Why is Brazil an imperialist country?
1 – Introduction
Since the end of feudalism, European imperialism dominated the world. There was a succession of several European imperialist powers which occupied the place of dominant imperialism during a certain period of time only to be replaced by other European imperialist power. First, there were the Portuguese and Spanish imperialism, which dominated the world during the XV and XVI centuries. The ascension of this imperialism corresponds to the historical period of the definitive collapse of feudalism and the naissance of a new social-economic system – capitalism. After them, there was other imperialism like the Dutch imperialism. But European imperialism knew its golden age mostly with British imperialism, which held an almost absolute domination over the entire world since the late XVIII century until the early 1920’s. Of course that during the mentioned period there were also other European imperialism like German imperialism and French imperialism, but none of these could ever reach the power and dimensions of British imperialism. However, since the end of the First World War, British imperialism entered in a stage of inexorable decline and it was eventually replaced by other imperialism: American imperialism. This imperialism would dominate the planet during the next decades, despite the ascension of social-imperialist Soviet Union - since the late 50’s/early 60’s - which represented a serious rivalry to American imperialism.
Nonetheless, since some years ago, it is becoming more and more obvious that the old imperialist powers are in decline. The face of world imperialism as we know it is changing. In fact, some of the countries which were colonies or semi-colonies, that is, which during many centuries served as drainers of capital from the imperialist metropolises are assuming imperialist positions. Some of the most significant of this emergent imperialism are Chinese imperialism, Indian imperialism and also Brazilian imperialism. All these three countries have in common an immense geographical territory and colossal demographical and natural resources. However, besides this, also all three nations have national bourgeoisie which conquered dominant positions within the capitalist economy and state of each one of those countries (to the detriment of the bourgeoisie of the compradore type, which was ineluctably linked with foreign imperialism) and started to develop imperialist ambitions of their own. Of course, the imperialist developments of these three emergent powers are not equal among them. Chinese imperialism is nowadays reaching a global scale and is on the verge of replacing U.S.A as the world dominant imperialist power. Differently, Brazilian imperialism is still on a more local stage, it is foremost a regional imperialism. This is not to say that Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie does not have ambitions at a world scale. Of course it has, because she is in rivalry with all the other imperialist countries in re-dividing the world – after the world's riches and resources were already divided among each other- as Lenin taught. All bourgeoisie without exception (and in particular the imperialist bourgeoisie) are in constant search for higher profits, they do their utmost to maximize their bloody earnings; and if they have the chance of exercising their oppressive power at a global scale, there is not a single bourgeoisie which would think twice before doing it. Maximum-profit is the driving force of monopolist capitalism. This drives monopolist capitalism towards risky steps – as subjugation and systematical plundering of colonies and other underdeveloped countries, transformation of independent countries into dependent countries, organizing of military conflicts and finally economic world dominance – as comrade Stalin concluded. Therefore, also Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie undoubtedly dreams of accomplishing its class interests at a planetary scale (in a room of the Brazilian foreign ministry there is a map of the world – turned upside down!! Brazil – the leading power of the Southern hemisphere dominates the old Northern imperialist hemisphere and thus Brazilian hegemony over the world!). Nonetheless, until this moment - and contrary to what happens with Chinese imperialism – Brazilian imperialism is not being entirely successful in imposing its exploitative interests globally. It is true that Brazilian economic power is becoming stronger and stronger, but in comparison with the superpowers USA and China, Brazil is not yet a military world power. However, Brazil is already able to influence the superpowers politically in different ways and fields It is obvious that this does not mean that regional imperialism like the Brazilian one are less hateful, dangerous, oppressing, exploitative, reactionary and anti-socialist than world scale imperialism. They all share the same characteristics and objectives, irrespective of distinct dimensions. Indeed, we can affirm that all imperialism have fundamentally similar exploitative purposes, notwithstanding the secondary differences arising from the circumstances in which each imperialism developed (for example, a neo-imperialist power will use different methods and tactics from those utilized by more “traditional” imperialism, but, once more, imperialism’s oppressive and rapacious objectives are common to both). It is very important to bear this in mind because the emergent imperialism are doing their utmost to depict themselves as being supposedly “different” from the “traditional tyrannical” imperialism, as being allegedly “progressive” and “democratic”. One of the most significant examples confirming this statement can be found on Chinese imperialism, which continues to mislead hundreds of millions of exploited workers around the world through using its fake and highly deceitful “communist” mask inherited from Maoist social-fascism. It is true that the means used by Brazilian imperialism to hide its predatory nature are not so complex as the ones fabricated by the Chinese imperialist bourgeoisie (the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie never reached the point of putting in place a carefully organized “socialist” facade, including a false “planned” economy, a false “communist” party and a false “revolutionary” ideology with the purpose of disguising its own imperialist policies and ambitions, as Chinese imperialist bourgeoisie did and still does), but despite this, Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie still tries to use many treacherous propaganda strategies in order to deviate the attention of the proletarians from the fact that Brazilian imperialism is not only fully operating, but that it also is becoming more and more reactionary, oppressive and exploitative.
It is precisely about Brazilian imperialism that we will reflect. In this article, we will try to answer the question: “Why is Brazil an imperialist country?”
First of all, it is necessary to give an answer to the question: What is imperialism?
Comrade Lenin elaborated a comprehensive analysis of imperialism. In his brilliant book “Imperialism, highest stage of capitalism”, comrade Lenin not only deeply revealed the causes, origins and consequences of imperialism, but also set some characteristics which are inherent to it. He synthesized how imperialism is an inevitable consequence of monopolist capitalism and how the imperialist-capitalist powers divided (and continue to re-divide…) the world among them. He also explained the predominance of finance capital over other kinds of capital during the imperialist process and how imperialism is intimately linked with the development of counter-revolutionary forces and ideologies. Furthermore, comrade Lenin concluded that the main cause of imperialism is the monopolist capitalism’s necessity of being constantly searching for higher profits. This conclusion is different from that of Rosa Luxemburg, for instance, because Rosa considers that the main cause of imperialism is the capitalist monopoly’s search for markets with the purpose of draining their products in result of the cyclical crisis of overproduction which the capitalist system regularly experiences. Also Hobson, one of the main bourgeois sources cited by comrade Lenin in his book “Imperialism, highest stage of capitalism”, shares this view of Rosa Luxemburg.
Nevertheless, we embrace comrade Lenin’s conclusion in detriment of any other because we think that it is the most correct conclusion in agreement with the Marxist principles. Comrade Lenin refutes Rosa Luxembourg’s theory and explains why it is the drive for maximum profits and not the simple search for new markets that must be considered as the main cause of imperialism.
Indeed, the Marxist-Leninist reasoning that the drive for higher profits is the veritable main cause of imperialism can be confirmed having Latin America (in which Brazil is included) as an example.
In his book “Imperialism and the Revolution”, Comrade Enver Hoxha noticed the outrageous exploitation that the American imperialist monopolies exercised upon Latin American countries:
“The monopoly companies of the United States of America drew fabulous profits from the exploitation of the rich natural resources and the toil, sweat and blood of the Latin-American peoples: for each dollar invested in the various countries of this continent they took 4-5 dollars profit. This situation still prevails to this day.” (Enver Hoxha, Imperialism and the Revolution, Tirana, 1979, edition in English)
And in his book “A Crise do Milagre: interpretação crítica da economia Brasileira.” (Rio de Janeiro, 1978, p. 65-76), Brazilian bourgeois analyst Paul Singer admits that, during the late 60’s and 70’s, the levels of profits of the American monopolist multinationals in Brazil were much higher than those they would get in their home-country (in the mentioned book, it is established that the value of profit of those American monopolist corporations in Brazil was at least around 14,3 %, but taking into consideration that it is a bourgeois book, we can assert that the real value is certainly much higher).
Comrade Lenin also unmasked the anti-socialist “theory” of ultra-imperialism put forward by the anti-Marxist renegade Kautsky. The purpose of this reactionary “theory” is to glorify imperialism, affirming that the development of imperialism will lead to the international union of finance capital which will then commonly exploit the entire world, thus being able to assure a perpetual peace. That stage in which the fusion of finance capital towards the common exploitation of the world consummates is called by Kautsky as “ultra-imperialism”. In fact, Kautsky tries to convince the workers about the goodness of imperialism precisely thought depicting it as a system which is able to solve the contradictions of capitalism thanks to its inevitable evolution towards that “ultra-imperialist” stage. However, this fake anti-Marxist “theory” of Kautsky is totally wrong because of the simple fact that war is inherent to imperialism. Kautsky perceived “ultra-imperialism” as a gigantic coalition between all the financial capitalists of the world which would allegedly avoid wars and ensure a “pacific exploitation”. But comrade Lenin assertively denounced this “ultra-imperialist” masquerade as the ultra-reactionary and pro-imperialist instrument that it is:
“Evasion of existing contradictions, forgetting the most important of them, instead of revealing their full depth—such is Kautsky’s theory, which has nothing in common with Marxism. (…)
(…) writes Kautsky, “it is not impossible that capitalism will yet go through a new phase, that of the extension of the policy of the cartels to foreign policy, the phase of ultra-imperialism,” i.e., of a superimperialism, of a union of the imperialism of the whole world and not struggles among them, a phase when wars shall cease under capitalism, a phase of “the joint exploitation of the world by internationally united finance capital.”
Kautsky’s utterly meaningless talk about ultra-imperialism encourages, among other things, that profoundly mistaken idea which only brings grist to the mill of the apologists of imperialism, i.e., that the rule of finance capital lessens the unevenness and contradictions inherent in the world economy, whereas in reality it increases them.
(…) the only objective, i.e., real, social significance of Kautsky’s “theory” is this: it is a most reactionary method of consoling the masses with hopes of permanent peace being possible under capitalism, by distracting their attention from the sharp antagonisms and acute problems of the present times, and directing it towards illusory prospects of an imaginary “ultraimperialism” of the future. Deception of the masses—that is all there is in Kautsky’s “Marxist” theory.
(…) the only conceivable basis under capitalism for the division of spheres of influence, interests, colonies, etc., is a calculation of the strength of those participating, their general economic, financial, military strength, etc. And the strength of these participants in the division does not change to an equal degree, for the even development of different undertakings, trusts, branches of industry, or countries is impossible under capitalism. (…)
Therefore, in the realities of the capitalist system, (…) Kautsky, “inter-imperialist” or “ultra-imperialist” alliances, no matter what form they may assume, whether of one imperialist coalition against another, or of a general alliance embracing all the imperialist powers, are inevitably nothing more than a “truce” in periods between wars. Peaceful alliances prepare the ground for wars, and in their turn grow out of wars; the one conditions the other, producing alternating forms of peaceful and non-peaceful struggle on one and the same basis of imperialist connections and relations within world economics and world politics.” (Lenin, Imperialism, highest stage of capitalism, Selected Works, Volume I, pages 667-766, January-June of 1916, edition in English)
Therefore, we defend comrade Lenin’s definition of imperialism against any deviationist “definitions” - just as Stalin and Enver Hoxha have defended it.
2 – Enumeration of the five criteria of imperialism put forward by comrade Lenin in his book “Imperialism, highest stage of capitalism”
In his outstanding book “Imperialism, highest stage of capitalism”, comrade Lenin provides a valuable definition of imperialism which includes its 5 major general characteristics:
“(…) without forgetting the conditional and relative value of all definitions in general, which can never embrace all the concatenations of a phenomenon in its full development, we must give a definition of imperialism that will include the following five of its basic features:
(1) the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life;
(2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this “finance capital”, of a financial oligarchy;
(3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance;
(4) the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves, and
(5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed.
Imperialism is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital is established; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun, in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed.” (Lenin, Imperialism, highest stage of capitalism, Selected Works, Volume I, pages 667-766, January-June of 1916, edition in English)
This definition from comrade Lenin is an essential part of the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist-Hoxhaist doctrine about imperialism and, consequently, it will serve as a guideline throughout this article. In fact, the answer to the question “Why is Brazil an imperialist country?” will be mostly based on the manner in which the present Brazilian socio-economic development fulfills those five criteria indicated by comrade Lenin.
2.1 – the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life
Starting with the first condition of imperialism underlined by Lenin, we recall comrade Enver’s words:
“Analyzing the forms of international monopolies, in his time Lenin spoke of the cartels and syndicates. In today's conditions, when the concentration of production and capital has reached very large proportions, the monopoly bourgeoisie has also found other forms for the exploitation of working people. These are the multinational companies. (…) in regard to their capital and control, the multinational companies belong mainly to one country, although they carry out their activities in many countries. They are expanding more and more through the absorption of local companies and firms, big and small, which cannot cope with the savage competition. The multinational companies open up subsidiaries and extend their enterprises to those countries where the prospects for maximum profits most secure (…). Between the multinational companies and the bourgeois state there are close links and reciprocal dependence, which are based on their exploiting class character. The capitalist state is used as a tool in their service for their aims of domination and expansion on both the national and the international plane.
In regard to their major economic role, the great weight they carry in the whole life of the country, some multinational companies, individually, constitute a mighty economic force which, in many instances, is equal to, or even exceeds, the budgets or production of several developed capitalist countries taken together. (…) They intervene to secure special favors and privileges for themselves in the countries in which they operate. (…)
The multinational companies are levers of imperialism and one of the main forms of its expansion. They are pillars of neo-colonialism and affect the national sovereignty and independence of the countries in which they operate. In order to open the way to their domination, these companies do not hesitate to commit any crime, from the organization of plots and the dislocation of the economy, down to the outright buying of top officials, political and trade-union leaders, etc. (…)
The concentration and centralization of production and capital, which characterize the capitalist world today and have led to extensive socialization of production, have not in any way altered the exploiting nature of imperialism. On the contrary, they have increased and intensified the oppression and impoverishment of the working people. These phenomena prove to the hilt Lenin's thesis that under conditions of the concentration of production and capital in imperialism, «the result is immense progress in the socialization of production,» but, nevertheless, «appropriation remains private. The social means of production remain the private property of a few». [V. I. Lenin, Collected 'Works, vol. 22, p. 247 (Alb. ed.)]
The monopolies and multinational companies remain great enemies of the proletariat and the peoples. The intensification of the process of concentration of production and capital which is taking place in our time has further exacerbated the basic contradiction of capitalism, the contradiction between the social character of production and the private character of appropriation, along with all the other contradictions. Today, just as in the past, the colossal income and superprofits realized from the savage exploitation of workers are appropriated by a handful of capitalist magnates. Likewise, the means of production, with which the united branches of industry have been equipped, are the private property of capitalists, while the working class remains enslaved to the owners of the means of production and its labor power remains a market commodity. Nowadays the big capitalist enterprises no longer exploit tens or hundreds of workers but hundreds of thousands of them (…).
Lenin exposed the opportunists of the Second International, who preached the possibility of liquidating the antagonistic contradictions of capitalism as a result of the emergence and development of monopolies. He proved with scientific argument that the monopolies, as vehicles of the oppression and exploitation of labor and the private appropriation of the results of labor, make the contradictions of capitalism even more severe. The superstructure of the capitalist order is built on the basis of the domination of monopolies. This superstructure defends and represents the predatory interests of the monopolies, on both the national and international plane. The monopolies dictate the internal and external policy, the economic, social, military, and other policies.” (Enver Hoxha, Imperialism and the Revolution, Tirana, 1979, edition in English)
Nowadays, we see that Brazilian economy is totally dominated by capitalist monopolies. In order to prove this, we will give some illustrative examples taken from some of the most important branches of the Brazilian economy.
In what respects to banking, the Brazilian banking system is under the control of the powerful Bank of Brazil and of Itaú Unibanco. Together, the Bank of Brazil and Itaú Unibanco account for most of the retail banking services in the Brazilian market. Itaú Unibanco (whose total assets are worth 540, 2 billion of US$) is even considered to be the largest financial conglomerate in the Southern Hemisphere. In March of 2009, the famous bourgeois and pro-capitalist newspaper “Financial Times” published an article containing the ranking of the major banks around the world accordingly with their financial capacity and power of capitalization:
Ranking of the major world banks in terms of capitalization in millions of dollars
Source : Top 20 financial institutions by stock market capitalization 1999-2009, Financial Times, 22/03/2009
March of 2006
March of 2009
1 Citygroup (USA) 238
1 Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (China) 172
2 Bank of America (USA) 212
2 China Construction Bank (China) 124
3 HSBC (UK) 191
3 Bank of China (China) 115
4 Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (Japan) 157
4 HSBC (UK) 65
5 JP Morgan Chase (USA) 144
5 JP Morgan Chase (USA) 62
15 Barclays (UK) 76
15 Itaú Unibanco Banco Múltiplo (Brazil) 26
As we can note, in 2006, before the outcome of the present global crisis of capitalism, the five most important banks around the world were all from the traditional imperialist powers (USA, UK, etc…). However, in March of 2009, the first three positions were already occupied by Chinese banks. Indeed, in March of 2009, for the first time, a Brazilian bank is included on the list. This Brazilian bank is precisely Itaú Unibanco, which occupied the 15th position. This bank ranking is an indisputable sign of the financial ascension of the new imperialist powers like China and Brazil. And less than one year later, in January of 2010, this trend was even more accentuated, with the first four positions of the ranking being occupied by four Chinese banks while the 5th position was occupied by Itaú Unibanco, which became the 5th most important bank in the world in what respects to stock market capitalization, surpassing other banking multinationals like the Citygroup and J.P Morgan Chase (Financial Times, 10/01/2010).
Therefore, we can conclude that the Brazilian banking system is under the monopoly of banking corporations like Itaú Multibanco and the Bank of Brazil - both belonging to the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie - and, foremost, that Itaú Unibanco is already achieving preeminence at a global scale.
