The legislative dilemma

Image: Luiz Armando Bagolin


Reflections on the threats of fascism and conciliation with fascist elites

The dilemma that PSOL and the progressives face in the discussion about candidacies for the election of the Chamber of Deputies is exactly this: to launch a candidacy to make a stand and run the risk of having as president-elect of the main house of the Brazilian Legislative an ally of the neo-fascist Government or Allying with parties of the right and extreme right, such as the neo-fascist PSL, to make viable a candidacy representing the elites that presents itself as opposition to the candidacy supported by the government, with the justification of preserving democratic rules.

Several reflections can be made from this dilemma and the factual elements that compose it. The first concerns the fascist threat that flies over our territory as if it were a carnivorous bird waiting for our downfall. Undoubtedly, it is a fact that the terror of neo-fascism is scaring the world and with the potentialization of this concern, it is necessary to pay attention to some details of recent events and draw a parallel with the events that preceded the rise of European Nazi-fascism between the two world wars.

Among the many similarities[I] between what happened in Germany with the rise of Hitler (a) and the events of the last ten years in Brazil (b) it is possible to highlight some that are frightening: 1 – Underestimation of the fascist movement: a) Jurists, journalists and politicians initially doubted the political power of the German Nazi-fascist movement and those who were not co-opted were subsequently persecuted; b) the main leader of Brazilian neo-fascism was not taken seriously by the press, politicians and agents of the justice system when he made hateful, prejudiced statements and even supported crimes such as rape (Maria do Rosário case) and torture (Brilliant Ustra case).2 – Middle class co-option: to) the impoverished petty-bourgeoisie was deceived by the Nazi-fascist promise of “breaking the servitude of interest” and, still, of an alternative to face the growth of socialism that, by assuming the government, could promote the social ascension of the masses, which was a threat to the social class. average German; b) The Brazilian middle class is deceived with the anti-systemic discourse and co-opted for street mobilizations with multiple flags of themes such as customs, corruption, lack of security and, still, instigated to rekindle the elitist posture by identifying as a threat the possible rise of the masses with a future socialist government. 3 - Lies and false narratives: a) Lies and the propagation of false narratives were the main methods used by the Nazis to manipulate and mobilize the masses; b) Fake News (term used to conceptualize the old lies) and the spread of distorted information via social networks are still the main instruments of manipulation and mobilization of fascist sectors.4 – Choice of an enemy: a) Fascism, when managed in Mussolini's Italy, in 1919, was born from the purpose of declaring war against socialism and it was no different in Nazi Germany where a pseudopatriotic wave was inflated, with financial support from heavy industry to the party Nazi, to eliminate false threats from socialists and communists, and later from minorities (ethnic, racial, and other minorities); b) The choice of enemy by the Brazilian fascists follows tradition, they are socialists, marxists, communists and all progressives. They use buzzwords to identify enemies as lefties, petralhas, cultural Marxists and begin to label as leftist even traditional right-wing politicians who are opposed to fascist preaching.5–military supremacy: a) When Hitler took over the government, he filled even civilian positions with military personnel, in a demonstration that he would govern like and with the military, with discipline and hierarchy; b) the main Brazilian fascist leader, upon assuming the government, appointed military personnel to the main positions of ministers, and also appointed more than 6.000 military personnel to positions of trust in the Republic. 6 – I discredit the institutions. 7 - Contempt for the intellectual world and the arts. 8 - Hostility to science and the university.

The second and no less important reflection that needs to be made concerns the necessary anti-fascist mass mobilization. If we had a good level of popular mobilization against the neoliberal economic policies that are being implemented by the Brazilian neo-fascist government, against conservative and retrograde customs policies, against acts and attitudes that threaten freedom and democracy, we would not even need to be discussing the election for the office of president of one of the institutions of liberal democracy. Putting the dozens of impeachment requests on the agenda for consideration should not depend on the goodwill of the current President of Parliament, but on broad popular demonstration and mobilization.

On the other hand, as we are in the midst of a pandemic that makes widespread street mobilizations unfeasible, the alternative of choosing the mayor of someone who is committed to ending the fascist threat is something to consider. However, how can we believe in parties and parliamentarians that represent the most backward elites or in parliamentarians who were elected with the same speeches as the main Brazilian fascist leader, the PSL case, and who until recently were in the same trenches as government denialists and conservatives?

Another reflection that must be made: Is it possible to wait for the end of the pandemic to bet on popular street mobilization against fascism, or is it better to risk losing credibility with the masses, of becoming an anti-system party/instrument of reference, with conciliation with the elites in the election of the Chamber of Deputies? These are reflections and questions that I still ask and I think they should continue to be discussed.

*João Hélio Ferreira Pes is a professor at the Franciscan University-UFN (Santa Maria-RS).


[I]FONTANA, Remy J. Brazil, country of the future. 31.12.2020. In The earth is round. São Paulo, 2020. Available at Accessed on 1st Jan. 2021.

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