the horde

Image: Ramy Kabalan


Considerations regarding January 8 in Brazil

“A state of horses” (João Guimarães Rosa1).
“… all shout in unison, and the clinking is the applause of objects” (Elias Canetti2).

Modern Terror, Cold War and Dialectical Stagnation

At the beginning of this year, the press, jurisprudence and the academy fueled a stir regarding the validity or otherwise of the characterization of the vandalistic acts of January 8 in Brasilia as terrorism. The discussion, which obviously had repercussions on social networks, extrapolates the need for conceptual precision exclusively for criminal purposes: in addition to requiring political characterization and social-historical contextualization, it involves evident constitutional implications (in addition to those of national security), in defense of democracy as a dynamic of State, regime of government, civilizing process and universal value. The consistency of the discussion also depends on the determination of what terror is involved. If reasons of space rule out a deep review, some indications about it, even the untimely ones, gain priority.

Regardless of axiomatic reasons – mainly ideological, for good and/or for evil), it is known that terror, from a strategic and tactical point of view, constitutes a political principle and action of violent counter-response to concrete social conditions of existence . As such, terror is also an instrument for taking, maintaining and/or expanding power through violent means (physical and/or coercive). More specifically, terror is installed to conquer, preserve and/or expand space in a battle (campal or not), to force the enemy to retreat from positions or give up intentions, to prevent the sinister from advancing, to demonstrate, by irruptive capacity , with whom the power is or with whom it is not, and so on. If or when changes – or horizons of change – in prevailing conditions are concrete or presumed, terror can spearhead revolutionary processes, mediate them or end them. Terror opens and/or closes the way to fulfill these goals.

The question's phenomenological link with the dialectical movement of social and political history, however, allows for alternative clarification bets to be made. One of the most idiosyncratic and luminous is based on French poststructuralism.

Not without reason, Jean Baudrillard, a heterodox and thought-provoking theorist on terror in late modernity, originally set the subject at the symbolic level of the binary logic of the Cold War.3 Absolute belligerence via mutual blackmail – no invasive or destructive step could be taken by either party under pain of serious reprisal – “frozen” (so to speak) the dialectical movement of history, prohibiting the social pores from gestating, sheltering and/or or deploy structural or significant changes (completely superseding current conditions). One of the fragmentary results of this stagnant trend was terror as a degraded reaction to the reduction of politics to mere presenteeism,4 with this detail sine qua non: the aforementioned reaction makes use of the spectacular and mercantile compulsion of the multimedia universe to instil permanent effects of fear in the news and imagery circuit, affecting (on a daily target route) the lives of millions of consumers.

The historical and geopolitical conditions that deconstructed the Berlin Wall in 1989 dissolved passi passu the binary logic of the Cold War in favor of the apparent military hegemony of a single nation over hundreds of others. This process, which favored the Anglo-Saxon culture, especially the American one, culminated in a planet tentatively governed by the political position of a single power bloc, anchored in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Even if the recent technological-commercial emergence of China as a global axis of counterpower (with Russia in tow) evokes something of the dichotomous ghost after the Second World War, the macrostructural conditions, from the point of view of terror, have not undergone essential changes: the relatively severe contraction of the dialectical potency of the establishment international level, which excites the terrorist appetite, began to take place in an apparently multipolar way, under the unappealable influx of a belligerence for hegemonic predominance and without prejudice to a presentist appeal – belligerence, remember, camp and by delegation (like the Ukraine's multinational resistance against the Russian invasion) and, in general, non-campal (backstage espionage, counterintelligence and other intelligence strategies).

In an unfolded and free interpretation, terrorism – that is, the ideology of terror in movement against the absence of movement (in the direction of its immediate desire, terrorism) in the history of political modernity – amounts, more precisely, to an explosive form of action planned, fomented and executed against a certain social space, populated or not, when the historical possibilities of overcoming the disputed reality have been exhausted and, even so, in relation to them, remains, for one of the contending sides, a deep tear of dissatisfaction and/or resentment, preventing acceptance of prevailing conditions and trends. With the suffocation of its belonging to late modernity, this model of terror, exasperated by the delay in relation to the enemy's trump cards around the point of dispute, is established and spreads (as a mediatic atmosphere of fear) when the dialectic, in the sense of of social transformation in the name of utopian aspirations, seems impossible to fulfill.