In what respects to siderurgy, the Brazilian internal market is under the dominance of the CSN (Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional), which is the largest fully integrated steel producer in Brazil and one of the largest in South America in terms of crude steel production. Within Brazil, the monopolist CSN holds a virtually exclusive control over the production of tin mill products. It accounts for 98% of all tin mill products sold in Brazil. And relatively to galvanized steel products, it is estimated that CSN provides over than 50% of its production, that is, it provides most of the galvanized steel products in Brazil. Like all the other monopolies, the CSN is owned by the Brazilian exploiting classes which control Brazilian capitalist state. Indeed, the Brazilian Constitution hypocritically affirms that all the country’s mineral resources belong to Brazilian people but if we look at the example of the CSN we will easily conclude that this is a total fake. The CSN is famous for being one of the few companies in the whole world which owns its private source of iron. Furthermore, the Brazilian capitalist state, whose only purpose is to serve the maximization of the profits of monopolist corporations like CSN, grants it the de facto property over many of the country’s main mineral resources. The Casa de Pedra mine and the Bocaina mine - two of the biggest and most important mines in Brazil - are being exclusively exploited by the CSN under “concessions” that the Brazilian capitalist regime granted to it. According to the terms of those “concessions”, the CSN is given full ownership over the mineral deposits existing in the mines, being totally free to exploit them as long as the reserves still exist (!). In other words: the Brazilian capitalist state simply overlooks its own Constitution and grants the monopolist CSN the veritable ownership of the mineral resources of Brazil. This is nothing surprising because the bourgeois Constitutions are not intended to be followed and applied. On the contrary, they are elaborated by the dominant classes to buttress their exploitative social order and also to be ignored when this is benefic to capitalist interests. This happens also with bourgeois Constitutions of “democratic” façade - like is the case of the Brazilian Constitution - whose objective is to mislead the workers, making them believe that “state power is on the people’s hands”. The deceitful Brazilian bourgeois Constitution falsely affirms that “the Brazilian mineral resources belong to Brazil”, but, as we have already shown, this is nothing more than a hateful lie. As long as capitalism exists, the Brazilian mineral resources will always belong to monopolies like the CSN, which steals them in order to make huge profits. And we must never forget that the superprofits “achieved” by the monopolist bourgeoisie which owns the CSN are entirely due to the harsh exploitation of the 16.000 workers employed by the CSN. According to official numbers, the monopolist CSN has revenue of 9, 2 Billions of US Dollars and a yearly Net Income of 1, 6 billion of US Dollars. And it is truly revolting to think that all this wealth is being appropriated by the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie, which robs it from the Brazilian workers who produce it through their own workforce, through their own blood and sweat. Indeed, the workers of the CSN are among the most exploited of all because the CSN is a company which depends very much on mining, and everybody knows that it is difficult to find a branch of workers more exploited and abused than the miners.
Mining is an economic sector in which Brazilian monopolist imperialism has already reached a world scale. This can be proved through the example of VALE, a Brazilian mining multinational corporation which is the largest producer of iron and second largest producer of nickel in the world, according to bourgeois sources. VALE Company was one of the first Brazilian monopolies to achieve a dominant position on a global scale, thus being one of the first germs of Brazilian imperialism. In fact, the VALE Company is the world’s biggest exporter of iron ore since 1974, and its monopolist expansion increased much more since then because nowadays the VALE Company is the second-largest mining company in the whole world. However, during many years, within American continent, the VALE Company still had a very powerful rival: INCO Company, a gigantic Canadian mining company which menaced VALE’s dominance over the American market. But the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie quickly found an efficient solution to this situation. In 2006, the VALE Company bought INCO - thus achieving an unquestionably dominant position in the mining branch of economy in the whole American continent – in what was considered to be one of the biggest acquisitions in history, according to BBC News ("Brazilian miner buys Canada rival" 24/10/2006). This witnesses the potential and unrestrained power of the Brazilian imperialism, which already controls some of the main world oligopolies (and which undoubtedly aims to transform them in monopolies in the future).
Turning now our attention to the energy sector, we can affirm that this is perhaps one of the most monopolized sectors of the Brazilian economy. The energy sector is one of the most important, because energy is literally what fuels the world. Without energy sources (oil, gas, etc…) nothing could function normally, economy would be frozen. Therefore, throughout history, all kinds of monopolist bourgeoisie did not spare efforts in order to grant their complete domination over such an essential economic sector. And Brazilian imperialist-monopolist bourgeoisie is far from being an exception. In fact, it has been quite successful in assuring its virtually exclusive control over this economic field through Petrobras, the multinational energy corporation which monopolizes almost everything which is related with the extraction and production of energy resources in Brazil. According with the information taken from various sites, including the Latin Business Chronicle.com, Petrobras is the largest company in Latin America by market capitalization and revenue, and the largest company headquartered in the Southern Hemisphere by market value. And it is not an exaggeration to affirm that Petrobras is a veritable monopoly in the most traditional sense of the term. Indeed, until 1997, it was the Brazilian law which explicitly affirmed that Petrobras was Brazil’s legal monopolist in the oil industry. And since then nothing has truly changed because Petrobras continues to own most of the oil refineries, of the oil tankers and, foremost, of oil reserves. Petrobras’ oil field in the Campos Basin accounts more than 80% of the Brazilian oil production. Recently, the bourgeois group National Petroleum Agency, explicitly admitted that Petrobras owns Brazil's largest and most important gas pipe network, having also the monopoly of the natural gas marketed in the country. In fact, Petrobras is a monopolist enterprise of colossal dimensions which operates worldwide and is presently the third largest oil enterprise in America, ahead of other oil monopolist companies such as BP and Chevron-Texaco. Petrobras' market value is even superior to that of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, what shows that, despite its regional character, Brazilian imperialism is able to rivalize and even surpass other powerful imperialism in ascension (at least in what respects to certain economic fields).
And we must note that it is not only within Brazil that Petrobras holds a monopolist position. Petrobras controls most of the energy trade in Latin America, thus enjoying a monopolist position also externally. This situation was consolidated since the year 2003, when Petrobras bought Perez Compania Energía (PECOM Energía S.A.), the largest gas company in Argentina which had been one of Petrobras’ main rivals until then. With this acquisition, Petrobras automatically gained control over the operational bases which the PECOM Energía, S.A had in many Spanish-speaking Latin American countries like Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay and Chile, thus making these countries much more dependent on the energy production controlled by Brazilian imperialism. More recently, in 2006, Petrobras achieved Brazil’s self-sufficiency in oil. This was a very important victory for the Brazilian monopolist bourgeoisie because the transformation of Brazil into an imperialist power would never be complete without the accomplishment of Brazilian self-sufficiency in such a crucial field as energy. Thanks to it, the Brazilian imperialist-monopolist bourgeoisie is independent in what respects to oil production, and this is essential in order to assure Brazilian monopolist-imperialist bourgeoisie a decisive advantage relatively to other rival imperialism. For these reasons, Petrobras can be considered as one of the main symbols of Brazilian imperialism. Indeed, Petrobras’ de facto monopolist position and colossal profits (in 2007, it earned more than US$13 billion of profits which went directly to the pockets of Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie) are so outrageous that the Brazilian bourgeois class has to make efforts in order to disguise that Petrobras in totally on the hands of the Brazilian monopolist bourgeoisie. In order to do this, the Brazilian capitalist regime uses the old dirty bourgeois trick of the “publicly owned enterprise” which, because of that, would allegedly “belong to the people”. Actually, Petrobras is 64% owned by the Brazilian government, but what does this really mean in the context of a capitalist-imperialist social system like the one which is presently dominating Brazil? Since many decades, all kinds of bourgeoisie have tried to mislead the proletariat through the creation of “publicly owned” enterprises. The bourgeoisie uses this designation with the aim of giving a somewhat “socialistic” outlook to such enterprises, with the purpose of creating a false impression on workers’ minds according to which there would be no exploitation or wage slavery in benefit of the ruling classes within those enterprises. With the “enterprises of the public sector”, the bourgeoisie want us to believe that in those kind of enterprises, all profits would go to the working people precisely because of their supposed “nationalized nature”. In his book “Eurocommunism is Anticommunism”, Comrade Enver Hoxha explained all this perfectly:
“As very lengthy experience has already proved, state capitalism is supported and developed by the bourgeoisie, not to create the foundations of socialist society, (…), but to strengthen the foundations of capitalist society, of its bourgeois state, in order to exploit and oppress the working people more. Those who run the «public sector» are not the representatives of the workers, but the men of big capital, those who have the reins of the whole economy and the state in their hands. The social position of the worker in the enterprises of the «public sector» is no different from that of the worker in the private sector; his relationship to the means of production, to the economic management of the enterprise, the policy of investments, pay, etc., is the same. The bourgeois state, i.e., the bourgeoisie, appropriates the profit of these enterprises.” (Enver Hoxha, Eurocommunism is Anti-communism, Tirana, 1980, edition in English)
For example, in this case Brazilian workers are persuaded that Petrobras is a “good” and even “progressive” monopoly supposedly “serving the people” due to its “public ownership”, contrary to the American oil monopolies like BP and Exxon, which are “bad” and “reactionary” monopolies due to their private character (this idea is intimately linked with the tactic practiced by the new emergent imperialism - Brazil, China, etc… - which are trying to depict themselves as “progressive”, “democratic” and even “socialist”, as opposing to the old traditional imperialist powers in decline, which are “colonialist” and “reactionary”. Needless to say that this “theory” is ridiculous. As we have already explained in the beginning of this text, all kinds of imperialism are invariably anti-democratic, reactionary and anti-socialist (indeed, anti-socialism is something inherent to imperialism because the very essence of imperialism is the total and complete negation of socialism in all senses). Of course, all this deceitful game played by the bourgeoisie can only convince the most backward workers who are not informed about a very simple truth: within capitalism, the state and everything related with it (including the “public enterprises” and the “nationalized sector”, etc…) are an instrument of bourgeois-capitalist oppression and exploitation. And this unquestionable truth is even more accurate in imperialist countries like Brazil.
Therefore, we conclude that the strategy adopted by the Brazilian bourgeois class which tries to depict the monopolies controlled by it as “belonging to the entire people” is a total fake. Presently, Brazil is already an imperialist country. Therefore, all major means of production in the country (including the ones which produce energy, of course) are nowadays under the total and omnipotent power and control of the Brazilian monopolist-imperialist bourgeoisie. The fact that the Brazilian imperialists try to hide their own predatory and pro-monopolist character will never surprise us, Stalinist-Hoxhaists. However, we must not forget that these lies still affect millions of Brazilian workers.
Brazil is also world leader in the ethanol-biofuel market and occupies an important position as producer of soya. Indeed, Brazilian imperialist bourgeois class is destroying the Amazonic forest in order to cultivate colossal amounts of soya and other agrarian productions, creating massive mono-cultivations which cause a very serious damage to the environment. Of course, Brazilian bourgeois couldn’t care less about environmental future because they are totally obsessed about obtaining immediate profits.
Another economic branch in which Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie is also reaching monopolist positions at a global scale is that of meat production through the multinational JBS, a conglomerate dedicated to food industry which is already the world’s largest enterprise in the beef sector (with exports to more than 110 countries). In order to achieve this, the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie resorted to the same tactic that it had also used in other economic branches: it bought many of the rival companies in order to attain a monopolist position. JBS acquired most of the slaughter houses in Argentina, but its most relevant business was the bought of the multinationals of meat production Swift & Company and Smithfield Foods's (Reuters, 29/05/2007), which assured JBS an unquestionably dominant position within the U.S meat market and which opened the path to the becoming of JBS as one of the world’s leading meat producers. Obviously, the meat industry is an important sector, even because nowadays, at least in the so-called “developed” countries, the consumption of meat is increasing. Indeed, despite having a total monopoly over meat production and processing within Brazilian market, it is certainly not in Brazil that the JBS makes the greatest profits, because a country in which around half (!) of the population suffers from varying degrees of malnutrition can never provide JBS with the 34,9 billion US$ of revenue that the enterprise actually has. This demonstrates that the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie has completely surpassed the boundaries of Brazil’s internal market with the purpose of maximizing its profits and granting monopolist positions through satisfying the demands of the markets in the “rich and developed” countries of North America, Europe, Australasia, etc…
Besides the mentioned examples, the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie is also reaching monopolist or oligopolist positions in other economic branches like that of construction and petrochemicals (through Odebrecht, which is the largest petrochemical and construction company in Latin America and is among the largest petrochemical companies in the whole world). Also in what respects to Aeronautics and Aerospace, Brazilian imperialism already controls a key position at a global scale through Embraer, one of the four largest aircraft corporations in the world.
It is important to note that the examples cited above prove that the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie is not only worried about assuring monopolist positions within Brazil. On the contrary, it desires to establish dominant/monopolist positions at a regional scale (North American and Latin American continent) and even at a world scale, despite the rivalry of other emergent imperialism. Therefore, we think that the first criterion provided by Comrade Lenin in his definition of imperialism is fulfilled: (1) the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life. In truth, we can affirm that our examples are also able to demonstrate that the Brazilian imperialist-monopolist bourgeoisie is already totally engaged in the accomplishment of the fourth criteria put forward by comrade Lenin: (4) the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves. We will further develop this subject in our analysis of the other characteristics of imperialism pointed by comrade Lenin.
2.2 - the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this “finance capital”, of a financial bourgeois class
This second characteristic of imperialism pointed by comrade Lenin is also essential to explain why is Brazil an imperialist country. The “finance capital” is a new form of capital born from the merging between bank capital and industrial capital:
“Lenin has proved that banking capital is interlocked with industrial capital. At first, the banks are interested in the fate of the credits they advance to the industrialists. They mediate to ensure that the industrialists who receive the credits reach agreement among themselves to avoid competition with one another because the banks, themselves, would also suffer from this. This was the first step of the banks in their interlocking with industrial capital. With the development of the concentration of production and money capital, the banks become direct investors in the production enterprises, setting up joint-stock companies.
In this way, banking capital penetrates into industry, construction, agriculture, transport, the sphere of circulation and all other fields. For their part, the enterprises buy large holdings of shares and become participants in banks. Today the directors of banks and monopoly enterprises are members of one another's boards of management, thus creating what Lenin called their “personal union”. The finance capital which emerges from this process includes all forms of capital: industrial capital, money capital and commodity capital. Characterizing this process, Lenin said:
«The concentration of production; the monopolies arising therefrom; the merging or coalescence of banks with industry —such is the history of the rise of finance capital and such is the content of that concept» [V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 22, p. 273 (Alb. ed.)]
Although since the Second World War finance capital has increased and undergone structural changes, it still has precisely those same aims it has always had, the making of maximum profits through the exploitation of the broad masses of working people inside and outside the country. (…)
Driven by its insatiable thirst for profits, the monopoly bourgeoisie turns every source of temporarily available monetary means, such as the workers' pension funds, the people's savings, etc., into capital. (…)
Finance capital invests mostly in industry, but it has extended its network of speculation to other assets, too (…).
The banks have real possibilities of providing considerable sums in credits, which are required by the high level of concentration of production and the domination of monopolies. In this manner, favorable conditions are created for the big monopoly combines to step up their savage exploitation of the working masses both at home and abroad, in order to ensure maximum profits.” (Enver Hoxha, Imperialism and the Revolution, Tirana, 1979, edition in English)
The process of formation of financial capital leads to important consequences: there are less visible conflicts between different forms of capital (that is, between different branches of the ruling bourgeoisie) because they are relatively united in financial capital, and this is reflected in the political organization of the imperialist countries, which is arranged in such a manner as to better satisfy the interests of the dominant financial bourgeois class; besides this, the creation of financial capital also leads to the fabrication of new bourgeois ideologies which directly favor this new form of capital, etc… Indeed, nowadays, finance capital can even assume forms which are different from the more typical ones. For example, finance capital can adopt the form of various funds (financial funds, exchange funds, etc.).
If we analyze the development of Brazil during the last years, we will conclude that this second characteristic underlined by comrade Lenin is also fulfilled. One of the most significant cases of the creation of a financial bourgeois class through finance capital can be found in the Brazilian multinational VALE, to which we had already referred:
“(…) the most important stockholder of VALE, the second greatest Brazilian multinational, is PREVI, a fund (…) belonging to the Bank of Brazil, and the other stockholders are Bradesco Bank and BNDES (…), all of them representatives of finance capital.” (Campos, O imperialismo brasileiro nos séculos XX e XXI: uma discussão teórica, p.18, 2009, translated from Portuguese language).
VALE is among the greatest and most important/influent/wealthy Brazilian corporations, and, significantly, its greatest shareholder is Bank of Brazil. The other two main stockholders of VALE are also banks: the Bradesco Bank and the BNDES Bank. This last one, the BNDES Bank, is an organization created by the Brazilian financial bourgeois class with the sole purpose of using the taxes paid by the exploited classes in order to subsidize the investments of the Brazilian imperialist-monopolist multinationals with the purpose of controlling industrial capital. Indeed, the BNDES Bank has been a valuable instrument in benefit of the expansion of Brazilian imperialism in Latin America. For example, in 2011, the BNDES subsidized the construction in Bolivia of a new road by the Brazilian multinational of construction OAS (of which the BNDES is one of the most important financial supporters) with the objective of maximizing the profits of the Brazilian mining and oil corporations (especially Petrobras) which are operating in the Amazonic area in which the road would be opened. This project caused the anger of the indigenous populations, which tried to prevent it through boycotts and demonstrations.
But Bolivian President Evo Morales, who is considered to be “progressive” and even “socialist” by the revisionists, gave full support to the pretensions of the Brazilian imperialist financial bourgeois class and allowed the construction of the road which would cause enormous damages to the environmental equilibrium of the affected jungle areas. This is nothing surprising because Evo Morales is included in the so-called “Latin –American Leftist movements” which are totally reactionary and pro-imperialist. Evo Morales was elected using “socialist” slogans only to mislead the exploited masses. He claimed to fight against the “liberal rulers” and affirmed that he would “lead Bolivia towards socialism” (as if socialist construction could be accomplished through bourgeois elections and within the framework of the capitalist system…). Of course, one of the main arguments utilized by Evo Morales to mislead Bolivian workers was his alleged “anti-imperialism”. In fact, Evo Morales depicted himself as having the “struggle against foreign imperialist domination” as his main priority. But this was nothing more than deceitful talk. Nor Evo Morales neither the other “progressive presidents” of the “Latin American left movements” (like Hugo Chávez and Rafael Correa, for instance) did ever struggled against foreign capital and domination. Indeed, more than a question of not being capable of struggling against foreign imperialism, it is a question of not wanting to struggle against it. Chávez, Correa, Morales, etc never had the slightest intention of truly fighting against foreign imperialism. They are just instruments used by the bourgeoisie in order to deceive the workers and secure its profits and class privileges (the so-called “Latin American leftist movements” are proof that everything besides Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism-Hoxhaism is condemned to be nothing more than a bourgeois movement and ideology whose main purpose is to deceive the exploited proletarians, thus eternally perpetuating capitalist tyranny and wage slavery. The “Latin American leftist movements” are heirs of the former “Non-aligned movement” and of the “third way” movements, which were correctly and vigorously unmasked by comrade Enver Hoxha as being ultra-reactionary and pro-imperialist. This subject is very important to understand the present deplorable situation of the “communist” movement at a world scale).
