Indignation

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By LEONARDO BOFF*

Against the stupidity of certain groups of the Brazilian population

Four dark shadows hover over a solar country that could never be dispelled by our collective consciousness and unconsciousness: the shadow of genocide of the original peoples, the first owners of these lands. Of the six million that were, only one million remained, the majority for not supporting slave labor or for the diseases of the invaders against which they did not have, nor do they have immunity today. A shadow of colonization that depredated our lands and forests and made us always dependent on someone outside, prevented from forging our own destiny.

A shadow of slavery, our greatest national shame, for having turned people brought from Africa into slaves and charcoal to be consumed in sugar cane mills. Never seen as people and sons and daughters of God but as “pieces” to be bought and sold, they built almost everything that exists in this country. And today, seen as lazy and imprisoned, they make up more than half of our population, thrown on the outskirts; endure the hatred and contempt formerly imposed on their brothers and sisters in the slave quarters and now transferred to them with violence, as shown by sociologist Jessé Souza (The backward elite: from slavery to Lava Jato, 2007 p.67) until they lose the sense of their dignity.

A shadow of backward elites who have always occupied the fragile State, using it for their benefit. They never forged a national project that included everyone, with the perverse arts of conciliation between the wealthy, just a project just for them. It was not enough to despise the marginalized, but to crack their heads if they stood up, as happened several times in his heroic history of resistance and rebellion.

When a survivor of that tribulation, through rocky paths and abysses, became president and did something to help his brothers and sisters, they soon created the perverse conditions to destroy his leadership, excluding him from public life and, finally, , to him and his successor to remove them from power. This shadow took on the shape of a “stormy storm and nocturnal shadow (Camões) under the current government that does not love life, but exalts torture, praises dictators, preaches hatred and leaves the people to their fate, lethally attacked by a virus. , against which he has no rescue project and, inhumane, is incapable of any gesture of solidarity.

These shadows, because they are an expression of dehumanization, have nestled in the souls of Brazilian men and women and have rarely been able to see the light. Now the ideological and political conditions have been created to be thrown into the air like lava from a volcano, made of stupidity, generalized social violence, discrimination, anger and hatred of large portions of the population. It would be unfair to blame them. The backward elites have internalized themselves in their minds and hearts to make them feel guilty of their fate and end up making their project their own, which, in fact, is against them. The worst that can happen is for the oppressed to internalize the oppressor with the deceitful project of well-being, always being denied them.

Sérgio Buarque de Holanda in his acquaintance Brazil's roots (1936) spread a misunderstood expression in favor of the powerful, that the Brazilian is “the cordial man” because of the lhanesa of his dealings. But he had an observant and critical eye and soon added that “it would be a mistake to assume that this virtue of cordiality could mean “good manners” and civility (p.106-107) and he concludes;” enmity can just as well be cordial as friendship, since both are born from the heart” (p.107 note 157).

For, at the present moment, the Brazilian “cordial of incivility” erupts from the heart, showing its perverse form of offense, slander, low-slang words, fake news, direct lies, violent attacks on blacks, the poor, quilombolas, indigenous people, women, LGBT opposition politicians, made enemies and not adversaries. An ultra-conservative, intolerant official policy with fascist connotations erupted violently. Social media serve as a weapon for all kinds of attacks, misinformation, lies that show vengeful, petty and even perverse spirits. All this belongs to the other side of Brazilian “cordiality” today exposed to sunlight and worldwide execration.

The example comes from the government itself and its fanatical followers. A president would expect civic virtues and the personal testimony of human values ​​that he would like to see realized in his citizens. On the contrary, his speech is riddled with hate, contempt, lies and stupidity in communication. It is so uneducated and narrow-minded that it attacks what is most dear to a civilization, which is its culture, its knowledge, its science, its education, the skills of its people and the care of health and the national ecological wealth.

Never in the last fifty years has so much barbarism taken over a country like Brazil, bringing it closer to German and Italian Nazi-fascism. We are exposed to the world's derision, made a pariah country, denying what is consensus among peoples. The degradation reached the point where the head of state performed the humiliating rite of vassalage and submission to the most bizarre and “stupid” president (P. Krugman) in all of American history.

Our democracy has always been low-intensity. Today it has become a farce, as the constitution is not respected, laws are trampled on and institutions function only when corporate interests are threatened. So justice itself becomes conniving in the face of clamorous social and ecological injustices, such as the expulsion of 450 families who occupied an abandoned farm, transforming it into a large producer of organic food; pulls children out of their notebooks and razes their school; tolerates the deforestation and burning of the Pantanal and the Amazon rainforest and the risk of genocide of entire indigenous nations, defenseless in the face of Covid-10.

It is humiliating to see that the highest authorities do not have the patriotic courage to direct, within legal legality, the removal or impeachment of a president who shows unequivocal signs of political, ethical and psychological incapacity to preside over a nation of the size of Brazil . Direct threats can be made to the highest court, to close it, to make proclamations to return to the exceptional regime with the state repression that it implies and nothing happens for arcane reasons.

The oppositions, harshly maligned and watched, are unable to create a shared front to oppose the foolishness of the current power.

The brutalization in social relations and especially among the common people should not be blamed on them, but on the backward oligarchic classes that managed to internalize their prejudices and obscurantist worldview. These classes never allowed civilized capitalism to thrive here, but maintain it as one of the wildest in the world, as it has the support of state, legal, media and police powers to slaughter any organized opposition. “Economic rationality” reveals itself to be shamelessly irrational due to its harmful effects on the most underprivileged and for the social policies aimed at the socially most suffering.

This is an outraged text. There are times when the intellectual is obliged, for reasons of ethics and the dignity of his work, to leave the place of academic knowledge and come to the square and express his sacred anger. There are bearable limits for everything. Here we go beyond everything that is worthily bearable, sensible, human and minimally rational. It is barbarism instituted as a State policy, poisoning the minds and hearts of many with hatred and rejection and leading to frustration and depression to millions of compatriots, in a context of the most atrocious ones that take from our midst by the invisible virus more than one hundred thousand loved ones. To remain silent would be equivalent to surrendering to the cynical reason that, insensitively, watches the national disaster. One can do anything but the dignity of refusal, accusation and cordial and intellectual rebellion.

*Leonardo Boff is a theologian, philosopher and member of the International Earth Charter Initiative

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