This article discusses the unfolding of protests in Brazil in 2013—between fear of the government and the joy of the multitude—starting from the question of how they reached such a large scale. Using the autonomist concept of class composition, the essay analyzes the transition of the struggle from a social composition to a political composition. The argument hypothesizes that the recomposition occurred during the political and social phenomenon of Lulism (as theorized by André Singer, Jessé Souza, Guiseppe Cocco, and others) and has intensified the internal paradox of Lulist-Dilmist governance and its material bases. In this sense, recomposition occurred through the activation of political capacities and antagonisms that—having neither escaped nor been captured by the representative Left and any other electoral fronts—ultimately conferred a class character on the protests. The article concludes by discussing the centrality of direct action for sustaining and multiplying the protests, which spread like a plague in the city, revealing the truth of power (war) and triggering new processes of the production of subjectivity.
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Bruno Cava; When Lulism Gets Out of Control. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 October 2014; 113 (4): 846–855. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-2804190
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