Short memory, maximum arrogance!

Image: Cyrus Saurius


“Letter” to the new mayor of Porto Alegre

To write this article I was inspired by the title of the film by Ettore Scola “We who loved each other so much”, which sounded like a reply to the article by Marcelo Rech, with his bold advice to Mayor Melo. I remembered that we, who are not imbeciles to the point of believing that we would eat “dog meat”, if Manuela and Rosseto won, we should say something. And the article came: I remembered that in Italy, even in fascism, mayors were called “syndacs”, not janitors.

On the night of October 27, 1922, the day before the “March on Rome”, Mussolini is in Milan watching the second act of “The Swan” by Ferenc Molnár, when Luigi Freddi, editor-in-chief of “Il Popolo d'Italia”, to pass on urgent news to his boss. In an article published in “Il Fascio” he wrote – in a fascist rhetoric always repeated with guns and daggers – “the punch is the synthesis of theory”.

The night before, two fascist “capos” – Aldo Finzi and Cesare Rossi – had carried out the order to circulate through the newsrooms of the newspapers with their minion Amerigo Dùmini, whose task was to show journalists what situation they would soon face, preventing them in any way gentle, what margin of freedom they would have in the fascist order in gestation: “Pleasure”, he said: “Amerigo Dúmini, nine homicides”. It is possible to make an analogy, but only an analogy, of these historical facts with our present, remembering the “advertisers' rebellion” of RBS, which occurred recently: the threats are different but the methods are the same.

Today I come across a tweet on Blog do Noblat, a respected journalist in the traditional press, a staunch opponent of the PT and Lula – a supporter of President Dilma’s ousting – who published the following formula, taken from an article published on UOL, by Mariliz Pereira Jorge: “No one else should have any doubts that Bolsonaro is a damn Genocide”. It is possible that the behavior of the characters mentioned in the previous paragraph – reported by Scuratti in his now classic “O Filho do Século” – were not exactly as they were described, but somehow – with greater or lesser drama – they occurred exactly as they did. sense. It is possible that Bolsonaro Genocide will not be recognized as such by the political and legal bodies of the Brazilian State, but that he has already tainted the entire Brazilian nation with fascism, homophobia, racism and suicidal ultra liberalism, there is no longer any doubt.

All political facts, behavior of institutions of civil society, positions of parties, postures of personalities, positions of journalists -from the great press and networks- must be appreciated, rationally, in this new context that crosses Brazilian society, from this that we see and live. We must do so, so that we can speak about fears, villainies, bravery and limits of each one of us, when the President, going beyond all limits of decency, responsibility, human commiseration, mocks and mocks the sick, the dead, families shaken by grief. Now, in the video in which he spoke with his sickly look, he continued his feat remembering a Mayor who, to fight the coronavirus, suggested the application of ozone in the rectum of infected people.

It is with this critical spirit, based on the posture I have always assumed of direct dialogue with rational political opponents – in the press and elsewhere – that I want to write a “letter” to the new Mayor, parallel to the one written by journalist Marcelo Rech in ZH 05\6 \12, addressed to Mayor Melo, contesting it in its main terms.

I do so because it is impossible to disconnect the trajectory of this competent journalist (in his own way and with his values) from everything that was produced in State politics and that led us to the current impasse situation: division of radical opposites within democracy and formal legitimation – consciously or unconsciously – of a Head of State, already treated by the traditional press itself as a “damned genocide”.

In his article, Marcelo Rech first congratulates the victorious candidate for his “legitimate victory”, which reveals -right away- his subjective complicity and his “respect” for the ways in which it was obtained. It was a materially illegitimate victory, with fake news and simple lies about Manuela circulating in the networks by the millions; trucks passing by – with impunity in the streets – announcing that communism would be established and that the citizens of the capital would be forced to eat dog meat; thousands of slander and defamations about the candidate's personal and family life, distributed by the millions.

I suggest to the Mayor about this part of the letter: his election has only formal legitimacy. Within a deformed electoral process, but it does not have material legitimacy – the real one – and you will have to obtain it after taking office, as your election was mounted by fascist genetics, which came from a Coup, where the future President celebrated torture and death and mocked the Constitution and the Republic. Start by putting health policies on track to combat the Pandemic, because if Mr. failing to do so will permanently be an illegitimate ruler, a criminal denialist, as is already seen by the President that Mr. opportunistically, he turned to support.

