Disobey Machiavelli

Image: Hamilton Grimaldi


Until we assume our own inclusive illusion, we will forget that there is always a center at the periphery and a periphery at the center.

For Machiavelli, the art of politics depends on Virtu and Fortuna, that is, from virtue as a method of obtaining and maintaining power, for the most effective reasons and without regard for intrinsic value, but also, of the Fortuna, as chance or indetermination that reverses advantages and disadvantages according to chance. The Wheel of Fortune is inspired by the Greek allegory of the three Fates or Fates, daughters of Nix, the god of night and darkness. Together they wove human destiny. Lachesis pulled the share of cotton that would be destined for each one, Clotho held the thread extending it to the spinning wheel andtropes cut the thread determining the end of life.

If the Florentine master were Bolsonaro's adviser or if he were one of the Medici (not worth Garrastazu), the situation would be easy to read. Elected for the method of producing enemies, for the mobilization of hatred and for the exploitation of anti-politics, he skillfully practiced the wielding of fear. Less expected was the immediate extension of the campaign rhetoric into government practice: it devastates environments, reduces investment in science and technology from 9 billion to 1 billion, asphyxiates education and health, threatens public servants and the STF, without delivering a comma more than bread and circuses (except the unintentional parody of himself). The downward curve in popularity was predictable. With the internalization of paranoia, Moro, Santos Cruz and Mandetta confirmed the scenario of internal entropy. His external unpopularity, along with Trump's decline, began to put pressure on him on the international stage. Finally, the real life of inflation, unemployment and the pauperization of the population, which applauded the withdrawal of labor and social security rights, began to stretch the rope of Clotho where one could already foresee the scaffold, amid pots and pans and impeachments, of such an erratic government.
Disobeying Machiavelli is something for the brave. So far, Bolsonaro, failing in this virtue, has disrespected the elementary idea that winning a principality is different from keeping and governing it. Therefore, the strategy without a strategist carried out by the progressive camp, of letting Atropos do his job, seemed reasonable, since the share of cotton is small and second-rate and that the thread of Brazilian patience is known for its low elasticity. Furthermore, the rhetoric of silence and avoidance is perfectly functional to reduce the imaginary partnership that hate speech needs to maintain itself. Left to its own devices, “nature” would take care of marking the government, and atropos would make the final cut, after so many voluntary self-crises were gradually accounted for as disorder, corruption, and inefficiency. The critical point here was Guedes and the Spending Ceiling: a quadratic equation worthy of Fermat.
That would mean letting anti-PTism be swept away by time and that the left's criticism be made by the very dialectic of reality. What, in a way, started to work: the truth about the Lula case emerged through Intercept, later confirmed legally. Laranjais, Rachadinhas and Associated Militias began to show the impure petticoat of Bolsonarism. We not only had a government supervised by the military, but also a gradual separation between the Bolsonaro character and the Bolsonarist discourse. While the first roared insults and dissolved parties, the second used the anomie, thus created, to pass the cattle, the bible and the bullet. Lachesis he gradually took from the bottomless bag, or from the bottomless underwear, the handful of cotton that in which was the real stuff of Bolsonarism.
At this point we shift from the Greeks to the Christian universe of destiny. The Wheel of Fortune, Tarot card X, in the Marseille version, is a reinterpretation of the Moiras, but adding two hybrid figures, above that of a kind of fallen angel, madman or devil, who, like a sphinx, wields a sword, almost saying:it will be difficult to take my place at the height of fame and fortune” (and here fortune comes to mean money). The two other figures are equally hybrid beings, like the trikster, deceitful shaman, half human being half animal and who are positioned at the bottom and in the middle part of the Wheel.
For the Wheel of Fortune turned in the unforeseen direction and came to Covid-19. With its procession of deaths and uncertainties, Bolsonarist discourse opted for the flu, “and so?", "I'm an expert in killing” and chloroquine. Rodrigo Maia, who was responsible for approving the pension reform, approves aid of 600,00 for people, against the government's explicit wish. Everything to go wrong. But here are the helpers of the three Fates: Tic, the fortuitous meeting of Real, Ilicia, (goddess of aid and wrongdoing), Thanatos (the god of death, with his body of iron and entrails of bronze) and Moros (Believe me, this is the name of this son of Nyx), god of destiny as fatality, with his feet on the earth and hands in the stars, with his arrows capable of turning some eons in the history of the person or to make everything go back to the times of Chaos. Echoing the little value of life in a situation populated by misery, violence and helplessness. Necropolitics still owe us 150 lives and one of the worst health responses in the world. But in the mouth of the box, the economy gave a popular dance in sanitation.
