Modernity against Brazil



An excerpt from the recently released book “The anthropophagic soldier: slavery and non-thought in Brazil”

It is somewhat anachronistic to demand from Januário da Cunha Barbosa an understanding of modernity that was not his, nor that of men of his class and condition in his new country.[I] Undoubtedly an anachronism, a desire for a modern light on the Brazilian experience and dynamics that was not the case. However, something that another author, a contemporary of Cunha Barbosa, was perfectly capable of enunciating at the time and place.[ii] Seen from his point of view, our anachronism already revealed itself to be something synchronic. Not by chance, as we shall see.

The German traveler Carl Schlichthorst, when thinking for the first time about the possible horizons for literature in Brazil of origins and with the experience of having lived here for two years, in the same years of 1820 of the Niteroi de Barbosa, simply wrote about the possible literary representation of the country, making a clean slate of the more general conventional conscience of Brazilians: “Greek mythology, mostly based on phenomena of nature, would make a sad role over the tropical sky. Can Aurora serve to open with her pink fingers the curtain of a day, whose splendorous colors would make Apollo pale? Are nymphs and fauns suitable inhabitants of virgin and eternally green forests, in whose inviolate bosom are hidden more wonders than the liveliest fantasy could create?

The first attempts of a Brazilian muse already suggest that it will take a more original flight and that Brazil will preserve its independence, whether poetic or political.”[iii] The traveler's spirit of independence and freedom of movement, and his particular popular Enlightenment background, as we will see later, already projected into the natural richness, novelty and compulsory modernity of the new nation a principle of restlessness and invention that, for a long time, our real conservatism, coming from another foundation, would not allow confirming. Furthermore, he thought of the link between culture and politics as key to the desire for autonomy and national continuity.

What matters is that, somehow, in the belated little epic of 1822, an almost carnivalesque allegory against the grain of its author's elevated desire, superficial Brazilian, without references in the historicity that situated the country itself, was already indicated and perhaps even already formed, with great anticipation but with a clear social structure of reasons that harmed the possibility of form, the difficult symbolic equation of our famous and real aristocracy of nothing, which Paulo Emílio Salles Gomes, serious disciple of Oswald de Andrade, fought the irresponsibility in the hard years from 1930 to 1970.

There was also, so far as we can say, the consciousness of the occupant, quick and ready to produce the national space that corresponded to it, in the critical terms of Paulo Emílio in the 1970s dictatorship: foreign consciousness in the nothingness of a past or a future nonexistent in terms of what would be the very life of the national space, that is, of everything that social life would imply. Structure of meaning and subjectivation proper to a significant part of the local elites – the same ones that Oswald de Andrade would mercilessly ridicule, for the same reasons, in his avant-garde prose works of the 1920s.[iv]

I believe that this is possibly also, for example, the same questionable symbolic position re-edited about which Antonio Candido, a close friend of Paulo Emílio and original critic of Oswald, commenting on José Geraldo Vieira's philosophical, intellectualist and universal novel, the fortieth door, in a moment of great critical force, still in the 1940s, wrote with historical urgency: “may never again be possible in Brazil similar works and classes that make them viable and meaningful”. The critic concluded that it was a Brazilian class spirit that was completely unaffected by the effects of the 1930 revolution.[v]

It was the position of the tough modern national critical conscience regarding that social strata, with its irresponsible and non-integral symbolics, in which simply “what impresses is its total disconnection from Brazil, from our problems, from our way of seeing problems” , in Candido's terms, when they express their half-magical and half-dead imaginary world, simply displaced from productive life and from any kind of commitment, social, popular, critical, or even freely aesthetic. A famous elevated space, mortified and distanced, “of the navel’s precedence over the world” according to the critic, like a hothouse flower, in the terms of Sérgio Buarque de Holanda, or of the rich among themselves in Brazil, in the terms of Machado de Assis , the same space of reasons that, in a secular battle, our modernism and our local critical culture have always confronted, seeking a new formal and social reality, throughout the entire XNUMXth century.