The concentrated focus on the core of the issue dissolves any doubt: when the viability of substantial changes fails, it appears, in the skirmish field, the killing of innocents (besides enemies in uniform and armed), city ruins (to spread the fear of existence) and the destruction of homes and places of work and leisure (since the battlefield is confused with the zone of housing, exchange and survival). The political primacy of this violence – as said before – is confused with its hypostasis (it, violence) in fear (that is, socially spread threat) through the abusive use of mass and interactive communication (more properly, its indiscriminate news naivety and therefore an accomplice).

The reason is trivial: the media system commodifies terror by converting its acts into symbolic goods that can be consumed as a spectacle, whether in the television comfort of living rooms, or in the prerogative digitally customized by hand – on any screen of hallucinatory experience. With such expertise – to which the western world rightly attributes the value of cowardice –, the message of terror is direct and frank: the supposed winners and their narratives, together with the material conditions that explain and maintain them, will not go unpunished. His retaliation – inseparable from simple revenge, from the point of view of common sense – appears as a random result. It emanates, however, from a relatively rounded calculation.

The political aspirations (fundamentalist or not) of this model of terror, devoted to the paradox of the speedy abolition of the alleged authoritarian abolition of telos, appear as genuine representations of the dialectic. They are far from being so: this terror is stillborn in teleological potency. If, as Baudrillard suggests, the multimedia spectacle pursued by terror runs out, operationally and symbolically, in presenteeism, this violence, by acting in retaliation to hurt such conditions, ends up self-sabotaging when it ratifies them, betraying its own desire to telos diverse and reducing itself to the same presenteeism. Without effective transhistorical power and/or viable socio-structural levers to carry it out, it is just a symptom of the political retreat in the frustrated perimeter of revolutions themselves.

Evidently, the “post-dialectical” ignition of terrorism can make it “post-modern” (in the literal and superactive meaning of the prefix), never pre- or post-political, much less pre- or post-media. It can be both fierce (like the groupings marked by a strong religious inflection) and an irreversible expression of doctrinal fraying.

Neofascist necropolitics and Bolsonarist terrorism

Without concentrated carnage, but not without instant destruction, the vandalism in the Chamber of Deputies, in the Federal Senate, in the Planalto Palace and in the Federal Supreme Court (STF) do not escape, in a certain way, the listed characteristics. The phlegm of this terrorism is so historically regressive – so nostalgic for dictatorships and autocracies in uniform – that it legitimizes the evocation of sociopolitical logics of the second half of the 2001th century before the fall of the Berlin wall or, if you want an extra leap, attacks on global symbols of the United States in September XNUMX – the collapse of the twin towers that substantially altered international relations, especially in geopolitical and military matters.

It would be unnecessary to record it: there is nothing pre- or post-ideology in this redoubt. A neofascist necropolitics of Bolsonarism, however, makes the procedure opportune: it never gets lost in the dynamic structure that animated the vandalism of January 2023.

In principle, the political and social scheme of their “break everything” militancy (including the 38% of citizens who justify vandalism)5 is quite threadbare: a wealthy civil and military elite, historically trained in leadership and command, captures, harasses and foments a wide following for the “battlefield”, in fact for which previously served the pairing of streets and squares to networks social activities, with emphasis on camps close to the General Headquarters (QGs) and other instances of the Armed Forces, in the capitals and in dozens of cities in the country.

Specifically, this horde, implying a large contingent of coreligionists and supporters from different social strata, is, as a rule, supported by Brazilian businessmen, of reactionary nationalism and neoliberalism, who reject the result of the October 2022 election. landlord-authoritarian in the country – from the imperial phase to the republican spurt –, they aim for a lead regime (with or without the chief militiaman) against the so-called “communism that threatens the homeland”.

