Two years of misrule – the bourgeois excrescence

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By TARSUS GENUS*

Ineptitude, insanity, denialism, endemic corruption, radical crisis in public health and in the economy and international discredit

It is obvious that a political activist, even to verify the universality of his experience, always tends to link moments of his personal participation in the struggles he faces, with relevant historical facts that appear in his daily life. In my case, I link a singular fact that happened to me, a public letter addressed to Governor João Doria, in which I encouraged him to respond in his own name and that of his State to the criminal aggressions of President Jair M. Bolsonaro. The public letter coincided with the tragic two-year anniversary of Bolsonaro’s “dumb” government, as his former ally General Santos Cruz described it.

This article continues that reflection, as we begin the third year of his government, still with the threat that he may survive the four years in office and, even more tragic, that his name may reach the second round of presidential elections. Socrates, a typical militant politician and philosopher of the Athenian antiquity, considered the “patron saint” of Western philosophy, who was condemned to death for mocking religion and democracy, recommended, at the end of his days – to his young disciples – that they continue “questioning everything ”. Such a methodological stance by Socrates inspired Marx to point out, as one of his favorite aphorisms, “doubt everything”.

Socrates was a brilliant nuisance, a characteristic (the second) that will certainly not be in my biography, but I feel obliged to return to the subject, because I received several intelligent messages about the article. Letter to João Doria, including a telephone call from the governor of São Paulo, which resulted in a long and stimulating conversation between different parties about the democratic crisis in the country. The messages, evidently, did not compare me at all with Socrates, but at least they bring me a little closer – not to his genius – but to his personality founded on raising doubts. These, by the way, always tend to put them publicly to take advantage of the intelligence of others and thus improve my ideas, by affirmation or denial.

Luís Carlos Prestes, after ten years in prison, was released in early 1945, after Vargas decreed an amnesty and freed the political prisoners of the regime. He leaves prison to become one of the leaders of the “queremista” movement, which defended Getúlio's permanence in power. Prestes – according to the communist orientation – should defend this policy, even if the Vargas regime had handed over his wife and companion Olga Benário – Jewish and communist – to the Gestapo, where she would be murdered by the Nazis.

It was post-war Brazil, which would consolidate its heavy industrialization, the control of its fossil energy sources and the modernization of labor legislation. Ênio Silveira, a political member of the PCB, highly respected editor and one of the country's great intellectuals – twenty years later (in 1965) – would found the magazine Civilização Brasileira, one of the biggest and best political-cultural magazines in Latin America.

In No. 3 of the Magazine (July 65), Ênio publishes an epistolary text, a classic in national political history, called “First Epistle to the Marshal: on freedom of opinion”. The letter, intended for President Castello Branco, contains the following passage – after recommending that President Castello read a book by Norman Mailer, Presidential Papers – composed of messages, letters and reports by Mailer addressed to President Kennedy: “I got so excited about the book that two ideas came to mind: publishing it in Portuguese (...) and starting correspondence like unto the Lord.” The letter was written after one of the several arrests of Ênio Silveira, in the early years of the military regime.

Twenty years later, these are two examples of political cadres who, in similar situations, regardless of their “personal taste”, produced gestures of interference in the conduct of opponents (or enemies) according to the assessment of the forces in dispute, which would pass to the History: Prestes, in the post-war period, assuming a position of support for Getúlio because – according to the vision of his communist peers – this would help to stabilize a new world order that would block any offensive against the USSR, with the collaboration of renegotiated bilateral organizations, after the victory against Nazism, with democratic regimes being consolidated all over the world, alongside the USSR of the soviets.

Ênio Silveira addressed the general directly, without any illusion that he would cease to be what he was – the maximum authority of a regime of force on the way to a dictatorship – making his letters instruments of the democratic struggle. He spoke with the General as an opponent with clear positions, but above all he spoke with a wide range of intellectual cadres and political leaders, who began a heroic resistance to the new regime, authoritarian and militarized, which would pass in 1968 to a full military dictatorship.

