Bolsonaro in the mirror of Hitler

Max Beckmann, The Night, 1918–19.
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By LUIZ MARQUES*

O Mito bolsonarista is equivalent to Leader Hitlerite

Bolsonaro broadens the concept of race, by sheltering black people under the umbrella of racism, misogyny against women, lgbtphobia against the autonomy of sexualities, social stigma against the poor and immigrants and discrimination against demonstrations that confront Catholic fundamentalism or evangelical. Although it is unacceptable, it is understandable that the abject pariah has destroyed the institutional advances of the State, recognized by progressive governments. Hitler replaced the class struggle with the anti-Semitic race struggle, and when writing Mein Kampf, in prison, outlined a movement that took the radical form of an alternative worldview to social-bolshevism.

O Mito bolsonarista is equivalent to Leader Hitlerism, synonymous with “truth” in the interpretation of Hannah Arendt, in Origins of Totalitarianism. In both cases, the function and the person in charge are confused. The two personalities are representative of a rooted irrationalism. The power in the configuration of the respective leaders extracted the charismatic aura from the bowels of a sociocultural malaise.

In Brazil, by mixing the imaginary resentment of the middle class for – apparently – descending in the social hierarchy, due to the social promotion policies that made it possible for a dependent maid to study at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism (FAU) of the University of São Paulo (USP), as in the movie What time does she come back, by Anna Muylaert. This situation was aggravated by the subjectivation of the heavy structures left over from colonial-slave society in the consciousness of privileged sectors. In Germany, by mixing the resentment after the First World War given the defeat followed by the humiliating peace with the totalitarian trend towards a holistic society. The Third Reich did not confirm a destination. It deepened pre-existing anti-democratism.

André Singer warns of caution with “analogies between eras”, as “they need to be taken Cum grain salis”. With the just reservation, he compared the mobilization commemorating the independence on this side of the sea with the March on Rome, organized to successfully pressure King Vittorio Emanuele to nominate Il Dulce Prime Minister of Italy. The focus, on screen, collates the experience of the Nationalsozialische Deutsche. The failure of Sete de Setembro in Brasilia updates the putsch from Munich. Let the similarities stop there. Not infrequently, tragedies debut with failures in the political theater.

 

One of the Worldview premodern

The conception of the extreme right, today as yesterday, refers to a Worldview premodern. See, by the way, the excellent book by Benjamin Teitelbaum, Eternity War: The Return of Traditionalism and the Rise of the Populist Right (Unicamp). Four stages associated with the domination of castes would demarcate the cycles of humanity: 1) In the great age, the Aryans of spirit would prevail; 2) Next, the warriors of the restoration movement; 3) Below, these, the business agents which the merchants and; 4) In the rapa do tacho, the bodies programmed for manual work, whose political expression would reside in the systems of liberal democracy and socialism. Systems that point to a pro-equality, formal and/or material sociability.

Traditionalism is an inheritance of the medieval values ​​of honor and fidelity present in the Christian Crusades from the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth centuries, which left Europe towards the Holy Land and Jerusalem to conquer them, militarily. The undisciplined captain circumvents procedural rules to enroll his daughter (without competition) in the supposed beacon of civility, the Military College, “the certainty that we can dream of better days”. While the mediocre artist who had twice been rejected from enrolling in the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, had the Army as the “School of the nation”. He leveraged to make the condemnation of the Treaty of Versailles the antechamber of a doctrine of superiority to install an “expansionist empire”, with traces of the Middle Ages. The parallel reveals the similar desire for discipline, camaraderie of barracks and weapons, and a polysemic patriotism that, if in neoliberal Latin America is surrender, in Europe it was belligerent in extremis.

“In this combat, the strongest and most skillful prevail over the weakest and most inept. Struggle is the mother of all things. It is not by virtue of the principles of humanity that man can live or maintain himself above the animal world, but only by the most brutal struggle.” The extract from Mein Kampf that echoes Nietzsche is quoted by Louis Dumont, in individualism (Rocco). In a passionate way, to hear the demagogue from Barra da Tijuca distil grudges, the spectacle of the multitude of flags and yellow-green T-shirts re-enacts the Nazi parades that aestheticized political events and merged people into the crowd, with goose-steps.

