Like two and two is five

Marcelo Guimarães Lima, Tríade, digital art / digital art, 2022


The Lula-Alckmin plate

In the photo: on the left the political leader who suffered a coup. At his side, the politician who supported and worked with gusto and energy for the coup. The conclusion would be, perhaps, that 1+1 = 3, like 2+2 = 5, that is, there is another element, not apparent in the equation (as in the photo), which allows understanding, accepting the incongruity as its opposite.

“Everything as before in the Abranches barracks”, in the words of the vox populi. I quote here an interesting clarification on this well-known expression: “Everything as before, «headquarters in Abrantes» is how Orlando Neves records it, in his Dictionary of Common Expressions [Editorial Notícias, Lisbon], which refers to it as follows: “Say- of what always remains the same, without alteration”. “People responded with this phrase when [in Portugal] asked about how things were going at the time of the first French invasion [1807]. In fact, Junot had calmly set up his headquarters in Abrantes. In Lisbon, nothing was done with the intention of opposing the advance of the French general. No one dared to resist him. D. João VI, then regent, did not take any measure to prevent Junot from moving to Lisbon. Hence, when someone asked what was going on, the answer was the phrase in the title”.[1]

Did we inherit from the Portuguese a certain propensity for quietism? As everyone knows, modern quietism is the doctrine spread in the seventeenth century of the passivity of the Christian soul before God as a passport to the kingdom of heaven. Doctrine opposed by the Church, but which had numerous and important supporters in its time. But it is unfair, I believe, to transfer current responsibilities to ancestors.

In your newspaper column Folha de S. Paul, journalist Mônica Bergamo informs us about the subject of the proposed (or already consolidated) Lula-Alckmin ticket.[2] The “saint” reproduced here circulates on PT networks, according to the journalist. It is worth asking if the same is circulating among the PSDB guys. Aside from Geraldo himself, smiling in the photo, who else on the right is enthusiastic about the proposed presidential or presidential ticket? Assuming that, in fact, Mr. Alckmin is very happy with the proposal, as I have not yet read his public statement on the matter. My distraction?

In the journalist's text, the subject appears to be discussed between PT members and the left. Aside from some expressions of displeasure at the prospect of the union of this “strange couple”, I am not aware of other more in-depth reflections coming from the national right. But surely it's my responsibility because I avoid reading the country's national news, globes and pages whose considerations for the most part are true everyday offenses directed at the intelligence of Brazilians: we are a country of idiots according to the owners of communication systems in Brazil and, as such, we Brazilians are despicable people, despised by our ruling class, whose moral and intellectual horizon reminds me of the so-called “gusanos” of Miami, coincidentally the mecca of our uneducated and tacky elite.

The “gusanos” (worms), the anti-revolutionary Cubans exiled in Florida, were so called by the Cuban people because they constituted a group that militated on several fronts, including the use of terrorism, against their country of origin with the sponsorship of the North power. -American.

Where is it that we have influential citizens of a country working against the interests of the nation and in favor of the interests of a foreign power? Hmm, I don't think it's in today's Russia, nor perhaps in China, with all the difficulties and contradictions of the status quo worldwide. Any analogy with the so-called Brazilian elite may not exactly be mere coincidence.

According to the journalist, Fernando Haddad is one of the main articulators of the proposed union. Fernando Haddad is undoubtedly an experienced politician, an intellectual, a competent former minister, etc. He must have his reasons. He is also a born conciliator, or seems to me to be such. Defeated by Bolsonaro in the last election, he was publicly elegant with the winner and was answered with paws. It took a while to call the coup by its name, according to journalistic sources at the time, which should always be taken cum grain salis, certainly.

Who would be the other articulators, say, on the right, for example? I don't know. And the general reason for the proposal is to create a broad front against Bolsonaro. What about an apparently simple, self-explanatory, crystal-clear argument? That despite all the apparent good will, the conciliatory spirit for the greater good against the equally greater evil, there is something paradoxical, I think, in the proposal, both in the idea and in the photo. Union with the coup leaders of yesterday to defeat a (dis) government that resulted from the coup.

Panta Rei, said the great Heraclitus, everything flows, everything changes in the universe, except change itself. In Brazil, the great Greek philosopher would perhaps say: everything changes, except the Brazilian bourgeoisie and its anti-popular “nature”, its iron heel and its coup activism. Is it necessary to remember that the unbelievable Bolsonaro, captain of the lower parliamentary clergy, is president because the elite wanted it that way?

I've written it before and I'll repeat it here: Bolsonaro is Dorian Gray's portrait of the Brazilian elite, no more and no less. There is no way to escape this fact, unpleasant but historically proven, which we could perhaps call, by analogy with recent formulations, “structural coup d’état”, against which the conciliatory spirit, the beautiful republican soul, the appeasing will, the good will of the good -intentional, in short, political “quietism” can do little or nothing.

I quote the journalist: “According to interlocutors, Lula has already stated that, with the toucan as vice president, he could sleep peacefully: Alckmin, who was governor four times, would have experience and political stature. It would help governance. And he would not turn the vice into a hub of conspiracy and sabotage to destabilize the government.”

In other words, Alckmin would no longer support a coup against the PT, as he did in the recent past. Everything changes, said Heráclito, except perhaps for some generous Brazilians, the belief in an imaginary republic. The republic of scalded cats who, despite their past misfortunes, do not fear cold water.

*Marcelo Guimaraes Lima is an artist, researcher, writer and teacher.



[1] In: Cyber-doubts about the Portuguese Language.


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