Messiah candidate's bizarre self-coup



Were the riots of December 12 a death rattle or a rehearsal for the 1o. of January?

“The beast that you saw\ was and is not\ and will ascend from the abyss\ and will go to destruction (Apocalypse of Saint John, 17, 8).

For me, there is no doubt that the current usurper of the Planalto Palace is trying to maintain himself in it through what has become fashionable to call a “self-coup”. In other words, it is a coup d'état promoted by those already in loci of power, in search of more power.

In our past there were some self-coups, starting with the closing of the Constituent Assembly in 1823, by D. Pedro I. The first years after the Proclamation of the Republic were marked by “self-coups”, launched by Deodoro da Fonseca and Floriano Peixoto. The proclamation of the Estado Novo, in 1937, was also a “self-coup”.

Another attempt of this kind in our history is attributed, by part of the interpretations, to the then president Jânio Quadros, in 1961. This part of the interpretations considers that Jânio Quadros resigned with the objective of being reappointed to the presidency in the arms of the people with full powers. The attempt failed. Neither the people welcomed him into their arms, nor the Armed Forces welcomed him into their barracks or tanks. A political crisis ensued that almost led the country to civil war, with military ministers trying, without result, to prevent the inauguration of Vice President João Goulart. And the outcome of the crisis involved the creation of the epic Legality Network, led by the governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Leonel Brizola, and the conciliatory exit of the parliamentary Amendment, articulated, among others, by Tancredo Neves.

Another interpretation is in line with the statement attributed to then Colonel Golbery do Couto e Silva, according to which Jânio Quadros resigned because there was no one to lock him in the bathroom. That is to say, Jânio Quadros resigned because he reached the peak of the depression crises that plagued him in the solitude of Brasília. Perhaps the resignation was the result of both hypotheses combined.

Also the proclamation of the Institutional Act n.o. 5 was a “self-coup”, further closing the already closed regime of the 1964 dictatorship.

Well, today it's a different story. It is clear that the usurper of the Planalto Palace is up to something. What will this something be? Provoke chaos, opening the doors to a “military intervention”, soft translation for “coup d'état”, and thus remain in the usurped Palace? Negotiating a “comfort zone” for yourself and your family after 1o. of January? It is not known for sure, and one or both of the hypotheses may be right. Is he depressed? At first it seemed so, with that head down pose when he heard the news that his opponent had won the election he hoped to win thanks to the clumsy maneuvers that favored him. Now it is not known. He may have retired to the tomb of the Palace which he usurped to rise gloriously afterwards. In this sense, were the riots of December 12 a death rattle or a rehearsal for the 1o. of January? Or would it be both?

What is certain is that the usurper of the Palace carried out, in himself, a self-coup. That is, he resigned without resigning. He hid. He vanished. Except to provoke more dismantling in the State, affecting education, health, even water in the Northeast. He created a vacuum to whet the mob that yearn for a military outburst that suffocates the legitimate and legal demonstration at the ballot box.

There is no parallel to this in our history. A government instituted, albeit by usurpation due to the 2018 maneuvers, that no longer governs, and an elected government that already governs by schedule, albeit more by rhetoric than by concrete acts, since it is not yet a government, nor of neither right nor indeed. But it already governs, recognized by its international peers and by declarations of intent, since the government, as I said, no longer governs, nor even misgoverns, as it did before.

He is only absent, to stimulate chaos, as seen in the “Night of the diplomation” in the capital of the Republic, with the hordes of rioters on the loose in the streets. The usurper spawned his own ghost, like a self-murdering Macbeth. Perhaps Macbeth is too grandiose an image for such a candidate for Messiah, for Shakespeare's character was mad but brave. Who knows the best image for our (our?) candidate for Messiah is that of Smerdyákov, the sinister and arrogant, but impotent character of The Karamazov Brothers, by Dostoyevsky.

It is a historically unusual, unprecedented situation. Who spoke in the name of maintaining order is the future Minister of Justice, while the current one, in the midst of the riots, was having dinner peacefully in a restaurant and the hordes attacked another, burning vehicles and terrorizing families.

As can be seen in the news, the usurper welcomed at least one troublemaker who feared arrest to the Palace. In the presidential enclosure there are offers of snacks for those who demand a rupture with the Constitution, that is, the coup d'état.

Brazil follows. The minister of the Federal Supreme Court, previously denounced by the left as anti-democratic, is now praised as the champion of democracy. And fair enough, by the way. Where are we? In complete surreality. In any case, some beacons remain. Curious beacons. As in 1961, the revolutionary left defends order and legality, within the person which some still denounce as that of bourgeois liberality. Many right-wing people join this movement in defense of institutions. The radicalized conservative wing preaches the subversion of the same institutions, wanting to undermine them in order to impose their excesses. The Armed Forces remain in their barracks, isolated by the horde that asks for their intervention. Supporters of the coup usurper abandon their ship, condemning him to self-ostracism.

The US government, which used to sow coups in Latin America and elsewhere, now also defends the legality and inauguration of the elected, left-wing president. The time, the mores! Brazil is decidedly not for beginners. Not even if they are candidates for Messiah.

*Flavio Aguiar, journalist and writer, he is a retired professor of Brazilian literature at USP. Author, among other books, of Chronicles of the World Upside Down (boitempo).


The site the earth is round exists thanks to our readers and supporters. Help us keep this idea going.
Click here and find how

See this link for all articles