capital adventures


By Eliziário Andrade*

The only thing that is on the agenda of finance capital is to restore, in an acceptable way, its margins of values, which requires the establishment of social work relations that go back to violent and profoundly inhumane conditions.

The political characterization of a government is defined by its ideological and cultural character, its political and economic mission, relationship with social classes and the State, in a certain national and international context of the development of capitalism. Fascists burned Europe's humanist hopes in Christian hell, like the most classic cases in history: Italy and Germany. This resulted in very specific conditions linked to the crisis of capitalism and bourgeois society after the first imperialist and predatory war, as expressed by Lenin in 1914. At that juncture, and in the decades that follow, extensive social resentments, defeats, losses, political of poverty, growing unemployment, frustrations and hopelessness accumulated to engender various movements of heterogeneous political and ideological trends, many of which contradictory to each other in terms of their principles, ideas and practices.

It is from this circumstance that fascism, as a complex expression of this economic, social and political dynamic, emerged and strengthened in the 1930s in Europe and in other parts of the world. In Germany and Italy it reaches a more developed political and ideological profile, in the form of a historical tragedy in which its greatest meaning and triumph derive from the irrationalism of the reproduction of capital, from the interstate and hegemonic disputes of imperialism. Or, as Lukács points out, it represents bourgeois political and philosophical thought itself in crisis, which assumes a caricatured form, in the alleged ideology and principles of fascism, which produces two distinct worlds: on the one hand, impotent and inhuman reason and, on the other, reality and scientific knowledge of life and the world as phenomena and realities considered intelligible. It is a return to mythology and fiction as an explanatory source, since objective truth and reason do not exist, they were destroyed by petty bourgeois subjectivism that takes refuge in philosophical transcendentalism and fundamentalism apart from the real and concrete world (Lukács. Existentialism and Marxism, 1967).

With the denial of reality, facts and their multiple determining relationships, the fascists are left with violence, intimidation and fanaticism as their only means of convincing. In this way, a system of political propaganda is elaborated where falsehood, lies and manipulation are instituted as a practice of political normality, with an amoral and cynical face. Thus, fascism, astonishingly, appears as something apparently new and seductive in the face of reality, with the capacity to polarize and absorb different groups from the middle class, and even from the popular classes, for an adventurous epic of the bourgeoisie in the face of the crisis situation of the capitalism and the objective need to restore – under any social and political condition – the institutional bases necessary to guarantee the increase of profits and accumulation, with an intense and extensive form of dispossession and exploitation of the social force of work.

This economic imperative reveals, nowadays, a trend that evidences a rapprochement with the expansion of contemporary financial capitalism – in its phase of structural crisis and ultraliberal ideology -, with clear political and ideological traits identified with fascism. This is because the hegemonic financial capital does not retreat in its logic, does not make voluntary concessions. Consequently, it cannot get rid of its own destructive rationality, which needs to engender an incessant process of revolutionizing the productive forces. That is, it cannot retreat, remake the logic of its own history of value creation on a universal scale. For this reason, its rationality comes up against contradictions, internal and external limits, demonstrating immense difficulties in self-valorization, by undermining and destroying its own production base - living work -, for the creation of real values ​​that are trapped in uncertainties circumstances of fictitious capital. At the same time, it leads nature to a state of destructive asphyxiation by breaking the inseparable relationships between man and nature. As a result, human existence has become insignificant, since the deep ties that maintain the unity of existence have dissolved, man has lost the sense of the human condition and starts to carry the burden of civilization of capitalism that has nothing more to offer to society. humanity.

Faced with this notorious impasse of the rational sociability of capital, the growing form of contempt in which it discards human beings, leading thousands to death in an imperturbable and cold way, violence and exclusion are expressed as the current patterns of labor relations incorporate and discard, uninterruptedly , the workers of the jobs, and the sociability of the system. Nothing is taken into account, even when the existing picture of reality expresses various risks for the system and requires containment measures to preserve the illusory “normality” of its reproduction. For this very reason, it is a real flight forward, that is, there is no way to renounce the logical principles of material reproduction in favor of a redistributive or social security policy of social protection, where it is possible to establish a rational control of capital, through the state.