Indeed, it can be said that bourgeois and pro-capitalist politicians like those mentioned should be considered as agents of foreign imperialism like the Chinese imperialism and Brazilian imperialism, because their level of dependence and submission to these emergent imperialism is so high that our conclusion could never be other than to regard them as imperialist lackeys. However, if they are imperialist agents, than how can they deceive the proletariat of their countries, making it believe that they are “progressive” and “leftist”? The answer to this question is related to the fact that bourgeois and anti-socialist politicians like Evo Morales usually represent the interests of a non-traditional imperialist power. It is a well known fact that British and American imperialism have fiercely exploited Latin American peoples during many decades. Consequently, someone in Latin America who claims to fight against those traditional imperialism can easily be perceived as being “anti-imperialist” and “socialist” by those branches of the exploited classes which are less informed and which have lack of a truly Marxist-Leninist ideological formation. This is what happens in Bolivia. The pro-capitalist and social-fascist Evo Morales is totally sold to the interests of Chinese and Brazilian imperialism and uses his fake “anti-American” slogans in order to hide this truth.
Bolivia is one of the Latin American countries in which the dominance of Brazilian imperialism is more consolidated and this situation is now so evident that even the revisionists who formerly supported Evo are now against him. In October of 2011, the Brazilian bourgeois newspaper “Folha de S. Paulo” reported that BWC (Bolivian Workers’ Central), one of the main revisionist trade unions in Bolivia, organized a demonstration against the already mentioned project of an Amazonic road in which the preponderant slogan was this: “Evo, you’re a fascist, you’re a lackey of the Brazilian corporations!” And Pablo Solón, a bourgeois environmental activist which used to be Bolivia’s ambassador in the UN, quitted his position affirming that:
“There must be coherence between our words and our deeds. We cannot talk about defending the “Mother Earth” and, simultaneously, promote the construction of a road which causes enormous damages to that same Mother Earth, which does not respect the rights of indigenous peoples and which grossly violates human rights.” (Folha de S. Paulo, O Imperialismo brasileiro na América do Sul, 19/10/2011, translated from Portuguese language).
We, Stalinist-Hoxhaists, know very well that this change of attitude has nothing to do with a veritable adherence to the authentically revolutionary communist ideology. We know that the revisionists are just afraid that the outrageous submission of the Bolivian social-fascists led by Evo Morales to Brazilian imperialism can cause the Bolivian proletariat to acquire a genuine socialist ideology, even because Bolivia is among the poorest countries in Latin America and it can certainly be considered as one of the weakest links of the imperialist chain in this region. Therefore, the Bolivian revisionists are just doing their utmost to prevent the socialist revolution. But this also shows that besides the “progressive”, “democratic” and “radical” phraseology of social-fascists like Evo Morales, the truth is that imperialist interests will always dominate everything and everybody as long as capitalism exists. The bourgeois Paulo Sólon is mistaken when he says that Evo’s social-fascist government is incoherent. Quite on the contrary, it is completely coherent with its mission of serving the interests of the Brazilian imperialist financial bourgeois class which presently rules South America. Mr. Sólon should have already understood that the ridiculous “environmental concerns” displayed by capitalist rulers are a total fake which only serves to give a phony “human face” to the system of bourgeois exploitation. From the moment that the “environmental concerns” menace the superprofits of the oppressing classes, they are simply despised. In this case, Evo Morales tried to win the support of the Bolivian indigenous population through “environmental” slogans, but when it came the hour, the interests of the Brazilian imperialist-monopolist financial bourgeoisie prevailed over anything else and the referred Amazonic road is indeed being opened to great sorrow of the indigenous populations and to great contentment of the Brazilian imperialist bourgeois, which can now freely use the new road to exploit Bolivia’s natural resources even more. Indeed, in 2006, Evo Morales had approved a Constitution which granted indigenous communities the right of decision about questions affecting their lives and future. And when the question of the opening of the Amazonic road by the Brazilian financial capital came to light, the indigenous communities which were against the road argued that their opinion had to be taken into account according with the terms of the new Bolivian Constitution. Poor indigenous communities! They are so ingenuous! They were not able to realize that bourgeois Constitutions are only intended to serve the interests of the capitalists and that if same interests demand that the Constitution must be despised, than the exploiting classes will not hesitate a second before breaking all the rules created by themselves, be they constitutional or not. In this case, the interests of Brazilian imperialist-monopolist bourgeoisie demanded that the Bolivian Constitution should be overruled and, consequently, it was indeed overruled, because within capitalism everything functions according with the desires of the class which controls the major means of production not only in a certain country, but also on a certain continent. And the fact that Brazilian imperialism controls the major means of production at a regional scale means that Brazilian imperialist bourgeois are able to exercise their dominion over the other Latin American countries.
In what respects to this subject, a very significant quotation is that of Bolivian columnist Fernando Molina who in November of 2011 said that:
“In Bolivia, power has been transferred from one side of the Arce Avenue to the other.” [O Estado (newspaper), O Imperialismo Brasileiro, 5/11/2011, translated from Portuguese language].
This statement is very relevant because the Arce Avenue is a street in La Paz (Bolivia’s main city) where the American embassy and the Brazilian embassy are located one in front of the other. Therefore, this phrase means that it is presently more than obvious that the dominant imperialism in Bolivia is not American imperialism anymore; the power “was transferred from one side of the Arce Avenue to the other”, that is, now the veritable control over Bolivia belongs to Brazilian imperialism. And we can certainly extend the meaning of this quotation to nearly all countries of Latin America. American imperialism is in decline. It has had its golden age, but as historical materialism teaches us, nothing remains the same forever, and nowadays American imperialism is being replaced by other imperialism like the Brazilian one.
Another example of the ascension of finance capital in the context of Brazilian imperialist development is that of Petrobras, whose main financial supporters are Bank of Brazil and BNDES. All these capitalist conglomerates belong to the “Brazilian government”, that is, to the imperialist bourgeoisie which rules Brazilian capitalist state. Thanks to the financing provided by the Bank of Brazil and by the BNDES, Petrobras is able to extend the influence of Brazilian imperialism over other Latin American countries like Equador through gigantic projects which advance the interests of Brazilian bourgeois class. The bourgeois site Ibase published an article in which was stated that:
“Those projects occupy areas which are very rich in natural resources (…) and which have great geopolitical importance. The argument used in their favor is the necessity of integrate South America.
Indigenous groups are demonstrating against Petrobras’ plans of extracting oil from the Yasuní Park in Equador through taking advantage of the willingness of Equator’s government in receiving Brazilian capital.” (Ibase, Imperialismo Brasileiro, 3/08/2005, translated from Portuguese language).
As we can conclude, Brazilian financial capital has totally assumed the features of imperialism in using its power to exploit the resources and the wealth of other countries through the control of their respective pro-capitalist rulers. In the case of Equador, it is quite certain that the country’s government is totally on the hands of the Brazilian financial bourgeois class that controls the Bank of Brazil and the BNDES which, by their turn, are among the main financial supporters of Petrobras. In exchange for some money and privileges, the Latin American capitalist rulers are capable of selling their own countries to Brazilian imperialism. For example, in Bolivia, the social-fascist Evo Morales “promised” to “nationalize the energy industry” (which is mostly controlled by Brazilian imperialist monopoly Petrobras), but he and his pro-imperialist cabinet never accomplished their “plans of nationalizations”.
Moreover, the “argument” put forward by the Brazilian imperialists that their objective is to “integrate South America” is a laughable one, it is nothing more than a propaganda trick in order to hide the veritable nature of Brazilian imperialism. True, no doubt about the fact that the Brazilian imperialist-monopolists want to integrate South America. But they want to integrate South America in their own imperialist and predatory plans of endless capitalist tyranny and exploitation. When the Brazilian imperialists-monopolists say “integration”, South American proletarians must hear “domination and submission” because the only “integration” that is benefic to the Brazilian imperialists is the one which allows them to maximize their profits at the expense of the other South American nations through exploitation of raw materials and work force. It is important to underline this because, due also to the propaganda of the revisionists, many workers regard emergent imperialism in general and Brazilian imperialism in particular as being “progressive”. As we had already mentioned, the Brazilian bourgeois class tries to foster the idea that it does not have imperialist pretensions in the more “traditional” sense of the term. On the contrary, it tries to spread the image of Brazil as being some kind of benefactor of the other South American countries, a benefactor which would use its geographical dimensions, demographical capacities and natural resources to “protect” them against American and European imperialism.
Finally, before advancing towards the analysis of the third criteria pointed by comrade Lenin, we must note that, due to its regional scale and also due to the country’s external debt, Brazilian imperialism is still, in some senses, subjected to the traditional imperialist powers. This can be confirmed in what respects precisely to the ascension of the Brazilian financial capital and bourgeois class:
“The Bank of Brazil and the BNDES are financing and supporting external projects of Brazilian enterprises, and they achieve great profits through this (…). However, a large part of those profits are deviated (…) with the purpose of paying Brazilian external debt. And as the main creditors of the Brazilian debt continue to be foreign banks, like the National CitiBank (…) and the Bank Boston (…), part of the mentioned profits are going to the financial institutions of the so-called developed countries. From this, we can affirm that the internationalization of the Brazilian enterprises is included in some kind of spiral logic of the empire, since a relevant part of their profits is directed towards financial institutions in the “central” countries.” (Campos, O imperialismo brasileiro nos séculos XX e XXI: uma discussão teórica, p.16, 2009, translated from Portuguese language)
Nonetheless, taking into consideration all the features that we analyzed, it seems obvious that, presently, Brazilian imperialist-monopolist bourgeoisie is becoming more and more successful in accomplishing an imperialism which is independent from both the traditional imperialist powers (like American imperialism, for example) and from the other emergent imperialism (like the Chinese imperialism, for instance). It is true that American imperialist still holds a certain power over some branches of the Brazilian economy, but this influence will soon disappear because Brazilian imperialist-monopolist bourgeoisie is determined to expand the country’s internal and external market in order to develop even more the industry of means of production through workers’ exploitation. As we have seen when analyzing the first criteria pointed by comrade Lenin, the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie has already accomplished control over the industry of means of production in the branches of energy, mining, siderurgy, construction, etc.
2.3 - the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance
In what respects to this third criteria pointed by comrade Lenin, we can affirm that the exportation of capital is undoubtedly one of the most revealing signs of the imperialist nature of a determined country. As we will see, Brazilian imperialist-monopolist bourgeoisie is nowadays totally dedicated to the export of capital to other countries. We will try to give some illustrative examples of this export of capital by Brazilian imperialism and we will also try to explain why Brazilian bourgeoisie started to export capitals to other countries since the 1970’s.
In fact, today Brazil is an imperialist country but 130 years ago it was precisely the opposite: it was a British semi-colony. In truth, during the second half of the XIXth century, Brazil was the paradigm of “informal colonialism”, that is, it was “independent” only in theory, because the country was totally under the sway of British colonialism that dominated the world in that epoch. Since the 1920’s, this British hegemony over Brazil was replaced by that of American imperialism, but Brazil continued to be one of the most dependent and indebted countries in the world (and it still has one of the greatest foreign debts, despite the country’s imperialist ascension):
“Up to the beginning of this century the British colonialists were the masters of the situation on this continent (Latin America, in which Brazil is included). They plundered colossal amounts of raw materials from these countries, built ports, railways, power stations in the exclusive service of their concessionary companies, and traded there industrial goods produced in Britain. This situation changed, but not in favor of the Latin-American peoples, with the penetration of Latin America by the United States of America at the stage of its imperialist development.
Thus in 1930, investments of American and British capital in Latin America were equal, whereas after the Second World War, the United States of America became the real master of the economy of this region of the globe. Its big monopolies took control of the key branches of the economy in Latin America.
The countries of that continent (Latin America) became part of the «invisible» empire of American imperialism, which began to make the law in all of them, to appoint and dismiss the heads of state and the governments, to dictate their internal and external economic and military policies. (…)
The foreign monopolies and the neo-colonialist policy of the imperialist states have given the economic development of these countries a distorted, onesided form, a mono-cultural character, turning them simply into specialized suppliers of raw materials: Venezuela — oil, Bolivia — tin, Chile — copper, Brazil and Colombia — coffee, Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic — sugar, Uruguay and Argentina — livestock products, Ecuador — bananas, and so on.
This one-sided character made the economy of these countries utterly unstable, utterly incapable of rapid and all-round development, completely at the mercy of the changes and fluctuation of prices on the capitalist world market. Any decline in production and any manifestation of economic crisis in the United States of America and the other capitalist countries was bound to be reflected negatively, indeed even more drastically, in the economies of the countries of Latin America, too.” (Enver Hoxha, Imperialism and the Revolution, Tirana, 1979, edition in English)
These paragraphs from comrade Enver Hoxha are an excellent synthesis of the overall situation experienced by Latin America in general, and by Brazil in particular. Until the 1970’s-1980’s, Brazil was a country almost completely dependent on foreign capital. In those times, Brazil was foremost a supplier of raw materials to British and American imperialism.
In fact, the “mono-cultural” character and “one-sided form of the economic development” referred by Comrade Enver was evident in what respected to Brazil, because the country was little more than a specialized supplier of coffee (as comrade Enver also mentions). Even bourgeois authors noted that:
“It is remarkable that Brazil, a country of large territory and varied resources participated in world trade essentially as planter of a single crop: coffee.” (Dean and Bethall, The Cambridge History of Latin America, vol.5, Cambridge, 1986)
This statement is relevant because it also underlines two of the country’s main characteristics that would be crucial in Brazil’s later imperialist ascension: its colossal territorial dimensions and variety and richness of natural and demographic resources. This means that even during times when Brazil was a mere neo-colony which served mostly as a gigantic coffee plantation, the country already possessed certain features that would later make its imperialist development possible. Another of those characteristics was the class attitude of the Brazilian bourgeoisie, which had pro-imperialist ambitions since the very beginning. In his book “Late Victorian Holocausts”, historian Mike Davis makes an analysis of the nineteenth century Brazilian society in which affirms that Brazilian elites “had vast aspirations to a modernizing tropical empire” but their “development autonomy (…) was circumscribe by foreign debt, a primitive banking system and the volatility of its export income”. Therefore, as early as the nineteenth century, Brazilian dominant classes not only had imperialist “dreams” but they also had the notion about the factors which were hindering their aspirations.
Nonetheless, since the 1970’s-1980’s, this situation began to change. Brazilian bourgeoisie started to export capital in total contrast to what had been the country’s main function within the world capitalist market until then:
“Since the 1970’s, we notice the beginning of the emergence of a process which is different from all those which had occurred before: Brazilian enterprises start to export capitals (…). During this period, financial enterprises, construction enterprises and Petrobras make external investments, mainly in South America and in other “undeveloped” countries. This tendency is strengthened during the 90’s and 2000’s, when the internationalization of the Brazilian multinationals is able to include many branches of the economy and becomes an important element of world economy. The export of capitals by Brazilian enterprises has been continually increasing and it reached its maximum in 2006, when the value of Brazilian external investments surpassed the value of the investments of foreign companies in Brazil, a situation which is related with the acquisition of the Canadian enterprise INCO by VALE.” (Campos, O imperialismo brasileiro nos séculos XX e XXI: uma discussão teórica, p.14, 2009, translated from Portuguese language).
Many bourgeois authors make a time division in what respects to Brazilian external investments: until the late 80’s and early 90’s, this process would have been related almost exclusively with the multinationals of energy and construction and, since the early/middle 90’s, this process of “internationalization” would have start to include Brazilian corporations coming from other economic branches.
In order to provide a general review of this process of capital export by Brazilian imperialist multinationals, we will try to explain some specific cases, namely in what respects to some of the main economic sectors in which the power of Brazilian imperialism is more obvious: energy, mining, construction, siderurgy, transports, varied technology, etc…
Energy and Mining
Starting with energy and mining, we have to focus our attention on Petrobras and VALE (these two monopolist-imperialist corporations were already mentioned when we analyzed the application of the first criteria pointed by comrade Lenin to Brazilian imperialism, but we will have to mention them again because the Brazilian multinationals which hold monopolist positions are also the ones which provide the greatest amounts of capital export, in what demonstrates the complex manner in which each one of the characteristics of imperialism is intimately related with the others).
Both Petrobras and VALE had exported capital even before the 90’s, but this tendency accentuated since then. Bourgeois authors affirm that this happened due to the “necessities of internationalization caused by the liberalization of the market, which impelled these companies to innovate in order to become more competitive.” Of course, the veritable reason for the so-called “internationalization” (read: imperialist expansion) of the Brazilian corporations has nothing to do with “innovation” or with “willingness of fulfill consumers’ demands”, contrary to what capitalist ideologues would want us to believe. In truth, the objective of the process of imperialist expansion of the Brazilian multinationals is the search for maximum profits (by now, we will not develop this theme much more, because later in this article we will try to explain the causes of Brazilian imperialism in an adequate manner).
