The war against everyone

Image_Elyeser Szturm

By Joelma Pires*

The maintenance of the myth in power represents the cowardice and perversity of a narcissistic society that recognizes in it its project of realization

When men break with the possibility of politics, whose condition is dialogue based on argumentation for the objective of democracy that envisions the common good, then, the action that allows the existence of plurality is interrupted. Once the rupture has materialized, reality is dominated by barbarism that manifests itself as limitless cruelty, with tolerance and encouragement of violence. In times of barbarism, respect for what is different is ignored and war prevails against everyone who does not agree with the ideology that expresses the hegemony of a restricted group of equals articulated for the exercise of power without restrictions. To this end, this group legitimizes the apology of crime with the irony of fools, as a solution to its impotence for the practice of democracy, it imposes its improbable virility through the use of weapons. In this situation, the truly human experience of men who collectively share the world with the responsibility of guaranteeing singular public participation with a centrality on political freedom is made unfeasible. Contempt for politics is rejection of the human world of plurality, equality and freedom, which is committed to the dignity of all.

According to Arendt (1998), politics deals with the coexistence between the different, since it is based on the plurality that surpasses the personal life of each one. The perversion of the political thing annuls the basic quality of plurality through the kinship that indicates the organization of political bodies as a family. “In this form of organization, the original diversity is effectively extinguished as well as the essential equality of all men […]” (ARENDT, 1998, p. 22).

Man is fulfilled in politics only when those who are different guarantee themselves equal rights (ARENDT, 2018). The guarantee of equal rights to those who are different indicates that man orients himself in the public sphere, in which the human world can be constituted. The individual who does not behave in accordance with the common world has no responsibility and interest in this world and, therefore, the existence of the other is of little importance to him. By disregarding the common world, his conduct corroborates the expansion of the domestic private sphere into the public sphere of politics. As Arendt (1998, p. 53) reminds us, “[…] we can only reach the public world common to all of us – which, in the end, is the political space – if we distance ourselves from our private existence and the family connection with which we live. our life is connected […]”.

Arendt differentiates the private sphere from the public sphere as two distinct forms of social existence that reveal two different forms of participation in society. According to Arendt (1989), everything that concerns private life permanently threatens the public sphere, because while the private sphere is based on the law of universal distinction and differentiation, the public sphere is based on the law of equality. Equality is not given to us, it results from human organization and is guided by the principle of justice by virtue of our decision to guarantee reciprocally equal rights.

The Arendtian interpretation of Antunes (2020) clarifies that the private sphere is that of the family, which favors kinship and friendship relationships. In this sphere, man is deprived of political action, as there is no free and rational discussion, since the head of the family exercises despotic power over his subordinates, expressing force and violence. Even more, in the private sphere, domination prevails to ensure the personal interests of the group of equals. On the contrary, the public sphere is the domain of political life that is exercised with the mediation of action and discourse, and thus, the power of the word replaces the strength and violence of the private sphere, affirming freedom.

According to Arendt (1998), the meaning of politics is freedom. “[…] La liberté est la raison d'être de la politique […]” (ARENDT, 1972, p. 202). When men have relations with each other in freedom, beyond force, coercion and domination, not dominating and being dominated, they recognize the meaning of politics. Man's spontaneity in expressing his opinion and listening to the opinion of others is an indispensable condition for political freedom. The world is humanized with the dialogue of men in freedom to guarantee the common good.

The despot only knows what to order and, therefore, tyranny is the worst of all forms of State and, in practice, it is always anti-political (ARENDT, 1998). In the exercise of his tyranny, the despot builds totalitarian terror as a mechanism to sustain the privilege of his group. Terror is the essence of totalitarian government. According to Arendt (1989, p. 26), the “establishment of a totalitarian regime requires the presentation of terror as a necessary instrument for the realization of a specific ideology, and this ideology must obtain the adherence of many, even the majority […] ”. The totalitarian regime has an evidently criminal character and is the most extreme form of authoritarianism. With regard to what Ebenstein (1967) adds, totalitarianism does not recognize limits or restrictions, it is the exact opposite of the democratic concept. “Totalitarianism wants everything from man, his body and his soul, and there is no human activity – political, economic, social, religious or educational – exempt from governmental control and dominion […]” (EBESTEIN, 1967, p. 18).

Chauí (2019) observes that totalitarianism imposes a homogeneous society by refusing the plurality of ways of life, behaviors, beliefs and opinions, customs, tastes and values. Therefore, totalitarianism condemns social heterogeneity. The author recognizes neoliberalism as a new form of totalitarianism that expands the logic of the market to all social and political spheres, privatizing rights, destroying solidarities and triggering exterminations.

In the current Brazilian reality, the neoliberalism that is constituted by the hegemony of the owners of financial power in a transnational scope, manifests itself as ultraneoliberalism. Ultraneoliberalism intensifies the inherent perversity of neoliberalism, trivializes barbarism and social injustice, with the maximum operational participation of the Government to make capital accumulation viable in an exorbitant way. In the Brazilian ultraneoliberalism, the Government executes the pact with the transnational financial capitalists to guarantee the over-enrichment, including illicit, of some against the rights of all. Such consonance configures the predominance of the ordinary private sphere that exacerbates domination and legitimizes social injustice, causing the exclusion and deliberate extermination of people.

