Lulism vs Bolsonarism

Image: Fidan Nazim qizi


The election between Bolsonaro's coup impetus and Lula's republican spirit

What is the policy? if it was a Affair of interests, it should be called economics. If it addressed social structures, sociology. In the 19th century, he used to invoke the metaphor of a correlation of energetic forces. In fact, politics takes place in the symbolic field, that is, the struggle for the legitimacy of beliefs, hopes and memories validated in the imagination of fellow citizens. Such is the lieu reserved for the sphere of politics, according to Lucien Sfez, in The symbolique politique (PUF). In this synthetic formulation, which gives absolute centrality to symbols in tough political comparisons, how can we understand Lulism and Bolsonarism?


the lulismo

For André Singer, in The meanings of Lulismo: gradual reform and conservative pact (Companhia das Letras), Lulism is equivalent to a “weak reformism” incapable of promoting profound changes in Brazilian society. The criticism is perhaps too acidic, considering the historical and social conditions of the national reality and the fact that the Lula da Silva governments (2003-2010) were not supported by massive mobilizations to increase concrete participatory actions, which would design the reordering of classes in the period.

Certainly, it would have been different if the union leadership of the ABC region of São Paulo had been elected in 1989, in the midst of the greatest agitations recorded in the history of Brazil. At the time, despite having minority representatives in the Constituent Assembly, the left knew how to benefit from the wave that resumed agendas suffocated in an environment of economic turbulence and upward struggles of the revived working classes. Without which the progressive conquests of the “Citizen Constitution”, such as the ingenious creation of the Unified Health System (SUS), would not come out of the cloud of good intentions. And that, always questioned, would not be the constant target of angry shots from the right for supposedly waving to “many rights and few duties”.

André Singer's criticism fits the description of European social democracy, which managed to generate a public consensus in favor of the Welfare State and, with the new common sense established, wasted the chance to walk with determination towards a paradigm post-capitalist. The Socialist Party (PS) and the French Communist Party (PCF), challenged by the revolutionary crisis triggered by the insurrection of May 1968, with the active support of students and the proletariat, pulled the brakes, afraid to take the step ahead of the “ capitalism with a human face”. Not even the general strike, with the adherence of ten million salaried workers, in France, sensitized the loose party leaderships – which boycotted the mobilizations.

The one who dared to step forward was President Dilma Rousseff in her speech on May 1, 2012, on radio and TV, when she attacked the excruciating interest rates charged by the banking system for sacrificing the productive segments of the economy. Important: without the existence of an organized movement in civil society to support the courageous initiative, therefore, voluntarist. It was the shocking and surprising mistake, not conjunctural, but historical, that started the shock in the class pact triggered in 2002 with the Letter to Brazilians, by Lula, with textile entrepreneur José Alencar as deputy. When trying to correct the blunder later, the amendment was worse than the bad sonnet with the indication of the old chicago Joaquim Lewy to the Ministry of Finance. Having the ruler's will is not enough if the authority does not have the objective and subjective conditions to take bold, change-oriented positions.

The diagnosis of weak reformism about Lula's administrations is also not convincing when associated with the pejorative characterization of a “liberal-developmentalism”, which would imply the unrealistic possibility of the neoliberal matrix to arrange itself with a developmental purpose of a social nature. It would not even be partially feasible, except if the wholly antisocial nature of neoliberalism is ignored. The derogatory epithet, above, results from diatribes with the Workers' Party (PT), which does not help at all to understand neoliberalism in semiperipheral zones and, therefore, the uneven and combined development of the Brazil land.

The figure of the animal that mixes different types of evolution (bird, mammal, reptile), created by Francisco de Oliveira, in Critique of Dualistic Reason / the platypus (Boitempo), to explain the duality of the Brazilian economy, which articulates backwardness with advancement, provides a better decoding of the difficulties, not only to interpret the verb, but to modify interclass relations with a humanist vector. The exotic image of the platypus has inspired monographs in economics, sociology, anthropology and social psychology, reinforcing the intellectual importance of the Pernambuco economist. The stranger sleeps next door.

