The Majority of the Electors Did Not Vote for the Fascist Millionaire

“Revolution develops not in a straight ascending line, not in a continuously growing upsurge, but in zigzags, in advances and retreats, in flows and ebbs, which in the course of development steel the forces of the revolution and prepare for its final victory.” (Joseph Stalin, Works, Volume 7)

Luiz Falcão

After spending the whole election campaign fleeing debates and spreading lies through Twitter and WhatsApp, the retired captain Jair Bolsonaro – considered by the Army itself as a liar, undisciplined and a bad military man – was elected President of the Republic with 57,797,000 votes. Fernando Haddad, of the PT-PCdoB-PROS [Workers’ Party, Communist Party of Brazil, Republican Party of the Social Order] coalition, had 47,040,000 votes. As Brazil has 147 million voters, adding Haddad’s votes to those who abstained, voted null or blank, the vast majority of the Brazilian people, more than 89 million Brazilians, refused to vote for the candidate of the extreme-right.

But how could a captain with a mediocre career in the Army and the National Congress, who advocated torture, sterilization, and vasectomy instead of building popular housing, become president 33 years after the Brazilian people put an end to the fascist regime imposed by a coup in 1964? Why did the PT candidate fail to make aware 42 million electors who refused to vote for Bolsonaro?

There is no true democracy under capitalism

As we know, in a capitalist country elections are far from being democratic, because they are held under an economic system in which only a small number of very wealthy people own the major media (TV, newspapers, radio and internet), industries , shops, agricultural enterprises, farms, etc.‘

With this power, the bosses, during the election period, in addition to psychological pressure and harassment, threatened to lay off workers if the candidate they supported did not win the election. Proof of this was the video shown by Luciano Hang, owner of the Havan chain of stores, to his employees and sent to hundreds of other business owners, in which he states that if Bolsonaro is not elected, he would close his stores, leave the country and lay off his 15,000 employees: “Are you prepared to leave Havan? ... Havan can close its doors and lay off its 15,000 employees?!”1

If this was not enough, as the bourgeoisie is the class that appropriates the profits from the sales of the products (surplus value), owns the banks, has the state at its service and controls the money, it can use various means of financing electoral campaigns. For example, the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) is investigating the accusation that business owners made 12 million reales [about $3.25 million US] worth of contracts with companies such as Quickmobile, Yacows, Croc Services and SMS Market to send mass messages on WhatsApp in favour of the campaign of millionaire Bolsonaro. A worker, on the other hand, has only his salary, with which he can barely pay the bills. If he is a candidate he would have to convince his brother and sister workers that his proposals are the best. For these and others, it is a mistake to overestimate bourgeois elections.

Although this is the reality, some say that even under this system, the PT won four elections for President of the Republic: Lula was elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, and Dilma Rousseff was elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. However, remember that, before winning these elections, Lula and the PT made a commitment to maintain not only the private ownership of the means of production, to protect the interests of agribusiness, foreign and financial capital and to pay the public debt.

The question again is: why did not it continue winning the elections since it made concessions to the rich classes? Or worse: why did it lose precisely to the most reactionary candidate that it faced and by a 10 million votes?

A foretold defeat?

There is, of course, not one single reason for the defeat of the PT-PCdoB slate in the 2018 elections.

The fact is that, after the accusations of corruption in the governments of Lula and Dilma came to light, the PT was unable to respond in depth to each of the allegations. In 2014, the first to be imprisoned were the black marketer Alberto Youssef, former director of supplies at Petrobras Paulo Roberto Costa and former director of Engineering and Services of Petrobras Renato Duque. Then came the arrests of and accusations against the CEOs Marcelo Odebrecht of Odebrecht, Otavio Marques de Azevedo of Andrade Gutierrez, Jose Aldemario Pinheiro Filho of OAS and Ricardo Pessoa of UTC/Constran [Odebrecht, Andrade Gutierrez, OAS and UTC/Constran are major Brazilian conglomerates in construction, engineering and other fields], among others. Successive reports in the mainstream media showed how the corruption scheme in Petrobras and the diversion of money to the electoral campaigns of the PT, MDB [Brazilian Democratic Movement], PP [Progressistas] and other parties took place. With each new accusation, the PT became more defensive and lost credibility. This situation was aggravated by the plea bargain for PT campaign strategists, Joao Santana and Monica Santana, both of whom stated that they received a slush fund to campaign for the party. This plea bargain was used to convict Lula, who preferred to give himself up, saying he trusted in the system of justice. Convicted on appeal, Lula was not allowed to run in the election and supported the election of a candidate who, in times of economic crisis, had not hesitated to lower salaries and cut social expenses.

