Bolsonarist dystopia

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By RICARDO MANOEL DE OLIVEIRA MORAIS*

Death, lies, contempt, indifference as projects of a government

I believe that most readers have already read a dystopian book (such as the work Admirable new world) or watched a movie (like v for Vendetta ou Hunger Games) with this theme. People normally live in a reality in which all individuals are subject to a highly oppressive process, which dominates not only the way they dress, but also their thoughts and expressions. There is a despotic government that has managed to create a social imaginary in which most individuals recognize the regime or are unable to vocalize their disagreements. But this is not pure and simple repression. Individuals see themselves in the regime. As Foucault says, the subject becomes watchers not only of others, but of themselves.

A common feature of all these dystopias seems to be a certain “normalization of the absurd”. In the work of Aldous Huxley, for example, the imperative of happiness is normalized, which ceases to be something ephemeral and becomes the result of a drug. Death is normalized, which becomes a programmed (literally) and mass event. The emptiness of a life that revolves around everyday tasks is normalized, a vacuum that is not felt due to the aforementioned drug. The presence of a State in almost all segments of life is also normalized, accepted by people's unconscious ideologization. The State becomes part of culture, policing what is and what is not cultural. The State becomes part of education, filtering what is “neutral” or “non-party” and what is not.

The disappearance of people who do not fit this model of society is also normalized. And what is most intriguing about these dystopias is precisely the fact that people simply accept everything passively, and that is when they are not faithful defenders of the absurd. The question I would pose is the following: are we really that far from a dystopia?

The question is the result of an anguish that, sometimes, seems to be able to be erased only by something that would be close to the drug “soma” (and, here, I understand “soma” not as the aforementioned dystopia drug, but as a deliberate alienation ). I explain.

We see a social context in which people hold individual or collective demonstrations calling for the closure of the National Congress, the closure of the Federal Supreme Court, military intervention, as well as death marches. These individuals rely on the democratic freedom of expression of thought to call for the end of democracy. That is, they manifest thought to claim that thought cannot be manifested. And the most curious thing about all this is that manifestations of this content have been taking place since 2015. The dystopian pinch of the moment is that we are in the midst of a pandemic that has already killed hundreds of thousands of people in Brazil alone and there are citizens who, consciously, aim the death. Furthermore, voices argued (and still argue) that it would be okay if a few thousand died.

We also see a President of the Republic whose speeches make it clear that there is, on his part, no appreciation for the democratic regime and people's lives. More than 250 people have already died. We are the second country with the highest number of deaths. Nevertheless, his statements go beyond the bounds of the abject. He doesn't even try to hide his dictatorial pretensions. After the "I'm going to intervene" episode came out, he didn't even try to fix his words. The former President of the Chamber of Deputies says he does not see crimes of responsibility on the part of the head of government.

We see a group of Ministers of State taking part in a clear political project of disregard for public health and education policies, deliberately placing themselves as part of a genocide. Now, a Minister who agrees to impose a medical protocol based on the use of a medicine without scientific proof; does not establish coordinated measures to curb the spread of the disease and reduce the number of thousand daily deaths; he leaves the separate budget to face the pandemic, it cannot be said that he is concerned with people's health or lives. On the contrary, he seems to want just the opposite.

With regard to education, we witnessed a (brief) Minister who did not seem to be able to manage a salary account. We lived together, for more than a year, with another who was clearly inept. We saw a quasi-minister lie on his resume. If that wasn't enough, the government tried to boycott FUNDEB, ideologically criticized the role of Public Universities and constantly attacked the profession of teachers.

Also in this dystopian scenario we see an infinity of other absurdities: sharing of scenes from golden shower; clear evidence of the Bolsonaro family's practice of cracking and money laundering, as well as its involvement with militias and death squads; the receipt of 89 thousand reais by the First Lady, micheque; an inability to make quick and serious decisions; an environmental policy that has deforestation as a goal; the government's involvement in a reputation-destroying scheme through the so-called hate cabinet; government supporters bullying a 10-year-old girl who was raped; the Minister of Economy saying that books should be taxed because they are products of the elite.

And even in the face of all that, what's going on? Absolutely nothing. We passively watch the absurd consolidate itself as acceptable. And the popularity of the current government remains. Yes. A government that chose to destroy life, education, access to reading, the environment, the dignity of child victims of barbaric crimes. A government that deliberately spreads false news and information. A government that decided to close its eyes to the indigenous reality. A government that did not want to make the existential minimum possible for families during the pandemic. Yes, it is a “popular” government.

And this is dystopia. We have death, lies, contempt, indifference as government projects. Wrong seem to be those who do not agree.

*Ricardo Manoel de Oliveira Morais He holds a PhD in Political Law from UFMG.

 

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