Another Way to Struggle Against Inequality (Is It Possible?): Understanding the “Landless” Experience in Brazil


Social movements in Latin America, as in different parts of the world, have adopted dissimilar methods. Since cultural, religious, political and social norms / motivations differ, the method of combating inequality and struggle shows differences. Although their struggles, methods, demands and conditions in which they were born are different, it is possible to say that the common point shared by these movements is “fighting capitalism and opposition to imperialism”. None social movement in Latin America has succeed to create a public opinion and as much attention as The Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) in Brazil in terms of their method and public reaction. The movement, which is known well-organized, powerful and most active organization in Brazil and Latin America; is one of the most successful organizations in the fight against inequality in terms of method, content and dissemination. This arises from strong ideological formation and the organizational structure of the movement. This article focuses on the MST (also known as the Landless Movement), which adopts a method that has never been tried in the fight against inequality and has achieved very successful results. This paper aimed to examine which philosophical and ideological roots the actions (occupations) are based on and how it legitimizes these actions, apart from the work systematics that the organization has tempered in combating inequality and the examination of the factors that ensure its success. The article is based on three basic arguments. First of all, apart from many different aspects of the MST, the most important features that differs the movement from other social movements is that it has undertaken the mission of creating a “new person” except for aiming to transform economic and social relations. Secondly, the most important reason for MST’s success comes from its decentralized structure and the ability of the occupants to take initiative. Finally, the movement’s strongest motivation to achieve results in the fight against inequality is that it has created a “de facto situation” and that it has the power of “mobilizing large masses of people”.


Inequality neo-liberalism MST land occupation social movements Latin America.