Election campaign grammar – the challenges of 2022

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By LUIZ ROBERTO ALVES*

What could be different in 2022 from Republican national campaigns in the liberal country?

If the parties and candidacies have memory and political dignity, many things could be different in 2022. There are several references for change, namely: only an innovative language will represent Brazil within the world destiny, whether due to the ecological drama or by cyberculture and the tricks of the new-of-the-new global-capitalist; the Brazilian people have just suffered genocidal scratches and other crimes in the Pandemic and deserve to see a new political discourse born; the new generations are losing the least hope in the adult generations riding the power to write, speak and publish what they want about a way of doing politics that has been repeated since 1930 and has never gone through a political and linguistic revolution at least" modernist”, as occurred in other cultural processes; the people who wallow among the bones of the dumps and those citizens who help them must hear about a Brazil that will completely overcome, in a few years, the political, discursive and organizational garbage that today looms large in the various spaces of the Brazilian State.

Until now, all the efforts committed to political renewal and innovation have been reversed by the myths of interest of small groups, which projected their will and their project to the entire nation, at the price of the sacrifice of the vulnerable, be it the action that moves the chess of the Estado Novo, the cultural dynamics suffocated by the Dictatorship, public education violated by privatism and corruption in the common treasury, constitutional citizenship outraged by turbo-capitalism from 1990 onwards and the primers of contemporary fascism, not only represented by the sick body the president as well as the first, second and third levels of supporters, also present in the centers of the legislature and the judiciary.

The languages ​​– language and speech, writing and orality – are the representations of all these historical facts, desires and horrors. They enunciate and reveal their meanings in time and space, all it takes is some analysis and a reasonable and average memory. Lessons from the anthropologist Lévi-Strauss and the linguist Roman Jakobson lead to a grammar, a bundle of languages ​​that does not speculate, but rather assesses already given meanings, both in the individual history of candidates for power and of allied nuclei of power. No marketer shapes fundamental, use-changing, thought-organizing linguistic structures. At most, it tries to channel those possible in the best way towards some electoral success.

Still distant from the electoral process, what we have so far is the sameness of the trunks of bad politics that made the Republic a mockery of a democratic society and, not even remotely, was a citizen. Proof of this is the frivolous discourse of “republicanism” of many things that do not signal the republic or citizenship. Hence the ability to say that teaching 13 years in basic education or the “new high school” is republican, that the Enem is a citizen for the fact that it selects candidates, that change aid to the poor and miserable is also a citizen and republican and that needs to continue; or that Lula's speeches about Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua make up an authoritarian structure, as the editorials of Brazilian newspapers love to publicize. Now, on the side of the first examples, any statement in these directions would have to be based on research, scope, continuity and social changes measured scientifically, in order to reach the republicanism that is not what we have had. Never maintenance, temporary relief or the veneer of change in education, food security, housing, transport, human dignity, but the social change of values ​​that put people on another level of existence and life. Outside of that, it's blah-blah-blah.

Today, when reading and listening to speeches by Moro, Pacheco and Dória, it is clear that they belong to the field of meanings of historically disposable republicanism. Explain yourself: there is nothing in them that is not, Greta would say, blah-blah-blah. Faced with these lines (and others), it is expected that the voting populations pay attention to an old liberal booklet, applied to new times. In other words: these men are driven, like oxen, for being rigidly neoliberal, saying that they will carry out reforms, that they will improve employability, that they will reduce poverty and lead people to eat several times a day, they will alleviate prisons, they will support the agricultural system in food production, reorganize the industrial park for green hydrogen, bring more water to the sertão, put an end to criminal fires and mining in the forests, make strict regulations for networks and data mining, expand the denouncement hotline, guarantee broadband in the public schools, will make significant investments in universities, make Fundeb work, pay precatorios, shelter vulnerable children, create new tax relations between regions of the country, etc. Looks pretty, doesn't it? Now, such enunciations are of no importance, as they lack a feasible, probable and viable statement. No one can, to be honest with voters and claim to be a contemporary statesman, make use of this rancid and banal booklet, placed on the podium, without going back to history, systematizing researched data, raising hypotheses, making decisions between them, enunciating auditable strategies and refer to reliable sources. Primarily, enunciate the necessary legislative and legal changes to achieve the probable policy. It should be clarified that no public policy can be enunciated by a candidate, except if his party group has already implemented all stages of the aforementioned political plan and heard sectors of the population regarding the viability and enrichment of concepts and practices. The limit of the candidate without an operative and continuous party base in the daily life of the people lies in following all the proposed details (and more, according to his creativity) as a governance plan (not as a mere political enunciation!), even if theoretically, but based on everyday life, on indexes already studied, on researched and tangible social and economic values. Even so, it will have to prove that all possible proposed changes are in fact compatible with the capitalist system embedded in the international/world political order. And the test requires a lot of reading, at least debates and seminars, including (among others) Florestan Fernandes, Max Weber, Emília Viotti, Celso Furtado, Ruth Cardoso and Octavio Ianni. If you are going to work with Olavo de Carvalho, make a precise comparison with scholars. It's not worth a "drive through" booklet.

