Bolsonaro's ferocity

Image: George Grosz


Democratic politics is complex and slow, fascism is direct and fast. Democratic politics is minimally ethical and fascism is the maximum urgency of lying ease

A country is really divided between civilization and barbarism, between fascism and what remains of democracy, between respect for the rules of the game and the use of exceptions, when its President attacks and harasses journalists of any ideological current, encourages those who do so and personally attacks high State authorities when they fulfill their constitutional mission. It is radically dividing the country, when the highest leader of the nation confesses that he does want a Government Police, not a State Police; and that his avowed objective is not to legitimize elections that defeat him and the ruling classes of the nation – even with all that – keep him as an alternative power.

Italy, which is the origin of the renaissance, and Germany – homeland of modern classical philosophy – in the last century defeated the Enlightenment intelligence and made, on the perverse side of progress and technology, the basis of necrophilic policies arising from the internal struggles of capital. The simplification imposed by the concept of homeland – a premise for the authorization of evil – and the (simplified) identification of entire communities – political and racial – as bearers of “decadent” cultures and bloodlines, would be the product of ancient national traditions. And so politics, disputed between nations and classes, became “simple”: turning ideology into war and the living into dead (“enemies”). With or without burial.

When two people alone cannot stand each other and attack each other with real or imaginary formulas, their dispute is harmless for the future of Humanity and its nationals, who, incidentally, ignore the foundations of their conflicts. These are “simple” and harmless conflicts, like those between Borges and Cortázar, who couldn't stand each other: the first, a supporter of the Argentine generals (he later said…” naively”); the second, a personal friend of Guevara. Both authors, without much popular penetration and read in the upper middle classes and in academic intelligence, left complex works for many generations. Their characteristics: they did not “simplify” their literature and knew how to separate – in the creation of their respective styles – innovative forms from talentless mannerisms.

Bolsonaro's last attack of ferocity against the institutions occurred shortly after Minister Barroso accepted a request for an advance injunction, proposed by a political party (Rede) in the opposition camp, against opening the country's gates to the virus of the latest strain, prohibiting foreigners without proof of vaccination entering Brazil. Such a decision, clearly within the competence of the STF, provoked a brutal reaction from the President, which no longer surprises anyone, since his perverse predictability has already accustomed the Powers and a good part of the people to “respect” his demonic impulses, naturalizing them, as elements logic of an in-process exception.

These are moments when, after simulating an understanding of the complexity of politics, Bolsonaro returns to his normal state and “simplifies”: Barroso is a “scoundrel!”, he raged, according to social networks; and this “damn” (the STF) “should be closed”. Bolsonaro's direct speech, which society has become accustomed to accepting, goes straight into minds hypnotized by the eagerness of the market, which promises far-off rewards in the future, but crushes the daily life of the present with the impulses of impossible consumption. Thus, Bolsonaro “organizes”, psychologically, a part of society by “simple” directing its frustrations and hatreds.

Democratic politics is complex and slow, fascism is direct and fast. Democratic politics is minimally ethical and fascism is the maximum urgency of lying ease. The writer Cabrera Infante (1929-2005), who was never a fascist, was an intellectual who broke with the Cuban regime in 1965 and became a detractor of the Revolution, from the moment he realized that the Soviets dominated the island. By quoting him, my purpose is not to discuss his positions or the merits of his criticism of the regime, but to observe that simplifications are not a specific weapon of fascism, but of any “sectarian” posture, which wants to dispense with reflection on complex phenomena. .

Unlike the complex polyphony of his great novel Three Sad Tigers, in which he dares to reconstruct an imaginary Cuba – theoretically prior to politics – where nostalgia, the recovery of the past (through the impression of memory) and the invention of “being nowhere” are added, Cabrera simplifies and repeats. It was thus an enormous success among the entire world right, including those who wanted (and had the right to want) other directions for the Revolution: the strategy of simplifying what is complex, dispenses with the need to study the nature of historical phenomena, consoles the mental laziness of the sectarian poles and replaces reflection with hatred: it compensates, therefore, for the lack of empathy with neurotic self-pity.

Contrary to President Obama's complex policy – ​​for example – easing the blockade against Cuba, which did more for the island's poor than any sum of simplifications by Cabrera Infante (and other “pure” detractors of the regime), and contrary to a book – like that of Leonardo Padura (The Man Who Loved Dogs) – which has done more than any other work by Cabrera Infante for democracy – the simplifications against the Cuban regime have collaborated to isolate Cuba, increase its difficulties and feed the poverty of the Island.

The unity that Cabrera achieved in his audience, when he spoke of Cuba, was produced by repetition and linearity: a revolution that is seen without any compassion, without considering the children saved from hunger, without any respect for the construction – in Cuba – of a high-quality education and its resistance to imperial values. It is a political “ethos” indifferent to what the Empire bequeathed to all the countries that constituted its “backyard” in the last century. Cabrera only reserved for Cuba to say that “in Cuba they socialized poverty”: half truths and half lies can reorganize mediocrity with simplification. After all, isn't it also there that, contrary to what happens in the capitalist countries that dominate the world, children are fed and never sleep on the streets?

Let us not forget that the simplifications that Bolsonaro makes with the political struggle have a huge tradition in the history of totalitarianism, fascism and dictatorships. Responding to them with a strategy of power is not just about exchanging insults, but is above all recreating a new political and moral life – even before we reach power – to govern by undermining the apparently simple foundations of domination made by the Leader’s voice, changing it by the collective voice of the broadest sections of the people and the democratic intelligence of the nation. All those who do not want to bow down to the beast, I think, we should think of the 2022 elections as a general rehearsal for this reversal, whose main piece will be a program to combat hunger, for employment, to assert national sovereignty and defend our environmental integrity. To begin!

*Tarsus in law he was Governor of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Mayor of Porto Alegre, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education and Minister of Institutional Relations in Brazil.


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