Several analysts, more enlightened and lucid, from the financial world and bourgeois journalism, in the face of the global crisis, already defend that it is necessary to do something “serious”, in the face of recent events in the capitalist world, which has its crisis deepened by the covid-19. XNUMX. The most illustrative fact of this initiative came from the important editorial of the bourgeois newspaper of Financial Times of April 3, 2020, which understands that it is necessary to redefine the direction of the economic policies of the last four decades and seek new paths. In this way, it appeals to the political leaders of the dominant classes and direct representations of the business community and their organizations, to redefine their agendas, since the current scenario imposes it as a necessary and essential task.

Many of the conservatives, the so-called “progressive bourgeois”, as well as those who called themselves the “modern left”, fell into the illusion of Keynes, who believed that he could control the imperatives of capital and power through the State and the organizations of civil society, guarantee a society with relative stability, balance in market relations and guarantees for full employment based on the role of the State, to leverage economic development. A condition seen as necessary to avoid producing increasingly explosive and barbaric social inequalities. But, deep down, what Keynes and many of his bourgeois and social democratic followers wanted and continue to think is to prevent the worst: the generalization of social discontent engendered by the crisis and the delegitimization of the system.

Fearfully, the ruling classes seek to prevent and anticipate sensible measures to avoid possible rebellions by the masses, in the form of revolts or movements that have a programmatic political definition of an anti-capitalist and revolutionary nature. However, as Marx understood, it is not ideas detached from reality, processes and intrinsic relationships of facts that command the world, reality and life, but the class struggle, on a national and global scale. Regardless of any measure of containment or postponement of moments of reckoning, the masses will erupt to work for the just the true revenge of history.

For this very reason, capital increasingly seeks to control its interests through its political representations in parliament, the judiciary, the armed forces, but also starts to control, directly and vertically, without democratic mediation, the set of institutions supposedly public, such as education, culture, the media, health, life and death. Likewise, it supervises and commands the parliament and the bourgeois “democratic regime”. At the same time, the spheres of political, social and economic activity are being subjected, private companies and their activities converted into merchandise, in order to fully comply with the domain of monopolies and economic corporations.

It is in this context that the culture and scale of individualistic values ​​imposed by neoliberalism on life, the way of being and living, became prevalent. And, concomitantly, the fetish of the social world reaches extreme levels of strangeness for human beings, in their relations with material things in the form of merchandise. Indeed, capitalism and human life are at the limits of contradictions in the forms of socialization of a social and historical reality that has been laid bare in this century by the covid-19 pandemic.

On the one hand, the State, captured by financial capital and neoliberal policies, guarantees all the support and safeguards to the financial interests of corporations that control and monopolize the economy; on the other hand, specifically in Brazil, it subjects the population to a situation of helplessness, with mass unemployment and indigence, in the face of the chaos of public health, with a lack of hospital resources to protect all those who need to survive in the face of a growing wave of deaths. It is clear, therefore, that the ultraliberal economic policy that is imposed in the country has enormous responsibility for the genocide, and seeks, with this, to carry out a kind of social hygiene of extermination of portions of the poor, blacks, Indians, unemployed and elderly, in order to guarantee greater functionality to the system.

Even with all this, the only thing that is on the agenda of financial capital is to restore, in an acceptable way, its margins of values, which requires the establishment of social work relations that go back to violent and profoundly inhuman conditions in relation to how work works. carried out the generation of values ​​since the industrial revolution of the XNUMXth century. And, in turn, capitalism is corroded by the impossibility of incorporating more and more portions of the mass of workers in its production process; transformed into social peers, they begin to live on the margins of the system. Those who are still in work activity lose their job stability and become precarious temporary workers, without rights and social support.

It is on this ground that fascism thrives and gains strength. On the political and ideological plane, the fascist “movement”, in its initial phase and towards power, presented itself with a certain ambiguity and lack of clarity in relation to the political and economic commitments to which it was articulated. But, both in past experiences and today, as soon as they came to have control of the State, they openly and directly assumed their links with reactionary and militaristic nationalism and US imperialism, at the same time that they relegated to the class it averages only the role of vague promises of a new life and a morally uplifted, uncorrupted society.

