Alexandre de Moraes



Reflections on the role of the STF minister in resistance to Bolsonarist autocracy

Many people within State institutions – here I want to refer to these without comparing them to those in civil society and parties who fought heroically to stop the advance of fascism – will deserve to be remembered throughout our history for not giving up on democracy , at a time when fascism was advancing in our country. They are worthy of mention for their courage and determination to denounce and resist the harassment of evil, the wrath of their myth and even calls for moderation in their conduct.

These calls for moderation to resist were and are made as if we were facing normal political opponents of democracy, not a criminal group organized in the State to dissolve the Rule of Law and subordinate all its apparatuses to the univocal and arbitrary direction of its leader – megalomaniac without project – and also the criminal director of a family and non-family political group, totally outside the law and radically against the democratic order of 1988.

The socialist deputy Giacomo Matteotti, radical in the anti-fascist struggle, left-wing democrat and also in opposition to the line of the Italian communists, in the boiling dispute over the future of Italy in the 30th century, had presented to Parliament (session of May 1924, XNUMX) evidence of the illegalities, criminal financing, violence and murders committed by Mussolini and his squads in the electoral campaign. It was the day that Matteotti went to the tribune to make yet another accusation against the Duce, stating that he would “use force” to – based on the electoral majority obtained through violence and electoral fraud – impose a dictatorship on the Italian Republic.

Furious Mussolini – in the act and still in the parliamentary enclosure – then ordered his people to punish Matteotti “for his insolence”. After pronouncing his prayer, on May 30, 1924, the threatened deputy said to his colleagues on the bench: “Now you can prepare my funeral prayer”. On June 10, 1924, in Rome, he was stabbed to death after being beaten by his multiple assassins. Murders similar to this one have already occurred in the country and more would happen if it weren't for popular resistance and the courage of some people inside and outside the State apparatus itself.

Let us pay attention to two small facts that characterize an entire period in this cycle: a citizen appointed as leader of a neo-Nazi group in Casca, Rio Grande do Sul, feels free to enter a law firm with violence, this November 23 de 2022 and beat up a female lawyer who had reported neo-Nazi threats in the city, following her to the street, where she openly continues her outburst of hatred. The citizen – evidently extremely dangerous – goes to the Police, is heard and then released. On election day, in regions where candidate Lula has massive support, buses are blocked, people are forced to stand like prisoners, with their hands on their heads, in a process of public intimidation of citizens, which was not seen nor in the ritual elections during the military regime.

Counterpoint: in the middle of the year of grace in 1972, when the civil-military dictatorship in Brazil was on the rise, but under the seal of the Ministry of Education – with the consent of the Federal Council of Education and Culture – the anthological book by Djacir Menezes is republished Brazil in Brazilian thought (from 1956), composed of lapidary texts by our intellectual elite, from the most varied ideological origins. Part of the left was still trying to resist the dictatorship in an armed way – without success due to lack of means and popular support – and Golbery had not yet taken action openly, to guide the “slow, gradual and safe” distension.

In the work are Moysés Vellinho, José Honório Rodrigues, Alceu de Amoroso Lima, Anísio Teixeira, Pontes de Miranda, José de Alencar, Victor Nunes Leal, Josué de Castro, Gustavo Corção and Caio Prado Júnior, to mention just a few of the “greats” who were selected. Conclude on the difference with the present time: on the one hand, in the 1970s, a dictatorship that has an authoritarian project for the country, integrated in the imperialist and anti-Soviet camp, which publishes texts from different worldviews, at the height of its strength.

On the other hand – today – in a Government of mediocre uneducated, sectarian and right-wing extremists, a certain Weintraub is appointed to the Ministry of Education, who worshiped as his intellectual and moral leader a criminal “astrologer”, considered by him as an ethical reference and cultural. It is the same government that appoints as Minister of Foreign Affairs an ignorant type like Ernesto Araújo, who bets that the best thing for his country is to be a world pariah! The identification of our country with Olavo de Carvalho and with the retrograde and medieval will to become a world pariah country will take a lot to overcome in civilized countries, regardless of their Governments, more or less accessible to modern political democracy.

How was that possible? When the 1964 Military Regime was implemented, the military already had a political elite at its service in civil society, promoting the organization of the coup and later forming a powerful political party subservient to the government, whose disciplined operation took place for at least ten years, until it wears out, procedurally with the successive crises of the economic model. It is important to point out that in the 1964 coup the military had a project for the country and had a strong political representation in the parties of the conservative right, which interacted with the intellectuality of the academy and outside it and with the most prominent leaders of the civil society oriented towards the conservatism and democratic ritualism.

