years of lead



Bolsonaro, the destruction of democracy and its macabre legacy.

On the night of June 2, our disastrous presidential figure appeared to the nation, on national radio and television, in an attempt to stop the bleeding of the government responsible for the greatest human tragedy in the contemporary history of the country. Even in the midst of historic levels of unemployment, he sought to revive the promise of said economic growth which, if it comes, will be below the world average.

Both in the content of his pronouncement, as in his robotic style and without empathy for the collective pain of a nation in the process of accelerated deconstruction, what our mythical leader managed to demonstrate is that, for the Bolsonaro clan, being and wanting to remain in power is linked , above all, to the need to protect oneself from numerous ongoing legal proceedings and criminal investigations. For this, all types of diversionism will be applied.

If at the beginning the preferred instrument for that was the anachronistic fight against communism, today, when the theme only finds an echo in Bolsonarist bubbles, especially in the barracks and in the state Military Police, the old tactic of the years of lead – make use of the so-called people's sport. Although the country continues to face the need to restrict the movement of people, the ominous decision to host the Copa America has been taken; something inconceivable in the current national situation, but which is being wildly presented as a reason for euphoria in the midst of the ongoing genocide.

The ongoing neo-fascist regime is guided by the permanent creation of crises. Complementing the picture of social upheaval and dissolution of all the institutional ties of democracy that we are experiencing, on June 4th the Army announced that it would not punish active-duty general Eduardo Pazuello for participating in a political act in favor of the great leader. Both the disastrous ex-minister's trip to the act, and the lack of punishment violate the rules of procedure, as well as what would be expected of any Armed Forces that have accepted their existence within the framework of democracy. Evidently, this is not our case. And when deciding on such a path, conniving and submissive, the military can no longer claim to be exempt from the ongoing mortality and excesses.

Bolsonarism is a political movement with an end in itself. In addition to protecting the clan, Bolsonaro and his heirs have no government agenda. The patriarch himself went so far as to state, in a speech abroad, that he came to destroy. It is not surprising, therefore, that his actions so clearly involve the increase of social exclusion, the promotion of division, hatred and lack of sensitivity for the pain of others. Leaving a legacy for history is not something that is part of the horizon of vision of the current fateful president of the Cabral Land. However, even without being part of their personal and family projects and ambitions, the Bolsonaro legacy is already defined.

They will be remembered for having enabled the outbreak of the greatest human calamity in a nation not alien to mass pain and suffering. Yes, our history, far beyond conciliations and intra-elite pacts, has been defined by the exploitation and violence imposed on the majority of our inhabitants. But nothing compares to the repeatedly planned collective destruction that we experience today. It will not be surprising, therefore, if in the future the descendants of the current Bolsonaros prefer to change their last name, in order to silence the macabre past of their ancestors, and that, when Brazilians look in the dictionary, they find the term Bolsonaro as a synonym for genocidal.

We really have in power in Brazil today a character that is not only tragic, but also aberrant. Not that our history has been free of exotic figures. Some treated the so-called social issue as a police matter, others wanted to sweep away corruption with their magic broom. Some preferred to listen to football games on the radio with batteries to govern, others preferred horses to the people. But no one is equal to the degree of insensitivity of those who call the biggest global health crisis of the last 100 years a “little flu” and make fun of those who have become infected or have lost loved ones. And even when, very reluctantly, he referred to the problem, he did so in an unacceptably selfish manner, stating that since he had an "athlete's background", he would not become seriously ill, and that, therefore, there was no problem; or saying that “everyone has to die one day”.

Elected in a momentary concert, helped by shady maneuvers by judges and activist prosecutors, Bolsonaro managed to charm not only the middle classes who wanted to change that., but also commentators and businessmen, always on duty in defense of the “miraculous” liberal agenda. Thus, legitimized by the technocratic aura of ministers who happily associated themselves with a mediocre and monothematic deputy, but retreaded as a savior myth, the former lieutenant came to federal power anointed in the expectation of changes in course.

But although it deepened the dismantling of the Social Welfare State of the Citizen Constitution of 1988 – initiated by the then president, Michel Temer, in the promise, always elusive, of that explosion of growth –, nobody remembers those promises anymore and its supporters today are reduced to ideological minions and generals supported by growing benefits.

Presidents are concerned not only with implementing an agenda for which they were elected, but also with leaving a legacy for which they will be recognized in the history books. Regardless of what Jair Bolsonaro does, whether in the next 18 months or in a possible second term, his last name will be known in the future as a synonym for pain, affliction, despair, horror and death; and his legacy, and that of those who share his macabre patronymic with him, will be the intentional collective killing, by acts and omissions, of, until now, half a million human beings.

*Rafael R. Ioris is a professor at the University of Denver (USA).


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