Inside and outside the four lines

Image: Action Group.


To defeat fascism, it is important to form a bloc that brings together socialists and democrats in defense of the democratic rule of law.

“As everything always ends, / I hope it’s soon!” (Cecília Meireles).

Brazil is subject to a low-intensity democracy, in a social regime that formalizes the exclusion, through hunger and abandonment, of everyone that the capitalist dynamics considers defective parts of the accumulation gear. We live today “in a politically democratic and socially fascist society”. Hence the need, in the “Difficult Democracy, to Reinvent the Left”, to remember the essay that Boaventura de Sousa Santos published by Boitempo publishing house, in 2016. The year in which Parliament, under the blind eye of the Judiciary, tore up the Constitution at the impeachment of an honest president (Dilma Rousseff) – without a crime of responsibility. The Senate admitted the error, by not withdrawing his political rights. The fact was sidelined in the media.

The damage with the parliamentary-legal-media coup, however, was consummated. As a result, democracy changed category, from bad to worse, and became of very low intensity. And it continued down the slope, after the approval of the constitutional amendment that suspended investments in education and health for twenty years. The disastrous work was completed with the handover of the body of power responsible for monetary policy, the Central Bank, to bankers and rentiers. Not to mention outsourcing and reforming the pension system.

In a high-intensity democracy there is a balance between the ideals of individual freedom and government policies to enhance social justice. It is not what happens today. President Bolsonaro made the perverted notion of freedom synonymous with the primacy of selfishness in the public space. As a result, the supreme value of government has always remained distant from the civilizing project guided by solidarity. On the contrary, he converted the Hobbesian “state of nature” into his natural habitat: homo homini lupus:

a) In politics, by defending individual rights as opposed to collective rights, deliberately boycotting the recommendations of health authorities in the pandemic, regarding the use of masks and social isolation, and promoting frequent gatherings. Hydroxychloroquine was advertised, with the dissemination of a campaign to prevent the spread of the virus, not even a penny was spent;

b) In economics, by defending the laissez-faire of the market against the interests of the majority. And giving up food storage to regulate domestic consumption, in favor of exports favored by the exchange rate (high dollar, low real). That is, it failed to do the right thing in an economic crisis to protect the food security of the population.

The result was a rise in prices, for example, of meat and chicken in supermarkets, which contributed to double-digit inflation. No wonder, ruralists are committed to sustaining the coup impetus of the “familial”. They are even willing to enlist trucks from agribusiness companies, with slave labor, environmental crimes and agrarian conflicts – to generate chaos conducive to the decree of a State of emergency: “agro is tech, agro is pop, agro is everything” ”… For those who, like the colonial-slaver, think of the country as a commercial warehouse, the slogan it's perfect. The common good of the nation is nothing. Obvious.

social fascism

Social fascism takes root in societies of squalid protection for subordinate classes, where capitalism is not regulated and socioeconomic Darwinism prevails; hunger affects tens of millions of families who are unable to ensure the minimum for the survival of their children and do not have the means to plan for the future; workers are precarious and thrown into the corners of informality; pensions are undignified and higher education a privilege of rare young people of popular extraction; colonialist racism and patriarchal sexism go hand in hand; lgbtqia+phobia provokes violence against non-hegemonic sexuality and social relations reek of the authoritarian dialectic of domination vs. subordination; the religious with assistance care for the “street people” is attacked by the lack of empathy of the deputy projected in anti-PTism and; Taliban criteria are used to nominate dim-witted members of ministries and candidates for the High Court seat. Any resemblance to this Macunaímic country is not coincidental. The tripod capitalism / colonialism / patriarchy, under the aegis of neoliberalism, expels classes, countries and entire continents from civilizational values ​​and inalienable human rights from the social contract.

This is where the dimension of the apartheid inherent to the fascist grammar, which divides cities between the inhabitants benefited by contractualism with a guarantee of life, property and freedom, under the mantle of state institutions and urban equipment and, on the reverse, those who suffer oblivion thrown to the wolves ( without State), generally concentrated in the peripheries (with God). Which are subjugated by the command power of parastatal authorities, erected by drug trafficking and militias, with rules outside the legal order. Upstairs, the civilized. In the basements, where everything is allowed and silence and the death penalty in lynching prevail – the wild, the vulnerable, the expendable.