These memories brought to the present help us to think politically about how the Bolsonaro government arrives today, after the passage of two years of ineptness, insanity, denialism, endemic corruption, radical crisis in public health and in the economy and international discredit. . After trying to demoralize the biggest opposition leaders and governors, Bolsonaro also started to attack and be attacked by dissidents from his extreme right, right and center right groups, ideologically splitting the country – both “between classes” and “intraclasses”. – as well as fragmenting the main and marginal political groups that brought him to power.

He, Bolsonaro, arrives at a “cesarist” stage of power, without an organic social base in the most structured classes of society, but present in all of them, through a “historical bloc” that operates – in politics – “cemented” by a marginal ethics to state institutions, without ties to any kind of republicanism, even the most authoritarian. Bolsonaro is the most decadent bourgeois excrescence in power, compatible with those sectors of the business community – large, medium, small – that have long ceased to see the nation, but only contemplate their businesses in ruin or in difficulties, due to the new global order, that drags them to be employees of transfer of the interest rates of the accumulation of the financial oligopolies.

What political situation is the Bolsonaro government in, after two years full of delusions and the decomposition of the Republic, projected by the group of insane and mediocre people who accompany him in government, in the beards of our “refined” bourgeoisie? It is the one that allows Ermírio de Moraes to be replaced by the “Véio da Havan”, Paulo Renato to be replaced by the insane Weintraub and the moderate hierarchy of the old Catholic Church to be replaced by crooked pastors, harassers of the micro savings of the poor, with their ailments to sell the sky?

To understand where this Government has arrived, on a political level, we could only refer to the recent article by José Luís Fiori in the earth is round - entitled under the rubble – which shows the “monotony” of Bolsonaro’s failures, the “physical and moral disintegration of society” and the spread of “hatred and violence among the citizens themselves”. The Government of death naturalized by incompetence and the brutal economic crisis, which spreads in every pore of society. However, Fiori's article – a well-known academic respected worldwide – could be pointed out as “suspicious”, for being a member of the country's political intelligence, who never surrendered to the economic right and to fascism, which today are fully accomplices. So, let's look for more “free” sources.

Written, oral, gestural, merely discursive correspondence – direct or indirect – between enemies and adversaries is a structural chapter in the “polis” since antiquity. The messages, gestures, formal letters, speeches, brief “notes”, verses, poems – between friends and enemies – opponents and co-religionists, today with moments filled by the tweets and other forms of expeditious communication, acquire an extraordinary importance for detecting crises, studying levels of putrefaction of institutions, predicting movements of political bodies and preparing actions and strategies of struggle, to elect new conditions of confrontation, negotiation, repulsion and “elective” affinities , in the next chapter of history.

In this way, I understood the importance of writing a letter-article, addressed to Governor Doria, through which, far from comparing myself with the epistolary intellectual and political paradigms of the last century – Churchill, Prestes, Mandela, Ênio Silveira, Gramsci, Norman Mailler – they would only put me in a new process of political learning, in a situation that – with more than 50 years of militancy – I have never faced: how is it possible that a country like Brazil, which has had Presidents like Getúlio, JK, Jango, Fernando Henrique and Lula, soldiers like Rondon, Lott and Horta Barbosa – a country that had the stature that allowed it to assemble the Constituent Assembly that resulted in the 1988 Constitution, has fallen so low, to the point that its State is close to putrefaction, without any reaction from its institutions Republicans, to remove from power the psychopath who misgoverns us?

Let's see what they say, not the original enemies of the Bolsonaro Government, but its former first-line allies after these two years of Bolsonarism: General Santos Cruz, its former Minister, says in all letters and without reverential fear, that the Bolsonaro government is inconsequential, “unprepared and silly”; Governor Doria posted on his twitter account on January 194st that Bolsonaro likes the smell of death, the smell of gunpowder and the smell of money from “cracks”, endowed with behaviors that stimulated “the death of 19 thousand Brazilians for COVID-XNUMX”. Merval Pereira, unsuspecting of having any rapprochement with the left, a Bolsonaro voter within the “difficult choice” thesis, has already stated bluntly that his former chosen one is a “dictator’s project” and “does not have the minimum conditions to be President”.