More recently, Antonio Palocci, former Finance Minister in Lula’s government and former Chief of Staff in Dilma’s government, considered the intellectual author of the letter to the Brazilians, had his plea bargain accepted and widely publicized on TV, radio and newspapers, and repeated hundreds of times in the broadcast of the PSDB [Brazilian Social-Democratic Party], and, in the second round, in Bolsonaro’s broadcast. In it, Palocci stated that Odebrecht’s owner, Emilio Odebrecht, made a “blood pact” with President Lula at the end of 2010 that Lula would favour his company and, in return, he would receive 300 million reales [$81 million US] for political expenses, the land where the Lula Institute would be built, besides paying 200,000 reales $54,000 US] for speeches by the former president.

Such accusations made the PT, a party that began by saying that it would put an end to corruption, lose the confidence of a good part of the electorate, as was clear in the electoral defeats it suffered in the main regions of the country except for the Northeast.

The economic crisis closed thousands of companies

On the other hand, by leaving the national economy under control of the capitalist monopolies and finance capital, it was only a matter of time until the economic crisis that shook the world economy beginning in 2008 would also affect Brazil. In fact, capitalism is a system that constantly produces economic crises that result in the closing of industries, mass unemployment and poverty. Well, after a few years of growth, a serious economic crisis broke out in the Brazilian economy.

When, in Dilma’s second government in 2015, after campaigning against banks and bankers, and making a speech against the fiscal adjustment plan, the president appointed as Finance Minister Joaquim Levy, Bradesco’s strongman, and adopted the neoliberal adjustment plan that was so much criticized during the election, her government lost support even among the voters who elected her.

The fiscal adjustment plan of Dilma’s government had disastrous consequences and deepened the crisis. According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), an organ of the Federal Government, between 2013 and 2016, no fewer than 13,800 industries were closed in Brazil. In 2014 and 2015 alone, during Dilma’s government, 10,500 industries were closed, resulting in thousands of workers laid off. (G1 news portal, June 21, 2018).

This is an astounding but true number, showing the whole destructiveness of crises under the capitalist system. The number of unemployed grew by 27.35% in 2015, reaching 8.59 million workers. With the increase in those searching for jobs, wages fell, and many small companies in the service sector also closed their doors. The official inflation rate was 9.28%, the purchasing power of the population declined, the GDP fell and the economy registered a 3.9% drop, domestic debt increased by more than 70% and the interest payments to bankers left the State with few resources for public and social investments.

The enormous expenses incurred by the PT governments to build stadiums for the World Soccer Cup in 2014, when society lacked health care, education and paid dearly for poor public transportation, led to increasing distrust in Dilma’s government and the PT, which preferred to blame the demonstrations in June 2013 against abusive fare increases instead of facing the real causes of their political weakening.

In addition to the increase in the army of the unemployed, largely made up of young people, the middle strata also paid their share for the crisis. Those who opened small businesses saw their stores without customers, their capital going up in smoke and debts growing, as the banks celebrated the increase in their gigantic profits.

As a result, there has been a steep increase in crime and violence, something that happened slowly in the pre-crisis years. The insecurity of the people in the big cities became a cause for conversation on the street, families felt helpless watching daily assaults and killings on TV and they became receptive to a discourse that promised to put an end to criminality with greater punishment and killing of bandits. Such a discourse on protection of the family, with more public safety, gained support among the middle strata of society, but also among the working population that associated the social and economic problems of the country not with its true cause, the economic system, but with corruption and impunity. Let us remember what G. Dimitrov wrote in his important work The United Front: “under cover of social demagogy, fascism has managed to gain the following of the mass of the petty bourgeoisie that has been driven out of its course by the crisis, and even of certain sections of the most backward strata of the proletariat. These would never have supported fascism if they had understood its real class character and its true nature.”