“Even when they started to legislate or take care of organization and practical things, our men of ideas were, in general, pure men of words and books; do not go outside yourself, your dreams and imagination. Everything thus conspired to manufacture an artificial and bookish reality, where our true life suffocated to death. (…) It was the way of not lowering ourselves, of not sacrificing our personality in contact with petty and despicable things.”[vi] In other words, the hard, violent life outside any parameter of liberal progress of the society of landowners, enslaved and free men, including, or rather, excluding, the central Enlightenment strategic illusions.

At the same time, a social and symbolic space positively aligned with power, a satisfied affirmation of submission to whatever sovereignty, as Sérgio Buarque also noted, an ideological cultural space that is one of our long-term formations, of continuum created by force of slavery, as Alberto da Costa e Silva said. It was the famous medallion culture, inconsequential for any sense of restless, flattering and debased modernity, practically insane from the point of view of the life of the concept, as Machado de Assis, in a satirical and condensed way, enunciated, formalized and researched in astonishing detail, in his second- and third-phase novels.

That forms similar to that were found a little later in José de Alencar – in the crude allegorism and satisfied bad taste, without any trace of shame, of class, which passed for high and decorous, of O Guarani for example – and, already in the XNUMXth century, in the traditional backward fetishist thinking of the Brazilian right, particularly in the morbid São Paulo four-centrism – clearly expressed in the moldy cinema of the elites playing the backgammon of their anti-modern Vera Cruz existences, in the “sublime tradition of slow and serious stupidity of the Paulistas”, in the terms of Mário de Andrade[vii], of that social flora “sluggish and exotic, like your orchids, and more than you can imagine”, by Lévi-Strauss[viii] – and were openly denounced in a modern kind of construction in the abyss of the past and national kitsch by Glauber Rocha, still in 1967, in Earth in a trance – and also as a surface and festive effect, in our lively musical tropicalism – and that, even today, strong traces of this archaic cultural barbarism are manifested in the streets and in the new attempt at right-wing politics in postmodern Brazil, now mixed with the subjectivation of the new universal subject of globalized consumption, perhaps even more degraded, this great circuit of repetitions of mortified, Brazilian kitsch, today manic and industrially determined, vulgar, but equally demented, reveals the true strength of an integral national conviction, of foundation.[ix]

Disconnection of history as a program and delirious system of ideas for the abstract approximation of power, with the production of no sense applied and as culture, authoritarian and satisfied, is a vernacular Brazilian ideological practice. It is the persistent national symbolic dimension, which we review today as a half-universal cultural catastrophe, of evil stupidity, of lack of commitment to intelligence, supported by direct predominance over work. As Eric Williams perfectly put it, “The supply of docile, low-cost, cheap labor can only be maintained by systematic degradation [of land] and the deliberate effort to stifle intelligence.”[X] Is it possible to recognize the contemporary value of the program? The things in Brazil today have made this evident, there is no need to deny it. It is our active conservative world, which constantly performs, for our mirage of country and for the endless counting of the dead, its own “dialectic of both poles of Order and Progress, with the mixture of a little bit of progress with regression”[xi] according to another German writer, already speaking of the suspended structure of our own time.

It was exactly this type of mentality and man that Machado de Assis, once again, was the first to formulate and point out virtually the foundation of real kitsch, his bad anti-modern, living dead taste, in the subjective commitment to what no longer existed. , the false classical culture, the irresponsibility of empty ideas and the guaranteed impotence in a society of slaves. All this is present in the strange opening scene of Dom Casmurro, in which Bento de Albuquerque Santiago, Bentinho, tells us how, almost aged and well frozen in the resentment of his own life, and already in 1899…, he tried to more or less rebuild his childhood home – his mother Dona Glória’s house, who had promised him to the Catholic seminary, from which he had been saved by the acute awareness of Miss Capitu's affairs.[xii] – with the ghostly reproduction of the effigies painted on the ceiling of the original house of figures from the history of Rome, Caesar, Augustus, Nero (!) and Massinissa (!!). Archaic and evident negative fetishism, turned once again to the classical world that did not exist, which freezes the childish in the old, anti-modern par excellence, of a past that had already passed, but which, for this way of seeing things, should never pass and, out of sheer desire, it does not pass.

