After the flood

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By TARSUS GENUS*

An apocalyptic horseman, three denialisms and many funerals

Contrary to what the ideological leaders of the mainstream press quickly propagated, arguing that the tragic situation is not conducive to political debate about the future, I argue that it is exactly in moments of crisis that people, classes, institutions, show the its greatness and its misery. Withholding the political causes of the Gaucho tragedy is withholding what is essential and helping to hide the crimes and deliberate omissions that led us here.

From the point of view of public interest, it is not appropriate to indicate who the criminals are, which is a task of the Criminal Justice, but rather to point out the public policies that allowed those who committed crimes against democracy and the city to remain hidden in the sewers of fake news and in the everyday manipulations of deliberate disinformation. The devastation is huge and Celi Pinto is right when she says that the flood has political reasons.

The legend and the Holy Bible that “the waters of the Flood destroyed the wicked and every creature that lived on the earth, except those who were in the ark. When the waters of the Flood receded, Noah and his family left the Ark.” Those who leave the ark, after the flood – here and today – are alive to fulfill the plans of God, history or the prophets, but they – those who are alive – love, suffer, fight and one day they will die. We will die, but while alive, we have to speak.

After the Flood It is also an oil painting by the Englishman George Watts, which “presents the sun incompletely in 1886 and completely in 1891”. The story moves in incomplete sequences, as in the English painting – marked by British meticulousness: Noah opens the window of the ark and sees that the rain has stopped. What do the gauchos of today think, when the rains stop, about the prophecies of the denialists who led the thoughts of millions, in modernity dissolved by the waters?

Taken as a symbol, story or myth, the situation of Noah (who died at the age of 950 and lived for another 350 years after the flood in the world of an unlikely God) did not face the three denials that modern humans face. After our Flood, which caused damage and impressions much stronger than reading the mythical versions of Bible, I think we should rethink life and politics.

In the biblical version, a vengeful God would have said “multiply, repopulate the earth and exercise dominion over it”. And then: “whoever sheds the blood of a human being, by the human being his blood will be shed, for he was created in the image of God.” The God of Genesis 9, orders the shedding of blood and therefore denies the right to forgive those who shed the blood of their brothers. Having the “verb” as a lethal force, the God of Genesis He didn’t have to face the three denials we face today.

The vision of Genesis is largely surpassed by modern law, which is more efficient and more “humane” than the “law of retaliation”, which the vengeful God recommended to Noah and his successors, as the law of men judges conflicts to resume social cohesion, both through the application of criminal law and the possibility of forgiveness. The mythical, ideal God, created by men or by the spontaneity of the energy of the Universe, is always greater than immediate life.

But He did not face the three denials that challenge us: the denial of politics, propagated by the dominant media, which generated the unconstitutional deposition of President Dilma Rousseff and opened the floodgates to fascism and the new extreme right politicians, the main and decisive denial that by eliminating traditional politics like a cancer and putting fascism and denialism in its place, it mutilated what is good and human in liberal democracy.

The second denial is the Pandemic that – with the murderous policy of chloroquine against the vaccine and heavy breathing as a mockery – helped kill 800 thousand people, whose holders still remain free and unpunished. Climate denialism is the third denial, which has raised environmental destruction and the creation of new standards of protection, not from humans, but from the disasters that exist, to the top of the imaginary of progress.

I mean, with the mention of the three denials, that the dimension of universal barbarism spilled over Rio Grande do Sul, not like a divine curse, which not only classifies crimes and establishes punishments, but which was also established consciously – due to the evident intent of certain political leaders – due to the extinction of policies to maintain the city's prevention and defense against floods.

Porto Alegre, thus, became a test city for perverse gentrification, real estate speculation, a stage for neoliberal populist “sales managers” – with no public purpose – incensed by the dominant media. Porto Alegre, the Unified Health System model, became a symbol of irresponsibility in Public Health, due to the absence of a serious health strategy at the time of the Pandemic.

Porto Alegre, a city that has received international awards for decent management, has become a breeding ground for operetta meritocrats – educated by the business extreme right and its servile media – who continue seeking the proliferation of their businesses and (like good opportunist neoliberals) seeking the state protections. Porto Alegre will return, but – if it wants to survive – it will have to sweep away in this year's elections the unique Horseman of the apocalypse who drowns us and concentrates – in his populist profile – the three denials that Noah did not have to face, sheltered in the words of the Sir.

*Tarsus in law he was governor of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, mayor of Porto Alegre, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education and Minister of Institutional Relations in Brazil. Author, among other books, of possible utopia (Arts & Crafts). [https://amzn.to/3ReRb6I]


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