The economic crisis, unemployment, poverty, violence and criminality are not the work of the devil but the result of the way society is organized economically. When the system is capitalist, as in Brazil, only a minority of people, the bourgeoisie can become rich and succeed in exploiting the labor power of the working class and other laboring people and using the resources of the state for their benefit. In fact, according to a report of the Swiss bank UBS released on October 26, just 42 Brazilians have a fortune of US $176.7 thousand million, while according to the IBGE 27.6 million people are out of work.

The lack of work in developing consciousness

One should also note that the PT, during its 14 years in the Planalto Palace, in several state governments and hundreds of city halls, did not carry out any work to create consciousness among the people, it did not make clear who really profits from the growth of the capitalist economy or how damaging was the fact that finance capital dominates the state. In fact, during these 14 years, the PT, as well as the PCdoB, the social organizations and the movements that were in the leadership, sought the greatest degree of class conciliation.

A few days before the election, at a pro-Haddad act in Rio de Janeiro, the singer and songwriter Mano Brown, a member of the group Racionais MC’s, made exactly this analysis: “If the people here have failed, now they will pay the price. Because communication is the soul, and if you are not speaking the language of the people, you are going to lose, right?!”

The practice of conspiracy

Even after the parliamentary coup that removed Dilma from the Presidency and enthroned Temer, the PT continued with its policy of mobilizing and then putting the break on the movement. Thus, during the height of the demonstrations against impeachment, Lula said that he would adopt the “ peace and love politics of little Lula “ and would assume the position of Chief of Staff. This was also the case during the general strike against the labour and Social Security reforms, with only a one day strike, despite the full support of the workers. There was also the decision not to call a new general strike months later, against the pension reform.

Moreover, the real causes of the economic crisis were never revealed by the mass media and the revisionist and social democratic parties, as the PT now defines itself; they prefer to create illusions that it is possible to improve the people’s lives even in a capitalist economy. As a result, the workers and the poor do not realize the direct relationship that exists between the economic problems experienced by society and violence, and that the same capitalist system that concentrates wealth in the hands of a few is the system that launders drug money in its banks and that the politicians who promise more repression do not intend to repress crime, but to repress the people’s struggle for their rights.

Another decisive element that led the retired captain to reach the second round and be in a position to defeat Fernando Haddad was the stabbing that Bolsonaro suffered on September 6 during a campaign event in the city of Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais. Despite being surrounded by private security guards, Federal Police and his supporters, and with all his military experience, Bolsonaro achieved the feat of being the only presidential candidate ever stabbed during a campaign. Strangely, the stabbing inflicted on the retired captain an expression of pain and satisfaction. From that moment, the candidate, who only had a few seconds of TV and radio propaganda, became the candidate with the most time on all the media. There was a full day of media coverage of his surgery, his transfer by plane to Sao Paulo, making him one more victim of insecurity and violence in the country. Nothing could better serve the candidate whose main issue was public safety than to be stabbed in broad daylight. All the other candidates declared a truce for the candidate-victim and suspended their campaigns. An unprecedented situation occurred: one single candidate campaigned while the others watched his rise in public opinion polls on TV Who would stab such a mediocre candidate? No one dared ask the question on the broadcasts of the other candidates. The man who managed, with the salary of a captain and a deputy in parliament, together with his sons, to build a fortune of 16.5 million reales [$4.5 million US] in real estate alone, who had a ghost employee in his parliamentary office and received housing assistance, even though he owned his own apartment in Brasilia, was unassailable inside a hospital.

Unfortunately, the PT campaign spent the entire first round without unmasking Bolsonaro. It did not denounce any of his lies or what his candidacy actually represented. The justification for such behaviour was that no one knew that Bolsonaro would go on to the second round. But this is not true. The newspaper A Verdade, in issue 209, appearing in early September, already pointed out the main enemy to be fought in the elections with the headline: “Millionaire Bolsonaro voted to do away with workers’ rights.” (See:

In the second round, Haddad’s campaign decided to reveal the true face of the former captain, his commitment to foreign capital, his defence of torture, and his position that was always against the rights of the workers and the poor. But there were less than 20 days left until the election, and he said nothing about the interests behind Lula’s arrest, he was silent on the accusations of corruption in the PT governments and did not make clear why the growth of unemployment in Dilma’s government had occurred. Worse, he abandoned several of the proposals he had presented, showing vacillation about what he really advocated for the country.

