The emerging national-multipolar culture

Image: Dalila Dalprat


A Global South cultural revolution is absolutely necessary. It should aim to decolonize the West

“I don’t even want my life from the invaders!” (José Azueta, Mexico, 21/04/1914).


To begin this essay, I quote the following lines from the poem “Scenario”, present in the book Romance of Inconfidence (1953), by the Rio poet, Cecília Meireles:

“I see a form in the air rise serenely:
vague form, of detached time.
It's the Ensign's hand, waving from afar.
Eloquence of a simple farewell:
"Goodbye! I’m going to work for everyone!…”

(This goodbye shakes my life.)” (MEIRELES, 1979, p. 15)

Comparatively, consider the fragment below Othello, a tragedy by Shakespeare, Act 1, Scene I, written three hundred and fifty years before Romance of inconfidence:

“Heaven is witness:
 I am not moved by duty or friendship,
but, without revealing it, only the interest
If the exterior shows of my acts
 translate your reasons to me
of the heart in manifest traits,
I would wear my heart on my sleeve,
to throw him to the rooks. Be sure:
I'm not what I am
(SHAKESPEARE, p. 19-20, s/d)).

Before analyzing the relationship that I will make between the two cited fragments, I propose an dialogue with two theorists, namely: with Raymond Willians, from Modern Tragedy (2002); is with the Palestinian intellectual, Edward Said, from Culture and imperialism (1993)

From the first, I borrow his concept of tragedy, conceived as follows: tragedy comes before the tragic event, its effect, as it is immanent in institutional arrangements, with their conventions and experiences, structured by the sign of exclusion and violence. For example, capitalism is a mode of production with an absolutely tragic structural-institutional arrangement because in it capital accumulates power and wealth at the expense of collective and individual work, including the enslaved (unpaid) labor of nature.

The consequence of this architecture of domination, to refer to an excerpt from the lyrics of the Communist International, is the following: the capitalist mode of production is a tragic “narrow cave”, for bourgeoisie and workers, with the substantive difference related to the fact that, within the scope of social relations of production, it is always the working class that presents itself as the conventional object of tragic experiences, as it is an exploited, dehumanized class.

From the second, with Said de Culture and imperialism, the central question to be developed is related to the existence of an imperialist culture, from which not even authors like Shakespeare escaped, for two reasons: (i) due to the pure and simple fact of writing in English, he became a representative of British imperialism in the making, even if it didn't know it or want it; (ii) because, despite the aesthetic quality of his literary production, he shaped in his plays the tragic structure of Western oligarchic empires, projecting them at the same time as an aesthetic and political unconscious for the constitution and formation of British imperialism.

With regard to point ii, exemplary is the piece Hamlet (1599), the English playwright's best-known and most famous. Its tragic plot revolves around the murder of Hamlet's father carried out by his uncle, Claudio, in order to usurp the throne, in consortium with none other than the queen herself.

Murdered, the father becomes the Ghost, a character who, in Act I, Scene V, begs revenge on his son in the following terms: “Do not allow the royal bed of Denmark to become a cot of incest and lust” (SHAKESPERE, 1992, p. 61), highlighting this affective charge at the end of the passage: “Remember me” (SHAKESPERE, 1992, p.6).

If, in dialogue with Sigmund Freud, there is, in dreams, manifest content, that which is dreamed; and the primary content, that which is repressed and hidden by the first, through processes of displacement and condensation, I defend the existence of a tragic architecture in Hamlet constituted by two planes: (a) the Oedipal and manifest, marked by the father's affective appeal (remember me); (b) the primary content relating to wars of conquest and expansion of kingdoms, empires, imperialism, represented by Fortimbrás, the prince of Norway and the ambassadors of England.

Now, considering that the foreground is constituted as a “narrow den”, its conventions and tragic experiences are the fertile field for occurrences of tragedies based on guilt, punishment, jealousy, confessional deception and self-deception, limited by the father Oedipal triangle, mother, son and their no less Oedipal redundancies that swirl from the mirage of a filiation system that replicates the father (in the substitutes Claudius, Hamlet, father and potential king), the mother (the unfaithful queen and her virtual age substitute, Ophelia ), in the future of new heirs, considering the prospect of Hamlet's marriage to Ophelia.

In its intimate and familistic processes of displacement and condensation, the play's vengeful Oedipal plot produces its tragic effects with the involuntary murder of Polonius, Ophelia's father, carried out by Hamlet, with Ophelia's suicide, with fury, in the name of honor, of Laertes, until reaching the conclusion of the plot, in Act V, with the slaughter scene in which everyone takes revenge and kills each other, highlighting the triumph of the tragic second plane with the following order from the almost dead Hamlet to Horace: “I die, Horace ; the poison now dominates almost my entire spirit; I cannot live to know what comes to us from England. However, I prophesy that Fortimbras will be chosen. My dying vote is also his” (SHAKESPEARE, 1992, p.400).

