1822: independence concluded in the late revolution



The Bicentennial requires, in addition to the democratic battles in the current situation, to remember and strengthen the anti-imperialist fight

“The Snitch is ripe, pick it now” (Maria Leopoldina, letter to peter).
“Sad shadows resounded\ Of the cruel civil war” (Pedro I and Evaristo da Veiga, Independence Anthem).
“[…] We are mulattos, hybrids and mamelucos\ And much more cafuzos than anything else\ The Portuguese is a black person among the Eurolinguas\ We will overcome cramps, boils, watery eyes […]\ Catholics from Axé and neo-Pentecostals\ A nation too big for that someone swallows […]” (Caetano Veloso, My coconut).


The thieves of homeland history

The ultra-conservative right is trying to get hold of the programming for the Bicentennial of Independence. Bolsonaro has been speculating about the symbolic load of the celebrations, for electoral purposes. In 2019, the yellow-green demagogy sought to hide its own submission to the White House of Donald Trump and called its supporters to the streets. Attributing the intention of ending “freedom” to the disaffected, he declared that he would throw them on the “end of the beach”, gloating over the bodies murdered and dumped by the dictatorial-military regime. The following year, with a pandemic and no conventional stoppage, he gathered fanatics in the palace garden, violating health standards and boasting about his denialism.

In 2021, on the same holiday, after debuting in style anti-establishment – contesting not capitalist exploitation and the imperialist yoke, but the democratic regime and its institutions – the Falangist chieftain sought to carry out a self-coup. He felt pressured by the crisis in the economy and was losing popular support. His maneuver consisted of directing attacks on the STF, on Congress, on electronic voting and on the Democrats – stamped on banners and posters prepared through meetings in official premises – to converge them to the express request for military intervention. The day before, his horde almost invaded the functional headquarters of the Supreme Court. A serious political-institutional crisis was revealed.

To remember Gabriel Garcia Marques, it was an episode more than announced. In August, after the usual anticommunist provocation, filled with attacks on mayors and governors, he had already made his public announcement. putschist for a group of evangelical religious: “We have a president who doesn't want and doesn't provoke ruptures, but everything has a limit in our life; We can't go on with this." Afterwards, he unleashed eschatology: “I have three alternatives for my future: being arrested, being killed or victory. You can be sure: the first alternative […] does not exist”. At the end, he called anyone who preferred to buy beans an “idiot”, shouting: “if you don't want to buy a rifle, don't bother anyone who wants to”.

Now repeat the chant and set up your podium. In his eagerness to make the National Day an instrument, he called his acolytes to “a public demonstration that a large part of the population supports a certain candidate”. For the ambassadors, on July 18, 2022, he repeated his attack on the counting system and on members of the STF, as well as on the TSE, going beyond presidential competence and disrespecting the Nation. In the name, inappropriate, of himself, of the Central Government and the Federal Police, he shouted that the election will be defrauded and that, if defeated, he will reject the result. In the summons for the seventh, which was also inappropriately addressed to police and military personnel on active duty, he expressed his insults in the same tone.

At the PL National Convention, 24/7/2022, he called on his supporters to crowd the streets “for the last time” at the country’s inaugural party. He took the opportunity to look at the STF, describing its members as some “few deaf people in black capes”, and the candidate Lula, hurling insults with foul words – “ex-convict” and “bandit”. He repeated the conspiratorial ruminations on his favorite subjects, such as Covid-19 denial and the voting machine. Six days later, at the Convention held by the Republicans of São Paulo, he possessively announced the rigging: in absentia and above the governors, he warned that the military parade would be in Copacabana, with “our” “sister” and “auxiliary” forces.

All that was missing was swearing on the heart of Pedro I at the presidential headquarters. However, with the nonsense about “democracy” and “freedom” already in ruins, he exposed the great aporia of his speech. How to reconcile the chromatic envelope of its proto-fascism with the submissive substance practiced and so many times verbalized by “its” Central Government? How to convince Brazilians that the passage of Eletrobras to private conglomerates, as well as the daily toil of mourning for Banco do Brasil, Caixa Econômica Federal and Petrobrás – conspiring to give them to the monopoly-financial tycoons, mainly to the controllers of the abroad – would it be compatible with the national-popular sensibility?

