Marielle Franco and Arthur do Val

Image: Cholera Joy
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By RONALDO TADEU DE SOUZA*

Two dense facts of reminiscence that are articulated in a way to bring us to the situation we are going through in Brazil today

“a large part of what made the greatness of this work [In Search of the Lost Time] will remain hidden or unexplored until this class [the aristocratized bourgeoisie] in the final struggle reveals its strongest physiognomic traits.” (Walter Benjamin, The Image of Proust).

“Justice for Assata” (Act 19/03 Goiânia information: instagram: ayah_akili andpensar.africanamente).

Much has already been said about memory in the formation of our lives. There are countless social theorists, philosophers, cultural critics and psychoanalysts who claim that the memory of a life from that time is the fundamental aspect not only of individuals, but of the society to which they are inserted. Be it in the uplift of each one's identity, be it in the arrangements for organizing social relations, be it in the ways in which we deal with significant political events – the past is a constitutive part of being in a broad sense.

It was not without reason that Marx said at the beginning of The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte that the spirit of the past and the traditions of other times influence the actions of the present – ​​even if from the point of view of language. And that Benjamin Theses on the Concept of History, to have claimed that we went to the past tense like a tiger's leap in that very one. Both Marx and Benjamin were writing their respective texts for those in conditions of being exploited, oppressed by the ruling classes, humiliated in everyday life by circumstances imposed by capital and its representative figures and cruelly sacrificed by state violence.

Both intended to draw attention to the importance for subordinates of every order of the power of remembrance; not the memory that becomes a gallows and removes the impulse for transformation by keeping, sometimes astutely, the political passions in the past, but the one that envisions the fusion with the contingent (this was Frantz Fanon's message at the end of the Black Skins White Masks) and transfigures itself into unsubmissive, radical, revolutionary subjectivity, so to speak, and makes the future present. It makes the horizon of expectations a dialectical-objective principle. Even so, sometimes he forgets what happened in the course of the experience.

That is why we must keep in our minds two facts that occurred in the last few days, but which are dense with reminiscence, and which are articulated, in order to bring us to the situation we are going through in Brazil today. This week marks four years since the assassination ordered by Marielle Franco, and days ago we witnessed one of the most terrible events in Brazilian public life – Arthur do Val’s trip to Ukraine, and the leaked audios with his statements about Ukrainian women in amidst the human suffering of war. (This war is promoted by those who, in general, characters such as this citizen is a spokesperson, the ruling classes of the world powers - the bourgeoisies and imperialist elites, Vladimir Putin and Russia included, which I have already said to those who have ears to hear, listen and pay attention that the Ukraine region was a mistaken invention of Lenin and the Bolsheviks after 1917.)

It is necessary to remember that Marielle Franco, a black woman, lesbian, leftist, socialist militant of PSOL (party to which she was affiliated and acted in defense of the poor, black men and women who experience all kinds of police violence in their daily lives), was cowardly exterminated by the political-police forces that, in one way or another, govern the country today, with an economic-political program that aims at the literal devastation of those currently considered disposable by the order of capital (and Arthur do Val is irrefutably one of the most important politicians and representatives of that bloc in power). Marielle would undoubtedly be one of the voices screaming for her and hers. But that was not possible for her.

In 2018, Brazil was already completely and morally conquered (only the material consolidation of state power was missing, because let's not forget, Michel Temer's presidency began in 2016 with the institutional coup, and that 9 out of 10 who are not from the left qualify as the diction of the political legitimacy of Impeachment) by the right of all stripes. Today nobody wants to associate with Bolsonarism, with Arthur do Val and with some cynical shyness they believe in the MBL (our liberals, or even liberals). In the arc of the Brazilian counterrevolution from 2014-2021, our 18 Brumaire to remember Bruno Cava's essay, let's recall that liberal-conservative, conservatives, liberals, traditionalists, neoliberals and social-liberals, obviously at no time taking a position against what was happening, the plotted death of Marielle is inserted.