Continuing our analysis of Brazilian capital export in the energy and mining branches, we note that, in agreement with our conclusions, Brazilian capital export is still significantly centered on Latin America, despite the fact that it has wider ambitions. In fact, the countries which can be considered the main receptors of Petrobras’ capital exports are Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Colombia and Paraguay. Petrobras exports capital to Argentina through the acquisition of the country’s main energy companies and, more recently, Petrobras also bought the financial stocks that the famous energy corporation Shell possessed in Uruguay, Colombia and Paraguay:
“Petrobras main focus of external investments were directed toward countries like Argentina – where Petrobras acquired Santa Fé multinationals, Perez Company and also made a permute of financial stocks with Repsol – and Bolivia. More recently, (…) Petrobras started to invest in refining capacity in the USA and to reinforce its positions within the Latin American markets (buying Shell’s financial stocks in Uruguay, Colombia and Paraguay).” (Tavares, Investimento brasileiro no exterior, November 2006, translated from Portuguese language).
And according with the “Business Plan 2007-2011” put forward by the imperialist-monopolist bourgeoisie which controls Petrobras, the total amount of Petrobras’ “external investments” (that is, capital export) was, at least, of 12 billions of US$ during this period of time. In that same “Business Plan 2007-2011”, the imperialist bourgeois class which holds Petrobras also affirms its willingness to invest in the USA as well as in Africa and on the Gulf of Mexico. According with the words of the already mentioned “Business Plan 2007-2011”, Petrobras present strategy aims to:
“c) Establish and consolidate Petrobras as the leader energy multinational in Latin America (thus, here we have an open admission of the regional ambitions of Brazilian imperialism, which tries to expel the influences of the other imperialism in Latin America also through capital export)
Reduce capital’s costs
Apply technology in order to start operating in the deep waters of Africa and of the Gulf of Mexico
Increase production of Petrobras’ oil in other countries”
(Petrobras, Plano de Negócios, 2007-2011, translated from Portuguese language).
As we can note, the process of capital export accomplished by Petrobras - one of the main symbols of Brazilian imperialism – is becoming more and more intense and the fact that, presently, Petrobras already controls such an important, decisive and crucial economic branch as energy at a regional scale is a revealing sign that Brazilian monopolist-imperialist bourgeoisie is being successful in its purposes of extending its economic, political, financial and ideological dominance over Latin America.
However, we would like to highlight one of the “motivations to the internationalization of Petrobras” exposed on its “Business Plan 2007-2011”: reduction of capital’s costs. It is evident that the expression “reduction of capital’s costs” means in fact “maximization of profits”. It is really amazing to see the fanciful terms used by the capitalists-imperialists in order to avoid the use of expressions like “increase of profits”. They try to “sweeten” capitalism’s exploitative reality through this kind of language tricks with the objective of misleading the workers which are not acquainted with Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist-Hoxhaist ideology. Nonetheless, we have to assert that this confirms comrade Lenin’s conclusion that the main cause of imperialism is the bourgeoisie’s search for higher profits. After all, Brazilian imperialists freely admit it in the “Business Plan” of one of their main exploitative corporations.
Turning our attention to another multinational controlled by Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie, the VALE Company, we observe that the same pattern of intensification of capital export is verified. The VALE Company - which is among the greatest mining multinationals in the world and which holds an oligopolist position within world market and a monopolist position within Latin American market – exports capital to all continents, especially to Europe and to Asia (Middle East):
“(…) through new investments in various continents, the CVRD (VALE Company) not only has diversified the localization of its capital and financial stocks, but also has invested in the extraction and production of cooper and gold in Chile and Peru, of manganese and other non-ferrous metals in Gabon and Mongolia, of coal in Mozambique, among many others.” (Tavares, Investimento brasileiro no exterior, November of 2006, translated from Portuguese language).
According with the “Business Plan” of the VALE Company, the main causes of the “internationalization” of this corporation are:
“i) expansion of economic-financial growing;
iv) reduction of capital’s costs” (that is, maximization of profits)
(CVRD, Plano de Negócios, 2006, translated from Portuguese language).
Just like happens with Petrobras, also the imperialist bourgeois which control the VALE Company explicitly admit that the “reduction of capital’s costs”, i.e., the maximization of profits is among their main purposes (of course, to say the truth, the maximization of profits is their ONLY purpose, because imperialists like those who are leading the development of Brazil do not, cannot and will never see or want anything else besides profit accumulation).
In what respects to construction, the two main Brazilian imperialist corporations which are exporting capitals are Odebrecht and Andrade Gutierrez. In fact, as we will see, exportation of capital constitutes the main source of income and profits of these multinationals of construction. According with the “Engineering News Record” (2006), Odebrecht is among the 20 greatest enterprises of construction in the whole world. The company is controlled by the Odebrecht family - one of the world’s wealthiest families - which has the Brazilian bourgeois state completely in its hands in order to expand Brazilian imperialism, because the more Brazilian imperialism develops, the higher will be the profits of Odebrecht family.
The first country to which Odebrecht exported capital was Peru, but it later expanded to other countries of Latin America, to Africa, India and Portugal. More recently, it also profited greatly from the exportation of capitals to the USA and to the Middle East:
“The first external project performed by Odebrecht was an hydroelectric plant in Peru whose construction begun in 1979. Since the 80’s, it also decisively participated in the extraction and production of oil in many regions around the world, including Africa and India. In 1988, Odebrecht acquired the enterprise Bento Pedroso & Filhos in Portugal, a country in which it accomplished many important works and where it increasingly participates in concessions of public constructions. (…) In 1991, Odebrecht performed its first construction in the USA, which was immediately followed by many others which gave to Odebrecht an income of about 1,6 million of US$. (…) Throughout the 90’s, Odebrecht invested greatly in various Latin American countries, promoting the construction of shopping centers and hydroelectric plants. Nowadays, (…) about 75% of Odebrecht’s income (that is, profits) come from external investments.” (Tavares, Investimento brasileiro no exterior, November of 2006, translated from Portuguese language).
And a similar situation occurs with Andrade Gutierrez, another multinational of construction controlled by Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie:
“The first international contract of Andrade Gutierrez was in Congo in 1983. Today, 60% of the enterprise incomes come from foreign investments. In 1988, it bought Portuguese company Zagope, through which it performed many important works in Portugal and in Africa. The Andrade Gutierrez Corporation has also increased its investments in Latin America.” (Tavares, Investimento brasileiro no exterior, November of 2006, translated from Portuguese language).
After reading these paragraphs, we are able to conclude that also in the construction field, the main purpose of capital export by the Brazilian imperialist-bourgeois bourgeoisie is to maximize profits, and the best proof of this is the fact that the majority of the profits obtained by the Brazilian multinationals of construction come from “external investment”, that is, from export of capital, that is, from imperialist expansion.
Relatively to the branch of cement production, the major Brazilian company exporting capital in this sector is Votorantim. In an interview given to the newspaper “New York Times”, a representative of the enterprise owners assumed that the main cause of the “internationalization” of Votorantim is the search for “reducing the costs of capital”, that is, once again, the search for higher profits.
“In 2001, Votorantim acquired the multinational St. Mary’s Cement Inc. in Canada (…). St. Mary’s Cement Inc. was one of the Canada’s main producers of cement and of other materials of construction, providing the Canadian and the American markets. In 2003, Votorantim bought 50% of another great American Company, the Suwannee American Cement (…).”(Tavares, Investimento brasileiro no exterior, November of 2006, translated from Portuguese language).
And Camargo Corrêa, a Brazilian corporation also dedicated to cement production and to construction, acquired in 2005 the Argentinean enterprise Loma Negra, which was Argentina’s main producer of cement. The imperialist bourgeoisie which holds Camargo Corrêa also controls great part of the textile sector in Argentina and Chile, taking advantage of the hateful “Free Market agreements” between these two countries and Europe and the USA in order to have access to an enlarged market in which it can make colossal profits through the exploitation of Latin American textile workers. Therefore, it seems that the loathful “Free Market agreements” not only promote and intensify the exploitation of the proletariat of countries like Chile and Argentina, but also contribute to the expansion of Brazilian imperialism:
“Camargo Corrêa began the internationalization of the textile sector through controlling Santista Têxtil, which in 1995 bough the enterprise Grafa, S.A in Argentina. And it was though Grafa, S.A that in 1999, it acquired the Company Machasa S.A in Chile. The operations performed by Santista Têxtil in Chile take great advantages of the Free Market agreements between Chile and European Union and the USA (…) Camargo Corrêa also invests in the branch of construction in Latin America and in Africa.” (Tavares, Investimento brasileiro no exterior, November of 2006, translated from Portuguese language)
Relatively to capital export in the siderurgic sector, we should note that this economic branch of the Brazilian economy was, during many decades, under the dominion of foreign imperialism like the American imperialism or Japanese imperialism. However, also in this sector Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie is expanding its oppressive power and influence over other peoples. The CSN (Companhia Siderúrugica Nacional), one of the greatest multinationals of siderurgy in the world, is one of the best examples of this expansion. Since the 2000’s, the CSN started to export capitals to Europe (mostly to Portugal) and to the USA through the acquisition of positions of control within some of the most important siderurgic corporations of these regions:
“The CSN took advantage of (…) the opportunity of investing in Europe. In 2003 it acquired, in Portugal, 50% of Lusosider (the greatest siderurgic Company in Portugal). Just like Heartland Steel Company in the USA (a gigantic American siderurgy corporation that was also bought by the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie which holds CSN), Lusosider’s main function is processing steel in favor of the diversification of CSN’s production. (…) Through its operations and export of capital to Portugal and to the USA, CSN is able to find new markets for its Brazilian production, taking also many benefits from the low costs of production in Brazil.” (Tavares, Investimento brasileiro no exterior, November of 2006, translated from Portuguese language).
As we can conclude, also here the Brazilian imperialist bourgeois class does it utmost to maximize its profits through acquisition of siderurgic monopolies in other countries with the purpose of “creating” markets of siderurgy-related goods which are produced by Brazilian workers at a very low cost – that is, with a higher degree of exploitation. Therefore, the strategy of the Brazilian imperialists-capitalists is quite simple: to use low-cost goods produced through the fierce exploitation of Brazilian proletariat in order to fulfill the demands of the siderurgic markets in Europe and the USA, thus making colossal profits through the difference between the costs of production of siderurgy-related goods and services in Brazil and the values for which those goods and services are sold in the already mentioned European and American markets. This situation is possible due to the escalating influence of Brazilian imperialist bourgeois class within those markets.
Another important Brazilian multinational of siderurgy is Gerdau, which is also a very good example of how Brazilian imperialism is completely engaged in the process of capital export. Gerdau started to export Brazilian capitals since the early 80’s, when it acquired LAISA, one of the main – if not the main – Uruguayan siderurgic companies. Like the majority of the other Brazilian multinationals, also Gerdau started to “invest” (that is, to exploit) in other Latin American countries, mainly in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay. Later, this multinational would also export capitals to Canada, USA and Spain:
“The productive expansion of Gerdau (that is, its capacity to export imperialist capitals) is among the most significant of the Brazilian siderurgic sector. (…) Between 1989 and 1998, this enterprise performed several important acquisitions in South America – Argentina, Chile and Uruguay – and in Canada. In 1997, it made a crucial acquisition in Argentina. In 1999, it turned to the American market and bought 75% of Ameristeel (an American monopolist siderurgy corporation) (…). In 2002, it merged all its operations in North America and acquired a decisive participation in North Star Steel (another gigantic siderurgy multinational). Gerdau also expanded its participation in other Latin American countries thanks to its investments in Colombia and Chile. And in January of 2006, it turned to Europe, where it acquired the Spanish corporation Sidenor (…).”(Tavares, Investimento brasileiro no exterior, November of 2006, translated from Portuguese language)
Consequently, once again, it is becoming more and more obvious that the third criteria underlined by comrade Lenin to define a determined country as imperialist is totally fulfilled in what respects to Brazil.
Continuing with our examples, the export of capitals by Brazilian imperialism also occurs in the economic branch of transports. Relatively to the production of trucks, Brazilian imperialist bourgeois class controls the Brazilian market through Marcopolo, the company which produces the majority of trucks in Brazil. And just like happens with the other crucial sectors of the Brazilian imperialist economy, also here the Brazilian bourgeois are making efforts in order to export capitals. Firstly, Marcopolo started to fabricate its products outside Brazil, in countries like Argentina, Colombia and South Africa. With this, Marcopolo’s purpose was to “avoid the high costs of the transportation of the products from Brazil to the other countries” (once more, the inescapable tendency to maximize profits). But later, Marcopolo would start to export, besides its products, also capitals:
“Marcopolo is responsible for more than half of the trucks produced in Brazil and exports its products to more than 60 countries. (…) In 1997, it started to produce in Argentina. In 2000, it operated in Mexico and accomplished a joint venture with Daimler-Chrysler. In 2001, it established production units in Colombia and South Africa.” (Tavares, Investimento brasileiro no exterior, November of 2006, translated from Portuguese language).
Another example of a Brazilian imperialist multinational which is totally engaged in capital export is Embraer, which is currently the third biggest aeronautic corporation in the entire world, only behind Boeing and Airbus. Embraer was one of the very first Brazilian companies to export capitals to other nations, especially to European countries and to the USA. Recently, it has been doing the same in China, thus demonstrating that Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie is also concerned about assuring its presence and influence within the other new imperialist powers:
“Nowadays, Embraer is the biggest world producer of planes with less than 110 seats. (…) Its first investements outside Brazil were in technical and commercial financial stocks in Europe and in the USA. In the 2000’s, Embraer initiated a new stage of internationalization with the objective of expanding its presence in China, USA and Europe. (…) In 2002, Embraer established a joint venture with the enterprise AVIC II, in order to produce the plane ERJ-145 in China, creating the Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry (HEAI) and invested in the sector of plane reparation and preservation in Nashville, USA. (…) In 2004, it established a plane business in Florida, which allowed Embraer to participate in auctions made by the American military. Also in 2004, it acquired OGMA, a Portuguese enterprise dedicated to plane maintenance.” (Tavares, Investimento brasileiro no exterior, November of 2006, translated from Portuguese language)
In the case of Embraer, we can note that, in its gluttony for profits, Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie even apparently disregards the fact that American imperialism is a rival. Indeed, Brazilian imperialism does not mind about contributing to the fascist wars conducted by the American bourgeois class since that can lead to the increasing of its own profits. In order to accomplish its exploitative and bloody aims, Brazilian imperialist bourgeois class uses Embraer with the purpose of having access to the immense demands of the American totalitarian military machine. The “participation in auctions made by the American military” is a clear proof of this.
Presently, it turns obvious that the dominance and supremacy of Brazilian imperialism is penetrating into more and more countries and into more and more economic branches. And this tendency is verified also in what respects to the sector of electric motors. In fact, the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie does not limit itself to internal monopolies anymore. One of the most flagrant examples of this is the Brazilian multinational WEG, which produces electric industrial motors. This corporation enjoys a monopolist position within Brazil; indeed, in 1999, WEG controlled 80% of the Brazilian production and distribution of electric industrial motors. But besides this, WEG exported capitals to Europe, Asia and the USA. Later, it would acquire two of the main producers of electric motors in Argentina.
“WEG provides (…) low cost products. (…) Its internationalization (…) intensified since 2000, with the acquisition of Morbe, a producer of electric motors, and of Intermatic, both in Argentina. In 2000, WEG bought the ABB’s section of electric motors in Mexico City. WEG’s operations in Mexico were further expanded through the acquisition of the MABE’s section of motors in 2002 (…). In 2006, WEG acquired 30% of the Mexican Company Voltran (…). The beginning of WEG’s production in Europe took place in 2002, with the acquisition of Efacec Universal Motors, which was by far the biggest producer of motors in Portugal. In 2005, WEG inaugurated a factory in China.” (Tavares, Investimento brasileiro no exterior, November of 2006, translated from Portuguese language)
As we can conclude, after having expanded to other countries of Latin America like Argentina and Mexico, the Brazilian imperialist bourgeois who control WEG started to expand their ambitions to Europe. In fact, throughout this analysis, we noted that in recent times, Brazilian imperialist monopolies clearly revealed their eagerness to export capital to Europe, thus creating dependency on Brazilian imperialism and opening the way to the imposition of their exploitative interests. We also see that Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie is using Portugal as a gateway to the rest of Europe.
Presently, European capitalism is being ravaged by the worst economic crisis in its whole history; European bourgeoisie desperately needs capital coming from the so-called “emergent countries” like China and Brazil in order to prevent the collapse of European imperialist-capitalist system, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Of course, in return for avoiding the fall of European capitalism, the new imperialist powers like China and Brazil will certainly want to assure predominant control and influence over Europe in political and economic terms. And we must not forget that even in what respects to the exportation of products, Brazilian imperialism is a very dangerous rival to the European bourgeoisie because the costs of human workforce in Brazil are much inferior to those in Europe. As the paragraph explicitly refers: “WEG provides low cost products”, and this could be applied to the majority of Brazilian corporations controlled by the country’s imperialist bourgeoisie, which exploits the semi-slave labor of immense numbers of Brazilian workers to get colossal profits through the selling of its products in the American and European markets by relatively low prices. Thus, we see that Brazilian imperialism also has a strategy of dividing the world workers, because it encourages European and American workers to face Brazilian workers as their enemies due to the fact that they produce goods which are less costly than those produced by their European and American counterparts. This causes capitalists to prefer the cheaper (and, consequently, more profitable) goods produced by the Brazilian proletarians in detriment of the goods produced by European and American proletarians, what leads to the unemployment of these last ones.
Finally, we will give one last example of capital export by Brazilian imperialism. This time, we will focus on the economic branch of drinks, a sector in which the expansion of Brazilian capital is becoming more and more consolidated. The main instrument used by Brazilian imperialist bourgeois in this field is the gigantic multinational AmBev – currently named InBev - one of the biggest and wealthiest Brazilian corporations – which is dedicated to the production and distribution of beer and refrigerants. There many apologists of Brazilian imperialism who even qualify AmBev as the “yellow and green multinational” (because yellow and green are the main colors of Brazil’s national flag).
