the citizen movement



Considerations on democratic-republican unity and Bolsonarist advance

Antinomy between citizenship and neoliberalism is a very common finding in democratic political theory, both from the angle of the various Marxist variants (Perry Anderson, for example, in the book commitment zone), as well as the analytical positivism of a republican nature, by Norberto Bobbio (in Rights and duties of the Republic), a theme that is constantly updated in academic productions and in debates that explode on the networks, between eminent political leaders of different parties and leftist groups with immediate political force. The citizen movement in the democratic space of classic industrial society has always had at its base, on the one hand, the organized working class and, on the other, the poor of “all kinds”, when they identify their future luck in a part of organized society. .

When Bobbio, within this debate – as a democratic intellectual – is called to give his opinion on the “degeneration of democracy into demagoguery”, he exemplifies this crisis in Berlusconi's conduct: “Berlusconi (...) considers that for him it is licit what the common people mortals dream” (…) “he is a man who has enormous self-esteem” (…) “considers himself infinitely superior to other human beings” (…), “they have the idea of ​​themselves as being an exception.” He is not a citizen of the Republic, but a superior being seated in the power of the market-God, whose strength is constantly rebuilt, both by media propaganda and by planned obsolescence.

The economicist form of politics in the neoliberal and rentier project (Wendy Brown) increases economic freedom for the strongest, as the power of politics is reduced, due to the increasingly narrow decision-making margins of rulers. This narrowness of options releases energies originating from “fear, anxiety” and the “declining economic status”, since politics disappoints, is slow, does not resolve the hard issues of everyday life, full of frustrations and resentments that can only be sublimated in who socializes in the market. Bolsonaro at the UN made fun of Brazil and the world, which demonstrates that he considers himself strong also due to the divisions in the democratic field.

Here is a correct but incomplete analysis. It omits the perfect moment of the neoliberal turn, based on the strength of coups d'état or in the sequence of moments of “exception”, even within the traditional Democratic State, whose sequence highlights the ever deeper separation between Republic and Democracy: the latter manages to program answers only from the market, where people are unequal, and republican promises are censored by the normative force of the market, which is “perfect” only in the imagination of those who arrive in its vestibule with money in their pockets.

Both Berlusconi and Bolsonaro were generated within liberal democracy, both destined to stifle its aspects more linked to the rights of citizenship, but both were also anchored in legitimacy by the market, which would equal everyone on merit. Berlusconi's belief - in himself - comes from his idealization, based directly on his class condition, but Bolsonaro's megalomania - which authorizes him a planned genocide - comes from his acceptance by the "elites" from his commitment to the reforms, which unified the more traditional ruling classes around them.

The question is no longer whether Bolsonaro will impose a praetorian dictatorship, which seems increasingly impossible, but what is the strength of the pacts in sequence with the institutional power most resistant to his delirium, the STF. Bolsonaro’s confrontation with the STF merges – in an absolute way – at this historic moment, the question of the republic with the democratic question. The Republic may be more (or less) authoritarian, but the political democracy of the 1988 Constitution is incompatible with the absorption of any Constitutional Power by another. At this moment, if the STF, already exhausted, is defeated in the struggle with the sinister squads of Bolsonarism, democracy will not return for a long historical period in the country.

These are the reasons that make me maintain, in the circles in which I debate national issues, that our leaders in the democratic and republican camps should, at least momentarily, overcome their differences in order to place, on the agenda, the end of Bolsonarism and the preparation of a unitary program to govern after the crisis: to recover Brazil's prestige in the global order, fully exercise shared national sovereignty based on our interests, commit to an emergency program to create jobs and activities, fight hunger and the pandemic, defend the environment and restore the democratic environment guaranteed by the Major Law. October 2nd is a good day to start this process!

*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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