The PT electorate, in what Andé Singer's reflection is precise, previously based on the middle classes with emphasis on the civil service, after the scandal named “mensalão”, a fantasy nomenclature invented by a cunning convicted of corruption – encouraged electoral realignment that cemented Lula's charisma with the “subproletariat”. The 2006 and 2010 elections confirm the thesis, when analyzing the origin of the PT votes. The activities of the subproletariat make up what Francisco de Oliveira called “work without forms”. This is the mass that, historically, lives with one foot “inside” and the other “outside” of capitalism.

According to José de Souza Martins, in The Politics of Brazil: Lumpen and Mystic (Context), the tensions and vacillations of this huge social contingent “are determined by the dynamics of capital itself, while the understanding that these tensions have is determined by the traditionalist and mystical worldview, which is what remains of the historical past concealed by the surface of modern social forms. A characteristic case of anomie”. A beautiful dish for the prosperity gospel. It explains the pendulum of voting intentions in 2018, and what the polls predict in 2022. Lula's absence / presence changes the scenario of the elections.

A phenomenon that was known to the Minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), Luiz Fux, when in a monocratic decision he prohibited the former president, unjustly arrested, from giving interviews and attending campaign programs for the candidacy of the replacement in the caption, Fernando Haddad. The kidnapping of the sovereignty of the people attacked the Magna Carta and crowned the spurious and dirty media-judicial-military articulation, initiated in the 13th Federal Court of Curitiba and ratified by the Federal Regional Court (TRF-4 / Porto Alegre), with the endorsement of the STF in Brasilia. The Supreme Court behaved like a Minima Corte to Lula's intentional withdrawal from the election in which he led all polls, by a wide margin. The name of the collusion is simple: coup.

If leaders have their range of deliberations limited by popular demobilization, the people are also unable to meet their repressed demands in the face of a situation of generalized apathy. The criminalization and demoralization of the political field, by undermining the corporate media, weakened the possible reaction to the coup d'état, by erasing party ideological differences. General Eduardo Villas-Bôas, Commander of the Army, left the wings and entered the theatrical play with a sad ending, with the anointing of Jair Messias, as the actor who brought the Armed Forces (FFAA) back to the stage to play the usurper of civilian powers. No wonder the swelling of the central administration, with more than eight thousand people lost from the barracks.


Symbols of Lulism

Here, the main thing is to highlight some of the political symbols linked to PT and Lulism. First, belonging to the political family that begins with Getúlio Vargas and passes through João Goulart and Leonel Brizola to Lula and Dilma. Ciro Gomes did not want to join the lineage; he preferred to defend the Greg News and say mass to satan. No militant from the lodestar contests membership in the socialist/labor family tree, which is positive as it brings to the surface the memory of governments that committed themselves to settling old debts with the working classes, as well as to confronting the atavistic rancidity of colonialism ( racism) and patriarchy (sexism), which support capitalist domination. The understanding of intersectionalities – which oppress and exploit black people, original national ethnic groups and women – exposes the second notable victory of the symbolic spectrum that now distinguishes the PT and Lulism.

On the list, there is concern with protecting Petrobras and the pre-salt as symbols of national economic independence. Improving the subsistence conditions of the “rabble”, through social assistance programs condensed in the Bolsa Familia. The “Minha Casa, Minha Vida” program, which employed labor in civil construction. Luz Para Todos, which brought electricity to those who remained in the darkness of the Middle Ages. the appreciation of the minimum wage in addition to inflation, passi passu, with pensions that move the rusty wheel of the economy in small and medium-sized municipalities. Respect for quilombola communities, the demarcation of indigenous lands and the approval of the Maria da Penha Law, with the creation of mechanisms to prevent and curb domestic violence and femicide – which are liberating items.

Still, the installation of ethnic-racial quotas for access to Higher Education, with the inauguration of eighteen new public institutions, accompanied by the expansion of campus university students to cover the regions of the territorial map. The reparations leveraged the social mobility of individuals with extraction in the population slice of those excluded from knowledge. The recovery of the shipbuilding industry and the beneficial transposition of the São Francisco river reduced the old regional differences, triggering new poles of economic growth.