The play's Oedipal plane, in this way, functions as its manifest tragic content, so that the primary is none other than this: the kingdom of expanded England, which also includes Denmark and Norway, will be all the more victorious and unbeatable the more it is to war against other empires and nations, not being able to waste time with palace intrigues. Its structurally tragic institutions and conventions must be organized to expand territories, colonize, plunder, exterminate and enslave people. There is no room for metaphysical aporias in the style of the Hamlet monologue of “to be or not, that is the question”.

With Raymond Williams, with Said and with Freud, the tragic arrangement of imperial or imperialist culture is the primary content of Western civilization, based on expansion and war of plunder and colonization, that (im)pure act of violence, as argued by Franz Fanon in The Damned of the Earth (1961). It is in this sense that it is possible to affirm that Shakespeare was a playwright of English proto-imperialism and became the unrepeatable and extraordinary author that he is because he knew how to express singularly and realistically the dialectic between the manifest content and the primary content of modern tragedy, converging, at flower of socius, Anglo-Saxon imperialist culture and politics in many acts and its multiple scenes that are at once Oedipal and warlike, and always tragic.

Having presented the theoretical scenario of analysis, I reach the objective of this essay: to analyze three forms of culture, imperialist, focusing on unipolar American ultra-imperialism; the anti-imperialist, based on national sovereignty, necessarily multipolar; and finally Oedipal culture, the result of oligarchic manipulation and heir to the formation of Western patriarchy, with its tragic axiom linked to the creation of private property, the State of private relations of production; and the monogamous family, a no less neurotic-tragic effect of the patrilineal privatization of sexuality and offspring procreation, an argument elaborated in dialogue with the book The origins of the family, private property and the State (1884), by Friedrich Engels.

Western cultures and modes of production

Culture is not a separate segment of economics and politics, because, in this way, in convergence with Félix Guattari and Suely Rolnik de Micropolitics: cartography of desire (1986, 15), will necessarily be a reactionary culture, even when experienced within an erudite, popular or mass culture, because, once separated from the totality of social being, it necessarily becomes powerless, easily manipulated by the culture of the class that holds material and, therefore, spiritual power. It is also not to be confused with civil society, conceptualized by Terry Eagleton of Idea of ​​culture (2011) as what we live by, because, in the same way, it is also subsumed, segmented.

Yes, there are cultures (popular, erudite, mass, identitarian, resistance, alternative, emerging) and all of them are in a dialectical relationship with the dominant culture of a time, which is the culture immanent in socioeconomic formations located in space and in time; a culture of political economy and, thus, of the typologies of concrete, real social relations of production. Greco-Roman civilization engendered, in the process, an oligarchic culture that, over time, became aristocratic, an effect that is still tragic from the idleness provided by militarist expansion and the imposition of slave production relations.

The so-called erudite culture in general was constituted as a system of prosody (supposedly cultured speech, intonation, rhythm) and gestures that amalgamated, with the advent of alphabetic writing, the mystified model of literate culture.

The socioeconomic formation of the kingdom of capital is the basis of a historical-cultural materialism of the universalization of commodity fetishism, as well as the political economy of the culture of social relations of production based on exchange values, whose slogan, by the very fact of to exist, hegemonically, is to: hide, subsume, make unfeasible the culture of use values ​​of the working class and nature, this tragedy of tragedies of bourgeois civilization, affecting, with an infinity of tragic occurrences, all of humanity and the planet's ecosystems, since it is always work alienated from its individual and collective social-economic production that is made invisible, including the work of nature – and work is natural-social culture.

Finally, there is the culture of the imperialist phase of capital and above all of Anglo-Saxon colonialism, capitalism and imperialism, dominant for four hundred years; English, at first; and the North American from the 2th century onwards, mainly after the XNUMXnd World War. This culture is inseparable from the irrationality of monopoly capital and the financial oligarchy/aristocracy. Its distinctive feature, in terms of imperialist culture, is related to the subsumption it carries out of previous Western oligarchic cultures, being at the same time metacapitalist, metacolonial and meta-Greco-Roman.

