Neither coup nor impeachment

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By JULIAN RODRIGUES*

There will be no coup tomorrow, but it is necessary to take seriously both the authoritarian attacks and the social force of neo-fascism

“In the paths of this life I found many thorns / but none went deeper than what I went through” (Sérgio Reis).
“When I appear, the commentary is general / He is the good one, he is the very good one / I am the good one, among the top ten” (Eduardo Araújo).

In these strange days, with so much bad news, so much noise, nothing more natural than getting lost, not seeing what really matters. Cleaning up the foam, focusing on the draft beer. What is the real correlation of forces between social classes in Brazil? Who does Bolsonarism represent? Is the STF the guardian of the people's freedoms? Since when? Globo wants the impeachment? Why does catzo Bolsonaro get more and more aggressive if he is falling in the polls? Will the “centrão” fight with Alexandre Moraes and Barroso?

The most common reaction and we are astonished, perplexed, confused in the face of Bolsonarist hecatomb. And generally underestimating the president, labeling him either as having mental pathologies or being intellectually borderline. As a consequence, perceptions about the fragility of the government are growing, which overestimate Bolsonaro's loss of support. Or they feed illusions about the real/concrete positions of the “markets”, the military (100% Bolsonaro) or such “institutions”.

Talented analyst of the progressive field, experienced journalist, Luis Nassif wrote on August 18 a beautiful article analyzing the political scenario and making projections. The highlight, in my opinion, is the first part, where he outlines fundamental points for the program of an eventual third Lula administration. However, at a certain point, Nassif nailed the following: “there is a certainty for the next elections: Bolsonaro will be defeated – and a series of unknowns: will he die politically before or after the elections?”

The coup was carried out in 2016. At that moment, a broad coalition was formed that broke with formal democracy and threw the 1988 Constitution in the trash. they overthrew Dilma, arrested Lula – and took him out of the electoral game.

The result was the rise and election of Bolsonaro. The ex-military was not Faria Lima's or the big media's first option. With Paulo Guedes as the guarantor of a daring neoliberal program, pragmatically (and enthusiastically) our elites embarked on the former captain's ship. Some, wanting to appear fragrant, feigned conscience dramas, blank or null votes, remember the Estadão? – “a very difficult choice”. We know they nailed 17 in the warm cabin.

Bolsonaro, candidate of the “Military Party”. The generals were the mainstay of the coup. Merchants of faith and their giant devices (churches, televisions, radios, social networks, millions of faithful), organized crime, agribusiness, sectors of the “lumperbourgeoisie” also joined the front line. All of this based on solid and practical international support from the extreme right (Bannon), fueling the formation/mobilization of neo-fascist networks. From the tactics of cultural war, manipulation of social networks, Bolsonarism was constituted in Brazil – today with a mass social base and a powerful column of organic militants.

Bolsonarism is a contemporary form of fascism. It was constituted in times of deep capitalist crisis of financialization, concentration and globalization of capital. Increased inequality, poverty and hunger for a large part of humanity – absurd concentration of income in the hands of a very few (who, like children, now decide to play around in space with their own rockets), dominance of monopoly giants in several areas, aggressive neoliberalism , dismantling of social rights around the world.

Neofascism in alliance with radical neoliberalism. With the support of imperialism. The US ambassador to Brazil in 2016 was the same one who organized the coup against Fernando Lugo, in Paraguay. And, of course, the car washthe was all set up by the CIA by the US State Department.

Therefore, it was never about facing a “normal” right-wing government of the bourgeoisie. It is a disruptive movement that Bolsonaro leads. His neo-fascist tactic has always been that of a coup in process, fraying our already very narrow democracy. “Brazil is not an open terrain where we intend to build things for our people. We have to deconstruct a lot. Undo a lot. Then we can start doing. That I serve so that, at least, I can be a turning point, I am already very happy” (speech by Jair Messias, in the USA, March 2019).

In a nutshell, the summary of Bolsonarism explained by the leader himself. It amazes me how many of our people, leaders, leaders do not believe what he himself says. They treat it like bravado. Better pay attention and consider what they say.

Deconstruct Brazil built since redemocratization. From every angle. Culture, education, social and environmental policies, labor rights, democratic freedoms, human rights, public service, women's rights, black people, indigenous people, LGBTI. This is the Bolsonarist horizon.