Old fashionedness and dead culture, social impotence and authoritarianism are the values ​​of such a cultural constitution, perhaps in terms of origin, background of values, of something that is the real proto-postmodernism, authoritarian, manic and violent, so local, in vogue today.[xiii] A spirit whose cultural background is a confession of faith, an ever-repeating attempt to gather the shards of a past world for its own subjects, a very special obsessive field, which presupposed slavery.

Also, the current hysterical hatred, which strongly magnetizes the thinking capacity of sectors of the Brazilian middle class who loved to convert themselves into masses on the streets, in the Freudian sense of the idea, and their interested and calculated political destruction of history and the meaning of what it was the Lula government in the country, perhaps it still has significant contact with those forms that were not integrated, not modern or responsible, which formed the origin and the authoritarian and anticritical background, compulsorily added to power, which sociologically preceded everything in Brazil.[xiv] The subject and his common culture of violence, of this Brazilian order, which is re-edited from crisis to crisis, from trance to trance – in the idea of ​​the more or less constant discontinuity of our historical process, by Glauber Rocha, who projects a circular image upon us, incomplete, rather than the endless line of central progress – which has long been perceived as the political texture of the world of life and culture.

For example, by Carl Schlichthorst: “the reader will hardly understand the unpleasant feelings, the inconvenience and the offenses caused by a society in which the most delicate attentions can be trampled by the violence reigning therein, by the low intrigues that move it and by the lack of ideas reasonable, which becomes more sensitive in a country where the spirit finds little food.”[xv]

We still have Cunhas Barbosas among our supermodern radicals as violent as they are violent alt-rights Bolsonarist interventionists from Sunday afternoon demonstrations on Avenida Paulista, able to calmly sustain the resolute but clever archaism of a Temer government, and an astute anti-modern regression as the virtual neo-fascism of a fully assumed far-right government in Brazil, always bordering on the ridiculous, super kitsch, overused and overused in his “nonsensical images, heroic-asnactic imprecations, pathetic-pernostic tirades”[xvi] now cheap and industrial counterfeits, vulgar in the last, but also always in favor of any particular interest, and any force of capital, of whatever nature it may be, from the bullet to the generalized burning, and hence its contemporaneity? Or, in fact, do we have something new, and even worse, in what has been very condescendingly called today the new right in Brazil? What is the new order of power and culture for the old drive of Brazilian automatic aggregation, its alienated elitism and its most traditional, profound and true cultural nonsense, an identity mark that closely follows our “exacerbated bourgeois reactionarism”, as Florestan Fernandes said about these things?

In fact, theoretically, for the life of political sociology in Brazil, the situation seems somewhat similar to that thought by Florestan himself in his research on the permanence of pre-modern social forms and the present hidden nature of Brazilian-style racism, when he concluded that, not wanting to to explain the present entirely by the past, it was, however, necessary to consider that in Brazil the present and the past “were rebuilt together”. Present and past were “interconnected at the junction points, where the emerging class society took root in the previous system of castes and estates or where modernization did not have enough strength to purge itself of habits, behavior patterns and social functions institutionalized, more or less archaic.[xvii]

One of the important points of contemporary Brazilian symbolic life – and its last trance, in a secular succession of crises – is to know how much the new advanced ideology of the ultraliberal modernity of globalized capitalism, of large international funds that reduce the margin of maneuver of nations to social life itself is nothing, it simply rediscovers, once again, our old disposition for uncompromising elite self-elevation, for the reaffirmation of the most basic national authoritarian tradition, produced in the same movement of contempt for poor and popular life.[xviii] It is true that we have already seen things of this order in other moments of violence, in the pact from above and below in Brazil, which keep this logic in time: “In a few words: in the set of its secondary effects, the coup presented itself as a gigantic return of what modernization had relegated; the revenge of the province, of the small proprietors, of the mass rats, of the prudish, of the bachelors in law, etc. (…) Systematizing a little, what is repeated in these comings and goings is the combination, in a moment of crisis, of the modern and the ancient: more precisely, the most advanced manifestations of international imperialist integration and the oldest – and obsolete – bourgeois ideology – centered on the individual, the family unit and its traditions.”[xx]

