The peasantry and the democratic revolution

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Over the five last AND issues we have approached, respectively, the need for the Democratic Revolution; the necessary State for serving the people; the  revolution as an exercise for the just violence in a just war for conjuring the imperialist war and finishing the reactionary civil war; and the role of every revolutionary classes on the process. We have concluded this group of texts dealing with the role of peasantry on the democratic revolution, including the working class and the petty-bourgeoisie, the most interested forces for the revolution. The middle bourgeoisie ( genuine national bourgeoisie) has formed those forces as well; however, because its double character and vacillation, we will not approach its role at the moment; we will do it when the contradictions resulting from the revolutionary situation in development demand such a thing.

Ellan Lustosa/AND
Camponeses lutam para tomar todas as terras do latifúndio (Ellan Lustosa/AND)

Secular contradiction

When the Europeans invaded our continent and reclaimed the domain over the territory, a contradiction emerged between the conquerors at one side and the indigenous resistance at the other. In Brazil, as a split of this contradiction, it came up another characterized by the implementation of the monoculture, tracked down by the land monopoly and the slave work done by Africans and descendants, originating the contradiction between land owners, enslavers and slaves, at one side, and landlords and peasantry, at the other.

During centuries, at first, the hereditary captaincies, the sesmarias and large land possessions ( XVI, XVII and XVIII centuries) the Land Laws ( XIX century) formed the land monopoly, while the defense for the indigenous lands, the quilombos and the poor peasant ownership formed the other side of contradiction.

Since the indigenous resistance, the antagonism has been a mark for this process developed under guns, bayonet and arms either on the hands of henchmen or colonial and State agents, or on its republican and imperial form, having on these situations the police and the armed forces as landownership gendarmes.

Very significant episodes in our history, as the wars of Canudos, Contestado, Porecatu, Caldeirão, Pau de Colher, Trombas and Formoso – just to mention the most well–known uprisings in the Republic period – show the characteristic of the Brazilian State as an instrument for the domination of the landownership oligarchies, in alliance with a big bourgeoisie, either compradora or bureaucratic, at the service either the Portuguese or English colonialism, or imperialism, mostly Yankee.

All those unfair wars waged by landownership had to face the heroic resistance of the peasantry who stood in arms, fighting the just war against oppressors.

The backward bureaucratic capitalism in the country is resulting from the process in which, an economy of late capitalism, semicolonial and semifeudal, impelled from the 20th century on by the financial capital, initially English and afterward mostly Yankee, has consolidated a bureaucratic-landowner State that has crushed all tentative for a democratic-bourgeois revolution that would destroy the rotten basis and, consequently, the land monopoly, creating a real democratic Republic, releasing the development for the productive forces.

The successive “governments” and regimes could not express the landlords and big bourgeois interests anymore, all of them allies and at the service of imperialism. The same regime of land property relationship in the governments of the so-called Old Republic, linked to the English imperialism, the ‘governments” of Getulio Vargas with his fascist New State linked to the Nazi Germany as well as in the so-called “democratic governments”, Dutra, Getulio, Juscelino and Janio post-war governments, under the Yankee command. Jango’s  “government” itself that promised “basis reforms” did nothing but the announcement of the Agrarian Reform in small areas of the public lands.

The military-fascist regime, which resulted from the State Coup carried out by the generals and sponsored by USA, has given a jump with the insertion of the bureaucratic capitalism in the countryside, through the state agencies like Sudene, Sudam and similar ones. They used to make loans for those who possessed large land areas with the aim to develop agricultural and livestock projects. This way landlords and capitalist people, including foreigners using straw-men, waged a war against squatters and small landowners, so that they would take possession of large pieces of land, registered under false deeds and with that they would leverage high amounts on funding granted, most of the times misused funds for speculation that raised the land concentration besides incorporating public lands to large national and foreign groups.

A Revolutionary Class

After the military-fascist regime, the alternance between the reactionary and opportunist management has only contributed for the land concentration and legalization of the possession of public lands by the landownership, either on their unproductive traditional form, or the “modern” one with the new appearance and look for the “agribusiness”. Such a model reserves to the ruling classes a prosperity island, at the expenses of misery for the working class in the countryside and national subjection. 

As we saw on the text The Working Class and the Democratic Revolution only the proletariat – the last class in history – has condition to exercise the leadership in all revolutionaries processes up to communism. On the case of Democratic Revolution, the proletariat is summoned to lead the peasantry which is the main force on this revolution. Evidently, the same happens to the Agrarian Reform.

It is important to point out that peasantry is divided into rich, middle and poor peasants. The poor peasants, by their turn, are divided into poor landless peasants or with little land. Logically the most interested in the Agrarian Revolution are the landless peasants and with little land; therefore they are the most revolutionary and decided ones to wage the peasant war for seizing the lands from the landownership.

In the conformation of the worker-peasant alliance, the proletarian revolutionaries must concentrate their activities for mobilizing , politicising and organizing the poorest layers of peasantry, although not letting to incorporate the others, which should be contemplated by the Agrarian Revolution Programme.

The Agrarian Revolution is inseparable from Democratic Revolution and Anti-imperialist that will open way to the Socialist Revolution and to Communism and, as such, its stage is the basis for the others. Memory and resentment of secular exploitation and oppression of peasantry has forged on a revolutionary potential, able to raise powerful flames that, joined to the revolutionary struggle of the proletarian masses and the urban petty-bourgeoisie like the United Front, under the leadership of the proletarian revolutionary party, will wear away, together with the landownership, the old order of exploitation of the workers and national subjugation.

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Diretor Geral 
Fausto Arruda

Editor-chefe 
Matheus Magioli Cossa

Conselho Editorial 
Alípio de Freitas (In memoriam)
Fausto Arruda
José Maria Galhasi de Oliveira
José Ramos Tinhorão 
José Ricardo Prieto
Henrique Júdice
Hugo RC Souza
Matheus Magioli Cossa
Montezuma Cruz
Paulo Amaral 
Rosana Bond

Redação 
Matheus Magioli Cossa
Ana Lúcia Nunes
Matheus Magioli
Rodrigo Duarte Baptista
Vinícios Oliveira