The scam started

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By VLADIMIR SAFATLE*

An insurrection never needed a majority of the population to impose its will. It needs a substantive, embattled, unified and intimidating minority, potentially armed.

Anyone who knows the history of Italian fascism knows the innumerable number of times that Mussolini, in his rise to power, was considered politically dead, isolated, cornered, weakened. However, despite the fine analyzes of commentators on Italian political life, despite the subtle readings that seemed to be able to catch the most unusual nuances, Mussolini, the bronco Mussolini, got where he wanted to get. This should at least serve to remind us of the three mistakes that lead anyone to lose a war, namely, underestimating your opponent's dedication, underestimating your strength and, finally, your ability to think strategically.

The least that can be said is that the Brazilian opposition excels in practicing the three mistakes against Bolsonaro and his supporters. She seems buoyed by her ability to take her wishes for reality, to justify her paralysis as if it were the most mature of all ruses. Now, to this she added a pathology that, in old psychiatry manuals, was called “scotomization”, that is, the ability to simply not see a phenomenon that occurs in front of you. Even with 600.000 deaths on his back due to his government’s negligence in relation to the pandemic, Bolsonaro managed to call his own on September 7, with more than 100.000 people on Paulista and a similar amount on Esplanada dos Ministérios.

He placed himself as the uncontested leader of a unique uprising of the government against the state, stating that he no longer recognizes the authority of the STF. In other words, he assumed for the world that he was on a collision course with what was left of the institutionality of Brazilian political life. His supporters left that day with their identification strengthened and understanding themselves as protagonists of a popular insurrection that is in fact taking place, even if with mixed signals. An insurrection that shows the strength of Brazilian fascism.

There is no point in saying that this manifestation “flopped”, that only 6% of what was expected were present. An insurrection never needed a majority of the population to impose its will. It needs a substantive, embattled, unified and intimidating minority, potentially armed. Bolsonaro has the four conditions, in addition to the uncontested support of the Military Police and the Armed Forces, who for nothing in this world, absolutely nothing, will leave a government that promises him salaries of up to 126.000 reais.

Those who take pleasure in believing that Bolsonaro's true support is 12% are the ones who usually do everything to make us do nothing. But for anyone who really wants to face what is happening in Brazil, there is nothing more to say than “the coup has begun”. The September 7 demonstration marked a clear rupture within the Bolsonaro government. In fact, anyone who says that the government is over is right. But that just means that Bolsonaro can now abandon the mask of government and assume in the open what this “government” has always been, since its first day, namely, a movement, a dynamic of rupture that uses the structure of the government to expand and gain strength.

Thus, he can strengthen his hard core, turn voters into loyal followers without having to deliver anything a government would normally deliver, not even protection against violent death produced by an uncontrolled pandemic. Never has a president spoken to the people, in their moment of greatest tension, who openly shared the desire to break with and ignore an institutional framework that is simply the representation of the classic oligarchic interests of the Brazilian elites.

Unfortunately, that the “people” in question were the mass of those who dream of military interventions, who love torturers, who embrace the national flag to hide their infamous history of racism and genocide, this was something that few could imagine. On the other hand, as much as certain sectors of the national business community feign discomfort with his presence, what really counts is that Bolsonaro delivers to them everything he promises, knows how to preserve his gains like no one else, fights to deepen the spoliation of the working class without fear whatever.

For no other reason, his September 7 was preceded by manifestos by businessmen defending “freedom”: a new password for the “right” to intimidate and threaten. Meanwhile, the Brazilian opposition thinks that we are still in the field of political clashes. It prepares for elections, pretends to dream of broad fronts, forgetting that, since the end of the dictatorship, we have always been governed by broad fronts, and look where we have arrived. All governments were “left to right” alliances. It was not for lack of a broad front that we are in this situation. The calculus is simply not this.

The left needs to understand once and for all the nature of the clash, listen to those most willing to confront, those who were not afraid to take to the streets today, and assume a logic of polarization. This implies that she needs to mobilize from her own notion of disruption, loud and clear. One break against another. There is nothing left to save or preserve in this country. He ended. A country whose independence date is celebrated in this way is simply over. If it's to fight, let it not be to save it, but to create another.

*Vladimir Safatle He is a professor of philosophy at USP. Author, among other books, of Ways of transforming worlds: Lacan, politics and emancipation (Authentic).

Originally published in the newspaper the country Brazil [https://brasil.elpais.com/brasil/2021-09-08/o-golpe-comecou.html]

 

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