The destruction of the sacrosanct

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By MANUEL DOMINGOS NETO*

Nation is a complex community, formed by numerous social segments, differentiated and always in dispute with each other.

The Social Sciences have already demonstrated that such an entity is more than a simple manifestation of the gregarious instinct observed in “tribal” groupings. They demonstrated that it is not a “natural” result of socioeconomic development and the submission of neighbors by force, as Hitler believed. Nor is it common belief in a mythical past deliberately suggested by romanticism. Or even backed by “traditions” manufactured and imposed from the top down.

Nation is not based on ethnicities, language or religious beliefs. Nor does it result from the will or determination of the State, despite the enormous effort of political power to shape society and present itself as its legitimate expression.

A German, Otto Bauer, coined the expression “communion of destiny” to characterize the nation, a community that recognizes itself and is recognized when it foresees a promising future for its members.

Formative processes of these communities comprise the wide dissemination and appropriation of moral values, aesthetic predilections and, above all, solidarity ties, collective wills or dreams of a better life.

Benedict Anderson, an anthropologist translated into more than forty languages, demonstrated the importance of printed language in the formation of nations. Newspapers, books and music make people who don't know each other or think alike get emotional about the same things.

The reduction of social inequalities, regional disparities and the fight against ethnic discrimination are at the heart of nation building. Some distinguish between a “national question” and a “social question”. Well, even different, they are twin sisters! One cannot be “solved” without the other.

The affectionate nickname of the nation is “patria”, a Latin term that refers to the “land of the fathers”. Patriotism is the love of the place of ancestors. This is the most sublime and repulsive feeling of a collectivity. Out of love for their country, their children go berserk, killing and dying on a massive scale, as demonstrated in the world and colonial wars. Associated with the ideas of life and death, the homeland establishes itself as a sacrosanct entity.

Bolsonaro, with his bankers, generals, pastors and militiamen, is engaged in a crazy crusade to destroy the fragile structures of the Brazilian homeland.

I am not just referring to their shameful obedience to the dominant foreign power, but to those institutions and practices that played indispensable roles in building the imagined national community.

 

Funai, for example, which takes care of indigenous peoples. The relevance of these peoples to the idea of ​​national communion has been recognized since the XNUMXth century. Pedro II, seeking to incarnate it, decorated his European mantle with feathers from native birds. Writers and artists concerned with the formation of the national soul exalted indigenous motifs, even inventing “noble savages”. The ongoing mortality among the natives, annuls the perception of “humanity” and buries the primary impulse of “defending the land of the fathers”.

The Demographic Census is another indispensable tool for building the imagined community. Without having an idea of ​​how many we are, where we are, how we live and what is possible to do for everyone, it is impossible to think about community. The Census, in essence, is what enables all of this. Accounting as perfectly as possible for the social problems that disintegrate the national community is the first step in facing them. Postponing the IBGE Census once again is an effective move to weaken the homeland.

As for blocking the advancement of higher education and science, it is a fatal blow to the forehead of the sacrosanct. The modern national community is founded on the idea of ​​a promising future, whose ballast is in the incessant production of knowledge. To deny science is to deny perspective to the homeland. Judging that certain areas of scientific knowledge are more important than others is idiotic. As has been theorized a thousand times since ancient times, idiots do not grasp the constitutive processes of societies, whether elementary or complex. They ignore the knowledge production processes.

Is allowing the burning of the forest, the ecological imbalance, the death of the rivers a demonstration of love for the country? Does claiming that this was the path taken by the richest countries feed restless souls?

A general, every now and then, accuses a former chancellor of disserving the country by denouncing the use of justice abroad for political persecution. Now, fatherlands mutually condition each other! Nations do not exist alone. Without guiding principles of world coexistence, without moral restraints, the community of nations would be a Dantesque hell! What a dangerous fool this general is! It's one of those who don't know for whom the bell tolls. His patriotism is military: he dies and kills for the corporation, not for those who support it with their sweat. He loves corporate benefits, not the multifaceted community of living beings recognized as Brazilian.

Observing conversations in supermarkets and social media, I thought about the possibility of Bolsonaro uniting Brazilians around the same concerns…

What if the president gathered left, right and center, people of all creeds and ethnic origins, people from the most varied social conditions, their supporters and opponents, all around a police soap opera, like… “why Queiroz deposited money in the account from Michelle?

No, Bolsonaro, it's not like Chico Buarque's band, which makes the whole city sing happily about love.

* Manuel Domingos Neto is a retired UFC professor. He was president of the Brazilian Defense Studies Association (ABED) and vice president of CNPq..

 

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