The spectrum of the June Days

Image: Mikkel Kvist


The student-oriented movement, despite the suspension of tariff increases in several states, continued with massive support from the middle class in processions of civility, intolerance and resentment.

June 2013 hovers like a yellow-green specter over Brazilian society. Much has already been discussed about the political-social phenomenon that, with the trigger of the Free Passes Movement (MPL), exploded beyond the reduction of urban transport tickets and, in the blink of an eye, took over the main cities. The student-oriented movement, despite the suspension of tariff increases in several states, continued with massive support from the middle class in processions of civility, intolerance and resentment. The agenda incorporated claims. "It wasn't just for the twenty cents."

For journalist César Felício: “A turning point in the June crisis occurred on the 13th, when the Military Police violently repressed the demonstration in São Paulo” (Valor Econômico, 02/06/2023). In previous days, the black blocks destroyed buildings. From then on, President Dilma Rousseff's popularity plummeted and instability set in. The “no” agenda to the increase in bus, subway and train tickets, subsequently, targeted the unavoidable shortages of public services and the high expenses with works for the World Cup (2014) and the Olympics (2016).

The malaise was channeled by the Globo to the issue of corruption. The original flags were hijacked. The target migrated from mayors and governors to the Planalto Palace, the PT and the left in total. The anti-PT and anti-left virus was propagated, closing the painful cycle of the “mensalão” inaugurated in another June (2005), by the displacement of crucial decisions out of legitimate instances. The authoritarian virus has infected the population. The laceration of politicians contaminated the systemic metabolism, regardless of the ideological content – ​​victory of the market against politics.

The oddities with an air of “big house” strolling in the “slave quarters”, like the couple going to the protest site with the baby stroller, the black uniformed nanny and Spitz dogs, found the appropriate spokesperson in a mouthpiece of the rebels in favor of social and cultural inequalities.

That cynical vow of impeachment dedicated to a cowardly torturer (colonel Ustra), it paved the way for the rise of the messiah of Barra da Tijuca and squealed collective hopes for a pastism incarnated in the military dictatorship, instead of for a political utopia based on egalitarianism and solidarity. The sewer lid was lifted for monstrosities to take on ministerial duties.

"The establishment he preferred to lie, even to himself, that he was supporting a normal right-wing candidate. Everyone pretended not to see who Jair Bolsonaro was”, accuses sociologist Celso Rocha de Barros, in EN: a story. With all his scruples out of the way, he sang the bird by endorsing the AI-5.

Benito Mussolini is paradigmatic. A Fasci Italiani di Combattimento, founded in 1919, had a bundle of wooden rods with an ax in the center, a symbol of the political power of ancient Rome and, by extension, the political power of modern Rome with Il Duce. The leader arbitrarily forged the rituals, gestures and values ​​of the Roman Empire to enhance the “specificity” of the myth of romanity, updated by fascism. Any resemblance to sleazy theater and mediocre actors in Brazil land, is no coincidence. The tragedy repeated itself like a farce.

it rained in paradise

Most analysts believe that June 2013 revealed two crises: that of the representation system and that of the imposture of meritocracy, which manufactured losers spiteful and winners Arrogants of few lights. The magazine Focus Brazil (08/06/2023) dedicated an issue to the “Ten years of the Journeys”.

Lava Jato, born in March 2014, did not create ex nihilo the hate; it took advantage of the flow of stigmatization of political activity and held elected office holders, civil servants and businessmen accountable for the misdeeds compromising the country of the postponed future. Following the example of the corporate communication vehicles, he turned corruption into the fundamental problem of a continental country, with such a stupid determination that it left four million unemployed.

The first martyr of lavajatismo was the principle of today's justice, the presumption of innocence. The second, respect for legal process and jurisdiction. The third, the truth, for convictions in absentia of material evidence, based only on the winning accusations. The fourth, impartial judgment, tainted by the collusion of the court, the prosecution and the media in the practice of lawfare.

The fifth was the engineering industry, dismantled to the delight of foreign competitors. The sixth, the dignity of the homeland, damaged by the spurious articulation behind its back with the US State Department, which culminated in the arbitrary arrest of those who punctuated all electoral projections. Once a milestone of the abdication of Dom Pedro I in favor of his son, for some the great date of the Independence of Brazil, the 7th of April would be transmuted into the sad day of the ignominy of the judiciary.

Then it rained in paradise, to paraphrase the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek. We were happy and we didn't know it. The thesis was proved that the uprising of the masses takes place in ascending economic conjunctures, where a sudden interruption prevents new conquests of the oppressed strata.

Between the impeachment, the inauguration of the deputy coup leader and the end of the neo-fascist government, la porte de l'enfer rodiniana opened up to the employers' law of outsourcing and to the autonomy (in relation to popular sovereignty) of the Central Bank, with the handing over of monetary policy to the representatives of financial rentism.

State-owned companies were privatized, forests were devastated, education was scrapped, the acquisition of weapons by drug trafficking and militias was legalized, the policy of protecting women was abandoned and femicide was escalated. More: there was negligence in facing the pandemic by stimulating herd immunity, to the detriment of vaccination. The result was the genocide of 700 victims. In every corner of the central administration, the dismantling of state control bodies and the assault on the treasury guided the helm of misgovernment, in the worst adventure in 500 years of extractivism.

