The evolution of the situation



At the present time, conciliation seems to prevail.

Until the end of May this year, there were at least three types of analysis of the Brazilian political situation. Now, at the end of June, it would be instructive to go back to those analyzes and see how the situation evolved.

The first of them, with which I agreed, stated that the Bolsonaro government was stronger than the opposition and was taking offensive action against democracy. It had the support of the Armed Forces, which was always essential and especially in the situation of withdrawal created by the epidemic, and faced an opposition, led by the liberal conservative camp, which was hesitant and timid.

The other analysis was the one that reversed the previous analysis. He maintained that the Bolsonaro government was weakening more and more, that the opposition was growing and cornering the government thanks to the action of the STF and the TSE. They also guaranteed that the FFAA would not venture to give or lend their support to a coup d'état and that, even, the international situation would make this type of action unfeasible.

The third position merged the previous two. In my view, economist Luiz Filgueiras, in live at an event at the Federal University of Bahia, and journalist Luiz Nassif at the GGN newspaper were representative of that approach. On the one hand, Bolsonaro would be increasingly isolated. Nassif presented this idea more than once throughout the text: “The Bolsonaro government is dying. It is increasingly clear that the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) is willing to stop the destruction of the country”. Further ahead, he maintains: “All signs indicate that the current generation of the Armed Forces is immune to coup adventures”. However, on the other hand and at the same time, Nassif and Filgueiras maintained that Bolsonaro reacted to the political isolation of his government by going on the offensive and threatening democracy. That is, he would be attempting a type of action for which he would not have sufficient political strength. He would have misjudged the correlation of forces and, by all indications, would have gone broke.

I think that the situation is, in its current stage, at the end of June and after the arrest of Fabrício Queiroz, indicating that we are moving towards a conciliatory solution between those at the top. And what is worse is that such a conciliatory solution managed to attract parties and leaders from the democratic camp.

On the one hand, the military group and the neo-fascist group in government are giving up, at least for the time being, their authoritarian pretensions and, on the other hand, the liberal-conservative camp is committed to guaranteeing the mandate of Jair M. Bolsonaro until 2022. PSDB's decision to bar impeachment, talks between the STF and the Executive and the movement's virtual demonstration Together on June 26 point in that direction. Of course, the worsening of the economic and health crisis could make this agreement unfeasible and that, especially, if those below join the political dispute. However, at the present time, it is conciliation that seems to prevail.

If this assessment is correct, I think that the development of the conjuncture in the last few weeks indicated that there was a balance of forces between the camp that seeks the closure of the regime and the camp that intends to prevent such closure. Let's qualify this balance of forces. First, it is a balance of forces at this moment and on this specific point: the political regime – dictatorship or democracy?

With regard to the economic, social and foreign policy of the Brazilian State, despite minor conflicts, the unity between the Bolsonaro Government and the liberal bourgeois opposition prevails. Second, as a colleague warned me, such a balance can be considered relative: the Government is stronger, but lacks the strength to move further towards the closure of the regime.

*Armando Boito is professor of political science at Unicamp. Author, among other books, of State, politics and social classes (Unesp).


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