The beacons of the Bonapartist coup

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By MILTON PINHEIRO*

The project of the socialist left cannot be conformed to the social-democratic operation, it cannot be imprisoned by intersectional integration, it cannot let itself be carried away by the movement that, in seeking to be victorious in economic struggles, sits comfortably in corporatism, but also cannot act through political rigging

The rapid Brazilian situation has been impacted by contradictions that deflate scenarios that previously confirmed political movements in a certain direction. Well, that the conjuncture presents itself as a list of possibilities and scenarios, so far nothing new on the front. However, the pandemic, the Bonapartist actions of the military president, the perplexity of the powers (judiciary and legislative) in the face of palace impostures, the presence of neo-fascist hordes on public roads, the directed drowsiness of fractions of the bourgeoisie in the face of the virus and the Brazilian macroeconomy , but also the confrontational posture of the leftist movements (not confined to the order of the conflictive partnership with capital), have made the conjuncture complex in the short term. However, something consolidates in restricted democracy: the limits of the coup are being tested by the fascist agitator, Jair Bolsonaro.

The common sense of political analysis does not understand that the coup articulated by Bolsonaro has not yet manifested itself through the classic path (burgo-military coup). It is the operation of other forms of construction of authoritarianism that demoralize the institutions of the bourgeois State and gradually close the beacons of formal democracy, today already deeply restricted. It naturalizes the exercise of force in political relations, quibbles about what the constitution represents, vulgarizes language in public life, advances in the domestication of hordes that are found in the various “enclosures” of political demonstrations, organizes a neo-fascist group that is gradually formed by the spectacle that produced the rise of the extreme right in Brazil and in the world, therefore, hate is built to later implement fascism.

We cannot look to the classic form of fascism for an explanation for this cycle of the extreme right in Brazil. We have a far-right government led by a fascist agitator, whose characteristics are affirmed in authoritarianism; which, in the opposite sense to classical fascism, is against the State and operates in the extreme radicalism of neoliberalism. However, just like classic fascism, it is obscurantist, denialist, has contempt for science, fosters virtual marginality (Fake News) and feeds neo-Pentecostal fundamentalism.

In addition to this set of characteristics, and the comings and goings of the conjuncture, previously articulated to produce controlled chaos, Bolsonaro consolidated a role in the face of the pandemic: important sectors of commerce, bourgeois fractions, social segments circumstantial in poverty, in the middle class racist, in fascist extracts coming from the security sectors of the State and in the neo-Pentecostal hordes that have supported this position of the president.

Now the military president, with his Bonapartist stance, maintains the fascist agitation and articulates in yet another scenario: operating the coup from within the institutions. The tension with the judiciary, the re-articulation of the political branch in the legislature with the centrão operation, the control over the military sector established in the palace and the advance of the operations of virtual marginals in the contagion networks configure the expansion of the coup, now for the control of institutions, by the requirement that institutions act as a party (Federal Police) and by the reduction of spaces for formal democracy and the subjugation, for another normative purpose, of the capitalist State in Brazil.

All this is confirmed with the premise of the lack of interest of the president of the Federal Chamber, Rodrigo Maia, in opening the process of constitutional impeachment of the president and, also, by the political cowardice of the president of the Federal Supreme Court, Dias Toffoli. The latter clearly has, today, in the particularity of our circumstances, the same attitude as Pope Pius XII in the face of the massacre of the Jews by Nazism. Bolsonaro is deliberately betting on social upheaval to strike through the spaces of exception that the legislation still contains and the possibility of instituting a state of siege. The military president wants to eliminate spaces for political mediation. And for this movement, it even counts on the connivance of the center-right, which in theory has a divergence with it, however, they are the coup leaders of 2016 and, therefore, are in the same political field of the coup.

The fascist march on the STF, carried out by Bolsonaro, together with the so-called CNPJs, had a lenient response from the judiciary and legislative powers. The bloc in power bet on the crisis, reduced the contradictions between the bourgeois fractions and in the Covid 19 Pandemic is with Bolsonaro. Therefore, the fascist agitator advances in the process of rupture by building the spectacle that moves his social base and by destroying spaces of relative autonomy from the State, even in the bourgeois order. The marches of the yellow shirt hordes, the racist petty bourgeoisie (middle class) motorcades, created a trail for Bolsonaro to parade. Not even the health crisis has prevented the advance of this coup structure.

