The fascists shot themselves in the foot

Image: Ibrahim Boran
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By MIGUEL ENRIQUE STEDILE & RONALDO TAMBERLINI PAYMENT*

Analysis of facts in the heat of the moment

Jair Bolsonaro only came to power because the bourgeoisie, desperate with the capitalist crisis, with the lack of alternatives in its ranks and the possibility of victory for the left with Fernando Haddad, bet its chips on the captain. Despite knowing about the capetão's fascist ideology, he needed to throw all the weight of the crisis on the working class, with the withdrawal of labor and social security rights, imposing limits on social spending and robbing public coffers.

The Bolsonarism that was generated represented a coalition of forces identified with the right and the extreme right, taking advantage of a historic window of opportunity. Lavajatismo, the financial market, evangelicals, agribusiness, retailers and the lower clergy in Congress with traditional politicians who had the old ARENA as a reference (PP) were part of this unit. During the government, some of these sectors or representatives distanced themselves, others were definitively incorporated into Bolsonarism. And its core leadership was the military (such as Villas Boas, Braga Netto and Augusto Heleno, and others of a lesser rank, etc.) , Steve Bannon) through Eduardo Bolsonaro and Olavo de Carvalho.

With the pandemic, then with the elections and, finally, with Lula's victory, Bolsonarism was fragmenting. Some fractions of the sectors sought survival in the Lula government (Centrão, some evangelical politicians, communication vehicles, financial capital). Others try to occupy the empty space on the right, left by the decrease of the PSDB (Lava Jato, Moro, PL, PSD, União Brasil) and, therefore, the central fascist nucleus, is also correcting its route and trying to find the way to its survival.

However, a contradiction arose. Part of the core group are military personnel, even retired, and therefore linked to state institutions. The tactics of this sector is to leave everything as it is: the Minister of Defense indicated, not to suffer reprisals for the mistakes and for the policy directed in the pandemic (especially the accusation of genocide against native peoples, policy directed by Eduardo Pazuello and the Armed Forces), they want the new government does not interfere with military welfare or teaching in military schools. And much less risk being punished for the misdeeds committed by some of the 6.400 military personnel who had migrated to the executive branch disputing privileges and small mouths.

Another part of the command is the Bolsonaro family that needs to survive politically. Following Banon/Trump's strategy and advice, Bolsonaro would need to remain a great leader of the right, to give him conditions to avoid being arrested and run for election in 2026. military) and their family members, older people, combining ultra-conservative moral and economic themes. Sociologically they are a white and racist middle-class minority. This base needs to be constantly mobilized, mainly in a polarized way. For this reason, throughout the government, since he had no practical actions, Jair Bolsonaro was constantly straining to keep his base cohesive and alert. That's why he uses and abuses the fake news about each event, to create a state of readiness.

Thus, the camps in front of the barracks had a double function: pressing for the political claims of their conservative values ​​and the corporate demands of the Armed Forces to maintain their privileges. And surviving the Lula government and keeping the Bolsonarist base mobilized to remain a political force. In many cities, camps were formed by family members of military personnel, especially women. But, in Brasilia, it was a national camp, financed by agribusiness and mining companies, including the illegal mining lumpesinate.

As an organizational form, Bolsonarism was structured within the model of the Ukrainian hybrid war or the terrorism of the Al Qaeda, with circles of different levels of participation and direction, but reproducing and seeking a central objective, even allowing relative autonomy in these circles. Bolsonarism failed to establish itself as a formal party, not only in the institutional sense, but also as an organized political force. This is another contradiction that Valdemar da Costa Neto, president of the PL, is facing, because Bolsonarism cannot be framed within the “four lines” of a traditional institutional action. In ways that there is a core message (wear down the new government/show strength) and have many satellites that operate with different tactics and a certain autonomy.

