Alienation on the radio waves

Marina Gusmão, Postmodern illustrated plates.


A perverse game, which in itself condenses the project of destruction of democracy

Comrade and friend Flávio Koutzii tells in his beautiful account of the atrocious prison, at the time of the civil-military dictatorships in Latin America (Pieces of death in the heart, L&PM), that political prisoners invented “periscopes” (small rods with a shard of glass at the end) to control the circulation of guards in prison corridors. Thus, they watched the steps of the watchmen. Metaphorically, this is what I do on sleepless nights when tuning into a radio station, in a program presented by an extreme right-wing journalist, with credentials contrary to any democratic sociability. There are many, I know.

The communicator in question has already been denounced for homophobia, when he repudiates the legal possibility for gays and lesbians to form a family by adopting children, in a situation of abandonment. In response, he retorted with a false "argument from authority", in the absence of the correct "authority argument". He claimed he knew what he was referring to, as he is the father of a homosexual (sic). Jean Wyllys sympathized with his son and regretted that he had a “homophobic and ignorant” parent. As stupidity is always accompanied by rudeness, on another occasion he did not hesitate to interrupt a telephone call from a deputy (from the right, from the New Party) because he was defending the controlled release of marijuana, live. Theme that he considered perhaps sufficiently explained by the expertise of… Osmar Terra: the character needs no comment. With the discovery that even conservatives can be progressive, in matters of morals and customs, the screening of guests for the program started to have strict criteria. Scalded cat is afraid of water.

To these anti-civilizing credentials, the aforementioned broadcaster adds the denial of the pandemic and attributes the spread of the virus to social isolation, however paradoxical it may sound. It would be laughable if it weren't for crying out of criminal misinformation. Still, he defends the “early treatment”, although the Ministry of Health itself no longer dares to recommend the famous Hydroxychloroquine. In this case, it would be a cry, if it weren't for laughing at the pathetic attempt to appear more realistic than the king, the Momosque monarch so unworthy that he belies fake news ("The report that I released from the Federal Court of Auditors / TCU, I was the one who wrote”) with new lies (“I was wrong”). Unable to assume in the post he occupies the decorum that the post demands. Yes, since the vicious electoral campaign that anointed the genocide to the Presidency, with the approval of the Judiciary, the Armed Forces, the economic forces and the media. The order of the tractors here does not change the crop. That is, agribusiness.

I don't get irritated at the audition. I listen to the radio rants against knowledge and science with stoicism, but without resignation. I pay attention to the superb speeches, with the radio stacked with improvised periscope. Before opening the microphones to the “debaters”, with the green and yellow spirit of the incorruptible CBF – the presenter reads a monotonous editorial. In this, he provocatively quotes federal parliamentarians from the PT, without the right to reply, while updating the political agenda unfurled in the playpen of the Planalto Palace. O script repeats itself to exhaustion, without creativity, without common sense, without shame. See if:

a) The number of victims of the pandemic disease is debatable. Many die of cancer and the death certificate states Covid-19. This, in theory, discredits the media reports and the “narrative” about the disastrous management of the health crisis in Brazil, due to the herd immunity strategy that delayed the purchase of vaccines. Here it is, and passant, the crime of responsibility, provided for in the Constitution (the government's obligation to care for the life and health of the people) to endorse the necessary impeachment of Bolsonaro. In addition, it serves to suspicion about the scandals that the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) has been bringing to light. There is no shortage of independent doctors to endorse the prestige pantomime, in exchange for egoic praise for the “intellectual brilliance” (sic);

b) The Federal Supreme Court (STF) does not let the president govern. This explains the mismanagement that, with the facilities for the acquisition of weapons thanks to the publication of Provisional Measures (MPs), is applauded by the Shooting Clubs, weapons collectors and militias. Faithful squires of the horrors that parasitize the state apparatus. The aim is to provide society with satisfaction for the mediocrity that surrounds rulers and;

c) The System, which includes the Judiciary, Universities, Rede Globo and appendices such as the World Health Organization (WHO), is an accomplice of the left (sic, it gave a hiccup). He doesn't want to put an end to the robbery and corruption that broke the country. This acts as a precaution against the visible and growing erosion of popularity of the central administration and its leadership, which confuses the nation with stressed cattle. The curious thing is that in the definition of elite, offered to the rumination of Bolsonarism, bankers, rentiers and multinational companies are omitted. Power is caricatured, finance is abstracted. That is, the ground on which concrete class domination is based. The tergiversation is content with strolling, quixotic, against imaginary mills for enjoyment in motorcycles. Artifice that hides subservience to the true owners of power who, internally and externally, are nourished by rights withdrawn (social security, labor, salary) from Brazilian workers.

To close the comment, it is worth mentioning that the programs for the reproduction of alienation leave no doubt for the transmitting waves. Between naive and/or interested testimonies, they provoke the numbing of consciences – and the transformation of depoliticization into an instrument of politics. A perverse game, which in itself condenses the project of destruction of democracy. At times, with insinuations about the need for violence. It is as if everyone, in the studio and listening, were contaminated by the “mal-white” which propagates blindness. What happens in the celebrated novel by José Saramago, whose epigraph translates good advice to those who find it difficult to reconcile with sleep, to the sound of proto-fascist nonsense during the night: “If you can look, see. If you can see it, repair it”.

* Luiz Marques is a professor of political science at UFRGS. He was Rio Grande do Sul's state secretary of culture in the Olívio Dutra government.

Originally published on Socialist Democracy magazine.


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