Lula or Bolsonaro

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By Tarso Genro*

What are the mediations that the leaders of currents of opinion bequeath to their subordinates? What are their responsibilities when creating impulses of death or life, generosity that sees others as equals or indifference towards the future? How does the postmodern world interrupt popular creativity, through alienated education that turns hate into an argument?

In this article, I base myself on the historical fact of real life, that Lula means the politics of life and Bolsonaro the politics of death and the desire to oppress: these are the two real extremes that move people in today's times.

Enzo Girardi (In: New Society, Ebert Foundation, n. 283) says that “the subjectivity that builds sociability in a network is self-referential (and) is self-representation, which weakens the idea of ​​community and the feelings of empathy that paralyze the sense of adherence, the disposition to loyalty, necessary to articulate the representation” . Girardi thus touches on a pivotal point in the crisis of liberal-representative democracy. And in the process of opinion formation in a society of brutal inequalities and robots, sown to control and awaken remotely guided emotions against democratic life.

Most parties have already seen their rulers weakened in their legitimacy to govern, soon after assuming the positions they ran for, immediately bombarded by both the press and the “networks”. Not bad if a parity of weapons were established – between attacked and attackers – or if criminal messages were (on both sides) audited and followed by public reparations to those defamed, injured or slandered.

This usually occurs for different reasons and is frequent, especially with left-wing rulers, when they try to touch the privileges of the upper classes. It was the moment when they became targets of disqualification – direct and quick – both by the robotization of opinion manipulated by the Empire's intelligence agencies, and by the communication chains of the traditional media, associated with the liberal reforms.

Compare, in the native media – for example – the treatment given to the political personality that is shaped by Bolsonaro – fascist and necrophiliac – with the treatment given to Lula when he was Government, with his dialogical and humanist style.

This siege of democratic and libertarian messages was common – by primitive means – in the dawn of modern society. The blockade there was due to the prohibition of culture to the popular classes, later mitigated in the social democratic rest, when democracy was already strongly combined with the distribution of income. Now, such prohibition already takes place in a more sophisticated way, with the impulse of the corporate communication media, devoted to the criminalization of politics, when the virtues of selfishness and pain (for others) start to annihilate the virtues of solidarity in the Social State .

I think that the parties and other organizations of the left field have not yet equipped ourselves – theoretically and materially – to change the traditional means of doing politics. We remain with the long and tedious analyzes of “conjuncture” in a twitter language society; we defend the image of collective happiness linked exclusively to economic issues (in a society where a consciously oriented way of life is as important as daily bread); and we continue talking to a working class – employed and regular – that is increasingly a minority and mutant, who, if they listen to us, do not understand us.

Gramsci in his notebooks, mentions Francesco De Sanctis – imprisoned in Naples between 1849 and 1851 for his Enlightenment ideas – teacher and critic of culture, rebelling against the fact that great poetry had become the privilege of teachers, through which Dante was “transhumanized”. It was necessary to overcome – said De Sanctis – the ignorance that distanced people from culture and sensibility, which would allow appreciating Dante as the poet of Italy, leaving aside seeing him as an “impenetrable tower to the non-initiated.”

I suggest that this concern of De Sanctis – transposed to the current world – should be the basis of a reform in the language of parties, to promote new approaches in the networks, change the sense in which party “directions” and “bases” are related to produce policies: no longer in “top-down” conduits, but “bottom-up” ones, the way in which changing life – from different subjectivities to empirical movements – teaches directions about “what” should guide and govern.

“There comes a time when one no longer says: my God\ A time of absolute purification\ A time when (…) love was useless\ And the eyes do not cry\ And the hands weave only rough work.\ And the heart is dry.\ (…) There has come a time when it is useless to die.\ There has come a time when life is an order. \ Life alone, without mystification” (Drummond in “The shoulders support the world”). It is a poem about the various times of life of each one, but which lurks – in its text – nothing less than the pursuit of happiness.

The meaning of this poem, which translates into modern verses a long journey of art from the Renaissance to the great classics of the XNUMXth century, is also present in the Sistine Chapel, in The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo. There is a God-portrait, painted between 1508 and 1512, which, humanized by art, generates an Adam with the physical touch of an artisan with a gray beard. Beards grown in a remote and metaphysical history – not palpable and not known – through a God of History who symbolically is ready to create Man.

learned us Moral Booklets Leopardi – I always return to him and Drummond to think about politics – that the natural state of life is unhappiness, so much so that in the pursuit of happiness “man artificializes nature”, teaches Leopardi. Two thinkers of the world so far apart in time and so close to the light, carve out in a few words the universal dramas of existence: killing, dying, the pursuit of happiness, the balance to seek utopia and the reunion with life.

In both thoughts, what illuminates the most as a message is the human urgency in the pursuit of happiness: through struggle, through love, through the balance of “rough work”, through the dominion that human beings want to exercise over nature, to free themselves from their originary existence – as Leopardi thinks – since man is unhappy in his “natural state”. Unhappiness as a “natural state”, however – in Leopardi's view – does not paralyze us, but attracts us to it, to put it at the service of our desire.

Contrary to what some extremes that flee from “reason” as radical humanism may think, happiness is not borrowed from politics: it is its essence, as both – politics and happiness – are expressed in immediate time and become one into the other. . The death compulsion brings happiness to the deranged and deformed; the fibrillating compulsion for equality and human dignity brings happiness to those who – in whatever political position – want to inherit Michelangelo's human and divine touch in the Sistine Chapel.

Fascists were happy in the March on Rome, Hitler contemplating defeated France and the Fields of Death, the contemporary left in Vietnam's victory over the Empire or in the social-democratic moderation of the Pact of Moncloa. The Cuban people raved with happiness at the overthrow of the bloodthirsty Fulgencio Batista: the concept of happiness is not a “moral” concept, bound by principles, but is historical and determined by the type of compulsion that binds people most strongly to life or death, in their personal and class circumstances.

In times of serious crisis in society and in the economy, many people who are important to resolving the impasses of history, become static and cornered “in the pure and simple affirmation (of their own) values”, as Richard Sennet said in his corrosion of carater. These are moments in which the political dimension of individuals, individually, and of expressive social groups is exhausted in the retreat to an absolute interiority: either in the mute conciliation with fascism, or in the collective hysteria of the market.

The pursuit of happiness composes politics like breath shapes glass, even if it has different meanings: sacrifice, vibration, will to live, will to kill. The drive for freedom and the drive to enslave (or kill) are housed in that same “natural state”, from which man chooses how to be happy. Either through the animality that is expressed with the necrophilic compulsion of the idea of ​​fascism, or through the self-humanization that surrenders to the “other”, expressed in the primitive Christian idea – in democracy and in the genetic idea of ​​socialism – of San Francisco Gandhi, of Thomas Morus to Marx, from Guevara to Mandela.

Let the anti-fascist crowds beat without violence and with joy; that the students vibrate and sing and make fun – respectfully – of the tapirs that govern education; that the social movements fighting for housing, land, bread – for the protection of the weakest – for the right to enjoy life that stimulates the moral energies of each one, fill politics with common life.

Their bodies move politics, their gestures disturb bureaucracies, their poetry can wake up the sleep of neutrals who are not fascists. And above all – for this reason – we will demand from the parties, which we sympathize with or support, that they unite in representing the democratic will threatened by the delusions of fear. This is the meaning of the “extremes” that Lula and Bolsonaro can represent: one proposes the political homeland as a collective life in happiness, the other sees it through the politics of death, which is realized in the threat of the militia dictatorship.

*Tarsus-in-law he is a former mayor of Porto Alegre and former Minister of Justice in the Lula government.

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