In this broad field of meanings of the traditional Brazilian expropriation, and its atavistic and fallacious stupidity, the maintenance of the retrograde values ​​of mentality constant among us is articulated and is part of the production of a true factor of Special Capital, proper to our case, of a country that was formed like this: the constant possibility of overthrowing the idea and the system of some democracy at work, for the gain at any time of an advanced and renewed species of capitalism of primitive accumulation, a direct attack on social funds, of public regulation and, always, against the possibility of increasing social power, be it even consumption, of work in Brazil.[xx] Something happens more or less in the way that Rosa Luxemburgo understood the imperialist dynamics of Capital when projected worldwide, always ready to be primitive in the peripheries of the world, paying reasonably the local intermediaries of the crash, of course, and confirming the radical ethics of their stupidity.[xxx]

In this constant form of jump to the past, for a formative principle that is also old, but which serves the accumulation of the present, some power in Brazil takes no responsibility, and this is part of the ideological process and the formation of subjectivity, of the very concrete results of its policy. As in fact, he completely disclaimed responsibility, for example, for the violent part of the economic crisis of the present time, after the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, which fell to him - economy effectively stopped four years, until now, 12,5 million unemployed during the entire period Temer and beyond, an open flirtation with a new type of fascism – created by the very extreme policy of building a political crisis of more than a year and a half, artificial and self-serving, in a country that was suffering the general crisis of a world context.

We need to know if, once again, as in all of our modern tradition marked with this explicit tinge of anti-modern backwardness, we are going to advance in the progression of wealth without advancing in the rights to social integration, as we did in the century of the slaveholding Empire, during the Republic Old oligarchic and brutal civil-military dictatorship of Brazilian savage capitalism from 1964-85.[xxiii]

For this reason, the saying of Antonio Candido, from 1945 – in its rigorous moment of “it is no longer possible” by Paulo Martins in earth in trance, from 1967 – remains suspended in the air in front of the movements of great violence, backwards, that Brazil has always known: “that similar works and classes that make them viable and meaningful are never again possible in Brazil”.

*Tales Ab´Sáber He is a professor at the Department of Philosophy at Unifesp. Author, among other books by Dreaming restored, forms of dreaming in Bion, Winnicott and Freud (Publisher 34).



Tales Ab'Saber. The anthropophagic soldier: slavery and non-thought in Brazil. São Paulo, n-1 Hedra, 2022, 334 pages.



[I] Anachrony is a problem of the political subjectivation of criticism, to the extent that it starts from a universe of historical references and social desires, from where the critic places his object. It can only be avoided by being recognized, and dialecticized, between the present and the past, for this reason: “Even without wanting to anachronistically retreat concepts, it seems that the caramur it can be considered an epic of the kind that would be called colonialist today, because it glorifies methods and ideologies that we censured even in the past. But which are still accepted, recommended and practiced by friends of order at all costs, among which our old Durão would line up, who was the son of a repressor of quilombos and today perhaps ranks among the reactionaries, with all his talent, culture and passion. As we know, the caramur is a response to Uruguay, whose illustrated pombalism was closer to what was progress at the time. Even though it is the progress of an enlightened despot, a user of brutality and arbitrariness” (Antonio Candido, “Movimento e parada”, on. cit., P. 7).

[ii] We can also observe the grace and art of anachronism with theeven more precision if we compare the respectful and emotional vision of Cunha Barbosa expressed by Gonçalves Dias in the elegiac poem in his memory, in the second corners, and the effects current of the work and the character about me. Thus, the poet wrote in 1848:

opening chant

To the memory of Canon Januário da Cunha Barbosa

Where that burning, resounding voice,

That voice we hear so many times,

Polished like a glaive blade,

Where is that voice?


In the severe and strong popular face,

In the pulpit serene, friendly and mild,

Through the naves of the temple resounded,

How pious prayer!


And the sure hand, and the bold brow,

Where a volcano of ideas bubbled

And the generous ardor of a noble soul

– Where do they stop too?




The voice withered in the parched jaws

Your heart stopped in your chest

When only one foot steadied with difficulty

In the promised land!


