For whom do the pans beat?

Image: Elyeser Szturm
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By Herick Argolo*

To think that the problem is Bolsonaro's "craziness" is to be restricted to a superficial and illusory view of the political scene. It is necessary to go much further.

There is a movie called “The Big Boss” in which the owner of a company pretends to be a manager and invents a fictitious president for his employees, appointed as the person responsible for all unpopular decisions. Later, this real owner is forced to hire an actor to represent the supposed president. The workers begin to pour out their grievances and their hatred against the actor, and the bourgeois is then protected.

Something very similar is happening today in the Brazilian context. Bolsonaro plays the role of a madman who belittles the coronavirus as a “little flu”, and throws the economic problems that will come with the quarantine into others’ laps. The bourgeoisie, concerned with the return of workers to their jobs and the continuity of extracting their profits, is very well represented by Bolsonaro. The stamp of genocidal, very true, goes to Bolsonaro, not to her.

Other actors hired by the bourgeoisie, until now playing supporting roles, such as Rede Globo, Folha, Estadão, João Dória, Rodrigo Maia, Alcolumbre, play the role of opposition to Bolsonaro, warning that the damage from the coronavirus will be great, which is social isolation is necessary, and that it is necessary to inject money into companies and among the poorest (after all, they can rebel). Well, if the deaths create revolt, the supporting actors come out as the great spokespersons for the workers, Bolsonaro weakened and the bourgeoisie will be in control. If the problems of the economic crisis are very serious and their consequences gain appeal among the masses, Bolsonaro gains political support, the supporting actors remain as supporting actors and the bourgeoisie will be in control.

It should be noted that the conflict between these actors is real. The tactics of both clash, while being complementary to their bosses. Bolsonarism defends a mitigated isolation to fight the coronavirus and has as its political flag the end of democracy, with the closure of Congress, STF, control of the mainstream media, etc. The actors sheltered in the institutions of bourgeois democracy, on the other hand, ask for social isolation against the corona. Among themselves, they warn that if many are contaminated, the damage to the economy will be even greater, as sick workers will not be able to clock in and people will not consume. And they ask for “humanitarian” help for the poorest, in addition to help for companies. As a political flag, they have “Fora Bolsonaro”, and they aim to return to being the protagonists representing the bourgeoisie. It turns out that both sides are at the service of the same project and the same class.

Until now, workers' organizations have not understood that their attacks should not simply be against the actors, but against their bosses and their neoliberal capitalist project. To think that the problem is Bolsonaro's "craziness" is to be restricted to a superficial and illusory view of the political scene. It is necessary to go much further. Staying in the pot called by Globo, in “Fora Bolsonaro”, in a situation where popular forces are so low, does not solve their problems, nor does it allow them to accumulate strength to solve them in the future. Go with the supporting actors.

It is up to popular organizations to launch slogans that, like Rede Globo, ask for the economic and humanitarian protection of workers in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. We must differentiate ourselves from these actors in some ways. First, requiring measures that burden the bourgeoisie to protect work, such as the tax on large fortunes, making resources leave those who can and should pay them. Second, that they are robust measures, not simple crumbs, sufficient only for some survival during the pandemic. Third, we will stand out by not giving up these claims at any time. After all, after the coronavirus, the bourgeoisie will not continue to support measures to help workers. But the economic crisis will remain for a long time. Unemployment, salary arrears, hunger, etc. And workers will remain in need of the relief measures given during the pandemic and many others. Whether there will be class struggle, authoritarian departures or a return of former bourgeois representatives to command will depend on the vanguard of the popular classes. It must not be deceived and entertained by the political scene.

*Herick Argolo is a member of the Popular Consultation in Sergipe.

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