Lenin in the book “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back” (“chapter Q. The New Iskra.”, “Opportunism In Questions Of Organisation”) about the true revolutionary spirit (jacobinism) and the poisonous spirit of treacherous reformist compromise (Girondinism):
“A Jacobin who wholly identifies himself with the organisation of the proletariat—a proletariat conscious of its class interests—is a revolutionary Social-Democrat. A Girondist who sighs after professors and high-school students, who is afraid of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and who yearns for the absolute value of democratic demands is an opportunist. It is only opportunists who can still detect a danger in conspiratorial organisations today, when the idea of confining the political struggle to conspiracy has been refuted thousands of times in the press and has long been refuted and swept aside by the realities of life, and when the cardinal importance of mass political agitation has been elucidated and reiterated to the point of nausea. The real basis of this fear of conspiracy, of Blanquism, is not any feature to be found in the practical movement (as Bernstein and Co. have long, and vainly, been trying to make out), but the Girondist timidity of the bourgeois intellectual, whose mentality so often shows itself among the Social-Democrats of today.”
Brazil never had a true revolution and true revolutionary changes in every turning point it passed through in its political history.
Brazilian independence (1822) came through the most reactionary elements of the portuguese monarchy, that is the absolutists that lost the civil war in Portugal with the liberal royalists.
The first head of state of Brazil was proclained as an “emperor”, a title never claimed by any portuguese royalist in spite of all their portuguese colonies spread throughout the world.
The first brazilian republic came through a military coup that deposed the emperor on 15 November 1889. The new republic was driven by anger of the landlords against the abolition of slavery of 1888. This republic was more feudal than bourgeois and it meant to stop the process of ending of slavery through revolutionary means. This was a slow and reactionary form of evolution of Brazil at a time when most Latin American countries had already been through bourgeois revolutions since the 1820s.
In 1930 there was a so-called revolution, that meant to be a bourgeois revolution, but in spite of its many promises it end up turning into fascist dictatorship through a coup d’etat and a source of futur fascist coups.
The fascist regime of Getulio Vargas evolved in a populist double-faced way promoting swings in its policies in order to adapt to the needs cementing capitalist rule: first it had deals with the nazis and then sided with western capitalist “allies” in world war two, it managed a sort of “peronist” populism developing social-democracy with fierce anti-communism. At the later stages of the Vargas regime, specially after he dies, the Vargas’s forces got weaker and divided and a part of them evolved in a sort of mexican style cardenism with rapprochement wht the Brazilian Communist Party and Cuba. The pro-Vargas faction of João Goulart was able to be elected government with support of the Brazilian Communist Party in the 1960s, it carried a cardenist plan (Education reform against iliteracy, tax reform for income redistribution and Land Reform for the benefit of the poor peasents).
The Vargas era fascist generals with help of their younger friends and the assistance of the United States were the ones behind the military fascist coup of 1964. Even before the government of João Goulart the weakening and compromising with the left pro-Vargas polititians had developed diplomtic relations with Cuba and there was throughout Latin America a growing movement of peasent guerrilla organizations helped and inspired by Cuba. In Brazil the “peasent leagues” had such potential and the brazilian bourgeoisie strenghtned by Vargas saw the fascist coup as their preemptive reactionary action. At this time the whole Latin America was pushed by the United States to experience fascist coups in a coordinated way, it was all part of the plan to isolate and defeat Cuba.
But João Goulart was no revolutionary, his government was not the way to socialist revolution and even the Brazilian Communist Party’s policies at this time were deeply mistaken and laying all hopes in social-democracy through populism of the cardenist type. The coup of 1964 and the disastrous multiple splits in the Brazilian Communist Party from at the end of the 1960s and in the 1970s were the result of wrong tactical and strategic policies of the brazilian communists that made their resistance terribly inefficient.
The China-Soviet split, the revisionist turn in the Soviet Union with the XX Congress of the CPSU, some important defeats of guerrilas in Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s period, the opportunist deviation in most of the latin american communist parties were among many international factors that crippled the resistance the Brazilian Communist Party and the wider radical young-people based anti-fascist movement. In this period the poorly planed and disperse guerrilla actions prevailed and working class mass action was crippled.
When, by the end of the 1970s, the brazlian fascist military dictatorship started do die on its on weight because of its disastrous economic policies (the external debt was raised so they could pay their U.S. masters all their help in terrorizing the brazilian working masses) the Brazlian Communist Party met a new enemy in the form of modern social-democracy – the so-called “Workers Party” led by Lula da Silva. This was a movement inspired by trotskism (multi-tendency party), social-democracy and Lech Walesa’s Solidarnosc.
The Workers Party of Lula da Silva was the key in taming a working class that a dying fascist regime – crushed by economic metdown – had not the strength to repress. So the fascists and the brazilian capitalists created their agent among the working class: Lula da Silva. The Workers Party of Lula da Silva promised “socialism”, “land reform”, “workers power” and generally to end poverty just by be elected as a bourgeois government through a bourgeois parliament. All of its promises wer found to be complete lies when the Workers Party of Lula da Silva finally formed its beloved bougeois government (2002). But these opportunist traitors were smart enough to make deceiving the working people a kind of art so they distributed some crumbs to the poor in the form of poorman’s minimum income. While it deceived the masses with crumbs the Workers Party’s socialism was privatizations, the Workers Party’s land reform was its alliance with feudal and slave pushing landlords, the Workers Party’s “workers power” was the violent repression of several workers struggles and the Workers Party’s “end of poverty” was keeping the poor in the same slums and basicly in the same poverty in all important human needs.