The power of the militias

Image: Burst


Neofascism is a mass movement that uses different types, including the penal guard who killed the PT militant

Psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim, when recapitulating the period in which he was interned as a Jew in a Nazi concentration camp, states that he never saw an SS soldier (Schutzstaffel / Protection Squadron) spend time mistreating prisoners – outside of duty hours. With that he contested the interpretations that point to sadism as a reason for the behavior of the employees of the Leader. Behavioral stereotypes do not help in understanding the fascination aroused by the destructive drive of Nazism. The feeling of imperative duty guided the troop, which suspended moral judgment on the content of what the superiors determined to do.

Neo-fascism is a mass movement that uses different types, including the penal guard who killed the PT militant, Marcelo Arruda, after invading the PT's birthday party with shouts of support for the homo demens that rules the country. Detail: he was off duty when committing the ignoble murder. Cathartic violence, added to the next ones, throws water in the mill of anti-constitutional cowardice. Bolsonarism's contribution to the extreme right is an irrational overdose.

The neo-fascist green-yellowism shelters individuals of different psychological complexities. Something that gives a secondary explanatory value to subjective evaluations. In the void of utopias of the so-called post-modernity, what is important to point out is that irrationalism carves out spaces among resentful people of all kinds. That is, among the rebels in favor of the unequal order. These, like Commander Rudolf Hoess, responsible for the extermination of three million people in Auschwitz, lie in their will by assuring that they were never “men with a bad heart”. It is up to those who maintain the capacity for revolt, of the just, to put on a leash les bêtes humaines.

A new type of militancy arose in the face of the inability of traditional democracy to meet the dammed-up demands for recognition. Militancy that does not discuss politics, is content to speak ill of politicians and institutions (parties and parliaments), and progressive movements that fight for social justice, with empathy for the suffering of the people. These are petty bourgeois inserted in a culture of rigid hierarchies, dominant in the microphysics of power while subordinated in the macrophysics of domination – who discovered in illiberalism the impetus of the Nietzschean superman to justify their mediocre existences, steeped in alienation.

With the defeat in World War II, classic fascism was sprayed in Europe. In Italy, later, it regrouped around the organization founded with the suggestive name of the Common Man's Party (How Qualunque). In Germany, as early as 1946, the remnants of anti-Semitism were concentrated in the newly created German Right Party (Deutsche Rechtspartei). In 1948, to everyone's surprise, they won the elections in Wolfsburg (the city where Volkswagen operates, named after Hitler's nickname in military circles, Wolf / Lobo), which forced the occupying English authorities to declare null the claim to the City Hall. In both cases, associations made programmatic adaptations to survive. Werewolves return at the full moon.

In Brazil, ditto, with the shattering of direct colonial rule and the disintegration of slavery, it was necessary to redefine the mental, moral and social cosmos due to the development of capitalism and the innovative framework of classes. Then, other economic forms of exploitation and subordination of blacks and mulattos emerged. Racism was covered up by the mystifying “prejudice of not having prejudice”, in the expression of Florestan Fernandes, in the article “In the landmarks of violence”, in: The dictatorship in question (TAQ). Indeed, stratified societies have a mass of violence institutionalized to legitimize the interstitial violence hidden behind it. The persistent folds of stratification in structural changes need to change clothes, routinize the new positive law in everyday life, disperse it throughout the social body and unify it in the tentacles of the State.

The attacks under historical fascism, as well as under slave colonialism, were anchored in the existing powers in each era. In none of the above situations, violence was restricted to the symbolic dimension. It was applied brutally against the bodies. Even in “fully developed political communities”, to evoke Max Weber, the monopoly on violence is never absolute. There are modalities that do not come from political power and, therefore, are considered “illegitimate”, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Some, exercised with veiled permission or with open encouragement from the State itself. It does not mean that there is a break in the state monopoly on violence, but the authorization from the hierarchical top to particular fans of the government lese-patria and lese-morality, in progress – for acts of aggression against the opposition.

For lawyer Kakay, "Marcelo's death is a portrait of the violence that President Bolsonaro imposed, and he must be held accountable for it." Being a victim or being an executioner are the options placed in the hegemonized conjuncture by continuous appeals to necropolitics. In such a context, the philosopher Vladimir Safatle concludes that the Bolsonarist project is to make every Brazilian a militia robot, indifferent to the death of those who are reputed as “enemies”, starting with those identified with the ideals of humanism: “the militia becomes the fundamental model of political organization”.

The Observatory of Political and Electoral Violence, made up of researchers from the Electoral Research Group (Giel), from the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UniRio), confirms the thesis. There was a 23% increase in the number of violent episodes in the first half of 2022, compared to the 2020 election. There are 214 cases, culminating in the crime in Paraná, against 174 two years ago. The facility for purchasing pistols and rifles and the opening of Shooting Clubs mechanized and industrialized violence on an unprecedented scale. All legalized by the Federal Police (PF).

There are more weapons delivered to society than to the Armed Forces today. A scandal, in the eyes of the civilizing process. No to rulers who practice kaleidoscopic violence: environmental devastation, attacks on scientific-technological research and universities, depredation of public property, elimination of labor and social security rights, deindustrialization, unemployment, hunger and fake news. It is understandable that Engels, in Condition of the Working Class in England (1845), endorsed the proletarian reverse that preached “war on the palaces, peace in the hovels”.

Indeed, neo-fascism is the political face of violence embedded in policies based on neoliberalism, which guides actions under the governance of the Bolsonaro / Guedes duo, in favor of the property classes and international capital. It is not for nothing that they still find support among the neocolonialist business community, incapable of reconciling a proposal for economic development with the vectors of democracy and national sovereignty. They do the dirty job, with taste. Likewise, it is not for nothing that they surround themselves with soldiers without enlightenment and without the slightest intellectual, civic or geopolitical notion of what it means to defend national interests in a globalized world.

In this perspective, social hatred plays a structuring role in the dystopia signaled by the symbolic and physical destruction: (a) of the protagonist subjects for a more egalitarian world and; (b) the economic foundations (Petrobrás, Pre-Salt, Eletrobrás, Embraer, etc.) for the construction of a State of Social Welfare. The intention is to prevent the materialization of a republic oriented towards the happiness of the majority, instead of being driven by private greed. “Hatred is the sensitive substrate of emerging proto-fascisms, insofar as it endorses the permanent state of war inherent in these forms of authoritarian exacerbation, therefore, one of the main figures of the current disruption of civil society”, rightly writes Muniz Sodré, in The uncivil society: media, illiberalism and finance (Voices).

The courage and political conscience come from the Northeast, which refuses to accept the advance of violence in the “beloved homeland”. After seeing the photo of a Bolsonarist posted, in a provocative way, on the door of his office in the Legislative Assembly, with the gesture of a gun, a Potiguara deputy sentenced. “If they want to scare us, we get together and paint ourselves red, raise our flags, parade our towels, put stickers on our chests and honor the struggle history of Marcelo, Dom, Bruno, Marielle, de all those killed by political intolerance”, shouted the warrior Isolda Dantas (PT/RN). Indignation in the veins of those who rise up against the power of the militias.

* 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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