The Disagreements of the Right

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By JORGE WHITE*

The rooster crowed, you just don't know where

Stephen Levitsky, author of how democracies die, leaflet of liberal criticism of trumpism, in an interview for BBC News World classified the episode of demonstrations and the invasion of the US parliament building, which took place on January 06th, as an attempted self-coup that did not work due to lack of support from the military.

Joe Biden, president-elect of the United States, according to the newspaper O Público[I], said that “The scenes of chaos in the Capitol do not reflect the real America. They do not represent who we are”.

To a certain extent, although contradictory, both statements reflect some degree of reality. Or at least what each of them wants to make it look like will come true.

About Biden's assertion, it has to be said that the occupation of the Capitol is effectively a rare fact. However, what is surprising is not the occupation itself but who occupied it. That is, the fact that the American right finds itself impelled to use non-institutional methods to impose points of view. The US political system has been able to block the way for any 'out of establishment' political project to reach Congress, the justice system and the federal government and thus provide a controlled arena for various fractions of the bourgeoisie and the bureaucratic elite to establish political pacts, international relations and economic agreements of common interest. In these last presidential elections, dozens of candidates ran, including those from the left[ii], but only the two parties of order and of the same social class reached parliament. The political system imposes all kinds of obstructions and challenges to alternative candidates.

Regarding what Levitsky says, the absence of military personnel at the head of Trump's coup attempt does not mean that they do not participate in politics. If the history of the participation of the Brazilian military is predominantly a direct participation in the Bonapartist style, invariably replacing the bourgeoisie itself as the leading fraction of the conservative blocs, the US military has a technocratic profile subordinated to the defense industry and the systems of defense. intelligence. Its participation is decisive in US politics, however, through guaranteeing the stability of international, defense and industrial policies.

Neither Biden nor Levitsky addressed what is unique and impactful about this episode. It is about the deepening of the fracture in the great neoliberal agreement produced by Trump's protectionist economic policies, packaged in a neo-fascist rhetoric. Biden's victory means a restoration of the classic Clinton/Obama neoliberal policy, packaged in a defense of civil liberties and normative democracy but without presenting, at least in the campaign, a program of economic growth and job protection. The tension and crisis that led to the far-right victory of Donald Trump four years ago are still active.

This world “reactionary front”, between the rentier fraction of the bourgeoisie and the extreme right, which brought, among others in addition to Trump, Bolsonaro, Modi, Orbán and Kaczynski to governments, did not solve the productivity crisis and the fall in global profit rates and it threw workers into deep precarious conditions, taking away a large part of their means of union and political resistance.

The conflict produced by the US extreme right against the traditional right tends to be reproduced in countries where the crisis persists. They express the difficulties of the leading fractions of the power bloc to keep their social base under control in an environment of high unemployment. Perhaps they mean unavoidable disagreements between the different fractions of the bourgeoisie over the direction of economic policies.

*Jorge Branco is a doctoral student in Political Science at UFRGS.

Notes

[I]https://www.publico.pt/2021/01/06/mundo/noticia/milhares-apoiantes-trump-sairam-ruas-washington-1945308?utm_source=notifications&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=1945308

[ii]https://g1.globo.com/mundo/eleicoes-nos-eua/2020/noticia/2020/10/18/nem-trump-nem-biden-conheca-os-outros-candidatos-na-eleicao-presidencial-dos-eua.ghtml

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