This is why the militiamen are out of tune when referring to the colors on the “tassel of my land / That the Brazilian breeze kisses and sways”. Castro Alves, against the trend of virality, complained in the intimate second person: “You who, from freedom after the war, / You were hoisted by the heroes on the spear / Before they had broken you in battle, / That you served a people in a shroud!”. It is clear that the nation is witnessing a tour de force demagogic. In order to maintain itself, however, the impudence needs something much more palpable: it has to resort to irrationalism and justify its erratic march. Aiming to “solve” the problem, he describes the anti-colonial liberation as his captive event and magnifies Pedro's aristocratic trait.

Furthermore, it transforms the past into a reference for the future, as if history were the eternal return to the “golden age” that the plebeian revolutions would have suppressed. Note a similar regression in the three precursors of current fascism, in which reactionary romanticism flirts with semi-classical forms – a postmodernism before la lettre. In Italy, even with appreciation for futurism, the recovery of Imperial Rome and its glories was insisted on. In Japan, the samurai morality was evoked, taken over by the ultranationalist ideology Showa since the Meiji period. In the German case, roots were sought in Norse mythology and in the Carolingian Empire, in addition to nurturing a grotesque fantasy regarding the so-called “Aryan” matrix.


The novel plagiarizes the boy from Ipiranga

In Brazil, romanticism was installed only after Independence and in the abolitionist environment. The planetary process of modern civil society and the profound revolutionary changes directed by capital in Europe spilled over into national culture. From the precursor Gonçalves de Magalhães, in the poetic sighs, 1836, with its nationalist look, going all the way to Bernardo Guimarães, from the slave Isaura, 1875, with its abolitionism, both focused on Brazilian and indigenous reality, knitted the ideological-sensitive mesh that shaped the narrative about secession. The official current, faithful to the royal tradition, saw in the unsubmissive and young Regent the “spirit of the world on horseback”, to the Hegel.

O Zeitgeist, the dominant soul of a time, enters the local historiography and creates the demiurge. The Wagnerian notion of Total artwork – “integral work of art”, from 1849-1852 and based on The Ring of the Nibelungen – intervened in other domains, including the painting of Pedro Américo, by direct influence, by the polymathic personality or by the intercommunicating environment. The glorious vision of the past reverberated the values ​​of the patron: The Cry of Ipiranga, commissioned by the Ipiranga Monument Commission, was exhibited at the Museu Paulista by Taunay. Contrary to Nietzsche's solipsism – “There are no facts, only interpretations” –, the canvas registers the real; however, it does so through the canonical angle.

Such a version, but hyperbolized, today bears the imperial symbol in demonstrations of the extreme right, to the ecstasy of the reactionary fraction of the Bragança, in search of a monarchical restoration imbricated in the desired dictatorial-fascist regime. It follows Benito Mussolini of 1925 who, supported by the Italian imperialist bourgeoisie and by Victor Emanuel III, concentrated the state apparatus in the National Fascist Party. Thus – in the mosaic of autocratism, lese-patrism, hyperliberalism, arrivismism and anti-communism – the ranks of retrocession coexist. In the Empire, the ruling class needed the sublimated founder. Now, the forgers of royalty and slavery as it was "immaculate" drool over the "myth".

Using bright colors, impeccable clothes, dramatic faces and solemn gestures, in the style of Vernet or Meissonier, the painter “improved” Pedro's “beautiful bay beast”, seen by Father Belchior. For Colonel Marcondes, the “gated bay”. The chestnut steed appeared. With his subjectivity in his skin, he abandoned the neoclassical Debret when he found the sorrel guapo “consistent” with the vainglorious scene, instead of a tropeiro eating dried meat and flour: “A historical painting must, as a synthesis, be based on the truth and reproduce the essential faces of the fact, and, as an analysis, in […] derived reasoning, at the same time of the weighting of the credible circumstances […], and of the knowledge of the […] conventions of art”.

It should be noted that Pedro's personal characteristics were compatible with the poetic reading and refute the accusation of authorial impropriety as if it were a simple lie. The archetype of the romantic hero contains exceptionality in internalized unique circumstances, the ideally reconstructed individual concrete, intellectual free will, the unsolvable destiny of the conflict with externality, the abstract perception of temporal passages and the atmosphere of mystery. It also incorporates features that distinguish it in common sense, suggesting dramatic allegories or celebrations for unique reasons, such as altruism, ingenuity, courage, sensitivity, art, beauty, talent, libido and even loneliness.

