The flight ahead of Jair M. Bolsonaro

Photo by Ciro Saurius


The demonstrations indicate the progressive and general exhaustion of the ideological appeal of far-right voluntarism fueled by the 2016 coup.

Something that happens with progressive media outlets on the internet is the reproduction of guidelines from the right-wing monopoly of the so-called “big” press: newspapers (increasingly less important), radio and television, and therefore the reproduction, unaware, of the points of view imbued in these guidelines.

Said this way, my observation gives rise to immediate contestation: after all, I am enunciating something that all progressives, people with a critical spirit by nature, are already, in popular language, bald of knowing. But between knowing and practicing what one knows, there are greater or lesser distances depending on circumstances, perceptions, dispositions and initiatives.

Bravado, gossip, insults and provocation are the methods of government of Bolsonarism: the creation of conjunctural crises is also a procedure that serves, among other results, to blur or cover up the bigger crisis, the crisis more than what a conjuncture that affects the country, an intense material crisis, including that of public health, with its correlate of a profound moral crisis, and to which the neo-fascist mismanagement has no answer other than the coveted military coup whose immediate result would be to repress and silence protests and criticism, sharpen the de facto violence against the majority and intensify the current economic war against the Brazilian population in favor of the hegemonic sectors of local capital associated with global capital.

Apparently, Bolsonaro, protecting his mayor Pazuello and avoiding his punishment for participating in a public party-political event and consequent violation of military regulations, according to the available interpretations, framed the command of the Armed Forces, and the coup and new military dictatorship under the command of the Authoritarian messiahs are once again on the agenda of neo-fascist mismanagement. General Pazuello freed from punishment encourages the insubordination of Bolsonaro supporters in the Armed Forces and in the police apparatus. Dominant narrative at the time and not without real elements from the general situation, the project and the conspiratorial and subversive practices of Bolsonaristas and the Brazilian “post-democracy” regime, inaugurated with the 2016 coup.

From the analyzes and observations I read about the current situation, about the Pazuello crisis and the like, the one by the political scientist Rudá Ricci seems interesting to me (1). According to the analyst, Bolsonaro has lost the political initiative that was once his and, in the current situation, his actions are reactive to the attacks and setbacks that he has suffered so much in congress, where, despite negotiations to buy support, he does not in fact control the so-called centrão. , as in the coup press that played a fundamental role in the election of the far-right demagogue, in the relative reluctance of the military command to publicly subscribe to the coup project, and in public opinion polls that show its accelerated erosion, to which the exposure of disorder contributes administration and policy of your government in the CPI of the pandemic.

In such a situation, Bolsonaro, with his limited insights and inflexible in his methods and procedures, reacts intuitively by acting on several fronts at the same time, seeking, without success so far, to regain control of public agendas for the consumption of popular opinion.

The large demonstrations for the impeachment and overthrow of Bolsonaro on May 29, surprised the “accidental” president of the country and his allies, the right as a whole and, in fact, produced a new political conjuncture, and even a renewed emotional situation. in the country, showing a new articulation and initiative of the movements and associations of the left opposition, bringing together class sectors, diverse groups, minorities, popular sectors and sectors of the middle class.

The demonstrations also indicate the progressive and general exhaustion of the ideological appeal of far-right voluntarism fueled by the 2016 coup. Various oppositions converge in the repudiation of violence, against irresponsibility and negationism in power. Popular movements oppose racism, protest against the deterioration of material living conditions, the impoverishment of Brazilians, against the moral degradation imposed on the nation by the heralds of the administration of death as a state policy in the pandemic crisis, against the commanders of planned genocide and the promoters of barbarism as the sole horizon of national life.

