The next election – biophilia versus necrophilia

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By LEONARDO BOFF*

If Jair Bolsonaro is re-elected, he will implement a project under the domain of necrophilia, the promotion of death and its derivatives such as hatred and lies.

At Easter mass one of the most beautiful hymns of the Gregorian is sung in which it is said: “death and life, looking at each other, fought a duel” (mors et vita duelo conflixere mirando). And it concludes: “the lord of life, reigns alive” (dux vitae, regnat vivus).

I refer to this liturgical text as a metaphor for what I see taking place in the next elections: a plebiscite in which a political duel is effectively fought between two projects for Brazil and two models of president. One project has as its representative and promoter a president who has clearly allied himself with the dominion of death. I don't want to say it, but one of the most brilliant legal intelligences in our country, former governor of Rio Grande do Sul, former minister of justice, Tarso Genro, says:

“For Jair Bolsonaro there are no opponents, there are only enemies to be slaughtered by weapons. As a politician who defends the execution of suspects, the shooting of “30 thousand compatriots”, the assassination of a peaceful and democratic president, torture as an inquisitorial method, the end of political democracy, who maintains that the mistake of the dictatorship was not to torture , but it was “not to kill”, which publicly expresses his admiration for Hitler and mocks the torture suffered by a worthy woman – who was being removed from the Presidency –, as this politician was cowardly naturalized by the neoliberal “establishment” and by the great chains of communication, after having committed and repeated many barbaric crimes and still having made a conscious genocidal propaganda against vaccination?”

Here it is clear a project of death that, if Jair Bolsonaro is re-elected, he will implement it. It is the domain of necrophilia, the promotion of death and its derivatives such as hatred and lies.

On the other side of the duel, there is another representative, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva. I don't want to be a Manichaean who only considers good on one side and evil on the other. Good and evil mix. But it must be recognized that in Lula well gains more expression. It presents a project whose centrality lies in life, starting with those who have the least life: the thirty million hungry people, the 110 million with insufficient food, the millions of unemployed or underemployed, workers and retirees who have seen their rights diminished with the frozen minimum wage.

To summarize, the first thing to do is guarantee the minimum: food, health, work, education, housing, land to produce food for the people, security and opportunity for those who are historically the descendants of the slave quarters (54% of the population) to be able to enter higher, university or technical education. To govern is to care for everyone, but always starting with the humiliated and offended. Inspiration comes from Gandhi, who said: doing politics is having a loving gesture towards the people and taking care of common things. Or in the words of Pope Francis in his Fratelli tutti: politics must be done with tenderness “which is love becomes close and concrete, a movement that proceeds from the heart and reaches the eyes, ears and hands” (n. 196). It is the realm of biophilia, of the love of life.

These two projects, like a duel, are facing each other in this election. It is up to the citizens to make their judgment: what country do we finally want? Which president is more bearer of life, means of life, hope and zest for life? We are not stones that just exist. We don't just want to exist, we want to live and live in peace with each other.

What we experienced in the current president's government was the decrease in our humanity, the abandonment of thousands given over to the virulence of Covid-19 and who died when they could have been saved if it weren't for the tenacious official denialism.

What hurts and embarrasses us the most is the lack of composure of the nation's highest authority, which should live the virtues that it would like to see realized in the people, such as solidarity, care for each other and our natural wealth, and the promotion of our science and culture, which he insulted in an embarrassing way. On the contrary, the spread of hatred, fake news, rudeness, bad language and all kinds of discrimination against people of African descent, indigenous people, quilombolas, women, the poor and LGBT+, among others.

We will only be able to overcome this political-social and necrophilic scourge if, in the duel, we opt for the project of biophilia. Here I still use former governor Tarso Genro: “A week before the election, a great political agreement on governance and governance must be made, defeating Jair Bolsonaro in the first round, united around the strongest name to win and lead the nation to the democratic and social destiny that our people deserve”.

That name is emerging as the voters' favorite, Lula da Silva. He is a survivor of the great national tribulation, he showed that he was capable of humanizing politics, taking Brazil off the hunger map and creating social and popular policies that created opportunities for the excluded, for many others and, above all, returned dignity to the impoverished.

The fate of our nation is in our hands. It depends on the option for what takes Brazil out of the pit into which it was thrown and allows us to reduce the disastrous social inequality and, finally, grant us the joyful celebration of life. The next duel-election on October 2nd will be the great test: which Brazil and which president we really want. May the project of biophilia, love of life, especially that suffered by the great majority, triumph.

*Leonardo Boff He is a theologian, philosopher and writer. Author, among other books, of Brazil: complete the refoundation or extend the dependency (Vozes).

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