In the Bolsonar coup, the “leader” hurried to set up parallel structures with organized crime and arm civilians to dispute the monopoly of force and weapons with the military institutions themselves. In the current episode, therefore, Bolsonaro – the “myth” – tried to form a “military party” after the election, seeking to co-opt hundreds of military personnel for government positions, but without managing to dominate the barracks. His moral and intellectual poverty, his inability to formulate a project for the nation, however small it might be, prevented him from becoming a true leader of armed corporations, which prevented the attempt of yet another classic coup, of a military nature, in America Latina, which could be successful if it found acceptance abroad.

Maybe that volume by Djacir Menezes is little remembered by our young thinkers of politics and sociology in Brazil, although it could make all the difference to mark the specificity, between what happened in Brazil in the years of the Military Regime - at the time fully associated with the imperialist designs of the United States – and what happened in the dystopian and doubly decadent political regime of our country, which resulted in the election of a reformed Captain who came “to destroy”, as he himself declared on several occasions.

The decay of our liberal-democratic representation occurred, on the one hand, firstly because in the very democratic exercise of politics (which remains on the edge of the infinite precipice) order began to be broken without the Constitution being formally torn up; in a second moment, such procedural rupture became hegemonic, for a long time, with the support of the main media, hoping – along with most of the businessmen who finance them – that Jair Bolsonaro would destroy social and labor protection, after obtain a large popular majority.

The delegating majority grants in the elections, then, a legitimate mandate for the extreme right to calmly expand its murderous hatred, sheltered within the institutions of the State, which are divided and vacillating, between opportunism adhering to fascism, as had happened in Germany and Italy and the maintenance of the democratic legality of the 1988 pact. After the main reforms, however, comes the Secret Budget, which brings to light a power project that displaces the capitalist elites from the budgetary power outside the “rules of the game” provided for in the Major Law , when they begin to seek in the so-called “third way” a solution to their crisis of political hegemony.

The military institution, therefore, did not organize in an organized manner a favorable electoral situation for Bolsonaro to be re-elected, nor did it surrender en masse to his unconditional defense, unlike what had happened in 1964. The forms of illegality committed in 1964 – military pronouncement followed by destruction of the legitimate constitutional fabric to try to legitimize another – was generated by military and civilians who rebelled “in the Ides of March” against the communist “cause”, with the defense of a strong and authoritarian nation-state project, which – according to its leaders civil and military – would integrate the country (due to a dated dictatorship) into the “western and Christian world”.

In the case of the rise of the “Bolsonaro regime” – a mediocre politician who said he was adept at murdering his opponents and said he would come to “destroy”, there is a corrosion of the system “from within” the institutions. And he does so with the majority support of Congress and raises fascism – without the express support or encouragement of military institutions – to the condition of a concrete political alternative, almost consecrated in an electoral process of reelection, in which he fought until the end to defraud. Times were different, the big press and bourgeois elites were saturated with his vulgarity and feared that the destruction of the country, which he was already carrying out, could reach his business in an overwhelming way.

M. son of the century is the book by Antonio Scurati, which narrates Mussolini's political action between 1919 and 1925, a narrative based on vast documentation of the time, which shows the rise of will against the strength of institutions. It points out the flirtations of the old Italian liberal politicians with authoritarianism, the cynical posture of monarchists, the attempt to co-opt intellectuals – in which M. was partially successful – the epic grandeur of the “myth” speech, reinventing the past and redrawing the promises for the future, close to the ears of the masses tired of rhetorical liberal-democratism, without results in their daily lives.

The son of the century, in Brazilian proto-fascism, however, was not close to the structures of the State, in the places where the bolsonarico coup d'état was reproduced (Congress and Executive), nor in civil society, which the fascist leaders tried to organize with money and with the utopian promises of a return to the medieval past. It was neither an opposition party, nor a myth, nor a group; nor was he a major and responsible politician like Lula. The son of the century was not fascinated to directly observe the ongoing “societal fascism”, as it was “from within the State”, submitting Executive and Parliament representations that the coup could prosper. He didn't tremble with fear or waver: he wore and wears a black cape and has no ideological ties to the left.

“Xandão”, unimpressed by the coup bluffs and his death threats, is our son of the century in State institutions, in the opposite way to Mussolini, described by Scuratti: his weapon was and is the Constitution and his courageous will within the STF, it was the biggest of all, since the 1988 Constitution was proclaimed by Ulysses Guimarães, who was “disgusted with the dictatorship” and all dictators. Provisionally, democracy won, but now we have to overcome the hatred that the fascists spread like a medieval plague, whose vaccine – unfolded in time – must be more democracy, more food on the table, more education, freedom and reconciliation with a future of security and peace: without weapons and without gangs of assassins from those “sons of the century” who worship death and infinite violence.

*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. Author, among other books, of possible utopia (Arts & Crafts).

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