by Quantum Bird for the Saker blog

Federal elections have just taken place in Brazil and the result – despite the reluctance and insecurity of the “Left” – was expected: Lula was elected president for the third time. Lula defeated Bolsonaro by a margin of approximately 1%, in a universe of almost 100 million useful votes.

The profound discredit accumulated domestically and internationally by Bolsonaro, who performed a chaotic mandate, reducing Brazil to a geopolitical dwarf, and marked by crimes, corruption, loss of control over the economy, privatization of strategic resources and a myriad of incredibly bizarre events would suggest, according to the simplest logic, a victory for Lula by a landslide, still in the first round.

[Sidebar: Opinion polls never indicated that this would happen, but research institutes are not at all reliable in Brazil, so let’s put aside the pseudo-information coming from these polls.]

The “Left” was not able to impose on Bolsonaro, and his mythical “Bolsonarism” – imbecilism would be a more appropriate term – a clear and definitive defeat. Here I examine some of the factors in the overall conjuncture and the prospects for the exercise of the presidency by Lula.

Euphoric militancy and woke: the Sixth Brazilian Column

Jair Bolsonaro was projected during the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff as a proxy for Olavo de Carvalho – a Brazilian far-right ideologue and CIA asset and collaborator, now dead – together with high-ranking military rebels, led by General Villas Bôas. He ended up elected in 2018 as a result of the collapse of the native right wing and fifth-column strategy, that offered Geraldo Alckmin, then in the center-right PSDB – he is now in the PSB and is the elected vice-president of Lula (sic) – as a candidate for president.

The fifth-column surfed the wave of anti-PT (Workers Party) fomented for almost 20 years by some of the right wing/fifth-column sectors, but was defeated by something even more visceral: pure, diffuse and moronic hate speech, catalyzed by Bolsonaro.

Alckmin did not make it to the second round in 2018, and his proponents automatically supported Bolsonaro against Fernando Haddad from PT. Lula was then illegally imprisoned, on the orders of Sérgio Moro, one of the leaders of the infamous Lava-Jato (“Car Wash”) operation. Moro afterwards was one of Bolsonaro’s ministers and has been elected Senator for his state, Paraná.

The “Left”, which tolerated the coup against Dilma Rousseff and failed to prevent Lula’s arrest, was never able to understand and fight Bolsonarism. In fact, the woke strategists of Haddad’s campaign preferred to disconnect from the reality of the majority of workers, and to eschew other very concrete tactical factors, such as the deep capillarity of Bolsonarism in social networks, and the evangelical churches and forces of order enforcement of the state, to adhere to the virtual signaling and ridiculing (using idiotic memes) as a means to oppose Jair Bolsonaro.

The “signal virtues” were extracted, as always, from wokeism and identity directives that only touch a small sector of the urban middle class, which, on the other hand, is mostly reactionary and ideologically slave-holding. Slogans like “Love will win over Hate” say very little to a population of workers living in a situation of permanent vulnerability and exposed to the cognitive assault of social networks and overwhelming urban violence.

The last four years of Brazil under Jair Bolsonaro have seen the deepening and consolidation of wokeism and identity politics as the dominant ideological attitudes among “Left” militants.

This militancy massively adhered to “Ele Não” (“Not Him!”), “Fora Bolsonaro” (“Out with Bolsonaro”) and tirelessly denounced the government as fascist and opposed to wokeist civilization directives, reacting to political click baits with memes, repeatedly virtue signaling and canceling dissident voices.

All this while ignoring the dismantling of Brazil’s economic and industrial infrastructure. For example, massive protests have been organized over the years during and around the LGBT Pride Parades, but few have lifted a finger to defend Eletrobras or Petrobras from privatization. During the pandemic, this “Left” joined and legitimized the erosion of human rights attacked during the establishment of lockdowns and widely supported the derailment of the national health structure for the manufacture of vaccines, favoring Big Pharma multinationals. Finally, the same “Left”, which denounced Bolsonaro as a fascist for four years, sided with the Collective West and the Nazi Regime in Kiev, when the Russian Special Military Operation (SMO) was launched to defend the population of Donbass in the former Ukraine.

All this contributed to form a picture of profound disconnect with reality and cognitive dissonance that produced anomie in the population and demobilized the entities and representative cadres of the real Left, historically attached to labor and a sovereignist agenda, paving the way for the formation of broad alliances with the right-wing, articulated in order to signal the proper woke virtues to the masses of workers and unemployed that took over the streets of the country, but without any real detail about what really matters, that is, the economic agenda and the recovery of resources liquidated by Bolsonaro.

Lula’s Vice-President himself is an organic cadre of the native fifth-column, and his choice went ahead despite the opinion of the most critical and committed militancy. Wokes, on the other hand, parrot ad nauseam empty slogans like “guarantee of governability”, “he (Alckmin) has changed and seeks redemption” and other nonsense.

