CEAS note on the political situation: fascism does not represent us!

After the first round of presidential elections, CEAS sees the current situation with great concern.

It is necessary to tell it like it is. In Brazil and many other countries, the “new right” is fascist. To prove this, just check out on the speech of its main representatives, proposing a heavily regressive taxation, the vague emphasis on “fighting corruption”, deepening the attacks on labor rights, ending “activism” and so many other signs of dissemination of violence and hatred.

The scenarios that are drawn in this second round are not easy.

If democratic forces are electorally victorious, democratic institutionally is guaranteed, and critical institutions of civil society are preserved. Although in this hypothesis a future government is cornered  by the pressures of an economic scenario of fragile post-recessionary resumption and of a political scenario where, for the first time in decades, the extreme right will occupy a significant part of the seats in the Legislative, and wide spaces in the Executive  and in the Judiciary, political freedoms and guarantees would maintain their vigor, and the elected government would be required to keep open dialogue with social movements and civil society entities.

Nevertheless, the fascism of the “new right” is not only an electoral movement, but a diffused and socially rooted political movement. The electoral campaign has so far been marked by the widespread and massive circulation of fake news; by thousands of prejudiced declarations against northeasterners, among many others. May the recent assassination of Master Moa of Katendê always serve as a reminder of how much this fascist mentality accentuates violence.

If the fascists are electorally victorious, there are several signs that democratic institutions will be at risk. If since the overthrow of Dilma Rousseff in 2016, the military has functioned as a kind of “dark power” with a permanent and subliminal threat to the free functioning of the rule of law, with the rise of the fascists we would have a reserve captain in the presidency, a reserve general as vice-president, signaling that several generals will take over ministries. Finally, we are moving towards the constitution of an informal government Junta, similar to what happened in other dark times. This seems to be the real direction of a possible future fascist government, which Brazilians democrats, progressives and all who do not wish to see violence spread among us, will surely strive to avoid.

If today the genocide of the black and peripheral youth is naturalized under regimes considered democratic or progressive, under a fascist government this practice will intensify on all those who are considered enemies, indigenous populations, quilombolas (traditional African populations), social movements of the countryside and the city, environmentalists, African Brazilians, populations of the periphery, LGBT communities and religious committed to the suffering of the poorest, all seen as responsible for the disorder and lack of progress.

The CEAS draws attention to the seriousness of these scenarios and calls on all to mobilize. For Brazilian society, the PT (Worker´s Party) candidacy represents the possibility of a minimum of democratic institutional guarantees, but let us not deceive ourselves, fascism is a problem to be faced in one way or another. The moment is to bring together democratic forces not only to electorally defeat fascism, but to prepare for the defense of democracy and to guarantee the lives of those who struggle against social-environmental inequalities and for a society of solidarity.

Center for Studies and Social Action

Salvador, October 10, 2018