Social fascism also has a philanthropic and a territorial face. In the “good people”, the philanthropist rebelled against the obligation to comply with labor legislation when employing domestic services and assisting the entry of dependents of the employees in public universities. The cinematographic aesthetic of Que Horas Ela Volta?, directed by Anna Muylaert, who competed for the Oscar for best foreign language film (he deserved to have won), talentedly portrayed social inequalities. The dissatisfaction came from rights conquered by public policies for what, before, resulted from the generosity of the bosses. The fascist territorial face, on the other hand, expressed opposition to ethnic-racial quotas and criticism of the transformation (sic) of airports into bus stations. “Victims of social fascism are not considered fully human by those who can attack and exploit them with impunity”, according to Boaventura (Revista IHU, 08/12/2016). Victims are not entitled to have rights.

The fascistization of society continues the genocide of the original peoples, with the liberalization of their lands for forest devastation by mining and extensive farming. The “timeframe” intended by the ongoing mismanagement leads to the extinction of tribal nations in the Amazon. In Bolsonaro, the epithet of genocidal is not a figure of speech, but a correct characterization of the conduct of a (demented) public entity: whether in the treatment of the pandemic disease with the strategy of herd immunity (by contamination, not by vaccination), whether in the waylet the cattle pass” on the the lung of the world. The struggle for popular emancipation needs to face neoliberal necropolitics, which benefits from fascist expansion. Felix Guattari's warning (Cult, September 2021) proceeds: “We should definitively abandon formulas that are too easy, like 'fascism will not pass'. Fascism has already passed and continues to pass”. The memory of the slaughter in Jacarezinho, in the Marvelous City of Rio de Janeiro, by police forces remunerated from the treasury, serves as proof to convince the skeptics.

political fascism

The term fascism comes from the Latin beam (beam), symbol of union inherited from the Roman Empire represented by an ax wrapped in a tied beam. As a political current, it emerged in Italy in 1919 and lasted until 1943. Ideologically, it positioned itself against socialism and liberalism. Instead of voting for individuals, consecrated by liberal ideas, he proposed voting for corporations. Its motto was: “Believe, Obey, Combat”. Translation: Believing in Tradition, Family. Property. Obey the Political-Military Hierarchy. Fight for the Fatherland and the Leader (and the clan, Of course).

Among the distinguishing traits of fascism is totalitarianism, control of private and national life; authoritarianism, incarnated in the chief guide whose guidelines are indisputable since he is the lighthouse that illuminates the path that leads to salvation; militarism, guarantor of the solution to problems and controversies of a political-ideological nature and; hierarchization, so that the strongest can take control of society. Nazism added to the indigestible broth of barbaric culture anti-Semitism, which projected the holocaust and the totalitarian specter internationally. Few observers anticipated the crisis that would spread across Europe and reach the tropics with Integralism, led by Plínio Salgado. Now - Alas – rises from the ashes in both hemispheres. Without having equated the theoretical controversy that opposes those who see an indomitable incompatibility between totalizing systems (which merge the private and public spheres) and the logic of capitalism, on the one hand. On the other hand, those who understand that the totalitarian format fits like a glove to the imperialist purposes of monopoly capitalism. The ship goes.

Such are some of the elements that make up the subjectivity of the fascia. They allow us to understand the disciplinary uniform (yellow-green, in Bolsonarism) that encloses its manifestations, like a stylized uniform. The discipline is part of the range of typologies and analytical approaches on historical fascism, according to the Dictionary of Politics (University of Brasília), organized by Norberto Bobbio et al. It does not admit the formation of slops in the movement, by definition, homogeneous and compact. It sacrifices the dissident cores of the tonic expressed by Big Brother: L'État C'est Moi, paraphrasing Louis XIV. The visual impact on the streets stems from childhood memories, under the civil-military dictatorship, in post-64 Brazil, about the patriotic commemoration school parades on each September XNUMXth. The phenomenon has obvious national, Italian, German, Portuguese, Spanish singularities… And universality, pointed out Umberto Eco, in O Fascismo Eterno (Record).

Historically, at the origins of this irrationalist outbreak of politics is an emblematic moment of capitalism, with the intensification of the class struggle and the worsening of the exploitation of workers. It is the open despotism of the bourgeoisie over the national community, without the institutional mediation of political parties, legislative houses and instances of the Republic, such as the Federal Supreme Court (STF) and the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), in the Brazilian case. . For some, fascism is the revolt of the petty bourgeoisie, which provides frameworks and social bases to embody the movement. However, without developing a program with autonomy from the former dominant classes.

