lewd manipulations

Image: Pieter Bruegel


On the continuity of the neo-fascist adventure of the Brazilian ruling class

With each passing day, more and more serious crimes of Bolsonaro's misgovernment against the country and the Brazilian people are revealed by different sources. And Bolsonaro remains in office as president, as a result of the 2016 coup d'état, supported by the coup forces in Congress, among the military and also by a succession of agents in the press, institutions, social networks, among people who receive to promote and defend the indefensible and volunteers, whose gain is purely emotional from primary identification and public broadcasting, sanctioned by the far-right government, from deep personal frustrations and traumas expressed in the somewhat uncertain form of neo-fascist “ideology”.

The generalized personal discomfort (to use a mild form of expression) typical of time is the result of objective situations, fundamentally stems from the structural instability of globalized capitalism that has repercussions in everyday life and, in the context of the neoliberal “culture of narcissism”, manifests itself in the experience of the subjects as isolated individual experiences and are, as such, like experiences of a subjective “discomfort in (in)culture” today, experiences channeled and expressed in “personal” hatred of the “other” or his ghost: hatred as catharsis fear and individual insecurity.

The psychological mechanism of the “scapegoat” is as old as humanity, according to the legacy of cultural and religious forms of the past, and it is updated at this critical moment in the country and in the world in which the majority pays the enormous price of sustaining impeding socioeconomic structures and their autophagic processes for social life and even for the life of the species, in the current crisis of the man-nature relationship. This relationship, it is always worth remembering, is only mediated by the relationship between men.

The relationship with the natural environment and its processes cannot be dissociated from the human relationships resulting from the social structure today based on growing inequality, in the intensified relationships of dominance and subordination that exist in contemporary global society between different human groups: social classes, nations and cultures.

With the 2016 coup, the hard core of the Brazilian ruling class aimed to directly and immediately transfer the costs of the global capitalist crisis, as reflected in the country, to the working class, the middle class and other social groups already traditionally marginalized, incipiently and diversely benefited in the PT governments.

The Brazilian ruling class, deeply reactionary and with limited conceptions about the reality of the current world in profound transformations, embraced Bolsonaro as its representative. The scandalous, obscene media and legal manipulation of the electoral system ultimately resulted in the election of the professional politician and, until then, marginal within the established system of power in parliament, an ideological creature of the 1964 military dictatorship and a traditional member of the lower parliamentary clergy, where he made a career of an ideologue, a mediocre parliamentarian busy with the material benefits of office, a politician with known connections with militiamen, that is, with the criminality established in the entrails of the repressive apparatuses of the state of Rio de Janeiro.

The neoliberal project of the so-called “transnational elites”(1) was associated in Brazil by proximity, necessity and affinities, with the authoritarian and neo-fascist project remaining from the military dictatorship: associated projects of systematic destruction of political life, thought and culture, of regulatory institutions of more than “relative” Brazilian democracy, of the social and welfare functions of the state that aim at a relative balance in the vital processes of the socioeconomic system of dependent capitalism. This whole violently regressive process of breaking down real, potential or even imaginary resistance to the radicalized neoliberalism of the periphery was quickly implemented after the 2016 coup and intensified in the mismanagement of the extreme right leader.

Here it would be appropriate to ask whether the coup, the Brazilian bourgeoisie, the initial beneficiaries of the systematic destruction, the employees of the coup: journalists or for journalists, parliamentarians, state agents, whether the Bolsonarism faithful, the middle class in general, in short, whether this amalgam of interests, political and financial forces, parties and sectors of the so-called “civil society” or, in the Brazilian case, a properly “uncivilized” society, all feel contemplated in the current situation.

There are coup-mongering sectors that are currently showing, through friendly press editorials, somehow surprised, “perplexed” by the demonstrated managerial inability of the Inominável’s mismanagement in the current national health crisis. The systemic crisis of the world economy, exacerbated in 2008 and which continues in many ways today, was followed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Global responses to the pandemic have been contradictory and have taken a heavy toll in human lives. In Brazil, they worsened with the general politicization of the health crisis promoted by the Captain of Chaos whose specialty or unique vocation is the ultra-right ideological discourse and practice, that is, a unique “medicine” for any and all occasions or difficulties.

Well, the regime change desired and promoted with the 2016 coup seems not to be exactly the same for Bolsonaro and for the traditional institutional core of the Brazilian right. Here interests and somewhat divergent “worldviews” are mixed, even though they have a common background in the global neoliberal context of class confrontation and submission of the working classes and intensified social exclusion against marginal or marginalized socioeconomic and cultural groups.

On the one hand, the military leadership, resentful of the overthrow of the military regime and nostalgic for the dictatorship, whose “perennial” objective is to protect the nation as a mainstay of the coup regime, if not as its direct managers in the model of the 1964 dictatorship. of the coup and military dictatorship was and still is the blackmail reiterated by Bolsonaro in times of difficulty. And yet, a fascist-style regime with Bolsonaro as supreme leader would run into obvious internal and external difficulties. Voluntaryism, Rastaquera careerism, narcissism, Bolsonaro's demonstrated irresponsibility, together with the cognitive and practical limitations of the Captain of Chaos, could be elements of a conflict between the institution and the personalist adventurer. Here, the ever-present risk of aggravating the national crisis with Bolsonaro would not outweigh possible benefits for the military. On the other hand, without the battering ram of Bolsonarism, the military's target of power, in the absence of thoughtful alternatives and given the intellectual and cognitive limitations of military ideology, becomes problematic: difficult with Bolsonaro, difficult also without Bolsonaro.

