The popularity of elected representatives



Political representatives need to understand that global information companies influence, through their ideological projects, all processes, including electoral ones.


Probably the idea of ​​popularity as known before transnational networks and platforms has disappeared as a concept capable of operating individual and collective projects. This does not prevent many people from not seeing this and insisting on not seeing it, especially people who depend on votes in the electoral system.

And when it comes to the popularity of governments, it will fluctuate as quickly as the rise and fall of opinions in the crazy system of information and data transmission, whether they are liars or truthful. Just as well-intentioned and ill-intentioned speeches have problematized due care for the people of Rio Grande do Sul, everything that revolves around the popular and popularity moves and oscillates like other concepts, such as freedom, message, narrative, all heavily mistreated and dirty.

The cybercultural and capitalist program of global action driven by the companies Amazon, Google, X, Meta, etc. gains strength and consistency, that is, building global layers of alienation, as the information that flies at gigas and teras is not informative but appealing. Alienation has become a strong power of exclusion at the turn of cyberculture.

Of course, political representatives will have to understand that global information companies (which have very little interest in communication) intend to influence and determine, based on their ideological projects, all processes, including electoral ones. Likewise, representatives need to be aware of what is happening to people, groups and organizations in this historical time. Knowing that we are experiencing cultural revolutions.

Linguists of the last century created and demonstrated a perfect organization for the functions of human language, which directly induce acts of communication between all people. In this thought there was a place for the appellative, or conative, but with presence and strength equal to the referential, poetic, phatic, metalinguistic functions and the emotion itself emitted from the speaker or writer, as we saw in the brilliant linguist Roman Jakobson and in the literature of the various languages .[I]

However, the voluptuousness of profit and power chose, in the midst of the cybernetic revolution, the function of appeal, close to convincing people at any cost, to shouting, to imperative response, regardless of polarization. It is not fashion, it is an already absorbed continuum, from which leaders, leaders, rulers or aspirants to power of any kind do not escape.

An interesting detail. In theory, this appealing world of advertising, marketing, mining and data trading around the world, carried out by global companies, could favor political appeals in the search for party and personal loyalty, which would also mean votes. But the power of this new cybercultural mining intends to go far beyond favoring this or that political trend. In fact, it wants all the power of political groups and factions to have their “tails tied” to the new miners and predators of the world and, especially, that the left-wing sectors are involved as deeply as possible in the alienation process.

Isn't that what we see today? The right is completely deluded by the projects of the new world of information, but tries to take advantage of the false idea of ​​freedom created by its supposed empty and unbiblical “theology”. The left, for its part, has already immersed itself in varying degrees of alienation and is continually losing its way. It is clear that the entire process is complex and involves knowledge and science. However, the seal of the human condition, language, is what conveys and reveals everything.

In this process, concepts dear to communication fluctuate so much that they disappear, because in the imperative appeal, profit also means imposing and denying, directing and canceling. This is where, in opposition, comes what was understood for a long time as political loyalty, also now obscured and in the process of obsolescence; perhaps capable of giving rise, if it is possible to create and maintain new resistances, to a kind of constructive thought-action bond. This may not disappear, but will be restricted to harsher forms of cultural action, constructed by people and groups in their social relations. However, such a construction will require a frank distrust of the alienating program in force and, then, a method capable of building bonds of thought and practice, which will be educational and political.

Who can share and participate in such a project? Yes, there is the chance of new political learning for people who have power based on voting. It's about building and not operating persuasions. As an exercise in deepening the arguments, it is worth demonstrating that the popularity of any elected representative probably has very little to do with political marketing, which operated a lot in societies that are more receptive and appropriative of the functions of human language than the one in which we live. Marketing will survive, as scientific knowledge, if it creates new methods within the broad concept of communication.

There have already been very strong popularity. It seems, today, that even the idea of ​​popularity among elementary and high school students is beginning to disappear or become moldy in the online game. Certainly, the manipulation of this concept was common, between searches for being a teenager and shin splints. Popular was the boy or girl with a good word, with some family power, insinuation about topics in dispute during classes and, evidently, the ability to persuade. The popular moved virtually through the homes of the non-popular and their practices distributed speeches, choices and judgments from parents, siblings, teachers and school managers.

