tension and apprehension

Marina Gusmao, Fragments.


Note on the Brazilian political situation

This moment is perhaps the most tense and rude involving the government of the Bolsonarista-guedista group and the political forces of the institutional “opposition” on the one hand, and subordinate sectors (workers, unemployed, black men and women, indigenous people, women, LGBTQI+ and those who are literally starving) and those who vocalize them for another.

Even if it is not explicit and has blossomed with greater delineation in the political and social plane, there is a tension that crosses the national society at this moment. It can be said that there is a latent apprehension that makes the Bolsonaro government act systematically through the tactic of anticipation, a kind of preventive class struggle, in the face of the possibility of “rupturing” the abscess.

Social indices are the most serious in recent years. By itself, starting from the premise that had been established by the Bolsonarism country program itself organized by the Minister of Economy Paulo Guedes and his subordinates in the institutions they direct, as well as disseminated by sectors of the mainstream media (capitalist communication companies) and economists both from the academic area and associated with private banks, investment agencies and financial consultancies, the social situation would already be fatally serious for the popular ones affected by the “project” of guedista and now lyrist (Arthur Lira, preceded by Rodrigo Maia). With the Covid-19 pandemic that hit the world in 2020 and devastated the conditions of survival and subsistence of subordinates, the situation became, significantly, unbearable from the point of view of human circumstances. Hunger and the lack of prospects can be seen in the queues that formed in meat establishments, which at the time began to distribute bone remains to the population. However, a desperate contradiction occurs, with the value of cooking gas going through successive increases imposed by shareholders of the Petrobras, consented by the government, makes it impossible for many people to have the possibility of preparing meals that require cooking. Thus, the atmosphere appears unsettling, on the verge of exploding in a certain way.

It is not uncommon for Bolsonaro to act on four fronts – with a certain degree of coordination. 1) It cannot be lost sight of, under the risk of a tragic crushing of the most aggressive leftist groups and subordinates of all circumstances as we discussed a moment ago, that the Bolsonarista-guedista group conforms to its circle of steel (the iron fist ) with the armed forces (army, navy and air force), just analyze the statements and actions of Braga Neto, Hamilton Mourão, Augusto Heleno and Pazuello, and the occupation by the second and third echelons of the state administration; the effort of sectors of the large and oligopolized press, of order politicians and even of progressive sectors to disassociate the armed forces as an institution of the State from the Bolsonaro-Guedes government makes explicit their class cynicisms. 2) At the same time, Bolsonarism-Guedism builds a semi-army, always willing in Brazilian history to wage war against the people of mostly black skin, acting in the military police of the States (they are assassins really), together with them and as is public knowledge without As the consequences of this unfold, there are the paramilitary militias that have already demonstrated their white hatred from when they exterminated Marielle Franco in 2018 at the moment of intensifying the project today being put into practice.3) The guedista-bolsonarista group repeatedly organizes communications to the wealthiest sectors – the dominant white elite, the various bourgeoisies and the upper middle class – to arm themselves (it is very cynical to argue that this is not the intention, the values ​​for the legal ownership of weapons are far beyond sectors that actually want to have resources to buy beans: and the phrase “only an idiot stops buying a rifle to buy beans” is immanently full of meanings and implications). , which from time to time acquires relative independence as in voting on the printed vote, but this is fundamentally at the institutional level concerning the arrangement of elections, in the very dynamics of the material political and social struggle, they have already demonstrated their reliability on occasion (there are few proposals of the government that tend to be blocked by the Bolsonaro-Guedes right-wing base parties) as well as in the Senate with the intransigent defense they make in the CPI of Covid-19.

Now, if the Bolsonarist-Guedist group demonstrates relative programmatic cohesion – reforms are being “underway”, workers’ rights are being devastated, privatizations are “done” or show a tendency to be carried out like that of the Eletrobras and post offices, the forces of class repression are convinced of their political role, the State is being refounded with the destruction of the ministries of education and culture –, there is a contradiction that crosses, specifically the Bolsonaro-Guedes articulation that is expressed in the way in which liberal-conservative sectors have become opponents only of Jair Bolsonaro and his way of governing. In general, they are impudent guedistas (Paulo Guedes) who have recently gone through a deterioration of their image after statements that do not surprise those who know the minister's biography. More than consenting to Gedism; are the rhetorical circle in defense of the repositioning of the Brazilian capitalist economy in this rearrangement of the accumulation regime named neoliberalism (see on this Leda Paulani-“Bolsonaro, Ultraliberalismo e a Crise do Capital”, Left Bank Magazine No. 32, 2019; Marco D'Eramo – “Entrepreneur in Uniform”, New Left Review/Sidecar, 15 July 2021; Cedric Durand–“Joe Biden’s Economy – Reversal from 1979”, the earth is round, 06/08/2021). It is interesting here to observe the position of the most important means of communication of the national bourgeoisie, Globe Organizations ahead. (Gramsci maintained at the end of Notebook 17 (1933-1935) § 37 that “newspapers, magazines and a group of magazines are also parties, party fractions or functions of certain parties”, see Antonio Gramsci – Prison Notebooks, v. 3 Machiavelli: Notes on the State and Politics, Civilização Brasileira, 2014.) His refusal and opposition to Bolsonaro is expressed in several ways. From a non-acceptance of the government's conduct in combating the Covid-19 to the president's explicit prejudices against minority groups, including the treatment given to sectors of the press, the brash discourse about more delicate positions (something that is fatally wounding the class impudence of the Brazilian dominant white elite) and the most worrying thing for the sector liberal-conservative the fact that Bolsonaro stimulates the radicalization of society – of establishing a short circuit that could make the groups most harmed by the political-economic and political-social project of Bolsonarismo-Guedismo awaken and eventually take to the streets in articulation with the forces left. Bolsonaro, therefore, became a medicine-poison.

In a way, this is precisely one of the catalyzing elements of the crisis facing Bolsonarism – which is articulated with the profound hunger and climate of tension and apprehension that affects the subaltern classes most affected by hunger and that radiates throughout the whole of Brazil. Brazilian society, as well as with the awakening of broad mobilizations of the Brazilian left from May of that year: mobilizations that reached several capitals and observed in the images brought some groups and sectors that were not the conventional ones of the leftist and university mediacritical class (this is one of the fears of Bolsonaro-Guedes, his group and from another perspective of liberal-conservatives and even liberal-progressives). Always preventive; a typical mode of political conduct and government of the intransigent right, Bolsonaro and his circle of steel do not protect themselves when sensing the approach of the siege. It is the “preparation” for a supposed “civil war”, supported by sectors of the dominant white elite (bankers, businessmen, agribusiness, upper middle class), which organizes Bolsonarista-guedista politics, and there are indications that it acts and is preparing from that accelerated horizon. It is convenient for the left not to be taken by surprise again, as in the financial system crisis of 2008 (the explosion of the subprime bubbles) and in the June 2013 days. The dialectic has already taught us a lot – sometimes we insist on forgetting this emancipatory learning .

*Ronaldo Tadeu de Souza is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Political Science at USP.


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