A similar profile translates into the insult of a Portuguese deputy – Xavier Monteiro, 1922 – referring to that “young man […] carried away by the love of novelty and by an insatiable desire to figure”. Here is the rebel who, after forced abdication in 1831, recruited troops in Paris, occupied the streets of Porto, resisted the siege, caught tuberculosis in the icy rounds, went on the offensive and, allied with his detractors to win the “liberal” dispute, triumphantly entered Lisbon. It was 1833. The following year, with the capitulation of his absolutist brother in Évora Monte, he restored the Constitution and was crowned Pedro IV. He died at the age of 35, part of the revolutionary spring that flowed into the Republic of 1910.

No artist imagined the last three wills commanded by the dying warrior to be full of profane meaning. First, to wrap a soldier around the neck and ask him to convey to “comrades this hug as a sign of fair nostalgia [...] and the appreciation in which I have always had their relevant services”. Afterwards, to be buried without royal protocols and in a stripped way, in a simple wooden coffin. Finally, having your heart set on Porto, Igreja da Lapa, in honor of the people who resisted in the hardest moment of the civil war. His life supplanted the most extraordinary and fruitful passages in the pages of Byron, Dumas, Goethe, Herculaneum, Hugo, Manzoni, Poe, Pushkin and Scott.

The concrete person distanced himself from the heroes in the classical epic – the examples of Odysseus and Achilles, from the preceding legend – which for Lukács, in The Historical Romance, synthesized the “synoptic apex”. On the contrary, Pedro matched the “prosaic” texture of the Scottish human drama. His "personality" represented the trend "which embraces much of the nation." “His personal passion” merged with the “great historical current”, an expression “in itself” of “popular aspirations, both for good and for evil”. However, “his task of mediating the extremes, whose struggle” expresses “a great crisis in society” and in “historical life”, linked “two sides of the conflict” and generated discord: 1822, 1824, 1831 and 1834.


The political process ahead

It is important that the foundational fable, full of personalism as a conception and method for appropriating history, places the determining cause in the split with the Metropolis in the Prince-Regent's volition, when much advised by the zealous father – “before it be for you, that you have to respect me, than for some adventurer” – and for the “Patriarch of Independence”. The singular path and figure of the adolescent, as a subject, were translated into the Enchiurge god of political schism. It seems an emblematic case: the fusion and intersection of the real actor – certainly marked by the influence of European romanticism, which populated the mentalities in the time of his restless youth – with the reputation of the later character.

Today, however, the manipulation of the Bicentennial by Bolsonarism has become more harmful and serious, which has transformed the old noble approach into reactionary nostalgia. Criticism of this procedure needs to take place on the political level, but also present historical and social foundations. The time has passed to reconsider national issues, restoring the particular features and general meaning of the anti-colonial struggle, with its conquests. That is, to capture them as a singular event in a long trajectory, a specific path of the bourgeois-democratic revolution in East-Pindorama, understood as the predominance of the capitalist productive mode in civil society and its corresponding dominant class in the State.

It should be stressed: the search for the essence obviously considers the role of individuals and policies in great deeds and transformations. When D. João VI returned to Lisbon in 1821, as required by the Cortes at the time commanding the revolutionary process in Portugal with its epicenter in Porto, the eldest son was left with some very unusual competences and autonomies. The prerogatives would soon prove to be incompatible with the colonial condition held as standard in Lisbon, but corresponding to the interests of classes or class fractions constituted internally or “Brazilianized” and socioeconomically strengthened by the situations created in the institutional lapse of the “United Kingdom” – 1815.

In the first twenty years of the XNUMXth century, a local ruling class had finished consolidating, formed by the slaveholding oligarchy and the mercantile group related to the internal market, as well as the manorial-court sector and the state bureaucracy more closely linked to the central and provincial governments. . The contradiction between the two poles, which despite the regional quarrels had an antagonistic nature, became the main one. When the Metropolis decided to remove the traces of autonomy – however, consolidated – demanding that the political society return to total subservience and clashing with the egalitarian illusions, or of parity, it incited the insoluble institutional crisis in the borders of the current colonial structure.