It often lacks admitting and acknowledging that Bolsonarism engages in ideological struggle on a daily basis, propagates values, worldviews: denialism, anti-scientificism, religious fundamentalism, violence, individualism, weaponry, racism, machismo, homophobia/transphobia and anti-communism (which, in the days is synonymous with anti-PTism).

It is a “moved”. From a wave. From an organized, organic section. With beginning, middle and end. Something that is so often lacking in the progressive field, which tends to automatically follow a common sense of moderating speeches, ideas, so as not to shock the people. When the right thing is to dispute ideas, to raise the level of consciousness of the working class. And not adapt to reactionary common sense. Bolsonarism got where it got because it did militant work, going against hegemonic ideas, disputing, influencing, along with conservative churches, with the gang of guns, with all kinds of sexists, racists and prejudiced.

Those who don't have a clear program and support it, retreat at every opponent's attack. And it loses a little bit of space every day. May the left, especially the PT, learn this lesson.

Why does Bolsonaro radicalize?

It seems illogical. At a time when he is most fragile, Bolsonaro not only maintains his general policies, but also radicalizes his defense of the coup d'état and launches an open war against the STF. However, it is the opposite of what it seems. Bolsonaro acts in a predictable, rational and logical way. We don't change the chip. We don't change glasses. We still operate analyzes based on an idealistic paradigm: Brazil would have a “liberal democracy”, “republican institutions”, or “legalist armed forces” (the most tragicomic of all misconceptions).

The method of government is to dominate public debate. day by day. Effectively, however, it is not just about semiotic bombs, the overwhelming hegemony in the networks or the control of the schedule setting – now totally out of the mainstream media. It is an uninterrupted political-ideological dispute. Permanent war. And Bolsonarism makes successive approximations (nothing to do with mathematics here).

General Mourão, future deputy, still active in 2017, introduced the idea “When we look with fear and sadness at the facts that are surrounding us, we say 'why don't we demolish this whole section?'. In my view, which coincides with that of my colleagues in the Army High Command, we are in a situation of successive approximations, until the moment arrives when either the institutions solve political problems, with the Judiciary removing from public life those elements involved in all illicit, or else we will have to enforce it”. Realize that the contradictions that supposedly exist between Mourão and Bolsonaro or between the loyalist generals of the High Command (who only speak off the record) are sideways, unimportant.

General Villas Boas (sung in prose and verse as serious and democratic by many people on the left) not only supported the 2016 coup and threatened the STF if they did not authorize Lula’s arrest, but was also a pillar of the Bolsonaro candidacy. On the coup leader's retirement, the president shared a very serious confidence: “what we've already talked about will die between us; you are one of those responsible for my being here”. Such effusive gratitude was duly reciprocated. The former commander gave a speech and, moved, said: “you took the country out of the ideological moorings that kidnapped free thinking”.

Thus, with the committed support of the “military party”, of his lively extremist base, and of the right-wing and center-right majority in Congress, Bolsonaro is expanding the field of what is considered “normal”. He goes on day-to-day with the possibility of closing down the regime. And popularizing absurdities (such as the notion that the Armed Forces are a moderating power or that the electronic voting system is fraudulent).

Notice. There are at least four operations carried out by Bolsonaro simultaneously.

The first is that of “going up”, mobilizing the bases, exciting the neo-fascists and guiding the national debate. Dominate the public agenda and debate. The second is to accelerate the neoliberal program of privatizations plus the annihilation of the people's rights. Privatization of Eletrobrás, the Post Office, dismantling of Petrobrás. Another attack on labor rights, destruction of the State (administrative reform) and so on.

Never before in the history of this country has a government demolished so many social achievements and dared to advance so much in the delivery of public assets. Detail: interest rates continue to rise – and the rich are doing well, thank you. The profits of Bradesco, Banco do Brasil, Itaú and Santander together reached R$22 billion in the second quarter – a 64% increase compared to the same period last year. Agribusiness exports should reach US $120 billion (yes, dollars) breaking a new historical record.