Right after Marcelo Rech makes two exemplary references to Mayors of other times and other cities – Loureiro da Silva and Jaime Lerner who, if they can be sustained as “exemplary” in their respective periods – to the more or less “progressive” taste of those who examine the his actions – measures that have nothing to do with the changes that the country and the cities have undergone in recent years: brutal concentration of income, concentration of resources in the hands of the Union, intensity of population growth in the formation of metropolitan regions, profound changes in the relationship country-city and – after the parliamentary media coup – concentration of power in a marginal political structure of the extreme right, supported by conservative politicians and their traditional parties.

Rech makes these two references, Mayor, not to have to mention the local governments of Porto Alegre that placed the city in the world: with the Participatory Budget in an already renovated City Hall, with the Mercocidades project, with the largest World Meeting of Mayors ever held in Brazil, with the World Social Forum, with Porto Alegre on stage, with the raising of massive resources from international national agencies to build – for example – the Third Perimeter and promote massive investments in Sanitation, Paving, Renovation and Construction of Public Schools, construction of the “Usina do Gasômetro” Project and the Public Market, as well as the qualification of Public Transport (Carris being awarded as the best Public Transport company in the country), with Support and Rescue Programs for families without income and the population city ​​street. After this period, social policies were relegated – procedurally – and then the people living on the streets tripled and the children returned to the street corners for alms.

The method adopted by Rech, to give him advice, is known in history: talking about the remote past so as not to need to talk about the near present, when this contradicts his ideological convictions. In the specific case of Rech, in order to be honest with the information, he would have to recognize that the political forces that he did not like, both in the State – including with Collares – and in its capital, including this one, governed with honesty, participation and local and global success, they respected their opponents and showed public responsibility and political ethics.

Mayor: I suggest that Mr. take as a reference – selecting those programs and projects that you like – the Mayors who have governed Porto Alegre in recent times, because everyone has -in their measure- something good to offer you, in this moment of death and denialism, sponsored by a President who pleases you, but it will never help you.

A crucial example, Mayor – of methodological virality – is the crucial suggestion (!), given by journalist Marcelo Rech, advising that Mr. imagine Porto Alegre as the “Brazilian Boston”. The suggestion was supported by the profound knowledge of public management of another “expert” in successful cities, journalist David Coimbra, an extreme Bolsonarist, who is perhaps in a recovery phase today.

See Mayor: Porto Alegre has a GDP that reached approximately 73,9 billion reais, whose “per capita” GDP is 46 thousand reais. Boston has an approximate GDP of 2 trillion reais (+ or- 363 billion dollars), which gives rise to a GDP per “capita” of 450 thousand reais! Tell Marcelo Rech, Mayor, that it's not that Mr. don't want to, but actually Mr. can't be inspired by boston! It would be insane to be inspired by a city that has no historical, economic, financial relationship with the situation of our Azorean Porto Alegre, in a country where the President that you yourselves helped to elect, would give -as an indication of inspiration in public management- the brilliant administrator Bishop Crivella.

But now comes Rech's greatest lesson for public management, which a scholar of urban anthropology, global-local political economy and the sociology of development could give to a mayor stripped of any public vocation: “the effort to confer such brand to the city is above all from the private initiative, and it should be, but it is necessary that the public power does not get in the way, that it removes obstacles from the path and that it leads – through enthusiasm and inspiration – the articulation to position Porto Alegre as a world reference in terms of smart city and quality of life. Being a good caretaker of the Capitol is your first duty.” Perhaps it would be possible if a smart city with a dumb Mayor were viable.

Surprisingly: the Mayor is promoted to the status of “Career” of a city in which he should be the Trustee and who, in his absence, sees this condition transferred to the “private initiative”, this abstraction identified by half a dozen big businessmen who they can even correct RBS, through an insurrection of advertisers.

Honestly, any non-mediocre Mayor would be offended by these Councils worthy of the children's school of the Free Brazil Movement.

Let us remember, finally, that the last and modest suggestion by Marcelo Rech, to Mr. -dear Mayor- is “Think Big”, the slogan of Cezar Schirmer's PMDB, in the elections in which we loyally disputed the Mayor of Porto Alegre. The advice is totally coherent with the celebrations that Marcelo Rech's company made, when it announced that the Brito-Malan agreement had, finally, cleaned up the State: short memory, maximum arrogance!

*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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