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Brazil as a Laboratory of Fascist Insurrection

dateMarch 28, 2023 timeTuesday, 12:00pm EDT location Jerome Greene Hall (Law School), Room 102B, Columbia University
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • The Center for Contemporary Critical Thought
email address [email protected]
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.
Headshot of Augusto Jobim do Amaral with title of talk

To understand Brazil as a laboratory of fascist insurrection and induce a radical political discussion, mainly after the January 8 attacks, it is necessary to point out and explain at least eight combined theses: 1) the keynote of Lula’s “return”: despite winning the election, there is a reaffirmation of the consensus as a main political government strategy; 2) the January 8 facts represent a victory for fascism: once more the bolsonarism dynamics reinforced the anti-institutional power and put the elected government itself on a defensive position; 3) the deep unpacifiable condition of the Brazilian society: Brazil needs to face critique against both this reactionary forces in its insurrection phase and the tendencies concerning liberal democracies and their dynamics of institutional re-enchantment to expose greater creative power; 4) Police must end: having as its starting point the non-repetition in Brazil of the discussion on the “demilitarization of the Brazilian state”. Not only the Military Police must be stopped but an initiative toward the end of policing in Brazil must be taken seriously. In short, the pitch lies in the perennial possibility that the police present of coextensively colonizing politics; 5) “Amnesty Never Again” must resist the punitive trap: an abolitionist desire must take the lead to avoid reinvigorating what punitive power has always produced: violence, resentment, sense of injustice, as well as localized and programmed responsibility for reinforcing vulnerabilities; 6) abolition of militarized management in the Brazilian society: it must persevere for the dissolution scrapping of the Armed Forces in Brazil because they are the amalgam that organizes the constant colonization of Brazilian politics by the militarized management of the Brazilian society; 7) the undoubtable fascist root condition: what is most opportune for the laboratory of insurrection that Brazil has become is to understand and be able to really call fascism, as a libidinal regime that flattens our energies, that is, a way of life and a way of conducting our existence; 8) what our political body can do depends on the willingness to break the dynamics of behaving as guarantors of ruined institutions, from radicalizing our agendas of the “future”, so to speak, from demands that will not cease to be summoned from the impossible. Then, may moments like the one we are living in Brazil now be the trigger to open beyond the predictable, the politically projectable, and possible.


Augusto Jobim do Amaral is Full Professor in the Graduate Program in Criminal Sciences (Law School) and in the Graduate Program in Philosophy (Humanities School), both at PUCRS (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul). He is also a Visiting Scholar at the Faculty of Communication and Media at Seville University (Spain). Jobim do Amaral is the editor of "Algoritarismos" (Tirant lo Blanch, 2022) and author of "Política de la Criminología" (Tirant lo Blanch, 2022)

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