How to Deconstruct Bolsonarism

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By LUIZ MARQUES*

The deconstruction of neo-fascism requires patience to wage a constant “war of position”

Long live the Brazilian people who overcame the heavy, filthy, corrupt “system”, at the service of a scoundrel who surrendered advantages and privileges to the greed of rentiers, bankers and agro-deforesters for foreign trade. The difference in vote count, close to two million, in the second round does not express the true size of either candidate, up or down. Never has a resounding failure cost public coffers so much, as on the redeeming day of October 30, 2022. The gap without budget forecasting is monumental. The cynicism is gigantic. While the formidable achievement is exemplary and auspicious for the worldwide fight against neo-fascism and the ethical-moral degeneration that accompanies the liquidationist option of truth. Hope brightened tomorrow.

The epiphany stamped on the assumption of Lula, longtime victim of lawfare in the corporate press, he didn't just have the battering ram of oppression and exploitation as an opponent. The confrontation involved the equipped state structures and articulations combined by the private initiative, in the background, in favor of the systemic candidacy. It was worth breaking the federal pact to reduce the ICMS in the states with the purpose of masking fuel prices, the clumsy declaration of a state of emergency in the electoral interval to distribute occasional aid to taxi drivers, truck drivers and the purchase of votes. As the 51 properties of family unseemly, all in kind and under the spotlight. Everything is alright.

The ruling classes opened up the demonstration of contempt for the nation and the weak values ​​of the Republic, by supporting the rotten campaign for the reelection of the tyrant, blackmailing employees in the workplace and plotting successive acts of corruption of the general will. The “backward elite” still cultivates slavery in their soul and the idea that workers today are a mere continuation of blacks enslaved for more than three hundred years, without the right to have rights. We cultivate resilience.

“We live in an era of radical uncertainty,” says Johns Hopkins University professor Yascha Mounk in The people against democracy (Company of Letters). In several countries, voters have supported representatives of the extreme right (United States, Russia, Turkey, India, Hungary, Poland, Philippines, Italy) and given expressive votes to extremists in democracies previously considered solid (Sweden, France, Germany). Brazil is not a case apart from the context.

Jair Bolsonaro was already known as an enemy of the democratic regime, for his wistful praise of the military dictatorship and his homage to torturers and militiamen. Racist, misogynistic, homophobic characteristics were no secret when he was elected. The mediocre deputy took advantage of the judicial-media-parliamentary conspiracy, with the impeachment from Dilma Rousseff and the unjust arrest of an innocent man, to the unlikely rise to power. Favorable circumstances induced the tragedy. As in the rise of classic fascism, the centrist parties did not realize the gravity of the threat. The nonsense editorial of the State of Sao Paulo, about the “difficult choice”.

Jair Bolsonaro shaped the ultra-rightist mass movement in Brazil in the last period. Had he had the intellectual competence to create a new party organization, the institutional arm of the extra-institutional movement that broke out in the streets and led him to the Planalto Palace, the ominous monster would have increased its tentacles and teeth to devour the institutions and make a dead letter to “ Citizen Constitution”. Dependent on the leadership, with the victory in the dispute of the revived worker, the tendency is the gradual weakening of the mobilization capacity of the fanaticized barbarism; not the disappearance of resentments. The 12% of rabid dogs go on ferocious. But the wheel has turned.

The leader of the Vitória em Cristo Assembly of God, Pastor Silas Malafaia, hurried to ask for a prayer for the homeland and a blessing for Lula. A Young pan fired the three journalists hyper-identified with the misgovernment in the aftermath, in a “turn to adjust the critical tone of the elected official”. The loyal president of the Chamber of Deputies, Arthur Lira, greeted the winner and called for “the construction of bridges”. The president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco, called for “the reunification of the country”. The president of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), Rosa Weber, celebrated “the democratic rule of law”. Institutions did not hesitate to post disagreements with coup temptations.

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, forty minutes after making the choice official, recognized the fairness of the election process and congratulated the new representative of the Federative Republic of Brazil. Representatives from around the world celebrated the votive execration of morbidity. The fact is consummated. The main newspapers hailed the return of the statesman, a protagonist on the national and international scene. The time has come for the pariah genocide to “go away”. Invited by the President of Egypt, Lula will be the star of COP27 – the Conference on the Planet's Climate.

The delay of the tenant in the Presidency in assuming the eviction shows the disrespect for popular sovereignty. Silence challenges the hard core, linked above all to agribusiness. The National Transport Confederation (CNT) condemned the road blockade for “economic disruption”. The Brazilian Association of Truck Drivers (Abcam), the National Confederation of Transport and Logistics Workers (CNTTL) and the National Road Cargo Transport Council (CNTRC) issued notes in defense of democracy and respect for the result of the polls.

“I am very sad that many people use the name of truck drivers. I do not fight and will never fight against democracy”, said the pragmatic Chorão, from the Brazilian Association of Motor Vehicle Drivers (Abrava). Entities, when watching the recorded videos, doubted that they were truck drivers, as they did not recognize the faces. The insurrectionary trial balloon was intended to attract gun owners and light the fuse for intervention by the Armed Forces.

The Federal Highway Police (PRF), which hindered the circulation of buses with Frente Esperança Brasil voters in the Northeast region, was colluding with the revanchist and cowardly actions of the groupings converted into “cannon fodder” by the predatory sectors of the bourgeoisie, which interdicted the freedom of movement for Brazilians and sacrificed sacred individual rights.