Just remember the most drastic sayings. Between April and September 1821, the Cortes decreed that the Colony would be divided into provinces governed by provisional councils directly obedient to Lisbon, over which Rio de Janeiro would have no command. That the courts of justice and other public institutions, organized in the times of the exiled Portuguese nobility, would be eliminated. That the former Portuguese monopoly on foreign trade would return. That an appointed and trusted overseas junta would replace the Regency Government. That the Holder should immediately return to the Metropolis. Objectively, the squeeze was tightened in the old ties. Subjectively, one returned to the previous condition.

The proto-Brazilian resistance united the most disparate currents of the internal political society: the nationalist conservatives, the radicalized liberals, the republican opposition and the opponents of slavery. It still encompassed the popular majorities – captives, subaltern officials, urban petty bourgeois and other free men in the slave-owning social order, including soldiers and sailors – that another Lusitanian parliamentarian, José Joaquim de Moura, in the troubled 1822, pejoratively called “blacks, mulattoes, creoles and Europeans of different characters”. The capital, then with 120 inhabitants, signed a petition with about eight thousand supporters and, without delay, resorted to insurrection.

When the Portuguese troops took Morro do Castelo, 10 people gathered in Largo de Santana, armed with weapons, from muskets to clubs. On the defensive, the contingent withdrew to Niterói. A reinforcement with 1.200 infantry anchored in Guanabara Bay, but only disembarked after bowing to the Regent. In the radical mood, Pedro spoke on 8/1/1822. It was “Stick Day”. He then informed of his decision to remain in Rio with the regency function intact, symptomatically using the key notions of “Nation” and “People”. The “petulance” continued: the “Comprase-se” for mandatory validation of Portuguese orders, in May; the convening of the Constituent Assembly the following month.

The gap opened. Vladimir Lenin stressed in The bankruptcy of the II International, that the category of revolutionary situation applies “in all epochs of revolutions in the West”. In Brazil in 1822, the majority refused to live as before, the “upstairs” could not maintain their identical domination, fissures appeared for the discontented to enter, the privations of subordinates worsened and the masses were impelled towards an autarkic act in face of metropolitan power. The most conscious people perceived it clearly. José Bonifácio, in a missive to Pedro, stated: “Sir, the die is cast”. Maria Leopoldina added: “The Snitch is ripe, pick it now”. It was September, the seventh.


Highlights of Independence

The political and social contention installed and the metamorphoses that took place lacked the conditions – objective and subjective – to go further. But they proved to be vigorous enough to create their own Army in the fire of combat, to constitute the Brazilian Navy in the Atlantic saturated by hostile vessels, to carry out the war of liberation, to break with colonial dependence, to stop the Portuguese commercial monopoly, to stop the bleeding of the riches that spilled out, found the new country and create the national state. They are by no means few or small things that can be disdained or denied. This is why, without a doubt, the Bicentennial recalls a progressive and advanced event.

The seventh day, in September, consolidated itself in history through winding and multifaceted paths, despite the types of revisionism that try to downgrade or even impugn it as a date that translates National Independence and the transformation of the State, formerly a branch of the exogenous apparatus, into political body of the emerging country. It marks the proclamation made on the bank of the Ipiranga Creek. The national anniversary could also be anchored on 29/8/1821, when the rebellion against the Colonial Government of Pernambuco broke out, executioner of the republican uprising four years before, or on 5/10/1821, about a month later, when the troops Portuguese nations, militarily defeated, capitulated to the Convention of Beberibe.

Another option would have been the continuation of the war in Bahia, on 19/2/1822. However, the narrative focus favored, with good reason, the crisis in Rio de Janeiro, with an immediate impact on Minas Gerais and São Paulo. In the midst of a conflagration in the northeast, Pedro traveled to Vila Rica, on a frantic horseback ride, with the aim of dissuading the pro-metropolis tendency. There he centralized the troops and local ruling classes. He also changed the governmental composition. Returning in April, he welcomed the designation as “perpetual defender and protector of Brazil”. It should be noted that the name of the country already ignored the colonial qualifier. Then came the notable breakup libels, assisted by Gonçalves Ledo and José Bonifácio.

At the beginning of August, Pedro launched a public missive, informing that “the great step towards your independence” had been taken and that “you are already a sovereign people.” Continuous act signed, on the sixth, the letter On political and commercial relations with governments and friendly nations, communicating “to the face of the Universe […] political independence” as “the general will of Brazil”. Supporting it, he denounced: “When […] this […] region of Brasilia was presented to the eyes of the fortunate Cabral, soon greed and religious proselytism […] took hold of it through conquest.” Citing the republican revolt of 1789, he said: “the Portuguese State” sagged “Mines under the weight […] of tributes and decapitation”.

