“Taxing the rich is an issue that is more than necessary and is part of Brazil’s crucial problems,” said João Pedro Stédile, leader of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST). He made an analysis of the situation this Tuesday (5), at the closing meeting of the debate cycle “Development, new inequalities and fiscal justice in Brazil”.
For the speaker, the country is experiencing the worst crisis in its history for reaching the pillars of capitalism.
“To face this historic crisis, we have to propose structural changes to combat the ills of capitalism. Starting with tax reform, one of the main instruments to correct social inequality and bring about justice. It is not enough to win an election”, he emphasized.
In his analysis, he pointed out four factors that mark the correlation of forces in the country: the structural crisis of capitalism, the crisis of covid, the nature of the Bolsonaro government and the behavior of the bourgeoisie and the working class, the two great national forces.
He warned of the attack on the environment, appropriated as a commodity by the market, leading to a serious environmental crisis. “We are not facing a crisis of government, but the modus operandi of the failed bourgeois state. A crisis of credibility, of institutional instability that encompasses the economy, society, environment, the State, in addition to civilization.” And he added: “They use economic power to buy deputy, president and minister. The people realize that their vote no longer decides.”
Few control everything
In this closing class of the cycle promoted by the Lula Institute, Fiscal Justice Institute and the coordinating entities of the Tribute to the Super-Rich Campaign, Stédile criticized fiscal distortions with examples such as milk and beans that pay taxes as pesticides, commodities and minerals, such as oil and iron are exempt.
At the same time that the country is the third exporter of beef, the people are hungry. “The IBGE revealed that 67 million adult workers were thrown into the gutter of life: they are unemployed, underemployed, discouraged or with precarious work”, noted the speaker, noting that this contingent is made up mostly of women, young people, blacks and from the periphery.
More than taxing the super-rich 0.3%, target of the Tribute the Super-Rich campaign, Stédile understands that the richest 1% should be taxed.
An economist, the panelist cited the Atlas of the Rich in Brazil, mapped by the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA). “There are only five thousand families, 400 companies – half foreign – that control most of the GDP, banks, land, industry, commerce, agribusiness. In agriculture, there are 50 companies that control the entire agricultural GDP”, he enumerated.
what to change
He mentioned some structural changes that a new Brazilian government must promote to recover the country. Carry out a heavy tax reform, with control of financial capital and tax havens and put money into education, housing, fight hunger and resume investments in industry; accentuating agrarian and university reform are some of the paths pointed out by the leader. But it emphasizes that the people must defend this path. “In economic power, whoever controls ideas has hegemony,” he recalled, quoting Italian intellectual Antônio Gramsci.
Regarding the denunciations of accounts in tax havens by Economy Minister Paulo Guedes and Central Bank President Roberto Campos Neto, revealed this week, João Pedro Stédile defends measures to repatriate national resources from all offshore speculative applications. “It is necessary to bring back the US$ 480 billion of Brazilian residents.”
According to Stédile, capitalism has become incapable of organizing the production and distribution of wealth in society. He also highlighted the different crises, such as civilization, of behavioral values, such as individualism, selfishness and consumerism, factors that disintegrate society and do not bring solutions. “Within these parameters there will be no solution”, he emphasized.
The MST leader also highlighted that covid-19 aggravated the crisis because it took in lives, losses accentuated by the government. About Jair Bolsonaro, he observes that he is the face of the bourgeoisie and of a state in crisis, handed over to the militias. It analyzes that as soon as the bourgeoisie decides who will be their candidate for the presidency next year, he will be discarded.
“The bourgeoisie hijacked the state and became pre-capitalist, because it was the bourgeoisie that invented the bourgeois state and the taxes it was the industrial bourgeoisie. But the Brazilian bourgeoisie is so backward and greedy that it does not accept paying taxes”, he vented.
The coup and the Titanic
The leader stressed that the 2016 coup that removed President Dilma Rousseff was given by the bourgeoisie in light of the emergence of the capitalist crisis.
“Every time there is a crisis, the bourgeoisie clings to absolute control of power to save itself and throws workers to the sharks. When the Titanic begins to sink, the bourgeoisie rushes to the boats and leaves the orchestra playing for second and third class to drown. They threw the full weight of the capitalist crisis on the working class. Mr (Michel) Temer withdrew all social rights, 13th, paid weekend, vacation and retirement. Those who have not contributed for 35 years are out of Social Security”, he listed.
Environment as a capital asset
Financial capital rushes to nature’s assets to transform what are fictitious papers into heritage for greater security, explained Stédile, highlighting the attack on environmental assets such as land, forest, water and minerals to protect their capital. “This offensive generates contradiction, which are the crimes that alter the balance, generate disappearance of water and global warming”.
The speaker bets on the strengthening of a large national front of movements, entities, organizations and parties to contribute to building a way out, even if in the long term, from this crisis.
“We have to come out as an organized class to defend against bourgeois ideology. Organize them to fight the right enemy”, he program.
At the end of the cycle, the president of the Fiscal Justice Institute highlighted that the MST had already occupied the Ministry of Finance for many years in its protests because they were clear on where things needed to change. “The movement understood the connection of the tax issue and the precariousness of the working people”, recorded Maria Regina Paiva Duarte.
She pointed out that the Tribute to the Super-Rich Campaign entered a new phase in September with the addition of the Vida e Justiça Movement, and the protocol of the projects in the National Congress, linking resources to assist covid-19 survivors, from security programs Social.
The class was mediated by Tamires Sampaio, director of the Lula Institute. The debate cycle had a series of 10 classes every Tuesday with the opening lecture given by former president Dilma Rousseff.
Source: BdF Rio Grande do Sul
Edition: Katia Marko