Brazil has before it the opportunity to change, even if Bolsonarism cannot be definitively thrown into the dustbin of history, as it deserves. But these are pious illusions in that the consensus not so much around the leader, the pompous outgoing president, as for a radical right-wing project in the green-gold country has not only not disappeared but is, if possible, even stronger. These years have not passed for Bolsonaro in vain.
And the right-wingers, who gathered around the controversial president, were able to occupy, one by one, many institutional spaces when the legitimate president Dilma Rousseff, Lula’s heir, was dismissed with a judicial blow of the sponge, known in Brazil as lava jato .
Lawfare, subsequently used extensively in Latin America by the right-wingers, who made their adherence to the world of the judiciary weigh in to indict and then illegally remove their political opponents, that is, the progressive leaders of the region, certainly had the his impressive debut.
Yet, in recent years, around an exclusionary, violent and racist idea of the country, a whole sector of society has agglutinated, in most cases manipulated by complacent media, which has made hatred for the different, that is the blacks, the poor and all those women who reject gender stereotypes, their flag.
The military and the coup leaders were also joined by all those who have not only always shown resistance to the rules and civil life, but who have suffered existentially the possibility of being socially downgraded by the same economic policy that the right had before. advocated and then put into practice.
These years have, in fact, had a huge impact on the living skin of the country and the followers of the controversial outgoing president now occupy many prestigious positions. If before the Bolsonarists were strong in the army, today they are also strong in the judiciary, where in any case, as we have seen, they were already present and in that part of society further afraid of the crisis and the spread of crime.
That micro and large-scale crime which, moreover, the repressive policies and the rise of the militia, another great Bolsonarian reserve, have swelled more and more to become an element of strength in the great Brazilian metropolises. Whether we can speak of “Brazilian fascism” is controversial, however it must be recognized that it has more than one affinity both in composition and ideology, albeit, if possible, even more crude.
Furthermore, if Lula’s victory still remains very probable and certainly desirable for every sensible person, the right has already shown itself to be very competitive and, therefore, cannot be reduced to a parenthesis. Surprising not so much the resilience of Bolsonaro, in any case in the ballot after many analysts gave him up for defeat, as in the ability to penetrate into the bosom of Brazilian society of racist and classist sentiments. If aprophobia, that is the aversion and hatred towards the poor as such, is a constant of right-wing regimes, in Brazil it finds even more resonance in the widespread evangelical communities, which have always supported Bolsonaro, which welcome the predestinationist doctrines of a Calvinist style and in a puritanical vein are coarse. And here it is not necessary to bother Weber, to say how functional they are to the spread of individualistic and anti-solidarity values. Catholics, including many priests close to the least, mostly support Lula. Among other things, Bolsonaro adheres to these communities and was also renamed, blasphemously assuming Messiah.
His name is Jair Messiah Bolsonaro. Furthermore, despite the fact that in recent years, as Lula rightly remembers, Bolsonaro’s Brazil has become a pariah on the international scene – even if it must be remembered that it has continued to enjoy an excellent reputation with all those external agents who together with the internal coup forces, they had favored the rise; although, perhaps, at a certain moment the latter had pointed, erroneously as we have seen, their chips on the ineffable judge Sergio Moro, who had been the executor of lava jato and even the president’s minister, hopefully definitively ex tra little; Incidentally, when the specter of fascism is evoked, history has amply demonstrated that there is no sorcerer who cares – the right has scored several points in its favor: several conservative candidates have been elected in the general elections and many of these, who previously belonged to the Brazilian liberal tradition, albeit discredited, have embraced the project of Bolsonarists. And this despite the great failures of Brazil on the crucial issues of poverty reduction, covid and the environment.
Denialism both in terms of climate change, which has favored the depredation of the green lung of the earth, the Amazon, as well as on covid – in Brazil no restrictive measures have been adopted and many have been killed. President Bolsonaro, who is also a denier on vaccines, has been repeatedly accused of being a genocide. As for the environment, we know that Brazil would have all the cultural antibodies necessary to win this battle, as the words of the theologian Leonardo Boff remind us prophetically, who increasingly emphasizes the protection of Gaia, aka planet earth. .
If the unthinkable happens tomorrow, Bolsonaro’s re-election could be the beginning of an even more authoritarian phase. The control of the Supreme Court would lead to a crackdown and Brazil would seriously risk returning to being a dictatorship, as it has been for many years since the coup of 64.
There are reasons to be optimistic, however. Not only because Lula is ahead in the polls and won the first round, but also because of what he continues to represent for millions of Brazilians. Many of them have crossed the poverty line thanks to its socio-economic policies. If so many have turned their backs once they have achieved well-being – there are doctors, for example, who as children lived in the favelas and thanks to programs such as bolsa familia they became what they are now and then vote, perhaps, Bolsonaro whom they see as a champion of their now acquired privileges – however, many remember him.
Lula is the only one who can unite Brazil. He had not been a divisive president as he managed to hold together social policies for the poorest and collective welfare. Both the favelas and the markets approved of his work and when he was there, it was Brazil that grew. Finally, tomorrow’s elections have a significance that goes far beyond the carioca country. After the great affirmations of the left in Latin America – in Peru, in Chile, in Colombia, in Honduras to recall some cases – it would be both the definitive sign of a new progressive season for the region and a great contribution to the uneven affirmation of that multipolar world that hopes for balanced economic growth and a more equitable diplomacy.
Probably, even the victory of Bolsonaro would not put in delay this process, whose forces are in any case now unstoppable, and it is reductive to consider the current president as the mere candidate of the United States – the Biden administration now considers him an inconvenient interlocutor and is certainly distant from much rhetoric of democrats in the field of gender equality and the fight, at least verbal, against climate change.
However, his presence alone would pollute the landscape of international relations and Bolsonaro’s Brazil would be a simple discordant note, but an obstacle to a better human coexistence, of which Latin America offers many examples.