Make time (kayrós)

Image: Marcelo Guimarães Lima, Future Paradise I
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By MARCELO GUIMARÃES LIMA*

The neo-fascist adventure ended up laying bare in the public square the chronic authoritarianism backed by the military party and violence as a method

News that Jair Bolsonaro fears being arrested upon returning to Brazil are presented on the internet and in the press, at the same time that the so-called cautious disposition of the Brazilian justice system is reported regarding the immediate arrest of the fleeing ex-president: it would not be the moment .

Now, if there are difficulties in arresting Jair Bolsonaro, there are others, and perhaps greater ones, in letting free those who, throughout his term, preached the subversion of the existing legal order, already attacked by the 2016 coup, and, in this way, inflated , prepared the neointegralist mob for the destruction of central public power buildings in Brasilia as a kind of rehearsal, or opening the wings for a coup uniting the extreme right and military power.

Either Jair Bolsonaro is really afraid of being arrested, or he is not. Either Brazilian justice really wants to hold Jair Bolsonaro accountable, or it doesn't. As has become usual, in the media game of narratives everything sounds possible: yes and no confused, everything and its opposite, and at the same time. After the surprise of prepared and widely announced violence, disorientation via programmed disinformation seems to emerge as the second act of a Brazilian tragic-comedy.

In the videos, which are more and more numerous on the networks, of “good citizens” Bolsonarists committing crimes against public property and against the legal political order of the country, we see citizens of the middle, lower and upper classes, alongside representatives of marginalized groups, together with professional provocateurs, ex-convicts, extreme right-wing politicians, pastors and their faithful, members of the armed forces in a kind of tragic carnival staging something like a “fascist (counter-)revolution”, a minority, but organized and financed from abroad. groups in action, and with the cooperation of security forces and the armed forces.

On the one hand, the free return of Jair Bolsonaro to Brazil, as just another ordinary traveler, would be like a call to the crowd for new riots and violence. It is clear that many of the protagonists of the 8th of January, as some videos show, woke up as if from a trance to the dimension and consequences of their illusions and actions in the real world: prison serves them as a school and is an effective deterrent to new activisms and for new activists. But the core of the constituents and organizers has not yet been reached, and will not let itself be overcome by a setback, which, as extremists that they are, must believe in a temporary war against the always shaky Brazilian democracy, until a defeat is properly established for them. conclusive in the current situation.

This becomes more problematic as the days go by. Because, as the 2016 coup showed, Lula's arrest, the election of Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian right articulates with the extreme right whenever it is opportune. It is not too much to repeat that Jair Bolsonaro and his misgovernment were, among other factors but in a central way, products of decisions of the establishment Brazilian politician, that is, of the right as a whole and its allies, in the holy war against Lula and the PT as representatives of the popular classes.

Decades, years and centuries pass, but the coup d'état, the violence against our always unstable democratic institutions, and therefore against the popular will, seems to be a permanently available and easily updated resource in political life in the country. As well as “transformismo”, the miraculous process that transforms, overnight, coup plotters, authoritarians and exchequer thieves into ardent defenders of the democratic order and vestals of republicanism (and which can equally transform them in other senses, at will). of the winds).

The defeat of the coup micareta would be an occasion to put an end to it and change the record of Brazilian political life, definitively leaving behind, at least in its most immediate and obscene forms, the authoritarian truculence and the enormous hypocrisy that characterize the structures of class domination in Brazil. And even such an “exterior” or surface change would already be an advance, since every surface is solidary to an internal structure and external changes are reflected in various ways in the deep dimensions.

But in the country of transformism and irresolution as a way of life, it is not clear what will really happen from this sudden conversion, from the sudden democratic ardor of Greeks and Trojans, many until yesterday allies of the Captain of Chaos or rhetorical critics and imaginary opponents of neo-fascism caboclo.

Jair Bolsonaro without pen in hand is, for those in power, a shadow of what he believed himself to be until yesterday. The institutional marginality he knew as a low-clergy politician could once again be his future. If there is a future, then, here too, what is certain is that between the rhetoric of the Captain of Chaos and his capabilities in fact for “great” actions, the distance proved to be abysmal, disappointing for those who had been repeatedly called to the aborted war. The orphaned generals of the military dictatorship sooner or later will have to look for other representatives and perhaps other masks.

The structures that fueled the Bolsonaro episode and Bolsonarism have roots in the country's history and decisively in the general historical context of the time. Which is absolutely not to say that the conjunction of political backwardness (which includes repeated attacks on national sovereignty) with the de facto current neoliberal dictatorship be our destiny, because, it should be remembered, we are also the country in which, with all the mishaps, contradictions, impasses and limitations, a worker leader became a popular and national leader.

Lula overcame his tormentors and, with popular support, returned to power to face the crisis that the ruling class had cultivated until the present impasse, in a world context of deep economic and political imbalances, for which the so-called Brazilian elites have no answers other than the perennial authoritarianism, the continued dispossession of the majority and violence under increasingly diaphanous masks.

The neo-fascist adventure ended up laying bare in the public square the chronic authoritarianism supported by the military party and violence as a method. An overly obscene spectacle that, on the one hand, needs to be exorcised by all means for the continuity of the “democracy tutored” by the radicalized neoliberalism that emerged from the 2016 coup.

On the other hand, with all the challenges and difficulties of the current conjuncture, the 8th of January can also, and here we are optimists by necessity and choice, mark the beginning of another process and project of democracy, the one that, against the owners of the country and his accomplices and servants, he is not afraid to say his name and its real meaning of effective popular sovereignty.

*Marcelo Guimaraes Lima is an artist, researcher, writer and teacher.

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