Then he headed to São Paulo. In Santos, he inspected the coastal defenses and soon returned to the provincial headquarters to resolve the disagreements. During the trip, considering the intolerable orders of the Portuguese Government, in addition to insurance on the guaranteed unity in the administrative center of the Colony, as well as the fact that a repressive reaction capable of attracting military operations to the southeast had become more difficult, he publicly consolidated the fracture from above. He was only 23 years old. Arriving in the City at the top of the Plateau, already in the position of monarch in charge of the new country, he noticed that the news had turned parish disagreements into a secondary internal conflict. Without delay, he returned confidently to the riots of Rio.

pari passu to the formal acclamation and coronation of Pedro I, in October and December, the political struggle between classes or fractions took the form of a liberating war and spread throughout the entire territory. In addition to the countless accessory shocks across the nation – Piauí, Ceará, Sergipe, Alagoas – the military conflict, already decided in Pernambuco, continued from north to south, notably in Pará, Maranhão, Bahia and Cisplatina, extending until 1825, for four years. After tough negotiations, Independence was recognized by the contender, albeit in a leonine treaty. The great victory bequeaths the founding milestone for the national Army and Navy, since in the anti-Dutch conflict Brazil still did not exist.

Confrontation had cultural corollaries. The Anthem of Independence, with lyrics written by Evaristo da Veiga in August, under the title of Brazilian Constitutional Anthem, received the Emperor-Musician's romantic melody and arrangement the following month. The scene was glamorized on Bracet canvas. Patriotism inspired citizens to change their surnames for Ges or Tupi words. Meanwhile, on the battlefields, the insurgents numbered almost 30 conscripts – superior to the troops of contemporary belligerences against the Spanish yoke – and 90 ships, considerable amounts for the country, with only four million inhabitants. It is estimated something close to three thousand dead.

Commonly, the monumental and influential War of American Independence, in 1776-1783 – inaugurated with the Suffolck's resolution, the Continental Congress and the autonomous declaration of Virginia –, which followed England's Glorious Revolution of 1688, and preceded the French and St. Dominic's Revolutions in 1789 and 1791. Called the “First Revolution” by American scholars and people , historically unleashed the process that ended in the “Second”, in the form of the Anti-Slavery Civil War in 1861-1865, hailed by Karl Marx. The Brazilian conflict was equally engaging and brutal, considering differences in demography and duration.


The ontosocial foundation of 1822

The posture of the internal ruling classes, popular yearnings, romantic nationalism, individual measures and the interventions of the Brazilian “party” were prepared for three centuries. Friedrich Engels had remarked – Cart to Bloch, 1890 – that many oversimplified his friend's “thesis”, as if “the economic factor” explained everything. He rejected any tergiversation that made it “an empty, abstract, absurd phrase”, as well as stressing that the determination in the “ultimate instance” resides in the “production and reproduction of real life”. In order to capture the character, content and meaning embedded in the practice of the colonized – “great historical current” –, it is necessary to touch on its social foundations.

When, pushed by mercantile expansion, supported by the repressive sword and justified by the missionary cross, Pedro Alvares Cabral launched anchors in what is now Bahia, he came across native populations. The true discoverers of the continent arrived from the remote dates that archaeological, paleogenetic and linguistic studies suppose to be tens of millennia. Although in certain places they had semi-sedentary habits and practiced regular agricultural work, in addition to constituting urbanization and complex “chiefdoms”, they were unaware of the social distribution of classes, private property and the State. Unlike African and Eastern societies, they did not even pool surpluses.

The Lusitanian colonizers, instead of invading a pre-established sovereignty – as the Castilians did against the Aztec and Inca empires –, occupied territories that were then in informal and transient use. The first established economic relationship was barter, collecting food and brazilwood under advantageous conditions, since the local parties had no reference to the exchange value at the European end. Only in 1535, after a spontaneous colonization, did the Metropolis try to implement its rationalized plan. However, the Hereditary Captaincies failed, because they were inspired by the idealistic assumption that it would be possible to repeat the feudal production relations, without peasant domination and constraints.