In the end, almost nothing was left after new events that moved the seesaw of predilections or the impositions of popularity. Or when the year or period ended. Wisps. But they always had the force of political acts and, in some way, symbolized society's ways of being and doing in the space of the school apparatus. If we are capable of fierce resistance and innovative propositions, there will be no more popularity but rather new bonds-commitments.

Today, popularity does not even mean investments and expenses in exchange for the loyalty of sectors of society. Any sense of the idea of ​​an electoral promise is also dying, already turned into the binary game of yes and no, of good faith and bad faith, of the mere circumstantial obligation of elected representatives and of social achievements that actually represent needs. and desires of the populations. Therefore, far beyond the banality of billions coming from parliamentary amendments. This, regardless of the fact that people like to receive benefits for their cities and regions.

The loss of meaning of investment resulting from taxes has already reached the brains of millions of people, even the silent ones, and everything, or almost everything, is temporary in the face of the silhouette of death in the violated biosphere shaking bodies full of useless data that compromise social life. The condition of the biosphere, which has little to do with the ways governments manage in their various instances, reveals the banality of what is done and the search for votes on what has been done. Evidently this reflection is for those who believe, even in the worst, and for those who think, like Freire, that history is possibility... that is, it will continue to be an art of the possible waiting for new forms of consciousness.

Consider, therefore, that the inequalities are so flagrant and the needs so urgent that, under the influence of digitalities and the total disarray of information on smartphones and computers, everything tends to pass (in a more pressing reading than that made in time baroque) and only deep collective experiences will be able to create some bonds, which will also go to waste if they are not continually taken care of. The force of culture in action in the domain of politics, which can range from beliefs and myths to the most legitimate values ​​of democracy, should alert those who still believe in political seesaw, the back and forth of voters and the tradition of loyalty to representatives.

We are moving towards voters who, by seeking dialogue with infovias, and discovering signs of deceptive post-truth, increase demands to the limit of their humanity, which will be an eco-political attitude. Even though elected representatives wish – or force their hand – for the peripheral society of capitalism to be that of yesterday and the day before, there are immense losses of meaning in the semantic field that was understood as popularity and that was capable of being transformed into votes. There will, of course, not be a lack of some memory on the occasion of voting days that project names, facts and deeds, but this memory is being overturned in the voluptuousness of information and its very diverse directions.

This binarism multiplied to the extent of the desire for information, when distributed across many collection sources and data fronts, produces the indistinction of places, facts and phenomena that were previously known and which, distinctly, now require much more to be recognized. It would be easier for society to be divided into two parts despite party weakness and, therefore, polarized. There even seems to be signs of some longing for polarization. But polarization cannot resist human daily life, the struggle for life, disjointed work, the discomfort of submissions and the madness of data.

The minimum amount of freedom today (contrary to what the ultra-right swears) consists of acts of distrust and even skepticism in the face of information. Could it be the opposite, that is, better to accommodate polarization? Yes, but this social condition would only be possible with fewer concrete inconveniences that affect people, families and groups. This type of society is imprisoned by digitalities, whose spearhead is information, as agile as it is crazy. Therefore, politicians in need of votes re-read the world and the word, that is, information and the reverse sides of information, that is, the world as it is in the actions of people, groups and classes.


Far from any marketing, probably only an intense process of social communication supports new memory, new regrouping, new assertions about what is good, ethical and what remains in society.

In the years 1920/1930, the construction of workers' houses and the construction of a sports stadium, in the case of SP, was carried out through intense public communication. Those who studied the period saw announcements, responses, public surveys, questions, expectations and social participation. And there were no networks and platforms like we have today. Other networks were formed around needs and desires, in which communication was already part of making things happen. Let us remember the Spanish-Colombian philosopher: all social mediation is driven by cultures, which spread on the wings of communication and not just information, which is limited to data.

The construction of the Constitution in 1988 marked the creation of ties, based on the linguistic creation of people, groups, organizations and institutions, capable of reaching previously invisible people, although soon undone in the intellectual preparation and creation of new ways of doing liberalism in the world, producer of yet another neo: neoliberalism. In other words, new tricks in the voluptuousness of capital.