When the bad loser, finally, spoke about the problem, he said that “the right does not use the methods of the left” (sic), in allusion to public order disturbances by Bolsonarist agitators in disguise. The call to concentration in front of the regional military commands, on the Day of the Dead, obeyed the logic putschist. Behind the scenes, the “despresident” acts like the scorpion that asks the frog for a ride to cross the lake (the Constitution), then stings it to death on the crossing: it is in its nature. Obviously, he did not congratulate the president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

 

What to do?

Donald Trump and Viktor Orbán are paradigmatic. One for encouraging the occupation of the Capitol by losing the election. Another, anointed by the vote, for consolidating his absolute control with henchmen at state TV stations, the election commission and the court to change electoral rules to his own advantage. Also, forcing foreign companies to leave the country to promote the profit of the business community that sustains it, institute inhibiting regulations for NGOs and try to close the important Central European University. Viktor Orbán does not hide his rejection of liberal democracy. Without mincing words, he presents himself as a defender of a “hierarchical” conception of democracy, with a view to an “illiberal State based on national foundations”. It feeds the termites of normalcy.

The script would be readjusted to Brazil, as extremist populism in the land brazil it is pro-globalization, based on the privatization of public companies and transfer against the country to international capital. This is the distinctive feature of yellow-green neo-fascism, whose nationalism has a xenophobic character in ethnic-cultural terms (contrary to indigenous peoples and Venezuelan and Haitian immigrants, in particular) and not in economic terms (the bias is a mongrel surrender ). Moreover, with re-election, the captain who already had a praetorian guard, the PRF, would imitate the Hungarian model. “Many police officers are embarrassed by the situation,” reports an anonymous police officer.

Among us, deepened by neoliberalism, the social fascism that formed ghettos of people excluded from the benefits of progress preceded the political proto-fascism of the sociopathic clown. With the departure of Jair Bolsonaro (what will it be like), the main issue is to deconstruct Bolsonarism.

Francis Fukuyama's 1989 bombastic proclamation of “the endpoint of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the ultimate form of human government” in the twilight of the Cold War was a figure of speech; not exactly the vaunted “end of history”. Versions of “anti-democratic liberalism” and “illiberal democracy” contradicted the boastful thesis of the celebrated Japanese-American philosopher. Three factors contributed to the frustration of optimism with the old representative democracy.

First, the stagnation of the standard of living of families after the 1980s, which coincides with the neoliberal hegemony of finance in the North and South hemispheres. If there was stability in the past, in the present there is chaos. Second, although it is disgraceful to admit, democracy depended on a monoethnic foundation (white supremacy), which anti-colonialist struggles continue to undermine and crumble. Homogeneity is no longer an indisputable value everywhere. The UK's current head of government, Rishi Sunak, whose parents are of Indian descent, is an unusual non-white in office. The world became multiethnic, frightening part of the population. Third, the media – which marginalized alternative opinions to the establishment – lost their crown to the internet. Social media, for better or worse, have pluralized voices and colors.

In general terms, society gained in complexity. Families themselves underwent a rapid metamorphosis. The reaction has discredited the pillars of democratic representation, which was condensed into the maxim “does not represent me”, which criminalizes politics and politicians. Yascha Mounk (op. cit.) points out three urgencies to stem the strong bleeding of democracy, namely: (1) Economic policies to reduce inequalities and raise the living standards of the majority, with a more equal distribution of economic growth. “To preserve democracy without giving up the emancipatory potential of globalization, we need to figure out what the nation-state must do to regain control of its destiny.” In Brazil, the elected program responds to this concern by inserting the poor in the Union Budget, valuing the minimum wage and pensions above inflation, and activating the inducing State to expand the labor market. The remedy is equality.

(2) Public discussion to socialize the meaning of belonging to the modern nation-state and highlight multi-ethnic cultural richness for democratic sociability. Brazil is not and should not be an escapist condominium, closed and shielded by eugenic procedures against pluralism and diversity. Ethnic denialism and authoritarianism lead to intolerance and violence. The emphasis must be on what unites, rather than what divides the population into watertight segments. “The society capable of treating all its members with respect is one in which individuals enjoy equal rights because they are citizens, not because they belong to a particular group.” Dialogue time.

(3) Greater and better learning about the digital universe and the transformative impacts of the internet and social media. These cannot be synonymous with hate or fake news. At the same time, governments cannot be censors of freedom of expression. Facebook and Twitter devices must exist to impose difficulties on the use of platforms by hordes in crusades to spread lies, prejudices, anti-civilization sentiments. "In order to make the digital age safe for democracy, we need to exert influence not only on what messages are spread on social media, but also on how they tend to be received." Intellect-militant attention.

Schools and universities, political parties and social movements, trade unions and community associations are spaces for debate on the virtues of democracy and the functioning of republican institutions, pointing out gaps and proposals for improvement to reinvigorate the exercise of citizenship. “Over the years that sense of mission has evaporated. Now, at a time when liberal democracy is in existential danger, it is high time to revive it”. It's a start. Deconstruction requires patience to engage in a constant “war of position”, in the Gramscian sense. The struggle for representative democracy, complemented by popular participation, against neo-fascism did not end with the counting of votes. Just switched levels.

* 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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