Already slogan “Brazil above all, God above all” points to a nationalism with the inflection of neoliberalism, of open borders to free trade. And for an anti-republican state where sovereignty does not derive from the people, but from the fundamentalist bias of confessional beliefs. Racist Pan-Germanism, in turn, was expressed in the slogan “National Socialist”, in which the last term – at the time with multiple meanings – indicated the “global organization of the masses” under the leadership of the nation. Nothing to do with Marxist or internationalist socialism, even in contradiction.

 

The Named Gatekeepers of Hell

“Legality” itself is subject to the commandment of “the most brutal struggle”. It is not an end, but a means. Among us, it is worth remembering the attacks that test the Constitution: attacks on the Federal Supreme Court (STF); the Secret Budget for buying votes in Congress with funds from the Treasury; the equipping of the Federal Police; insults to federal universities; interference in the content of the ENEM tests; the failed coup to defeat representative democracy; the disqualification of health authorities in the pandemic chaos and; the ministerial parallelism that some considered “legitimate”, in an attestation of ignorance or bad faith about the duties of transparency of the acts of the rulers in a Republic. There is a method to the construction of clutter.

Elsewhere, see the fire of the Reichstag in the month after taking office in the Chancellery, which allowed communists and socialists to go underground in 1933. And, also, the anti-Semitic “Christmas Night” after the Peace Agreement between the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany, signed by Neville Chamberlain, Édouard Daladier, Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, in 1938. “Soft water on hard stone, it hits so hard that it pierces”, the ancestral saying translates the strategy of Germanic Nazism. Trial and error, alternating. “The problem with our time is that the future is not what it used to be”, laments Paul Valéry.

Genocide is based on herd immunization through contamination by the coronavirus, not vaccination. Obsession that delayed immunizers. Instead of an inevitable unfolding of Bolsonarism, the personality of Bolsonaro, who has worshiped necropolitics since the lead years of the civil-military regime, weighed in the criminal decision. No wonder, throughout the elective mandates (profession before vocation, in family) honored cowardly torturers. The holocaust produced on an industrial scale in the concentration camps, more than the outlet for Hitlerism, was the work of the personality of Hitler who anticipated the macabre slaughter in his autobiography.

Hitler's anti-Semitism is racial. If it were religious, it would be enough to burn the synagogues and study and research centers of the tribe of Judah. Terrors thought to be "mere gossip." Racial, demanded the extermination of beings with Jewish identity. The contemporary arc of enemies, namely Marxism, capitalism, the rules of the democratic game and the pious message to “break bread” of Christianity were condensed in the hatred of Judaism, to catalyze a revulsion of Modernity. The devaluation of the Germans fed back into directed violence, with sarcasm. In the ceremonies of Yom kippur, the Day of Atonement among the Hebrews, the “scapegoat” was set aside to carry away and remove sins. Now the Hebrews were converted into the animal that was supposed to relieve the guilt of others.

 

Community of race and anti-pluralism

Bolsonaristas consider themselves champions of idealism. Without irony, they swallow hard: the devastation of the Amazon rainforest; the invasion of indigenous lands; the soaring price of gasoline; inflation; unemployment; the precariousness of work; the hunger; to the fake news; the corruption of the “cracks”; the incompetence; prevarication. His servant love for the family clan (the metonymic collectivity) imitates the motto bestowed on the SS by Himmler: “Meine Ehre heisst Treue / My honor is called fidelity”. The former neo-fascist activist, Sara Winter, describes the fanaticism of the bubble: “There is no way to defend Bolsonaro anymore. But if he asks Bolsonaristas to eat shit, they will.”

The Nazis also saw themselves as pure idealists, capable of the greatest sacrifices for the community, unlike the economic elites – Jews and capitalists, by definition, individualists and materialists waiting for rewards for the efforts expended. In the sense of the Aryans, the Semites would be characterized by the “individual conservation instinct” and “atomized selfishness”. However, their opportunistic gregariousness dissolves away from imminent threats to individual survival. I could.

Members of the Special Police Operations Battalion (BOPE, Elite Squad) have a tattoo on their right arm with a skull surrounded by laurels as a symbol and the motto “Strength and Honour”. Intelligence was lacking, what a shame. They are authors of massacres planned to attack poverty and misery through the physical elimination of slum dwellers, with eugenic actions of ethnic-racial cleansing in peripheral areas. They voted in unison for the candidate who, in the presidential campaign, was notable for the allegory of the “gun” with the fingers of the hand raised, in nauseating scenes of the electoral propaganda that aimed at the head of Human Rights. The skull that evokes a death threat in the Marvelous City alludes to the uniform of SS (Schutzstaffel / Protection Troops) of Nazism.