Renegade institutions

The loss of control over institutions began still in Lula’s first term (2000-2004). He lost control of ABIN – the Brazilian Intelligence Agency – through sheer ineptitude. Since the beginning, the main promoter of the erosion of the institutional order is the Supreme Court (STF), which started to act as a political party in opposition to the left-wing government, in collusion with the native mainstream media and conspiring with the fifth-columnist right-wing political parties and transnational interests.

In the following years, the reactionary rebellion spread out across lower sectors of the Judiciary and the Public Ministry – see Operation Car Wash – and the Federal Police bodies (judicial and highway); federal police officers routinely posted videos on social media training pistol shooting at targets painted with the face of President Dilma Rousseff, without suffering punishment other than a reprimand.

The institutional mess soon spread to civil society, to the lower circles of the Judiciary and contaminated the state and municipal police bodies. Boycotts promoted by truck drivers and supported by the institutions that should be repressing them, judicially and criminally, have become common place. The renegade institutions of the Federative Republic, which now also included the high command of the Armed Forces, tolerated and even encouraged, behind the scenes, every type of action that could undermine the left-wing government and threw the country into the abyss of an institutional crisis.

However, the Pandora’s box of institutional anarchy that was opened to overthrow Dilma Rousseff’s government and imprison Lula could no longer be closed. And those who opened it lost control over the angry tempers they unleashed. Bolsonaro had become their catalyst and representative. As I write this article, truck drivers are blocking roads – with the support of federal and state highway patrol officers – protesting the election results. Acts of vandalism and economic boycott are intensifying in the states where Bolsonaro won. The continuation of this situation will inevitably require the use of the Armed Forces to restore law and order. But this is problematic, as the Armed Forces are mostly occupied by rebel commanders and Bolsonarists, and such an action would be widely interpreted by the half of the population that elected Lula as a coup d’etat, which would inevitably deepen the institutional chaos.

The great geopolitical game

The domestic scenario of institutional upheaval operating since 2008, combined with the inept and chaotic Dilma Rousseff’s foreign policy, as well as Bolsonaro’s clumsy alignment of Brazil with Trump’s US, reduced the country to an irrelevant member of the institutions that Brazil itself played a leading role in and helped create, such as the G20 and the BRICS.

The absence of a coherent and nationalist foreign policy has turned Brazil into a playground for Western economic powers and China, which have acquired national strategic patrimony at paltry values. The national economy was additionally financialized, leading to a deep and ongoing deindustrialization. All this taking place concomitantly with a historical level of precariousness of salaried work, which has turned Brazilian cities into veritable war zones for drug traffickers, and has reactivated networks of prostitution and international trafficking of human beings.

Does Lula risk becoming just another talking head?

In his speech, given shortly after the election results were announced, Lula made, as usual, excellent use of rhetoric. Especially when compared to the (non)interventions of his bizarre opponent. If we leave aside the euphoria that infected the woke militants of the “Left”, who experienced everything as a sort of out-of-season carnival, and analyze what was effectively signaled, we are forced to admit that the prospects quite are bleak.

Lula mentioned the need to urgently restore trade contacts with the EU and the US (sic), spoke superficially about the restoration of the economy, cited the BRICS just en passant and said nothing about the recovery of strategic state-owned companies that were liquidated by the satanic duo Jair Bolsonaro and Paulo Guedes (his Finance Minister). Irrelevant themes, part of the woke/WEF inventory, such as “green energy” and global warming, deserved ample space in the speech, while nothing was actually signalized to the Global South.

As important as it was to remove Bolsonaro from the country’s presidency, the truth is that Lula’s victory was not, and cannot, be read in any measure as a victory for the Left, nor for the progressive and sovereignist sectors of the country.

It’s all about consolidating a center-right coalition to get back on track the heavily deregulated economy and reestablish a certain institutional normality in the country, without however changing the rules of the game. Lula’s role in this coalition may well be limited to bringing votes and communicating with the people. A kind of Neoliberalism with a Human Face.

Indeed, some evidence of this arrangement is already available. Geraldo Alckmin and Aloísio Mercadante – who is a known fifth-columnist and right-wing asset inside the PT and does not enjoy Lula’s confidence – are leading the government transition team.

Bolsonaro may have lost the election, but he won more votes than ever, and he already has his troop of rabid lunatics occupying the streets in several locations – holding national flags and calling for military intervention, their regular trademark – and sabotaging the country’s food and fuel distribution logistics network. Bolsonaro endorsed such activities in a previous statement, then days after, he asked for moderation and avoiding blocking roads.

At the same time, what transpires behind the scenes about the formation of the new government does not inspire anything positive. For example, Simone Tebet – strongly linked to predatory agribusiness in the Mato Grosso do Sul state – conditioned her support for Lula in the second round on her appointment to the Ministry of Education. So, putting all together, we are forced to contemplate the possibility that Lula’s victory in the 2022 elections represents a mere tactical advance in a Pyrrhic War or, what seems even more likely, represents a strategic defeat for the historic labor-oriented Left, which has been replaced by wokes with their green agenda and identity politics. The Left may well end up without any representation in the new administration.


Version in Portuguese published here:


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