The middle class would be the maneuvering mass instrumentalized by the designs of big capital – against the workers, the poor, the oppressed. “Bolsonaro's strategy is a new location of Brazilian capitalism in the world in an alliance with a fraction of US imperialism against China. The recolonization plan rests on the expectation that foreign investments are the key to the resumption of economic growth”, evaluates Valério Arcary in the article O Grito da Paulista (A Terra É Redonda, 10/09/2021). O putsch imagined for Independence Day did not win. Meanwhile, he is not defeated, as those who color the harsh concrete reality with optimism suppose.

It is a mistake to catalog as mere illustrations of “collective madness” the mobilization of crowds under fascist flags, as José de Souza Martins does when denouncing the current situation of the Tyranny of Fear (Valor Econômico, 10/09/2021): “The irresponsible ease with which the ruler here attracts and brings together fearful people is notorious both in its bravado and in the bravado of those who are attracted by it”. Hitler and Mussolini, at first, were accused of being demagogues, cheerleaders, buffoons, hysterics, braggarts. The magazine Carta Capital (15/09/2021) did better to raise awareness about the risk of extending the tentacles of political fascism, when it defines the lurking impasse: “Despite everything, Bolsonaro still has fanatical supporters capable of giving outlive him until the election, and let the country grind”. I don't believe in witches, but they do exist.

To defeat fascism

In the arc on the left, the political parties that refused to participate in the act called by Movimento Brasil Livre (MBL) and Vem Pra Rua, on 12/09. were correct in placement. One, because they were not in the preparation and did not agree on minimum points for a United Front against Bolsonarism. Two, because the so-called “Nem Bolsonaro, Nem Lula”, which prevailed in practice although removed from the summons text, does not encourage the unity of the oppositions with respect to the different party identities. Nor does it accurately summarize the agenda for coping with the situation. The obstacle to unity lies in the accounting of the event organizers. The failure of the initiative, from North to South, ditto. The vows of love for the “third way” do not touch the heart of Brazil, especially if they come from segments that contributed to criminalize politics and carry out the coup that opened an avenue for the rise of the extreme right. To those who, now, disembark from the generated nightmare, it would be convenient to put on the slippers of humility.

To defeat fascism, it is important to form a bloc that brings together socialists and democrats in defense of the democratic rule of law, without anyone being forced to join the anti-fascist procession in the last rows of the march, out of shame. Or wear other colors than yours, by imposition. The gas station policy demands maturity from the plural set of protesters – to avoid the clashes registered in Belo Horizonte and the succession of empty acts, which ended up going viral on social networks #MerreteMBL.

There will be those who are content with strengthening the foundations of representative democracy and the institutions that support the establishment, leaving in parentheses the reforms that can effectively democratize politics, the economy and culture in society, as well as implement instruments to combat deforestation and preserve the environment. There will be those who aim for a bigger step, in addition to including the poor in the Federal Budget and the rich in the Income Tax, revising the “private” in progress, the dismantling of Petrobras and the policy of automatic alignment with the United States in geopolitical terms. But these are not issues to be debated in the formation of the anti-fascist block. They concern the programmatic profile of the parties and not the vector of unification of political aspirations under the common denominator. Very calm at this time, companions.

In a poem, Bertolt Brecht comments: “When you are up to your neck in a puddle / In debt, in such a state, you cannot tolerate it!”. There needs to be enough of what is there. "Boating…? / I've been staring at this for a good couple of years now... / I spit with disgust, yes, but what do I have to do with the pond?!... / I can see very clearly where we're going... / That's where we're going... what are we going?” The question matters more than the possible answers.

The general challenge cements the democratic experience of safeguarding the conforming principles of the different projects, which share the dispute for hegemony “within the four lines” of the 1988 Magna Carta. procedures in view of the methods of action (tactics) and the purposes to be achieved (strategy). As the saying goes, the floor of the wagon is where the pumpkins fit. Along the way, the population will have the opportunity to evaluate each of the platforms presented to society and the State in the political kaleidoscope. The commitment is to emphasize the immediate engagement in the fight against Bolsonaro and Bolsonarism. Threats, that is, to the idea of ​​civilization, to the possibility of dialogue in a climate of tolerance, to the existence of political pluralism and ethnic, social, sexual, religious diversity. We will win. No exacerbated vanities. No sectarianism.

* 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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