Brazilian right

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By FLAVIO AGUIAR*

One disaster after another

Let's take a look at the dossier of the Brazilian right, from 1945 until now. Something happens to her, in an increasingly degenerative state of putrefaction. If you were on an escalator, it would certainly be going down. October 29 of that year: Getúlio falls, due to a military conspiracy. It does not fall for the left, nor for the center: it actually falls pushed by the right, dissatisfied with its “populist” policy in relation to workers and with its nationalist policy, which removed Brazil from the fold of the United States, the imperialist power of the West, emerging from the rubble of World War II and opposing Soviet communism.

This right wing that overthrew Getúlio in October supports, in the election scheduled for December 2, Brigadier Eduardo Gomes. Handsome, well-spoken, Eduardo Gomes excites young ladies, who sell the chocolate candy that will bear his name all over Brazil, except in Rio Grande do Sul (where he is called “negrinho”), and release one of the most corny refrains in Brazilian politics : “vote for Brigadeiro, he is handsome and single”. The Brigadeiro commits a deadly gaffe: at a rally at the Municipal Theater in Rio de Janeiro, he says that “this gang of unemployed people who support the dictator does not need” to be elected president.

The “guys” were not unemployed: they were largely made up of workers who, for the first time in the country’s history, had legislation in their favor, the CLT, which, despite some authoritarian excesses, protected them from excesses. largest of the business community thirsty for excruciating surplus value. Since his "exile" in São Borja, Getúlio maneuvers, executes the king's gambit (himself) in political chess, supports at the last minute the opponent of the Brigadier, Marshal Eurico Gaspar Dutra, who had helped to depose him, and reverses the expectations framework.

Against all odds, Dutra defeats Eduardo Gomes. But he makes a disastrous government. Unconditionally allies Brazil to US policy, which throws the whole of Latin America into the background, given the need to rebuild a weakened and shattered Europe to oppose Russian communism and also needs to focus on fighting Chinese communism in Asia, first in Korea and then Vietnam. Dutra governs against the workers, and paves the way for the triumphal return of Vargas in 1950, with his “populist nationalism”.

The right wing, frustrated, continues to seek leaders who mirror it. There are several, from Eduardo Gomes, who is still handsome and single, to Ademar de Barros, also referred to as a “populist”, but on the other side. However, the icing on the cake on the right will really be the tireless Carlos Lacerda. A sinister, destructive figure, but in any case an intellectual, a brilliant orator, equally handsome, he ended up founding one of the most important publishing houses in Brazil, still alive today. The Diários Associados, led by Assis Chateaubriand, protects and encourages Lacerda and his Tribuna da Imprensa, against Getúlio. National journalism thus begins its saga of editorial excesses that will lead, in large part, to the conspiracy for the 1964 coup.

When Getúlio committed suicide, on August 24, 1954, Juscelino Kubitschek emerged from the ashes of his coffin, who simultaneously defeated Juarez Távora (another handsome man), Ademar de Barros and Plínio Salgado. At the end of Juscelino's term, the right finally gets a “popular” and “populist” leader: Jânio Quadros, who steals the motto of anti-corruption propaganda from Lacerda, using his “broom” as a symbol. But something happens in this passage: although he was a Portuguese teacher and had charisma, Jânio was more on the eccentric side than the “handsome guy” of the candidates of yesteryear, and also on the erratic side: he broke up with Lacerda due to a misunderstanding about an audience , decorated Guevara and perhaps depressed by the loneliness of Brasília, he resigned, causing the crisis of 1961.

At this point, an evil genius was already emerging, with his Aladdin's lamp, the Institute of Research and Social Studies, fundamental in the conspiracy that led to the 1964 coup: the then colonel, later reserve general, Golbery do Couto e Silva. Well articulated, author of a renowned book, “Geopolitics of Brazil”, Golbery posed as an intellectual and led, with other soldiers, including the future president Castello Branco, the group arrogantly called “Sorbonne”. Golbery was a backstage figure, a cross between a uniformed wizard and a Wizard of Oz; he lacked the demagogic brilliance of his cronies Eduardo Gomes and Juarez Távora. He shared the frame of a right-wing generation that included people like Gustavo Corção, Catholic and religious like few others, whose detestable reactionary articles were, however, brilliant lessons in well-written Portuguese, like Lacerda's speeches.

Those and these were icons of a time when the Brazilian right wing still spoke presentable, albeit salon-style, Portuguese. When he opted for the barracks, this aura began to fade, and it never recovered. Not because of Golbery, nor Castello Branco, but because of the substitutes, the opaque Costa e Silva, Garrastazu Médici, Ernesto Geisel and finally the horse lover João Batista Figueiredo. Of all the least opaque was Geisel, but even so he was a tough nut to crack.

Once the country was re-democratized, conservatism's champions rekindled some intellectual spark. For example: you may not like “Os marimbondos de Fogo”, by José Sarney (“Brothers:/forgive me/the dream of death is a cloud/that does not cover the eternal nights of life”), but close to “ Anonymous intimacy”, by Michel Temer (“When I stopped/To think/All the thoughts/Had already happened”), the man from Maranhão seems like a poet with superior and inexhaustible breath.

