I confirm the article that Fátima Bonifácio (FB) published in this newspaper on November 2nd as a virtue of clarity. The author answers the question of what kind of relationship the conservative right (which she describes as “classic”) should establish with the xenophobic and racist extreme right in four sentences (although not necessarily in the following order).
“Democracies, and especially Portugal, are facing such problems today […] they seem insoluble. “Portugal needs” a top-down dam “but the truth is that” a large part of Europe has become ungovernable “in the face of peoples’ unrest which is” increasingly difficult to satisfy “. In other words, democracy as a political system is no longer able to overcome its own crisis and is tormented by stagnation and impotence.
At the heart of the difficulties is the ineffectiveness of the elections in ensuring a “liberal and democratic but strong” response to the scale of the problems. How can one combine, asks FB, “reformism and popularity and election victory” when solutions for popularity with “strong” governance have rarely been developed in Europe? In other words, to be clear, the violence and the scale of the “reforms” required (which the author has deliberately avoided) are incompatible with free and democratic elections.
It’s even worse in the Portuguese elections. A text by his colleague Rui Ramos on the presidential elections shows that the country only votes on the left because it is chained to the client state created by the PS. As Ramos orders and FB confirms, “the state is on the left, but the country is not”. Contrary to what the election results suggest, the author explains, the country is not mostly left-wing, it is “colonized by the left”. Trump wouldn’t say it better.
In other words, in Portugal, elections would no longer be a way of legitimizing political power. They do not express the true will of the voters, which only Ramos and FB know what it is. Back to the ancient tropes of reactionary ultramontanism of the 20s and 30s of the last century, this new conservative right is attributed to the gift of knowing what people really want, due to a mysterious natural order of things (“send who can”) what is the true meaning of the “nation’s interest” and even the duty to impose the harsh means of “national redemption” and “barrels” on the country itself against itself. Everything goes from here.
Although the author is running away from explaining to herself what she really proposes as a political solution, her argument is that of the basis of a subversive strategy of the current constitutional and democratic order. Like Chega
And it’s worth it. FB notes that in the presence of democracy, “the law has not been able to enforce (in reality what it is) with good manners and quiet talking”. It is therefore the time for the brutalization of politics, the time for Chega’s “ways”, for the xenophobic and racist right to act as a “front line” to pave the way for a “classical law” that frankly classifies Author as “democratic and above all – liberal”. It remains to be seen whether this quasi-military language is rhetorical or not … Were it not customary for FB not to notice, FB insists that Chega is the only right-to-left party with something new to offer .
The problem is that this new one is old and scary. All of this is a regression: the electoral disqualification is the gateway to this new breed of “illiberal” dictatorships, which confuse autocracy with neoliberalism at large. The catastrophic discourse about the impossibility of democracy and even the country has been an ideological preface to all political attacks on freedom and democracy in the 20th century since the end of the 19th century. Although the author is running away from explaining to herself what she really proposes as a political solution, her argument is that of the basis of a subversive strategy of the current constitutional and democratic order. Like Chega.
I agree with FB on one thing. As a FB to the agonizing question “Where do we find heads that lead us?” With Chega responding as a guide, he confirms his own diagnosis of the “demise of intellectual creativity and political imagination” in Europe. And in Portuguese “classical law”.
The author writes according to the new orthographic convention