Against the iniquities of the Republic

Image: Lucas Vinícius Pontes
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By LUIZ MARQUES*

Bolsonaristas have weapons and hatred, but they lack soul and empathy with the suffering of the people

Neoliberalism extends the web of economics into alternative fields of activity, like Pentecostal religions that measure faith by prosperity. Even non-rational behaviors, such as rooting for a football team, are decoded by the ideology of the homo economicus in the form of club identification materials. Everything is quantified as merchandise and cataloged to generate income from the sale. You shopping malls are equivalent to the “new caves” of Plato's myth. They are metaphors of a modernity that replaces the values ​​of citizenship in motion with consumer culture. The strategic choice of means to achieve an end permeates the different dimensions of social life, under the sociopolitical hegemony of the free market.

the omnipresence of homo economicus evokes the “invisible hand”, described by the author of The wealth of nations. It shows the subject in a game whose meaning escapes him and the national governments, incapable of programming the good of the community. The common good would result from the sum of individual interests, and not from either technocratic or participatory planning. The “totality” view of economic processes would be a chimera, and the principle of “right” to mitigate inequalities is nonsense. Plans would only create obstacles to the true driver of development, selfishness, according to the old liberal grammar. This narrative justifies the vagabondage of jet ski during working hours, which leaves the Palácio do Planalto empty.

Neoliberalism converts the precept of non-state / governmental intervention into a dogma to, on the one hand, intensify competition for jobs among wage earners and, on the other hand, form monopolies or oligopolies. As if, in the cradle of industrialization given the steam engine in the textile factories of Manchester, the laissez-faire brought more satisfaction to the population than the Welfare State in post-War Europe.

Economists (“physiocrats”) reject administrative regulations, but recognize the sovereignty of the State as co-owner of land and co-producer of products to justify the collection of taxes. The neoliberals, on the other hand, are against taxes in general and, in particular, on large fortunes – apart from criticizing the authority of the State. The “social contribution of companies lies in seeking profit”, says the father of US neoliberalism, Milton Friedman.

That one chicago boy who rose to positions during the Pinochet dictatorship and is in charge of the Ipiranga Post, so he can sleep. What keeps the current Minister of Economy awake at night is the Constitution prohibiting the privatization of beaches on the Brazilian coast, federal universities and the SUS. Not the recent corruption scandal (another one) practiced by the president, on October 5, 2022, with the “amendment” that “did diverted BRL 10,5 billion in funds earmarked for health, science and education to feed the budget secret” (online diplomacy).

Nor does the fraud of more than R$ 1 billion, pointed out by the TCU, in bids by the state-owned company Codevasf for the “pocket” of the asphalt paving cartel cause insomnia. O homo corruptus, which evolved from “cracks” to “cracks”, and businessmen of the ridiculous suit of Havan believe in the slogan “Brazil is ours” (read them). It is a pity that the press covered up the crime of lesa-patria by false patriots. There are things that don't come out Globo.

Jair Bolsonaro rips apart the iniquities of the republic, subtracts the plural sociability of the nation and torpedoes the pillars of civilization – human rights and environmental preservation. On the external plane, to remember the child and youth character appropriated by the fascists in Italy, the re-election of the Pinocchio strengthens the global extreme right. Internally, it calls for overexploitation of labor and an exception regime. It is the moral duty of democrats to prevent the establishment of authoritarianism and the legitimization of necropolitics. Bolsonaristas have weapons and hatred, but they lack soul and empathy with the suffering of the people – and a future project for the country.

Instead of a state of exclusion at the service of the privileged 1%, a democratic, republican state with popular participation is urgently needed to meet the needs of 99% of the people. “Inequality is a social, historical and political construct”, points out Thomas Piketty. It also applies to the utopia “towards equality and justice”. Victory at the polls homo generosus – Lula – is fundamental to the struggle for democracy in Latin America.

*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.

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