The dynamic structure of this extremist contingent combines political centralization (especially by national and state leaders) and socio-operative decentralization (by the “maneuver herd”), inside and outside social networks. From religious-nationalist moralism to supremacist and Nazi-fascist idolatry, the internal segmentation of the horde is distributed, in short, between, at least, brains of planning and promotion and militants of inflammation and execution (predators/looters or not).

The core of Bolsonarism's ideological profile is laid bare by its own vandal fringe. At the limit, the predators demonstrated how much this extreme right - from the most aggressive supporters to regular sympathizers - is based on an organized agglomeration6 very close to a “mass sect”, with known characteristics: its severely distorted or clouded state of political consciousness (if one takes by comparison the foundations of the Western State of Law of the last two centuries or so) – a permanent condition of psychically delirious normalized for oneself and for opponents – explains the fanatical-subservient cultivation of authoritarian and “charismatic” leaders; the undue and ignorant appropriation of the republican pennant and the green and yellow chromaticism mixes, in a hateful ciranda, post-electoral nonconformity, anti-democratic indignation and the immediate desire to free oneself from both, from a sectarianism fissured in the establishment of an exceptional government under the protection of the Armed Forces.

Without guilt or fear, the predatory horde acted in Brasília under the motto of “all or nothing”, impervious to any shock of reality. [Evidence of electoral defeat has taken on an air of outrageous falsehood in digital bubbles of distorted encouragement; millions of voters, among them vandals, felt (and still feel) robbed: it was the protofuher who won the lawsuit.]. The fact that about 3% to 18,4% of the population7 fully supporting this terrorism only shows the gross crust of anti-democratic lack of education – in short, the barbarism of political lack of culture – in the minds of a significant portion of the Brazilian electorate.

Under a vengeful alibi, attacking a government considered illegitimate, although it emerged from a healthy and uncontested election, the extreme right attacked the State itself, through the ruination of symbols of permanent power – the Republic itself, Justice itself, the “system” itself, democracy itself, and so on. This peak of disturbance was rehearsed days before, in mid-December 2022, when Bolsonarists tried, also in Brasília, to scratch the presidential diplomacy of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE): they vandalized State property and set buses on fire. and automobiles, among other acts of violence.

A political crime unleashed by an anonymity thirsting for fleeting limelight, terrorist acts in public buildings in the Federal District were, for the time being (after lethal crimes apparently punctual), the most complete tumultuous-ultraconservative outburst of the neo-fascist necropolitics of Bolsonarism – the funeral legacy of the worst Brazilian presidentialism, that of the four-year period 2018-2022, carried out, it is worth emphasizing, by a political movement of mockery of the three main constitutional dimensions of life national and civilized: the Republic, the government and civil society.

At this juncture, the psychoanalytically oriented socio-phenomenological view is free to compute how much drive energies of political frustration under the “imaginary communism” can be sublimated into a mocking obscurity and annulment of republican equipment and, allegedly, of their historicity – a patrimonial (and, tentatively, symbolic) destruction paid for by taxes of the 49,1% of voters of the former tenant of the Planalto Palace.

The vehemence of this scenario sheds retroactive light on the linguistic (properly lexical) procedure of corporate and conservative news production. It is still significant to see how many and how many mass media henceforth call predatory Bolsonarists “coup plotters” and “terrorists”. From printed newspapers and magazines to television stations (web versions included) and digital satellite channels, few vehicles responsible for the mainstream stopped harassing coup snakes in 2016 and strengthening neo-fascists in 2018.

Since the first decade of this century, while left-wing forces were concerned with the progressive growth of the extreme right in the country and on an international scale, the seeds of Bolsonarism were, for those media, treated journalistically as knavery, rough stone without atmosphere, a thin, seriously neglected chess piece, without strict classification – a procedure that mixed joyful disbelief in evil, imperious disinterest for the lower clergy and solemn exercise of a blind eye. The January terrorism in Brasilia, however, was assumed since at least the last decade. The obstinate preservation of discursive honors, with demanding zero contradiction in editorial narratives and in annual agenda trails, ensures, as can be seen, a business reputation on the edge of exaggeration devoid of self-reflection, on the verge, if you like, of dishonesty or bad manners. faith.

