From the Capitol to the Plateau

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By OSVALDO COGGIOLA*

Trump has demonstrated that he does not, and will not, hesitate to use civil war methods.

What happened in the US Capitol was far from being the “spontaneous” and disorganized reaction of a frustrated fascistoid base, or the last breath of a politically liquidated character (Trump). It was a meticulously prepared action, tension in the Senate was already installed before the supremacists erupted. Donald Trump himself called on his supporters to mobilize.

The fascist escalation did not act like an “out of control” gang, but like a fraction of the State. When Trump urged his supporters to calm down and "go home," he inadvertently underscored the parastatal nature of the riot: the instigator also had sufficient authority to organize the withdrawal.

In his dramatic TV appeal, Joe Biden addressed him as acting president, reminding him of his institutional obligations, and calling on him to order his “troops” to withdraw, using the national media to do so. Trump's parastatal troops had dead, who will be transformed into "martyrs" of a fascist escalation, which made a first (only first) demonstration that it does not hesitate, and will not hesitate, in using civil war methods.

The shadow of Yankee fascism is projected over the world, over Latin America, over Brazil. The Brazilian political year of 2021 began at the end of 2020, with the barbarities uttered by the holder of the Executive Power, calling into question the imprisonment and torture received by former President Dilma Rousseff during the military dictatorship, making in the past an apology for the dictatorship and the torture. The entire Brazilian political arc, from right to left, repudiated Bolsonaro's statements: even Bolsonaro's candidate for the presidency of the Chamber, Arthur Lira, thought it convenient to distance himself from presidential bestialities. Which are far from being, as supposed by many, a lack of control due to Bolsonaro's (real) mental and emotional instability, as they are the consequent expression of a political project, now making water on all sides, that of raising the Executive Branch by above the other powers of the Republic, in a kind of pre-fascist Bonapartism, to contain the political crisis derived from the bankruptcy, internal and international, of the “institutional” coup of 2016.

Brazil enters 2021 under the triple and threatening shadow of humanitarian catastrophe, social disaster and institutional crisis. Despite the international and local advances on the vaccine against COVID-19, whose official victims already exceed the fateful and symbolic figure of 200 thousand (considering underreporting, as estimated by the unsuspecting former Minister of Health, Nelson Taich, should already approaches 250), the possibilities of combating the pandemic decrease dramatically because the Bolsonaro government did everything to discourage the confrontation against it, minimized the health crisis, discouraged the use of masks and social distancing and spread a campaign against vaccination through fake News and fascist campaigns of obscurantist ignorance.

On the social-economic front, the 2020 special budget created an emergency allowance of R$600,00 that (miserably) protected more than 65 million people; a wage aid that (likewise) protected almost ten million workers, measures that had the opposite position of the federal government, which only implemented them by decision of Congress or the Judiciary. The economic fall of 4% to 5% of GDP will only not be greater due to the demand created by the protection measures. With the end of the validity of this budget, 65 million will remain without aid; ten million without unemployment insurance, and the crash will multiply unemployment and poverty.

Bolsonarism was the big loser in the November 2020 municipal election. Of the candidates for mayoralty in the capitals publicly supported by the president, only Rio Branco was elected. The strengthening of the right-wing “Centrão” and the relative stagnation of the left (PT+PSOL did not grow electorally compared to 2016), pointed out by analysts in their balance sheets for the elections, were not the dominant note either. In Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, abstentions and invalid votes far exceeded the votes given to elected mayors, accounting for 46,4% and 41% of total voters, respectively.

The political defeat of Donald Trump in the US, the massive mobilizations in South America (including the massive mobilizations of Argentine women who won the right to legal abortion by law) have sunk the right-wing governments of Bolivia, Chile, Peru (and threaten that of Colombia ), also reformulated the Brazilian political agenda. The possibility of Bolsonaro's impeachment was centered on the election of the President of the Chamber of Deputies, the only one qualified to accept the processing of a request for impeachment, to be held in early February.

