what we still lack

Image: Eva Elijas


The Bolsonaro regime subsists in the face of an opposition that passively maintains itself in the dangerous expectation that it will fall by itself.

With respect to the facts, it would be pointless to say that the government that exists is over, leaving behind a heap of rubble, the narcissistic cult of power for power's sake in Lilliputian characters, enraptured with the undeserved fate with which they were contemplated, clinging like oysters to the positions to which they were undeservedly raised.

Characters such as ministers Queiroga and Paulo Guedes deserve to be the object of the irony of a Machado de Assis who certainly would not escape one of his pages with his solemn and empty boast. But, in the world of politics, things do not fall by the action of gravity like Newton's apples, an action is needed to cause them to fall, and as this movement delays among us, the government that does not govern finds means to persist in positions of command.

For lack of this, even without a clear purpose, except to perpetuate itself in power, the Bolsonaro regime subsists in the face of an opposition that passively remains in the expectation that the apple will fall in its lap, as announced by the electoral forecasts. Such predictions are known to everyone, scrutinized by Bolsonarist strategists, who conspire continuously so that they do not come true, including in high-risk movements such as this trip to Moscow in the midst of a worldwide crisis over the Ukraine issue, in a clear dissonant movement of US politics, the hegemonic power with which we have always aligned ourselves.

The electoral defeat in 2022 in the second round, if not in the first, is already part of the Bolsonarist leaders' spreadsheet, where distrust grows with the allied forces of the Centrão that may, in the face of the gloomy horizon that the ballot boxes seem to reserve for them, seek alternatives for survival in the opposition's ranks, several of them trained in the arts of living with them.

For the Bolsonaro regime, the electoral process is perceived as the chronicle of an announced death, and, in this sense, it is preparing to disturb it and prevent its effective processing, reiterating the practices of Donald Trump in the last American elections with the invasion of the Capitol. Here, his workhorse is the denouncement of electronic ballot boxes, a guarantee of fairness in electoral competition, seeking to attract sectors of the armed forces for these purposes.

Seen from this perspective, the trip to Moscow, in the circumstances in which it took place, loses its appearance of a mere protocol visit, meaning a maneuver, certainly risky, of changing the country's inscription on the international scene, since the accession of President Joe Biden to the issue of human rights does not serve as an anchor in liberticide initiatives, more palatable to illiberal and autocratic confessional governments like those that are now the object of his foreign policy inclinations. Since the rustic form of the Bolsonaro government serves to hide its intentions, in this case his meeting with President Putin gives clues to his general staff plan to invest against the electoral process, which is garnished with an international shield in order to to defend itself against reactions to its coup attempt.

In this scenario, in which, on the one hand, all available resources are used in order to impede the institutional path from which the democratic forces will impose the defeat of the current government through the ballot box, on the other hand, blindly trust that the course nature of things and the simple flow of time will allow the interruption of the nightmare that afflicts the country.

Heedless of the terrain on which they are treading, the opposition indulged in institutional fetishism and, worse, indulged in a fratricidal dispute for power, under the motivation of preserving their party identities in an eventual victory in the presidential succession. Everywhere, contenders fight for chunks of power, as if we were living in the fullness of a democratic regime.

Based on past resentments, particularly those that originated from mistakes made by PT administrations, the opportunity opened by the happy initiative of leaders who imagined the unforeseen union between Lula and Alkmin, two leaders who came out of the democratic field, and many go out to looking for third ways to return empty-handed from their searches, which, in some cases, only serve to justify their particularistic interests. There are nothing but two ways, that of the Bolsonaro regime and the democratic one, which should be extended with the incorporation without distinction between all democrats.

We are the heirs of a history that began tainted by the stain of large estates and slavery, which still weigh like lead on our backs, and with the Republic we experienced fascism with the Estado Novo of 1937, in the AI-5 regime in 1989, and which , in a latent form, threatens us now and we cannot ignore the dark signals they send to us. As always, the best remedy to face it is for all Democrats to unite.

*Luiz Werneck Vianna is a professor at the Department of Social Sciences at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). Author, among other books, of The Passive Revolution: Iberism and Americanism in Brazil (Revan).


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