a criminal association

Bill Woodrow, Car door, ironing board and double bath with Native American headdress, 1981


Bolsonaro has, behind him, a set of “trenches and bunkers” in the State, which keep ordinary citizens away from political action and make them disbelieve in tolerant and inclusive policies.

When I stopped believing that a guy like Bolsonaro could never win an election in democratic Brazil and started to indicate him as a “fascist in process”, I learned a little more about the peculiarities of history, as a source of inspiration to analyze how it, recurrently, it “moves away” from the determinations of its material base and starts to compose a much richer and more challenging universe. I asked myself “but where is the point of this fascist essay?”, until I “came face to face” with a response from Bobbio to Maurizio Viroli, when both were debating Berlusconi.

When I want to learn a little more about politics and its relations with culture and collective experience, I first consult Bobbio, Gramsci, then Hobsbawm e. often some Russian and American novelists of the last century. Bobbio's response to Viroli, in the debate, is as follows: "Berlusconi's party is a personal party in the proper sense, since it is not an association that created a leader, but a leader who created an association." In the case of Bolsonaro, it created more of a criminal association than a political association in the proper sense.

In fact, fascism is not a uniform school of political thought, based on its own philosophy, (despite Mussolini): “it is the deliberate absence of philosophy that characterizes it” – asserts Polanyi – “because only in Germany was fascism capable of reaching that decisive phase, in which a political philosophy is transmuted into a religion” (I add) embodied in a State party. Bolsonaro’s “in process” fascism is a specificity of our late and dependent capitalist development, in which the ruling classes did not sophisticate their forms of domination, nor did they build institutional forms that convincingly mediate their hatred of equality and their contempt the Liberty.

Perhaps also due to their slave origin, they were unable to form stable and historic parties, capable of storing their ruling class authority, replacing it – in this hypothesis – with other apparatuses, social and communicative articulations that responded directly to the stimulus of those who organize, in the on a global level, the needs of the complex of the dominant classes in the world.

Recalling the hundreds of articles that the “Globo system” has published about the mismanagement of Bolsonarism, one may have the false impression that the democratic and republican destinies of the country are in the generous hands of the “market party”. The impression is false, because for him the nature of the regime is not important, nor its possible rate of democracy, but what is the opinion of the risk agencies and what is the mood of investors in search of greater profitability, alien to this “nonsense” of “human rights”, hunger and public liberties.

The market, in fact, with its power structures embedded within the State itself, in risk agencies and in political organizations (and fractions thereof) – with its leadership that emerges in the media – has no concern with democracy, much less with the Republic. Its “absolute spirit” is the flows of financial capital: republic and democracy are, today, integral demands of the left, not of the political liberalism of the last century.

The search for “democratic” paths by the classical ex-liberals is limited, in fact, to the conditions of use of the institutional structures of democracy and its political power, to facilitate the process of capital accumulation through rent seeking without work; or rather, they – the former classic liberals – who did not contribute to the Welfare State, are indifferent to those who live off work, in the last century's sense. Some do it – it is true – in a more “civilized” way, others – however – are fans of militia barbarism, indifferent to hunger and active in paid denialism. The latter ideologically make up the majority of the country's economic “elites”.

What facts support this judgment about the position of the economically “radical” liberals, hegemonic in the country, both with regard to the democratic question and with regard to the republican question? They are indicated in a key question, the answer to which bridges the great politics of the local ruling classes – nowadays – with the dominant ethics in the upper strata of political society. Here it is: for everything Bolsonaro did and said, in his former life, in defense of death, torture and fascism, added to his supine ignorance in economics, politics and history – in addition to being a very rude person – it would be Is it possible that educated, mentally healthy people did not project what his Government would be like?

By raising this doubt, more than a question regarding the cognitive capacity of the said elites, what is questioned is what they really wanted from a President. I suppose, in this context, that they wanted exactly this President that we have now, because only he – in his militant misunderstanding of the whole – would be able to ally fascist authoritarianism with the ultraliberal reformism of the Chicago adventurers, previously tested in the Pinochet dictatorship.

By saying this, it is not considered that Globo is not playing an important role, politically opposing Bolsonarism, as it presents itself in the local and global scenario, due to the monstrous crimes that the President has committed. The denunciations of serial deaths – provoked by the Government’s charlatan policy in relation to Covid – are important in the immediate struggle for democracy, but (look!), for Globo as long as this struggle does not imply giving up the liquidation of public functions of the State and suspend the destructive reforms of the Welfare State of the 88 Pact, which Bolsonarism has religiously practiced.

The strategic problem that we have to unravel, however, integrates the democratic question with the republican question. Both today are anchored in the need to liquidate Bolsonaro fascism (proto-fascism or neo-fascism), articulated in the leadership of the “boss”, at the same time dystopian and fanatical. He marries – in his sinister personality – anti-republican dystopia and anti-democratic fanaticism. Bolsonaro has, behind him, a set of “trenches and bunkers” in the State, which keep ordinary citizens away from political action and make them disbelieve in tolerant and inclusive policies.

Only a left united around, firstly, political democracy as a dogma and, secondly, around the Republic of 88, as a historic project, can block fascism. And so recover and win the majority agenda of the fight against hunger, the environmental agenda, growth and employment, the defense of the sovereignty of the nation as interdependent cooperation. This interests a broader political field than the left: the great field that can deflate fascism and remove what is not the center – it is the center – of the country's political guardianship and the control of the Republic's budget.

*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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