And the tired hand weakened... it hung.

I still see it hanging over the pages

From the homeland history, where he engraved his name

Striped in gold letters.


Following the introduction that has the historian canon in the greatest possible account of what was the common project of a first generation of writers, to invent a country, the poet refers, in terms as strong as possible to be read with ironic ambiguity, to the poem mythical Niteroi:

It hung on him... when the mind wandered

Maybe bigger picture seemed to you

May the fierce fight of the brave Titan,

Saturn's last offspring.


Envy Claudian valid brush,

Which depicts the horrendous cataclysm

That he – poet – did not find in the wreckage

From the flaming Thessaly!


Envy… but to the ways of the Giant

The great Homer smiles; – and the blind Bard

Of the green Erin, among the famous heroes

Pleasant welcomes you!


Everything indicates that the most beautiful and finished poem of the nationalist expression of Gonçalves Dias, the stone giant, with its reference to the titanic nature of Rio de Janeiro that seemed to want to finally thaw out as a witness to history, had some origin and influence in his personal respect for Januário da Cunha Barbosa. he was a refactoring serious of your poor Niteroi.

[iii] Chapter essay “Brazilian Literature”, by Rio de Janeiro as it is, 1824-1826 -  once and never again, by C. Schlichthorst, Rio de Janeiro: Editora Getulio Costa, 1943, p. 157. Hereinafter cited as Scht.. On the book and Schlichthorst's way of circulating and narrating the city of Rio de Janeiro at the time, see Marina Haizenreder Ertzogue, “'The stranger': imagined plots about loneliness in Carl Schlichthorst, Carl Seidler and François Biard”, New World New World, evolutionary magazine on the Americanist Web, 2008.

[iv] “Rejecting a mediocrity, with which it has deep ties, in favor of a quality imported from the metropolises with which it has little to do, this public exudes a passivity that is the very negation of the independence to which it aspires. (…) The sterility of the intellectual and artistic comfort that foreign films provide makes the portion of the public that interests us an aristocracy of nothing, an entity that is, in short, much more underdeveloped than the Brazilian cinema that it disinherited.” Paulo Emilio Salles Gomes, Cinema: trajectory in underdevelopment, Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra, 1980, p. 101.

[v] We can observe, in the criticism, the plethora of Brazilian variation of universalizing values, without social ballast or historical dimension, typical of an elite that always dismissed them: “Summer dream of a repressed bourgeois, his novel is intrinsically, intimately, the fruit of the bourgeois idealism that characterized our century until the present war, – with its train of taboos: belief in the supremacy of the Spirit, subordination of things to it contingent, moral redemption through Art, predominance of educated elites. (…) The drama of the book, and its strength, comes from this terrible precedence of the navel over the world” (Antonio Candido, “O Romance da nostalgia bourgeoisa”, in light brigade, São Paulo: Livraria Martins Editora, 1945, p. 33).

[vi] Sérgio Buarque de Holanda, in the chapter “New times”, by Brazil roots, on. cit., P. 179.

[vii] In correspondence with Paulo Duarte, cited by Edu Teruki Otsuka in “Antonio Candido and Mário de Andrade (preliminary notes)”, Revista Scripta, PUC Minas, v. 23, no. 49, 2020.

[viii] sad tropics, São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2010, p. 91.

