remaking history

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By LUIZ MARQUES*

Fascism as a product of colonialism

Born in Martinique, Aimé Césaire (1913-2008) is one of the most important surrealist poets. In the 1930s, when he studied in Paris, he wrote in the newspaper L'Étudiant Noir the article "Nègreries: conscience raciale et revolution sociale”, in which he formulates the concept of “blackness”, in the sense of ideology and/or ontology. In the synthesis of Jean-Paul Sartre, “against Europe and colonization”.

In 1950, Aimé Césaire launches the Discourse on colonialism. Turned into the bible of anti-colonialist militants, it inspired Pan-African doctrine and the Black Panthers. It is quoted in the opening of the book. Black skin, white masks, by Frantz Fanon. It composes the basic collection of French high school libraries. Self-reflection by the colonized is a performative act of liberation. The relevance of the libel lies in pointing out fascism as a product of colonialism.

For the insurgent intellectual, “although he disguises himself as a humanist and Christian, the bourgeois carries with him a Hitler without knowing it, Hitler lives in him, Hitler is his demon, if he blames him for lack of logic; what he does not forgive in Hitler is not the crime against man, it is not the humiliation of man itself, it is the crime against the white man, the humiliation of the white man; is to have applied in Europe the colonialist procedures that affected only the Arabs of Algeria, the coolies of India and the Negroes of Africa”. Cut now to a brief recap of recent yellow-green history.

 

Status quo

Two and a half months after assuming the presidency, Jair Bolsonaro met in the United States with representatives of the American extreme right. With all the letters, he exposed the program of destruction of the brave conquests achieved by the progressive governments, in the first decade of the XNUMXst century. He was incisive in announcing the attack on social rights, due to the mismanagement he was starting.

The contempt for human rights was already common knowledge. It had been reiterated in ceremonies laudatory to cowardly torturers. Thus, when business entities, the judicial apparatus and the Brazilian corporate media endorsed the blow to the legitimate mandate of an honest president to then cancel the leader of the voting intentions in the polls, in 2018, the “delay elites” had knowledge that his inner Hitler endorsed an outer Hitler. No one was deceived. “This is the accusation that I level against pseudo-humanism: having reduced human rights, having a biased and, sordidly, racist conception of them”, paraphrasing the complaint of the Caribbean vate.

This did not keep good people awake at night, nor did it embarrass the talk about freedom and equality in the soirées of the “big house”. The poor, mostly black and brown, would foot the bill. The left would take the blame. Everything designed according to the grammar of tradition to perpetuate social hierarchies, inherited from colonial rule. The extractivist character of the local bourgeoisie did not see any problem in the setback that made Brazil return to being a mere trading post for the major powers. The privatization of companies and strategic wealth blocked the promising developmental project to alleviate the iniquities, which were growing in the periphery. With what the mongrels of the capital embraced a man without qualities, with the allegation that he was “sincere”.

The oscillations of the ruling classes depend on their commitment to the world-system. For agribusiness, it doesn't matter if the nation preserves the democratic rule of law or if it embodies the illiberal regime. “Countries buy food without asking about its origin”. The utilitarian conviction reproduces the imperialism of commodities. The meritocratic fable of exporters feeds on unscrupulous ideas. Those resentful, it should be noted, not with the cruel injustices that torment the population, but with their specific position in the edifice of discrimination, supported the candidate who praised the 500 years of status quo inequalities, to suspend social mobility.

The globalized sectors of the economy tend to temporize. Not because they have a superior ethics, after all, they endorsed the climb to the Planalto Palace of the “sociopathic clown”, in the expression of Noam Chomsky. They prospect for business, with more intervening variables. This does not mean that the procedural aspects of the plot are secondary, but rather that the ideological-moral identification with right-wing extremism was decisive for the adherence of the elitist scum. The Bad Thing is his deep “I”, where the weak have no place, gays are lynched, women settle on the step below, blacks obey the mister, black women serve concupiscence and precarious people clean the bathrooms.

Sad tropics in which the classes holding power concentrate income and consumption, not the ability to socialize citizenship and guarantee national sovereignty. Out of a survival instinct, days before the memorable second round, bankers, investors, businessmen declared their support for the ticket that brought together the Frente da Esperança against the rabble of scoundrels, headed by the genocide.

Years ago, the newspaper The State of S. Paul he had stated, in an editorial, that the choice was difficult. The anti-republican mentality has not changed. In 2022, the middle classes returned to the crime scene and almost re-elected the corrupt who vocalized colonialist prejudices of domination and subordination. The country has not yet surpassed the stage of primitive accumulation, which explains the misdeeds of billionaires. If the upstairs doesn't take care of the sink drain, the clogged grease trap overflows in the condominium.

 

La bete humaine

Under the Bolsonarist heel, ignorance and truculence were normal. La bete humainehowever, he was a pariah at UN assemblies, without a soul deigning to say hello. Scientific denialism in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, political denialism regarding the importance of republican institutions, affective denialism with the suffering of vulnerable people pushed to the hunger map and climate denialism in the face of the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest hurt the Western Enlightenment reason that , despite the regrets, influenced the enlightened public opinion. Militiaman manners, foul-mouthed, were always in contradiction with respect and decorum.