Bolsonarism consolidated itself as a modus operandi in the making of politics, with or without Jair Bolsonaro, this fascist strand was constituted in a way of acting that from authoritarianism, obscurantism, resentment, the various social prejudices manipulate different modalities of intervention. The attack on the nurses, the act in support of the military president in front of the palace, the camp of the fascist group commonly known as “The 300 for Brazil” are varied forms of attacks that consolidate the closing of the beacons of formal democracy and expand the character restriction of democracy. However, “The bourgeoisie is obliged to falsify the truth and call the government of the people, or democracy in general, or pure democracy, the democratic (bourgeois) republic, which represents, in practice, the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, the dictatorship of the exploiters. over the masses of workers” (LENIN, 2019).

Is this Bolsonarist operation of interest to the bourgeois autocracy in Brazil? Yes. The first question is to understand “that the State is always a special organization, a body of officials whose function is to carry out a series of acts destined to soften the conflict between antagonistic social classes. Now, if the function of this special body of employees is, necessarily, always the same, it is not the standard of internal organization of employees. These invariably defend, in their activities (administrative and military), the general interest of the exploiting class” (SAES, 1987). That's why Bolsonaro calls for institutions / party.

With this signaling, we can affirm that the bourgeois autocracy, with greater or lesser involvement, will always be supporting the Bonapartist posture of the military president. After all, neo-fascism has neoliberal radicalization as its current symptom, the attack on the role of the State, which made it possible for the financial oligarchy, even before this ongoing phenomenon, to take political power from the State on the issue of currency and the public fund.

The internal clash between the fractions of the bourgeoisie in Brazil, and its international consortium, tries to overcome contradictions, delimits a field to foment the political crisis. However, it is important to reaffirm, the friction between these fractions still does not operate in contradiction with the president and his government. There is a logic that underlies the understanding that the government's macroeconomic vision, operated by the social criminal, Paulo Guedes, is important for Brazil's economic reorganization. For this, there is a (bourgeois) class unit in the relentless attack on the State and on the interests and rights of the working class. What has already been done in the reorganization of the State is small compared to what could happen with the suggestions of the internal bourgeoisie, the actions of Paulo Guedes and the purchase of the “Centrão” in parliament.

What can generate new battles in the class struggle that can confirm the timid change in the balance of power in favor of workers and the left?

The extreme right is proposing closure in the institutional order; social democracy suggests confrontation to maintain the beacons of formal democracy and the constitutional state; liberals want Bolsonaro's control and expansion of the privatist order; and the left, what does it want and what does it intend to organize to move the class struggle? An important part of the Brazilian left has long since disconnected from the classist field. It began to operate in the logic of intersectionality, which has as its central element the guarantee of public policies and identity statements that are important, however, in greater or lesser conflict and circumstances, are fully integrated into the order of the system. The interpretation that the main contradiction, in the capitalist order, is between capital and labor and that this struggle is fundamental to articulate the reaction that can overcome the set of oppressions has not been of greater importance in the militant logic of an important sector of the Brazilian left, even from a socialist perspective. From the escape from this centrality, an ideological perspective grew up marked by the intersectional vision that has guaranteed spaces of representation at the different levels of the Brazilian parliament, has strong integration in the corporate action of segments affected by the most diverse oppressions, has built a discourse that operates with representation within society, however, it cannot move beyond this conflicting integration with order.

Alongside this militant posture that affirms the logic of intersectionality, a reformist union practice is presented, although with a radicalized discourse, which fails to build a class action, even verbally repeating this condition. It is a union attitude, even combative, that glorifies corporatism and fails to deepen the class project, therefore, easily absorbed by the order. We can still question, in this union perspective, the backward logic, of a petty-bourgeois nature, which is an aversion to the presence of the political operator that has a universal project and perspective of rupture, affirming a false independence.

Therefore, in addition to the difficulties imposed by the bourgeois autocracy, by the neo-fascist project in Brazil, we have internal problems for the Brazilian socialist left, which constitutes, on the one hand, militant intersectionality, corporatism and, on the other, no less serious, the apparatusism that distances broad sectors from concrete struggle workers.

The project of the socialist left cannot be conformed to the social-democratic operation, it cannot be imprisoned by intersectional integration, it cannot let itself be carried away by the movement that, in seeking to be victorious in economic struggles – which positively feeds the working class – sits down comfortably in corporatism, but also cannot act through political apparatus. Therefore, these are questions that must be faced by the socialist left, because we are in a disjuncture of the class struggle where the extreme right, the bourgeoisie, neo-fascism present themselves for confrontation. We, the revolutionary left, have to fight in the field of strategic transformation with due tactical mediations. Our political work is the class struggle, our struggle is for the Brazilian revolution, our path is the conquest of socialism and our immediate task is to expel the fascist hordes from the streets.

*Milton Pinheiro is a professor of political history at the State University of Bahia (UNEB). He edited, among other books, Dictatorship: what remains of the transition (Boitempo)

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