It was in this environment that lies like “bandits kill and are released and the cops can do nothing,” repeated by the media, turned into false truths. In fact, Brazil has the third largest prison population in the world: the total number of prisoners in the country reached 726,712 in June 2016. In 2002, the number of prisoners in Brazil was 239,345. There was a growth of almost 500,000 prisoners, so all prisons are overcrowded. In the last ten years, the Military Police of Sao Paulo has killed 5,000 people and those of Rio de Janeiro killed 8,000, according to the National Survey of Penitentiary Information (Infopen).

In fact, we do not have a fake news campaign only in the election campaign, but all 365 days of the year, because this is how the mass media acts to instill in the masses the view that capitalism is the best system in the world, that socialism has failed and that revolution is impossible. Precisely for this reason, we revolutionary communists, with all our energy, have rigorously published the newspaper A Verdade [The Truth] every month for 19 years. We would like it to be daily or weekly, but we have few resources and we know that in order to maintain our political independence, we have to depend on our own resources.

The worst blind

After the election results, several bourgeois commentators spread new lies: the Bolsonaro government will not be fascist because it was elected by the vote and it will respect the Constitution and democracy.

These ladies and gentlemen forget that the fascist and murderer Hitler was also elected by a significant portion of the German people. In fact, after the profound economic crisis of 1929, in the 1930 elections the Nazi party obtained 107 seats in Parliament. In the July 1932 elections the Nazis became the largest party in the Reichstag [German Parliament] with 230 seats. A year later, with Hitler in power, the Nazi party eliminated all other parties and established the Nazi regime in Germany. Also, the makers of the 1964 coup, after deposing Joao Goulart, vowed to comply with the Constitution, but then they ripped it up.

It is not necessary to have master’s degree in political science to understand that Bolsonaro is a fascist, and the worst kind of fascist there is: a cowardly fascist and a liar. He is a fascist because only a fascist would say that he would close the National Congress or that they can easily close the Federal Supreme Court (STF).

Bolsonaro is a fascist because only a fascist does not accept that people have the right to choose their sexuality, because he wants to impose his old and rotten morals on the whole Brazilian population. He is a fascist because only a fascist says that a woman deserves to be raped and does not accept other opinions. He is a fascist because only a fascist says what he said on October 21, a week before the election, in a video released at public acts of his supporters:

“These red fringe elements will be banished from our homeland....

“Wait. Haddad will also end up there. But not be to visit you, no. He will be at your side for a few years.

“Since you love each other so much, you’re going to rot in jail. For the place of a bandit who robs the people is behind bars.

“You members of the PT are all finished. You will not stay in our homeland any longer because I will cut off all your privileges. You will not have any more NGOs to feed you sausage. It will be a cleansing such as has never been seen in the history of Brazil....

“MST [Landless Workers’ Movement] bandits, MTST [Homeless Workers’ Movement] bandits, your actions will be considered terrorism. You will no longer carry out terror in the countryside and cities. Either you fit in and submit to the laws or you’re going to keep company with the drunkard in Curitiba.”

This is a fascist speech made by a fascist, and he will continue to be one even if he had millions of votes.

Moreover, how can one believe that there will be no attempt to impose fascism in our country if several days before the vote several courts order the police to storm universities to suppress freedom of expression, to seize posters, leaflets and manifestoes denouncing fascism: in the UFMG [Federal University of Minas Gerais], UFRJ [Federal University of Rio de Janeiro], Ufersa (Rural Federal University of Semi-Arido), UFCG (Federal University of Campina Grande) and Uerj [State University of Rio de Janeiro]. The Police even removed the inscription “more books and less arms” from the State University of Paraiba, and public debates and lectures on fascism were banned at the Federal Universities of Grande Dourados and of Rio Grande do Sul.

If this is not fascism, then what is it? Authoritarianism? Despotism? Violence and a tendency towards authoritarian or dictatorial forms of government?

Fascism will be defeated

The fact that Bolsonaro is a fascist does not mean that all who voted for him are fascists. Of course they are not! It is necessary to separate the wheat from the chaff. As the poet Mano Brown said, many people have to be won over and this can only be done with patient work at the base.

He will not be able to impose fascism because there is a people in the way who love freedom and have always fought for it. Proof of this are the broad demonstrations held on September 29 and October 20, as well as the fact of the ballot: 89 million refused to vote for the millionaire who is against domestic workers having a formal contract.

