By Ángel Guerra Cabrera on October 11, 2018
The overwhelming victory of the Nazi Jair Bolsonaro in the first round of the Brazilian elections should not be underestimated. Brazil is the eighth world power, with a geopolitical position of first order in South America. Bolsonaro, blatantly chauvinistic, misogynist, racist, homophobic, pro-Yankee and pro-Western, detests democratic values. His candidacy represents the continuation of the coup d’état against democracy, started long before the parliamentary coup that threw Dilma out with a strange mobilization and an international media campaign that characterized the Workers Party (PT) as the only corrupt party in the country. A Campaign designed by the US Department of Justice.
Bolsonaro is not a local issue. He is part of a global trend of fascism, which had its first resounding expression in the election of Donald Trump, who almost nobody took seriously, like the former military captain Bolsonaro until a few months ago. The same thing happened with Hitler. This current now links Trump, Le Pen, Salvini, Orban and, of course, Netanyahu, among others. It is creating an international network with articulators like Steve Bannon, former campaign chief of today’s White House tenant, and generous donors like the Koch brothers who are great Bolsonaro enthusiasts. Although not openly fascist, Duque, Macri and Piñera are neoliberal fanatics and if Bolsonaro triumphs on October 28, they would constitute a dangerous reactionary pole in South America.
Capitalism has undergone important mutations since 1933. But there are constants that it maintains and even sharpens. In the same way that the crisis of liberal capitalism of the nineteenth-century led to the Great Depression of 1929 and to fascism, (although the former also led to the Bolshevik revolution and the latter reinforced socialist options) the crisis of neoliberal capitalism has shown the inability of representative democracy and its party system to process the great contradictions it creates. This makes those from the bottom yearning for alternative solutions from the current model and those from the top see that it is no longer enough for them to continue controlling the victims of the system of exploitation. Neo-liberalism and the democracy of millionaires have been incapable of even achieving economic growth and instead promotes the great scourges inherent in capitalism such as unemployment, illiteracy, lack of access to culture and education, housing, continuous wars, climate change and true genocides in the name of combating drugs or terrorism.
The alternative may come, depending on a series of factors, from popular victories such as that of Lopez Obrador in Mexico, Evo Morales in Bolivia or Chávez and now Maduro in Venezuela. But it also goes so far as to threaten Brazil with the rise to power of the crudest fascism personified in Bolsonaro. Of course, the majority of those who voted for the former soldier do not know what neoliberalism is or what fascism is, nor do they suspect its consequences. Many of them actually benefited and were catapulted into Brazil’s middle class by Lula’s social programs. They began to have more material goods and unprecedented opportunities for social advancement, but the work of cultural, educational and political formation that would allow them to understand why and for what purpose they were deprived from those benefits before and why they had only been able to receive them during the period of progressive governments was not explained to them. The classical fascist regimes have historically been overtaken by minorities of activists capable of mobilizing dissatisfied and indignant majorities, often uneducated politically, which the left was unable to win over for real social transformation. In a satisfaction survey conducted in the favelas on the Bolsa Familia program in the months prior to the parliamentary coup against Dilma, the highest percentage of respondents said they were very satisfied because God had given the programs to them.
The vote obtained by Bolsonaro in the first round of the elections, cannot be considered anything less than astonishing. The former captain with his 49 million 276 thousand 990 votes was close to reaching the definitive victory. Thus he would have avoided appearing in the second round, and not have to face 17million 934 thousand 5 that voted for Fernando Haddad, the PT candidate supported by Lula. Now he runs the risk of being defeated by a gigantic effort, already underway, of a large part of the left and the Brazilian democratic and progressive forces.
Haddad’s vote in the first round actually speaks to a great effort to mobilize the Workers’ Party to present a candidate who had less than a month to campaign. It was only after Lula, unjustly imprisoned and Brazil’s most popular politician, and who was way ahead in the polls, was prohibited from competing by the Supreme Court that Haddad had to jump in.
Fascism will not pass!
Source: La Jornada, translation Resumen Latinoamericano, North America Bureau