After the improvised vice president, and the resounding failure of Plano Cruzado, came another handsome man: Fernando Collor, who the conservative media hailed as “the hunter of maharajas”. Instead of hunting down the maharajahs, he cashed out everyone's savings. Without any plan for a way out of the crisis he provoked, he wound up on his own legs and his government ended up with a new improvised vice president: Itamar Franco, who, at least, did nothing relevant or irrelevant.

Hence a new invention: Fernando Henrique Cardoso dressed as a paratrooper or marine on the cover of Veja and went out hitting the striking oil workers with his fists, wanting to imitate Margaret Thatcher's crusade against the British miners. Another failure, after all: Fernando Henrique became FHC, the butterfly gave birth to the caterpillar, the former “Prince of Sociology” became the “baronet of Higienópolis” who bowed to the PFL and its king ACM. At the end of the lights, after the more brilliant than the proud Real Plan, he delivered the new currency and a broken country to Lula in the fourth election that he contested and this time he won.

From then on, the series of PT victories began; the right went into despair and, down the slope, invented one name after another: Serra, Alckmin, Serra again, Aécio. Nothing worked; only an aberration named Cunha and a smart bubble named Temer remained, with his “Bridge to the Future” which, in fact, turned out to be a “bridge to the past”, in the happy words of Alejandro Acosta and Carlos Alberto Bezerra (not I don't know if they invented the expression, but it was in their articles that I first read it).

We again had an improvised vice president, but unlike Sarney and Itamar, Temer climbed the ladder of a parliamentary, media, legal, and then covert coup by the military establishment. To all these, our media mainstream he also lost the brakes and went downhill in the wake of the “rhetoric of hate”, inventing lies and more lies – fake news, in elegant salon Portuguese – against the PT. She was dazzled before judges as obtuse as they were provincial in the case of the supposed “Mensalão” and later in the “Lava-Jato”, which only washed away common sense, making its contribution to destroying the national industry and legal system, with the approval of Acácio Councilors elevated (some by the PT government itself) to the beaches of the Federal Supreme Court.

The photo that best reflects this obscurantist dazzle is that of the Curitiba attorneys, all standing, in executive uniforms, facing the camera, with Deltan Ness Wolverine Dallagnol in the middle and in front, gathered in a pose that I don't know if it imitates the photo of the Intocáveis from the 60s, Robert Stack in the spotlight, or the more recent Intouchables, with Kevin Kostner in the role of Eliot Ness, or even the photo of the X-Men. In any case, the photo illustrates the intellectual level of that troupe.

But the best, or worst, was yet to come. With the PSDB boneless, with the DEM and the MDB in the ICU (at that time, in terms of elections for the presidency), the only option left was to support the ticket led by the former captain, militiaman and torturer flatterer, seconded by the apprentice of economist who attended primary school in Chicago and graduated in Pinochet's Chile, both with an intellectual level close to zero, if not below.

The first, in addition to announcing that he came to destroy everything that was built since – not just the PT governments, not just the 1988 Constitution, not just the Vargas or D. Pedro II governments, but since the times of Pindorama, since it works against indigenous peoples in general, has also come to destroy the Portuguese language since Pero Vaz de Caminha brought it here. He is managing to make a government worse than those of the Hereditary Captaincies. As in this historic case, he wants to leave the booty to his children.

And the second came to destroy, without any practice or skill, the economic and social rubble that Lava Jato and Temer left barely standing. They are, with the cattle that accompany them, the most faithful thermometer of the mental indigence that the right has reached in Brazil. Because the militia style of this government has contaminated the entire right: what we see is more like a gang war to occupy government palaces from 2022 onwards than a political dispute over projects and projections, with or without a vaccine. The hecatomb is general.

If we examine very closely what all the figures that are emerging in the camps on the right say, there is not a single project for Brazil that deserves this name. All you see are ideas and vague promises to continue managing inequity, gross inequality, promoting ignorance, dismantling the health system, etc. and subservience at the international level. Even the thousands of uniforms who were summoned to occupy posts in the federal government – ​​with the pandemic’s minister and “logistics champion” at the head – are discolored shadows of the Golbery and Sorbonne times.

Instead of collaborators of the Cold War, they seem more like a group of little mouths concerned with decorating their future pajamas with a few more mirréis. In summary, the right has nothing more to offer the country, except ignorance, brutalism, lack of future, looting of its resources, obscurantist religious bla-bla-bla as opium for the people.

At the moment, media heralds of this right are screeching against the monster they helped to create, but in an atmosphere of “I don't even know what I did last summer, I don't want to know and I'm still angry with those who know”. They promote Globo's little star as a simulacrum of statesmanship, they look suspiciously at the vaccine governor in São Paulo, not knowing very well what to do. They help pass the certificate of intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the Brazilian right. And they still haven't vaccinated themselves against the temptations of the new stylish coups given by the parliamentary or judicial channels. Although they begin to fear the possibility of an old style coup, given from the Planalto Palace.

* Flavio Aguiar, journalist and writer, is a retired professor of Brazilian literature at USP. Author, among other books, of Chronicles of the World Upside Down (Boitempo).

 

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