Horde: From Strike to Terror

In digital bubbles (business or not) propagated by neo-fascist and denialism, financiers, instigators and/or executors of vandalism were waiting for an idyllic and irreversible victory after the invasion of the premises of the National Congress, the Planalto Palace and the STF. The goal, too classic to be true, was to condition, in the following days – countless took pillows –, enough chaos in the country to encourage the Armed Forces to trample the elected government and, in delirious action, to intervene in the three Powers against “communism”. imaginary”, in the name of God, the homeland, the family, private property and “freedom” – in short, the well-known nationalist and populist positivism “for the good of the nation”.

Suicidally, the horde underestimated, even before the opening of the 2022 electoral process, the strategic intelligence and the articulatory power of the republican-democratic institutions and the ministerial honors of the new government; the ambiguity or hesitation of Bolsonarist fractions of the Armed Forces; the immediate reaction of organized civil society, with thousands of expressions of repudiation; international support for democracy in the country, and so on.

Against the grain of the clumsy extremist strategy, the swift movement of an institutional piece on the political chessboard was crucial: the preference of the Executive Branch for direct intervention in the public security of the Federal District.

The refusal to implement the State of Defense – the second institutional option after the intervention measure – frustrated civil, uniformed and militia members in the ranks of the ultra-right: the mobilized piece discarded the government's tutelage by the Armed Forces. The replica of organized civil society, repudiating the sabotage attempt, also played a fundamental role in the democratic preservation of institutional functioning and civil relations as a whole.

These elements of the scenario are enough to signal how much subtleties of the terrorist action in Brasilia and of the political atmosphere make them go beyond predictable appearances and add complexity. From a strategic point of view, the dynamic gem of facts indicates two specific moments.

(i) The fierce fringe of the horde had, in fact, camped in the city for more than two months (from the second round of 2022), awaiting a coup d'état, with or without the participation of the former tenant of the Palace do Planalto and with the support of Bolsonaristas in the three Arms.

(ii) The declaration of the results of the polls by the TSE, the diplomation of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in mid-December, the transmission of the presidential sash in early January and the multimedia and social resonance in respect for the Federal Constitution imposed, however, a flexion in the entire process, paving the republican land that trapped, definitively and irreversibly, the opponent – ​​with no turning back.

This second factual route, certainly controversial, needs to be theoretically tried out in all letters: 35 years of renovation – more tortuous than linear – of republican and democratic institutions in the country may have strengthened them so much in the four-year period 2018-2022 (especially in the last year) that the only final alternative for political expression of the far right was this defeatist outburst in a flow of “mass discharge”8 (to honor Elias Canetti): the telos political (intense waiting for armed intervention) gave way, in the vicinity of the buildings, to the apparent anomie of indiscriminate destruction. It's hard to believe that the extremist horde walked towards the symbols of the Republic without that objective. beforehand. [By scrutinizing the den of those responsible for conceiving, organizing, financing, inciting and executing vandalism and robbery, federal investigations also need to determine where the order for this “discharge” came from, which names were involved and other relevant information.]

This vandalistic action, in turn, opens up to two interpretative possibilities: the first, prioritizing epic-teleological calculation (linked to the military coup), is not excluded from the classical perimeter of political science; the second, attentive to the pragmatic despair of the extremists (due to self-perception of impotence) and the voluntary ruination of the world in order to exorcism resentful dissatisfaction, freely breathes (with all possible risks and methodological shortcomings), principles of sociophenomenology in the light of post-modern conjectures. structuralists. The collated unfolding of the two readings certainly expands the range of surprises regarding the facts.

As already noted, the conventional political reading admits, at the cost of agreeing with conservative phlegms, that criminals carried out the invasion and destruction of public property in order, under the motto “now or never”, to condition, with or without corpses, the necessary social chaos the justification of the intervention of the Armed Forces in the Powers of the Republic, to the 1964, with distorted support in article 142 of the Federal Constitution. In other words, as the horde lacked creativity and strategic alternatives (being, therefore, hostage to the old model of military attack), the tactic of vandalism integrated planned pragmatic gradation with institutional sabotage. demodé.

