Defeat neofascism

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By MILTON PINHEIRO*

We need to change the names of buildings and public places, we must recreate the commission for the dead and missing, it is urgent to review the amnesty law.

“We go in a tight group down a steep and difficult path, holding hands tightly. We are surrounded by enemies and we have to walk under their fire. We are united by a decision made freely, precisely to fight against our enemies and not fall into the neighboring swamp, whose inhabitants have condemned us from the beginning for having formed a separate group and for having chosen the path of struggle and not the path of conciliation.”
(Lenin, What to do?).

We are based in a historical period marked by a profound strategic defeat. The popular masses and the working class are unable to unveil the political scene of the current historical period and succumb to the right-wing project and even neo-fascism, which ultimately appears ridiculously anti-systemic. There is currently a neo-fascist seduction of the working class (which has been devastated by fiscal adjustments) and impoverished sectors of the population.

In much of Europe, India, the USA, etc., the growth of neo-fascism has established obscurantist and harmful roots to oppose any progressive culture, which, in a still very timid way, postulates defending the rights of the working class, taking into account the its new profile: black populations, peripheral populations, women, indigenous peoples and LGBT communities. This is proven when the right and neo-fascism gain political space in the face of the capitulation of progressive and social-democratic sectors to the logic of the minimal state.

But it is not only in these territories, mentioned above, that the right and neo-fascism threaten what we define as progressive for humanity. In Brazil, after the electoral defeat of Bolsonarism, even with the minimum level of votes, the Burgo-PT coalition government follows the tragic path of capitulation to the neoliberal ideology of fiscal austerity. This policy sabotages the advancement of popular and proletarian struggles, reinforcing the discourse of the extreme right, whether neo-fascist or not.

With the end of the first year of the third Lula government, indications of the political struggle state that not even the traditional mediation of Lula class conciliation had space in 2023. The bourgeois project won without the slightest presence of any containment from late social democracy or any more serious act by the PT government. It is important to mention, so that there is no doubt, that it is not the government that will represent the interests of the working class. However, in the face of a diffuse discourse that is disseminated by the PT, PC do B and important segments of the PSOL, the notion that Lula's government would also have this role permeates.

The bourgeois-PT coalition calmly settled into power. On the one hand, the forces of the center-right and the right in parliament are very comfortable with the government's stance and its inert way of doing politics. In the other corner of the government, social democratic forces pretend that the country is moving forward and that the main thing is to win elections. However, they also consider, for information purposes on the left of the order, that minimally focused political determinants are important for the development of their political-electoral projects and their relations with the people...

The inert way in which the PT government handles politics and its inability to address the people to question the obstacles created by the right-wing allies in parliament, has allowed enormous wear and tear on the population as a whole. The tactical option of the social democratic base is not to compete. So, what has been the policy of the Burgh-PT coalition government? Let's analyze a few points.

The Lula government advanced in offering spaces for right-wing control within the State structure (ministries, CEF, local authorities, numerous commissioned positions). However, this physiological condescension at the parliamentary business desk has not guaranteed the government any stronger support in the votes. The role of provincial prime minister, played by the president of the Chamber of Deputies, given the government's incapacity, has put the country at risk and facilitated the political action of neo-fascism.

Through ally Arthur Lira, the bourgeois counter-reform project has advanced in parliament (administrative reform, possibility of new pension reform, etc.). An entire coordinated operation of attacks on public interests has advanced (time frame, pesticide policy, etc.). Have any containment walls, organized by the instruments of PT, CUT, CTB, PC do B and government segments of PSOL, been erected?

The government's relationship with the right in parliament (commonly called Centrão) has imposed defeats on the working class and the people in general. The best example of this relationship is the budget approved for 2024, when, to preserve Centrão's interests, deep cuts were made in the current year's budget.

The violence of the cuts will strengthen the discourse of the extreme right and neo-fascism when social chaos arises. 6,3 billion were cut in PAC works; 4,1 billion in the Minha casa-Minha vida project; 4,9 billion overall from the ministries' budget. The minimum wage fell from the projected R$1.421,00 to R$1.412,00, as if R$9,00 made no difference for this group of workers.

Health lost 851 million, within this cut 336 million were for the popular pharmacy. In a country with chaotic and rugged urban life, the ministry of cities lost 9 million, of which 336 million were for civil defense (even with the climate disasters that we are regularly watching on television).  

Education was hit by 320 million, and within this amount there was a cut of 40,3 million for higher education scholarships and 25,9 million for textbooks. All this, even with the president's routine speech that education is not an expense but an investment.

All this logic of social and humanitarian cut, with complete disregard for the set of national interests and the needs of the people in general, the budget included – allocating, amazingly, 53 billion for parliamentary amendments (focus ad infinitum of corruption and in a year of municipal elections) and almost 5 billion for this year's electoral fund (whose biggest beneficiaries are the PL and PT).

However, within the framework of the government's current policy, there are still scenarios of many concerns. Despite the military, as a state bureaucracy, being historically coup plotters in Brazil, the Lula government, even after 08/01/2023, began to reward them with government positions and benefits.

There is an entrenched coup in the armed forces. The way in which the memory of the 1964 bourgeois-military coup is treated by the government encourages the underground action of the coup plotters. There is no fight against the coup-president military rubbish. There must be actions that change this reality. We need to change the names of buildings and public places, we must recreate the commission for the dead and missing, it is urgent to review the amnesty law. Finally, ultimately, it is necessary to confront neofascism in the armed forces.

The latest information about the relationship between Bolsonarist neofascism and ABIN, and the latter's complicity with the GSI, should serve as an example for serious government measures. The forces of the revolutionary left, progressive and democratic segments must denounce in Brazil and around the world the role of neofascists within security bodies. And, in addition, it is important that the Lula government cuts ties with the Israeli security sectors, which encourage espionage services in Brazil. These segments are always at the service of neo-fascism and the extreme right.

Confronting neo-fascism in the streets is the logic that must mobilize the revolutionary left, its organizations and allies. Today, it is necessary to create a broad instrument of united front for these political-social sectors. However, we cannot fail to understand that where social democracy capitulates to the order of the neoliberal ideology of fiscal austerity, the working class and popular segments are seduced by the project of the extreme right and neo-fascism.

The map for the demobilization of the working class and popular sectors must be the concern of political and social forces that want to set in motion the class that lives off the sale of its work. Having slogans that reach the subjectivity of subalterns, organizing a minimum program that can defeat neo-fascism and overcome class conciliation, this must be the fundamental role of the vanguard, so that, from within the counter-revolution, it can build the paths of the Brazilian revolution.

*Milton Pinheiro is a political scientist and professor of history at the State University of Bahia (UNEB).


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