Gilliam Nauman Iqbal is a Brazilian Muslim, political activist, graduated in History, specialist in Sociology of Interpretations of Maranhão
Gilliam Nauman Iqbal
RISE OF THE FAR RIGHT: a psychological analysis beyond the political economic bias.
Keywords: Fascism, Far-right, Democracy, Politics, Brazil, Bolsonarism
In recent years, the world has experienced a phenomenon of rising fascist far right in several countries around the globe. We cannot characterize this phenomenon with the same mechanism and forms of manifesting itself, in the places where it was established. It takes on particular characteristics in each place and creates an "enemy" in the society where it starts to lead and, in general, makes the minorities that enemy. So we can analyze, for example, the intense persecution of Muslims in recent times, in Europe and the United States. This persecution may be the result of this fanciful creation of an evil that needs to be fought by the conservative, nationalist and authoritarian political representation, which carries out fascist actions in their administrations. Easily, xenophobia, racism, gender prejudice and fundamentalisms of all kinds are common points observed in these governments. The left, communism, feminist movement, religious minorities, struggle for land movements, social movements in general, become enemies that need to be extirpated from that society.
The logic of fascist governments is to create evils in the social imagination, and the government is the restorer of morality, faith, the traditional family.
The inflamed speech, loaded with moral rescues, the appeal to social traditionalism, to an orderly society, becomes sympathetic to both the elite and the masses, and this “political welcome” can be thought of under an idea of right-wing populism, as many political scientists do.
Considering that populism is a movement of political support for the masses, against the elite, to think of a “right-wing populism” is to empty and discredit this political position and something far from resignification. This analysis
it is totally concerning when we know what was the Vargas period in Brazil, the Peronism in Argentina, or the Mexican cardenism and others.
But what would be the explanation for the rise of the extreme right, not only in Latin America, but in several other European countries? And when we think about this rise, it doesn't just refer to this form of government, but it is a whole structure of parties with a broad electoral base that directs the current political dynamics.
How to think about determinants, for such different contexts, considering that it is a worldwide phenomenon? I will try, in a very humble way, to raise some possibilities, observing, above all, the fascism that I experience and that has already broken the bubble of the political-party sphere and is already permeating social relations.
Let's go back to creating social enemies. Capitalism does not only degenerate the individual's relationship with economic issues, what should be projected about a healthy accumulation, throughout life - if there is such a thing - of how to deal with power relations within work; with hierarchies; how the individual connects with social strata through the accumulation of goods, etc., but degenerates the individual and consequently collective mind.
I will discuss a psychological analysis, which is fundamental for understanding the reasons that make society ill, but I believe that this pathological process is visible to everyone, which allows me to make this reflection and move forward in our considerations. It so happens that the attempt to transform human differences in a homogenized culture reflects in a potentialized fear in individuals, which leads to violent reactions to keep things in order that they consider the correct form of nation: a deformed nationalism, where manifestations of classes, religions different from the majority, ethnicities outside the "standards" of this or that nation, libertarian sexual behaviors,
sexual orientations outside the heteronormative scope, organized feminisms. I think that psychological analyzes are more valid in this context than economic bias analyses, considering that many countries that are going through this phase are not in a scenario of economic crisis like Brazil, for example.
Thinking about Brazil, it is necessary to dialogue with both points, psychological and economic, because the 2008 crisis does not come to us as smoothly as prophesied by our dear Lula. I think it is much more dangerous, crises that come slowly because they undermine the economy little by little and, at the same time, distort the picture and make it difficult for action to be taken. Without dwelling on the unfolding of the crisis, it was a great ladder for the space to become the ideal stage for social unrest and the fertile ground for conservative ideas to gain popularity. In this scenario of the mediocre Jair Bolsonaro, the lost left cannot align itself in the recovery of credibility to overthrow a shallow, grotesque candidate, but with an indisputable fascist apparatus.
The central discourse of the “pocketnarist” phenomenon revolves around the cry against corruption, a recurrent political deviation in Brazil, but wisely evidenced by the right, in leftist governments. From the conquest of popular indignation through the appealing anti-corruption speech and fomenting hatred for the left and the other connections attributed to it, such as communism, social movements, feminism, it is easy to contaminate a society with a double moral standard, with the ideas of racism, homophobia and religious fundamentalism.
Bolsonaro set up an anti-communist discourse without any basis of real experience that the country has lived in the light of a communist system. He used and abused Brazilian political ignorance and demonized the Workers' Party-today much more aligned to a center than to the root left-and moved a considerable portion of the country to antagonize parties and movements aligned with leftist sectors. Clearly instrumentalized - as it is clear that the president is not capable of any kind of political project by himself - he showed a staunchly neoliberal economic plan, privatizing and totally open to foreign investments, which makes him a perfect manager to represent the interests of the classes dominant. On the other hand, he knew - or was instructed to be identified with the braggadocio
of the rude man - easily found among the masses, creating a zone of identification.
The appeal to military police repression made it pleasant to the poorest, already tired of the double violence that they suffer from criminal factions and institutional corporations, understanding that being under the whip of the State is safer than the drug dealer's rifle, in a kind of sublimation that, by making them think of themselves as "good people", also made them see themselves as participants in the elitist political project, via the conservative agenda, of pocketbookism.
Furthermore, it also made women's freedom an affront to the behavior established by religious denominations and, therefore, an appeal for us to be “beautiful, modest and at home”. Its association with the most reactionary sectors of Christianity, whether Catholic or Evangelical, aims not only at the reestablishment of a pseudo-morality, the dehumanization of sexual behavior; the persecution of individuals of different sexual orientations; the persecution of other religions; ethnic persecutions; the denial theories of our tarnished historical past; the disrespect for culture and science - but I think it is a much more perverse project and part of an imperialist process as well. Colonization is no longer just territorial, but ideological.
Gilliam Nauman Iqbal* graduated in History from the State University of Maranhão (UEMA), post-graduated in Sociology of Maranhão Interpretations, student of Photojournalism at Cruzeiro do Sul College, President of the Institute of Studies and Solidarity for Palestine Razan al Najjar -MA, Muslim activist, feminist, member of the Palestinian Arab youth Sanaúd, member of the national coordination of the Islamic Solidarity Committees.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Gilliam Nauman Iqbal