In addition, as the banker and future Minister of the Economy Paulo Guedes has already stated, Bolsonaro wants to privatize all state-owned companies. But 67% of the Brazilian population consider that the sell-off of Brazilian companies will bring more harm than benefit to the nation. The privatization of Petrobras is rejected by 70% of Brazilians and 78% are against the participation of foreign capital in Petrobras and also in the Amazon.

Bolsonaro’s discourse that he will make the economy grow and create millions of jobs is nothing more than a fairy tale. The big bourgeoisie and their media also said that the Temer government would make the country better and it was a government a hundred times worse than Dilma’s. In fact, unemployment has reached unbearable levels, many workers’ rights have been suppressed and corruption has grown. Just one former minister of the Temer government, Geddel Vieira Lima, was caught with 50 million reales [$13.5 US] in suitcases in an apartment in Salvador.

The lies of the retired captain that he will put an end to the bandits with violence and all his reactionary demagoguery will be exposed to the extent that his government shows what it really is: a government that supports international and national finance capital, the capitalist monopolies and the large landowners. Its policy of national betrayal, of handing over our wealth, our territory, such as the base at Alcantara and the Amazon to the United States and other imperialist powers, will reveal him as the traitor to the homeland that he is.

This does not mean, however, that the Bolsonaro government will fall by itself. To overthrow it requires a patient and daily work of developing the consciousness of the masses, in particular of the working masses. The working class, as we know, is the main revolutionary class of society, because it is this class that produces wealth and only it can build people’s power. Therefore, In order to defeat fascism, we must be much more present in factories and companies, in schools, in universities and in poor neighborhoods. Also, in this struggle against Bolsonaro’s fascist government, it is fundamental to put aside all sectarianism, to defend unity in order to weaken our main enemy, who has, at the moment, more strength and relies on the whole state and means of communication in his favor.

It is true that repression will grow; it is true that there has been a change in the balance of forces in society in favour of the extreme right and the national and foreign big bourgeoisie. But, as a well-known law of physics establishes: “For every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.” The struggles of the people, of the workers and students, will therefore grow as well.

The student and combative youth will certainly take to the streets against every repressive and arbitrary act of Bolsonaro’s fascist government and its plan for the destruction of public education. The poor families will continue to fight for their right to have children, to raise their children and to fight for the human right to live in dignity. The working masses, who today have a large contingent of unemployed, will demand their right to work, to live; they will fight, as they have always done, for a decent wage; they will hold assemblies and organize strikes to defeat the ferocious exploitation of the bosses. The peasants have no way out: if they want to have land to till they will also have to fight with pride against the authoritarian ravings of this government of lies.

It is not a matter of being adventurous. We have accumulated strength and have built up in the last two years, this powerful instrument that is Popular Unity without a cent from the bourgeoisie and relying on the unselfish and unlimited dedication of our militants, although this battle is not yet over and continues to demand our attention.

There is, therefore, no reason for discouragement. We are heirs of the bloodshed by Manoel Lisboa, Emmanuel Bezerra, Manoel Aleixo, of revolutionaries who did not tremble before the executioners. We are heirs of Zumbi, Iara, Olga Benario Prestes, Helenira, Tina Martins, the Mirabal sisters, Lenin, Stalin, the Red Army; we are heirs of Comandante Che Guevara, and as such we are comrades of all those who fight against injustice anywhere in the world. Our cause is the cause of the liberation of our people from centuries of suffering; it is the cause of socialism and communism; it is the cause of humanity that is struggling to destroy a system that kills almost one billion people from hunger and causes imperialist wars.

Today, we are much stronger and more organized than at any other time in our history. If we overcome the spontaneity that still exists, if we overcome the individualism that often leads us to abandon our organization, if we develop an even greater work among the people and integrate ourselves with them, the future will belong to us and victory will be ours.

A Verdade, November 2018

Translated from the Portuguese by George Gruenthal and Antonio Artuso


1) Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg owns and controls the entire world network of Facebook and WhatsApp. In 2016, during the presidential elections in the United States, more than 87 million users of Facebook had their personal data leaked in order to support the campaign of Donald Trump.


Lula Falcão is the Chief Editor of A Verdade and member of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party.

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