In two weeks



Overcoming fear will be one of the great challenges to guarantee the defeat of the fascists

“Speed ​​is achieved calmly. Serenity overcomes rage. It reaches those who don't get tired” (Portuguese popular wisdom).

The time is urgent, but it calls for resilience, determination and patience. The last September XNUMXth was “kidnapped” by Bolsonarism to carry out great demonstrations of social strength. Let's face it, they did. Society is fractured, and a social majority has consolidated against Jair Bolsonaro, supported, above all, by the poorest, women and northeasterners, but the fascists maintain the support of the mass of the bourgeoisie, in the middle layers, great influence in the south and north , and hegemony in the Midwest.

We are in a still transitory situation, coming out of a reactionary situation, when we consider the social balance of forces between classes, although the political balance of forces, which oscillates ever faster, suggests that the extreme right is in increasing inferiority.

Many wonder about the seventh of September: but, after all, why? What was the plan? Jair Bolsonaro has not established a dialogue beyond the area of ​​influence that has already decided to support him. It may seem irrational, but it is not.

Jair Bolsonaro is aware that he has little chance of winning the elections. But electoral defeats are not the same as political defeats. Electoral defeats are transitory, but policies, when there is a reversal in the balance of forces, can be irreversible. We can learn from the history of the Brazilian left itself.

In 1989, Lula suffered an electoral defeat against Collor, but won a political victory. The PT was a useful tool to raise popular-worker resistance to another level in opposition to the José Sarney government, and reached the position of being its spokesman. This position was in dispute with brizolism. So much so that, two years later, millions of workers took to the streets, after the spark of the student movement ignited the class struggle, to impose impeachment in 1992.

In 2014, Dilma Rousseff won the elections, but suffered a political defeat. The social relationship of forces was reversed and, two years later, the middle classes took to the streets, by the millions, to guarantee the social base of the institutional coup of 2016. Jair Bolsonaro won the position of spokesman for this reactionary displacement.

Jair Bolsonaro has short, medium and long term plans. The first objective of September 2th was to generate momentum to win a second round on October XNUMXnd. The second was to keep his neo-fascist political current in motion in order to build a campaign to denounce the elections as fraud. The third was to guarantee legitimacy to block a judicial process of investigation of crimes of responsibility that could condemn him to prison.

Defeating Jair Bolsonaro in the elections will be a great tactical victory. But Bolsonarism, Brazilian neo-fascism, unfortunately, will remain. The left's strategic challenge must be more ambitious. It will take a reversal of the social balance of forces that leaves the extreme right demoralized and cornered. This will require, first of all, a political relationship of forces that guarantees conditions for Jair Bolsonaro to be arrested.

The biggest obstacle, so far, has been the left's difficulty in gaining uncontested supremacy on the streets. Lula's election rallies have, fortunately, been large, on the scale of a few tens of thousands. Even very large in some cities, especially in the northeast. But without Lula's presence, the left's ability to set the masses in motion has been small. Why?

It is a subject of complex dialectics. Under normal conditions, people are consumed, exhausted and tired by their own struggle for survival, an exhausting and extremely hard routine. Workers and youth, women and the unemployed, blacks and LGBTI's, in short, the popular masses only gain confidence to fight to defeat an enemy as dangerous as Jair Bolsonaro: (a) first, if they realize that the confusion in the class dominant is great, that the enemies are divided, semi-paralyzed, insecure; (b) second, if one perceives a growing restlessness and division in the middle classes, and a shift towards opposition between the intelligentsia and artists, etc.; (c) third, if they perceive that the organizations and the leaderships that represent them, in some way, are united; (e) last but not least, if they perceive that their concrete claims in the fight for survival are placed at the forefront and respected.

In short, the broad masses only fight when they believe it is possible to win, but that is not enough. It is necessary that the leaderships in which they trust are tireless in making it clear that their mobilization is indispensable. That one cannot win without actively engaging in the struggle by taking to the streets.

Therefore, the call to fight is an essential part of the fight itself. Let's be honest, such a call has not existed until now. Lula enchants, but does not light the flame, inflames, sets fire. It should come as no surprise that the September 10 demonstrations were acts of the militant vanguard. But, paradoxically, Lula's favoritism has also been an obstacle. By remaining stable for at least a year, it feeds the illusion that only predictable confirmation on election day will be needed.

However, the situation became more tense. Two days after September XNUMX, Benedito Santos was murdered in Mato Grosso, after a disagreement with a Bolsonarist. In the aftermath, the fear grew predictably.

There are two weeks left for the elections, but those on the left who dare to wear a sticker supporting Lula, outside of rallies or protected environments, are extremely rare. There are no plastics in automobiles. Why? Because the danger is real and immediate. Political fears are incomprehensible when not related to social hatreds.

Jair Bolsonaro's speeches on September XNUMX were a call to action. They distill hatred and inspire fear. Unfortunately, the pressures of cultural and ideological inertia that imprison the broad working masses are powerful. It turns out that there is no more powerful social force in history than popular mobilization, when it gains confidence in itself and organizes itself.

The fear that change will never come – which, among workers, is discouraged by fear of reprisals – has to face even greater fears: the despair of the propertied classes and their social clientele, of losing everything. In the heat of the class struggle, the workers' disbelief in their own strength, the insecurity in their egalitarian dreams, were overcome by the hope of freedom, a moral feeling and a political yearning higher than reactionary pettiness and bourgeois avarice.

Overcoming fear will be one of the great challenges to guarantee the defeat of the fascists. In elections and after.

*Valério Arcary is a retired professor at IFSP. Author, among other books, of No one said it would be Easy (boitempo).


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