Freedom News

Brazil: A letter to anarchists in the wake of the general strike

In this analysis of recent Brazilian protests, which culminated in a general strike and a riot which shook Rio, Vantiê Clínio Carvalho de Oliveira calls for anarchists to remember — this isn’t about left vs right.

Falling into this false dichotomy “left” vs “right” is a big mistake, historical and current, which anarchists can commit and, strange as it may seem, this is a trend to play the game now: After all who were the “strong men” of politics from the [socialist-aligned] PT/CUT governments?

The game of the system now is to put us in this false dichotomy between “advocates of minority stakes” and advocates of socially conservative agendas, and I say that they are false dichotomies, because even so-called “minority agendas” are in the interest of Capital, to create new market niches (see the whole line of “progressive” TV Globo television programming).

Fascism and reactionaryism also wear red or, if not, how should we regard the policies and militarisation of favelas adopted by the PT/CUT government during the World Cup? How we name the repressions using torture techniques adopted by the PT/CUT government against strikers and traditional communities in the construction of the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Plant, such as the persecution and attempted lynching perpetrated by the “People’s Fearless Front” against anarchists and autonomists in Fortaleza; etc?

And then there was oil giant Odebrecht, whose bosses said in all their letters that they paid kickbacks to the CUT so that it would prevent strikes and protests from spiraling out of control.

Anarchism is NOT left and right , because both are the two sides of the currency of the struggle for State power, and anarchy is the exact opposite of this: and every time anarchists “have forgotten” it and fallen in as allies to the left in revolutionary struggles, we know (honest anarchists and scholars) very well the end that was given to them.

If the situation of the “underclass” is ever worsening, this is increasingly happening on the global scale of capitalism — and on the planetary scale, as far as the climate problem is concerned — and this shows that, more than ever, the question is not whether to exchange any government for another, but to supplant this system.

If this seems too difficult and distant now, we can remember here the old Chinese saying that “the path of a thousand leagues begins with a first step.”

But the important thing is not to get caught up in false ‘shortcuts’, yielding to the coherence of our libertarian propositions in order to gain apparent ‘punctual’ victories.

As the Italian anarchist Errico Malatesta says: It is preferable to lose a hundred battles, than win by giving up our coherence.

The fight is not just for today, and probably will not end in the medium or long term (this if the planet does not heat up beyond the bearable in less than a hundred years), for this, it is necessary to have a vision of far reach, not to be carried away by the chess plays of these momentary false oppositions within the system.

Let us be aware that something is moving in a libertarian sense, worldwide, with the so-called “new wave” of protests that erupted after the outbreak of the economic crisis of 2008, which has generated social movements with more libertarian characteristics (horizontal, an aversion to formal/elitist political institutions, a refusal to pursue great leaders, etc.) such as Occupy Wall Street in the USA, 15M in Spain, protests in Tahir Square in Egypt, and the “June 2013 Days” in Brazil: This is the social wave that we anarchists should strengthen, not the one that aims to promote an exchange of politicians’ managers of the public face of Capital.

The fight continues, but in this battlefield, we must be wise not to be deceived by “wolves in lambskins.”


This is an edited machine translation of an article first published on the Anarchist News Agency