Instead of sesmarias, formalized in charter documents, the project that prevailed in practice – articulated with the later General Government, a bureaucratic-local extension of the Portuguese State – was the modern return to ancient captivity, recycled in the form of slavery. Mercantile is a more precise qualification than “colonial”, proposed by Gorender, as it was maintained 66 years after Independence. During the first 100 years, the enslavement of indigenous people predominated, with “carijó” becoming a metonymic meaning of captive. It was only in the XNUMXth century that the slave trade surpassed local captures, except in regions such as the central region of Minas Gerais, where the passage was completed in the first quarter of the XNUMXth century.

With the superlative confiscation and concentration of values ​​produced by the work of “slavery” – including mestizos with diverse biological or somatic characteristics – as well as, incidentally, carried out by free individuals in oligarchic ordinances, the successive economic cycles rapidly increased the population, the labor force , transportation, supply, consumption, in short, the commercial circulation of goods. The result ended up being the formation, in the territory demarcated by colonial rule, of a relatively integrated internal market. At the same time, urbanization, the western frontier, psychosocial symbiosis, ethnic blending and religious syncretism increased.

In the XNUMXth century, a common culture asserted itself, including the Portuguese language with its own accent and thousands of new words, as well as the musical singularities of lundus, modinhas and erudite pieces. The course was accentuated with the transfer of the Court. Synchronously, an internal structure of classes was formed, with their own interests in the particular issues of each segment and in the antagonism to colonization. Maturity went beyond the rebellions of the Quilombados – like Palmares, the thorns embedded in the hegemonic productive mode – and clearly materialized a qualitative leap vis-à-vis the nativist uprisings, which only fed on local contradictions.

In those conditions, the conflicts punctuated under the hegemony of the Metropolis, as well as, later, the conscious perspective and the growing political action aimed at Independence, often amalgamated with republican and abolitionist ideas, are consubstantiated in the “Land of Vera Cruz” and become incorporating the necessary and basic elements of nationality. The compression perpetuated by the overseas power and highlighted by the capitalist metabolism in world development, fitted the growing dam to profits and the progression of the productive forces, internally, in addition to affecting the unappealable interests of the great majority, hampering the broad reproduction of social life.

The colonization impasse brought about institutional crises, autonomist tensions, republican movements and popular unrest. The uprisings in the “from above” and “from below” – in the national phase, often together – are illustrated in the resistance of the captives, Inconfidência Mineira, Conjuração Baiana, Rebellião Pernambucana and, finally, Guerra de Independência whose victory guaranteed territorial unity . The political and military leaders in the 1822 insurgency brought together different classes and their fractions, monarchists and republicans, slaveholders and abolitionists, Catholics and Freemasons, Brazilians – with the heritage of European, African, indigenous or mixed ancestors – and dissident Lusitanians.


The Historical Sense of Independence

The 1822 schism catalyzed the configuration of the Brazilian people and composed a fascicle of the bourgeois revolution. It surpassed the contradiction between development in the productive forces and the exogenous chain, but remained in the prolegomena of the change 26 years later written in the Communist Manifesto: “The bourgeoisie […] compels all nations, under pain of perishing, to incorporate the capitalist mode of production, and constrains them to introduce […] the so-called civilization […]. In short, he creates a world in his own image.” Here, the socio-economic formation and production lacked the industrial patronage to command and the proletariat to be the driving force, similarly to the ceiling placed on the National Revolution of Avis.

The “antediluvian” intestine “capital” had only impregnated the level of circulation, except in few urban embryos. Only later would characteristically capitalist relations acquire political-practical significance. Contrary to England, France and the USA, where the new production method was imposed earlier, here it did so later. Thus, certain clichés are disallowed: “circulationism”, which assumes the prevalence of modern capital since the Cabral Mass, operating through mere economic evolution; the supposed previous “feudalism”, whose remnants would have persisted until the dawn of the XNUMXth century; the chimerical omnipotent cultural “structure”, only tributary and governed by previous relationships.

Furthermore, it animates a triple conclusion. Independence is the first successful chapter of a vast and tumultuous march, the sign of the coming squall. The inconclusiveness of the bourgeois revolution carved its own continuity in the form of republican and anti-slavery rebellions, often with a separatist character and always with popular participation: Confederation of Ecuador; Cabanagem; Malese; Farroupilha; Sabinada; Balaiada; Praieira. The transit to the new society passes through the abolitionist act and the republican proclamation, completing itself in the decline of the rural-rentier oligarchy and in the hegemony of capital, moved by the convulsion at the end of the 1930th century and the dawn of the XNUMXth century, until the Revolution of XNUMX.