It is, therefore, a plastic-mercantile culture, fundamentally revisionist and artificial, making use of both the flows of domination, such as racism, machismo, Nazism, fascism, and the flows related to the struggles for the emancipation of peoples, anti-patriarchal, anti-macho flows, bodily sovereignty, gender autonomy, because, with Octavio Ianni de Imperialism and culture of violence in Latin America (1970), “imperialism is exercised through the most varied techniques of violence” (IANNI, 1974, p. 96), as it is a “system that carries out the most advanced stages of the structures of domination and appropriation of capitalism” (IANNI ,1974, p.96).

Culture/cultus of US ultra-imperialism

According to Alfredo Bosi in colonization dialectic (1992, p. 11), the word culture has as its etymological origin the “Latin verb colo, whose past participle is cultus and the future participle is culturus”. The first is related to the past and the cult of the dead; the second, in turn, to the real process of the development of culture, implying, dialectically, past, present and future, especially considering culture as praxis, as a constituted and constituent dimension, considering what we fight for, as Antonio Gramsci pointed out in Literature and national life (1950), with the purpose of stating that national literature, if new, in terms of culturus, needs to be related to the struggle for a national and popular culture, involved with the history of the people, their challenges in terms of expressive self-sufficiency, inseparable from the economic and political dimension, on a daily basis.

Precisely during the period of struggle for independence in Latin American countries and taking advantage of this emancipatory effervescence, in the first decades of the 1823th century, as a unity of contradiction, in Latin America for more than two hundred years these challenges are related to the following death sentence imposed by the Monroe Doctrine of 2: “The Americas belong to the Americans!” After World War II, Harry Truman globalized it, in war-torn Greece, by declaring “The world belongs to the USA!” This is the setting of the strategic complex of the cultural dimension of the contemporary, the reason for the symbolic value of the verses of Romance of Inconfidence by Cecília Meireles “It’s the Ensign’s hand, which waves from afar. Eloquence of a simple farewell: Goodbye! I’m going to work for everyone!”

The tragic institutional and conventional arrangement inaugurated by the Truman Doctrine demands an anti-imperialist focus from peoples and countries, in order to, like Ensign Tiradentes by Cecília Meireles, position themselves at the time of day, working for everyone. The struggle, therefore, for the culture of national sovereignty must necessarily be anti-imperialist and especially anti-anthropic, especially because the actually existing, neoliberal capitalism has the image and similarity of American ultra-imperialism.

With this I would like to say that we cannot talk about capitalism in an abstract way, nor about the bourgeoisie and workers. If what defines capitalism is the private ownership of means of production, for the production of fetishized goods and services, with its primus inter pares, money, this in no way means that there is only one possible capitalism. There is, on the contrary, n possibilities of tragic cultures of capital, considering the finite limits of the Earth in the metabolism with nature and the Western oligarchic tradition, from which Monsieur capital derived.

The capitalism that really exists, published since the 2GM, is that of the capital-dollar-m-dollar fossil (dollar, oil, dollar), with one foot in the cultural industry of lies and endless intrigue; and the other in its industrial-military complex, in view of the shift from the Technical-Scientific-Informational Revolution (the Third), to the Fourth, relating to scientific advances around nanotechnology and genetic engineering, with the possible projection of constitution , in fact, of the post-human, chipped, with each having its own barcode.

I adjectived “the capitalism that really exists”, the American, with the past participle of the verb edit, edited, in the previous paragraph, because I wanted it to become the hook for resuming the dialogue envisaged with Othello of Shakespeare, especially considering Ensign Iago, from the play, a character completely different from Ensign Tiradentes, by Cecília Meireles. If this is what “I work for everyone” says in the heroic-epic poem by the Rio poet; he is the one who confesses “neither duty/nor friendship moves me”, warning the nobleman Rodrigo, his interlocutor, “be sure:/ I am not what I am”.

Heir of English imperialism, the (American) ultra can be defined as Iago to the infinitesimal, completely cynical, scheming, artifice, never being what he says he is or does, using duty and friendship as pretexts that can be edited to infinity because he effectively does not fulfill agreements and has no friends either.

Pulling the threads of the way Raymond Williams defines the real plasticity, in process, of an effectively dominant culture, in dialogue with his essay “Base and superstructure in the theory of Marxist culture”, the American acts “in the real social process of which it depends” (WILLIAMS, 2005, p. 53) and this process endlessly incorporates the meanings, values ​​and experiences of different cultures, absorbing them, editing them, reworking them, like a film in real time, of one’s own confabulated life, similar to the beginning of Act IV of Othello, in view of the following passage in which Iago instills jealousy in the Moor, Othello, instigating him to believe that Cassio, his lieutenant, would be the lover of Desdemona, his wife: “Work , my poison! It works! That's how we catch gullible idiots. And it is thus, too, that many worthy and chaste ladies, without fail, remain talked about” (SHAKESPEARE, s/d, p. 108-109).

