MBL – method of action and combat

Image: Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas


The movement assumed the role of agitation and propaganda for the extreme right, having a pedagogical function in social struggles based on a conservative project of society

The MBL has been around for almost ten years. Therefore, there is no point in staying here in the rain in the wet. There are, without a doubt, sectors of the right that are much more dangerous than the MBL and with longer performances. In general, we can define the extreme right as an ultra-reactionary social force whose historical function is to destabilize capitalist societies in order to implement their fascist project of society without, however, eliminating the commodity form, radicalizing relations of exploitation and domination against workers.

The MBL, even as a condition of its existence, assumed the role of agitation and propaganda for the extreme right, having a pedagogical function in social struggles based on a conservative project of society. The MBL functions as an internal mechanism for the broad spectrum of the right, with the function of updating the methods of political action of the dominant sectors. For this reason, they are known as the “MBL boys”, as their main identification is with young people and those who seek some type of information about the political panorama in Brazil.

The pedagogical character is related to forming these young people politically, subjectively and objectively co-opting them for the ranks of the extreme right. There is no possibility of changing the theoretical and political orientation that guide the practice of MBL. To believe in this change is to disregard the nature of this movement.

The MBL methods are also well known. In communication, what is commonly used is: (i) shock – its function is to cause some kind of impact; (ii) revelation – there is always something hidden that needs to be translated and shown to the public in an urgent way; (iii) irony and mockery – makes the speech more palatable, given the real rejection that a good part of society has towards politics. The jocular speech is uninterrupted and its main function is to transform politics into entertainment, captivating a loyal audience.

Another feature is the rather offensive method of combat (presented as an unpretentious intervention) whose function is to emotionally destabilize the opponent by generating some kind of violent reaction against MBL members, who use these images as evidence, revealing the violent essence of their political opponents. . All of this is done precisely so that these actions are recorded and viralized on the internet.

Even sometimes suffering some kind of retaliation, MBL members maintain a provocative, ironic and cynical posture, with the police being their last refuge. In this case, it is necessary to point out that the police always protect the MBL. When they are attacked as part of the legitimate reaction of those who are exposed in their captious approaches, they insist on the posture of mockery, but this time in a tone of thanks making it clear that the objective of the debate was achieved and the consequences of these actions are also a substantial part of the profit. It may seem like sadistic behavior, but it's not. It is the risk that one runs to propagate an ideal and interests of the dominant sectors of Brazilian society. The MBL, as Professor Virgínia Fontes pointed out, is the shock troops of the bourgeoisie.

With this, we also want to prove the theses of the conservative field, from moral, cultural, political or economic issues. Part of this method, above all, is dialogue. In the direct clashes promoted by the MBL (which are sold as “supervision”), there is a search for interlocutors in the left field who, through the debate around some issues, are always ridiculed in a childish and grotesque way.

This trap is perfect for putting the adversary in a vulnerable situation, since the montage of the filmed material and the tone of the debate are always set up in a tricky and false way. The absurd lines are part of the intention to shock, holding the audience's attention.

Another very effective element is the moral, political and economic shielding around MBL members. Its effectiveness is proven in cases such as the scandal about Ukrainian women involving the then deputy Arthur do Val. As scandals are almost commonplace, it was also transformed into spectacle and entertainment being converted into propaganda, while these tragic episodes fall quickly into oblivion. The MBL's ideological machine proves to be functional in a society governed by this logic, of repression, crime and impunity.

The MBL, therefore, increasingly improves its methods of action, and disputing its structure is out of the question. The sectors that seek to dialogue with the MBL are those that choose not to fight head-on against this offensive far-right policy. Parliamentarians, for example, are accustomed to such an association without this representing any contradiction in their practices. Marcelo Freixo is an iconic and caricatured example, associating himself with all the rubbish of the extreme right, as was the case with that ridiculous video with Janaina Paschoal.

In culture, we have the case of Mano Brown who interviewed Fernando Holliday in his podcast on Spotify. There are also left-wing youtubers like the case of the Humberto Matos channel, which makes clear its desire to debate with Arthur do Val. Recently Humberto Matos also begged to debate with Eduardo Marinho, another irrationalist icon of our time.

In these last two examples, what we have is just the insatiable quest to increase their respective audiences in a vile dispute for more audience, which means market. It's a kind of manure stardom, where the instrumentalization of relationships is the rule. It is at this moment (in the debate between these two apparently antagonistic fields – which in fact are not) that the show takes on its most finished and seductive form. The warmer these debates are, the more they reverberate, because on the internet there are infinite multipliers that will seek to reverberate these videos.

Based on this brief overview, we must ask ourselves: what is the most effective method to combat MBL? As MBL is already an established trend, training work is necessary; this takes place effectively in the field of education and activism, which includes communication. But all this is not going to act incisively against the hard core of the MBL. And even eliminating the MBL, this does not guarantee the possibility of other fronts of this nature arising.

Overcoming the extreme right is only possible in a revolutionary process. To act in this direction, it is necessary to build a political environment of intolerance against the physical presence of MBL militants in spaces where coexistence is being created against the fascistoid notions and values ​​of the Free Brazil Movement. This will be used by them to say that the left is uncivilized, authoritarian and undemocratic.

There is, however, in this process a better definition of the social field and the forces disposed in society, which forces us to think about maintaining the struggle in breaking with the bourgeois logic in defining what is, for example, democracy, justice, freedom , authoritarianism, barbarism, among others. This also makes fascism assume its true face, increasing the dimension of the conflict. This point then becomes decisive for subordinate sectors because there is a need for a broad organization as a way of guaranteeing their own survival.

*Arthur Moura is a filmmaker and a doctoral student in Social History at the Faculty of Teacher Training at UERJ.

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