“The revolution we are living”

Gabriel Feltran


This article presents three ethnographic scenes extracted from Brazilian urban life, the earliest dating from 2013. It reflects on the rise of the extreme right in contemporary Brazil, a process that shares similarities with what takes place in many parts of the world. I argue that specific types of militarism, anti-intellectualism, and entrepreneurial monetarism became a part of the daily lives of different social classes as three discursive matrices of a mass movement. Major sectors of the religious world, of the police and military, as well as the professional world and the financial market, offered a political-electoral program for this movement, resulting in Jair Bolsonaro’s victory. This movement of the masses aims to destroy the current political system, perceived as degenerate, and substitute for it a new order, which will produce a new man. The social conflict instilled by this program does not fundamentally organize itself as class struggle, although, paradoxically, it creates them under the guise of a “struggle.” Theoretically, I am interested in the role of daily life and daily conflicts in structuring regimes of power.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/708628