The hard core of Bolsonarism

Image: Artem Berliaikin


Rarely has an elite been located on the world map with such contempt and hatred for the poor

“And the memory of everything will dismantle its deserted dunes, / and new eternal men will sail on ships” (Cecília Meireles, poem Annunciation).

The general, the judge and the judge

A four-star general explained the formation of the Brazilian people through the fallacious myth of racial democracy: the narrative of the miscegenation of the original races – indigenous, white, black. He said that he “inherited the culture of privileges (lifetime pension for unmarried daughters?) from the Iberians, the indolence (in the face of the genocidal management of the Major General in the Ministry of Health?) Commander-in-Chief, September 7?) of the Africans”.

Between the lines, with tacanhez, he revealed how the history of Brazil is (un)learned in military academies to preach a non-existent harmony and stifle the idea of ​​conflict. For Florestan Fernandes, on the other hand, the legacy of the colonial-slavery period in force for more than three centuries was not miscegenation in terms of nationality, but brutal ethnic-racial inequality. Updated in the colonialist law on the “time frame” and witnessed day by day in the belt of cities. The enslavement of blacks and the expropriation of indigenous lands forged, with iron and fire, the arduous Brazilianness.

A federal judge, in an article in the press, was against the adoption of quotas for people of African descent in universities, arguing: “For us, women, there was no need to stipulate quotas. Equal conditions with men were enough for us to be the majority in all university courses in the country today”. We, who?, questioned Sueli Carneiro (Racism, Sexism and Inequality in Brazil, Ed. Selo Negro): “The use of the pronoun 'us' suggests that women are a homogeneous group that share equally in social opportunities, especially with regard to access to education... Data from the Ministry of Education, in 2000, show that only 2,2% of the contingent of university graduates were black, while whites represented 80%”. The magistrate also did not consider the fact that men enter the labor market earlier than women, with prejudice to their permanence in the educational system. It does not prevent women from needing the more five years of schooling to equal men's chance of obtaining a job in the formal sector.

It is no coincidence that affirmative action policies take place in a huge range of countries, according to a survey by the founder of Geledés Instituto da Mulher Negra: United States, England, Canada (indigenous peoples, women, blacks), India (special measures to promote dalits, the untouchables), Colombia (indigenous), Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia (majority ethnic group, bumiputra), Russia (4% of Moscow University places for Siberians), Israel (falasha, Jews of Ethiopian origin), Germany (women), Nigeria (women), Sri Lanka, South Africa, Norway, Belgium (immigrants), Lebanon (political participation of different religious sects), China and Peru. The consolidation of republican and democratic values ​​is inseparable from the realization of substantive equality, which eliminates previous discrimination so that abstract equanimity has a concrete correspondence in social reality. Certain differences require unequal treatment, especially in the field of social rights. Ignoring disparities is an act of complicity with injustices. Focusing on them is an act of liberation from old shackles.

A judge, in turn, went public with the indecorous self-praise of the Judiciary: “Our differential (ethical? intellectual? of race?) has always been in the 'value of our people' (who doesn't?)… in one of the most recognized institutions ”. He justified the endless stream of indecent prebends in Calvinist language that converted the corporation into an elect caste. He implied the predicates. The dilemma was the option between sinning, out of hypocrisy, to deceive the public without it realizing it or, out of cynicism, allowing the plebs to perceive the mockery. Your Excellency continues: “It is precious (for whom?) that society reflect on this (what?) before criticizing measures (which ones?) that aim to promote as little as possible (how much?) maintain a standard (maharaja?) of valuation, at least similar to that implemented in other states (where?) of the federation (competition over which jurisdiction sucks the most state teats?). One cannot have quality (functional, with a sixty-day vacation?) with contempt (by pro-corporate jurisprudence?)”. The gaps denounce impudence. Shame on you, doc.