The ultraneoliberal Brazilian government implements the policy of destruction against the country itself and its population, in favor of the transnational financial capitalists. Accordingly, the national elite sustains and reproduces this policy, as it associates with the aforementioned capitalists to maintain their interests. Chomsky (2020, p. 3) states that, in Brazil, the “policies being adopted are grotesque and designed to worsen the country's situation. Guedes' economic policy is to privatize everything, to ensure that the country is sold to foreign investors and to the super-rich, leaving nothing for the people”, or, at most, less than is essential. As long as the ultraneoliberal economic policy is in operation, the Brazilian elite's pact with the Government is guaranteed. It is not without reason that this elite is called, by Souza (2017), the backward elite. It is a predatory elite.

The Government as an ordinary private sphere has terror as the foundation of its ideology. Therefore, it constitutes itself as a totalitarian regime with a criminal character and has no commitment to the existence of the other. Such a government manipulates the population so that it achieves its goal of genocide. Deliberate extermination as a Government policy is inherent to society that functions as an ordinary private sphere, expanding domestic coexistence to all social relations, it is guided by the exchange of favors based on obedience to guarantee the privilege of the few against the rights of all . The society that operates as an ordinary private sphere elects the incarnation of barbarism as its leader, this acclaimed myth is the reason for its pride for presenting its face of terror. The maintenance of the myth in power represents the cowardice and perversity of a narcissistic society that recognizes in it its project of realization.

Arendt (1989) recalls that in totalitarian movements a mixture of credulity and cynicism prevails. The author states that the “essential conviction shared by all levels, from supporters to the leader, is that politics is a cheating game […]” (ARENDT, 1989, p. 432). Furthermore, in totalitarian movements, the first commandment, namely, that the leader is always right, is as necessary for the purposes of cheating as the rules of military discipline are for the purposes of war.

Above all, the Government as an ordinary private sphere operates as a totalitarian regime with a criminal character that dominates, intimidates, oppresses, excludes and, finally, kills. Men committed to the reaffirmation of the public sphere are identified as their enemies, as they exercise the policy of equality and freedom based on ethics for the common good. importing the means.

In view of the above, the Government as a private sphere values ​​conformism and standardization of behavior. In this sense, the bureaucracy assumes despotic control of social relations by rejecting the constituent action and discourse of the political community. In effect, the Government provokes the extension of the domestic private sphere to the public sphere, it projects into the public sphere the criteria that can only be valid in the private experience and, thus, the private interests of intimacy occupy the political sphere, dissolving the difference between the public and private. Consequently, politics loses the reference of democracy in the public sphere and becomes a bureaucratic will. “[…] Public life assumes a misleading aspect when it appears to constitute the totality of private interests […]” (ARENDT, 1989, p. 175).

At this juncture, dark times predominate, constituted by the action of men who lost or never had love for the world. Love of the world is called by Arendt, world love, it is the responsibility towards the world, the care for what must remain beyond ourselves, it is the collective choice for an active life policy that can only be guaranteed in the public sphere, since it is in this that the consideration between the people as indispensable to humanization for the common good. O world love, according to (Arendt, 2011), it is the common interest, the greatness of man, the honor of humanity or human dignity.

As Arendt (1987) analyzes, in dark times people show consideration only for their vital interests and their personal freedom, they enter into mutual understandings with their companions without any commitment to the world. In this way, they despise the world and the public sphere. Arendt considers that man must have the courage to problematize and break the logic of the private sphere. According to the author (1998, p. 53), “courage is the oldest of the political virtues […]”. She declares that “le courage est une des vertus politiques principales […]” (1972, p. 202). Courage is indispensable to political action, primarily, it is the foundation of the revolutionary spirit that fully expresses the world love. Courage is unavoidable. Men of courage, unite! The earth is round.

*Joelma LV Pires is a professor at the Faculty of Education at the Federal University of Uberlândia (UFU).



ANTUNES, Marco A. The public and the private in Hannah Arendt. Available in: Accessed on 25 Apr. 2020.

ARENDT, Hannah. men in dark times. Translated by Denise Bottman. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1987.

______. The crisis of culture. Huit exercices de pensée politique. Paris (France): Folio esseis, Éditions Gallimard, 1972.

______. The promise of politics. Translation by Eduardo Cañas and Fina Birulés. Barcelona (Spain): Austral / Grupo Planeta Editorial Area, 2018.

______. What is politics? Translation by Reinaldo Guarany. Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand Brazil, 1998.

______. Origins of totalitarianism. Translation by Roberto Raposo. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1989.

______. About the revolution. Translated by Denise Bottman. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2011.

CHAUÍ, Marilena. Neoliberalism: the new form of totalitarianism. Available in: Accessed on 19 Nov. 2019.

CHOMSKY, Noam. “Trump is a tragedy, Bolsonaro is a farce”. Available in: Accessed on May 1, 2020.

EBENSTEIN, William. Totalitarianism. New perspectives. Translation by Walter Pinto. Rio de Janeiro: Bloch Editores SA, 1967.

SOUZA, Jesse. The Late Elite: from slavery to Lava Jato. Rio de Janeiro: Leya, 2017.

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