With regard to the acidic speeches and texts of the Blogs and newspapers about speeches by PT leaders about Latin American countries, especially former President Lula, what is surprising are the taboos assumed by people and newspapers that hold the old liberal thought. For example, the mannerist editorials of Folha de São Paulo (which experienced the mild dictatorship) and the inquisitorial edicts of the Estadão. For some, it is about carrying the 2022 electoral burden in support of the authoritarian left; for others, the indelible mark of the party and its leaders in the composition of the southern axis of evil. It even seems that what they call lulopetismo ends up in the speech of two or three people. Poor anonymous people, who actually build votes at the polls! Strictly speaking, privileged editorialists and columnists lack the analytical competence, or scientific basis to create greater complexity in their speeches, almost always shriveled and rickety, representations of the old liberal primers. By the way, it is symptomatic that the editorials, especially, are the only spaces in the newspapers in which it is impossible to see some brilliance, some creation or instigation, phenomena found in other parts of the newspapers.

Why not assume Thank you for arguing, that there is nothing evil in the countries of the supposed “southern axis of evil” that does not occur in the United States or Sweden by groups of power and influence, or even by part of the central power and, however, the USA and Sweden are full democracies and the government of Ortega, Maduro and the traces of Castro are “evil” incarnate? Who said that the best analysis (a little longer and more systematic) is not possible, and from it many others, dense and complex? Therefore, the angles of the analyzes are, unfortunately, illusory, simulated, bipolar or cross-eyed. No critically crafted fonts. Such journalistic texts are worthy of what should be an editorial intelligence, which would have the obligation to read something by Edgar Morin and expand analyzes of the world-system with each reflection on the international political game. Next to so many brilliant people, why are editorials so pissed off? It is a poorly learned/apprehended political grammar, left aside by the prominence of beaten capitalist liberalism, also forging the egos of command and power.

Why the horror at a perhaps too simple comparison between Merkel's time in power and the time of a Latin American representative? The comparative structure is legitimate, despite being little accepted in the international framework that privileges European attitudes and places them in the Olympic pantheon of the world, contrary to the weak America on the south side. It is about sociopolitical prestige, which suffocates the deepest analysis.

Such editorialists were and are incapable of doing the least in their analyses, that is, placing the psychosocial weight of European colonization on the world in the systematization of data, an indispensable aspect for any reflection worthy of an international character. Even if, in the movement of analysis, the errors of our Latin American nations are raised, which are many. If naturalized Nicaraguan at this historic moment, this columnist would not vote for Ortega. Such a ruler would have to be very well analyzed. Ditto Mature etc.

In fact, what is read in the interview to El Pais on November 20 of this year is an agile and relativist Lula, who does not compare regimes and regime actions, but times and spaces of political action. There is no disdain for Merkel there, but there is no significant intervention in Ortega's practices, for example. The discourse is also old: the self-determination of peoples. Or the opposite, but in this case, those who really interfere inside the land of others and impose agents are the great owners of military force. As it happened in Brazil during the dictatorship and in many well-known places. Furthermore, in the interview his position was against Maduro, Ortega and Morales going to the popular vote once again. They should demonstrate that their parties are rich in other intelligences. If they are.