As a result of this use of language, it is acceptable that the deliveries of works and speeches about the works also mean very little. Today, it would be better to create a metalanguage about the state of mind of populations in the face of what happens and what is retained and transformed into value for them. Thus, it is necessary to create mobilization around effective participation in the implementation of policies, programs, plans and projects, because instead of a list of facts and data, it highlights the value of good politics, of citizen operations.

Society will have to exude the spirit of civic rights and the concrete possibility of citizenship in everyday life, as in these places the achievements of government and parliamentary action will be discussed, but also the how, why, for what and where. There, communication will take place. Once communication is understood and practiced as a basic ingredient of achievements, memory will be produced, directions will be suggested, the undone will be remade, mobilization will be expanded and discord will be reduced. That said, the assumption is that all the action linked to the acts of “arresting” voters, surrounding them and winning them over causes water on all sides.


It is evident that actions driven by the spirit of rights, which trigger the communication process and move the meanings of constructed objects, will be the value of knowledge, learning, practical theory of doing that moves life.

This method takes longer and may not meet the old familiar doerism, but the gain in scale in people's knowledge overcomes all delays, as it has the chance to open gaps in the madness of informationism. To overcome the voraciously maneuvered information highways, this method will have to be conceived as a value of citizenship and be made as a sign of the freedom to be and participate.

Political-electoral struggle is always a close affair. Hence the democratic assumption of alternations. In the next fights, everyone will be a proponent and doer of everything. The things created will be done by everyone who possesses the power of information. Created and programmed madness. The fight for ownership of the feat could lead to madness. To go beyond what I did-didn't-did, I paid for it with amendments and presented a project, mobilized and guaranteed tractors and repairs, presenting itself as a path to civic achievement, broadly communicating, alive and active.


The method for new political ties is as arduous as it is simple. He presents himself (in this columnist's personal reinterpretation) in a poem written by Paulo Freire in the city of Geneva, April 1971[ii].

Act A. It is necessary that the construction of new political ties arises from the population's vocabulary of resistance, that part of social discourse that has not yet been pasteurized, or liquefied in the networks; such an active repository may be about work or poetry, collective memories or flowers. It will deal with everyday life.

Act B. Working with language will support distrust and questioning in the face of what is thrown, imposed and appealed to in the armed vociferation of the owners of information systems, including sectors of the media.

Act C. Language creates political practices, plans, organizational and institutional projects. This is where the construction of wills and senses of freedom based on collective needs and desires begins, which reveals new ties, although still tenuous.

Act D. The experiences reveal the differences in speech, grammar and styles already forged in the relationship between language and social practices. A sudden act, they invite populations to involvement and commitment, inducing transformations. Bodies moved by infovias are capable of aspiring to the condition of people, individuals and groups that, more than votes, build new connections, much more than left. The forging of bonds will no longer follow the assembly line of alienations and hallucinations, but life and work will be created.

Act E. The concreteness of languages ​​and/in action, which Freire calls words, different and coherent discourse, will create partisan and extra-partisan forces, groups instead of howling hordes, organizations instead of shouts and lies, political-technological orders that do not align yourself with loose knowledge migrating through the most wrong and erratic places. The new generations will be grateful as they enter the threshold of moving consciousness.

The political consequences will be strong and on an increasing scale. Cross-cutting practices of many educational connections will be seen and people will learn, as we only learn in confrontations and acts of communion in the world, as occurred when we became literate in the relationship between school and everyday life. Alienated and poorly paid work will give rise to thinking about rights in the process of being forgotten. Such “wording” “must be a permanent discourse”.[iii]

I hope these are the new demands of political action, including voting.

* Luiz Roberto Alves He is a research professor at the School of Communications and Arts at the University of São Paulo and member of the Alfredo Bosi Chair at the Institute of Advanced Studies at USP. Author, among other books, of Build curricula, train people and build educating communities (Avenue). []


[I] Linguistics and Communication, Cultrix, 1969.

[ii] It appears on the first pages of the book Pedagogia dos Sonhos Possíveis, published by Unesp in 2001, with a special performance by Ana Maria Araújo Freire.

[iii] End of the conversation poem.

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