Rodrigo Maia (DEM) announced the formation of a block of eleven centrist, right-wing and “left-wing” parties to present a candidacy for the command of the House. The Centrão candidate, Baleia Rossi (MDB) will face Arthur Lira (PP), who has the support of President Jair Bolsonaro and, it is said, 190 deputies. Maia's group is formed by the benches of DEM, PSDB, MDB, PSL and Citizenship, in the center and on the right, in addition to PT, PSB, PDT and PCdoB, PV and Rede, "on the left". PSOL should launch its own candidate, but its support for Rossi against Lira in the second round would be certain. The eleven parties that support the block have, together, 281 deputies. To win the election in the first round, 257 votes are needed.

At the same time, Congress must vote on the autonomy of the Central Bank. This measure will be decisive, because, if the BC is already a creature in the hands of the interests of the great financial capital, it is still not completely so, since it admits the interference of the Executive Power, renewed by the electoral scrutiny. With its independence, in the words of economist Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr., it will be at the mercy of “the disproportionate influence of private financial interests”, because, “with this counterbalance removed, the domination of the buffoons over the BC will be perfect and complete. What was previously possession or adverse possession becomes property, guaranteed by law” [1].

The parliamentary agenda is dominated by the interests of big business, in a country where more than 20 million people went into inactivity, 8,5 million to remote work, about five million remained in “discouragement” and almost 14 million were unemployed open. Millions continued to work at high risk both in the health service and in “essential activities”. Many died working, mostly health workers.

With Centrão's victory in the municipal elections, this bloc became a power bloc. Regardless of the immediate fate of the Bolsonaro government, the setting up of a “governance pact” is under way, which ranges from extreme right-wing groups, such as the PSL, now housed in the Centrão, to the PSOL itself, passing through the entire arc of right, center and “center-left” (since PT somehow needs to be catalogued).

The issue of Bolsonaro's impeachment is subordinated to this pact, as the opening of a parliamentary impeachment process would create a wide-open political crisis, which could favor huge mobilizations, as is the case in neighboring countries, leaving the possibility of transforming the hallucinated captain into “queen of England” with a due date (2023), which is also a long shot, as it may favor even greater mobilizations, for the opposite reasons. There are numerous requests to remove the president, which Rodrigo Maia chose to keep locked in his drawer, and will now pass on to his successor.

This impasse throws water in the mill of Jair M. Bolsonaro, who redirected his parliamentary bloc to attract Centrão and the countless parties of physiologism. In economic policy, since its electoral pretensions are contradictory to the maintenance of austerity at any cost, lie the main problems, due to the opposition of big financial capital to any change in Paulo Guedes' domain. Bolsonaro’s fascist political base, on the other hand, inspired by the example of the “Trumpist” base, is preparing for actions of a similar nature in Brazil.

How to combat this prospect, indeed? For the working population (employed or not) there is an urgent political agenda, related to employment, salary, emergency aid to the most needy, education and, above all, health, through universal, immediate, safe and free vaccination. To win it, a program is first and foremost anti-imperialist, against the multinational private laboratories that hold the patent for anti-Covid vaccines (which, in Argentina, even demanded the pledge of natural resources as a guarantee of payment doses), that is, by breaking these patents. And, also, classist, because the struggle for jobs, wages and public education cannot be subordinated to the interests and salvation of big capital. And an anti-imperialist and classist program requires a political force to push it forward.

Due to the political configuration and history of the Brazilian left and unionism, the struggle for this organized force involves a policy Attendant; by the demand, in the first place, of a political break with the bourgeoisie of social, trade union and political organizations and movements, of the working class, for the political independence of the class. Almost all proposals for a “progressive broad front (or anti-Bolsonaro)” or for a “left front” placed in the square are characterized, on the contrary, by including political representatives of the bourgeoisie, that is, by building bridges towards big capital. , which means that they are born castrated in their political and social projection. Many activists respond to these policies, well understood or barely intuited, by political abstentionism, which leaves the field open for class conciliation proposals.

Fascism does not suspend the class struggle, and it can only be defeated with the methods and program of the class struggle. Neither class conciliation, nor factional and sectarian self-proclamation: for a classist left front that calls for, and campaigns for, the rupture of workers, peasants and youth organizations with the bourgeoisie, based on an independent program and class action. That is the only way to defend democracy against fascism.

*Osvaldo Coggiola He is a professor at the Department of History at USP. Author, among other books, of Contemporary history issues (Book workshop).

Note


[1] Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr., The autonomy of the Central Bank, In: the earth is round.

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