Brazil artificially leaves the poverty line. Bolsonaro's popularity ranges from 18% to 66% in major cities. He finds himself loved and popular, feels the taste of approval towards 2022 and marries Centrão, inheriting all the money in his underwear, as well as all the powers of corruption from the highest law firm in Atibaia to the supreme Piauí. The left finds appalled that direct evidence of racism, gender, ethnicity or class discrimination, capable of canceling anyone for decades on the Internet, does not make the slightest difference in the Real world. That advocacy of violence and extermination, that impoliteness and trickery, that whatever can be said inelegant, inappropriate or merely silly, does not affect the belief and sovereignty of the Fake News. The contradiction between being elected denouncing Bolsa Família and growing in popularity practicing the Minimum Income (usurping Eduardo Suplicy's authorship) is not enough, not even when ruthlessly repeated by Rede Globo itself. Your aura becomes immune to internal defections and denunciations. Myth becomes reality.
It is no longer enough for the progressive camp to remain on the hypothesis that Bolsonaro will self-dissolve into ether and go back to where he came from, without knowing very well how he got there. It will be necessary to undo in practice the system of illusions that has thus been realized. Yes, the Wheel of Fortune could turn again, as it seems to be doing in the United States. But while fortune does not change, it is necessary to return to political virtue. And we need to do that already in these municipal elections.
For that, it would be necessary to change the perception that the left hates money, that it is only concerned with parasitizing the State, and that it does not have a rhetoric of development, collective and individual, that recognizes and sanctions the most common desire to prosper in life. . It is about to create the discursive antidote to the dispensational neo-Pentecostalism of results, source and origin of the new Brazilian religious fundamentalism. 270 workers daily monitor the untraceable money from the tithe changing from hand to hand, from the Universal Church. Meanwhile, we treat the impoverished street vendor as a potential capitalist entrepreneur.
Freud said that religions are illusions. This is far less critical than it sounds, as he understands that illusions, unlike errors and falsehoods, play a very important role in psychic life. They create futures where there is no future, they engender pasts where there is only oblivion, they are the spirit of a spiritless world. Science and enlightenment are important, but they don't always get to the core beliefs of our illusions. This happens because both cannot offer much in return. Instead of a world driven by conspiracies and evil plans, we would only have real and objective uncertainty. We've seen it melt away quarantines, masks, and sanitary methods. We saw this create a blanket of forgetfulness about educational benefits, quotas and the entire hard and precariously built inclusion system before. the arrow of Moros erases the past and rewrites the future. Police violence and the promise of becoming a micro entrepreneur, delivering someone else's gourmet lunch box.
Two aspects seem decisive when it comes to deactivating illusions. The first is to admit that, although delusional, such illusions are illusions of desire, therefore carrying with them a few grams of truth. The second concerns segmenting a generic belief into a series of partial and component beliefs. Many will say that there are exaggerations and mistakes in Bolsonarist discourse, but as a whole he would have to be confronted with a better alternative, in terms of desire, in order to be defeated. This will not be done if our landscape of affections is blame and denunciation, as seems to be the case, at least when we look at the left's digital landscape.
Most of the population will feel insulted when confronted with the hypothesis that they are privileged, that they are even more indebted, morally, than their overdue installment payments would have them believe. As a result of its insufficient purification, it will bend to the right, where purity of soul, at least, gives real signs of daily behavioral austerity. A left that wants to be really popular must renounce its attitude as an educator of the people and an arrogant leader of enlightenment. Even if she thinks so (and it's possible that everyone does) she should be careful with appearances.
Therefore, the political virtue that we lack is not just the union or fragmentation of forces, but the radicalization of purposes. One of the most interesting and best realized ideas of the Lula era is the idea of ​​inclusion. Inclusion in schools, food inclusion, inclusion of the landless and the homeless. Inclusion is the first step towards citizenship. This is also why Bolsonaro is elected with a speech whose effectiveness we cannot understand, based on the exclusion, in democracy customized for the few, in condominium democracy. But just like in the affect of guilt, here too the left seems to join hands with the right and continues to think of itself as a system of radicalizations tending to loneliness. As long as we understand class struggle as class resentment, we remain exclusionary. While we hunt elites, we insist on exclusion. Until we assume our own inclusive illusion, we will forget that there is always a center in the periphery and a periphery in the center. That is, deep down, the decisive difference between left-wing and right-wing populism.
We need a radically inclusive progressive field, capable of welcoming and making productive its differences, which are enormous when seen up close, but which should be minimal when seen through the inverted telescope of Bolsonarism. This, of course, will bring us back to the unresolved symptom of lulo-petismo, namely: what does an alliance mean? And the symptoms are like that, they come back and repeat themselves until we hear them in all their extension and truth.

*Christian Dunker He is a professor at the Institute of Psychology at USP. Author, among other books, of pathological coastlines (Nverses).

Originally published on the portal Major Card.




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