Even the “emas” at the Palácio da Alvorada knew that this Sunday’s action would happen: (a) The sequence of “new facts” that kept the Bolsonarist base mobilized ended with the inauguration and in the face of the emptying of the camps and groups on social networks after the first of January, it was necessary to regroup and mobilize the troops with a new suit; (b) The new government's relations with the Armed Forces remain truncated, as can be seen from the absence of officers in the Navy's changes of command and José Múcio Monteiro's interference in these forces; (c) There was loyalty and complicity of the different police forces in Brasilia, especially the PM/DF, as seen on the night of the graduation (12 December 22); (d) There was loyalty and complicity in the DF government, marked by the appointment of Anderson Torres, a former minister and faithful ally of Jair Bolsonaro, precisely to control security and police forces.

The action was not and did not intend to be a coup d'état, its objectives were: (i) To weaken the new government and create a situation of ungovernability with only eight days of office; (ii) It could give rise to an institutional and legitimacy crisis. For example, if the government had enacted a Guarantee of Law and Order (GLO) and the Army refused to comply or peacefully removed the terrorists. It would demoralize the government before society and abroad. He would make it clear that he does not command the armed forces and cannot interfere with the military apparatus; (iii) Destroying equipment and materials from the Institutional Security Office, where weapons and HDs were kept; (iv) d) Test loyalty and internally debug militancy in Bolsonarism, making it clear who the loyal followers are; (v) Demonstrate strength and mobilization capacity, which would be greater assets than the votes that Jair Bolsonaro had and therefore, in any condition, an extreme right leader who needs to be consulted or involved in national political decisions even without being in power (as the extreme right in France, for example); (vi) In case of repression, have images of violence and perhaps death, which would feed back militancy in the coming days through indignation, authoritarianism or injustice.

These objectives and tactics were certainly agreed with the guidelines of the SteveBanon/Donld Trump group, who had already applied them in the United States.

The central element of the tactic was that they had the complicity of the Army. So much so that the demonstrators calmly returned to the camp, they did not disperse, as they knew they were protected there.

However: (1) The government acted quickly, harshly and without mincing words: it named the culprits (Bolsonaro, Ibaneis, Anderson Torres and agribusiness) and took tough, constitutional measures backed by public opinion; (2) It was smart not to use the GLO and not to involve the military further. The only intervention left to the Army was to protect the campers from eviction at dawn. And then submitting to the determinations of the federal intervenor in the DF and ended up contributing to the end of the camp in Brasília and the arrest of more than 1500 fascist militants.

As a balance of the acts, it was a shot in the foot of the fascists and generated: (a) The new government managed to enlist international and national, institutional and media solidarity. Now yes, it has become a government of national unity; (b) Bolsonarism has isolated itself as a pocket of the extreme right, it must really purge and restrict itself to 10% of the population. However, it is an asset that is not of interest to institutional political forces, including the PL; (c) Bolsonarism will have to face several fronts of attack, not just the government's cursed heritage speech, but a parliamentary front (possibility of CPI), a legal police front (STF and PF). It will not have the strength to face all of them at the same time without the State apparatus (Aras' connivance). At most, only the military should escape. And the ineligibility and arrest of Jair Bolsonaro are no longer just slogans; (d) With the arrest of the abandoned “little fish”, the names of the real funders and leaders must begin to emerge. Bolsonarism's intermediate chain of command must be dismantled; (e) The complicity of the military forces – and their intelligence services – was evident and reduces the military's negotiating capacity and morale in the face of society and in the new government.

It is possible that now, in the face of Bolsonarist stupidity, the bourgeoisie, the classic right, seek to build other leaders, more intelligent and useful.

Now it is necessary to take advantage of this political victory with society, to conclude what we were unable to do at the polls: historically defeat the extreme right as a political force!.

It is necessary to mobilize the movements in mass acts; have few and direct flags (arrest for terrorists, cpi, etc); support government actions with mobilizations; it was not an attempted coup d'état, but we must call it a denunciation; denounce financiers, such as shopkeepers, shooting clubs, and above all the petty bourgeoisie of agribusiness, especially in the center-west of the country; remain alert for the tricks on social networks and in desperate acts that the fascist mob can still provoke.

*Miguel Enrique Stedile He holds a PhD in History from UFRGS and is a member of the Tricontinental Institute for Social Research..

*Ronaldo Tamberlini Pagotto, lawyer, is an activist of the Popular Brazil Movement.

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