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New Left Review I/26, July-August 1964


Octavio Ianni

Political Process and Economic Development in Brazil (Part II)

3. The role of the Class struggle

By its pioneering struggles for the basic means of survival, the emergent proletariat in the artisanal and manufacturing centres, which had been developing since the 19th century, formed itself as a class and began to play a significant historical role. It was thus able to take a major part in the revolutionary process which was unleashed after the First World War. Its tradition of strike-action and other forms of struggle, coupled with the European experience of a section of the immigrant workers, enabled the Brazilian proletariat of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre to exercise a crucial influence on the revolutionary movement which carried the bourgeoisie to power. For there had been a rapid development of the organization of the Brazilian working-class in the years before 1930, with the spread of the capitalist relations of production diffused by the ‘industrial revolution’.

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