September 7, Bolsonaro's victory

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By JOANA A. COUTINHO* and JOHN KENNEDY*

While the troops of the right parade strength, cohesion, discipline and political will, the forces of democracy show fragility and division.

The clear reflection of the absence of command are the acts in opposition to Bolsonaro that we had throughout Brazil, even in Anhangabaú and Candelária, they were pale and revealed much of our fragility and weakness.

Those who considered the call by Sérgio Reis, Zé Trovão and other extreme right-wing leaders to bring the country to a standstill as a result of the lockout of transporters and agribusiness, as of September 7, must be reviewing their analyzes and the thermometers by which they measure the temperature of society and country.

Those who judge President Bolsonaro's institutional isolation as a parameter must agree to the fact that the counterrevolutionary movement led by the extreme right does not aim to gain support from institutions, but rather, destruction and annihilation as a strategy and blockade and demoralization as a daily tactic. .

We are facing a war of movement and Bolsonaro’s action shows strong and centralized command: he leaves behind fallen soldiers – even with rank –, without any moral attachment or sentimentality, as was clear in the case of Daniel Silveira.

They move forward centralizing, disciplining… The spectacle we see today on September 9, with truck drivers blocking roads in 16 states; the maximum alert against invasion of the STF; and, the challenge posed by Bolsonaro to all democracy tells us a lot: (1) Bolsonaro emerged strengthened from the demonstrations of September 7, hundreds of thousands took to the streets to ask for a coup d'état and a state of siege; millions more cheered from their homes, not even in the live did all the people take to the streets, nor in the French or Russian Revolution did all the people take to the streets; (2) he showed a hyper-disciplined command capable of mobilizing and communicating with society at large;

(3) It proved to be strong with the military sectors and put in check the command of governors who had (and are having) difficulties in controlling their armed units; (4) he showed a troop of quick action that took the Esplanada dos Ministérios and immediately paralyzed the country and the national economy, highlighting the fragility of democratic legality and institutions; (5) He showed greatness by stepping back and saying that the time is not yet, as happened with Italian, German and Japanese fascism, the most radical leaders are removed or isolated to allow a broader action with conservative and even liberal sectors, perhaps Zé Trovão fell out of favor in this process;

(6) Even with all the disrespect for the institution, even with all the unconstitutionality, it made clear the anemia of democratic institutions, their fragility and lack of support and strength. No institution has the strength to file a judicial measure against Bolsonaro and none has the capacity to enforce it; (7) Aware that it is not yet time for action, he backs off, shows greatness by saying that he does not want the worst, asks truck drivers for serenity and puts on the table a dialogue tutored by the STF, Senate, Congress, Governors, etc. Bolsonaro and Bolsonarists know they are on top.

Broad front in defense of democracy

While the troops on the right parade strength, cohesion, discipline and political will, the forces of democracy show fragility and division: Ciro fights with Lula, PSOL fights with PT, trans fights with PCB militants in the march in Rio, liberals fight with progressives and socialists, etc.

The clear reflection of the absence of command are the acts in opposition to Bolsonaro that we had throughout Brazil, even in Anhangabaú and Candelária, they were pale and revealed much of our fragility and weakness. In favor of the fact that we spent the whole week debating whether or not to go to the Grito dos Excludos, convened by the Church many years ago.

This is the moment when we must learn from history, the socialists and progressives, for a long time, were forced to make agreements and alliances, often with sectors hostile to their prepositions. This was the case in the struggle for the abolition of slavery and the Republic: there were alliances with positivists in the army and even reactionary sectors of the Paulista Republican Party, a slave sector. In 1924, the PSB and PCB sectors sought an alliance with sectors of the tenentismo and liberal and oligarchic fractions to face the authoritarian government of Arthur Bernardes, against the Vargas dictatorship, it was necessary to build a broad front with liberals, oligarchs, conservatives and thus re-establish democracy.

To stop the 1954 coup, the PTB and PCB sought alliances with sectors of the Army, fractions of the agrarian and industrial oligarchies, etc. For Jango to take office, it was necessary to articulate a broad front. In the redemocratization process, we saw the formation of a broad front with the participation of Aurélio Chaves, vice-president of the dictator João Figueiredo, and with sectors that supported the 1964 coup, such as Tancredo Neves or Teotônio Vilella. The same happened with the impeachment of Fernando Collor, it was necessary to add Collor's former allies, with the deputy Itamar Franco, with the former campaign coordinator, senator Renan Calheiros, Jader Barbalho, etc. The same thing is present today: faced with the real threat of a fascist government, it is necessary to join all sectors that maintain divergences and differences with fascism and assume the defense of the rule of law.

This means a broad front in defense of democracy, in turn, we need to articulate the front of the left and progressive sectors to change Brazil, in this sense it is necessary to carry out a broad self-criticism and face our weaknesses.

Today, we have revolutionary forces on facebook and republicans on the streets, we have twitter theorists and mute people on the streets and sidewalks of peripheral neighborhoods, while hunger and unemployment multiply.

We are not managing to mobilize the people, the workers, the neighborhoods, the schools, the faculties and the social movements, in fact it is democracy that is heading towards isolation. If we do not review the course in a short time, the authoritarian discourse and the authoritarian vanguard will have enough capacity to change the regime. The threat of a fascist or neo-fascist regime, as some prefer, is real. The moment demands clarity and determination. In the streets for Fora Bolsonaro and for democracy, even this one, fragile and shameless.

*Joana A. Coutinho is a professor at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at UFMA.

*John Kennedy Ferreira is a professor at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at UFMA.

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