Faria Lima, the Valor, the Globonews can simulate embarrassment and even annoyance with the subject's excesses. AND true, ask the president to moderate certain issues – environmental issues and civil liberties. But the concrete fact is that they salivate with each victorious vote of Guedes' proposals in Congress. Hence the explanation. There will be no impeachment, which also explains why the so-called “third way” is still ridiculously stuck.

Bolsonaro’s third operation: trying to improve the lives of millions of people, via specific measures, such as the creation of the so-called “Auxilio Brasil”, which would be his Bolsa-Família, turbocharged. There are practical problems with this tactic (Guedes is really bad, he hates the poor, he doesn't know the public machine), and there is also opposition from the markets. They're going to do the usual blackmail: fiscal adjustment, spending ceiling, debt explosion, “they're driving away investors, due to lack of confidence”, that neoliberal nonsense.

The fourth operation is to let the “centrão” command the nucleus of the government and distribute positions and funds without the mancheia. It's been working fine. Arthur Lira, competent and very faithful. Everything Bolsonaro sends to the Chamber is easily approved. Don't come to me, then, to celebrate the defeat of the printed vote – it was a PEC, it needed 308 votes. Bolsonaro garnered 229 votes against 218 for the opposition.

Momentarily, it gained a solid majority even on a super controversial topic. By the way, the PSDB summit ordered the bench to vote against the printed vote. It turns out that of the 31 deputies, 26 were with the Bolsonarist position, 5 disappeared to not vote, including Aécio, and only 14 followed the leadership of the summit. In other words: what third way is this? In Grampinho's DEM, the situation is similar: 8 of the 21 deputies went for the printed vote.

Would such a third way be, let's say, like this mezzo Bolsonaro?

Is Bolsonaro defeated?

We've never been this bad. Unemployment record. Hunger, misery, precarious work. Brazil towards 600 deaths from Covid. Even so, popular anti-government demonstrations failed to exceed thousands.

Apologizing to readers for the long digression, I now return to Nassif's predictions.

Is Bolsonaro's political death and defeat a matter of time? Our Luis Nassif even considers a scenario in which the current president would be out of the game before the electoral process. Frankly, this assumption sounds like pure wishful thinking (desiring thought).

Bolsonaro made it possible for many people to buy weapons in this country. He has broad sympathy and support from the Military Police of all states. He is the king of the militiamen of Rio de Janeiro. He has the gorillas, of all three weapons, who, for better or for worse, support him. Is all this enough to move forward with a regime closure? A la Fujimori? Would he have international support? From the ruling classes, from the media?

The answers are negative.

Does that mean, then, that Bolsonarist actions are mere bravado, a smokescreen? No. Wanting is not power. But without goals and objectives, without a program, tactics and strategy, nobody advances. And Bolsonaro has all of that.

Fact. Lula grows in all polls. Bolsonaro has seen his rejection continue to grow. To try to cram the middle path, many research institutes test names like Moro, which, even detonated, still appears with almost twice as much as Dória. Look at the size of the hole where the PSDB got into.

A small portion of the liberal rich right chic tried to cram the gay governor (who doesn't want to be seen as a gay governor) of the pampas, that mauricinho Eduardo Leite. A Piaui July – cult magazine of our bankers blase, illustrated and smelling, they think they edit the The New Yorker – he offered the select audience eight laudatory pages. They told everything about the trajectory of the former mayor of Pelotas, trying to cram the young man.

São Paulo is São Paulo. FHC, the old toucan has already sung the stone: Dória is the presidential candidate of the PSDB. That is, it will be the really existing “third way” candidate. Singular, almost extravagant, is the lack of votes by the governor of São Paulo. Hard to find any poll giving it more than 5% support. The guy is extraordinarily heavy.

Ciro Gomes maintains electoral capital, but has scored only single digits – below his traditional ceiling of 12%. It seeks to represent sectors of the supposed domestic, developmentalist bourgeoisie and non-radical progressive middle classes (where do they live? who are they? how do they reproduce?). However, since he embraced visceral anti-PTism and anti-Lulism, Ciro has distanced himself from the progressive electorate. He did not manage, however, to advance in the ranks of the liberal centre-right.

