Brizola

*Folha de Sao Paulo*, 20th april 1999:

Brizola crticizes Lula and sees coalition to be "blownout".

Brasilia- The re-elected president of the PDT [Labour Democratic Party], Leonel Brizola, criticized yesterday the PT and its main leader Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva. Brizola said that the PT is a middle class party and proposed the PDT to become the representative of workers and paupers.

Our CUT [Unique Workers' Central, the Labour Confederacy of trade-unions sympathetic to the PT; the PDT has not an affiliated Labour Federation]has to be a CUT for those without employment booklets [*carteira de trabalho*- the government-issued booklet that functions as an ID card for every formal Brazilian wage-worker and contains information about jobs held, wages, etc, therefore functioning as proof for retirement, value of pensions, complaining before Labour courts, etc], of those who are on the margins of society, those who have not attended school. The PT does not exist in pauper areas", stated Brizola[...]

My comments:

Partly this is only a sordid quarrel for some posts being given the PDT in the government of Rio Grande do Sul, where Brizola's party supports the PT governor. But that's also a very apt remark on differences between the PT and the PDT.

Above all, the PT is a Left Social-Democratic party that has succeeded in receiving people from all kinds of hitertho non-political grassroots movements and official trade-unions that needed a party as a lever to their sectorial reivindications in the early 80s. Although there are still all kinds of Leninists {mainly USEC Trotskysts but also diehard Stalinists), the PT was never a Leninist party, in that *it has never made entry into the party conditional on recognizing party ideology*, which the PT does not have(unless you think of ideology as a simple statement of belief in the necessity of fighting injustice, helping the oppressed, and similar vague claims). Therefore the PT has, in practice, functioned as a *rallying point* to all kinds of previously existing organizations that feel themselves to be wounded by the kind of dependent capitalist development existing an Brazil, but has not provided any kind of ideology that could function as an *organizing factor in itself* for social groups not organized before entry into the party- which means mainly the vast "underdog" layer of precarious wage-workers, street-vendors, autonomous repairing service workers, etc., etc., that provide, BTW, most of the exotic shanty-town scenery for foreign movies located in Rio. Since that gray zone between the lowest layers of a petty-bourgeoisie and an unorganized proletariat is not taken in hand by the PT, it's being presently being taken in tutelage by drug-traffiking mobsters, bourgeois politicians, etc, as a kind of "Street Corner Society", to quote the title of a famous 50s(?) classic of American Social Anthropology.

Brizola, as a heir to the political ways of the Vargas Era populist state, is proposing ins