In fact, beer is one of the most popular products not only in Brazil, but throughout Latin America. Seeing this, the Brazilian imperialists did not hesitate before using this economic sector to export capital and to strengthen their influence. AmBev was founded in 1999 through the merging of the two main Brazilian beer companies: Brahma and Antarctida (here, we can perceive the efforts of the Brazilian bourgeoisie in order to put this sector under the complete control of a veritable monopoly. And it is obvious that Brazilian imperialists do not act by chance. They created AmBev because they understood that if they wanted to surpass the competition of the other Latin American bourgeoisie in this branch, they had to establish a corporation of massive economic dimensions which would be able to acquire the majority of the rival companies and to monopolize the markets in the other countries, thus permitting the penetration and dominance of Brazilian imperialist capital):
“Before the merging with Antarctica in 1999, Brahma had invested in the Argentinean beer corporations Compañía Cervecería Brahma Argentina and Maltería Pampa, and also on the Venezuelan beer corporation Compañía Cervecera Nacional. But the main impulsion to internationalization came with the 1999 fusion. The internationalization of AmBev started in South America, with two operations in Uruguay in 2000: the acquisition of the participation in the enterprise Salus; and the bought of 95,4% of the one of the greatest Paraguayan beer companies: Cervecería y Malteria Paysandú S.A. (Cympay). In 2001, it acquired another enormous Paraguayain beer: the Cervecería Internacional. (…) Simultaneously with the internationalization in the beer sector, AmBev also invested in the distribution of refrigerants, in a joint venture with PepsiCo (…). In 2002, AmBev turned to Central America, beginning a joint venture with the Central American Bottling Corporation (CabCorp) (…) with the aim of producing beer in Guatemala and throughout the region. In 2003, it (…) bought financial stocks in Peru and Ecuador. In 2004, AmBev acquired 51% of the Embotelladora Dominicana (Embodom), the biggest bottling company in the Dominican Republic, and also bought the Labatt Brewing Company Ltd in Canada (…). This acquisition provided AmBev with 42% of the Canadian drink market, with a platform towards the exportation to the USA and with access to low cost capital.” (Tavares, Investimento brasileiro no exterior, November 2006, translated from Portuguese language).
Needless to say that all this imperialist process of exporting capitals developed and accomplished by the Brazilian bourgeoisie is entirely based on workers’ exploitation and oppression. And the Brazilian workers are far from being the only ones being exploited by the Brazilian imperialists. Indeed, the workers of all countries in which Brazilian imperialism has set foot trying to conquer economic and political dominion are being harshly exploited, oppressed and repressed by those same Brazilian imperialists. However, as we have seen, the proletariat of Latin American countries is the one which is most subjected to the oppression of Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie. Therefore, it is Latin American proletariat that must initiate the struggle against Brazilian imperialism. This struggle will be a very ferocious one because Brazilian bourgeois class will never accept its own annihilation without bloodshed. But if the Brazilian proletariat, in particular, and the Latin American proletariat, in general, faithfully follow the teachings of the 5 Classics of Marxism-Leninism, if they remain loyal to the principles of Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism-Hoxhaism, then Brazilian imperialist bourgeois class will be eliminated and not even its tyrannical class power, colossal economic resources and repressive strength will be able to prevent the outcome of the socialist revolution in Latin America and in the whole world.
And we must never overlook the fact that the process of capital export by Brazilian imperialism is everything but innocent. Indeed, it inevitably includes the consolidation of its political-economic domination over the other Latin American countries. One of the countries in which this domination is already heavily felt is Peru. Recently, bourgeois-capitalist president Alan García approved a Plan which includes dozens of gigantic construction projects which will be adjudicated mainly to the Brazilian imperialist multinationals of construction Odebrecht and Camargo Corrêa:
“President Alan Garcia approved more than 30 colossal construction projects. The main beneficiaries are the Brazilian multinationals of construction (…) Odebrecht, Camargo Corrêa (…). Accordingly with the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, Brazilian enterprises are involved in the construction of six colossal hydroelectric plants in Peru. Investments will be around 16 billions of US$. (…) And the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo calls the attention to the fact that those hydroelectric plants are only a small part of the Brazilian investments in that country (Peru).
Brazilian corporations had already invested around 5 billion of US$ in Peru. But this value will certainly be tripled thanks to the already mentioned huge construction projects, which will also include the mining and energy sectors.” (Diário Liberdade, Imperialismo brasileiro no Peru, 9/04/2011, translated from Portuguese language).
The situation could not be more evident. It is crystal clear that Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie not only controls the multinationals, but it also controls Brazilian bourgeois and repressive state. Therefore, it is using all its class power in order to put the other Latin American countries under its influence. It is a well known fact that Brazilian multinationals finance and support bourgeois politicians throughout Latin America. For example, Peruvian “president” (read: capitalist dictator) Alan Garcia approved those construction projects in the sole benefit of the Brazilian multinationals’ superprofits. Of course that pro-capitalist Garcia is being very well paid to do so and that he has absolutely no problems about condemning Peruvian proletarian to misery and exploitation at the hands of Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie. Indeed, it was the fascist Alan García that in the first months of 2010 used the Peruvian “security forces” to repress 5000 Amerindians which tried to demonstrate against Petrobras’ activities in the Amazonic jungle. Those Amerindians were demonstrating not only because of the immense damages to the environment that Petrobras’ “operations” caused, but also because Petrobras’ “works” would mean their expulsion from that region and their forced “migration” to the cities where they would be fated to live as indigents. Seeing that the Amerindians were blocking the road of access to Petrobras’ installations, the Brazilian imperialist fascists ordered the use of violence against the demonstrators. In the bloodbath that followed, 34 Amerindians were killed and many more were gravely wounded. All those indigenous were brutally murdered and their families condemned to the darkest misery only to permit that Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie can accumulate ever more profits and that Brazilian bourgeois can have a luxury life at the expense of the blood and sufferings of the Latin American indigenous and non-indigenous exploited workers.
And this kind of revolting obedience to Brazilian imperialist bourgeois class is also verified in Ecuador, a country which is allegedly governed by a “progressive” and “anti-imperialist” president: Rafael Correa. In truth, Correa is a bourgeois-capitalist lackey of the same kind of Evo Morales and Hugo Chávez. He uses a “socialistic” mask in order to mislead Ecuadorian proletarians, thus hiding the fact that he is nothing more than a mere servant of the imperialist order. This is confirmed by the coward manner in which Rafael Correa’s loathful bourgeois cabinet submits to the interests of Brazilian imperialism:
“There are very few Latin American governs that still refuse Brazilian resources in what respects to the financing of its public works. Two months ago, the Ecuadorian ministry Jorge Glass traveled to Brazil with the purpose of obtaining the participation of the BNDES in infrastructural facilities whose worth is around 30 billion of US$.” (O Estado, Brasil banca US$ 5,3 biliões em obras de vizinhos, 16/10/2011, translated from Portuguese language)
Besides the fact that this paragraph is an open admission that Brazilian imperialist bourgeois class has Ecuadorian capitalist rulers totally in its hands, this excerpt also refers that “there are very few Latin American governs that still refuse Brazilian resources in what respects to the financing of its public works”. That is, the export of capital by Brazilian imperialism already reached virtually all Latin American countries, which are now incapable of auto-financing such a decisive sector for a country’s independence as the infrastructural public works. It is evident that, presently, the majority of Latin American countries are little more than neo-colonies of the Brazilian imperialist bourgeois class.
For example, one of the main instruments used by Brazilian imperialism with the purpose of enslaving Latin American proletariat is BNDES (to which we already referred earlier in this article). The BNDES has a budget of 60 billion US$ whose only aim is to increase the dependency of the Latin American countries upon Brazilian imperialism, thus expelling other rival imperialism and opening the way to the transformation of Latin America in some kind of “private field” of the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie. In order to hide its bloody ambitions, Brazilian bourgeois treacherously affirm that Brazil is trying to “integrate South America” and in order to “prove” this they fabricated an organization called Initiative to the Integration of the Infrastructure of South America (IIRSA). Of course, this “organization” is fully dependent on the financing of the Brazilian imperialists that own the BNDES:
“LIRSA is planning to (…) construct more than 300 roads, bridges, oil pipers, hydroelectric plants, (…) which will costs more than 50 billions of US$ (…).”(Ibase, Imperialismo Brasileiro, 3/08/2005, translated from Portuguese language)
It is obvious that Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie is not doing all this by charity nor because it has some kind of concern with the development and welfare of the Latin American peoples. On the contrary, it is doing all this with the aim of intensifying the oppression and exploitation over these peoples even more. Those “300 roads, bridges, oil pipers, hydroelectric plants” are modern equivalents to the railroads constructed by British imperialists in their colonies and semi-colonies during the second half of the XIXth century precisely to obtain more and more profits. As comrade Lenin correctly concluded:
“The building of railways seems to be a simple, natural, democratic, cultural and civilizing enterprise; that is what it is in the opinion of the bourgeois professors who are paid to depict capitalist slavery in bright colors, and in the opinion of petty-bourgeois philistines. But as a matter of fact the capitalist threads, which in thousands of different intercrossing bind these enterprises with private property in the means of production in general, have converted this railway construction into an instrument for oppressing a thousand million people (in the colonies and semi colonies), that is, more than half the population of the globe that inhabits the dependent countries, as well as the wage-slaves of capital in the “civilized” countries.” (Lenin, Imperialism, highest stage of capitalism, Selected Works, Volume I, pages 667-766, January-June of 1916, edition in English)
And comrade Lenin even explicitly referred to Brazil’s situation saying that:
“A report from the Austro-Hungarian Consul at San-Paulo (Brazil) states: “The Brazilian railways are being built chiefly by French, Belgian, British and German capital. In the financial operations connected with the construction of these railways the countries involved stipulate for orders for the necessary railway materials.” (Lenin, Imperialism, highest stage of capitalism, Selected Works, Volume I, pages 667-766, January-June of 1916, edition in English)
These words of comrade Lenin retain their full validity today. They are not only correct relatively to the traditional imperialism, but they are also entirely suitable to the present new imperialist powers like Brazil. Just like happened with the railways in the epoch of the XIXth century imperialism, also today’s roads, bridges, oil pipers and hydroelectric plants constructed by the Brazilian imperialist multinationals are being used to keep world proletariat, in general, and Latin American proletariat, in particular, in a state of total bondage while the profits made by those multinationals never stop soaring.
In the ideological field, Brazilian bourgeoisie does it utmost to inculcate the idea that its imperialist predatory and exploitative policies are the best thing that could ever happen to Latin America. Indeed, Brazilian pro-imperialist newspaper “O Estado” states that:
“Since 2003, Brazil has distributed more than 5,3 billion of US$ in financing throughout Latin America thanks to the BNDES in order to construct hydroelectric plants, roads, and harbors, among many other things. From 1997 to 2008, that sum was calculated to be around 7,21 billions of US$. However, Brazilian generosity is not always recognized nor thanked.” (O Estado, Brasil banca US$ 5,3 biliões em obras de vizinhos, 16/10/2011, translated from Portuguese language)
This affirmation is simply astonishing: “Brazilian generosity is not always recognized nor thanked.” So, Brazilian imperialists describe their capitalist bloody greed as “generosity”, that is, as something that should be “recognized and thanked”. As if Brazilian imperialist bourgeois are giving some charitable alms to the poor Latin American countries which are allegedly desperately in need of Brazilian “kindness”. True, Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie distributes billions of US $ in Latin America. But what does this mean? This means nothing more than the political and economic expansion of Brazilian imperialism. The only purpose of imperialism is to maximize profits. Imperialism represents that stage of capitalism in which the exploiting classes are willing to use all means and to commit the most horrendous crimes against the world proletarians in order to achieve more and more profits. Therefore, if they say that “Brazil has distributed more than 5,3 billion of US$ in financing throughout Latin America”, this undoubtedly means that Brazilian imperialist bourgeois will receive a sum much higher in return. And this because Brazilian imperialists invest 5 billion of US$ only if they are completely sure that they will receive 500 billion of US$ (or more…) in return. But it is truly amazing to see the manner in which Brazilian bourgeois are complaining about the “lack of thankfulness” towards “Brazilian generosity”. As if the utilization of the most loathful imperialist methods - which include the transformation of the other Latin American countries into a mere economic periphery totally dependent on the interests of the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie, the utilization of its immense political and economic power to literally buy the apparently “elected” presidents of countries like Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador in benefit of its superprofits and the enslavement of hundreds of millions of Latin American proletarians which are now facing the most implacable exploitation and oppression at the hands of Brazilian imperialist bourgeois class - is something worth of “thankfulness”. Of course, what really upsets Brazilian bourgeois is the inevitability of the socialist revolution not only in Latin America, but all over the world. They cannot stand the fact that it is only a question of time before Brazilian and Latin American workers finally acquire a truly revolutionary and communist consciousness. And Brazilian imperialists also know very well that from the moment this happens, the final countdown to the annihilation not only of Brazilian imperialism, but of all imperialism will be something inescapable. In order to prevent this, they try to convince the workers that Brazilian imperialism is a “myth” and that Brazilian “aid” is something “indispensable” to the “integration of South America”.
What Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie really wants is to keep Latin American proletariat quiet and silent, what Brazilian bourgeois really want is to happily exploit Latin American workers. Consequently, it is quite understandable that they try to extinguish the revolutionary fire which is already emerging within the ranks of the most cognizant Latin American proletarians through utilization of the frozen waters of ideological deception and pro-imperialist lies.
After having exposed the major aspects and examples of the exportation of capitals by the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie, we will now try to explain the reasons behind this phenomenon. Why did Brazilian multinationals start to export capitals to other countries engaging in a typically imperialist policy?
In the beginning of this text, we said that there are two major theories which aim to explain the origins and causes of imperialism: one defends that imperialism’s main cause is the search for new markets (due to the lack of consumption in the “central” countries) and the other defends that imperialism’s main cause is the search for higher profits.
If we apply the first theory, we would affirm that the major reason behind Brazilian imperialism is the lack of internal markets. Indeed, if we follow this theory, we could argue that, during many centuries, Brazilian bourgeoisie did not managed to accumulate surplus value because of the country’s political and economic subordination to the imperialist powers (mostly to American imperialism). Therefore, Brazilian bourgeoisie was not able to develop a local market of consumption in order to increase industrialization. In face of this, Brazilian bourgeoisie started to export capitals to other countries – mainly to other Latin American countries - with the objective of finding new markets. Concluding, the main explanation of Brazilian imperialism is related with the structural limitation of Brazil’s internal consumer’s market.
Differently, if we apply the second theory, we would affirm that the major reason behind Brazilian imperialism is the drive for the maximization of profits. Indeed, the exploiting classes have an unavoidable tendency to excessively invest in constant capital (means of production) in detriment of variable capital (workers’ salaries and wages). This leads to the decrease of consumption because if the salaries and wages of the workers (which constitute the immense majority of the population) are being more and more devaluated, they have no means to consume. Consequently, the profits of the bourgeoisie will also diminish. According to this theory, imperialism is caused not by lack of markets, but by excess of constant capital to invest, which leads to the exportation of capitals to another regions; and therefore, the export of capitals by the Brazilian bourgeoisie happens less because of deficiencies of the country’s economy and markets than because of the relative excess of capitals and of the quality and vigor of those capitals.
The first thesis is based on the conclusions from Rosa Luxembourg about imperialism while this last theory is based on comrade Lenin’s conclusions about imperialism. As we had already done before in this article, we reaffirm our conviction that the last theory is the most correct, it is the one which gives us the veritable reasons behind imperialism, in general, and Brazilian imperialism, in particular. We don’t agree with the first theory, which affirms that imperialism is based on the drive for markets, because what makes the imperialist bourgeoisie export capitals is the search for higher profits:
“Lenin called imperialism "moribund capitalism." Why? Because imperialism carries the contradictions of capitalism to their last bounds, to the extreme limit, beyond which revolution begins. Of these contradictions, there are three which must be regarded as the most important.
The first contradiction is the contradiction between labor and capital. Imperialism is the omnipotence of the monopolist trusts and syndicates, of the banks and the financial oligarchy, in the industrial countries. In the fight against this omnipotence, the customary methods of the working class-trade unions and cooperatives, parliamentary parties and the parliamentary struggle-have proved to be totally inadequate. Either place yourself at the mercy of capital, eke out a wretched existence as of old and sink lower and lower, or adopt a new weapon-this is the alternative imperialism puts before the vast masses of the proletariat. Imperialism brings the working class to revolution.
The second contradiction is the contradiction among the various financial groups and imperialist Powers in their struggle for sources of raw materials, for foreign territory. Imperialism is the export of capital to the sources of raw materials, the frenzied struggle for monopolist possession of these sources, the struggle for a re-division of the already divided world, a struggle waged with particular fury by new financial groups and Powers seeking a "place in the sun" against the old groups and Powers, which cling tenaciously to what they have seized. This frenzied struggle among the various groups of capitalists is notable in that it includes as an inevitable element imperialist wars, wars for the annexation of foreign territory. This circumstance, in its turn, is notable in that it leads to the mutual weakening of the imperialists, to the weakening of the position of capitalism in general, to the acceleration of the advent of the proletarian revolution and to the practical necessity of this revolution.
The third contradiction is the contradiction between the handful of ruling, "civilised" nations and the hundreds of millions of the colonial and dependent peoples of the world. Imperialism is the most barefaced exploitation and the most inhumane oppression of hundreds of millions of people inhabiting vast colonies and dependent countries. The purpose of this exploitation and of this oppression is to squeeze out super-profits. But in exploiting these countries imperialism is compelled to build these railways, factories and mills, industrial and commercial centers. The appearance of a class of proletarians, the emergence of a native intelligentsia, the awakening of national consciousness, the growth of the liberation movement-such are the inevitable results of this "policy." The growth of the revolutionary movement in all colonies and dependent countries without exception clearly testifies to this fact. This circumstance is of importance for the proletariat in as much as it saps radically the position of capitalism by converting the colonies and dependent countries from reserves of imperialism into reserves of the proletarian revolution.
Such, in general, are the principal contradictions of imperialism which have converted the old, "flourishing" capitalism into moribund capitalism. (…)
Third thesis: The monopolistic possession of "spheres of influence" and colonies; the uneven development of the capitalist countries, leading to a frenzied struggle for the redivision of the world between the countries which have already seized territories and those claiming their "share"; imperialist wars as the only means of restoring the disturbed "equilibrium"-all this leads to the intensification of the struggle on the third front, the inter-capitalist front, which weakens imperialism and facilitates the union of the first two fronts against imperialism: the front of the revolutionary proletariat and the front of colonial emancipation (see Imperialism).” (Stalin, Foundations of Leninism, Works, vol. 6, pages 71-196, edition in English)
“Modern capitalism, monopoly capitalism, cannot content it-self with the average profit, which moreover has a tendency to decline, in view of the increasing organic composition of capital. It is not the average profit, but the maximum profit that modern monopoly capitalism demands, which it needs for more or less regular extended reproduction.