On the other hand, a part of the coup-mongering bourgeoisie is already asking for the head of the Captain of Chaos: the Bolsonaro cost is proving to be more and more complicated for the country. This incredulous and intellectually limited bourgeoisie had its coup calculation made difficult by Bolsonaro's actions and inactions. The active, methodical necropolitics in the Covid19 crisis, recently made explicit, proven by health researchers, generates popular reactions, indignation, resistance and revolt that expresses widespread dissatisfaction and with it the risk of “rupturing” the current coup-acting normality, the status quo of the pseudo-democracy in which the so-called institutions of “democratic normality” coexist and even collaborate directly or indirectly with autocratic activism and its repercussions on power struggles between and within state institutions.

At the international level, Bolsonaro and his associates seem to know little or nothing about the complexity of the real world, beyond ultra-right rhetoric. The losing bet on Trump demonstrates this. International isolation is one of the risks of Bolsonarism, even though the project of de facto subordination to the masters of the world can make Bolsonaro something of a “necessary” nuisance. The president-elect of the USA will tell us, shortly. In a not so long term, isolation could be costly for the export sector and for the commercial sector and could help, in a more or less decisive way, to put an end to the neo-fascist adventure of the Brazilian bourgeoisie.

In this case, Bolsonaro will have been a passing episode in national life. But the crisis into which Bolsonaro emerged, insofar as it internally reflects the international context, is by no means fleeting and will continue, in central respects and in different ways, with or without the Captain of Chaos. Would a more “rational” and “balanced” administration of the crisis and the coup regime be possible? Which is equivalent to asking whether there would be a “soft” form of coup regime for the Brazilian ruling class, a question that, on the one hand, is the same as asking about the form finally reached of squaring the circle and similar difficulties.

Keeping the due proportions and all the specifics, the election of Biden in the USA is a bet with a sense of normalization of the crisis, if we understand that the Trump administration expressed in a contradictory way a change that had already occurred in the North American political regime in the direction of something that can be called a “post-democracy”. Safeguarding the symbols that Biden's election may mean goes hand in hand with the continued elimination of the substance of the status quo ante, that is, prior to Trump, the context at the same time ideal and "in fact" of the "classic" liberal democracy that the American system incarnated. Trump himself, with his opportunism, his voluntarism and his neo-fascist rhetoric, in his own way and despite himself, contributed to exposing the reality of concentration power, the de facto power of associated sectors, non-state and para-state, in the protection of the universally “exemplary”, “paradigm” regime of American democracy.

Among us, the recent failed trial of the misnamed “Frente Ampla” (which was neither one thing nor the other) in the Brazilian congress, although circumscribed, is instructive. Bourgeois domination in Brazil has always had very narrow limits with regard to the possible construction of a moderately sovereign and minimally integrated nation. The 2016 coup, it is not too much to repeat, promoted the rapid reversal of the moderate experiment driven by popular mobilizations and conducted by the PT of relative social integration and equally relative, but not unimportant, democratization of national life in the post-military dictatorship period and after the neoliberal debacle from Collor to FHC. In this period, the relative, let's say, "superstructural" advances coexisted with "necessary", "conjunctural", "tactical" adaptations, not always very creative, to the context of the global neoliberal (dis)order. And at the end of this process, the owners of Brazil, associated with the owners of the world, ended up imposing their “traditional” model, exclusive and exclusive to society as a whole.

But here and there, the current question of the normalization of the new “post-democratic” regimes in the world crisis is imposed, with its local specificities, but with similar forcefulness, urgencies, varied contradictions and many impasses. Like Trump in the US, Bolsonaro as president in Brazil expressed and personified a certain phase of the crisis. What will come after is a matter of conjecture, but it is possible to say that the crisis itself in its dynamism unfolds in several possibilities and alternatives, including, in the “general jelly” of the world crisis, excluding alternatives that threaten the stability of the transnational pact of elites. The current situation seems to be moving towards the relative “normalization” of Bolsonaro himself within the coup process. Or so the owners and drivers of the process aspire to. From what we know about the captain, the Brazilian ruling class, and the unstable international situation that points to varied and growing resistance to the global hegemonic project, this is also a very risky bet.

1 – “We can define the “transnational elite” as the elite that establishes its power (economic, political or general social power) operating at a transnational level – which implies that it does not express, solely or mainly, the interests of a certain state. It consists of a network of interconnected elites controlling every major field of social life (economic, political, ideological, and so on)”.

Takis Fotopoulos – Τhe Transnational Elite and the NWO as “conspiracies”.

The “transnational elite”, according to the author, is composed of sectoral elites interconnected in a common project and interests in the economy, politics, global communication, academia and culture. It uses national bases but works in the exclusive interest of power and global governance, by “law” or simply by fact, promoted by transnational corporations.

*Marcelo Guimaraes Lima is a writer, pesquisador and plastic artist. Author of Heterochronia and Vanishing Viewpoints: art chronicles and essays (Metasenta Publications, Melbourne, Australia).




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