How to contemplate the minimum requirements of equality among citizens to build a true Republic, with such semantic distortions of reality? When confronting such cynical reason, Jesse Souza (The Folly of Brazilian Intelligence, Ed. Leya) fired: “Individuals and entire social classes have to, effectively, be made of 'fools' so that the reproduction of flagrantly unfair privileges is eternalized”. Short-term plunder is the hallmark of native elites, manipulators by vocation. It is not a national project.

The construction of neoliberal subjectivity

The general, the judge and the judge, in the allusion that dispenses with names to avoid embarrassing singularizations, play – for the purposes of reasoning here – the role of Weberian “ideal types” as exponents of the conservatism of the hard core of the Brazilian middle class, that is that is, of Bolsonarism. Out of ignorance or bad faith, the uniform and the togas take steps backwards towards the laissez-faire moral and economic, none ahead for the implementation of egalitarian policies that curb anti-republican privileges.

They do not express idiosyncrasies. Rather, they share atavistic characteristics of social class: (a) The uncritical view of a mythical past that equated conflicts, overcame colonialism (racism) and class struggle. As if the courtyard between Casa Grande and Senzala had sublimated the dialectic of domination vs. subordination with a superior synthesis; (b) The uncritical view of meritocracy, the result of personal effort, to disqualify devices for correcting precarious birth conditions and the secular tradition of patriarchy (sexism). As if ethnic, social and gender cleavages had been lost in time; (c) The uncritical view of patrimonialism practiced by the middle class via professional categories that parasitize the State. As if the 1988 Constitution had approved booty to show off “the value of our people” with luxury consumption and travel to Miami.

“The Brazilian middle class inherits abuse and sadism from their grandparents… they don't even perceive slavery as our most important social seed. The nonsense of patrimonialism, and of corruption as if it were an exclusive attribute of the State and of politics, relegates to oblivion and makes the greater inheritance superfluous”, returns to the charge Jessé Souza (The Middle Class in the Mirror, Ed. Brazil Station). The socio-affective socialization of the highlighted ideal types obeys the same family patterns, the same historical-ideological illusions, the same consumerist alienations of what a “good life” or “happiness” is. Issues that go beyond sharing income and consumption levels, as they imply a common perception of the individual's relationship with society.

This lends itself to neoliberal subjectivity, for which the public is a mere extension of the private. Individualism is superior to communitarianism. Hell is other people. Privileges are rights bestowed on merit. The state belongs to the smart ones. Adapting to the rules of the game is better than rebelling. Conformity is a virtue. Critical thinking is a sign of a lack of adjustment to the productivist, accumulative logic. Being capitalist is pop. Considering Marx's perspective, in the Economic-Philosophical Manuscripts (1844), these maxims lack the de-alienating concept of “free and conscious activity”, the experience of “generic being”. Genericity is lacking (pardon the neologism) to elevate the subject to an authentically human existence, not guided in work or love by mercantilist vectors.

The cosmovision in which everything is permitted, not because God is dead, but because one must take advantage of important positions in the socioeconomic gears, corresponds to the modus operandi dominant in capitalism that converts body, mind and feelings of personas into foreign elements for themselves. Sharp strangeness in the despotic factory discipline (never before), which inspired the composition Três Apitos, by Noel Rosa, the poet from Vila Isabel, in the emerging industrialization of Rio de Janeiro (1933): “I remember you / When the whistle of the fabric factory / Come and hurt my ears / You who answer the whistle of the clay chimney / Why don't you answer the scream / So distressed / From the horn of my car?”.

Tax evasion, tax-free trinkets to circumvent the civil service salary cap, disregard for employees' labor and social security prerogatives, disrespect for the ecological balance caused by environmental devastation and the destruction of biodiversity in the name of progress, the treatment unequal given by the Justice apparatus to Lula’s children in comparison with the children in Bolsonaro’s militia clan – they are scattered pieces of the mosaic that reduce humanity to a kaleidoscope, apparently, without connection. Like the mega-entrepreneurs, owners of communication conglomerates, bankers, rentiers, ruralists linked to agribusiness - their middle-class subsidiaries are unable to give a holistic meaning to empirical facts.