The descriptions of the rationally planned murder are available for anyone who wants to check them out, I won't do them here (I already did it in the three years since Marielle's death on the website the earth is round); suffice it to say that Ronnie Lessa and Élcio Queiroz stalked her for more than three months before the day of the crime. And it is this arc, in the stabilization phase now, since we are on the eve of the election – an election that sometimes, not always and does not actually succeed, has the function of (re)establishing the unstable balance with the competition for the vote ( Schumpeter) –, which makes investigations and the revelation of who effectively demanded the extermination of the black councilwoman from Rio de Janeiro impossible. Now, in possession of State power and without any of the well-thought democratic (Marx) pretensions of the legalist left, it was and is natural that the right-wing group that holds it did, does and will do everything to hide those responsible: of the 9 shots shot by hired assassins against Marielle Franco.

Arthur do Val – who is said to have been an ally of Sérgio Moro until recently – was one of the most representative figures of what some call the new Brazilian right. In a way, understanding things carefully here, he is one of the “responsible”, indirectly responsible and with a significant degree of distance from that indirect, for what happened on March 14, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro. It must be remembered that in that context, the city of Rio was occupied by military forces under the command of Braga Neto; Lava Jato's prestige was absolutely unscathed given its links with the corporate media; market ideas organize the debate about the future of the country; the left was relentlessly described as corrupt (how beautiful is the revenge of history); and the characters on the right were received in all the social and power halls like the lords of the country: it was actually the Katekhon once. Arthur do Val was one of them.

Today, the middle class, be it the conservative, the liberal professions, the intellectual, the progressive, has behaviors of aversion to the figure of Val – but in the arc in question they congratulated and rejoiced when he went to manifestations of movements and groups of the most varied left, which most of the time was made up of people fighting for a minimally more dignified life, and asked questions to those present, questions and questions to try to humiliate those already humiliated, to try to despise those already despised, to the most absurd , such as: “do you know what surplus value is?”, “what do you think of Che-Guevara?”, “do you know what a fiscal deficit is?” etc. (Yes, dear Arthur do Val! Everyone knows what “added value” is, they know who “Che was”, and “understand” the implications of the non-fiscal deficit.).

However, behold, the (former) ally of Moro, and that it is necessary and necessary to disclose, still spoke and speaks for the right-wing forces, for market agents, capital and/or the bourgeoisie in good classical socialist theory, (he was a staunch supporter of social security reforms against civil servants in São Paulo), and for the conservatives of the moment, he sets out on a trip to Ukraine, along with Renan dos Santos (and his boyish face from a party boy in the good nightclubs of São Paulo). There, in the country with its population, the majority of workers and middle sectors suffering the reality of a war not planned by them, quite the contrary, it “reveals” what kind of group and political and social sector we are facing. Misogyny will not be enough to qualify the words of Arthur do Val (let it be said that some sectors pretend that it is not with them that it is about, it is shameful how the media and other sectors of the political spectrum treated the case, if it was someone from the left that in Brazil one can commit the slightest mistake, even if sincere assessment and position-taking would be quite different).

The head of MBL (Movimento Brasil Livre), who plotted alongside his own – namely, Sérgio Moro himself, Aécio Neves, Vem pra Rua, Kim Kataguiri, Brasil Paralelo, Instituto Mises, Instituto Millenium, Eduardo Cunha, Pondé and other free-thinking and democratic columnists (there are so many), economists from the many XP's scattered throughout Farias Limas (André Esteves from BTG at the head), Olavo de Carvalho, PSDB, DEM, Jair Bolsonaro and the Ulstra-spirit – the deposition of Dilma Rousseff, a palace coup polished as if carefully cutting a diamond stone for Vivara (and which now, of course, exercises racial diversity), with the identical soul-saint that made him lie and create Fake News about Marielle Franco, but at the time the holy alliance shrugged its shoulders, he went to Ukraine to really demonstrate what he wanted as a Brazilian politician.

It wants, let us not forget, the practical and symbolic crushing of all subordinates: women, blacks, workers, LGBTQI+ and indigenous people. Remembering that 1500 days ago Marielle left us in the hands and minds of type figures like Arthur do Val and his associates, once again understanding things thoughtfully, that is, cultivating memory as an irruption of the past into the present-future, can take us not only to redeem the left-wing black councilwoman, like that of all and all who fell and fall in the arduous class-race struggle, those of everyday life and those of radical emancipation.

*Ronaldo Tadeu de Souza is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Political Science at USP.

 

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