dissonances at the party

Image: Simon Norfolk (2011)


Lula's biggest challenge is the exercise of the Supreme Command of armed corporations structurally hostile to social change.

In the exciting staging of the people rising to power, nobody paid attention to the profiled colonial lancers, with uniforms designed by the integralist Gustavo Barroso, forming a corridor, framing the procession, like a military garrote.

The poor black woman, affixing the presidential sash, seemed to say: your spear wounded mine, but don't intimidate me!

In the ministries, speeches that washed the soul of those who suffered six years of relentless offensive against human dignity and national honor. Sílvio Almeida, Nísia Trindade, Flávio Dino, Luciana Santos, Camilo Santana, Cida Gonçalves, Wellington Dias, Marina Silva… all fueling the desire for a promising future.

The heterogeneous composition did not dampen the impression of a country that smiles again. Moderates Fernando Haddad and Simone Tebet maintained the mood. Geraldo Alckmin pointed out the perspective of development and industrialization. Hope was injected into a vein. The fighters for democracy weep with joy.

Already a privatist presiding over Petrobrás… Why hand over the company that can positively affect Brazilian life? Lula declared an end to privatizations, but the fate of the essential company remains unclear.

The handing over of State intelligence to a military man… This is an indispensable activity for running the State and sustaining the government! Will the chosen general betray his comrades who, in “successive approximations”, have overthrown rulers for more than a century?

In terms of dissonances, the most obvious occurred in Defence. The minister introduced himself as a “representative” of the armed corporations. He threw constitutionally assured popular sovereignty to the winds. He naturalized criminal movements in front of the barracks, praised his predecessor (a general who tried to spoil the elections) and ensured the continuity of strategic guidelines that did not defend Brazil.

The inauguration ceremonies of José Múcio Monteiro and the new commander of the Air Force blatantly ignored the supreme commander of the Armed Forces. No official spoke Lula's name. They exalted their own figures and sanctified their corporations.

Political power still does not perceive the incompatibility between the construction of a democratic and sovereign country and the organic and functional structures of the State, with emphasis on its instruments of force.

Political power imagines that such structures move only in search of mouths, small designs, the pure will to protect. He naively believes that everything would be resolved with the removal of officials from public office and with “changes in the curricula” of military schools.

They dare not admit that the State does not represent the general will: it was conceived to maintain slavery, the patriarchal barony and the country's framing to an international order imposed by the most powerful power.

The armed corporations of the Brazilian State never betrayed him. Whenever they perceived him threatened, they acted vigorously. Its permanent mission was and continues to be the suffocation of rebellions or even mild changes. Hence, the enlisted do not feel remorse for the atrocities they committed. Hence, they insist on anniversaries that highlight conflicts between nationals.

The preservation of Brazilian military structures as they are is incompatible with the fight against poverty and racism. Without poor and bread-and-butter youth, without inferiorized blacks, the recruitment system, which preserves the colonial style, would not resist. Who would give up a promising career to serve in the military? What businessman, doctor or judge would like to see his son hearing the screams of sergeants and officers, cleaning barracks, delaying his academic life?

Women's freedom and dignity are incompatible with the armed corporations that worship the colonial legacy. As the military career is structured, no officer would marry a woman who refuses to live dependent on her husband, an official forced to an itinerant life, with no chance of creating links with society. When the military says that the left wants to destroy the family, they exalt the patriarchal nature and criminalize the family models that social changes are imposing.

The defense of the LGBTQIA+ condition is incompatible with the castro maintained by the Brazilian State: it would disrupt the rules of hierarchical promotion. Assumed gay has no career vacancy.

The “active and haughty” foreign policy is also incompatible with the Brazilian State's instruments of force, especially since they were modernized, between the two world wars, by France. Why would an imperialist power modernize a military apparatus capable of opposing its designs? The modernity achieved then only served to the internal monopoly of force, unequivocally revealed in 1932, with the submission of the Paulistas.

Modernization did not serve National Defense. However large and developed it may be, the State that depends on foreign weapons is nothing more than a protectorate. This is today the condition of Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom…

In terms of dissuasive capacity, there are two types of state: those that manufacture and sell weapons and those that do not manufacture and buy weapons. The former command, the others strengthen the command of the former. Ce n´est pas, Monsieur Macron?

Needless to remember, a government that decides to buy planes and ships from those who challenge Washington will feel the heavy hand of the Pentagon. The same for any strategic partnership that enhances deterrence. There is no diplomatic skill that circumvents this contingency. Right, Celso Amorim?

Lula's biggest challenge is the exercise of the Supreme Command of armed corporations structurally hostile to social change. It is understandable, but your effort to compromise is not acceptable. The military commands, left on their own, the promises made explicit on the way up the ramp will be fatuous. The black waste picker Aline Sousa will be deceived. The colonial lancers dressed by the integralist Gustavo Barroso will prevail.

The expression “military guardianship” needs to be understood in its deepest sense: it is, above all, about imposing social standards to the taste of the State that conceived the ranks to subdue the people.

As a result, either political power shapes the State's instruments of force or the barracks, granting themselves the condition of fathers of the homeland, will remain committed to shaping society.

Lula has a rare intelligence and legendary political sensitivity. She is the undisputed leader of Brazilians. Let him understand quickly that it is impossible to decline the attribution of commander of generals.

* Manuel Domingos Neto is a retired UFC professor, former president of the Brazilian Defense Studies Association (ABED) and former vice president of CNPq.


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