV), an economics think-tank, foresees a negative economic growth of 4% this year (while the government talks of 0.5% down from 2.5%). The mainstream media and Congress try to defend a climate of “national unity” against the epidemic (in which the parliamentary left, such as PT, PCdoB, and PSOL participate), while inoperability reigns.
Day after day, the virus increasingly threatens the lives of millions, while unemployment and shortage of income growth. It is necessary to implement emergency measures: halt the country to stop the contagion and guarantee employment and income for all instead of praising the do-nothing Minister of Health Mandetta, who had the courage to call Bolsonaro a great helmsman. Only if it’s on the Titanic.
The working class, the gig economy workers, the youth, health professionals, small businessmen need to fight demanding these emergency measures from governments and big businessmen. This struggle has already begun:
Cherry workers in São José dos Campos (SP) went on strike and prevented layoffs; GM metalworkers have just won paid leave; telemarketing workers are struggling across the country.
Stop Brazil to stop the virus! We need to halt everything, organise a general strike, create mobilisation that maintains social distancing, like pots-and-pans banging, to demand: general social quarantine; funds for healthcare and research; free distribution of basic mass protection equipment; job security and paid leave (not just R$ 200 (US$ 40)!) for all workers and unemployment benefits. And, of course, Out with Bolsonaro and Mourão and their project of dictatorship and slavery!
It’s time for unity to fight. We call PT, PSOL, PCdoB, Union Centrals and all movements to defend these basic demands and fight to win them, including against the ineffectiveness of governors and Congress. It is the lives of millions that are at stake.
And in this fight, it is necessary to raise “Out with Bolsonaro and Mourão”! Without that, it is unlikely that our efforts can be carried on to the end. We cannot wait until the 2022 general election to remove a government that lets the working class die and, for that reason, already has most of the people against it.
But if we must make a call for unity to fight, it must be said out loud that we need to build a revolutionary party, and that the working class need to advance in its self-organisation to make a socialist revolution. We cannot continue to be at the mercy of these governments and this system of 1% of billionaires, which profits at our expense and our destruction.
Therefore, neither Rodrigo Maia’s nor the Congress majority’s measures are effective against this pandemic. Nor the politics of PT, PCdoB and even PSOL, which advocate a broad electoral front, in collaboration with great businessmen and bourgeois parties in defence of supposedly better capitalism, can guarantee the perspective of a decent life for the people. We had already this proposal of reform of capitalism during the 13 years of PT in power. Not only did it ended in Bolsonaro, but it was not even able to universalise basic sanitation. It is a shame that, in a wealthy country like ours, 50% of the houses have no sanitation. And in the face of a catastrophe like this pandemic, we have a huge vulnerable contingent in a risky situation that could border on genocide.
We need a country and a socialist world, a revolutionary way out. A socialist workers’ government, based on workers’ councils. To achieve this, we need to build a revolutionary party. We are committed to this and invite you to come and help us in this strategic task.