The removal of Dilma Rousseff by the most conservative Senate since 1964 (the year of the State coup against João Goulart) closes the progressive cycle that started with the elevation of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on January 1, 2003. Brazil being the region’s most important country and the one that frames tendencies, we’re facing an irreversible inflection in the short term, where the conservative right-wingers impose their agenda.
The South American regional panorama appears clearly dominated by the alliance between financial capital, the United States and the local rights, which demonstrate dynamism that’s difficult to limit short term. One must go back to the beginning of the 1990s to find a similar moment, marked by the triumph of the Washington Consensus, the rise of neoliberalism and the collapse of the socialist block.
Nevertheless, it would be wrong to think that we are returning to the past, for more than a few analysts believe that “victories” are being lost. Reality indicates that the region walks forward but, immediately, what’s in front of us is not the egalitarian and just society we dream about, but rather an imminent train wreck between those above and those below, and fights between classes, races, genders and generations. Humanity goes towards that conclusion, and that is the medium-range future that is looming over the region.
Strictly speaking, this panorama has already been profiled since several years ago, when the progressives were still governing, because of the growing alliance made between the middle classes (old and new) and the wealthier, in large measure because of the triumph of the consumer culture, de-politicizing and conservative, that those very same governments impelled. But what matters, looking ahead, is the mentioned train wreck.
A new right has been imposed on the region. A right that has no legalistic scruples, that is not disposed to respect the modes of the democracies, that seeks to destroy the education and health systems as we know them. In Brazil the new right has put up the School Without Party Movement, which attacks public education, trashes the legacy of Paulo Freire and seeks to tightly control teachers.