In order to understand the empirical facts, it is necessary to insert them into the historical process, in a “meaningful totality”, which terrifies the owners and renters of power. Due to cognitive incapacity and a defense mechanism, the bourgeoisie and the bureaucratic sectors with extraction in the intermediate layers, if they hear the rooster crow, they do not point out where the crow is coming from. They repress the -naked - truth for convenience, while the lie walks through social networks dressed in truth costumes and airs of fake news. The possible conscience of the powerful is blocked so that they do not see the festival of violence, falsehood, immorality and lies hidden in the baggage. They cannot look in the mirror. Exception made to the heroic transfugues who adopted a new class point of view (Engels, Lukács).

The middle class and the Procrustean bed

The extreme right was the predictable outlet for fervent anti-PTism, with the support of the commercial media, in the segments that allowed the unconstitutional procedures of lesa-patria, with attacks on Petrobras and the national engineering companies that disputed the international market with the North's rivals. Americans, in favor of the interests of foreign powers. Neoliberalism, on the other hand, was the permissive culture that left unpunished the members of the judicial operation that spectacularized the myriad of procedural illegalities, leaks of what ran under secrecy, award-winning delations under court and the lawfare of the candidate leading the polls for the 2018 elections, paving the way for fascism. “I was very disappointed with the procedures of Judge Moro and the Public Ministry”, became a religious mantra repeated to exhaustion by repentant lavajatistas. What will it be like.

The disgust towards the struggling population and the stigma cast against the social fighters who line up with the “dangerous classes” – to combat oppression and exploitation – remain unaffected by the petty bourgeoisie. Ditto for the extremist aversion to the political project with a horizon in socialist humanism, embodied in the Workers' Party (PT) and in the left in general. Rarely has an elite been located on the world map with such contempt and hatred for the poor. The ongoing genocide led by the president is the continuation of the eugenics applied since the XNUMXth century, in this colony of pseudo modernizations that deepen backwardness. The constant massacres in peripheral communities, by the feared militarized police, translate into deaths the desire sheltered at the top of the social pyramid. As in mythology, those who flee to the size of Procrustes' bed have their legs cut off, or stretched out, to satisfy the cruel costume of the reigning intolerance of the ruling class.

It is not surprising that in a demonstration of Jet Skis, on the artificial lake of a closed condominium, the sponsor of the event proclaims the Aryan dystopia into the microphone: “How wonderful, only the elite!”. Absent were the unemployed, the invisible, the deplorable, the rapa do pot, the rabble that in another form perpetuates the slave-owning society of the past. If you were to look for it, you would find them in the pillory of hunger, in queues for the right to suffer surplus value, in the punishment of informality in street vendors, in motorcycles for home deliveries in exchange for a meager commission, in dark-toned prisons for crimes without attacks on life that await judgment, in the taverns on the port quays, in the prostitution corners of the daughters of the precariat, in the corridors of the SUS, in the list containing the thousands of deaths in the coronavirus pandemic, in the countless slave quarters, in the movement of landless, of the homeless, in the pious prayers of Father Júlio Lancellotti.

The questions of the worker reader, in the verses of Bertolt Brecht, are worth asking: “Who built the Thebes with the seven gates? / In the books are the names of kings. / Was it the kings who dragged the stone blocks? /Great Rome / Is full of triumphal arches. Who raised them? / Who cooked the victory feast? / Felipe of Spain wept when the Armada / It sank. Didn't anyone else cry? The middle class, which rejects manual labor, although it complains about cheap hands, oscillates between remaining faithful to the suburban fascist and demanding a butler (with electoral appeal) with refined manners at the Planalto Palace. It does not question the policies of exclusion and marginalization of the neo-enslaved. He is not outraged by the handing over of public companies that are strategic for the future of the nation. In silence, it accepts the increased prices of gasoline and imports. He just doesn't want rudeness at the meal table. This is what Gramsci calls “programmatic intuition”. - What a piece of shit!

* 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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