The huge social arc of the Government's revulsion, in every pore of society, has been neutralized by the impossibility of broad street movements due to the Pandemic and by the political legacy left by Rede Globo's campaigns against the PT governments and their left-wing allies which, with their successes and mistakes, left one of the best legacies of democratic policies in republican history: a respected and sovereign position in the global concert, economic growth and the integration of millions into formal society, distribution and income unprecedented in the country's history: notable advances in education, social policies to support black and indigenous communities; defense of women's rights, significant improvements in environmental policies, the increase in the Minimum Wage, respect for the rule of law and investments in infrastructure, incomparable with all previous Governments.

The neutralization of this revulsion is still based, not only on the thesis of the “difficult choice”, but also on the thesis – nazily – exhaustively repeated, that it would be enough to remove the PT from power to improve everything, and also that the PT “inaugurated” the practices of corruption in the Brazilian state. For this to “stick” it would be necessary to raise a mediocre and frivolous Judge to the status of hero and jurist and also weaken resistance to arbitration in the STF, placing sympathetic spotlights on Ministers who accepted to make their republican convictions more flexible, to put Lula in jail, through manipulated processes that have shown to have this exclusive destination.

In the debate circles in which I participate, I have argued that left-wing political parties, organized as they were in the last century, if they do not change their practices and forms of organization – aimed especially at leading their affiliates and supporters to the next elections politically –, they will gradually reduce their political importance, until their complete exhaustion, losing the minimum of their leadership capacity. It is possible to verify that the most important political leaders – left and center-left in the country – without exception, have already disconnected from the traditional practices and rituals of submission of their own parties and focus much more on these – in these network relationships – than parties about their most important leaders.

Perhaps the concept of the Gramscian “ruling group”, transposed into the life of the network society, could serve as a reference for a new concept of an “open” emancipationist party, also composed of the formal parties of the 20th century, which could exercise there 24 hours a day. day their political activity with shared leadership vocations. They would not need to give up their conjuncture analyses, which lose relevance the day after their publication, due to a radical change in historical “time”, whose speed is much greater than their ability to produce analyzes of each conjunctural moment, that is “undisciplined” by the new information technologies that increasingly control our lives.

It's a delicate and complex topic, but I'll put it in a summary way: in network societies, opinion formation, convincing for certain political actions and mobilizations are no longer guided by verticalized decisions, but by horizontal relations of summary communications, which are oriented by networks or superior “leadership” nuclei – of direct participation in public life – that no longer obey the determinations of the traditional bureaucracies of the parties, but are born – phenomenally – from the hardships, impulses and perversions of everyday life, where the market regulates life and not life regulates the market.

Socialists and social democrats, democratic and conservative republicans, moderate and radical left, bourgeois and proletarians, already communicate like this and it is in this field that Bolsonaro maintains and advances. It sickens society, propagates death, stimulates the perversities of the repressed, oppressed and frustrated, forming the social basis of its atypical fascism: it imposes statements of everyday life on history, weakens the resistance of democratic institutions and mocks the attacks of a significant part of society. great press that spawned the Monster.

I think that, in addition to forming our political Front for the left, programmatic, democratic and plural, we must encourage and respect all the “dissensus” movements against Bolsonaro that are outside this Front, that are committed to the restoration of our republican fullness. And more, that – from the outset – through the various forms of political articulation, compatible with the network society, commit to the struggle in defense of life, with the rescue of democratic republicanism and with the exclusion of Bolsonaro from power by “impeachment” or by elections.

Excluding Bolsonaro as an option, in the first and second rounds – as a presidential alternative – is the key to frentist relations or even just those of respect and political civility between organizations and leaders, to block “fascist queremismo”, which is organized in clandestine basements of the militias. The two years of Bolsonaro’s government have also taught us a lot: tactics and strategy, tactics and ethics, alliances and disagreements, are more welded than ever, in any “card” of present history. Again comes Elliot's verse, which says something like: "past time and future time are merged into present time".

*Tarsus in law he was Governor of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Mayor of Porto Alegre, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education and Minister of Institutional Relations in Brazil.

 

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