Bolsonaro bleeds

Image: Daria Sanikova


Bolsonaro should not have even existed in Brazilian politics, perhaps he would have been elected president of the republic

Brazil has been for sale, at least formally, since the famous “leaked” meeting in April/2020, at the Planalto Palace, with all the ministers of the time, where the infamous now ex-minister of the environment, Mr. Ricardo Salles, called on everyone to pass the “cattle”, while the world only talked about the pandemic. Obviously, the former minister of the environment was referring to the neoliberal and neofascist project of the Bolsonaro government to promote all actions aimed at the destruction of the country and, therefore, its sale in slices, depending on the best offers for each portfolio. Since then, for any mineral that thinks a little, as Mino Carta says, this routine has become common sense. However, no matter how bad the future scenario may seem for this tropical country, always disconnected from its historical time, streaks of light are visible and consecrate the Bolsonaro government.

In fact, it is quite possible that the most recent episode of “vacinagate”, perhaps the biggest corruption scheme ever discovered on national soil, as a result of investigations by the CPI into the pandemic by the Federal Senate, will leave the “centrão” oligarchs with no option in the short term. term to defend the current government. Defenestrations in government are already present. The government leader himself, Deputy Ricardo Barros, quoted by the Miranda brothers, is only still in that condition because of the government's fear of becoming politically unfeasible so suddenly. But the hierarchical superior of the server Lupis Ricardo Miranda was exonerated, as well as the person in charge of the PNI - National Immunization Program - Francieli Fatinato resigned.

For the citizen who minimally follows political events in the country, especially after redemocratization, the trajectory of this current imbroglio of the Bolsonarist government would lead, in the same way as the Collor and Dilma governments, even though these two have had the basis of completely different denunciations, the inevitable impeachment process. However, in these lines that follow, I will try to clarify that the popular saying “calm down, the litter is made of clay” is truer than ever.

In this sense, the first aspect to consider is the Bolsonaro government itself. Crowded with soldiers from all levels of government, former president Dilma Rousseff herself recognized that it will not be easy to remove this multitude of uniforms holding civilian positions and return them to the barracks. The virulent infiltration of the military through the airways of the Brazilian State is in sepsis, but it won't be any antibiotic that will make it ebb. Everyone who has ever lived with some kind of serious infection knows that, no matter how accurate the medicine is, the dose needs to be well administered. Therefore, you need to be very calm at this time. One false step, whether in the growing street demonstrations, or in the already overwhelming pressure from social networks, or even in the internal political articulations within the other powers of the Republic, and everything can turn into chaos. Incidentally, not by chance, the Bolsonaro government yearns for this.

The second aspect to consider is the pandemic moment itself. As much as street social movements are growing, as expected, due to the complete ethical-moral derailment of this government, the health of the Brazilian people still needs to come first. Undoubtedly, along with the demonstrations, it is necessary to increase collective awareness regarding individual protection against COVID-19, in addition to the ability of the leaders of these calls to the streets to make basic hygiene products available. Even if the impeachment of the president is a more than just cause, even if difficult, too many innocent people have died in this country.

The third reason to take it easy with this litter is the economic scenario from the capital's point of view. Good or bad, despite squeezing out his neoliberal promises, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes has achieved memorable feats for the globalized elite that navigates the virtual paths of our unique tax haven. Here, unlike what exists around the world, less white is washed. Tax laundry in Brazil is, and always has been, done leaving trails of blood, sweat and tears. Like the successive dismantling of labor protections in recent years; the environmental destruction caused in these last 2,5 years of Bolsonaro's government, perhaps as never before seen in such a short time; the return of the most execrable misery since Dilma's impeachment, at the mercy of successive records in bank profits; the genocide practiced as a government policy especially for the less favored classes, although now the tip of the iceberg of the real reason for such monstrosity has appeared; and so on.

The last aspect that we need to consider, not surprisingly, is the cultural aspect. I won't stay here remembering the academy with Adorno, Habermas, Horkheimer etc., so as not to bore those who have no obligation to know them. It is evident that culture influences the masses and the masses react to the influence of culture. It will be better, at this moment, to take the notice of the Minister of the STF Gilmar Mendes, who recently said that we are trivializing the legal recourse of “impeachment”. If he is right, two reflections are in order here: the first is to know that this trivialization pleases class fractions interested in emptying the narrative of popular movements; the second reflection is to understand that if “impeachment” has become fashionable in the country, this is terrible for our political health.