The invasion of the Capitol by the Trumpist mob lit the alert. A generalization of states of exception would lead to instability on the planet, turning it into a powder keg, and would leave the flag of peace and democracy in the possession of radical defenders of social and environmental justice.

Accustomed to geopolitical calculations, fractions of the bourgeoisie realized that creating Frankenstein is a simple task compared to controlling the monster, once installed in the center of the state apparatus as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The lesson, often forgotten, goes back to the experience in Germany, with the Leader, the pet exterminator of extremists.

Capitalism has shown itself to be incapable of assuring peoples' rights (see the failure of climate conferences) and impotent to establish individual morality (see the role of yuppies in the 2008 crisis, the result of financial speculation and economic deregulation). “At the end of the alley, there is Hitler. At the bottom of capitalism, eager to survive, there is Hitler. At the bottom of formal humanism and philosophical renunciation, there is Hitler.” Trump, Putin, Orbán, Erdogan, Meloni…

The core of Hitlerism is condensed in the following assertion: “We aspire, not to equality, but to domination. The country of foreign race will again have to become a country of serfs, agricultural day laborers, or industrial workers. It is not a question of eliminating inequalities between men, but of expanding them and making them a law”. The recipe for savagery was adopted by the Washington Consensus in the throes of the Cold War. It was neoliberalism that, with pomp, presented itself as The new raison du monde, to evoke the great work of Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval.

Public policies need authoritarianism to enforce the laissez-faire protoslavery. The market recycles and renews the serious disparities in the social fabric, and bars or omits the organic contestations on the part of the offended, at every moment. The ideal management model of neoliberal modernization combines the old colonialism with the new fascism – the tragic triad of necropolitics.

The Yanomami, like other native peoples, understand the dilemma. Submitted to commodity totalitarianism, in which the devastation of nature goes hand in hand with the illegal extraction of minerals (gold, diamonds) on official demarcated lands, the community is an obstacle to prey. The same goes for workers excluded from the production chain, who form the sad army of marginalized people heading towards the “final solution”. Capitalist dynamics, when justifying colonization, rewarded strength and death. "Sick civilization, from denial to denial, calls its Hitler, its punishment."

 

Angelus Novus

Aimé Césaire bothers the reactionaries. On one occasion, a right-wing congressman confronted him directly. “What would you be without France?” “A man whose freedom they would not have tried to take away,” he replied. “But you were glad we taught you to read!” – “I learned to read thanks to the sacrifice of thousands and thousands of Martinicans who bled their veins so that their children could be educated and could defend them one day”, he concluded with pride and fearlessness.

“I can see well what colonization destroyed: the admirable indigenous civilizations, and neither Deterding nor Royal Dutch nor Standard Oil will ever console me for the Aztecs or the Incas”, vents the poet. imagine the frame angelus novus, by Paul Klee, in which the angel is pushed forward by progress, while turning his head and looking at the terrible ruins of beauty that lie in the way.

Colonization equals objectification. There is no space for the effective exercise of authentic affections in the dialectic between the colonizer and the colonized. There is only room for forced labor, intimidation, pressure, the police, taxes, theft, rape, cultural imposition, contempt, mistrust, shallow graves, presumption, rudeness, insult, madness, the brainless elites, the degraded masses. “I speak of proletarianization and mystification. I make an apology for para-European civilizations”.

Bourgeois Europe liquidated entire civilizations, dissolved homelands, ruined nationalities and uprooted diversity. It masked barbarism with avenues full of automobiles, the modern Shopping North America and the belief in hyper-individualistic solutions. He multiplied violence, excess, waste, commercialism, herd behavior, vulgarity, disorder. If it prevailed, it is because the system learned to absorb the “great refusal”, interprets Herbert Marcuse.

recognize the continuum linking colonialism to neoliberalism and fascism, through states of exception, means assuming the long history of hard battles (the “good fight”, to which the apostle Paul referred) for the emancipation of the oppressed and exploited. It means enriching popular imagination and praxis with the momentum of anonymous characters who resisted atrocities. Sociopolitical and kinship organization, language, cosmology, crafts, rituals, cults, habits, experiences, legends, conflicts, martyrs are memories that permeate multiple generations.

“Transform the world”, said Karl Marx. “Changing life”, said Arthur Rimbaud. The two watchwords meet at the expected crossroads of historicity with everyday life. When we re-establish the hidden links in the chain of oppression and exploitation; when we recover the collective perception of revived fighters about lost links of dignity and resilience, in our ancestry, we reappropriate the energy capable of building egalitarian and libertarian democracy, with citizen participation. Remaking history, the horizon reopens and utopia seems close at hand.

With the optimism of the will, it is possible to break the shackles. As in the surreal verses of the title poem the hurler (Howling): “Mon temps viendra que je salue / grand large / simple // Et là là / bonne sangsue / là origine des temps / là fin des temps (My time will come and I salute you / great vast / simple // And then then / good leech / then the origin of times / then the end of times).

*Luiz Marques is a professor of political science at UFRGS. He was Rio Grande do Sul's state secretary of culture in the Olívio Dutra government.

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