The following is an unoffical translation from the original article in Portuguese by A Nova Democracia: Editorial Semanal – Assassinos no poder
By the Editorial Board of A Nova Democracia
The scenes that come from Manaus are terrifying, in all aspects. The indescribable drama of people dying without oxygen, accompanied by the collapse of even the funerary system and the potentially irreversible damage – physical and mental – to patients and health professionals who will survive the odious carnage, makes Brazil a kind of realized dystopia. The genocide that has plagued the country since the middle of last year has given way to an assumed genocide this year. Receiving communication regarding the imminent collapse on January 7, the federal government did nothing about it. On the 11th, in a visit to the Amazon capital, the active general and health minister, the butcher, Eduardo Pazuello, said that his portfolio “has and will be able to meet any demand that fails at a lower level.” On the 14th, the oxygen began to run out. On Sunday the 17th, in the midst of the tragedy and escalation of the pandemic, millions of students from all over the country were forced to gather to take the ENEM [Translator’s Note: The ENEM is a college entrance exam].
Anyone who thinks that this situation is the result of mismanagement is wrong. No: incompetence alone would not produce our more than 200,000 dead over the course of almost a year. Nor would incompetence be enough to sabotage the most elementary protective measures in the face of the epidemic, already known to all the inhabitants of the Earth; nor would the incompetence be enough to prevent any serious steps to provide the vaccine. Why, the incompetent, being honest, could look to the side and learn over time. And, in fact, Brazil has researchers and a world-renowned public health system. So ineptitude alone does not explain what is going on. The genocide under way at this very moment is a deliberate project. Bolsonaro, his far-right entourage, and the generals who are the de facto government practice a series of willful crimes against the people and the country. The orders to kill come from them. Although they compete for positions within the government, their projects converge, for practical purposes, in this sense. Let’s see.
Bolsonaro, the slavecatcher, not only acts, but also thinks and speaks like a murderer. His attitude, in the face of any fact is to respond, “I didn’t do it,” like a criminal interrogated about his actions. This is not only due to his formation as a fascist fanatic in the basements of the military regime, continuing in his activities as a political leader of a paramilitary group in Rio de Janeiro, but also because he conspires day and night to end the ongoing coup and to redeploy the military regime of which he is an inconsolable widower. It is as if his cowardly “it wasn’t me” was a kind of primed and ready coup program: “since they don’t let me rule, Brazil is in chaos; Brazil is in chaos because they won’t let me rule.” He is betting on the worsening of the health and economic crisis, and the possibility of it unfolding into a social explosion to present himself as an alternative to defend order. Knowing that, after leaving the presidency, he will keep company with his children in jail, given the extent of his crimes, many of which are well-proven, he does not believe (at least for the moment) in those who offer him a negotiated exit. For him, the fascist coup is no longer just a project of power, but also personal salvation.
The High Command of the Armed Forces and its advanced police station in the Planalto Palace fear, above all, the social debacle and a peak of the mass struggle. This is what has marked all of its public interventions in recent years. Acting as tutor of the republic, he applies a dissuasive strategy against the people (and even against the official political sectors called the opposition), as if to say: do not pass from here, we are coming in. Thus, it is then and more and more directly, this marrow of the old reactionary state, which is its armed forces, to act as a whole body. None of the so-called three powers (executive, legislative and judiciary) have crossed the recent years without receiving explicit directives from the generals, that Villas-Bôas’ already famous for “tweeting” in favor of Lula’s arrest is an example of the most illustrative. If this is what goes public, imagine what goes on behind the scenes! The role of the reactionary army is not, therefore, to ensure “democracy” and defend the “constitution,” nor to serve the population, but to manage the counter-revolution. This is what it is for, since it is the class nature of this institution to serve and ensure, always, the power of the landowners and big bourgeois oligarchs, lackeys of imperialism, regardless of who are the individuals that compose it. Apart from that, it is a useless task, in addition to being expensive and corrupt, as is the case every time it is forced to act in the civil sphere.
This is because, in a country with tens of millions of unemployed (if we add to the official statistics the underemployed and the growing mass of discouraged people, that is, people who have given up looking for jobs), economic recession accompanied by inflation and rising prices, accelerated deindustrialization and denationalization of its human and natural resources in favor of foreign monopolies (of which the case of Vale and its continued and unpunished crimes is a notorious example), in a country like this the only possible government is that which acts as an army of foreign occupation. The primary mission of the uniformed people inside and outside the government is none other than to keep the hungry people under control; to keep the drainage of the wealth taken from this land and the super profits earned by imperialism continuous. It is this, after all, that is the State, a coercive device of one class over the other, which in Brazil in 2021 reaches almost its pure theoretical form, since it is devoid of adornments and mediations that the legal and opportunistic “left” all so desperately tries to save.
In this regard, Bolsonaro and the generals around him have no relative differences. Their ideological perspective is the same.
However, the fact that the old reactionary state is now naked in the sight of everyone is not a negligible or irrelevant fact. It remains increasingly clear to broad sectors of public opinion, and this will be all the more true as the class struggle becomes more radical, the farce of our juvenile democracy – is a kind of big prison under a semi-open regime – and the fact that alternating governments in no way modify the power system, preserved in an unaltered state in the hands of the local ruling classes (big bourgeoisie and landowners), these servants of imperialism (mainly Yankee). We live, therefore, alongside an atrocious regression in all fields of social life, in a unique opportunity for revolutionaries to point out to the masses the decisive targets of their fury. Let us remember a philosophical principle, proven by the history of revolutions in the 20th century, according to which the specific opposite of regression is not stability or a return to the starting point, but rather a great and accelerated leap forward.
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