In the absence of a concise course and a founding event – ​​national, unique, radical and plebeian – the hegemony of capital in Brazil, as it was only completed in the stage of external monopolist-financial conglomerates, maintained numerous conservative traditions: economic dependence on imperialist centers, landholding structure in the countryside, autocratic traits in the political regime, rejection of theoretical elaboration, discrimination against productive work and prejudices of various types. Making use of the Gramscian category fixed in the Notebooks, resembles a “passive revolution” or “revolution without revolution”, in which the noun unquestionably dominates the concept, but is open to qualification.

It is an integral transmutation, immune to evasions and also to Weberian ideal types. The bourgeois-democratic revolution in Brazil, which lasted almost 250 years – preserving slavery and the monarchy in the first century – fulfilled its necessary preamble in Independence. In order to control power in the political-administrative sphere, the slave owner and the endogenous mercantile group, with allies, needed to partially express the popular interest in the emerging Nation to create its State and maintain the territory, but without breaking the fabric that provided the right owner over human beings and noble titles, even having to change them little by little, under pressure.

Therefore, popular forces must join the Bicentennial celebrations without hesitation, disputing the reason and heart of Brazilians as a whole. Therefore, it is necessary to contest the mistaken postulates about Independence, even from sectors on the left. To call it a mere intradynastic collusion of the “elites” against the so-called “excluded” is equivalent to ignoring the complex of facts: the struggle between classes or fractions, the policies and the results. Rejecting it for maintaining slavery is the same as rejecting North American Independence and Inconfidência Mineira for the same reason, in addition to the bourgeois revolutions in England, France and Portugal due to subsequent captivity in the colonies.

Despising it for sustaining the monarchy also means suppressing the bourgeois primacy in the 12 countries of Europe that retain it, including the papal theocracy. Labeling it “incomplete” – as if the colonial condition persisted, even when adorned by the prefix “neo” – would be to ignore that today's dependence on imperialism only took shape at the beginning of the 200th century. To say that the “Bicentennial” would be “of Brazil”, not of the success achieved 500 years ago, and to see the nation still colonized as if it were already the Motherland with its State and its territory, would mean repeating the same mistake of the celebrations of the “1500 Years de Brasil”, by confusing the open colonization in 1822 with the institution of the country in XNUMX.

Finally, Marxists distinguish themselves from idealism, which takes pleasure in criticizing facts belonging to concrete and past history, whipping the real struggles of subjects linked to past praxis and feeding the metaphysical conjecture that the predecessors would be traitors of the “moral imperative” Kantian, because they “unprepared” the current regrets. For the proletariat and the Historic Block, the Bicentennial of Independence requires, in addition to the democratic battles in the current situation, to remember and strengthen the anti-imperialist fight, in defense of sovereignty, riches and the immense Brazilian territory, as well as the appreciation of culture national-popular and the specific yearnings of the masses.

*Ronald Rocha is a sociologist, professor and essayist. Author, among other books, of Anatomy of a credo – financial capital and the progressivism of production (Editor The Fighter).

Originally published on the website popular path.


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  • PEC-65: independence or patrimonialism in the Central Bank?Campos Neto Trojan Horse 17/06/2024 By PEDRO PAULO ZAHLUTH BASTOS: What Roberto Campos Neto proposes is the constitutional amendment of free lunch for the future elite of the Central Bank
  • Chico Buarque, 80 years oldchico 19/06/2024 By ROGÉRIO RUFINO DE OLIVEIRA: The class struggle, universal, is particularized in the refinement of constructive intention, in the tone of proletarian proparoxytones
  • Volodymyr Zelensky's trapstar wars 15/06/2024 By HUGO DIONÍSIO: Whether Zelensky gets his glass full – the US entry into the war – or his glass half full – Europe’s entry into the war – either solution is devastating for our lives
  • The melancholic end of Estadãoabandoned cars 17/06/2024 By JULIAN RODRIGUES: Bad news: the almost sesquicentennial daily newspaper in São Paulo (and the best Brazilian newspaper) is rapidly declining