Brazil Financial Crisis

Last Wednesday in Jo Soares's talk show (a kind of Brazilian David Letterman)we had an interview with the former Porto Alegre mayor (Wokers' Party) Tarso Genro, who has proposed extraordinary elections to the Presidency at the beginning of the present crisis. Genro made no secret about the fact that his proposal had been rejected in the last "national meeting" of the PT (a kind of enlarged Executive Comitee), because of the obsession of the present moderate direction with becoming a "reliable" alternative to a "governable" Brazil.Genro- himself a moderate- said that he will bide his time and wait until the next Party Congress, in november- or otherwise, until the crisis aggravates- in order to make again the same proposal. He suceeded in getting that clear and of putting that constitutional amendments are part of bourgeois legality, amid a smoke screen of irrelevancies of sophisms by Soares, who spoke much about his friend "Pedro" (The Finance Minister Malan) and his optimistic expectations. Malan does the policy dictated by the IMF, and has, amid the present apathy of the population suceeded in having inhuman tax cuts approved (although a refit of the presidential palace in Brazilian, costing some U$5 million, is not to be cut, massive cuts are already implemented in programmes for retraining, and also in assistance for poor families and the elderly, including free staple food supplies).

As to Cardoso, he has lost touch with reality altogether, and roams the palace and official ceremonies talking about the pleasant surprises still in store in the "Pandora's Box" that Brazil is. However, privatization of the two official banks Banco do Brasil and Caixa Economic - is being pressed by the IMF -something that would deny Brazil one of the last available tools to implement any industrial policy- and we have in store a political reform intended to introduce district vote on a winner-takes-all basis for half the chairs in the Chamber of Deputies, and also an exclusion clause that would deny registration to any party that failed to attain a minimum percentage in proportional elections.

Genro's proposal puts something like a conundrum: in a society that has undergone a massive process of atomization and disbanding of all progressive political opinion by way of manipulation, monopolies, etc., an extraordinary election would be the only way to mobilize quickly the grat mass of the population; moreover, without that mobilization, Genro's proposal has no change of approval in Congress (that must be frightened out of its wits to approve something like that).Only a gigantic and sharp social upheaval could by now create that mobilization outside the party system. Well as the Greek historian Polybius once said, there are times when we must think ourselves happy when a catastrophe goes quickly; better a bang than the sighs of slow decline into depression.

Carlos Rebello