In short, “life was better” at the time of Lula who, at the end of his second term, walked down the ramp of the Planalto Palace with a formidable and stunning 87% approval. These elements made Luiz Inácio a “myth” for the subproletariat. At the same time, they strengthened the PT's shield in the face of the massacre suffered after the 2013 demonstrations and the processes of lawfare, which have undermined the party and movements over the past decade. to the point of The Estadão to elucidate the “difficult choice” that was having to choose between the vile fascist, who admired the abject beings of a cowardly regime, and the democrat with a successful experience in public management.



“Bolsonarism flourished in the soil fertilized by the so-called postmodernist cultural movement and by the reconfiguration of subjectivity and individual identity promoted by neoliberal sociability”, reports Ricardo Musse in Bolsonaro government – ​​democratic setback and political degradation (Authentic). Statistical surveys reveal that support for the infamous misgovernment is concentrated in the middle and upper classes. It encompasses a multitude of resentful people who – real or imagined – believe they have suffered a decline in the social scale, as a result of public policies implemented by popular administrations. Gravitating around the customary privileges at the top of the pyramid, however, they did not channel the frustrations, dissatisfactions and repressions towards a confrontation with the systemic structures of exclusion, but towards the left, with emphasis on the PT and Lula.

Anti-PTism and anti-Lulism became the enemies to crush, in this narrow range of income, consumption and neo-slavery pride. The fears of the “communists” heard in the fateful 1964 were updated, although the Cold War ended the cycle with the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (former USSR). The fracture of society is not the problem. The motto of egalitarianism, yes, is seen as an obstacle to the ardent prayers of ascension through pockets of resentment, which make up the bubbles of gall and resentment.

“Communism is a rhetorical ghost, used by demagogues of various political tendencies as a weapon in the ideological struggle, with no correspondence with the global geopolitical framework. The anti-communist discourse, for example, is not only part of extreme right-wing ideologies, but also galvanizes the imagination of parts of the middle classes fearful of losing their relatively comfortable position in society”, says Newton Bignotto, in Language of Destruction: Brazilian democracy in crisis (Company of Letters). Bolsonarism feeds on a ghostly swamp. Fractions of the petty bourgeoisie salute the massacres in the communities of Jacarezinho and Cruzeiro in Rio de Janeiro, or Cracolândia in São Paulo. Poor is cool at Mangueira drums, during Carnival. In mall roll. On the beach, vexam, with flour. Nearby is a dangerous bandit.

In the absence of programmatic ideals for the construction of a true nation, for all and for all, and of a republic that defends formal and, growing, material equality – the project embraced by Bolsonaro’s misgovernment is the deconstruction of the unusual advances achieved with the PT / Lula guidelines. No news. The announcement was made in March 2019, in the United States, at a meeting with American right-wingers. “We have to deconstruct a lot of things”. Anti-PTism and anti-Lulism lead to anti-people politics.

The anti-people policy, by extension, anti-national, leads to privatizations that do not differ from donations of public assets to greed and plundering of private capital, with the shameless presidential endorsement. The appointment of the incompetent general Eduardo Pazuello to the Ministry of Health, in the middle of the pandemic, added the poor management of the health crisis to the continuous sabotage of procedures recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), leaving hospital oxygen short and increase, in a cruel and vertiginous way, the number of preventable deaths. The seeds of privatization were sown.

The ministerial composition of the misgovernment, transformed into an international pariah, highlights the most salient feature of Bolsonaro’s negative actions – the destructive emblem. Pinched ministers are antagonists of the areas in which they operate. Those who wander in Education are disqualified, who hate agendas of interest from the deans. In the Environment, an exterminator took pictures of deforested logs in the Amazon. In Culture, the secretary kept a weapon in the cabinet. The generalship was not far behind. The folders they step on, lose importance.