Most appropriate to the concept of a basic economic law of capitalism is the law of surplus value, the law of the origin and growth of capitalist profit. It really does determine the basic features of capitalist production. But the law of surplus value is too general a law; it does not cover the problem of the highest rate of profit, the securing of which is a condition for the development of monopoly capitalism. In order to fill this hiatus, the law of surplus value must be made more concrete and developed further in adaptation to the conditions of monopoly capitalism, at the same time bearing in mind that monopoly capitalism demands not any sort of profit, but precisely the maximum profit. That will be the basic economic law of modern capitalism.
The main features and requirements of the basic economic law of modern capitalism might be formulated roughly, in this way: the securing of the maximum capitalist profit through the exploitation, ruin and impoverishment of the majority of the population of the given country, through the enslavement and systematic robbery of the peoples of other countries, especially backward countries, and, lastly, through wars and militarization of the national economy, which are utilized for the obtaining of the highest profits. (…)
Precisely the maximum profit is the motor of monopoly capitalism. It is precisely the necessity of securing the maximum profits that drives monopoly capitalism to such risky undertakings as the enslavement and systematic plunder of colonies and other backward countries, the conversion of a number of independent countries into dependent countries, the organization of new wars - which to the magnates of modern capitalism is the "business" best adapted to the extraction of the maximum profit - and, lastly, attempts to win world economic supremacy.” (Stalin, Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR, Moscow, 1952, edition in English)
Therefore, we must underline that the search for markets is just a necessary intermediate stage towards the accomplishment of the capitalist production by the imperialist bourgeoisie, which is constantly trying to get higher profits, and with that purpose, it is also constantly trying to find and conquer new markets. But the search for markets is always subordinated to the hunt for the relentless maximization of profits (of course, all this applies to the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie, for whom the search for markets serves as a mean to accumulate increasingly higher profits).
2.4 - the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves
This fourth criterion was already indirectly worked out when we considered the first and the third characteristics of imperialism emphasized by comrade Lenin, because most of the monopolies controlled by Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie and which rule Brazil’s internal market are also dominating their respective economic branches at a continental – if not global – scale.
There are many cases of capitalist associations owned by the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie which hold monopolist power within their respective economic sectors, but some of the most flagrant examples are Petrobras, the VALE Company and Embraer. Presently, Petrobras is able to compete and even surpass the main oil corporations coming from the other imperialist powers. It is true that Petrobras still could not reach a monopolist position at a world scale, but we can affirm that it has already a monopolist position within Latin America. Therefore, if we could share the global market of oil between the major oil multinationals, the Latin American region would be undoubtedly under Petrobras’ monopolist control.
Also the VALE Company can rightly be considered as one of the biggest mining corporations of the entire world, enjoying a position within American market that can certainly be described as monopolist. The VALE Company is the second-largest mining company in the world and if it is true that it has competitors in the other continents, it is also crystal clear that since the acquisition of the Canadian mining company INCO in 2006, the VALE Company knows no rivals in the American continent. Therefore, if we could share the world market of mining between the major multinationals of this branch, the American continent would be unquestionably under VALE’s dominion.
Relatively to Embraer, we had already mentioned that it is a Brazilian imperialist corporation which reaches global dimensions. Embraer is among the world’s leading aeronautic multinationals and if it still does not benefit from a monopolist position within American continent, in compensation it is definitely one of the world major oligopolies within the aeronautic branch.
2.5 - the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed
Finally, it is time to analyze and apply the last criteria given by comrade Lenin to Brazil’s imperialist development. When comrade Lenin wrote his brilliant book “Imperialism, highest stage of capitalism”, the imperialist powers still resorted mainly to traditional imperialist tactics: direct colonialism, imposition of military presence in the colonies, open colonialist propaganda, etc…Indeed, in Lenin’s epoch, the world was literally divided among the imperialist powers; European imperialism controlled almost the entire African, Asian and Australasian continents, while American imperialism hold sway over the American continent. However, as time passed, the liberation struggle of the oppressed peoples inspired by socialism intensified and the world bourgeoisie was forced to resort to neo-imperialist strategies in order to survive.
This new form of imperialism (neo-imperialism) is much more efficient than traditional imperialism, because it allows the neo-colonialist powers to exploit and oppress the neo-colonies while these last ones maintain an “independent” facade. This is very useful because it deviates the neo-colonial workers from the truly revolutionary and socialist ideology. After all, the preservation of a fake “independent” mask is able to mislead the oppressed proletarians, who are encouraged to think that since the moment a country is no longer officially a colony, that country would be “free”. Of course, this is not true. A country can only be truly independent when engaged on the construction of the socialist society, only a state of proletarian dictatorship can be completely free. If a determined country does not follow genuine socialism, than that country is condemned to be always dependent on the more powerful capitalist countries (that is, on imperialist powers). And so, the world bourgeoisie generally understood that neo-imperialism is more efficient than traditional imperialism in what respects to the perpetuation of world capitalism, and consequently, neo-imperialist tactics and strategies began to be used by the majority of the world exploiting classes. As comrade Enver Hoxha affirmed:
“The export of capital by the big imperialist powers creates the colonies which, today, are the countries where neo-colonialism reigns. These countries have an alleged independence but it is only formal. In other words, now as in the past, the same process of the export of capital is going on, though in different forms, with «honeyed » explanations and propaganda. The ruthless exploitation of the peoples of these countries remains the same or becomes even more ferocious; and the plunder of natural assets continues. (…)
The economic, political and military treaties and agreements between the imperialist powers and the former colonial countries are enslaving, are weapons in the hands of imperialism to keep these countries in bondage. The words of Lenin who stressed
...the need constantly to explain and expose among the broadest working masses of all countries, and particularly of the backward countries, the deception systematically practiced by the imperialist powers, which, under the guise of politically independent states, in fact, set up states that are wholly dependent upon them economically, financially and militarily. [V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 31, p. 159 (Alb. ed.)]
are just as valid today as in the past. (…)
Together with their investments, (…) all capitalist countries consolidate, also, their positions in the countries which accept these investments, as they struggle for markets and spheres of influence (…).” (Enver Hoxha, Imperialism and the Revolution, Tirana, 1979, edition in English)
This reasoning entirely applies to the new emergent imperialist powers like Brazil which, until now, have followed mostly neo-colonialist and neo-imperialist tactics. One of the main neo-imperialist instruments used by the new imperialist powers, in general, and by Brazilian imperialism, in particular, with the purpose of strengthening their power and influence in order to exploit the world proletariat is the treacherous “South-South cooperation”, which comprises China, India, Brazil, Africa and the Near East (we must remark that this “South” does not exactly corresponds to the geographical south, but to the political “South”, that is, to those countries which the bourgeois ideologues call “developing countries” – although some of them have already become imperialist powers. For example, China is included by the bourgeois analysts in this political South, despite the fact that geographically it is located in the Northern Hemisphere). This “South-South cooperation” pretends to be “anti-imperialist” in the sense that it allegedly aims to “combat” the “imperialist tendencies of the traditional powers”. The “South-South cooperation” supposedly promotes:
“(…) cooperation among developing countries, for example, (…) through the implementation of (…) programmes of action decided upon by developing countries, in such fields as (…) development of human resources, fisheries, food and agriculture, health, industrialization, information, monetary and financial cooperation, raw materials, science and technology, technical cooperation and consultancy service, telecommunications, tourism, trade, transports and communications.” (www.ssc.undp.org, The Buenos Aires Plan of Action, 1978, version in English)
Of course, this “definition” is a total masquerade. Indeed, far from being anti-imperialist, this “South-South cooperation” intensively buttresses imperialism, it is an instrument in favor of the new emergent imperialist powers like China and Brazil. Even supporters of this “South-South cooperation” grudgingly admit that - in what respects to internal and external matters of the poorest countries included in the geopolitical “South” – the last word mainly belongs to the most powerful and wealthy members of this “South”, that is, to the new imperialist powers in ascension – China, India, Brazil…
Moreover, the ideological purposes of the “South-South cooperation” are unmistakable. The objective of the new imperialist bourgeoisie in encouraging this “South-South concept” is to deceive the oppressed and exploited world proletarians, is to prevent them from adhering to an authentic anti-imperialist and revolutionary ideology. In fact, the “idea” behind the “South-South cooperation” is frighteningly similar to the sadly famous “theory of the three worlds” fabricated by the Maoist social-fascists. And this because both try to replace the genuinely Marxist-Leninist concept of exploiting and exploited classes by the anti-socialist and reactionary concept of exploiting and exploited nations. Indeed, the “South-South cooperation” theory is also deeply based on the anti-socialist and pro-imperialist “non-aligned movement”. The “Nairobi outcome document of the High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation” (one of the key documents of the “South-South” cooperation) openly declares that:
“We recognize the role of the Non-Aligned Movement in promoting South-South cooperation.” (www.ssc.undp.org, Nairobi outcome document of the High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, 2010, version in English)
Let’s evoke comrade Enver’s words about this so-called “non-aligned” movement:
“Anti-Marxist capitalist ideology prevails in the «non-aligned» states. (…) The only basis for the grouping in the «non-aligned world», (…) is the aim and activity to quell the revolution, to stop the proletariat and peoples from rising in insurrection to overthrow the old capitalist society and establish the new society, socialism.
The (…) «third world» and the (…) «non-aligned world» are almost one and the same thing. The aim of both of these «worlds» is to provide a theoretical justification for extinguishing the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie and to assist the big imperialist and capitalist powers to preserve and perpetuate the bourgeois system of oppression and exploitation. ” (Enver Hoxha, Imperialism and the Revolution, Tirana, 1979, edition in English)
“Indeed this policy (that of “non-aligned” movement), if it can be called a policy, is a fiction, a castle built on sand, but not without definite purposes. It is a modus vivendi invented by world capitalism to preserve its neo-colonialist empire by deceiving the peoples that allegedly the policy pursued by the leaders of these countries which are called "non-aligned" but which, in fact, willingly or unwillingly are all satellites, (…), is an "independent policy outside blocs.”(…)
These countries which call themselves "non-aligned" (…), or, more exactly, those of the spheres of influence of one or the other industrialized capitalist country, are, you might say, floating states, states which have continual vacillations in their economic policy, because their policy is an appendix at the mercy of the great surgeon, who operates on it or does not operate on it according to the circumstances which develop.
All these states are hopelessly in debt hence their economy is a sick appendix of big world capital which makes the law in these countries, dictates their policy, maintains or brings down the cliques which lead them, according to the needs and the policy of joint companies of big finance capital.
The peoples of those countries suffer from every standpoint. The big capitalist powers have built such a structure and infrastructure there that they can ensure the oppression and exploitation of peoples whom they deceive by means of the slight-of-hand of an allegedly democratic parliamentary game, creating among them the impression that they are free, independent and sovereign.” (Enver Hoxha, The Superpowers, Tirana, 1986, edition in English)
In order to mislead the world workers, the emergent imperialist bourgeoisie tries to make an opposition between the “South”, which is allegedly composed by “anti-imperialist” and “progressive” nations; and the “North”, which is purportedly composed by the “imperialist” and “reactionary” states. Of course, this entire scheme was conceived in order to include the new imperialist bourgeoisie in the “democratic” and “anti-imperialist” South, but what we must underline is the manner in which this “South-South concept” tries to overlook the existence of exploiters in the “South” and of exploited in the “North”. Everything happens as if the “South” includes all the exploited and oppressed and as if the “North” includes all the exploiters and oppressors. Obviously that this is false. This division of the world between an “anti-imperialist South” and an imperialist “North” is completely fake. In the countries included in this “South” there are exploiters and exploited, just like occurs in the countries included in the “North”. Indeed, the efforts made by the new emergent bourgeoisie of the “South” in order to inculcate this anti-socialist concept in the minds of the proletarians are an admission of the fact that this “South-South theory” only serves to cover their predatory imperialist policies with a “progressive” and even “anti-imperialist” mask. They want to lead a “South-South” bloc in order to extend their rule to the entire world. The imperialist procedures of the new emergent powers are as bloody, oppressive, tyrannical and exploitative as that of the old traditional imperialist powers, with the difference that the strategy of the new imperialist bourgeoisie can be more deceitful and treacherous than that of the old traditional ones; and this precisely because of the reactionary and anti-Marxist falsehoods like the “South-South cooperation”.
Since the very beginning, Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie promoted itself as one of the main leaders of the “South-South cooperation”. Indeed, we can affirm that its intense support of this reactionary and pro-imperialist “cooperation” constitutes one of the major characteristics of imperialist expansion in current Brazilian foreign policy. Brazilian bourgeois class aims to use the apparently “progressive” aims of the so-called “developing countries” in order to advance its imperialist interests. For example, in 2003, the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization took place at Cancun, in Mexico. One of the main purposes of this Conference was allegedly to reach an agreement in what respected to agricultural issues. In truth, the Conference was a contest between two groups of countries: the old capitalist nations led by the traditional imperialist powers (U.S.A, European Union and Japan) and the new imperialist powers in ascension (China, India, Brazil, South Africa). Briefly, the contest was centered on the question of the agricultural subsidies within the U.S.A and the E.U. These agricultural subsidies are seen by the new imperialist powers as an obstacle to their ambitions in the agrarian sector because those subsidies allowed the agrarian multinationals of the “North” countries to continue producing and exporting agrarian goods at detriment of those produced by the new imperialist powers. Moreover, those subsidies are often accompanied by limitations relatively to importations. This situation is particularly evident in the European Union, due to its Common Agricultural Policy whose explicit objective is to encourage the production by the European agrarian corporations not only through subsidies and privileges (at the expense of the taxes paid by the European proletariat, of course), but also through important limitations to importations of agricultural products coming from outside the EU. It is obvious that the new imperialist bourgeoisie of China, India and Brazil want to put an end to this kind of situations which are jeopardizing their interests. Here we have a concrete example of a contradiction between an old imperialist power (Europe) and the new imperialism in ascension. The policies pursued by the European dominant classes attempting to safeguard their profits are hindering the escalating ambitions of the Chinese, Indian and Brazilian imperialist bourgeois. These last ones want to freely export not only their agrarian and non-agrarian products, but also their capitals to the whole world (and we must notice that the exportation of agrarian products is a sector in which the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie is eager to invest because Brazil’s climate allows the mass cultivation of virtually any kind of agricultural product; this together with the utilization of the highly lucrative semi-slave labor of the Brazilian landless peasants permits the accumulation of outrageous profits by the Brazilian agrarian multinationals).
Furthermore, we should also note that the dissatisfaction of the new imperialist bourgeoisie in face of the limitations imposed by the policies of the traditional imperialist powers is aggravated by the fact that the goods produced in countries like China and Brazil are cheaper and, consequently, are able to “win the market”, that is, to surpass and overshadow the more expensive ones produced by the American, European and Japanese proletarians. Therefore, the new imperialist powers have an immense interest in doing their utmost to eliminate the protectionist policies practiced by decadent traditional imperialism, because that would mean a colossal maximization of their profits. In order to accomplish this, they use their political and economic power to influence events in benefit of their aims.
Like had happened with the previous summits of the same kind, also the Cancun Conference was expected to be dominated by the U.S.A, E.U and Japan. But his did not occur. On the contrary, the Cancun Conference was one of the very first meetings where the traditional imperialist bourgeoisie did not manage to achieve their purposes:
“The Cancún Ministerial ended without agreement. (…) it was questioned whether some countries had come to Cancun with a serious intention to negotiate. In the view of some observers, a few countries showed no flexibility in their positions and only repeated their demands rather than talk about trade-offs. (…) the wide difference between developing and developed countries across virtually all topics was a major obstacle. The U.S.-EU agricultural proposal and that of the Group of 21 (of which imperialist Brazil is one the main leaders), for example, show strikingly different approaches (…).” (Ian Ferguson, CRS Report for Congress - World Trade Organization Negotiations: The Doha Development Agenda, January of 2008)
It is true that, as the paragraph says, “the Cancún Ministerial ended without agreement”, that is, the new imperialist powers were not able to completely impose their will. However, much more important and illustrative is the fact that the traditional imperialist powers were also incapable of enforcing their interests. This represented, if not a total victory, at least a significant step towards the confirmation of the political-economic strength of the new emergent imperialist bourgeoisie in influencing the world events even against the will of those old powers which, until then, had ruled the globe without rivals.
Relatively to the involvement of Brazilian imperialism in the “South-South cooperation”, we should also mention the Indian, South-African, Brazilian Forum (IBSA Dialogue Forum) and the Summit of South American-Arab Countries.
IBSA is a tripartite organization which allegedly aims to promote international cooperation among Brazil, India and South Africa in the fields of agriculture, education, culture, energy, health, science, social development, trade and investment, etc… But the truth is that the IBSA is nothing more than a disguise to the fact that it serves as a pro-imperialist organization whose veritable objective is to promote and support the imperialist ascension of these three bourgeois classes not only in their respective continents, but also in the whole world (indeed, the “cooperation” between these three imperialist powers in ascension can only be temporary and highly knotty because, simultaneously with their imperialist development, contradictions among them will inescapably increase). In IBSA’s official site it is affirmed that:
“Established in June 2003, IBSA is a coordinating mechanism amongst three emerging countries, three multiethnic and multicultural democracies, which are determined to contribute to the construction of a new international architecture, to bring their voice together on global issues and to deepen their ties in various matters. IBSA also opens itself to concrete projects of cooperation and partnership with less developed countries.” (www.ibsa-trilateral.org, About IBSA, version in English)
When reading this statement, the first thing that comes to our mind is the astonishing manner in which Brazilian, South African and Indian imperialist bourgeoisie qualify their class dictatorships as being “multiethnic and multicultural democracies”.
