What stage of the coup are we in?

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By Milton Pinheiro*

The steps of the coup are building their act of force, the circumstances of the pandemic are a window of opportunity for the extreme right

Although the centrality of power is manifested in the state apparatus, we need to understand that history is a lived experience and its concrete process, in progress, manifests actions undertaken by men and women. They are evaluative practices, exercised interests, political disputes and objective conditions that are internal to the historical process. Thus, this social complex allows us to build, in historical investigation, from the process of class struggle, which alter values, actions, interests and perceptions, the beacons of objective conditions that, from within the real historical manifestations, can reveal the process dialectic.

The Brazilian conjuncture, condensed in the most diverse crises, is strained by the coup-like stance of the military president, Jair Bolsonaro. The fascist agitator, head of an extreme right-wing government, operated a set of actions that are finding fertile ground in this space-time of the coronavirus pandemic. It is about the construction of political isolation, daily agitation for its political and social base, controlled chaos and progressive messages of coup action. Bolsonaro does not need the black shirts, he already has the yellow-green hordes that are fed on obscurantism, racism, lgbtphobia, misogyny, neo-Pentecostal “prosperity” theology and the anti-communist crusade and, from the point of view of fractions of the power bloc, in segments of the industrial and commercial bourgeoisie that do not depend on mass consumption, nor on the devalued dollar.

The pandemic has taken workers' organizations and the socialist left to the "Closed Fortresses", with no other option at this time - other than virtual actions and solidarity brigades -. How to go to the streets, factory doors, schools, universities, popular communities and demonstrate on public roads?

We are in a very complex and difficult situation, including the possibility of the pandemic executing social fighters, so that we can operate politics at that time. Acting through virtual guerrilla warfare, pot-banging, petitions, political training with the widest possible range through lives, resistance of those who are on the front line of essential services; all this seems very little to face neo-fascism and the controlled chaos of the extreme right government at this moment, however, what to do? How can the socialist left create a platform for struggles at this juncture that is not restricted to the political effort that is being made? History informs us, so far, that no revolution has been operated in times of a global pandemic. However, we need to find ways and means so that the long night planned by neo-fascism and the extreme right of the Bolsonaro government does not operate its final act.

Actions are placed on the agenda that organize an ideological field and prepare to intervene, very close, on the ground of the class struggle.

It is proven that the policies of neoliberalism are responsible for the inability to respond satisfactorily to the pandemic. Fiscal control actions to prevent social investments and protect the public fund for the revaluation of capital are responsible for the destruction of public health and education, social benefits, a set of essential services that produce less inhuman social living conditions. The neoliberal ideology is being unveiled, therefore, we need to attack this bourgeoisie project and leave it exposed before the workers and the population as a whole.

The history of the present time, through recent events (from 2013 to now), informs us that liberals, conservatives, agents of toxic finance, social democratic mutants, the extreme right and the petty politics complex at the various levels of parliament are responsible for the presence of Bolsonaro at the Planalto Palace and for what he poses as a risk to democratic freedoms. As Domenico Losurdo warns us, liberalism has always been on the side of the most abrupt tensions in the political order and its divorce from formal democracy has been present since ancient times in the political history of mankind.

Although in the structure of the capital order not everything that is state-owned is public, in the current ideological context it is fundamental to defend what is public and state-owned. Only with the expansion of public services, maintained by state investment, will the population as a whole have minimal conditions for survival. We need the expansion of the SUS, investments in the public university, science and technology, basic education training and, without a doubt, the renationalization of what was privatized so that we can generate a productive park to defend our sovereignty.

It is necessary to anticipate what will be proposed by the internal bourgeoisie, articulated by the block of forces in power, as a way out of the economic crisis. The logic of the capital manager in the Bolsonaro government, Paulo Guedes, is destructive for any solution that takes into account the basic needs of workers and the population as a whole. The pressure on parliament, the construction of different forms of protest and mobilization, as well as alternative proposals that consolidate themselves as watchwords that manage to win among the masses, are paths that we must build to operate on the ground of class struggle.

The fascist agitator, Jair Bolsonaro, advances in his bonapartist logic. The current stage of the coup brings together public actions by far-right forces, manifests itself in the confrontation with State institutions (federal parliament and STF), is confirmed with the veiled support of the Armed Forces, is publicized with the dispute made by the petty bourgeoisie (middle class) on the issue of the pandemic and social confinement, and gains contours of victory with the inability of the National Congress and the Federal Supreme Court to react to the aggressive movements of the military president. Will we defeat the organized movement of Bolsonaro's controlled chaos with diffuse statements by governors and parliamentarians, with criticism by STF judges, with evasions by the Public Ministry? The political scene tells us that the current beacons of formal democracy will not operate with impediments to contain the project of assault on power by Bolsonarist neo-fascism.

The steps of the coup are building their act of force, the circumstances of the pandemic are a window of opportunity for the extreme right; the condensation of crisis, when unveiled, can put us face to face with history. The tasks that need to be carried out by the socialist left are enormous in a context with these characteristics and particularities. The first step is the self-organization of workers and popular movements, at the same time that, in moments of stalemate in the class struggle, when we are one step behind the enemy, we need to advance with great force in socialist agitation, in political formation and in the construction of alternatives for the broadest unity of action among the forces that are placed in the field of struggle against the coup and in the defense of the interests of the working class.

Organizing and fighting, fighting and organizing is the dialectical reason to block the blow and win on the ground of the class struggle.

*Milton Pinheiro is a professor of political history at the State University of Bahia (UNEB). He edited, among other books, Dictatorship: what remains of the transition (Boitempo).

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