Remember Machiavelli

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By LUIZ WERNECK VIANNA*

To remove this government that is there is to open doors for the modern, whose passage has been blocked by the authoritarian modernization that brought us here.

We are not there yet, but we are very close to getting rid of the government that, by all means, acted obsessively to eradicate the work of democratization in the country that culminated in the promulgation of the 1988 Charter. the AI-5 regime disguised in order to remove obstacles, social, political and cultural that were blocking a full imposition of a Victorian-style capitalism following the tracks opened by Margareth Thatcher, Ronald Reagan that Donald Trump aimed to update.

Contrary to its crude and careless appearance, strictly speaking, Jair Bolsonaro's government was born guided by a strategy that did not lack sophistication and scope of purposes, animated by the conviction that it was necessary to destroy the traditional foundations on which our political culture was based. , with the firm objective of rooting them in technocratic terrain resistant to politics. His motto was that there is no such thing as society, echoing Margareth Thatcher's famous phrase.

The option for illiberal capitalism, clumsily defended by Paulo Guedes, his finance minister, lent a new guise to pirate capitalism that had free course, largely due to the forced immobility of society due to the spread of the cruel epidemic that befell the country. This funereal event was commemorated by the minister of the environment in a cheerful tone, Ricardo Salles, in an undying phrase that alluded to the drop in resistance to the passage of cattle to the disease that was mortifying the country. There was no dimension ignored by the destructive eagerness of Bolsonarist hosts, especially in the areas of education, health, and all environmental regulatory agencies, always with the declared objective of making them sweetly compatible with the expansion of capitalist accumulation and its values. .

There was, however, a stumbling block, the institutions came from a time when the presence of democracy and the forces that brought it with it was felt, and just as the Romans clamored for delenda Carthage, city-state that prevented the expansion of the In its domain, the group that defends Trumpist capitalism turns against the Constitution and its institutional defenders, who put up a staunch resistance in its defense, whose culminating moment was the manifesto of jurists, personalities, business entities, workers unions and social movements. socials given birth on the symbolic day of August 11th at the Faculty of Law of USP.

From then on, the possibilities of reproducing the government in ways that were foreign to those of democratic institutionality narrowed, as announced in the preparation of yet another catastrophic September 7th, when a military parade on Avenida Atlântica in Rio de Janeiro was considered, aided by the presence of armed militias, to support the slogan "I authorize", therefore meaning President Bolsonaro's investiture with a power without institutional brakes. At least for the time being, continuity expectations were displaced to electoral terrain.

Such terrain, with the repertoire of disasters accumulated over a government poorly evaluated by the population, with the liability of 700 deaths in the pandemic, could not fail to be inhospitable to its electoral pretensions, as certified by the polls and conducive to candidacies of opposition, like that of Lula, who was preparing for the opportunity and had a party capable of sustaining his claim. Lula and his General Staff, in their reading of the circumstances, correctly understood that such a task transcended their forces, investing in the composition of a political front. A broad and audacious movement shaped this front, with the composition of the Lula-Alkmin ticket at the head of a coalition of leftist parties.

They script The surprising result was not the result of a simple reading of the data then available, it was, in all respects, an unexpected invention that emerged in the intense heat of the political struggles of politicians in search of possibilities of victory. It is strange that intellectuals who claim to be followers of Machiavelli, this founder of modern political thought, deviate from one of the fundamental assumptions of his lessons, which is to respect the effective truth of things (“his effective truth seizes”), in the vain pretense of bending human processes to its discretion.

However, although Lula-Alkmin was a good key to the action, nothing guarantees victory in the end. The Jair Bolsonaro government laid deep roots in society, especially in the elites, to whom it provided new and profitable businesses and, above all, guarantees that their privileges are untouchable. Messed with one, messed with all, now say the moneyed in defense of businessmen caught with their hands in the cruse conspiring against the democratic order. More than that, it favored the surge of new businesses in hidden activities such as mining and civil construction in which mafias infiltrate. And to hardened conservatives of all stripes the hope that everything that was always there, like the patriarchy that brought us into the world, will always be there.

To remove this government that is there is to open doors for the modern, whose passage has been blocked by the authoritarian modernization that brought us here. Expanding this democratic front of which we already have the first draft in our hands, rejecting idiosyncrasies, resentments, even justifiable ones, is the mine map with which we can resume the democratization of the country, a work that remains to be concluded.

*Luiz Werneck Vianna is a professor at the Department of Social Sciences at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). Author, among other books, of The Passive Revolution: Iberism and Americanism in Brazil (Revan).

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