[ix] One of the keys to the strength of earth in trance it is to investigate and reveal the deep link between archaic kitsch and reactionary and antisocial politics in Brazil. Ismail Xavier revealed this political aesthetic moment of our reactionary conservatism in a true dialectic of Brazilian kitsch in the tensions between earth and trance e The Red Light Bandit:[For Rogerio Sganzerla] Kitsch is like a 'second nature' present in the peripheral condition; is a trait of the national being that is observed with humor without the symbolism of Evil, proper to earth in trance and their confrontation of paths, values. For Glauber, kitsch is the visible manifestation of the sinister; it is the parade of demonic masks of power that are reinstated as Evil in the history of Latin America, an uncomfortable grotesque whose ostensive presence causes estrangement, uneasiness, not laughter. It brings figures from the nightmare of defeat, is a product of politics, and cannot be assimilated with that tone of self-mockery typical of Sganzerla when he points to his omnipresence as the physiognomy of 'Brazilian misery'. In The thief, the clumsy style of expressions and gestures has its own flair, its grace, rather than being a sign of the incidence of evil, the visible face of repression or what is the precocious decay of the oppressed. There is, therefore, a dissolution of the moral code of the visible face of the world that Glauber, by dramatizing kitsch, articulated in his ceremonial of history, the crossroads where the nation oscillates between redemption and damnation. Paulo Martins' 'it is no longer possible', in the face of the infernal game of appearances, is an exasperated expression of disillusionment that, however, wants to go deeper because it supposes that it can find something consistent. Finally, he seeks a replacement of the truth and takes the tension of defeat to the limit. Inverting this drama, what remains is the path of radical desacralization, the loss of ceremony in the face of the national as a, shall we say, metaphysical system, which Glauber maintained”. Ismail Xavier, Allegories of underdevelopment, new cinema, tropicalism, marginal cinema, 2nd edition, São Paulo: Cosac Naify, 2012, p. 191 and 192.

[X] Eric Williams, capitalism and slavery, São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2012, p. 34.

[xi] Hans Magnus Enzensberger, in an interview with F. de São Paulo, on 12/12/1999, about the Brazil of that time, which has been for a long time, quoted by Paulo Arantes in “The Brazilian Fracture in the World”, in zero left, São Paulo: Conrad, 2004, p. 30. The emphasis in italics is mine.

[xii] See about the value of critical awareness of children and girls in Brazilian nineteenth-century realistic literature, Roberto Schwarz, two girls, São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1997.

[xiii] Parallel to this social figure of Brazilian anti-intellectual reactionism, a common good, we also had the oscillation of dependency and occasional radicalism, criticism and edifying duty of the nation of the modern and modernizing intellectual. The two waters of divided life, which do not meet when they coexist in bad conciliation. Paulo Arantes comes to think of the contemporary paradox of such a figure of criticism in Brazil, at the time of the Lulista State: “To be historically more exact, an intellectual in Brazil is always engaged in some national construction, imaginary or real, but in constant threat of interruption and colonial reversal. The tremendous news is that, for the first time, those of my tribe, progressives and Marxists, reversed the sign of this atavistic constructive commitment, starting to ride with the dazzle of every upstart the world wave of disintegration that is known”. In “A Destructive Intellectual”, Extinção, São Paulo: Boitempo, 2007, p. 230.

[xiv] sigmund freud, Group psychology and analysis of the self and other texts, São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2012.

[xv] Scht., P. 32. Or again: “How differently I felt in the southern hemisphere! There the soul rejoiced in and lived in the rising passion, all thoughts were directed to its satisfaction, and no moral considerations hindered the means of achieving that end. All delicacy is put aside, justice and equity are trampled under foot, and even the point of honor is understood differently from that of Europe. Hate and revenge are adorned as the harmonious name of strength of character, the softest feelings of the heart are censored, such as compassion and kindness, and forgiveness is called weakness” (p. 82).

[xvi] In the words of another modernist critique of the same phenomenon, by Antônio de Alcântara Machado, in Cavaquinho and saxophone (solo), 1926-1935, Rio de Janeiro: José Olympio, 1940, p. 362.

