Two years of misrule – towards chaos

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By PAULO MARTINS*

We have indelible reflections and irrefutable evidence of its deleterious action, sold as innovative

Two years ago we were put to the test by a new government. Jair M. Bolsonaro was elected, taking the defense of economic liberalism to the last consequences and the praise of moral bias guidelines that flirt with Pentecostalism. His very innovative motto: to be the representative of the new policy, or rather, of the most virulent right.

Faced with this minimal plan of action, not without the “astrophilosophical” support of the magician from Virginia Olavista, Jair mercilessly bombed the State and republican institutions. Nobody can say that he didn't do anything in two years, on the contrary, he did a lot, a lot, so that we have indelible reflections and irrefutable proofs of his deleterious action, sold as innovative.

The first target of misgovernment: the Ministry of Education. Ricardo Vélez Rodrigues takes over the ministry, declaring that his proposal was liberal-conservative. Its relations with private education and with “a certain religiosity” threatened public education and its secularization. But that was short lived.

Something worse was yet to come: Abraham Weintraub. Perhaps, in the history of the Republic, we do not have such an eschatological character – our first knight of denialism. His “portfolio” of blunders and damages is varied: the attack on federal universities; the persecution of the humanities; filming teachers in class; inappropriate statements against statesmen, countries, former presidents; racist attacks on China and indigenous peoples; the “Future-se”, better known as “Passade-se” and the offenses against the STF, all of which were enhanced with pearls from his illiterate repertoire and his media rage.

The infamous ministerial meeting of April 22, 2020 and the investigation into anti-democratic demonstrations at the Supreme Court put his “security in danger” and on June 18 he resigned and fled to the US, using a diplomatic passport to enter the country without visa.

The importance given to education is so great that right after Weintraub's dismissal, we almost had a minister not very fond of legalities, Carlos Decotelli. He presented himself as a doctor without having defended his doctorate in Argentina, in addition to having allegations of irregularities in his management of the FNDE. And today we have Milton Ribeiro who has done nothing good so far, but surely he must not be immune to Bolsonaro's educational policy either.

In turn, the environment has always been a major concern of the president, starting with his minister, the resistant former Yale student who was never recognized by the institution, Ricardo Salles, our second knight of denialism. His function is to provide the president with anti-environmental ammunition. After all, nothing that in the last 30 years has been done or endorsed by the Brazilian State in relation to the environment, since the Rio 92 Conference, the Kyoto Protocol (1997) and the Doha Amendment (2012); from Rio +20 (2002); of COP 21 (2012) and the Paris Agreement (2015) is assumed by the plateau in the voice of its Minister of the Environment.

Furthermore, we witnessed his deleterious action against very important institutions such as INPE, ICMBio and IBAMA which, to a certain extent, could have taken more effective action in combating deforestation and fires, as they had been doing for years. The government preferred to be on the side of land grabbers, landowners, large transnational companies, mining and logging companies, to defend indigenous peoples, sustainable extractivism, and therefore nature. It preferred to lose Germany and Norway as partners in the Amazon Fund rather than guarantee minimum levels of sustainability.

Actions against the environment affect us nationally and internationally, they harm our economy and our foreign policy, the one massacred by Guedes, the other undermined by the third horseman of denialism, Ernesto Araújo. His preaching, this one, yes, dogmatic – it is worth reading “kidnap and pervert” of his own – assesses that the environmental cause he calls “climatism” was taken up by the left in order for the National States to be subjugated by multilateral organizations – what a shame! – which explains much of the president's positions in relation to the WHO, UN, UNICEF, etc.

The minister removes any scientific criteria from the environmental agenda. Black man. Aside from that, Araújo, with the help of the former future US ambassador, Eduardo Bolsonaro, also provides the president with an “intellectual scope” in demarcating Brazilian positions of subservience to Donald Trump. Just 38 days after the election of Biden and Harris, the presidency recognizes them as elected.

But how can we not talk about Bolsonaro's actions in the area of ​​health? Let's start with an inventory: in two years, 3 ministers and in 10 months of the pandemic, the same 3. Although we see Mandetta as someone reasonable, many of his positions at the head of the Ministry of Health were positive and for that very reason collided with those of Jair, never loved Mais Médicos or the SUS, without which deaths in the pandemic would be much more worrying.

However, in the midst of the crisis, he positioned himself well to the point that in an interview with Rádio Jovem Pan the foolish representative declared: “Mandetta really wants to do what he wants”. Mandetta then succumbed to those on the angry right as he declared himself a conservative. Nelson Teich, who succeeded him, could do little or nothing in almost thirty days as Minister of Health.

Finally, the fourth horseman of denialism, Eduardo Pazuello is not a doctor, he is not a sanitarista, biodoctor, nurse or biologist: he is a general. The fact in itself is not problematic, José Serra, between 1998 and 2002, was Minister of Health and, precisely in that position, implemented the program to combat AIDS, considered exemplary by the UN; he had the nerve to break patents in the interest of public health and to contribute to the steadfast fight against smoking.

But believing that the training area can help is a prudent path. The government defends that the minister is a strategist, who takes care of logistics, maybe that's why we almost lost 6.8 million tests; therefore confirms the intention to purchase Coronavac from Butantã / Sinovac and then goes back; so you will see that you managed to bid only 2.4% of the syringes needed for vaccination; therefore close your eyes to the agglomerations; so don't care about wearing a mask and so everything is just irresponsible and cynical.

Conservatives – today a euphemism for an angry right – find themselves in a political-moral and religious crusade. They forget that it is the function of the government to regulate political society, exercising its authority with a view to the common good. The furious right – the conservatives – confuse government policy with state policy. This is composed of a heterogeneous society, which cannot be ideologically or politically discriminated against. Religious, cultural, ethnic, gender and sexual orientation differences must be respected. The function of this foundation is to guarantee equality without distinction, eliminating discrimination and bringing harmony among all.

These two years of mismanagement lead us to understand that regardless of the sector, Bolsonaro and his knights will lead us to chaos for irresponsibility and absolute narrow-mindedness in the face of the real needs of the Nation.

* Paulo Martins Professor of Classical Letters and Director of FFLCH-USP. Author, among other books, of Image and Power (Edusp).

 

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