“The country will only improve by doing what the dictatorship did not do, killing around 30. If innocent people are going to die, fine. In every war, innocent people die”, shot Bolsonaro (1999). Years later, on the stage, he resignified the goal: "Let's shoot all the petralhada" (2018). It went beyond. It ended up leading to the death of more than 600 victims. If the police reveal the names of those who ordered the militia shooting Marielle and Anderson, perhaps the rotten powers will be discovered under the “polichinelo secret”. Homicidal anti-pluralism is the counterface of race community. There is no Dr. Jekyll in the collation, only Mr. Hyde.

 

The primacy of combat over the idea

There are countless intersections between Bolsonarism and Hitlerism, such as the primacy of “combat” over “idea”. And the “place of speech” of the followers, superior to that of the intellectuals responsible for theories of legitimation of racism and eugenics. The propagated prejudices are isolated from any theoretical reflection. The Culture Secretary defenestrated by Brazilian misgovernment could review Joseph Goebbels, what he couldn't do was give clues about the masters of the ideological sewer. Hence the guru Olavo de Carvalho is not treated as the authoritative argument, which he is. Arthur de Gobineau, author of the influential Essai sur l'Inégalité des Races Humanes (1855), was not on the tip of the tongue of all who enthusiastically embraced the swastika. Publicity about mentors would provoke a wave of negative resistance to the manipulation of minds and hearts.

Here and there, the movements reject the centrality of the economy in relation to the political will and the thesis that the former encompasses the political sphere. The Bolsonarist storm – to triumph – made an occasional alliance with the spending ceiling, privatizations and the perverse withdrawal of social and labor rights. But, by abjuring the dogma of fiscal austerity with the default of precatorios to finance the Auxílio Brasil, he cut the nails of the Chicago Boys at the Ministry of Economy. The market felt that right-wing populism would accept being colonized by finance. Big mistake. Its overriding commitment is to “power for power's sake”. The rest is secondary. The crisis of liberalism, at the origin of the Nazi phenomenon, had shown that the economy was not an independent category of command.

The left in general and the Workers' Party (PT) in particular are accused of unfurling the precepts of Jacobin egalitarianism, as Jews were historically. The speculation is based on the “war of all against all”, by Thomas Hobbes, who considers society as a sum of bellicose individualities garroted by means of a social contract of domination and subordination. If we evaluate the possibility of constituting collective subjects (social classes, the people) based on the identity of interests, in favor of the common good in society and public happiness, there is no reason to speculate secular founders for egalitarian ideals – which theology Christian attributes to Jesus. Nor why overestimate individualism as a cartographer of the world.

Anglo-Saxon empiricists satirize the construct of “collective subjects” and “collective consciousness”. They ask who saw such phantasmagorias in the street. A way to eclipse the civilizing process in the creation of spaces for sociability, without risking integrity. Fear of state coercion and acquired habits are conduct regulators. There are many examples of cultural communities, based on dialogic interactivity and transversal values. For good, illustrates Quilombo de Palmares. For evil, it illustrates the mass murder that took place in the Reverend Jim Jones sect in Guyana.

 

Bolsonaro and Hitler, defendants in history

Bolsonaro and Hitler inhabit the memorial of monsters – for genocide; the holocaust; anti-humanism; the multiplicity of racisms; denialism; the merging of militias with the state; socio-environmental destruction; the corruption of democracy; totalitarian fundamentalism; the control of private choices; obscurantism against knowledge and science; censorship of thought, culture and the arts; the destruction of equality and freedoms; the commission of factious toga justice; the barbarization of society. Time to pull out the mirror of evil hanging over the article's title.

During the Second World War, there was a joke among the German people that – adapted to the new dark times – it would be like this. Hitler, Goebbels and Goering together with Bolsonaro, Guedes, Damares and Moro, who arrived on the ship with a small boy, are on a cruise in the Atlantic Ocean. In a storm, the vessel of notables sinks. Who is saved? Germany and Brazil. Leaden clouds cover the Planalto Palace.

* Luiz Marques is a professor of political science at UFRGS. He was Rio Grande do Sul's state secretary of culture in the Olívio Dutra government.

 

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