The wreckage of the Republic

Carlos Zilio, PRATO , 1972, industrial paint on porcelain, 24cm


The crisis of Brazilian democracy became a tragedy when the country's ruling classes bet on its deepening through fascism, in order to carry out ultraliberal reforms

Some facts of everyday politics are capable of marking the end of a cycle or the beginning of a new period, within the same cycle of struggles and dominations. These facts can stand out, both for the destructive power of the relations articulated so that the present had a certain meaning, and for their ability to give rise to new clashes –between forces in confrontation- redesigning the subsequent days and placing them in a new historical perspective: the shooting at Lacerda at the end of Getúlio Vargas, Roberto Jefferson's speech about the “mensalão”, the Elba truck located in Collor's private service, Queiroz's prison, are inscribed in this perspective. After these facts, politics ceases to be the “same” and becomes “another”: it corrodes, reconstitutes, reopens expectations and alters the posture of the subjects in collision.

in your mighty son of the century (Ed. Intrínseca Ltda, 2019, 374 et seq.), the author A.Scurati reports that on April 23, 1921-in the columns of the Corriere della Sera– the Senator and director of the newspaper Luigi Albertini” wrote that it was necessary to “hold one's nose in front of the stinking alliance between liberals and fascists”. This alliance was already accepted by Benito Mussolini, who was preparing the “leap of fascism”, from the unstable and violent terrain of the streets (…) “to the parliamentary plenary”. Two days earlier, Albertini had stated that he was against this alliance, which was rejected by the liberals sheltering in the The print of Turin, who saw in it a suicide of democratic liberalism.

The liberal-conservative network that agreed with militia fascism in Brazil was formed informally. She had no intention of putting a proto-fascist in power, because-for her-Bolsonaro would only be the outgrowth of an authoritarian adventure. They would use it to deceive the middle classes that a minimal necrophiliac program -such as killing bandits and machine gunning the left- would solve the nation's problems. The ruling classes, in fact, only made use of Bolsonaro after a complex operation to demoralize liberal-democratic politics, through which they also devastated their captive leaders: they proved incapable of conducting an ultraliberal reformist project to “pluck” the State. Social in crisis, which allowed Bolsonaro to become the tachypsychic everyday life of the ruling classes. already without leaders capable of leading.

The group of leaders who defend the unrestricted subordination of the country to financial capital and the rentier game, had the objective of nailing an electoral result that would define a Government committed to eliminating “spending” social policies. Its objective would be to put an end to humanistic social and security protection, which fought absolute poverty and placed the poor at the democratic table, as well as strengthening the role of the State in the areas of health and education. The bourgeois-rentier game, therefore, did not face a revolution, but rather sought to wither social democracy, reopened after Vargas, already in an international order adverse to the legacy of social democracy policies in the post-war period.

In Italy, besieged by fascism, there was -it is true- the "danger" of the socialist revolution. This project filled a large part of society with fear, unlike the fascist emergency in Brazil, whose fate is still in dispute. In Brazil, the possibility of the rise of the totalitarian idea directly referred against political democracy and moderate social democracy, distant -in any hypothesis- from a socialist imminence. How to get rid of Bolsonaro, who throws the country into disarray, with no social base to support militia fascism, is the ongoing dilemma of the powerful system of alliances that threw the country into indetermination and madness.

In the history of fascism's accession to Prime Minister Giolitti's government bloc, which opened the way to power for Mussolini in the 20s, there is a historical record of a double interpretation: that of Mussolini, preparing to assume power, certain that Giolitti could not “govern infinitely” because he was “old and outdated”; and that of “moderate” voters, who were both “reassured and horrified by the violence of the fascists”. In the daily life of that part of Italian history, the political forces that would respond to the insecurity of the people and heal their war wounds were in dispute.

At that moment, fascist anti-parliamentaryism was contained by its leaders, who already understood that it was possible to corrode the liberal system “from the inside”, participating in it only as a tactical movement. Giolitti's failed plan was to contain fascist illegalities, considering them a passing phenomenon, and subjecting them to constitutional frameworks. Mussolini's plan, however, was to establish “absolute disorder to show that only he could “restore order”. The failed plan of the Brazilian ruling classes -a quick visit to fascism to carry out reforms- is being defeated not only by the President's anti-scientific medievalism in the face of the Pandemic, but also by the militia and familiar way in which he exercises the presidential magistracy.

Mussolini defeated Giolitti and assumed power. With Bolsonaro, in Brazil, the co-option of FHC and the centrão took place, by the traditional media party, to embed the false dilemma between the “two extremes” in society. This dilemma -the “liberals' ticket to an alliance with fascism- did not arise then as a response to threats of a socialist revolution, but as an agreement to implement ultra-liberal “reforms”. For this, the moderate teacher on the rise should be blocked by the captain accused of terrorism. It was not, therefore, a classic clash between “left” and “right”, but a falsified and intense electoral dispute, between two extremisms, where only one of them was real.

The high price now explodes exposing the innards of the power pact. They show the political daily life of the country as days deteriorated by the surrounded militia. Queiroz is imprisoned in a prison that also holds the destinies of judicialized democracy: “the great non-daily actions that are recounted in history books -says Agnes Heller-start from everyday life and return to it. Every great historical feat becomes particular and historic, precisely thanks to its subsequent effect on everyday life.”

At this moment, everyday life and history are held in a prison cell, in Rio, where Queiroz thinks about his entire life of dependencies, loyalties, apparent and real powers, crimes and mafia generosity, expanded by politics. The crisis of Brazilian democracy became a tragedy when the country's ruling classes bet on its deepening through fascism, in order to carry out ultraliberal reforms. The immediate future of the ruined democracy is now imprisoned in the mind of its most exemplary creature who, when he ruminates on his trajectory, also decides on the fate of faithful friends who will abandon him in the jails of the Republic in ruins.

*Tarsus in law he was Governor of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Mayor of Porto Alegre, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education and Minister of Institutional Relations in Brazil.


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