It is possible to win

Image: Wojtek Pacześ


The power of action today lies in composing a common public voice against fascism, as this weekend's protest and indignation movements throughout Brazil pointed out.

In a well-known book of children's literature there is a story about the Little Prince (Saint-Exupéry, 1943), who arrived on a tiny planet, where a “lighthouse keeper” lived, who took care of a lighthouse to be lit when night fell. Although the rotation of the small planet – in recent times – had increased “vertiginously”, going from night to day “in a few moments, the rules for turning it on and off”, complained the lighthouse keeper, “remained the same” .

Material reality changed, therefore, but the norms that the lighthouse keeper had to comply with remained watertight. In the precious little book The effectiveness of the right (Centro de Estudios Constitucionales, Madrid 1990, pg. 96) where the reference to Saint-Exupéry is found, Professor Pablo Navarro, when writing about the “dynamics of reality” about Law, constructed a brilliant parable – based on literature – about real-world changes and their effects on norms.

He evaluated in his text that, in the spaces where human beings live their daily lives and exercise their influence, the effectiveness of norms in the Rule of Law only remains a valid “ought to be”, when it maintains its capacity to organize common life through the “legal systems”, which is a “specifically human activity”. The problem, however, begins when the policy made from the State overcomes the Law and makes it a secondary and formal adornment, within which illegitimate decisions of a despotic authority flow.

In Bolsonaro's Brazil, the parable of the jurist fits a type of satanic Prince, through political forms that captivate a part of common life: these forms have not yet given rise to a change in the norms of the Constitution, but have been changing political and social life , moving it gradually towards savagery.

By enthroning a perverse way of doing politics, outside the rules of the Constitution and Civilization, and without changing the laws, Bolsonaro was able to naturalize for a significant part of society, the 500 dead who witness this movement: it is the ruin and the success, in a single process of demolishing solidarity and emptying the minimal affective ties that underlie common life.

Bolsonaro, with his infinite perversity, makes with his quick and disconnected acts in time, a fast and very personal flow and thus becomes the Prince and Time, the Magician and Science (falsified), based on successive movements of hate, stupidity and indifference to life. How that was possible, honestly, I still don't fully understand, but we can say that stupidity in History is, today – in Brazil – a central category of politics, which we must unravel to face barbarism.

The Brazilian planet spun faster by the Prince's verb and the norms that organize life remain evident, but ineffective. It is a story of Little Prince in reverse, which does not complain about the changing reality of planet-Brazil, as it managed to change – by outside the law – the civilizing norms of democratic coexistence and social relationship: stupidity won over culture and ambition the necessary solidarity for a minimally dignified collective life won.

All men are “intellectuals”, for Gramsci, although not all of them engage in intellectual activities. And among those who exercise them, not all are “organizers” of culture or are notable for knowing the importance of politics and its effects on social life: some are indifferent, others are stupid, but – from the point of view of democratic humanism – all they are relevant, because they contribute to the organic “whole” of life, by action or omission.

My readers and debaters know that I always look for heterodox sources to understand law and politics and write with them, not on the margins of the interpretations of my fellow lawyers, political scientists and jurists, but trying to contribute – from other angles – to new horizons of analysis. Talking about “indifference” and “stupidity”, therefore, as categories of politics, is important and topical in the context of crisis we are experiencing, as both are contained in stupid political actions and indifferent omissions, which keep Bolsonaro in power after 500 years. thousand deaths.

Note that the mainstream media, now adhering again to the democracy of the formal “Rule of Law”, is indifferent to (or supports) the reforms that are the essence of the support that he, Bolsonaro, receives from big capital. And he, caught up in the reforms, maintains the political stupidity that is also revealed in his indifference to the lives of millions, supported by his fascist world view.

“Indifference is the dead weight of history”, said Gramsci. In this indifference – for him – lies the point at which men freeze “their own stupidity”, accepting their “impotence for action”. Here it is, perhaps – the difference between Gramsci’s thought, aimed at the transformation of society through the political action of classes with common interests, and the speculative philosophy of Benedetto Croce – his counterpart at the time – which only “verifies” the supposedly “made” history. by thought,” ignoring the material course of the real demands of common men.

The power of action today lies in composing a common public voice against fascism, as pointed out by the protest and indignation movements this weekend throughout Brazil. And the blockade of stupidity will come from the organization of this unitary power – a Political Front against fascism – that restores the dignity of work, the resumption of public functions of the State and the policies to combat inequality, hunger and environmental destruction in the country. It is possible to win, nonsense is not fixed in consciousness until the end of time.

*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.


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