Not content with the shavings on the Esplanada, the FFAA behaved like a political party and, through the Villas-Bôas, Sagres and Federalista Institutes, now present a “Nation Project: Brazil in 2035”, which intends to put the final point in the gratuity of the SUS and charge monthly fees at federal universities. Project coordinated by General Luiz Eduardo Rocha Paiva, who carries in his curriculum a revulsion against the National Truth Commission and an exaltation of the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Terrorism Never Again, created by the torturer colonel convicted of heinous crimes during the military dictatorship, Carlos Alberto Brilliant Ustra. The alliance between neoliberalism and neofascism outlines the next quadrennium of assault on rights and expansion of inequalities. Where do they learn so much evil?

The coup impetus is not disguised by the chief representative, on duty. The complete dismantling of institutionality is a fixed idea of ​​the pack of fanatical followers. His movement feels cut off from the concessions against the homeland, such as the secret parliamentary amendments in Congress. Indecent concessions to Centrão are not laid bare as an institutional capitulation or a break with campaign commitments. They are covered by the catatonic extra-institutional indifference devoted to traditional politics. Mussolinian fascism and Bolsonarian neo-fascism do not care about peer pranks, obsessed as they are by the vain promise to transmute their respective countries into great players in the future.

The inconsistencies of conventional associations give way to the fierce battles of the Bolsonarist hordes, on social networks and in the streets, for the possession of unlimited power that allows the destruction of any vestige of the democratic-republican heritage. This is repudiated and thrown in the trash, in the expectation that something undefined will occupy the podium in the race and revolutionize the world. “They” must not rule; “we” want to rule. Here is the slogan that fills the headless heads of the obscurantist crusaders, imbued with the sacred mission.

Irrationalism serves as a philosophical padding for Bolsonarism, even if it attacks the population. It was seen during the pandemic spread of the coronavirus. It can be seen, for three long years, in the providential suspension of the activities of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), the body that should assess the quality of food. The measure is necessary to hide the harmful effects of the release of poisonous pesticides, canceled in countries governed with decency. After globalization, the door that opens reeks of authoritarianism and totalitarianism, rehearsed at a gradual pace by provocations and transgressions against constitutional democracy, which test the tropical resilience of the subtracted Federative Republic of Brazil.


Symbols of Bolsonarism

Bolsonarism rescues the memory of dictators in caps and olive green suits who, for twenty-one years without freedom, censored, repressed, arrested and broke up with repeated crimes of courageous rebels, against human rights. If Cazuza's heroes died of an overdose, Bolsonaro's pseudo heroes exchanged the certificate of Homo sapiens hair of homo tortuosus. They were thugs who delighted in torturing Democrats, with sadism, without remorse. Sentinels of a dystopia that despises democratic-civilizing values. God, in his blasphemous mouth, protects genocide and raffles 12 gauge shotguns.

The political symbols worshiped by Bolsonarism are fake. Nationalism has no patriotic content, the surrendering government squanders the strategic heritage accumulated over generations. The flag around the neck does not denote respect for workers and national companies, in the wake of Lava Jato where the same did not denote, which made the judge partial defendant in a lawsuit. The homeland is a paltry trading post for smart multibillionaires, who discard the proposal of the internal mass market. The yellow shirts uniform clueless zombies, who ask for selfies to the military police. The fetish of freedom of expression legitimizes the brothel of opinion against science and political correctness, abolishes social controls and unleashes the dogs against modernity. The cry for the “one-people” does not unify; sectarianizes and tribalizes the nation.

The symbology they are proud of has a necropolitical bias, it does not praise the life of the community. It expresses a desire for power that minimizes empathy, in exchange for the perverted allegory of the Nietzschean superman, forged in the Clubes de Tiros amidst suffering agro-sertaneja songs. Its medals do not honor the common good for a dignified Brazilianness; reinvigorate the cold logic of the master/slave and the ethics of the strong/weak – like the stupid and spoiled boys who, at recess, apply the bullying in the intelligences of the school.