And such editorials get worse, to return to the case that began the last paragraphs, when they locate in these axes of evil the presence of a somewhat exiled PT member, José Dirceu. It remains for them to look for Palocci, in prison or free. Again the anti-scientific attitude to analysis. All parties harbor enormous contradictions (would you like citations?), skeletons in closets, errors not brought to light. Because all parties are corruptions of the way of building associations in liberalism in the Brazilian way. Little different from cooperatives without free members or soccer teams and their top hats. Forged in the clay-footed Republic, licentious, copying, lying. Evidently, with the primary purpose of constituting a democratic society – which we do not have – they should have put everything in the light and will still have to do so. The political parties in Brazil are, all, simpletons, because they make beautiful analyzes of the situation and are incapable of making good analyzes of their history, their skeletons and their paths, triggers of becoming. Worse, each one accuses the other of not having analyzed themselves, which is a “valhacouto” (an old word!) that serves to prevent anyone from thinking about themselves, making inflections. And the party carnival follows. Pity. Party is so important organization!

There are many people within the PT who do not accept any return of these aforementioned leaders to supposed power, and with good reason. Or the entry of Alkmin. However, there is a lack of analysis, lack of clarity, transparency. And so the parties go towards the 2022 electoral process full of the ego of command and dispute. It would be better, finally, for editorials to deal with these complex problems, without frivolously concentrating on the objects of their taboos woven into liberalism.

The political grammar towards the elections does not need to discuss Bolsonaro, from whose mouth (according to his story) nothing dignified is possible. It is the country as a political, economic, cultural and ecological totality that reveals it. Sad that rivers of ink and energy are spent on it. We've all sinned for that. He arrives.

Let's deal with what may turn out to be the electoral horror of the contenders who, legally guaranteed by the right to dispute, begin to issue their first speeches.

The recent speeches of Gleisi Hoffmann and Sérgio Moro signal the bad political history. Between the looting of Petrobrás and the great evils on the Brazilian industrial complex, which would have been perpetrated by Moro and the PT, little truth remains. What is intended? Firm positions? Guarantee that this will be the discursive level in 2022? It is evident that clouds and fumes – including legal ones – mediated the two speeches and that they will not clear until October 2022. Who deserves the mere subjectivism thrown as truth on the backs of the people? Now, it is one thing to demand explanations in public debates with transparent rules and another is to pinch a watermelon truck on those who cannot digest the entire load. Even worse is that such gogó exercises throw smoke on what matters, that is, the indispensable enunciation of viable policies. Will any discourse do, as long as it hurts and mistreats? Deep down, Hoffman and Moro's speeches are repellent and eliminatory. They end in the boring zero to zero. Language thrown out. It would be better to deepen the analysis on the quality of the third way, of the tertius, that you are looking to build. As analytical data, the tertius is indispensable, because it fills in the assumption of the void between contenders. As a reality phenomenon, the Brazilian third way announces itself as plural, but it hides the central fact that Lula does not only contend with the captain, but, as before, with the different types of elite of the hardened cipoal, which is neoliberalism at the way of the 1990s. However, when the candidate speeches weave some complexity, shortly before the middle of the year 2022, only the original positions will have reason and sense, based, as Drummond thought, on the world feeling of this decadent Brazil due to the prevailing disgrace in the Planalto, therefore exhausted and defrauded by neoliberalism and pressing for popular ecology in place of the economy of the literate in command. This beautiful suffering country is demanding the irruption of its beautiful diversity, natural and cultural (as scientists of nature and humanities thought), to be the land of dreams of those who died and the attainment of life for new generations. However, if unfortunately the unintelligence of the republican past prevails, everything will be a mess, screams and screams from the platform waiting for two cripples from the second round in search of the initiatory ride in the Rolls-Royce Silver Wright model 1952, whose post-war carcass perhaps it echoes one of the least republican moments in the country, the chaos preceding Getúlio's entry into history. It would be fair to use an electric cart towards Planalto, not out of hypocrisy, but for ecology. When the subject of the action is honest, the hypocrisy is due to the other's speech.

