The MST on the Crisis in Brazil: Economy, Education and Politics

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2179 ... August 28, 2020

The MST on the Crisis in Brazil: Economy, Education and Politics

MST (Landless Rural Workers' Movement)

We are experiencing a prolonged crisis of the capitalist system and its reproduction. However, the pandemic has accelerated the consequences of the crisis on people, the forms of labour exploitation and natural goods. The deep crisis runs through the themes of value, limits of capital expansion, and overproduction of goods. It is also a crisis of a civilizing character, which tends to deepen the forms of barbarization of human life, especially of the most impoverished and of black people. Its dimensions are economic, political, social, environmental, and health.

The pandemic reminds us of the urgency to address the environmental and agrarian issues at the center of the political disputes that are currently being faced. Many scholars and scientists point to the origin of the pandemic in the imbalance of human beings with nature and the destruction of tropical forests, causing changes in ecosystems and the forms of animal life.

The current phase of capital development requires an... intense destructive capacity against nature and extreme violence against the peoples that constitute important forms of resistance in the territories. We face new forms of expropriation combined with forced migration, a decrease in autonomous ways of life, and generalization of precarious work in the countryside and urban areas.

The crisis gives rise to a lack of control over the destructive effects of capital, and the pandemic is evidence of this, causing the loss of thousands of human lives. From the current dynamics, it is clear that the root of capital itself intensely unbalances nature, releasing trillions of virus species in the forests and generating many epidemics. Thus, it becomes urgent, necessary, and humanistic to struggle for structural changes that combine balanced forms of relationship with nature, distribution of income and wealth, as well as new forms of power.

The contradictions posed are so profound that forms of extreme right-wing political control, with neo-fascist characteristics, reappear intensely. It is important to highlight that they only emerge where there are strategic interests for capital, as in the case of several countries in Latin America, such as in Brazil. This accentuates religious fundamentalisms, as well as racism, misogyny, and xenophobia. It is also worth mentioning that the possible changes in geopolitics, specifically about what will result from the dispute for commercial hegemony in the world, will have a fundamental impact on the entire region. In present-day Brazil, subservience to the Trump administration and the US State is deepening, with strong implications for national sovereignty.

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