relative stability

Image_Oto Vale


Four notes on the new moment of the conjuncture

1 – There was no qualitative change in the social balance of forces, but we have seen in the last four weeks an unfavorable quantitative oscillation in the political balance of forces. This is, for the time being, a transitional change.

In the structure of society, where the classes in struggle have to measure forces every day, the health catastrophe assumes the dimension of a cataclysm and, for the first time in history, there is a majority of the productive force of society outside the labor market, the catastrophic evidence of the worst recession in history. In the superstructure, the space where the political struggle is concentrated in the institutions, it would be obtuse not to recognize that, unfortunately, the relative stability of the government increased in July.

The central issue is that we are facing a political operation to “naturalize” the pandemic when, paradoxically, it reaches its peak with one hundred thousand dead and, probably, more than ten million people infected, a humanitarian calamity. The government bets on apathy, insensitivity, indifference. Overwhelmed by the tragedy in the struggle for survival, hopeless masses line up at night outside Caixa Econômica Federal branches, while deaths are concentrated among the homeless in popular neighborhoods.

This political operation has those responsible: the liberal bourgeois opposition in Congress, the state governments, such as Dória, and the commercial media trivialize the massacre. The loss of the ability to empathize is a symptom of the degree of stultification of the ruling class. We are witnessing an increasing easing of social isolation rules, which culminate in the announcement of the opening of schools across the country.

More than a thousand dead every day over the course of two months, unemployment around probably twenty million people, and an escalation in the fires in the Amazon that horrifies the world and, for the time being, there is no indication that the wear and tear of Bolsonaro took a leap. But the most likely hypothesis is that this dramatic slowdown of experience is just a temporary trend.

2 – The relative stability of the government has increased in recent weeks.

Besieged by investigations at the STF, which criminalize his fake news network, and opened wide the relations between his son's senator's office and the carioca militias, and at the TSE, which investigates the illegalities of the electoral campaign, Bolsonaro suspended the avalanche of provocations, and if collected after the arrest of Queiroz and the contagion of the virus. But there is no reason to doubt that this is only an ephemeral retreat.

The government gained time with the armor operation against the danger of impeachment, led by the generals of the Palace, managed to consolidate a pact between the Centrão, a political frankenstein of parties for rent, led by Artur Lira, with the Planalto. The extension of two more installments of emergency aid until August, and a possible extension until December, reduced the damage of an explosive impoverishment; trips to the northeast to take a picture of a cowboy on top of a mare, and negotiations for a split vote on the tax reform advanced, even though there is resistance to the return of the CPMF.

However, Lira's failure in the Fundeb vote, and Maia's reaction, with the formation of a bloc with the MDB and, possibly, the PSDB, signal the formation of a third parliamentary field, supposedly independent, but which made it clear that will not be opposition. Maia clarified that he is against impeachment, because he does not consider that Bolsonaro committed a crime of responsibility. Therefore, he will negotiate the agenda and vote, project by project, which in the current circumstances favors governance. There is immense fear in the ruling class that an explosive social crisis could be looming on the horizon with the end of emergency aid, if there is no dynamic for an economic recovery.

However, three governors elected during the Bolsonarist wave, Wilson Witzel in Rio de Janeiro, Carlos Moisés in Santa Catarina and Wilson Lima in Amazônia are already facing complicated impeachment proceedings. The bourgeois opposition decided to moderate its tone and suspend hostility towards Bolsonarism on the eve of the start of municipal election campaigns. They cannot do without the votes of the extreme right to aspire to have viable candidates in the second round.

3 – Before the November elections, the second panel of the STF should decide Lula's fate.

Lula's fate is one of the semi-hidden keys to understanding the Brazilian situation. The criminalization of Lula was, of course, decisive in 2018. Nobody can now predict whether Bolsonaro will not be overthrown before 2022. But Lula is the embodiment of Bolsonaro Out. If the sentences are annulled, Lula could run in 2022, and would probably run, under very competitive conditions, for a place in the second round against Bolsonaro himself, Sergio Moro and a liberal opposition candidate, Dória, Huck or any other.

Gilmar Mendes signaled that he would forward it to a vote in a first plenary session. Celso de Melo will have compulsory retirement until October 31st, and it is unlikely that he will not want to participate. The request for a Habeas Corpus for Lula means that they will have to decide on Sergio Moro's suspicion of partiality.

But the Lava Jato crisis changes levels with the offensive by the Attorney General of the Republic Aras against the Curitiba prosecutors. Aras denounced, bombastically, that Lava Jato has data on 38 people, storing a volume of data greater than the entire system of the Federal Public Ministry.

There is an open rift among representatives of the ruling class over the future of Lava Jato. It is no longer just the sectors affected by the explosion, albeit partial, of the party system of the New Republic, DEM, MDB and PSDB, but Bolsonarism itself that are displaced after Sergio Moro's break with the government. But at the same time, a virtually unanimous position prevails, maintaining Lula's ban.

4 – There are, however, some positive signs.

Even considering the quarantine conditions imposed by the pandemic, a popular reaction began with the pioneering national mobilization of app workers, and sectors, unionized, more organized: metallurgists from Renault, metro, and Post Office.

A manifesto with the signature of more than 150 bishops and the support of more than 2000 priests against Bolsonaro revealed that there is a fraction of the Catholic Church willing to publicly challenge the Bolsonaro government. But the two deeper key objective factors that continue to put pressure on the situation are the evolution of the pandemic and the economic recession.

We do not know when a wave of mass mobilizations against the government will occur. There is no social “seismograph” that allows prognoses to be made, not because of the absence of causes, but because they are many. But, at some point, it will come.

*Valério Arcary is a retired professor at IFSP. Author, among other books, of Revolution meets history(Shaman).

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