About the “Pazuello crisis”, I think, like Rudá Ricci, or even like the former coup leader of 2016, now turned into an “oppositionist”, Renan Calheiros, that Bolsonaro’s “victory” is less conclusive than it appears. The Pazuello case, I believe, does not end here, with Bolsonaro satisfied and singing victory along with his and the military command publicly humiliated and subordinated. As a “professional” agent provocateur and a “natural” disruptor of great talent, Bolsonaro managed to implant disorder in command of the Armed Forces. The possibility of total co-option of the Armed Forces for the so often announced project of a Bolsonarist neo-fascist coup and dictatorship does not seem greater to me at this moment than before, it seems to me in fact more and more problematic. If it is true that the military power embedded in state apparatuses by the initiative of the neo-fascist captain and the acquiescence of the military command contributes to safeguarding the extremist in power, the growing unpopularity of the current president and the more than evident political-administrative incapacity of his government in disastrous health and economic crises require greater prudence from occasional supporters, sympathizers and beneficiaries of the time.

The stakes of the neo-fascist commander are, to the detriment of circumstances, increasingly high and, at the same time, their realization is more and no less uncertain. As usual, Bolsonaro doubles the bet when he finds himself cornered.

The coup regime under which we have lived since 2016 is faced with a problem that we can characterize as vital: Bolsonaro, the marginal political leader or boss, replacing the coup leader Temer in command of the nation, was an instrument of occasion of the “legitimated” coup process in 2018 by controlled elections, and however, the current popular disaster of Bolsonaro’s misgovernment exposes, under the generic unity of the forces promoting the 2016 coup d’état, internal difficulties, conflicts of interests and divergent projects, both in retail and wholesale.

Today we see that in the coup adventure, sectors of the ruling class, the so-called big press, the legal apparatus, the Armed Forces, despite the profits earned so far, may have taken a leap bigger than their legs. The ease, and with it the initial virulence of the 2016 coup process, is currently transformed into the increasing difficulty of a way out within the Bolsonaro impasse coup: change to remain, but how, what and who should change?

We live, in fact, a moment of inflection. Saying what will come tomorrow is for prophets. But that we are witnessing the beginning of another political process with the growing popular protest organized in the streets is indeed possible to say. The internal and external contradictions of the coup, that is, between the various coup forces and between them and popular experience, are growing and the role of the president has been, by necessity or habit, to sharpen conflicts whenever possible.

The outcome of the Pazuello case, I think, is more ambiguous in its meaning than it might seem at first glance. It does not end with the simple “framing” of military leaders. The Bolsonaro impasse within the coup process, as in the specific case of Bolsonarist general traffic in confrontation with the military leadership, is not overcome or resolved, but postponed, depending on the capacity of the neo-fascist captain to manage the instability that he himself foments as a method of power. and to counteract the growing and decisive popular repudiation expressed in the streets.

It is clear that the coup supporters as a whole will not commit suicide and the greatest interest that unites them is the submission of the nation and the defeat of the popular field. For his part, Bolsonaro needs renewed conjuncture crises as a means of affirmation, survival and prevention of alternatives in the coup camp. And yet, the cost-benefit ratio of his misgovernment for the “post-democracy” coup process proves to be more and more problematic, and for the people, the cost in lives and suffering becomes intolerable.

In this context, the 2016 coup pact can no longer “fly by instruments” and the designated pilot proves to be more and more incapable in bad weather. The dominant or exclusive political initiative, both for Bolsonaro and for his competitors in the coup camp, becomes more and more difficult, complicated, uncertain, more costly.

New winds are blowing from the initiative of the popular field. Our immediate future and the future of Brazil will depend on its growing strength, which it wants and will have to rebuild on new bases, after the neo-fascist adventure of the anachronistic and disqualified Brazilian ruling class, as an inclusive, sovereign and truly democratic nation.

Marcelo Guimaraes Lima is an artist, researcher, writer and teacher.


[1] DCM essentials – Bolsonaro sodomizes the Army and Pazuello is not punished: without reaction, Brazil is over – Kiko Nogueira talks with political scientist Rudá Ricci

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