The family in power


By Lincoln Secco*

Bolsonarism takes up the fascist movement in mass mobilization, in collusion with monopoly capital, in absolute opportunism and, above all, in the autonomy it displays in relation to state institutions.

There has definitely never been a government of such disqualified people, of preposterous ideas and purely opportunistic speech. His statements border on nonsense and hurt the ears by the violation of the tongue. Among them there are dishonest, criminal and even perverse people. Dislodging them from power immediately is a moral imperative.

But far beyond the evil of the rulers, there is an underlying practice that needs to be fought. Faced with the monstrous appearance of that family in power, it is understandable that we want his rapid overthrow even at the cost of maintaining his antisocial policy by a substitute that is palatable in form (for whom?) and unpalatable in content (we know for whom).

It is equally natural that hasty analyzes arise that the president no longer governs, that he has suffered a coup, is weakened and will fall in a few weeks. Evidently all this can happen or has already happened, but I confess that I don't have the slightest evidence of it.

the evidence

Eric Hobsbawm said that at certain times the knowledge of history resembles a judicial investigation: it must stick to the old positivist evidence. We can, he said, debate the reasons for Carthage's defeat; but we will never change the outcome of the Punic Wars. Rome won!

What is factual and non-fictional in Brazilian politics? (a) we have a government that originated from the vote of 57 million voters; (b) there are more than a hundred military officers in its administrative staff and they still occupy about 36% of the ministries; (c) the government is ostensibly supported by the United States; (d) its economic policy is applauded by Congress and the corporate media; (e) is supported by approximately 1/3 of the population; (f) has the capacity for popular mobilization; (g) its values ​​are rooted in the foundation of society; (h) its means of communication are more effective than those of the opposition; (i) it has solid reserves of support in the Judiciary and, finally, (j) it has constitutional legitimacy.

Given this set of facts, we can interpret trends without confusing theories with possibilities, as the old worker memoirist Everardo Dias used to say. There is a contradiction between the conservative center (Globo, Congress, STF etc) and neo-fascism. But it is a “secondary contradiction” as the two forces are equally liberal in economics.

There is military concern with a president who exposes the corporation's moral and even educational weaknesses, but for this to become a conspiracy, after a coup would require the Armed Forces to have a strategy for the country. They could do it without any of that, but they would be incapable of creating a permanent government like in 1964. From their acts recorded in the final years of the New Republic, we only saw the predominance of corporate interests tempered by anti-PT discourse.


If we consider that Bolsonarism is fascist, we have to place in the foreground what is perhaps its most common characteristic. It is not mass mobilization, collusion with monopoly capital or absolute opportunism. Although these and other characteristics can be part of any fascist movement. When it comes to a government occupied by fascists, the fact is that no other displays such autonomy in relation to state institutions.

Certainly its autonomy is relative. But never despicable. It is often decisive. Those who have those 10 conditions listed above do not seem fragile or lost. Trade union centrals remain silent, street mobilizations impossible due to the quarantine and an extra-parliamentary left has provisionally left the game after the June 2013 days and the secondary struggles of 2015.

There is, on the other hand, an accumulated experience of youth, growing social dissatisfaction and, at the beginning of 2020, a resumption of the initiative of the progressive middle class and the silencing of the reactionary; there is international condemnation of the government; the removal of its former opportunist allies; and the medium-term effects of the pandemic could reinforce the defense of public investment and social solidarity.

What to do?

Forming a left-wing front, asking for the president's resignation, proposing impeachment, impeachment of the ticket, annulment of the elections and restoration of Lula's political rights is better than doing nothing. But immediately any exit would be merely formal, even if it could open a breach of new fights.

A real change in economic policy only seems likely in the medium term, in an optimistic forecast. Therefore, for the left to be prepared to intervene independently in a change of government, whether in the short or medium term, there are a series of actions to be taken on a daily basis. Its challenge is to link up with the new working class and reconstitute itself as a popular alternative. As?

In this regard, it is the people on the front lines who have the best evaluation. Because the cold analysis of the impossibilities of the moment cannot be a pretext for leftist parties to do nothing, propose nothing and wait for the end of the president's term with the illusion that his attrition will make him unfeasible in the next elections. If he survives his first term, he is likely to get a second. Militancy needs to have something to say here and now.

In the immediate plan, the slogan “Bolsonaro and his politics out”, however it is formulated, is an essential means of agitation. It must not be accompanied by illusions. But neither can it be postponed by the handbrake pulled by those who only think about the next municipal elections.

The reformist or revolutionary left has always needed a critical mass that, in the face of the unexpected, could intervene to change the meaning of the situation. To form it, it is necessary to have a strategy, program, tradition of struggles and popular recognition. But most of all hope.

* Lincoln Secco He is a professor in the Department of History at USP.

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