Between 2003 and 2010, thanks to government initiatives, 15 million formal vacancies emerged, more than the total number of jobs during the mandates of Sarney, Collor, Itamar and FHC combined. Between 2018 and 2022, on the other hand, 62,5 million people were below the poverty line and 17,9 million lived in extreme poverty (IBGE data). The self-esteem that the population demonstrated by the simple condition of being Brazilian was ruined. Squares in metropolises have become camps for hungry refugees, in tents improvised by invisible people. Here is a small sample of how antagonistic are the management programs that oppose progressivism to hyper-individualism.

the sea waves

Like the waves in the sea of ​​Nazaré, in Portugal, the wave of right-wing extremism was produced under the surface of currents propelled in a submerged crevice, capable of forming a volume and condensing an extraordinary force before breaking on the beach. In politics, that tectonic plate corresponded to the issue of morals and customs with which neoconservatism, in association with neofascism, presented itself to society by supporting colonialism (racism) and patriarchy (sexism), which serve as foundations for the segregation and the maintenance of capitalist domination.

Obscurantism is not an ally of the civilizational process, but of the exercises of cruel taskmasters. The judge of the Court of Justice/SC, suspected of keeping a worker (deaf, dumb, illiterate) in a situation analogous to that of a slave, without salary or social interaction, for two decades, brought to light a past that still governs the present, the confirm the complaint. Ending slavery was easy, it is difficult to get it out of habitus of the “elites” with their cruel dialectic of command and obedience.

Abolitionists warned: "Slavery will long remain the national characteristic." As a result, the anti-neoliberalism struggle today is confused with the anti-racism struggle (ethnic, social, capacitist). For this reason, for the anthropologist Darcy Ribeiro, the Brazilian-style transformation will be a dark socialism, or it will not be socialism at all. It's time to settle the score with 350 years of martyrdom.

It is worth mentioning the denunciation of the former agent of the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) and former deputy for Paraná, Deltan Dallagnol, when he criticized the bill to combat fake news with the claim that it would censor biblical verses. The ex-prosecutor referred to a sexist anachronism.

“Wife, obey your husband, as you obey the Lord. For the husband has authority over his wife, just as Christ has authority over the Church. And Christ himself is the Savior of the Church which is his body. Therefore, just as the Church is obedient to Christ, so also the wife must obey her husband in everything” (Ephesians 5:21-6). From which it appears, unlike the patriarchal interpretation of Power point, that the fight against neoconservatism is intertwined with the fight against sexism, and must have women at the forefront. Why fear egalitarian ideals?

Consuelo Dieguez, in the serpent's egg, recalls that an evangelical demonstration brought together 40 people on the lawn of the Esplanada, in Brasília, on June 5 of that fateful year, the eve of the acts for the free pass, which broke the tranquility of the capital of São Paulo. The motto of the act was a repudiation of the measures to criminalize homophobia, approved in the Chamber and sent to the Senate for examination.

At the time, the army was valued at 30% “for religious freedom and the traditional family”. Mobilized by churches that act with undisguised ambition for political power, the soldiers of faith attacked the usual enemies: abortion, feminism, gay marriage, gender ideology. It is a risk to democracy that theocrats have radio and television stations for preaching prejudice, co-opting the faithful and capturing sympathetic votes for bishops who commodify God.

until victory

Exaggerations of language suggest an automatic link between the “Year of the Serpent” and the Bolsonarist assumption, criticizes Marcos Nobre in the article “How June 2013 took the blame for the country’s disasters” (Folha de São Paulo, 04/06/2023), but they do not rid the face of those who had importance in the regime. In the heat of the mobilizations, the precipitation of the chief representative with the proposal of an exclusive Constituent Assembly and of leaders with the accommodation to emedebismo signal a failure of the leaderships, in a society raised on high classist pacts and subtracted by a mongrel nobility.

However, if “until 2015, no political force was able to offer hegemonic direction and meaning to the energy of June”, it is that a more potent failure was imposed: that of classic political representation (with the objectivity of reality underestimated) compared to the crisis of the directions (with the subjectivity of the subject overestimated). The attempt to reinvent democracy with active citizenship, through the PluriAnnual Participatory Plan (PPA Participativo), seeks to correct an adverse correlation of forces based on an old-fashioned “concrete analysis of concrete reality”.

Anti-politics shook the institutions of the democratic rule of law, which was summarized in the outburst that served as a compendium of political science: “They don't represent me”. Those who picked up on the dissatisfaction with the “really existing democracy” were the extreme right, which quickly learned the potential of social networks and the internet. The storm would be perfect if the vandalism in the headquarters of the three powers, last January 8th, had configured the armed regressive dystopia.

According to the director of the Fernando Henrique Cardoso Institute, the toucan intellect Sérgio Fausto: “2013 did not produce a positive institutional change that would improve the quality of the Brazilian State and democracy”. It is a pity that the political scientist does not recognize the responsibility of the PSDB in the plot. The behavior of the spoiled but defeated grandson of Tancredo Neves was the apple in the Garden of Eden.

In Spain, circumstances were more generous. The action of the “indignados” (2011) gave rise to a left-wing association (Podemos) which, in alliance with the heirs of the PCE (Unidas), disputed hegemony with the center-left PSOE, in a short-lived idyll. In the United States, the Occupy Wall Street (2011) emulated the Black Lives Matter (2013) and the campaigns (2016, 2020) for the candidacy of Bernie Sanders for the presidency, raising the bar of conscience and class struggle.

In Brazil, the mobilizations of the polysemic June in the court of the progressives ended: (a) in the occupations of secondary schools (2015, 2016), with the youth positioned alongside the emancipatory flags and; (b) the reinforcement achieved by the feminist movement with the demand “Ele não” (2018), which boosted a vanguard role in the following election (2022).

President Lula da Silva's challenge is to rebuild the nation and provide the conditions for social participation to awaken confidence in a long-lasting democracy, open to experimentation, at the economic and political levels. Praxis for innovations overcomes iniquities and buries yesterday's madness in oblivion. “This is the destiny of the sea”, in the verse of Cecília Meireles.

* Luiz Marques is a professor of political science at UFRGS. He was Rio Grande do Sul's state secretary of culture in the Olívio Dutra government.

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