Is South Africa a “multiethnic and multicultural democracy”? In this country, the black proletarians (who constitute the majority of the population) live in the most abject poverty - subjected to all forms of discrimination and police brutality - while the political and economic power continues to be in the hands of the white landowners and industrialists who willingly allowed the formation of a tiny black bourgeoisie in order to cover the fact that in South Africa the Apartheid system is still in vigor. White capitalists profit greatly from the exploitation of the black workers thanks to the South African “democratic government”, which is constituted by the members of the black bourgeoisie whose function is to extinguish the revolutionary spirit among South African oppressed masses through giving the false impression that they live in a “multiracial democracy”. Nowadays, South African racist bourgeois are imposing their exploitative interests to the entire African continent through the imperialist policies they zealously pursue.
Is India a “multiethnic and multicultural democracy”? In this country, the dominant classes invented the caste system many centuries ago with the purpose of dividing and alienating the working classes. Nowadays, Indians belonging to “inferior” castes are literally treated like garbage and it is estimated that around 750 million of Indians live in the most absolute penury while their country hosts some of the world’s wealthiest persons. It is important to underline all this, because the pro-imperialist leaders of IBSA are constantly boasting that their reactionary organization contributes to “poverty alleviation and social development”.
Is Brazil a “multiethnic and multicultural democracy”? Brazilian society is among the most unequal of the world, and this according with bourgeois sources. In Brazil, the relationship between class and race is still fundamentally the same that was inherited from times of black slavery (later in this text, we will develop this theme and we will try to reveal the truth about Brazilian “multiethnic and multicultural democracy”).
The arguments used by the imperialist bourgeoisie of Brazil, South Africa and India in order to mislead the world proletariat affirming that they are “multiethnic and multicultural democracies” doesn’t hold water. Indeed, the social-economic class systems of these three countries are among the most backward and reactionary of all.
In the excerpt above, we also notice the reference to the contribution to “the construction of a new international architecture”, that is, to the formation of a new old order of which the old imperialist powers would be definitively excluded and in which the new imperialist bourgeois classes like Brazil, India and South Africa would have free hand to exercise limitless exploitation and oppression over the world proletariat. The reference to the “projects of cooperation and partnership with less developed countries” is proof of this. But the proletarians of those “less developed countries” will never be deceived by the treacherous maneuvers of the new imperialist bourgeoisie. They know very well what words like “cooperation” and “partnership” truly mean when said by the imperialists. They mean endless subjugation and bondage, they mean gross political and economic dependency, they mean wild exploitation, misery and humiliation imposed by the imperialist bourgeois classes.
World imperialists are totally mistaken if they think their tyrannical system will last forever. The world proletariat will triumph over world imperialism because world workers are aware of the fact that imperialism is always and invariable reactionary and oppressive, no matter if it comes from the old traditional imperialist powers or if it comes from the new imperialist powers like China, India and Brazil.
In what respects to the Summit of South American-Arab Countries, it can be considered as a good example of Brazilian bourgeois’ attempts to consolidate their imperialist positions in other regions of the globe. The SSAAC was created upon Brazilian proposal and its main objective is to support the export of capitals by the Brazilian imperialist corporations to the Arab countries. Of course that, according to Brazilian imperialists, this is a “bilateral” summit which should bring “mutual advantages” to both regions, but it is easy to understand that the major beneficiary of this Summit is undoubtedly the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie, which is now able to extend its political-economic influence over the Arab nations. According to the chief of the Brazilian Department for Interregional Mechanisms:
“(…) trade between Brazil and Arab countries has been growing significantly, as has the interest of these countries in investing in Brazil, too. (…) since 2005, when the first ASPA took place, (bilateral trade between Brazil and Arab countries) increased from US$ 10.5 billion to US$ 19.54 billion last year.” (www.english.globalarabnetwork.com, South American-Arab Summit: Brazil to Sign Trade Agreements with Arab Countries, 28th January 2011)
This assertion is very strange because everyone knows that not only the main exportation of the majority of Arab countries is oil but also the major industries existing in those countries are closely related with the oil trade. And we had already referred that Brazil is self-sufficient in oil. Therefore, one might wonder in what consists the “interest of these countries in investing in Brazil”. It is obvious that the US$10 billion increase in the “bilateral” trade between Brazil and the Arab countries was mostly in benefit of the Brazilian exploiting classes, which own a wide range of corporative industries and resources to “invest” in the Arab countries, turning them more and more reliant on Brazilian imperialism. But on the other side, we must also think about the purposes pursued by the Arab bourgeoisie in allowing this situation. In fact, during many decades, the ruling classes of countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, etc have been traditionally linked with American imperialism. Indeed, these are bourgeoisie of the compradore type, which serve the interests of the American oil companies in return for some profits for themselves. However, in the last years, the Arab dominant cliques are becoming aware of the inexorable decline of American imperialism. They perfectly understand that American bourgeois are on the verge of being replaced as the world’s most powerful imperialist bourgeoisie. Consequently, those Arab ruling classes are trying to approach the new imperialist bourgeoisie with the objective of perpetuating their own exploitative rulings. For example, in this case, by signing “free-trade agreements” with Brazil, the Arab compradore bourgeoisie are willingly allowing the penetration of Brazilian imperialism into their countries. And they do this in order to seek the protection of this new ascendant imperialism through assuring that it will make huge profits with the exportations and utilization of the resources existing in these countries, and also with the exploitation of the Arab proletarians. With this, Brazilian imperialist bourgeois class will have an interest in keeping those Arab compradore cliques in power.
This is vital to these cliques because, being of the compradore type, they are always subjected to the constant pressures of the “patriotic” sections of the Arab national bourgeoisie which are doing their utmost to reach power in the Arab countries (as the recent events of the “Arab Spring” have shown). In face of this - and in the context of the already referred decline of American imperialism - the compradore cliques of Arab nations are trying to win the favors of new imperialist “protectors” - like China and Brazil – which are strong enough to keep away those sectors of the Arab national bourgeoisie whose “progressive” and “democratic-sounding” demands are able to galvanize the immense crowds of the poor and exploited Arab working masses. And there is no better way to attract the favoritism of an imperialist bourgeois class – like the Brazilian one - than by granting it more and more profits through signing “free-market agreements” allowing it access to more and more resources and to more and more human labor ready to be ruthlessly exploited. This is what the so-called “Summit of South American-Arab Countries” is all about.
Furthermore, Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie is never tired of launching its venomous exploitative spider over other countries. According to capitalist informative sources:
“Current calculations suggest that Brazilian aid is around $1 billion per year.” (Overseas Development Institute, Brazil: an emerging aid player, October 2010)
This “aid” should be considered as a weapon controlled by the Brazilian bourgeois to accomplish their aims of imposing their imperialist interests at a global scale. And it is obvious that this billion of US$ (this value is certainly subestimated) is almost exclusively paid by the Brazilian proletariat, in what constitutes a very usual bourgeois tactic: to condemn workers to misery by forcing them to subsidize capitalists’ profits.
Social-fascist Cuba is another Latin American country which is already completely submersed in Brazilian imperialist capitals. Havana’s main harbor is being totally renewed and enlarged thanks to Brazilian imperialists. According to the official sources of the Cuban revisionist-capitalist-fascist regime, the renewal and expansion of Havana’s harbor will cost around US$ 900 million, of which US$ 640 million are provided by Brazilian bourgeois (at the expense of Brazilian proletariat), who are planning to take advantage of Cuba’s role as an exporter of raw materials and importer of capitals and manufactured products. Havana’s harbor will be a necessary instrument to assist those imperialist plans, because it will serve as an important mean of facilitation of the exploitative trade between imperialist Brazil and neo-colonial/social-fascist Cuba.
Nonetheless, despite preferring foremost neo-imperialist and neo-colonialist tactics, Brazilian bourgeois class has already revealed its willingness to adopt “hard power” strategies in the cases when this is favorable to its interests. This can be proven with the example of Haiti. This country is among the poorest in the world. Indeed, according with the bourgeois informations provided by the United Nations, Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere. Needless to say that, throughout their history, Haitian workers have been oppressed in unspeakable terms. Most of Haitian proletarians descend from the African slaves brought to Caribbean to be exploited by the French imperialists which had transformed Haiti into a slave labor camp. But the brave Haitian workers valiantly resisted the French imperialist bourgeoisie, conquering their formal independence and establishing a “black republic” in which slavery was abolished. However, just like the ancient domination of French imperialism was replaced by the domination of American imperialism, also the former slavery system was replaced by other forms of bondage and exploitation. Throughout the XXth century, Haiti was under the sway of American imperialists, which harshly repressed Haitian proletariat through tyrannical puppet governments. These pro-American puppet governments reached a dramatic peak with the sadly famous Duvalier rule. The Duvalier family was placed in power by American imperialism and its ultra-backward dictatorship was one of the bloodiest that ever existed. Armed to the teeth by American imperialist bourgeois class, the Duvalier family killed tens of thousands of Haitian poor workers while the pro-American bourgeoisie compradore lived lavishly, serving the interests of the American multinationals which exploited Haitian proletarians until the bone. Of course, anti-communism was one of the main – if not the main – trademark of the Duvalier rule. Indeed, the Duvalier dictatorship was so revoltingly pro-imperialist and pro-capitalist that the Haitian workers led by the “progressive” section of the Haitian national bourgeoisie eventually revolted in the late 1980’s and put an end to the gory decades of Duvalier regime. Of course, from the moment that this “revolt” was led by Haitian national bourgeoisie, it would never automatically transform itself in a socialist revolution. As there was never a proletarian Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist-Hoxhaist party in Haiti to conduct this transformation, the country continued to be a poor capitalist nation. In the early 90’s, Aristide - a bourgeois of more or less progressive tendencies - came to power.
In spite of the fact that American bourgeois corporations continued to enjoy a veritable limitless control over Haiti, Aristide’s promoting of the interests of the Haitian national bourgeoisie and adopting of some “welfare” policies within the scope of capitalist system (distribution of food, minimum wage, etc…) upset American imperialists very much. They promptly engendered a successful plan to expel Aristide and the Haitian national bourgeoisie from power, replacing them by a pro-American puppet government. After this, Haiti became more and more dependent on American imperialism and in the early 2000’s, the situation in the country became unbearable; Haitian proletariat was totally submersed in hunger and misery; the revolutionary spirit grew among the Haitian oppressed masses. In order to prevent the outcome of another revolt which could menace its imperialist aims in Haiti, American bourgeois sent their monstrous army to invade Haiti and to drench the country in blood. To give a “multinational” appearance to this “operation”, American bourgeois class “invited” other nations to be part of this “coalition”. In face of this, Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie promptly offered its “help” to continue the slaughtering of the appallingly exploited Haitian proletariat. And so, in 2004, obeying to the orders given by Brazilian bourgeois, the social-fascist Lula (whose class character and actions we have tried to expose in another article entitled “Down with Brazilian Neo-Revisionism!”) sent 1.500 Brazilian soldiers to Haiti. Indeed, the involvement of Brazilian imperialism in the fascist invasion of Haiti was so intense that the State Department of the U.S.A and the Pentagon delegated the leadership of the invasion forces on a Brazilian general. Of course, this Brazilian general was completely subjected to the orders given by Washington, but this situation perfectly illustrates of the role played by the Brazilian imperialist bourgeois class in the barbarous invasion of Haiti. Therefore, thousands of Haitian workers were arbitrarily arrested, tortured and murdered by the fascist-imperialist militar coalition paid by the American bourgeois and under the command of high-ranking officers of the Brazilian imperialist army.
It is obvious that Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie would never give such a valuable help to its main rival within the American continent without anything in return. In truth, Brazilian imperialists had a very clear purpose when they decided to take part in the fascist invasion of Haiti: they did this with the objective of conquering the favors of the American imperialists in order to obtain a seat in the United Nations Security Council. This ambition of the Brazilian imperialists is far from being a secret. On the contrary, it is something well known:
“Foreign policy and (…) economic interests have played a major part in energizing Brazil’s development cooperation. The country wants a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and to have influence in international relations, in line with its successful economic trajectory.” (Overseas Development Institute, Brazil: an emerging aid player, October 2010)
Indeed, the attainment of this seat is something that the Brazilian imperialist bourgeois class ardently desires because it would mean the amplification of its influence over world affairs. After all, if Brazil gets a seat in the UN Security Council, this would assure that Brazilian imperialist exploiters have veto power over the most important political-economic matters, thus representing a precious instrument through which they would be able to better secure their dreadful class interests.
Nowadays the world is not divided in strict and open colonialist terms as occurred in Comrade Lenin’s times. Nonetheless, in spite of this fact, we can affirm that nothing was really modified because the foundations of the capitalist system which gives birth to imperialism did not change at all. It is true that the “territorial divisions and re-divisions” in the traditional sense may not exist anymore, but they continue to subsist under more or less disguised forms. This does not mean that the exploitation of the world proletariat by the world bourgeoisie has decreased. On the contrary, it is becoming more and more severe; the world workers are being oppressed as never before.
Today, if we could see a world map in which the spheres of neo-imperialist and neo-colonialist influence of the new and old imperialist powers are demarcated, it would surely represent Latin America as being under the political and economic dominance of Brazilian imperialism (this without forgetting that Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie is clearly displaying a tendency to expand itself to other regions of the globe like Near East).
Concluding, also the fifth criterion provided by comrade Lenin is fulfilled in what respects to Brazil.
3 – Intensification of violence and reaction
Besides these 5 criteria that we analyzed, comrade Lenin also underlined another characteristic of the imperialism - the fostering of political reactionarism and violence:
“(…) politically, imperialism is, (…), a striving towards violence and reaction.
(…) the specific political features of imperialism are reaction everywhere and increased national oppression due to the oppression of the financial oligarchy and the elimination of free competition (…).
Imperialism is the epoch of finance capital and of monopolies, which introduce everywhere the striving for domination, not for freedom. Whatever the political system, the result of these tendencies is everywhere reaction and an extreme intensification of antagonisms in this field.” (Lenin, Imperialism, highest stage of capitalism, Selected Works, Volume I, pages 667-766, January-June of 1916, edition in English)
And indeed, in Brazil, despite the fake “democratic” appearance of the bourgeois institutions, the truth is that the Brazilian proletariat is systematically subjected to the harshest fascist violence exercised by the Brazilian police and “security forces” at the service of the capitalist exploitative tyranny. Imperialist Brazil is still not a military power at the international scale; nonetheless, in what respects to the country’s internal situation, we can affirm that Brazilian imperialist-bourgeois society is among the most militarized in the world.
Brazilian police is considered to be among the most bloodthirsty and corrupt polices, being much criticized even by bourgeois-liberal organizations like the Amnesty International. Of course that the Amnesty International, as the pro-capitalist organization that it is, it is not the least worried about the well being and freedom of the Brazilian working classes which everyday suffer the savage attacks that the “security” forces launch upon them. The Amnesty International is just worried about the fact that the fascist methods applied by the Brazilian police can cause the Brazilian oppressed and exploited proletarians to acquire a truly revolutionary and communist consciousness through acknowledgement of the fact that the Brazilian police is nothing more than an instrument used by the Brazilian imperialist state with the purpose of perpetuating wage slavery and of preventing the outcome of the socialist revolution in Brazil and all over the world.
The poor quarters of the Brazilian mega-cities – where great numbers of destitute Brazilian proletarians live - are permanently kept under surveillance by units of the Brazilian fascist army. Under the pretext of the “struggle against drug trafficking”, those units ruthlessly attack the quarters’ poor inhabitants, implacably killing thousands of them per year. Most of these inhabitants have absolutely nothing to do with drug dealing; indeed, the great masters of drug trafficking in Brazil are not to be found in the impoverished houses of the miserable suburbs, but in the opulent palaces located in the wealthiest zones where they occupy high ranking posts in the imperialist corporations and in the bourgeois government. The Brazilian fascist officers know this very well, even because many of them are also engaged in drug trafficking; they try to depict Brazilian poor quarters as being the epicenters of drug dealing in order to deviate the attention from themselves and their capitalist bosses.
Actually, the entire imperialist state apparatus in Brazil is intended to protect the moneyed interests of the dominant classes while brutally repressing the working exploited masses. Brazilian prisons are a veritable hell. All sorts of violence, discrimination and slaughtering happen there. Within Brazilian prisons, the “security personnel” at the service of the imperialist bourgeoisie possesses life and death power over each inmate, because Brazil is one of the countries where, despite the fact that the death penalty is officially abolished, it is still practiced within prisons by the fascist guards.
The majority of Brazilian inmates is of African or mixed descent. This is easy to explain because Brazilian black proletarians are the ones who are more exploited and oppressed, they are the ones who suffer the greatest violence and discriminations. Many of them are in prison because they stole to live. And in many cases, they didn’t do that because they were unemployed (although unemployment affects Brazilian black workers very much). Indeed, many of them dedicate their free time to stealing activities due to the fact that their salaries are not able to guarantee the survival of themselves and their families. After all, Brazilian black workers - the descendants of former slaves – usually occupy the less qualified jobs where the levels of exploitation are higher, what leads them into the most abject poverty.
