Bolsonaro is not bluffing



Neofascism is disruptive and the closure of the regime is an ongoing process; never underestimate the extreme right

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, this is how the world has always changed” (Margaret Mead).

The failure ofputsch of the brewery”, followed by the arrest of its eccentric leader (a certain Adolf) were reassuring signs – things seemed to be going according to plan, in those 1920s in Germany – despite the heavy effects of those sacrifices imposed on the country in the context of the reparation due after the First Great War.

Benito Mussolini became head of government in Italy after the success of the great “March on Rome” in 1922. It didn't take a “classic” coup either in Germany or in Italy for Hitler and Mussolini to seize power. The rest of the story we know well.

The Brazil of 2022 is not the Europe of 100 years ago. The world hegemonized by the USA, the post-2008 crisis neoliberal capitalism design a very different world. China is there to not let us be fooled. New ways of conserving US hegemony around the world appeared. Authoritarian and neoliberal governments seem to be the new paradigm.

However, the European extreme right, for example, does not have the strength to kick the table, take over governments and undermine the liberal-democratic consensus. Trumpism itself lost the elections. In France, Marine Le Pen scared, but didn't take it.

Such an ultra-rightist wave, although it seems to be cooling down, is far from being defeated. Let Americans say so – because in addition to having to live with former President Donald Trump palpitating about everything all the time, preparing to return to the presidency, he has been witnessing concrete advances in reactionaryism. The fascist mob in the US managed, for example, to revoke women's right to legal and safe abortion (an achievement of the 1970s!).

Bolsonaro’s neo-fascism remains connected with the right and its movements around the world – above all because it is capable of expressing/executing a certain radical ultra-super-neoliberalism that is music to the ears of the hyper-rich. Bolsonaro's Minister of Finance, Paulo Guedes is both a symbol and a synthesis, a true icon of the dark alliance between Faria Lima and the barracks.

The 2016 coup was not designed thinking that at the end of the process, Jair Bolsonaro would be elected. The idea of ​​the paulista/globalized bourgeois bankers was to remove the PT and put the PSDB back – their perfect candidate was the toucan governor of São Paulo Geraldo Alckmin.

But, business is business, as usual. Bolsonaro made himself viable by charming the resentful and reactionary of all kinds, in addition to mobilizing the neo-Pentecostal popular religious vote. The former captain opened Pandora's box. It awakened in millions of people (especially white men in the Midwest, Southeast and South) their “most primitive instincts” – as Roberto Jefferson would say.

In 2022, Bolsonarism does not have the slightest condition to achieve an electoral majority. The destruction of public policies, the worsening of the social crisis, authoritarianism, threats to democratic freedoms made Bolsonaro not only a minority, but rejected by almost 70% of the people. A significant part of the capitalist elites, including and mainly the big monopoly media, rejects and even opposes, in its own way, the continuity of the government of Carluxo's father.

On the other hand, the mainstream bourgeois propagates the theory of the two demons. In other words: they are equivalent to Lula and Bolsonaro, emulating and delirious with a third-way candidacy. Liberal, clean, urban, friendly. But it didn't happen, nor will it happen and the tiger knows it (they tried Luciano Huck, Sérgio Moro, flirted with Ciro Gomes, now they pretend to carry the coffin of that Simone Tebet).

But, life is real and bias. Just the other day, on June 29, Bolsonaro spoke to around XNUMX businessmen at an event organized by the CNI (National Confederation of Industries). It was neither the first nor the only one (and everything indicates that it will not be the last) of its kind. Straight talk: the bulk of the upstairs will support Bolsonaro again – with or without – real or feigned – constraints.

The coup is not just crazy rhetoric. The former captain plays hard. That is why it manipulates as much as possible the “fear of Lula” cultivated by our coup elites. A bunch of millionaires who, despite continuing to earn a lot of money in PT governments, worked hard to overthrow Dilma Rousseff and imprison the former president.

So, when Jair Bolsonaro says he's going to strike, he's not bluffing. Bolsonaro is bold. He is avant-garde. He is not incapable or idiotic as there are still some among us today who classify him as such. More worrying than Bolsonaro’s threats is the timid reaction of the left, progressives and “liberals”, the mainstream media. The guy has millions of followers. It represents a stream of masses. The Armed Forces are in government and intend to continue.

Every time I hear something like: “the FFAA would not support a coup against the election result”, I am between perplexed and angry. Like this? The militiamen have been sustaining the coup since before, since forever. It's in their DNA. The FFAA are the backbone of the Bolsonaro government. They are empowered as never before since the fall of the dictatorship, and at the same time enjoy many salary benefits. Why would the militia be quiet, resigned, playing the legalist in the face of Lula's election?

Not to say that nothing positive has happened in recent years: the country has seen up close the rubbish that the so-called Armed Forces are. A mob of incompetents, commanded by old uniforms, intellectually limited, with low cultural capital. Fascist gentlemen, with their minds in the 1960s, nostalgic for the military dictatorship.

Nothing is more iconic and representative of what the Army is than that former Minister of Health, a true Neanderthal – Major General Eduardo Pazuello. This guy will still be criminally responsible for the deaths of thousands of people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Oh, but Joe Biden doesn't want a coup in Brazil, there would be no international support for authoritarian outbursts! Ah, the Armed Forces would not embark on an adventure. The financier bourgeoisie doesn't like Bozo anymore, they wouldn't support a barracks. Really?

There are many possible scenarios. Progressive forces have no right, after all that has happened since 2016, to be naive. Neo-fascism will not hand over the government “in good terms”. Incidentally, Bolsonaro himself has already warned us not to count on him at the ceremony of handing over the presidential sash to the new occupant of the Planalto Palace on January XNUMX, XNUMX.

Notice. It is unlikely that Lula will win on October 2nd. Let's get ready for a whole month of battle on the streets and networks. Winning at the polls on October 30, everything indicates that we will have even more and more clashes ahead. It is good not to rely only on “institutions” (they were accomplices in Dilma’s overthrow, Lula’s imprisonment and Bolsonaro’s victory).

So does that mean that Bozo has the strength and the conditions to close the regime and strike democracy? No. Not today. However, however, however, Bolsonaro is not a “dead dog”. He's not even just bluffing. If he decides to put in motion all his neo-fascist base and his support in the state apparatus, he will open a war, perhaps literally, in the country.

Let's not treat fascist like crazy. They are not. They have ideology, program, method, tactics and policy. We already know that. 2022 is not just about electing Lula and running away from the nightmare. The thing is much more complicated. The hole is much deeper than it looks. We must prepare to guarantee – putting millions of people in motion, not just Lula's victory and inauguration, but the crushing defeat of neo-fascism.

* Julian Rodrigues, journalist and teacher, is a Human Rights and LGBTI activist.


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