What characterizes Brazilian electoral campaigns is evil and frivolity. It becomes obvious that from time to time evil goes to its extreme, such as the seizure of power by Bolsonaro and his various troops, in the shadow of Ustra.

However, the minimum recognition of the rights of Brazilian men and women, based on the considerations that begin this text, could build a quite dignified campaign. Here, some considerations about political horror are again necessary. The first is that the act of imagining a polished and scientific electoral campaign is not something for political winners; victory is a place for males who show their attributes by hitting the table. Outside of that, it's a Polyana thing. It is understood, therefore, the whole range of mistakes and deceptions in the process of guaranteeing full rights to women, blacks, indigenous peoples and all people identified in the LGBT+ group. The second guarantees that nothing is proved in an electoral campaign, nor is public policy organized, but data, projects and ideas are launched. The third point corresponds to the constitution of an electoral behavior that is one hundred percent the opposite of the fetid universe of Lira and his subordinates, who buy votes with tractors, bridges, streets and other equipment that have not gone through necessarily complex, programmatic and strategic, studied, ecological, indispensable and transparent public policies.

The first horror is unanswerable, as it only attests to the republican seam that led us to Jânio, dictatorships. captain and violence. The second move implies refusal or incompetence to change, which in fact means denying rights to the population that has been diminished and offended by its electoral history. Furthermore, it reinforces the “republican” rage of not changing and, on the contrary, perpetuating itself in power. In this case, with some differences in attitude, there is almost unanimity in the National Congress. Machado de Assis and Lima Barreto fully understood this type of power buff. But the vast majority of legislators have not read them. If so, did you want to understand it in another way or did you refuse to think about what you read. That's why they do what they do.

However, everything is worth it / if the soul is not small (Portuguese Sea)

What would be the signs of a political discourse worthy of a people largely lacking in a revolutionary political ecology?

  1. That the enunciation coming out of the candidates' mouths evidences an understandable statement for the majority, with reasoned decision-making, expectations of results and, for that, pragmatic and auditable strategies, either by technicians or by the population in referendums.
  2. That the parties are clearly mentioned in his speeches and that what he has done among the population be revealed, how he analyzes himself, his defects and possible virtues revealed in history, how much official money he received and how he is spending it. Lying on the platform is prohibited.
  3. That parties and candidates take a clear position on all the political, cultural and economic meanings of the pandemic and which ways of reorganizing society are required, with the support of scientific research in different fields of knowledge.
  4. That all advertising/publicity features clearly stated sources.
  5. That the questioning of the debates include researchers and popular people, chosen by methodologies that do not give rise to “cancellations”. If carried out by journalists, they should be the most prepared to condense the responses towards feasibility researched and proven by competent sources. Especially, conjure two minute answers, which serve to put the ox to sleep in conjunction with the blah-blah.
  6. That listeners and spectators, perhaps for the first time, realize that they are not deceived, that they are preparing for the conscious vote; finally, that the electoral process is more than an election, but a cultural construction that educates. In Brazil, the processes are much more interesting…
  7. That candidates prove by A+B that this diverse country called Brazil, in which diversity forges inequality for socioeconomic reasons, the cypoal of the concentrating neoliberal turbo capitalism encapsulates desirable changes, the frames (called social networks) demand submission from users( no exits) to big tech and in which the factories of the privileged and the cemeteries of the poor work night and day, in this country, one wonders, is it possible to continue to profess liberalisms, which were at the root of secular evils? north, as they are not viable models in the time-spatial relationship, much less present “republican” quick fixes and patches. What the Brazilian people of sacrificed majorities deserve is for candidates to assume a political position that changes the country across the board. As it stands, there will never be any change in the factories and cemeteries mentioned. Time itself does not change values ​​and policies. Changes occur by action deep in time and space. Finally, calling their proposals a product of social liberalism or fair liberalism would be a sign of poor political intelligence.

Good grammar is built on the discourse of representation. The more honest and true, the more real and, therefore, the more faithful to the meaning of language in the construction of life.

* Luiz Roberto Alves is a senior professor at the School of Communications and Arts at USP.

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