There was no arrego and it wasn't even a blow

Marina Gusmão, Sweet Cobra.
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By JULIAN RODRIGUES*

Impeachment is out of the immediate picture and the third way weakens.

Bolsonarist September 7 was never truly the day to take over the STF headquarters or declare a state of siege. Especially because the coup has already been dealt – it started in 2016. Since then, we have lived a coup encoursTo putsch in progress. Bolsonaro has never hidden his goal of closing down the regime.

Bolsonaro is already in government. And the military too. Why strike now? Who would prevent a Bolsonarist coup? The Armed Forces – who mostly support the former captain? He continues to have a majority in the Chamber and is not concerned with now, but with 2022. It is not a “normal” government; but disruptive – bluffs, threatens, flaunts scam every day.

Despite losing popular support, the president still has a 25% approval rating. Neofascism today is a mass current in Brazil. And he showed his strength in the streets on the 7th.

Bolsonaro repositioned himself. He bared his teeth. He showed he has muscle. He made it clear that he will not “fall out of maturity”. He also regrouped his parliamentary base. Rodrigo Pacheco closed the Senate – Arthur Lira made the most slippery speech possible. He placed the scam at the center of the headlines. He tested new limits and sent many messages.

Impressionist analyses, whether alarmist or triumphalist, only get in the way of the progressive field. The sectors that defended canceling the demonstrations of the social movements on the 7th were wrong. The neo-fascists' goal was to put more people on the streets. However, the movement was very far from such a “flop”. Self-deception does not help to rig our field.

Mourão, the deputy, did not break with Bolsonaro – he was by his side in Brasília and later stated that there is no climate to impeach the president. That is, the impeachment operation becomes even more complex.

Bolsonaro advances and retreats. It's part of the game. In mid-April last year, he made a well-balanced statement on national television, even denying chloroquine. Common sense didn't last a few days. There is a lot of political intelligence in the actions of the neo-fascist leader.

There was no rebuttal in this Thursday's formal note, 9 – everyone knows it was not written by Bolsonaro. It's a dance step. Bolsonaro put his chips on the table, showed his teeth – he reaffirmed that he will not let himself be defeated, he put himself back in the electoral game (“if they don’t want me, they will have to swallow Lula”).

The reaction “from the elites” showed apprehension, but it was measured and lukewarm, be it from the STF, the media, or the parties that supposedly vocalize the “non-fascist neoliberal bourgeoisie”. The message for him was “you overdid it, back off, help us help you”. Continuous act, Bolsonaro stages such regret. There was a lot of negotiation behind the scenes – probably even about the fate of the family clan.

By radicalizing his fascist base too much, Bolsonaro instigates such things as roadblocks by truck drivers and other oddities. He disappoints many of his people by pretending to compose himself with the “institutions”. What many of us despise as “cattle” behavior actually reflects an impressive organicity, discipline, ideological firmness, willingness to fight – which is sorely lacking on the left.

One should not, however, overestimate the frustration of the neo-fascist base. It is already being reoriented, both by Bolsonaro (“let it calm down tomorrow”), and by the influencers theirs – Bannon/Carluxo spin the opinion of this group in 48 hours. If necessary, neo-fascism will discard more extreme sectors that do not follow its guidance (just refer to historical experiences, such as the rise of Nazism in Germany).

Bolsonaro’s “retreat” is actually a temporary repositioning. It deflates pro-impeachment itches from both Farialimers and the parties (PSD/DEM/PSL/PSDB). Furthermore, the pro-Doria act on the 12th withers (the MBL demonstration has nothing to do with defeating Bolsonaro, but with vetoing Lula and praising the toucan governor of São Paulo). Next Sunday's fake opposition micareta ran out of breath.

Do not overestimate the strength of neo-fascism. There will be no tanks in the streets tomorrow, no PMs or militias killing people out of control. At the same time, it is necessary not to underestimate the forces of neo-fascism. Bolsonaro did not melt. The big bourgeoisie and a good part of the dominant classes remain divided – they haven't decided what to do, besides promoting a third way. But they are not going to operate now to overthrow Bolsonaro.

The fight against Bolsonarism is much tougher than the fight against Bolsonaro. And it is not enough to face neo-fascism without facing neoliberalism. No illusions with the big bourgeoisie, with supposedly democratic sectors of the wealthy – they were the ones who tore up the 88 constitution and made Bolsonarism viable.

Deep breath. Balance analytics. Thinking in structural-historical terms, analyzing the relationships between social classes, the international scenario, relationships between the political superstructure and the infrastructure. Less wishful thinking. More rigor.

Streets and networks. Grassroots organization. Tour to the territory. Political training. Facing the cultural, ideological wars. Defend a left-wing program of structural reforms – without fear. Strengthen the popular-democratic field. Combine institutional struggle with social and cultural struggle. Stop ridiculing Bolsonarism – understand the size of the crisis and the defensiveness we find ourselves in.

2022 is not 2002. The scenario remains unstable, confused. Bolsonaro positions himself to remain the anti-Lula. And to disrupt the whole process. Nothing is given. Without social struggle, without mobilizations in the streets, we will be at a disadvantage. It is not possible to play at a standstill, thinking that Lula is almost elected. Defeating the Guedes program, neo-fascist authoritarianism and rebuilding/transforming Brazil will demand much more from all of us. Starting with studying, breathing. Think a lot before making (and spreading) conjuncture “analyses” full of wishes and lacking in facts.

* Julian Rodrigues is a professor and journalist, LGBTI and human rights activist.

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