Center-left branches in general, matrix instances of organized civil society and most of the corporate and conservative media assumed the thesis of this link between anti-republican depredation and a camp attempt at a coup d'état – the same thesis of the federal government. The political and institutional uncertainties that surround the young Brazilian democracy demonstrate that this reading is not wrong. The Federal Police (PF) investigated the assassination attempt on President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, with a long-distance rifle shot, on the day of his inauguration, on January 1st.9 The open conformation of the event in Brasilia, however, does not allow the mentioned reading to monopolize (and reclose) the interpretative field.

In particular, the exclusive belief in the teleological scheme of vandalistic actions makes the conventional political reading lose sight of (and does not lead to the ultimate consequences) the sociophenomenological meaning of the aforementioned flexion, which evokes – from the foundations to the empiricism shallower – the high resilience of the prevailing political and inter-institutional context. The priority focus on this silent dimension exposes vandalism as a kind of “orange bagasse” of an extremism frustrated in the series of serious threats to institutions and, in the end, defeated in the electoral process that they themselves, the authoritarians, could not reject. on the whole, they had to tolerate as a mandatory environment of dispute.

This means: the march with war cries on the public roads of Brasilia, the invasion of buildings and the riots, last January, no longer carried any effective horizon – it was not a question of a coup as a dialectical power, but of pure terror and simple, that is, destruction for the sake of destruction, as a form of expression of resentful dissatisfaction and multimedia dissemination in real time (live e online) of what happens if and when the far right is thwarted (not so much of what it can accomplish beyond that). From that moment on, the horde was no longer political demonstrators, but lumpenterorists without telos viable. Speeches based on the Penal Code brought them closer to common criminals.

The event – ​​as you can see – cultivated truisms: in terms of political action in urban areas, the voluntary rusticity, abundant in social networks, marches, in a haphazard way, towards “headless revolts”. His intelligence of a shallow stature can unfold in convinced and hedonistic terrorism.

The fact that the subjectivity of the horde and, within it, that of the predators/looters preserved, from the beginning to the end of the encampments, the expectation of military interception of the establishment it does not alter the repertoire and route of understanding. Idealistic factors do not have a reversal (even mediate) ascendancy over phenomenologically and tendentially settled macrocontexts. In the lexicon of common sense, vandalism, for all pragmatic purposes, only happened because, in the field of politics, criminals already “had nowhere else to run”.

The previously coup-supporting flesh, gilded in long barracks, was left with a predictable furrow for a disappointed, childishly aggressive manifestation of discontent not only with the irreversible squandering of the political power previously possessed, but above all with the impossibility of conquering the desired dictatorship – a manifestation of inconsolable nonconformity, for so to speak, by the symbolic loss of the phallus (to record it, not without irony, in episteme Lacanian, odd), namely, loss not of power itself, but of the uniform blow that did not come. Terror was thus the last honorable way out for a failed fundamentalist conviction.

The theoretical validity of this provocative hypothesis – that of the pre-eroded teleological character of vandalism – is also evident when the strategic concern focuses on the extremely rude and banal profile of these acts. The quixotic unfolding of Bolsonarism’s “headless revelry” was attempted on a Sunday plain and emptied, with absolutely no concrete and consistent “piece” to place in the center of the board, except the name of a lukewarm madman, in forced self-exile (on “vacation” in Florida, United States, funded with public funds), or a military alternative without charisma and majority articulation outside the barracks.

Again, they imagined – in the old fashioned way – only the truculence of arms in place of the simple minority of the electorate. This strategic nap on the way out, if changed in small numbers, determined the mathematical gap on arrival; From the socio-phenomenal point of view, the quantity had fatal repercussions on the quality of the expected result: the horde needed many more people – it needed masses and more masses (protagonists and tacits), millions of campers and terrorists – and all it had was only itself, a horde. In proportional matters, a “headless revolt” can be made by half a dozen.

