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The crisis of the neodevelopmentalist political front and the rise of the right in Brazil

Grant number: 21/12453-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): March 25, 2022
Effective date (End): August 29, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - State and Government
Principal Investigator:Armando Boito Júnior
Grantee:Armando Boito Júnior
Host Investigator: Dylan John Riley
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), United States  


The object of this research is the rise of the Brazilian extreme right to government power. We start from a hypothesis referring to the national political process and others referring to the characterization of the Bolsonaro Government. With regard to the political process, we will examine possible causal relationships between, on the one hand, the type of political crisis that took place in Brazil 2014-2018, and, on the other, the rise of the far right to the presidency of the Republic. Such relationships, thought of generically, may seem obvious. However, the development of the idea that there are certain types of political crisis that lead to specific results and not any others, which is actually the hypothesis we intend to test, this hypothesis is not obvious at all and is actually controversial. The idea of typifying the political crises of capitalist societies is virtually present in Lenin's well-known characterization of the "revolutionary crisis" (Lenin, A falência da II Internacional. São Paulo: Kairós, 1979). There would be, therefore, at least two types of crisis: on the one hand, the revolutionary, which would allow, as its name indicates, the realization of a revolution and, on the other, the "non-revolutionary" crises, which could allow, we add, only the change of political regime, of government, or, still and only, of government policy. Nicos Poulantzas, in his work Fascisme et dictature (Paris: Maspero, 1970), follows this path and seeks to advance. He maintains that it is possible to distinguish political crisis that can each lead to a particular type of dictatorship - fascist, military or civil bureaucratic dictatorship. We consider, however, that his analysis does not deliver all that it promises. This is because the author lists the component elements of the crisis that would lead to fascism, but fails to examine the dynamics of this crisis. In our research, starting from the conceptual elements and theses indicated, we intend to deepen the analysis of the component elements, but also the dynamics of the 2014-2018 political crisis to verify the possible causal relationship between that crisis and the formation of the Bolsonaro Government. As for the characterization of this government, we start from two hypotheses: a) such government would represent the hegemony of international capital and the fraction of the Brazilian bourgeoisie associated with it, relegating the internal bourgeoisie to a subordinate position within the power bloc; b) the Bolsonaro government could be characterized as a government that, although heterogeneous, would find itself under the control of a group that I believe I can, at least initially, call neo-fascist. To test the first hypothesis, we should analyze the government's economic, social and foreign policies. To test the second, we will consider the divergent characterizations that are made of such government - "right-wing populism" government driven by a Traditionalist ideology. This last characterization is present in Brazilian authors inspired by Benjamin Teitelbaum's War for Eternity (Campinas: Unicamp, 2020). We will also consider the argument that fascism is a dated and definitely past phenomenon, as the great historian Emilio Gentile claims in his recent book Chi è fascist (Rome: Lateza, 2019). We will be inspired to analyze this question in one of the classic definitions of fascism: a mass reactionary movement based mainly on the petty bourgeoisie and the middle class, a movement that only ascends to power when it is politically co-opted by the bourgeoisie or one of its fractions. Our hypothesis is that "bolsonarismo" is mostly a middle-class movement, but the Bolsonaro Government is a bourgeois government, and mainly a government that prioritizes the interests of international capital and the associated bourgeoisie. (AU)

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