Sun Jan 29, 2023
January 29, 2023

The Bolsonaro Phenomenon and the Authoritarian Risk. The Great Battles yet to come

As we closed this edition, Jair Bolsonaro was leading the polls for the second round of the presidential elections. In the first round, he had 33% of the votes, out of the 147 million voters, and Haddad had 21%. Out of the total voters, 27.37% did not vote for any candidate.
By: Mariúcha Fontana
The PSDB suffered a knockout. It went from 54 parliamentary representatives in 2014 to 29 now. The MDB went from 55 to 34 representatives. Bolsonaro’s PSL went from 1 to 52 representatives. Only 240 out of 513 representatives were re-elected.
The PT (Workers Party) elected the most representatives, despite electing only 56, a drop considering the 88 elected in 2010 and the 69 in 2014. However, this result, when compared to the 2016 municipal elections, shows partial recovery.
Haddad and the PT’s growth in the first round, however, was a lever for Bolsonaro’s exponential growth. He absorbed the traditional middle class rank and file of the PSDB and ended by capitalizing the useful votes of a broad sector of the working class that broke with the PT. The votes on Bolsonaro is also the distorted expression of the wish of change, against corruption and the traditional politicians.
The Authoritarian Risks of Bolsonaro
Bolsonaro’s victory would lead to a reactionary government. It would give free pass to repression and the action of fascist-like sectors, groups and gangs, paramilitary groups and henchmen against quilombolas, peasants, natives and oppressed sectors. It would mean a green light so that the repression apparatus could kill even more poor and blacks and exert a higher social control.
Probably, there would be a truce, filled with expectation by those who voted for him. However, Bolsonaro’s agenda and attacks against the class will not delay his unpopularity, with difficulties and crisis regarding the different bourgeois sectors and institutions.
Bolsonaro may be compared to other phenomenon of far right wing that exist around the world. He surfs an anti-system feeling in the midst of enormous social and political polarization, and economic and political crisis. Where those above are divided and the middle classes and the proletariat are discontent and mobilizing. If we were dealing with just him and his children, despite his pro-torture and pro-dictatorship speech, it would only be a right wing populist in the electoral dispute.
The main characteristic of the Bolsonaro phenomenon is that he brought the Armed Forces back to politics, for his candidacy and a future government. Not just his vice-president, General Mourao. The Generals are one of the pillars of his candidacy. They will be in key Ministries and in the Judiciary and Legislative Institutions. Mourao already said that if necessary he may give a self-coup. From the government, leading the State apparatus, his path would be facilitated for coup d’état adventures.
A reactionary and authoritarian government as Bolsonaro’s will seek to tighten further the regime, maybe even changing it qualitatively. For this reason, the PSTU calls to vote on 13 (PT) against Bolsonaro, without any political support on the PT and standing in opposition to it beforehand.
Lesson: the PT’s co-responsibility for the emergence of Bolsonaro
The crisis and the wear of the regime of the New Republic come from the economic, social and political capitalist crisis and the failure of the social-liberal project and the management of capitalism on behalf of the successive PT administrations, just as their participation in a tremendous corruption process.
The false narrative of the coup and the “Free Lula” campaign turned to electoral objectives and them setting obstacles for the continuation of struggles and the general strike against the reforms and against Temer, enabled the anti-system feeling existing in the rank and file to be seized by right wing alternatives like Bolsonaro.
There is a break of the working class and the popular sectors with the PT. Due to the lack of a mass revolutionary leadership alternative against the PT, the right wing may surf this process. However, we are still far from the class or toiling masses having committed to Bolsonaro and having turned into fascists.
The working class is not defeated. The main conflicts are yet to come and they will not be in elections. In this sense, a reactionary government could be establishing preventively and maybe beforehand. It will attempt to defeat beforehand the struggles, but it will also be a crisis administration.
The tendency is to intensify class struggles, and the main stage of struggle will be the factories, where people live and study and the streets. The bourgeoisie needs to carry out hard attacks on the workers and needs more repression. However, to install a military dictatorship the administration will have to defeat the class in action.
A united front and the unity to fight are essential in the next period, and in them, the struggle to build an alternative of revolutionary leadership. Unlike the building of a broad electoral front with the bourgeoisie with a capitalist program with the eye on 2022.
Article published in Opinião Socialista n.° 563, PSTU-Brazil.

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