From this point of view – that of the political-dialectic impotence of the Bolsonarist outbreak –, the shards of glass, masonry and art in public buildings do not lead to a less somber vision: questions of value do not arise in this detail. With regard to the defense of democracy, terror without telos viable is not, for example, politically more advantageous than avant-garde and successful terror. Civil-military brutalization never loses its corrosive nature: anti-republican insurrections, anti-democratic attacks and institutional sabotage generally preserve the ability to attack constitutional orders in a deferred time. Yesterday's failure is self-learning: if reviewed - and recomposed the telos – could be tomorrow’s coup.

Obviously, this recognition (exclusively theoretical, without any practical effect) makes the hypothesis of the dialectical impotence of the riot never commun with mitigations in terms of criminal and civil liability, nor with any reduction in the patrimonial indemnity to the state coffers. This discrepancy recovers a clear synthesis: there was, from the beginning, the intentionality of a coup, not by chance encouraged for months; institutional erosion transited in the organizational intricacies of criminal work, under city geopolitical-jurisdictional prerogatives, in the vicinity of HQs and other military units; the engine of the accident, however, lacked dialectics, given the social-historical, political and institutional context of the country. Incrimination and punishment, after individual analysis of the cases, including those of “humanitarian” recognition for legal and/or judicial reasons, must, therefore, be equivalent to those of an effective sabotage onslaught.

To encumber the penalties, it should be recalled that the four-year period 2018-2022 was, from end to end, a serial heterodox coup against the Republic and national democracy – from within the State, against the socio-institutional model developed from 1988 onwards –, with segmented attacks (explicit and occluded, from major to minor) issued by Ministries of the federal government. Brasilia, last January, was the culmination of the expiration – the last one, it is hoped – of this political trail from hell.

The illustrated re-edition of the previous argumentative cycle, with emphasis on the point of contradiction involved, further refines the assertiveness of the conjecture. About four decades after the ruins of the military regime and the enactment of the Magna Carta of 1988, the institutional conditions pro-establishment republican-democratic were already closed a priori – declares the proud-progressive discourse, certain of the robustness of the heritage consolidated since then. Eternal, Cassandra, the mythical Greek clairvoyant, has been throwing certainties into the fire for a long time (and, for that, she does not need to compute the institutional riot of 2016): vandalism – she warns – materialized an ideological berry that, in other historical circumstances, would have found success; and there was weaponry foreseen for political homicide. Prudence requires vigilance – he concludes –: Latin American democracies are vulnerable as fluff.

Be that as it may – keeping this caveat in mind – if, from another angle of the kaleidoscope, the hypothesis listed is correct, it is no less true that the republican and democratic institutions in Brazil, beyond any distrust of their capacity for resistance, were already shown to be strengthened enough, with checks and balances throughout the 2018-2022 quadrennium, to absorb tentatively fatal stabs, to the point of liquefying the goal and gilding the coup, leaving only room for anomic civil protests. They have everything – one hopes – to go on like this.

By engraving the vanity of paradoxes, the aforementioned conjecture, although it sews up an empirically indefensible thesis, but not devoid of sense, professes priceless assumptions: with one eye open, the other closed, it grants republican and democratic institutions an important approval, that of alleviating doubts about its power of self-preservation. Amputated from context, logic would certainly spare a lumen both for the hypothesis and for the procedure for delineating it. Not infrequently, the indefensible character of a thesis for some is, however, what, in the eyes of others, cannot be sustained in any way.

As for the aspects reported, there remains to be done, in the political area, a deeper comparison between the Brazilian terror and the North American terror, which occurred two years and two days earlier. Altogether, the Bolsonarist vocation of the attack on the Capitol in the United States, on January 06, 2021, put the Brazilian extreme right in a bad light with history, with different social strata and with the international community. Two motives are strong: plagiarism and ridicule.

In reverse, this initiative of repetition set up an exuberant example of how Bolsonarist barbarization contributed to the leftist strands around the Workers’ Party (PT) and its broad democratic front being linked (even if temporarily) to the “positive agenda” in corporate and conservative multimedia visibility, linked to broad daytime consumption.