North American hegemony is inseparable from the private appropriation of humanity's mode of cultural production, via the cultural industry, articulating it so that within it, living it as its own culture, the work that takes place in one's own life, because culture is Life is the work of poisoning yourself, entangled in your Oedipal plot, which is nothing more than a (self)orchestrated tragedy. It was by analyzing culture as a material dimension of life, based on historical materialism, that Williams, depriving the mechanistic relationship between “determining structure and determined superstructure”, defined culture as the base because, for the critic, “The base is the real existence of man” (WILLIAMS, 2005, p.47); and man is his culture.

In this aspect resides the strategic complex of the cultural production mode of American ultra-imperialism, eager and plastic, like Iago, to incorporate the most different forms of culture, transforming them into raw material for new commodities and cultural artifacts laboriously configured, such as Horses. Troy, to instigate, through desire, people, their genders, their ethnicities, their religions, values, perspectives, class, ancestries; people, to work, in the concrete dimension of existence, poisoned by their intrigues and fake news.

the author of Modern tragedy conceptualized and dialectically analyzed, in addition to the plastic aspects of dominant culture, two other forms of culture: residual and emerging. This was described by him as marked by new meanings, values, new practices; defining it as follows: “By residual I mean some experiences, meanings and values ​​that cannot be expressed in terms of the dominant culture, are, nevertheless, lived and practiced as residues – both cultural and social – of previous social formations” (WILLIAMS , 2005, p. 56).

I argue, by the way, that the so-called mass culture should be defined as a national-global mosaic of residual and emerging cultures incorporated by the American cultural industry, transforming them into cultus of exchange values ​​that (work, my poison) simulate use or community values, as is the example of neo-Pentecostalism today; It is culturus, considering the second, emerging ones, equally captured by fetishized relationships (my poison also works here), of everything that is a legitimate desire for bodily autonomy, emancipation, care, as is the case today in culture Woke.

In any case, the dominant culture of Yankee ultra-imperialism is in fact the culture of primary content that, like Iago, seeks to transform residual and emergent cultures into Oedipal or manifest content cultures (work, my poison).

The dominant culture of the USA reached its peak during the Third Industrial Revolution, fighting side by side the revolutionary cultures of the socialist axis, with the vanguard of the USSR and China. A revolutionary culture is more than an emerging culture, especially if marked by historical successes, as is the case with the October Revolution of 1917 and the Celestial Empire of 1949.

Another form of poison is proved through it; the poison of the culture of primary content as that for which one fights based on the rationality of collective work, in a decolonizing key, overcoming the yoke of the oppressors of its historical present and the entire past, although life is now, towards the after ; and the eternal return of Oedipal culture is the only thing that is repeated, with stylized mannerisms from ancient novelties.

From the period of the Second Industrial Revolution, under British rule, to the emergence of the Third, the world was shaken by the emergence of the imperialist phase of capital, the advent of the 1GM, as at once primary content (on the side of the Anglo-Saxons) and from the Soviets; and content manifest on the side of the Austro-Hungarian, Germanic and Ottoman empires.

What followed afterwards was the British-American intrigue (Iago style, work, my poison) around the colonial culture of losers, the manipulated cradle of fascism, Nazism and Francoism, leading to the 2GM against above all the revolutionary culture of the USSR that , having won not without immense human and material costs, had to continually face the First American Cold War, based entirely on the incorporated emerging culture of rebellious, anarchist youth, supposedly emancipated from the weight of tradition and the adult world.

In this context, the Soviets could not withstand the pressure. They were finally defeated by the 1991 coup d'état, with Gorbachev's betrayal, motivated by the propagandistic seduction of the culture of American way of life. On the other hand, China also had to give in, moving away from the Soviets and moving closer to the USA – the Panda bear's period of hibernation – from the 70s onwards.

History does not always repeat itself, however, as a farce of everyday tragedy, when the revolution emerges from the crises caused by the emergence of new productive forces. China and Russia (former USSR) recover the ground lost due to defeat in the context of the First Cold War, competing for the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with Moscow's military and Beijing's economic-technological vanguard.

Multipolar culture has become emerging and disputes the future based on the fight for full national sovereignty, based on the process of import substitution and exchange between countries in the Global South, with emphasis on Brics +, the Organization for Cooperation of Shanghai and the Eurasian Economic Union.

The emerging culture of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is, of course, up for grabs. The western-unipolar side, led by the USA, is at an economic-military disadvantage. However, one cannot underestimate the Iago-Yankee, who achieved global hegemony from the 2nd World War through dominating the means of cultural production and, thus, capturing the residual, emerging and even revolutionary cultures of the people, reissuing them in counter-revolutionary and entirely revisionist way.

