AND Weekly Editorial – The mathematics of capitulation to the militaristic reactionaries

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The Editorial Staff of AND

02 February 2023

AND Weekly Editorial – The mathematics of capitulation to the militaristic reactionaries

Much noise was made when Luiz Inácio fired, on the 21st, some 80 military personnel serving at the Planalto and the then Army Commander, Júlio César de Arruda, replacing him with Tomás Miguel Ribeiro Paiva. Some, dizzy with the blind belief in the “stability” of bourgeois democracy and the country’s rotten institutions, and that Yankee imperialism “will not permit a coup,” went so far as to proclaim that the effective “Lula government” was being inaugurated, without the tutelage of the Armed Forces. Luiz Inácio proclaimed that he distrusted the Armed Forces, that he wanted a Cabinet of Institutional Security (GSI) without military staff, and played games for the audience that he would not accept military assistants (and soon after, would have them), in a staging that he would not submit to “military power,” to try to restrict the generals’ room for maneuver through isolation in public opinion.

On the 31st, “surprising” a total of zero politically aware people, Luiz Inácio nominated 122 military personnel to the GSI. The maths is clear: instead of restricting the presence of the militaries and, therefore, their influence in the government, the president of the republic increased it! Meanwhile, the press reports that the PT president gave the army permission to prevent the Military Police of the Federal District from acting, on the night of January 8, against the encampment, at the Army Headquarters. The episode, which involved manoeuvres with tanks by the armed force to dissuade the Military Police, was approved by Luiz Inácio, in the face of pressure from the generals. As is well known, this manoeuvre was carried out so that active and reserve officers and their families could leave the camp and not be arrested.

Now, what does this reveal? That the performance of a strengthened Luiz Inácio, who makes it happen with the military, lasted less than a soap bubble, since the alleged strength attributed to the government is a chimera, an illusion. The opportunists and liberals do not see that the defence of this corrupt and permissive bourgeois democracy with all kinds of violence against the people does not move them, on the contrary, it provokes in them repulsion and, above all, distrust and anger. They pretend not to know, but they know very well that in politics the effective force are the masses, and not the notes from entities and offices, innocuous when they have no material support. But they want to believe this and try to fool the masses into believing this fantasy too.

To the extent that the government tries to restrict the coup movement with cabinet agreements and grandiloquent declarations about “democracy” – this, unknown by the great masses in their daily lives – it only makes itself inept, while the real force is increasingly with the generals (today, the troops and, now, they are playing to win over the masses, mainly the small and middle bourgeoisie and counting on the Bolsonarist evangelicals among the poor). The government is leaning towards capitulation; after all, how could it be otherwise, if since the 2018 elections they have been silent about the military’s constant coup pronouncements? Not a single criticism, only appeasement! After all, what can the government of the reactionary coalition, in which the big bourgeois and landowners, servants of imperialism, exercise power? If it had a modicum of decency it would have immediately called on the masses to take to the streets in defence of threatened democratic freedoms!

Meanwhile, indigenous people are being killed, as in the horrific and criminal case against the Yanomami, and peasants are systematically slaughtered in their just struggle for land. On the morning of 28 January, police from BOPE, the Rondônia Military Police, shot peasants who were climbing into a boat to cross a river; the soldiers arrested two young people, dragged them to a deserted place, tortured them, even cutting out the tongue of one of them, and then executed them in cold blood. The press monopolies, the illustrious politicians and institutions of justice, heroes of the defence of this democracy, are completely silent. This has nothing to do with your democracy, does it?

It must also be said that the change of generals in command of the Army, made by Luiz Inácio, does not change absolutely nothing of the nature of the force, and even does not alter its coup pretensions, which are unanimous among the high officerate, whose only important divergence is when, in which moment and situation the military coup d’état will culminate. Just see that the now lauded “legalist commander”, Tomás Miguel Ribeiro Paiva, was the same one considered to be the protagonist in the writing of Villas-Bôas’ intimidating tweet, against Luiz Inácio’s HC, in 2018 – a tweet that, confessedly, was written by the ACFA to intervene in national political life. This is the “legalistic general”, the supreme guarantee of democracy in Brazil for the press monopoly and opportunism. How poorly they are covered!

The ACFA is calculating and reformulating its plans for military intervention every day, looking for the right time to intervene, encouraging small destabilizations using the “green chickens” as a cannon fodder, and soon signing new agreements with the government in which it is strengthened in the role of the mediative power [Poder Moderador] ; meanwhile, it is trying to gain support from its Northern master and backing from public opinion to try to crush the people’s uprising the instant it raises its righteous anger.

To stop the coup in motion, it is impossible to count on the opportunist aristocracy, intoxicated by decades of conviviality in palaces of the old state and expectations of reigning for many more. The least that can be done is to support the masses, mobilising them for their minimum rights, trampled on on a daily basis, through strikes, land seizures, occupation of universities and schools, in a torrent of protests and revolutionary struggles; without a drop of illusion with the democracy of the rich.