Neofascist resentment and mass behavior

The route of reflection also includes free notes on the horde in the light of devastating mass behavior.

It does not belong to the rules of common sense to believe that, among criminals, there were (or are) those who could (or can) claim, with truth, that they were on-site visit by default; or, conversely, verbatim, who, among the horde (in the camps, in the bus fleet, in the vicinity of the invaded buildings, etc.), neglected to be aware that actions could culminate in arrest in flagrante delicto, police investigation (for various crimes), denouncement by the Ministry Federal Public (MPF) initiation of legal proceedings and conviction, with or without imprisonment. Both assumptions abuse the most average intelligence.

Brazil has, since 2016, legal rules – careful, but limited – to combat terror.10 With backs warmed by embraces of affluent comfort, criminals, also accomplices of belief, gambled on worldly redemption a posteriori, for common justice, in the shadow of impunity. Not by chance, they acted, from start to finish, with annihilating behavior typical of inhospitable mass conditions: as if there was no tomorrow – that is, terror (in this case, under calculation, in empty and fearless “reprisal”).

[Weeks after the arrest of more than 2 vandals for a custody hearing by the Court of Justice of the Federal District and Territories (TJ-DFT) and by the Federal Regional Court of the 1st Region (TRF-1), hundreds of them were incriminated and held captive.11 The seriousness of the situation caused a shock of reality in the extreme right. Predators/looters discovered the wheel: the limits of institutional and possible penal tolerance. At the same time, democracy was placed before a strange compulsory mirror by its most truculent opponents – a condition that is never configured as a test, but an eternal chance of reaffirming principles: while individual cases are under judicial and police analysis, the values democracy will stage between, on the one hand, the cynicism of the horde's victimizing claims for human rights (fought by the horde itself until pepper spray stings their eyes or until bars arrive) and, on the other hand, the need for exemplary punishments on the part of of the State, in the wake of an ancestral method to discourage similar uprisings.]

The pragmatic complexion of disgust and violence beforehand – before any dialogue – just leaks, at the apex of exasperated sarcasm, the political, social and moral nature of the Bolsonarist extreme right. It translates and well represents, to that extent, the aggressive history of the strain, which dates back, in mass conformation, to the first European decades of the XNUMXth century. When to voluntary hardiness this partisan extremism exercises resentment in streets and squares, in front of HQs, in parliaments and in digital networks, its tectonic plates drag the most heinous or lurid political regressions: militarization of social bonds, torture cellars, sabotage by monopoly and oligarchic capital, post-colonialist landholding supported by slave labor, invasive and predatory mining, unlimited deforestation, intensification of religious reactionaryism and phobic sociopathies, applause for indiscriminate police killings, in addition to scientific denialism and its pathetic expressions, such as flat-Earthern ignorance and anti-vaccination rudeness .

An addendum completes the report: regardless of the political strength of this insidious drag, the behavioral profile pointed out refers – remember – to the incorrigible infantilism not just those who cannot tolerate losing power, but above all those who, deep within the political underworld, fervently pray for the re-establishment of exceptional regimes and, with that, for the return of violence as a State method against opponents.

For this reason, the radical ethical legacy of the legal horizon of Nuremberg, from 1945, with judgments and convictions of Hitler's responsible for the Holocaust, fully justifies, by experience and auscultation of that underworld, the discourse of conviction conviction in prior legitimate self-defense and self-protection against aggressions against humanity (actual or potential). Interpreted under freedom faithful to the same political field, this legacy, intrepid, asserts what oblivion refuses to abandon.