In this context, it still has two advantages accumulated within the historical materialism of the Third Industrial Revolution, especially considering its specialty, namely: editing and re-editing, with the winds of history, lifestyles that are dominantly reactionary today, such as those that they concern the remastered return of neo-fascism and neo-Nazism, alongside the residual culture of the 30s; and on the side of incorporating the emerging culture, called woke, re-elaborating them (work, my poison) and contrasting them in real time, through the dominance of media platforms fake news of Silicon Valley, especially considering GAFA, an acronym for Google, Amazon, Facebook, Appel, with the vanguard of space colonization led by Musk's SpaceX, with six thousand satellites in orbit and another six thousand on the way, followed further behind by the owner of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, as analyzed by Silva Ribeiro in the excellent article "The landowners will reach you".

The second advantage is directly related to the first: the material colonization of culture, this concrete dimension of life, its desire, within the scope of beings, relocating them at the interface between the physical, digital and biological world, always confabulating against the people , against life, in the style of full-spectrum warfare, which also includes the unprecedented advance of biological warfare, as the Russian Ministry of Defense has demonstrated in relation to the most sinister and diverse scientific experiments in the world. biowar plan, an axis from which the aim is to discard the global working class, replacing it with robotics, artificial intelligence and connection in / out from humans to the Internet of Things, not to say planetary Internet, a kind of geointernt of full-spectrum virtualization and digitization, online; in atomic cloud.

Revolutionary culture of the Global South versus cultus the death

The Global South needs, by the way, to be more effectively proactive in the context of the cultural battle within the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The strategic complex of the cultural dimension of the people must come into action in a way that is not only defensive, as has been the case in Russia today, with the valorization of its residual culture prior to the Soviet period, but mainly emerging and even revolutionary. It is always necessary to be on time, as in his time Mao Tse-Tung was leading the bold Chinese Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976, incomparable in every way with the French-European cultural shift of May 68, which, in truth, did not it went from a color revolution against France under General Charles de Gaulle, which accumulated gold stocks with the aim of abandoning the dictatorship of the Bretton Woods dollar-gold system.

A cultural revolution in the Global South is, therefore, absolutely necessary. It must aim to decolonize the West, especially the Oedipal system (work, my poison) of American cultural domination, which has produced a petit-bourgeois left, with its fingers raised, anti-Marxist and pro-imperialist; a tragic mass culture, which trivializes and infantilizes people; an education system without a national foundation, as well as a dependent university structure with its back to the urgent challenges of its true financiers, the people, replicating demagogic and divisive theories; not to mention the spread of religious fundamentalisms that have intoxicated a significant part of humanity, making them adept at pre-modern obscurantisms, paradoxically connected to GAFA, triggering biblical Zionist psychopathies and returns to promised lands, outside of history and, thus, Arcadian and vulnerable to the whims of the sovereign of the time, as Cecília Meireles well described in the poem entitled “Romance XX or From the country of Arcádia: “The country of Arcádia/lies within a fan:/it exists or ends/according to the decree/the Dona that the aperture/ the Fate that closes it” (MEIRELES,1979,63).

It is therefore necessary, for an effective struggle for a national-multipolar revolutionary culture, to abandon “the country of Arcadia”, which, in terms of this essay, is the country of the manifest content elaborated by the dominant culture of American ultra-imperialism, dividing itself, to better divide us, in culture Woke pseudo-emergent and neo-fascist culture. These two cultures are opposites that attract each other; an arrangement of values, institutions and meanings that are absolutely tragic for two inseparable reasons: (i) they are two Oedipal cultures (work, my poison) that feed and feed each other, fomenting hatred between their militant plots; (ii) they serve, the more they agitate and work (with the venom of Yankee Iago) to combat, in real time, the struggle for a national-multipolar popular culture, without which the image of the fan of the verses cited from Romance of inconfidence, in which the “country of Arcadia” lies, will be the deposit or common cesspool of a culture, that of ultra-imperialism, which can no longer emerge, culturus, for having become cultus to the death of humanity.

And this revolutionary national-multipolar culture, as an emerging culture, as culturus, you cannot abandon the cultus to the epic of a Cunhambebe, a Zumbi dos Palmares, a Dandara, a Chico-Rei, a Chica da Silva, a Tiradentes, a Francisco Julião, a Frei Tito, a Bete Mendes, a Chico Mendes and so many others whose goodbyes must shake the challenges of the soul of our national-multipolar present, on the path to the socialism of the peoples.

*Luis Eustáquio Soares He is a professor at the Department of Literature at the Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES).


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