Gilmar Mendes is a seasoned judge, he was Attorney General of the Union during the FHC government and, without a doubt, saw a good part of the XNUMXth century pass by his eyes as a profound connoisseur of constitutional law. He doesn't give a point without a knot. If he issues this warning, despite our ignorance of his intentions, it's best to listen to him. Obviously, more than anyone else, the aforementioned Minister knows that the fall of Collor de Mello had as its initial “start” the personal frauds denounced by his own brother, Mr. Pedro Collor de Mello. As he also knows that the reason initially alleged to overthrow Dilma Rousseff was a set of “fiscal pedals” that, in the end, due to an anachronistic and dysfunctional legislature, all presidents end up having to do it countless times. The Bolsonaro government itself has already incurred the same illegality several times over the last few years.

Therefore, the warning issued by Gilmar Mendes must be seen from another perspective, namely that of the spectacle. And no one better than Guy Debord to clarify our understanding on this subject. First, it is good to emphasize that I am not saying that Gilmar Mendes made the alert through Debord's intellectual framework. I just clarify that Gilmar Mendes' phrase can be better understood if we take this French Marxist thinker as a reference. Thus, I hope that the next street demonstrations against this government of clear fascist inclination, starting this Saturday, 03/07/2021, will be a paradigm in the change of understanding about the real reasons for the current protests.

Indeed, the combination of actors as disparate as the Movimento Brasil Livre – MBL – which was part of the original support group for the current president and Guilherme Boulos’ PSOL, not to mention the already traditional parties such as PT, PSDB, etc., on the one hand, it increases the pressure around the “impeachment” of the president, on the other hand, it turns on the yellow light of the lack of political coherence in this country, already decanted so many times. We cannot trivialize a legal instrument like this under the lights of mere spectacle. For, as DEBORD (1997) said: “The whole life of societies in which modern conditions of production reign is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was lived directly became a representation”.

It is evident that Bolsonaro should not have even existed in Brazilian politics, perhaps he should have been elected president of the republic. On the other hand, historians like Eric Hobsbawn know that characters like him don't appear out of nowhere, like ghosts ready to incorporate themselves into other people's lives. The material conditions of society, internally and externally, propitiate and justify both the elevation of leaders of all political backgrounds, and the support offered to them, in accordance with the dominant interests of these historical moments. In this sense, commenting on the aspects that left what he called the “Brief Twentieth Century” at its end qualitatively different, HOBSBAWN (1995) clarifies: “The third transformation, in certain aspects the most disturbing, is the disintegration of old relationship patterns human society, and with it, incidentally, the breaking of the links between generations, that is, between past and present”.

If the “impeachment” process is essentially political, and in fact it is (unfortunately in the last 30 years we are moving towards the third election), perhaps the least visualized consequence is the transformation of our government system, legally presidential, to the underbelly of unofficial parliamentarism. In themselves, the two systems of government are full of rights as long as one of them is in force under the laws of the country. But we are, on the fringe of eggs, increasing the power of what is not authorized by our constitution, parliamentarism, to the detriment of the other that is in force in our magna charter, presidentialism. That is, we are inverting our system of government, at least every 10 years in the last 3 decades, without constitutional support, encouraged by the spectacle of disputes over pure image, so conducive to capital, as it is totalized in the relationship between people, mediated by images, in Debord's terms.

For now, the hope remains that this new chapter in the history of Brazil will be more of an overwhelming wave along the lines of the Diretas-Já of 1984, the result of a true yearning for more citizenship, than the spectacle that reversed reality in 2013 to become effectively a product of the dominant productive forces that brought this country to the brink. The commodity-form of street demonstrations cannot supplant, by itself, the extended survival of individuals fragmented by the alienation of “commodity humanism”, according to Debord. In other words, it is not enough to produce monumental images of thousands of consumers eager to overthrow yet another president – ​​even though this current election is the most urgent of all – which only serve as a delight for the media to fill their schedules.

This time, so that we never experience the tragedy of something concrete like Hitler's National Socialism, I hope that the voices that are now raised in the name of social injustice, in all its facets, reverberate definitively in the 2022 elections, promoting the adjustment of accounts between the politics of the spectacle and the true politics among the commons. Democracy will thank you.

* André Márcio Neves Soares is a doctoral candidate in Social Policies and Citizenship at the Catholic University of Salvador (UCSAL).


DEBORD, Guy. The Society of the Spectacle. Rio de Janeiro. Counterpoint 1997.

HOBSBAWN, Eric. The Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century 1914-1991. São Paulo. Company of Letters. 1995.




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