In the Brazilian case, the Bolsonarist movement, from the beginning, acts with actions that, apparently, are characterized as an inverted form of anti-system and against everything that represents the “old politics”. Although for the understanding of the people it seems to be that, in fact, he presents himself as a savior of the system, with its institutions of political representation in crisis and, for this very reason, receives important support from the bourgeoisie, to carry out the mission of reconfigure the constitution and eliminate from the social order and its relations, everything that could represent political, economic and legal obstacles for the increase of the rates of capital values. The ruling classes were aware that the price to pay – without remorse or a dilemma of principles – would be the strengthening of a government inspired by proto-fascist practices, which would compromise democracy and its institutions. But, as long as it was guaranteed through his minister Paulo Guedes – formed by the ideas and applications of the ultraliberal economic plan of Pinochet's dictatorial and fascist government –, everything would be accepted, even the fascistization of politics and society.

It is from this reality and position of the bourgeois fractions in Brazil that we can understand Bolsonaro's political survival until that moment. Note that the moderate criticisms, coming from the representations of institutions such as the STF and Parliament, do not express any fearless and strong initiative to contain the government's offensive that threatens the judiciary and parliamentary power with coup-like actions. For even with countless crimes against the bourgeois order, conservative liberals remain fearful; at the same time, the left is scattered, without a plan to unify the actions of the youth, the people and the working class.

Meanwhile, the permissiveness of the judiciary and the forces of repression continues in relation to Bolsonaro's followers, who receive orders for violence and persecution of people through armed and virtual militias, institutions and ideas that they consider dangerous for individual ambitions and for society. the nation. In the initial phase, they sought to hide their ideology and their class and group ties, wishing to pass through a hypothetical non-ideology (“school without a party”, “God, Brazil and the family above all”) to guide and pursue the ideology of opponents or enemies. Today, however, they are no longer able to conceal the ideology, ideas and political practices they defend and their real submission to finance capital, to fractions of the bourgeoisie and to US imperialism.

We are facing a discourse and practice that is characterized by an irrationalist view of the world, based on a propaganda base based on aggression, lies, racism, xenophobia, emotionalism, fanatical nationalism and anti-communism. The operation of this strategy relies on a strongly engaged social base that, in his time, Trotsky had already identified: “By means of the fascist agency, the bourgeoisie puts in motion the masses of the infuriated petty bourgeoisie, the bands of 'classless', the demoralized 'lumpen-proletarians', all those innumerable human existences that financial capital itself led to despair and fury” (Trotsky, Leon. How to Crush Fascism, São Paulo: Literary Autonomy, p.87, 2019).

As a political movement, fascism is marked by a specific ideology and practice of a phenomenon that is not tied to the past, in a finite historical sense, proper to an era that has exhausted itself and that, for that very reason, cannot emerge again. Fascism has a changing character because it is engendered in the very contradictory dialectics of bourgeois capitalist society, which endogenously carries the founding elements of this political phenomenon. And that, when it finds certain general and specific conditions, it is ready to impose itself again on the failure of the liberal parties of the traditional right or of the liberal reformist “left” that placed themselves as hegemonic in a certain conjuncture, but that failed and were defeated, by the Fascist extreme right.

It is at this point that we find ourselves, as it is unlikely that fascism will arise in the form that took place in the first decades of the twentieth century, whether due to the different national and international historical conditions of that time, or even due to the degree of dependence that the State and society Brazilian economy has with the international market and with the most important economic ties, such as China, Europe, Argentina, USA, etc. But even so, in a context of political and moral defeat of the institutional left and the social-liberal PT government, of the conservative liberal right, such as PSDB and DEM, extreme right-wing forces, led by Bolsonaro, were able to capture the feelings of revolt and indignation of the masses over corruption and impose a political and electoral defeat on the PT's government project and on the intentions of the DEM and PSDB to return to power.

By assuming control of the State, Bolsonaro leaves no doubt as to the characterization of the central nucleus of his government, marked by elements of a proto-fascist nature that presents differences and similarities in relation to classic Nazi-fascism. However, these characteristics must be observed accompanying the dialectical movement of the class struggle in the country and the intensification of conflicts in the conjuncture. For example, instead of assuming open, explicit and generalized violence against opponents, whether they come from bourgeois political factions, popular movements or workers' organizations, they work with an ambiguity of political actions. Because, at the same time that they fight the constitutional positions guaranteed by the STF or by the parliament, they do not completely ignore these institutions, they seek to negotiate to guarantee "governability" and political survival, like the alliance with the centrão: a parliamentary political cluster that carries in its history all kinds of practices of corruption and opportunism.

