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(en) Letter from Brazilian comrades: END OF NEOLIBERALISM

From "Federação Anarquista Gaúcha" <fag.poa@terra.com.br>
Date Thu, 28 Dec 2000 07:56:21 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Dear platformist comrades,
We are from FAG (Anarchist Federation from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil),
and we'd like to contribute to this list with some ideas we've been
discussing among ourselves. We've been discussing the current conjuncture of
capitalism and our action within it as a platformist organization. There
has been recently in Europe a conference about the End of Neoliberalism.
What was its repercussion in other countries and in Europe itself?
Here in Brazil there has been interesting texts and analysis being published
this issue. We'd like to know what is your analysis on this matter, and what
are the actions taken by platformists within this conjuncture, in the
context of this "new face of capitalism" that is being shown to us.

Around here we've been seeing the issue of the end of neoliberalism as
something predictable. The Brazilian left has been deceived by this artifact,
proposing slogans like "against neoliberalism!" as if neoliberalism was not
the same as capitalism using a new mask, but still the same exploiter we've
always known. This mask allowed state-owned companies from third-world countries
to be sold to rich countries, allowed the worker related laws to be bent,
created mass unemployment (through the massive use of technology in
transnational industries); after this, the "individual and market freedom"
ideology was stronger. There has been cultural homogenization, resulting
from globalization of domestic markets, where we see more and more the local
cultures being put aside and oppressed by the mass media imposed culture.
All of this, and much more, are scars left by the neoliberal hurricane. And
what has the reformist left proposed as an answer? The return of the "Providence
State", the welfare state, with a "democratic and popular" mask, opening
instances for a supposedly "citizen control" of the state workings and budgets;
this works as an illusion to the poor, that seem not to need direct action to
conquer things, since it should be enough to meet the "understanding owners
of the state".

We see this attitude of the reformist left (specially in Brazil and Latin
as a complete adhesion of self-proclaimed "socialist" parties to the
social-democrat ideal. While this left proposes its own version of the State,
the right is already articulating to build another mask to capitalism, not much
different now from the mask used by the reformist left. Both want to control
the state, both want that the direct action based popular movements be stopped.
The reformist left achieves this by means of secret agreements, exchange of
favors, sowing false hopes in the hearts of each neighborhood association,
each newborn popular movement. The business sector is seeing ahead: forming
alliances with the reformist left they can keep making profits with
They only need to give money to a few so-called social projects, support
some "citizens", give some food, fill some holes, and that's it! We're all
friends  again! Many right-wing parties are noticing that the tactics of the 
"new left" work very well to legitimate the State and the capitalism, why not?
Maybe they're the most appropriate to the present moment...

There is something called "third sector" which we are studying, and we're
seriously thinking that this may be the new disguise of capitalism. It seems
that both right and left are sympathetic to this proposal, each one with its
differences, of course, but the differences are each time smaller, by the
The "third wave" proclaims itself as a synthesis between capitalism and state
socialism (or real socialism), that is: a "more human" capitalism, which burns
and then caresses. The state establishes a "partnership" with all the
"organized sectors of society" (social movements, business, NGO's, parties,
etc...) and administrates it allowing instances of popular participation
where everybody may give opinions and make decisions on matters that are
not essential to the perpetuation of the system.

It is up to us platformists to produce a  detailed analysis of what would be
the essential pillars of capitalism, and try to predict, at least partially,
what is the new disguise the capitalism is preparing to keep on reproducing
itself. This is essential to make our actions each time more efficient and
precise towards our goal of social transformation.

It is also important to mention that we've been discussing the "class"
concept, because the Marxist model doesn't please us (it defines class using
only economic parameters, forgetting all the other levels: cultural,
ideological, geographic social, military, political, etc). What are the
oppressed and oppressive social subjects in the present conjuncture?
Is the (purely economical) Marxist concept of "class" fit to analyze the
present reality? What are the meanings platformists give to "class" and "class
How do they see the social tension that actually exists between exploiters
and exploited? We'd like to start many discussions based on this message,
and exchange many ideas with all the comrades in this list.
We're looking forward to your reply!

Embraces and a lot of direct action to everybody...
FAG - Federação Anarquista Gaúcha/ Brasil

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