“Faced with defeats – says the legacy –, Nazi-fascists, of any corollary, even Christian, do not cry or cry (especially if you are wealthy, coup financier, under the anonymity of alleged backstage); rather, it cultivates uncontained anger, hoping that shared resentment becomes a productive force for immediate or opportune upheaval. Whoever weeps or weeps, inside or outside prison, frightened by reversal or indigestion unforeseen, is the useful numerary of the mass of maneuver – nothing naive, nothing innocent –, whose fetishistic belief in a tyrant bars sufficient awareness about the boiling of the ground touched with bare feet. An exemplary guardian of human rights – the legacy continues –, the ideal of the civilizing impersonality of republican and democratic institutions, however, he never sympathizes with the core and crust of terrorist sabotage: those responsible live in the leaden winds that watered for steep learning. Whoever, among the defenders of democracy, inappropriately exercises compassion – out of remarkable humanity, but without expressive callus – almost always forgets the impetus for destruction with which, before the authoritarian cry, the neo-fascist operated with the inveterate pride of who doesn't care about other people's lives - and so could destroy the life of the compassionate one too. The desolate fearful, who mourns under the rubble of the world in his head, needs to understand, quickly, that the necropolitics that escapes his eyes and that he passionately supports does not only threaten democracy as a dynamic structure of government and state, but, in the small , the life of your relative or neighbor; and perhaps, for this reason, he took his leave earlier during the pandemic, under presidential and ministerial mockery”.

Historical and journalistic investigation tends to be surprised if the resentment harassed by the delirium of “imaginary communism” does not spur Bolsonarism (civil-business, military and militia) to new virulent, coordinated or scattered actions, parallel to electoral onslaughts, to resume powers, institutional or not; and the republican and democratic bodies must be permanently attentive to this, in the line that ranges from judicial-administrative bodies (with immediate and deferred effects) to public and private investment sectors (long-term) in education for democracy and rights humans vis-à-vis against authoritarianism of any strain.

* Eugene Trivinho and pProfessor at the Graduate Program in Communication and Semiotics at PUC-SP.


1. Riobaldo's view of a troop of dangerous jagunços, in Grande Sertão: paths (Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, 19th ed., 2001), p. 133.

2. Excerpt from “Ansia de Destruction”, item from the first chapter of mass and power (Companhia das Letras, 2019), p. 17.

3. Between historical contextualization and strict conceptual treatment, Baudrillard's perspective on the subject, diversified over the last quarter of the twentieth century, was expressed in Symbolic exchange and death (Paris: Gallimard, 1976), Les strategies fatales (Paris: B. Grasset, 1983), power hell (Paris: Galilee, 2002), L'esprit du terrorism (Paris: Galilée, 2002) and in the article that, with an identical title, culminated in this last book (Le Monde, 03 nov. 2001, available at

4. The term derives from Fredric Jameson's reflection on the postmodern configuration of contemporary culture, in Postmodernism: or the cultural logic of late capitalism (Ática, 1997, p. 52-54), which echoes a previous article by the American literary theorist, “Post-modernity and consumer society” (Novos Estudos CEBRAP, n. 12, jun. 1985, p. 16-26 ). Building on Lacan's conclusions about schizophrenia, Jameson was one of the first to note the recent historical emergence of a "perpetual present" (or eternal) in everyday life. In reality, this presenteeism is more rooted in the fast-paced culture of the metropolises and in the fragmented perception of time than one might imagine. For a comparison with different aspects, see The conquest of the present, by Michel Maffesoli (Rio de Janeiro: Rocco, 1984), and The time in ruins, by Marc Augé (Barcelona: Gedisa, 2003, p. 81, 90, 108).

5. The data result from an opinion survey carried out by Atlas Intel and are available at

6. A glocal cluster, it should be stressed – neither local nor global, rather in, with and/or from the myriad of physical-corporal points inextricably intertwined with real-time communication networks (mass, interactive and hybrid). See the author's The cybercultural dromocracy (Paulus, 2007), glocal e the glocal condition (Annablume, 2012 and 2017, respectively).

7. The percentages juxtapose surveys made by two research institutes, Atlas Intel and Datafolha. The results are in A news ambience can be found in and in the matter cited in the previous note.

8. The expression appears in the elegant (and already epigraphed) mass and power (São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2019, p. 15-19), with the difference that the original meaning of the Bulgarian-British author contemplates more (although not exclusively) the sudden and unplanned discharge.

9. More details at

10. The Anti-Terrorism Law (n. 13.260, of 16/03/2016) is in full

11. Informative and updated summary in

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