Since many centuries, racism has been a valuable mean through which the Brazilian dominant classes aim to divide the proletarians. Even during the times when Brazil was a Portuguese colony, racism was an instrument in the hands of the Portuguese colonial exploiters to launch white “free” workers against black slaves by depicting these last ones as belonging to an inferior race which was born to serve its white masters. After Brazil’s independence from Portugal in 1822, these ultra-reactionary and noxious views were not only defended by the Brazilian bourgeoisie but they were even fostered. It was not by chance that Brazil was the last country to abolish black slavery in 1888. Indeed, many people think that eugenics were invented by Nazi Germany. But this is not true. The first country to practice eugenic policies in an official and open manner was Brazil. XIXth century Brazilian bourgeois “thinker” Nina Rodrigues once declared that:
“Race mixing is responsible for all social deviance such as banditry, religious heresy, and the like.” (Eul-Soo Pang, Bahia in the First Brazilian Republic, Gainsville, 1979)
Brazilian exploitative white elites have always ardently supported the racist theory of the “superior and inferior races”. In the second half of the XIXth century, European migration to many regions of the world knew an exponential growth. This white migration was foremost encouraged by the imperialist powers in ascension at those times (like the U.S.A, for instance) which were in need of cheap and abundant workforce. In that epoch, Brazilian bourgeoisie also enthusiastically encouraged white European migration to Brazil. However, this encouragement had another purpose: to promote the “whitening” and “de-Africanizing” of Brazil (of course, also in Brazil racism was (and it still is…) utilized by the white ruling classes as a pretext to accomplish a definite material objective: to divide workers and to keep wages low thanks to European proletarians which created a colossal surplus of workforce). This eugenic policy had dramatic results. Racist Brazilian capitalist landlords decided to refuse the employment of non-white workers in the coffee and sugar plantations of the Southern part of the country, replacing them with white European workers. The problem was that those employments were the only source of income for the vast majority of the black workers coming from the Brazilian Northeast. In the period between 1876 and 1890, Brazilian Northeast was affected by a very serious drought and, consequently, its black inhabitants moved south searching for employment in the already referred plantations. But not only were they systematically refused employment, but they were also brutally repressed by forces of the Brazilian army who intentionally forced them to return to the Northeast, a region turned uninhabitable due to drought. Without means of subsistence, immense numbers of those black proletarians perished of famine and disease. In his book “Brazil: People and Institutions”, bourgeois academic analyst T. Lynn Smith estimated that the total death toll of this capitalist-made hecatomb had been around 2 million people. This is just an historical example of the racist and ultra-reactionary ideology which presently continues to inspire Brazilian dominant classes. It is clear that there is an intimate link between the influence that this horrendous racist-capitalist ideology still exercises over Brazilian bourgeoisie and its greedy and ruthless imperialist policies.
Another characteristic of the Brazilian imperialist state apparatus is the customary and systematic use of torture by the police and the army. In virtually all cases, torture is used with total impunity and deliberately following determined class and race standards. This situation is so flagrant that some bourgeois members of the bourgeois Brazilian government elaborated a report in which they explicitly admitted that:
“Considering the total number of torture victims, (…) we observe that (…) the majority of the victims of this kind of violence are (…) black, poor and with low levels of literacy. (…) In general, torture victims are poor people without any kind of political, economic or social power.” (Câmara dos Deputados, Relatório Sobre Tortura no Brasil, Brasília, 2005, translated from Portuguese language)
And the same report also affirms that:
“Inherited of the times of colonial slavery, the practice of physical punishments has been reserved to people belonging to the working classes. (…) Nowadays, its main victims are rural and urban workers, most of them black (the victims’ profiles plainly reveal the persistence of racial discrimination). (…) This situation is based on social traditions (…) according to which the poor have no rights.” (Câmara dos Deputados, Relatório Sobre Tortura no Brasil, Brasília, 2005, translated from Portuguese language)
As can be seen, Brazilian bourgeois government not only admits that torture is regularly used by Brazilian police, but even acknowledges that it is mainly directed toward poor black proletarians.
As happen in all other countries, also in Brazil the perverse logic of the capitalist system fosters the increasing of criminality. For example, in Brazil, when an inmate has already served his/her prison term, he/she has to pay a fine in order to prevent that his/her past prison condemnation is publicly revealed. This is very important if the person in question wants to find a job or to vote, because otherwise he or she will not be able to do none of these things. This turns out to be a dramatic situation because someone who has just finished his or her prison sentence has no salary, that is, he/she has no money nor means to pay the fine. If that person tries to get a job, he or she will certainly fail to accomplish this, because it is very difficult (if not impossible) to find a capitalist boss eager to accept a worker which has already been in prison. In face of this, the person in question has to survive at any cost, feeling tempted to commit more crimes. And so we enter into a vicious circle: more crimes conduct to more prison terms, which increase the so-called “criminality numbers” used by the exploiting classes to justify the utilization of fascist methods to perpetuate bourgeois capitalist-imperialist dictatorship. And of course, the person who failed to pay the referred fine is automatically excluded from voting in bourgeois elections:
“The fine (…) has been used as an instrument of coercion. The inmate who has already served its prison term is not able to prevent the public exposure of its prison condemnation, thus being unable to exercise his/her political rights. Usually, the inmates are only capable of paying the fine if they commit another crime. (…) Therefore, the poor inmates who have no means to pay the fine are condemned to be excluded from the exercise of political rights; they will not be able to vote or to be elected. In face of this, our conclusion is that voting freedoms continue to be hideously limited in Brazil.” (Câmara dos Deputados, Relatório Sobre Tortura no Brasil, Brasília, 2005, translated from Portuguese language)
Therefore, Brazilian bourgeoisie is even afraid of allowing participation in its own elections. This attitude is easily understandable. Exploited proletarians who were put in prison by the wicked capitalist-imperialist system have more chances of acquiring and developing a revolutionary and socialist consciousness. Those poor workers suffer the cruelties of bourgeois rule in their own skin, and they know very well that there is an abyssal difference between what “capitalist democracy” claims to be and what it actually is. In face of this, no wonder that Brazilian tyrannical imperialist bourgeoisie is doing its utmost to prevent those people from participating even in such masquerades as the bourgeois elections which are totally inoffensive to capitalist-imperialist system and ideology.
All these atrocities committed by the Brazilian bourgeois exploiters are a direct and consequent result of the enormous inequalities of Brazilian society. Brazil ranks among the most unequal societies in the world:
“In what respects to social inequality, (…) 46, 9% of Brazil’s assets are in the hands of the 10% wealthiest people and only 0, 7 % belong to the 10% poorest. With 0,593 in the Gini index, Brazil is the 8th most unequal country in the world.” (Universidade Federal do Maranhão, A Pobreza no Brasil e na Argentina, August 2007, translated from Portuguese language)
Many apologists of the social-Darwinist system that dominates Brazil falsely argue that thanks to the “popular policies” of the pro-imperialist Lula government, social inequalities in Brazil have been reduced. But this is not true. Indeed, absolute poverty decreased in Brazil during the period 2003-2008 from 42, 7% to 28, 8% (mainly due to a reevaluation of the minimum salary), but this did not mean a diminution of the wealth inequalities. On the contrary, relative poverty knew a dramatic increase during the Lula years. According with the French bourgeois newspaper “Le Monde”:
“The main beneficiaries of Lula government were the wealthiest Brazilians: great landowners, bankers, industrialists of the construction and agrarian sectors, etc…” (Le Monde, Dilemmes de la démocratie participative brésilienne, 28/10/2010, translated from French language)
This situation plainly confirms the genial predictions of comrade Karl Marx, who long ago proved that Capital’s enlarged reproduction always causes profits to grow faster than salaries, thus originating the incessant increasing of social inequalities.
Within Brazil, the Northeast regions inhabited mainly by non-white people are the country’s poorest, in contrast with the Southern regions, which are inhabited by people of European descent and are the country’s wealthiest regions:
“In what respects to inter-regional contrasts, (…) exists an enormous inequality between the general levels of wealth in Brazil and those verified in one of the country’s poorest regions: Northeast; and this inequality aggravated in recent times. (…) in 1998, the PIB per capita of the Northeast corresponded to 0, 55 of the total PIB per capita of Brazil. (…) between 1992 and 2004, respectively 42% and 54% of Brazil’s poor and indigents were from the Northeast.” (Universidade Federal do Maranhão, A Pobreza no Brasil e na Argentina, August 2007, translated from Portuguese language)
Consequently, we can notice that imperialist Brazil is full of internal harsh class contradictions, what turns the country into a fertile ground for the propagation of our revolutionary ideology. The hundreds of millions of Brazilian proletarians who live in the most abhorrent misery will certainly welcome the ideas of Stalinism-Hoxhaism, because these ideas faithfully represent their most profound aspirations to live in a socialist society.
After all, if it is true that Latin American proletariat must lead the struggle against Brazilian imperialism, we must never forget that it is Brazilian proletariat which should play the prime role in that struggle. However, Brazilian oppressed and exploited workers are still being seriously misled by the Brazilian neo-revisionist parties, whose main function is to foster the development of Brazilian imperialism through keeping the workers away from the genuinely communist ideology (see our article “Down With Brazilian Neo-Revisionism!”). Those neo-revisionist parties are lackeys of the Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie and they are also responsible for all the loathful crimes committed by it against the world proletariat. One of the main “arguments” used by the Brazilian social-fascists is that “Brazil is not an imperialist country” and they try to justify this through hiding Brazil’s imperialist policies behind phony slogans about “South-South cooperation” and “the necessity for mutual aid between the developing countries” (these fake “theories” are also staunchly encouraged by the Brazilian imperialist exploiting classes, because they give a “progressive”, “democratic” and even “anti-imperialist” outlook to their imperialist gluttony).
Furthermore, Brazilian neo-revisionists also use a very wise trick: they do their utmost to convince Latin American proletariat, in general, and Brazilian proletariat, in particular, that American imperialism is the only enemy of Latin American peoples. This is absolutely false, even because American imperialism is inexorably decaying. However, the truth is that world capital “knows” no national borders – it accumulates everywhere all over the world ... and at first and at fastest there where it can find the best conditions to accumulate [Marx]. The future of world imperialism is its inevitable decay – no matter if there are new, better, stronger imperialists elsewhere all over the world. Every “refreshing blood” of world imperialism aggravates its inner contradictions, finally decays and accelerates the socialist world revolution – as the result of imperialists “refreshing” blood - which means indeed increasingly bloodshed of the oppressed and exploited classes -brings nearer the world towards socialism.
The strategy of Brazilian neo-revisionists is to replace exploiting classes by exploiting nations. They try to inculcate the idea that “Latin American workers are being exploited and oppressed by the U.S.A” in order to deviate the proletarians’ attention not only from Brazilian imperialism, but foremost from the necessity of the SOCIAL liberation. Although the struggle for national independence is a decisive lever of the socialist revolution, Comrade Enver Hoxha brilliantly stated that:
“We are against those revisionist theoreticians who preach that now the entire revolutionary struggle should be reduced to a struggle for national independence, to win and to defend this independence against the aggression of imperialist powers, while negating the struggle for social liberation. Only victory in this struggle guarantees genuine and complete national freedom, independence and sovereignty.” (Enver Hoxha, Imperialism and the Revolution, Tirana, 1979, edition in English)
That ultra-reactionary position of the Brazilian social-fascists is highly favorable to Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie because not only it gives it free hand to continue their voracious and oppressive policies without pressures from Brazilian workers, but it also allows this same imperialist bourgeoisie to present itself as also being exploited by American imperialism! Moreover, thanks to the precious “aid” of the social-fascists, Brazilian bourgeois are able to depict Brazil’s awfully unequal class society as an amalgamate of “victims of American imperialism”. This permits to “erase” not only the extreme contradictions between Brazilian oppressed workers and Brazilian exploiting imperialist bourgeois, but also the even more brutal contradictions between world proletariat and Brazilian imperialism.
Brazilian proletariat must understand that it has a noble mission: to lead the struggle of Latin American proletariat against Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie. But it can only accomplish this task if it embraces Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism-Hoxhaism - the only authentically revolutionary ideology which is able to show Brazilian workers the path towards the defeat of Brazilian imperialism, and which is able to closely link this struggle with the fight for the world socialist revolution, for the implementation of the world proletarian dictatorship and for the establishment of world socialism and world communism.
With this article, we demonstrate that Brazil is an imperialist country which fulfills all criteria provided by comrade Lenin relatively to the definition of imperialism. The purpose of this text is precisely to help Brazilian proletarians to liberate themselves from all kinds of reactionary, anti-socialist and pro-imperialist “theories” that the Brazilian ruling classes and its neo-revisionist lackeys are trying to propagate in order to foster Brazilian imperialism and to eternally perpetuate capitalist exploitation.
4 - Conclusions
Now, after we have scientifically proved the undeniable imperialist character of the Brazilian class-society, it is possible and finally necessary to give an answer to the position of the Brazilian imperialism on a world scale.
Now, we can determine the general significance and role of Brazilian imperialism within the whole system of world imperialism.
And we can concretely determine the particular significance and role of Brazilian imperialism related to the current deep crisis of world imperialism.
Analyzing the Brazilian imperialism in relation to the present crisis of this imperialist world system includes the analysis of the complex context of increasing contradictions
a) among the new imperialist countries,
b) among the old imperialist countries,
c) between the new and old imperialist countries,
d) between the imperialist countries and the global monopolies and
e) among the globalized monopolies.
The inevitable struggle for the re-division of the spheres of influence of imperialist powers is increased by the new Brazilian imperialism. It strives for a “place in the sun” at the cost of weakened imperialist powers (who will certainly not quit their field voluntarily).
On the one hand, this means that the Brazilian imperialism will take great advantage of the increasing global contradictions and crises, especially of those imperialist powers which are “sitting on a descending branch”. And last not least: Brazilian imperialism will be involved – unavoidably – in future imperialist wars.
On the other hand, this means much more exploitation and oppression and worsening of the living conditions of the Brazilian proletariat in particular, and the world proletariat and all working people in general, who must bear the consequences of the increasing imperialist rivalry, imperialist crises and imperialist wars.
After having proved that Brazil is, indeed, an imperialist country, what are then our conclusions and tasks in our strategy and tactics of the socialist world revolution?
Thus global class-struggle between the world bourgeoisie and the world proletariat will not be minimized, but in the contrary, will increase through Brazilian imperialism. And also the anti-imperialist struggle of the oppressed and exploited nations will not be minimized, but in the contrary, will increase through Brazilian imperialism.
Brazilian imperialism is a new chain-link of the imperialist world front and thus integral part of world imperialism. World imperialism is the main enemy of the world proletariat and all exploited and oppressed classes all over the world, and also of all the globally oppressed and exploited nations. Brazilian imperialism weakens the inter-imperialist front, which weakens imperialism as a whole and – above all - which facilitates the unification of the two anti-imperialist fronts: the front of the revolutionary world proletariat and the front of the anti-imperialist struggle of the oppressed and exploited nations.
All this will ease the development of the socialist world revolution.
If we take our strategical and tactical general-line as a starting point, namely to make use of the increasing contradictions within the world-imperialist system in favor of the world revolution then we have to make use of the following contradictions (which, of course, form an inseparable unit);
a) between the Brazilian imperialism and all the other imperialist powers, in general;
b) between the Brazilian imperialism and the old imperialist powers (particularly the super power USA and the European imperialism);
c) between the Brazilian imperialism and the other emergent powers of imperialism (particularly the social-imperialist China as the new super power);
d) between the Brazilian imperialism and the global monopolies;
e) between the Brazilian monopolies and the other global monopolies.
What is the role and task of the Brazilian proletariat in relation to the Brazilian imperialism?
The main enemy of the Brazilian working class, the main enemy of the socialist revolution in Brazil, is world imperialism, in general, and the imperialism in its own country, in particular.
There is no contrast because Brazilian imperialism has become an integral part of the world-imperialist front. Just as the Brazilian working class is integral part of the anti-imperialist world front which struggles simultaneously against both: every individual imperialist power, in particular, and against all the other imperialist powers in general.
The Brazilian working class will be increasingly strengthened by its class-struggle because it is the Brazilian imperialism which enables it to enter the global stage of class-struggle of the world proletariat. The Brazilian working class will become a qualified leader of both the working movement and the anti-imperialist liberation struggle of the oppressed and exploited nations in Latin America, and therefore the Brazilian working class will play a decisive role as a detachment of the world proletariat in the socialist world revolution. The Brazilian working class – growing in its struggle against imperialism in its own country – will doubtlessly contribute to the strengthening and unifying of the whole world proletariat and thus the whole anti-imperialist world front.
The world proletariat, inclusively its Brazilian proletarian detachment, struggles not only against the imperialist powers - as especially the Brazilian imperialism. We do not only struggle against globalized exploitation and oppression, however also against capitalism in all the countries which have not developed the highest stage of capitalism.
The Comintern (SH) struggles for the abolition of any form of exploitation and oppression.
Most essential is our struggle for the abolition of the inevitability of capitalism and this means nothing else but to struggle for the abolition of private property and for the socialization of the means of production – for short: world socialism.
What we want to express, is that the struggle against Brazilian imperialism is a struggle for world socialism, is a struggle for the destruction of the whole world-imperialist system and its world revolutionary replacement by the establishment of the dictatorship of the world proletariat in general, and the establishment of the dictatorship of the Brazilian working class, in particular.
This article is an important contribution
to the creation of the Stalinist-Hoxhaist movement both in Brazil and in the whole Latin America,
to the creation of the new Brazilian Section of the Comintern (SH).
We wrote this article with the intention to support the violent socialist Brazilian revolution for the destruction of Brazilian imperialism - to pave the way for a better life in a socialist Brazil in midst the new socialist world!
Fight against Brazilian imperialist bourgeoisie, which drenches the world in blood for maximum profits!
The crimes committed by Brazilian imperialism against world proletariat are numerous in quantity and horrendous in quality!
Don’t be deceived by the treacherous propaganda of the Brazilian bourgeois and of their social-fascist lackeys!
Annihilate Brazilian bourgeois exploitative social order!
Establish the proletarian dictatorship in Brazil and contribute to its implementation in the whole world!
Long live the World Socialist Revolution!
Long live the 5 Classics of Marxism-Leninism: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Enver Hoxha!
Long live Stalinism-Hoxhaism!
Long live the Comintern (SH), the only authentic defender of the proletarian ideology!
Long live World Socialism!
Long live World Communism!
1 – Introduction (page 1)
2 – Enumeration of the five criteria pointed by comrade Lenin in his book “Imperialism – highest stage of capitalism” (page 5)
2.1 - (1) the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life (explanation and application to Brazilian imperialism - page 6)
2.2 - (2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this “finance capital”, of a financial bourgeois class (explanation and application to Brazilian imperialism - page 14)
2.3 - (3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance (explanation and application to Brazilian imperialism - page 20)
2.4 - (4) the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves (explanation and application to Brazilian imperialism - page 39)
2.5 - (5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed (explanation and application to Brazilian imperialism - page 40)
3 – Intensification of violence and reaction (explanation and application to Brazilian imperialism - page 51)
4 – Conclusion (page 57)