At the same time, it gives continuity to the political ambiguity and, through the State, continues to use violence as a method to impose itself, although not assumed (unlike typical fascism), as in the cases of the murder of Marielle, death threats of Jean Wilhys and many others, of countless murders of popular leaders in the countryside and even in the cities, by the landowners and armed militia forces articulated by members of the government.

Well, many of the political and practical distinctions that Bolsonarism presents in relation to typical fascism can decrease or increase, to assume a neo-fascist version submerged to the conditionalities of the country's socioeconomic formation and bourgeois institutionality. This trend is real and is in transition. But the possibility of completing this transition and institutionalizing itself as a form of political regime can only occur with an institutional political rupture. Which implies the possibility of counting on the deployment of the army in your favor and neutralizing some fractions of the ruling classes that react timidly to Bolsonaro's threats of wanting to impose direct control over the central institutions of the current order: STF, parliament, PF, press "free". Although these bodies are aligned with the neoliberal reforms carried out by that government, they somehow resist Bolsonaro's advances, who want to restrict the free operation of the aforementioned institutions of the bourgeois state.

This means that there is not, yet, a “fascist regime”, but rather a mitigated bourgeois democracy, with wide use of coercion, dismantling of cultural practices, of their historical legacy and censorship of creative research activities in all areas of knowledge. and of science. Thus, what is in motion are practices that, little by little, are configured as neo-fascists, which take shape and content determined by social and class relations existing in the social, economic, political and ideological formation of our history, a capitalist country peripheral, dependent and profoundly unequal. It is on this reality that Bolsonarism begins to gain space and strength to go beyond the characteristics of proto-fascism. For, in addition to an aggressive rhetoric, it also evolves, to a certain degree and dosage, to open physical violence, the defense of an authoritarian civil-military regime, persecution and extermination of the left, blacks, indigenous peoples, women and a global attack on workers' rights. This is, today, the only possible way for Bolsonaro to remain in government, but, contradictorily, it means acting, at the limit, generating tensions and increasing opposition to his government. Indeed, for neo-fascism to consolidate its power, there is no other way than to destroy popular and working class organizations, as well as to subject the most reticent bourgeois fractions to this form of government and power.

And, here, we must understand that – supported by historical experiences – for the monopoly bourgeoisie, finance capital and imperialism, the bourgeois parliamentary regime, functioning in its full form or an authoritarian and neo-fascist regime, represent only different instruments of its domination in certain conditions. Therefore, in the circumstances in which we live, the time will come when the bourgeoisie in Brazil and imperialism will be able to assess whether the least costly path from an economic and political point of view will be an agreement from the top, maintaining everything that they have already achieved fundamentally: the imposition of the ultraliberal project in Brazilian society, which represented the end of the “republican pact” of classes – configured in the 1988 constitution -, or removing from power the one who fulfilled the role of demolisher of democracy and social conquests. Finally, the dilemma posed is whether the victory and imposition of the ultraliberal program can continue and consolidate itself within the framework of bourgeois democracy or through an adventure of neo-fascistization of society and the State.

The prevalence and victory of this trend and political option will only be possible if the financial and industrial capital that hegemonizes various bourgeois fractions and political representations in parliament, along with some segments of the military forces, are kept cohesive around the ultraliberal financial program and foreign economic policy. by Paulo Guedes. Because, if before the ultraliberal measures served to unite the bourgeois fractions, today the bets made around the mentioned reforms do not manage to generate as many expected results. Every day economic and political indicators cause deep discomfort and increase the tone of criticism coming from their own supporters, those who are part of their power bloc. Internal dissensions widen and open up political spaces for the growth of a vigorous action by popular and democratic forces to remove this government from power, which seeks to consolidate the normalization of a political-ideological discourse, practice and neo-fascist tactics in order to appropriate the State spoils in favor of financial and rentier oligarchies.

* Eliziário Andrade He is a professor at UNEB.


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