Two parallel universes

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By TARSUS GENUS*

Political control of networks is not necessarily a condition for victory, but just one of the conditions that can influence its outcome.

Those who agreed to vote for a defender of torture could eventually be forgiven for the primitivism of their worldview – founded on ignorance and prejudice – that rested in their unconscious. However, those who have the intelligence to feel that the smell of death and unhealthy magnetism – which exude the current holders of power – repeat every day the brutality of old actions and old threats cannot be excused.

Theodor W. Adorno, in Aspects of the new right-wing radicalism (Unesp), wrote that Jean Amery, “reflecting on the experience of intellectuals in concentration camps” – in order to recognize what the world was at the time – “did not require any semantic analysis, any logical syntax: it was enough to look at the surveillance tower or smell the burnt fat coming from the crematorium.”

The debate on the grace (pardon or amnesty) granted to federal deputy Daniel Silveira reveals in the networks a contradiction between – on the one hand – the volume of engagement of organized activists in defense of right-wing extremist positions and, on the other, the limited reflections of their “work”, in the formation of a majority opinion in the choices about the presidential election.

Examining this immaterial space of opinion flows shows the existence of two parallel universes of political struggle. They sometimes unite, composing a totality, sometimes they fragment, altering the balance between the opposing forces. They are not watertight universes and both factions send messages – from one space to the other – through the speech of their leaders or what their formal or informal representatives interpret as their thinking.

The first universe – of the networks – although in an unstable way, has been more fluent for the circulation of coup d’état, hatred and prejudice, and the second – the space of the traditional democratic dispute – has been the most reflective, more concretely linked to life of the difficulties of common life, saddened by the lack of survival with dignity.

Within this space – contrary to what happens on the networks, where the majority of hatred towards democracy is reproduced – the liberal and democratic debate flows in a more rational way, focused on the elections: the anonymity on the networks drives the moral sewers hidden in the fascist consciousness; the spotlight of politics, in the light of liberal democracy, requires certain civilized mediations so that individuals – in the light of law – can be heard in civil society with a certain civilizing respect. Did it go well, Daniel?

On April 23, professor and researcher Emerson Cervi showed, with monitoring and analysis data, that Bolsonaro “won the battle over the punishment of his base deputy in digital environments”. This annulled the separation between the voice of the sewer – protected by anonymity – and the universes of political combat in democratic legality.

By directly attacking the STF, when he realized that the networks could be more effective if they directly faced the highest Court of the Republic in the light of day, the defendant wanted to amplify the voice of his Chief in the public space, already thirsty for a militia coup including against the Army, if necessary, to stay in power.

Emerson Cervi, however, in his same study, relativizes this “Bolsonarist” victory on the networks, attributing it to the fact that extreme rightists are more organized and materially prepared for a clash of this nature. They have already created artificial means superior to those held by their political opponents\enemies, making a more organized handling of the technological mechanisms they have for “war”, but their scope is uncertain.

Outside of social networks, the result in opinion formation reveals that the frantic pace of networks is not necessarily decisive. Political scientist Antônio Lavareda, analyzing the latest IPESPE survey (May 6), draws attention to the fact that 56% disapproved of pardoning Daniel Silveira, against 29% who agree. For 35% of respondents, the measure will reduce the chance of voting for Bolsonaro; for 20% will increase and there will be no change in the opinion of 31%.

The results allow observing that the possible consequences of the gesture, more harm than favor the candidate Bolsonaro. It can be seen, says the columnist, “that although it sparks a relevant debate from a judicial and political point of view, its effects do not impact the electoral arena”. The conclusion, with which I agree, shows that political control of the networks is not necessarily the condition for victory, but just one of the conditions that can influence its outcome.

Attention, however: the networks have an immediate and limited connection with the democratic electoral struggle, although they have a strategic importance for creating the conditions for a chaotic confrontation between democracy and the coup d'état, this being the most effective means to subvert the liberal-liberal regime. democracy, with the installation of social and political chaos. And more: this is not just a wish of the fascist “sewer”, but a permanent possibility of solution, always courted by the strongest political subjects of the country's ruling classes, when their interests and privileges are minimally threatened.

The left needs to understand that these two levels of dispute – in the networks and in the traditional liberal-democratic political space – make up a single universe, articulated by a series of cultural and institutional links, which form the new territories of politics.

The dispute today is situated in a human time in which everything is urgent, in which the superfluous and the necessary, lie and truth, merge. The “impression” of the search for the new and the impatience, faced with the historical work to build a renewed life, no longer supports the long narratives of cycles endowed with a certain social peace.

The brilliant fighting aesthetics of the old days, which led to the victory of Lula's political speech and elected him to the Presidency, brightly returns after its new release. And it must remain. But the network guerrilla has a different aesthetic and a new language that corresponds to the new times, both in terms of capital domination and resistance to its most oppressive manifestations.

The combination of these two forms of language in their different territories where politics flows is what gives durability, today, to authoritarianism and the emergence of fascism. And the wise combination, on our part, for resistance and the political offensive in these same diffuse territories, where war is sown by the extreme right, is what can guarantee the victory of the people, in the sense of the Republic and democracy.

*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).

 

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