The fist raised by women

Image: Fernando Frazão/ Agência Brasil


It is not the first time and will not be the last that the wheel of history has moved, led by the fist raised by women against ultraconservatism

The civil-military dictatorship concentrated power and confronted the web of labor and territorial rights forged in the 1930 Revolution which, with the leadership of Getúlio Vargas, opened new channels of power: Ministry of Education, Labor Justice, Social Security. Authoritarianism (1964-1985) coincided with the arrival of multinational factories, which bought land here. The price of labor followed unequal conditions between classes and regions; lower than that paid in “civilized” countries. The depreciation of salaries was due to the suspension of the right to strike and the loss of stability due to length of service. Compensation for layoffs went down the slope of precariousness.

The Military Junta compulsorily retired Fernando Henrique Cardoso. The evils against freedoms are known. It was surprising to see FHC, in the Presidency of the Republic, state that he was proud of putting an end to the Vargas Era. Thus, he intertwined authoritarianism and neoliberalism, revived in impeachment “without a crime of responsibility”, for another attack on work in the labor and social security counter-reform and in outsourcing.

Fernando Henrique Cardoso repressed the oil workers' strike under the pretext that the unionists were going beyond their role, adding the banner “No to the Privatization of Petrobras” to their salary demands. For the “prince of sociologists”, this was an agenda for the National Congress, for the delegation of power to representation. Ordinary people should stay out.

The belief that society is the audience of the class struggle and has no place in intervening in government conflicts with state strategic officials, was embedded in the dismantling of Vargasism by the privatist rage. However, in the olive dictatorship and tucana modernization, fractions outside the restricted governmental circle influenced the decision-making process – communications, rural aristocracy, industrial and financial corporations. In this there was continuity, not rupture. Independence made by a colonizer, Abolition by a slave owner, the Republic by a monarchist (former minister of the emperor) and Redemocratization by the dictatorial offspring reproduced the changes, from above.

The decade of the subject people in history is the 1980s, when popular sovereignty was reaffirmed in three moments: (a) in the founding of the PT / Workers' Party on February 10, 1980, after broad mobilization to comply with legal requirements; (b) in the founding of CUT / Central Única dos Trabalhadores on August 28, 1983 and; (c) in the promulgation of the Constitution on October 5, 1988, fueled by the massive struggles that influenced the formatting of the citizen Magna Carta. The rights deliberations endorsed by the constituents, where the left was a minority, guaranteed the universal and free SUS / Unified Health System – the Enlightenment bastion of the fight for equality.

The revolution to complete

Now, the time jump. In 2022, citizenship defeated the corruption of the Treasury and finances, which forgot the zero deficit in the electoral campaign. The fascist act of January 8 built the dam for conversion into a republic. The return of police-military repression was avoided, and blood was avoided with the predictable reaction of forces aligned with the ideals of civilization. The mongrel “elites” in support of an institutional setback do not care about individual, political or social freedoms. They care for the freedom of money, no more, disguised with euphemisms to fool fools. The chains of delay, whose production targets the external market, then withdrew – out of fear, not convinced.

The CNPJ of brands subject to the exception regime is circulated on the internet. For chronic virality, democracy has a paltry tactical value, disposable from the perspective of exploitation. There are no republican and democratic compromises; no feeling of empathy with the suffering of peripheral communities; no respect for electronic voting machines (or not); no problem with the militia scam of the extreme right. There is only hatred and resentment on the agenda of Bolsonaro obscenities.

The diagnosis of Florestan Fernandes remains, in The bourgeois revolution in Brazil (1974). The changes occurred at the economic level. In the national question, in the land question and in the democratic question, there was no change. The neocolonialist structure of domination and subordination was maintained. “The veils that bind us to the recent past kept covering up reality, although something has definitely been unmasked”, notes the former PT deputy in the Preface to the second edition. Paraphrasing him, we can say that it is not within our power to describe an ideal society, but it is within our power to describe what in the existing society does not serve as an ideal for human existence.

The corporate media repeats itself by positioning itself, in 2023, still against the New Industry of Brazil (NIB) – the sustainable reindustrialization program with 300 billion in financing – given the organic adherence to the Central Bank's rentierism. He wants the country with inequalities and hierarchies of race and gender, in the subordinate position of a trading post for the great powers.

The goal is a neocolonial protectorate with a sign of Wi-Fi. The era of modernization does not express the internal evolution of the capitalist market; it carries the indelible vices of the old colonial system. To a large extent, on the contrary, the Lula 3.0 government provides opportunities for progress, if not in achieving, in the direction of an authentic nation with social participation. The Brazilian revolution remains incomplete. The challenge is to complete it.

The wheel of history moves

The surrealist history of Latin America and Brazil, however, never tires of surprising us for the worse with the rubbish of national politics, which has made God and religion hostage to opportunists, whose faith foams at the corners of their mouths all the perversity of the misogynistic tradition – for legislate against the female sex. This is demonstrated by the absurd “PL of rapists”, which should be classified as a crime as it brings with it the legalization of an undisguised form of discrimination.

The Bill (scoundrel) is sheltered under the wings of the President of the Federal Chamber, Arthur Lira, who the demonstrations in the main Brazilian cities have already identified and held responsible for the supreme ignominy, approved under an “urgency regime”. The far right is not just a monstrous ideology; It is also a criminal pathology from what can be inferred from the fact. Spread by Bolsonarism, with the sewage open, the plagues that came to light are far from abating.

The novelty, in this case, is not the reproduction of the habitus authoritarian and totalitarian nature of patriarchal society, performed by bizarre figures who claim to be the owners of the souls and wombs of innocent people. The good news is the immediate civilizing mobilization of women at the forefront of the political and ideological counteroffensive of rejection of the reactionary restoration, as stupid as it is hypocritical.

The pride of irrationality energized the progressive spirit to prevent the crusade of the beasts, inside and outside the offices. As in Grande Sertão: paths, “Waterfall is a bank of ground, and water falling down it, rebounding; Do you consume this water, or do you undo the ravine, is there any waterfall left?”

The readiness of the response is proof of the awareness built by the feminist movement over decades. “No” to barbarism is an act of dignity. Abortion, in addition to being a serious public health problem, is an inalienable democratic right regardless of the circumstances. This is an intimate issue that must be decided autonomously, and not by heteronomy.

Evangelical pastors and/or fundamentalist legislators, by bringing the decision to themselves, abuse spiritual and/or legal prerogatives. Deliberation on the subject is inseparable from individual freedom. The leaders of classical liberalism were the first to recognize that individuals have “ownership” of their bodies; not families, churches or the state. In the democracy we want, this is non-negotiable. 

May 1968 was born out of the student protest against the division of dormitories by gender, at the University of Nanterre, in France. It is not the first time and will not be the last that the wheel of history has moved, led by the fist raised by women against ultra-conservatism. After the globalization of capital, perhaps we are witnessing the dawn of a globalization of rebellion with the most denied subject, throughout the centuries: welcome the optimism of the will.

* 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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