For Ruy Fausto, in Democracy at risk? (Companhia de Letras): “The victory of the extreme right in Brazil is part of a worldwide movement of anti-emancipatory forces. Its secret is not the direct and immediate liquidation of democracy, but its occupation. The lock of alternation is its philosopher's stone”. The enormous comparison with the symbols of Lulism translates the confrontation between values ​​of civilization and countervalues ​​of barbarism. The higher stage of neoliberalism is neofascism, permeated by a conservative nostalgia.



Lula's biography, as Fernando Morais put it, is a story of cascading overcoming since childhood. The dictatorship metaphorized the gigantic stone in his path and that of the country. Union militancy, then partisan at national and international level, was the gateway to your and our raising of consciousness. Overcoming poverty, conquering democracy and projecting a nation with pride in the global arena freed the country from the “mongrel syndrome”, which took refuge in the shallow culture and surmounted arrogance of the native “elites” who, contrite, when getting off the plane on trips to Miami and Orlando salute the American pavilion.

Certainly, the self-emancipation of the people does not depend on the Guaipeca bourgeoisie. The complicating factor is that Lula's governance often seemed to make it depend solely on public condominial policies. The changes were not always apprehended through the socialization lens of inversion of priorities, perceived by the beneficiaries. The ability to change social positioning was credited to individual commitment or religious conversion, rather than popular state policies that had never been implemented before in history. This, precisely, is the challenge of the third mandate so that the “kingdom of necessity” is organically intertwined with the “kingdom of freedom”. The PT's and Lula's affectionate and welcoming treatment of the Brazilian people draws attention to a consistent and essential “ethics of responsibility”.

Bolsonaro's biography is the mambembe parade of mediocrities started in the Army, where he was removed for indiscipline and retired at the age of thirty-three. Since then, he has lived not “for” politics by vocation, but “from” politics by profession. In the Legislature, he was a crude, physiological extra. The fame obtained in the Presidency shames compatriots abroad. Internally, he complains that he cannot govern, and blames the institutions for his unfitness for office. The children follow the cracks, that is, the father's footprints.

The Bolsonarism policy model, geared towards the implosion of the Rule of Law, does not seek to compete on the lines of protective public policies, as it is not bothered by the uneasiness resulting from socioeconomic inequalities; he deepens them for the benefit of the powerful. It does aim, along the lines of neo-Pentecostalism, to establish a sinuous guideline that ensures the total laissez-faire in society, free from sanctions for breaking protocols.

Wanting is power: not vaccinating yourself, deforesting, withholding, raping, extorting cabinet officials, killing Genivaldo in a gas chamber while the boss rides a motorcycle without a helmet, making fun of covid-19 patients. Who can more, cries less, tahockey. The slides of vulgarities stand out in Bolsonaro's grimaces and incomplete speeches. Colonialist and patriarchal passport of every gesture that identifies the “man without qualities”.

Just as a moral fable must be woven with threads that allow one to distinguish, with transparency, the difference between good and evil; this is how the upcoming dispute at the ballot box will unfold. User and substitute of personal and robotic lies, with the resource of algorithms, the candidate who fears falling off the pedestal and getting a chain for the set of absurdities, will not hesitate to use any methods to take off the re-election. Despair at the prospect of greater control over fake news, via the internet, demonstrates that his candidacy is not created far from bullshit, falsehoods and manipulations. The dominant ones recognize themselves in the hoax.

The oppositionist candidacy, which punctuated combatant vigils with generous dreams, is part of a progressive and disruptive political conception. It lives on another level of practices. It dialogues with the perception of individuals and with the republican spirit. The Popular Struggle Committees propose to unite political and social militancy against the fascist side, which is Bolsonarism. The Committees are places where the civic-solidarity participation movement is organized. There, beliefs and hopes intertwine in the hearts and minds of people who pursue the biblical “land without evil”, Canaan, which Thomas Morus cherished from Utopia. And because politics without memory is politics without a subject – Marielle present! Paulo Gustavo present!

* Luiz Marques is a professor of political science at UFRGS. He was Rio Grande do Sul's state secretary of culture in the Olívio Dutra government.

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