By bringing in João Santana to command his marketing, the man from Pindamonhanga, who is a friend of Mangabeira Unger and who studied at Harvard but does not speak English, chose to flirt with conservative and religious sectors – he made a depressing video, showing the Bible in one hand, the Constitution in the other, and equals them – attack on the secularity of the State. Tasso Jereissati's friend doesn't seem to define himself. Do you want to be the candidate of repentant Bolsonarists, of the markets/third way? Or from some lost center, from a non-PT petty bourgeois left? Problem: None of these segments want you as a representative.

Increasingly isolated (almost becoming ridiculous due to his outbursts and spins), Ciro even loses support in the PDT, his party. He tends to continually dehydrate as elections approach. Maybe he won't become as diminutive as Marina Silva in 2018, but he walks around. In 2022, he will be a second or third-rate supporting actor – but keeping his grace – and always noisy (vanity is my favorite sin, already taught the capiroto).

Lula has scored more or less 46% in the first round. High bias. Appears defeating any candidate in a possible second round. Putting more than 20 points of difference on top of Bolsonaro. Lula's enormity is something extraordinary – the greatest asset of the Brazilian people in the fight for dignity and justice. It wouldn't be smart, however, to cultivate illusions, underestimate opponents, repeat mistakes, "step up".

Look: Bolsonaro, even at his worst moment, does not deviate from the level of 25% of voting intentions. According to research DateCanr the last day of August 19, 32% of the population thinks that Bolsonaro should remain in office as president. And 28% consider their government good/great. (Collor and Dilma only fell because they had only 5 to 7% support).

This data should impact us much more than the increase in the former captain's unpopularity. The percentage of 32% who support the continuity of the government may even grow. the economy goes despise. The climate of the end of the pandemic takes over the country. Bolsonaro’s “nices” will yield some additional support among impoverished sectors.

Hurricane Luis Inacio

Not to underestimate Bolsonaro by far is to consider him unbeatable. Lula is/would be a clear favorite for the 2022 elections, if we were in “normal conditions of temperature and pressure”. We've already agreed that we haven't been since 2016. Even considering all the obstacles ahead, it will still be easier to beat Bolsonaro at the polls than to defeat Bolsonarism.

The ideological force of reactionary extremism will not be dismantled just by removing the former captain from the government. See USa and the resilience of, trumpism, the resourcefulness of Bannon (which, once again, threatens us here). In this sense, street mobilizations, clashes on networks and the electoral dispute form an articulated whole – a true anti-Bolsonarist war. Mass movements, on the streets and on the networks, cultural, political, ideological and programmatic clashes. Raise all our flags. Hit head on with neo-fascism.

Lula is the hope of the masses in the task of rebuilding democracy. It unites the group of progressives, gives hope to the people. It beckons with the return of better times and a future with justice and equality.

It turns out that 2022 is not 2002, in every sense

Lula, if victorious, will find a country in much worse conditions than the one he found in 2003. No comparison, by the way. 2022 looks more like 1989. That is, the first post-dictatorship election, where the center was the possibility of refounding a country. In 89, Lula inspired dreams and mobilized the masses. It represented a disruptive project that engaged people. Wide cultural, political, social movement. 2022 could be the first democratic election, in fact, post-coup. The initial movement to stop the coup and defeat Bolsonaro, creating a climate and a correlation of forces that pave the way for the reconstruction and transformation of Brazil.

This is why Lula-2022 cannot just be a traditional, institutional campaign. As in 1989, it needs to become a campaign for each one of us, a mass tsunami, plural, with youth, women, black and black, LGBTI, the university, the world of culture, the set of social movements. Of course, this is where the precise reflection/appeal of Luis Felipe Miguel comes in, in an article posted on the website the earth is round). Lula cannot be a left-wing president, a peacemaker, “but accommodating to lost rights, a denationalized economy and a defiled Constitution.”

Lula will not be the “normalizer” of the country in a post-Bolsonarism, where everything seems to go back to what it was before, without reversing privatizations and all the evil done against the rights of the people. Also because, even to carry out the policies of his first governments, Lula will have to not only cancel the dismantling but also change a lot in the structure of the State, in the economy (theme for another article).

The anti-fascist movement will be an immediate construction, but also in the medium and long term. Pervading all spheres of Brazilian society. It is not trivial that we have come this far.

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

 

 

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