[xvii] And he continues: “[We found ourselves in the city of São Paulo in the research] with the two dimensions, which articulate racial experiences and contacts, whether to the common core of the slave and manorial regime, or to the most advanced transformations of the 'competitive society' and 'industrial civilization in Brazil'. (…) Professor Roger Bastide and I paid great attention to the two foci (seen and linked as trends that become concomitant, in a continuous process – and not as extreme and watertight poles of a supposed gradient sociocultural, located outside and above time and space, as is preferred by a descriptive sociology that had its vogue in Brazil.) (...) The intention was to link the disintegration of the caste and status system to the formation and expansion of the system of classes, to discover how independent variables, constituted by psychosocial or sociocultural factors based on the historical elaboration of 'race' or 'color', could be and were actually structurally and dynamically recalibrated. Florestan Fernandes, The Black in the World of Whites, (1972), São Paulo: Global, 2013, electronic edition. Florestan's formulation is just one of this logical structure of the formative horizon of the country as an order of permanent development, always involving the historical criticism of the original time negative of the nation, the slave colonial space, and its mode of production and reproduction expanded: “The Brazil of today, despite everything that is new and properly contemporary that it presents – including its modern institutional forms, but still so rudimentary when seen in depth – is still intimately intertwined with its past. Hence the great role and function of the Brazilian historian, who much more than his colleagues from other places where ties with the past have already been more radically broken – to the extent, well understood, that this rupture is possible – deals with essential and essential data to the knowledge and interpretation of the present. Historiography on the one hand, and on the other, Economics, Sociology and Social Science in general, we can say that they are almost confused or should be confused in Brazil. They only differ in research methods and scientific elaboration – and even then with many restrictions. (...) [The historian must] therefore accentuate more attention to those historical circumstances that, gone by, are more vividly projected, in their unfolding and future processing, in the circumstances of our days.” Caio Prado Junior, History and development, São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1978, p. 18. Or again, “[Sergio Buarque de Holanda articulated two other ideas in Raízes do Brasil] One, the danger of persistence in those days of the type of authoritarianism denounced in our historical evolution. Authoritarianism that ensured the survival of ruling classes in decline, but tenaciously clinging to power and seeking to transfer its substance to the new forms it assumed. The other idea refers to the only solution that Sérgio considered right: the advent of the popular layers to the leadership.” Antonio Candido, “Sérgio in Berlin and after”, in various writings, on. cit., P. 332.

[xviii] An already “traditional” perception and problematization of our critical field, of a history that sometimes seems to go in circles, at least since Caio Prado Júnior. For example: “(…) It cannot be said that cynicism is a new idea in Brazil. To get an idea of ​​our astonishing topicality in the chapter, it would be enough to remember the luminous frankness with which our founding fathers advocated the ultramodern cause of liberal-slavery. While in the metropolis a thick Victorian veil still covered the naked interest of payment in cash, in a distant colonial society exploitation thrived in the open, direct and dry. In the metropolis, everyone did it, but strictly speaking they didn't know anything, while in the periphery everyone knew very well what they were doing. We were only caught up in this race of modern cynicism when the announced collapse of bourgeois civilization dawned on the ease with which the new imperialist elites raffled off old ideological safeguards (justice, equality, etc.) under the pretext (now openly cynical) that they were covering up a conspiracy of the weak to sabotage the victory of the strong. As it turned out, the triumph under torture of the cynical bourgeois coldness in the death camps. (…) The effects [today in Brazil] of this accident vaudeville ideology (economic modernism at the top, society at the bottom, mocked as metaphysical nonsense) are, once again, unequally distributed between center and periphery. Thus, the same war machine that rages against European exceptionality, feels at home in Brazil. No wonder: we were born as a trading post and are ending up as an emerging market – a euphemism for an auxiliary circuit for the appreciation of capital assets that travel the world. As the slave workforce was accounted for as a production asset, with the right to provisions for maintenance and amortization, it will not be difficult to assess the magnitude of the moral and scientific comfort that the current jargon of economic authenticity provides to the cynical good conscience of the heirs of segregation. colonials ever. Today, like yesterday, the ostentation of the economic motivation of conduct remains chic, as the late Damaso Salcede would say.” Paulo Eduardo Arantes, “They know what they do”, zero left, São Paulo: Conrad, 2004, pp. 109 and 111. Just remembering, Damaso Salcede was a secondary character in The Mayans of Eça de Queirós, wealthy, filthy and aware of his own privileges.

[xx] Roberto Shwarz, “Culture and politics, 1964-1969”, in The Father of the Family and Other Essays, Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra, 1992, p. 71 and 73.

[xx] Or, this true local power of Capital, which does not know democracy, seen from the point of view of the world of Capital: “There was indeed a time when the comings and goings of the class struggle started, in the form of more or less lasting truces, institutions that would not sprout by spontaneous generation in the adverse terrain of an antagonistic society: unions, universal suffrage, labor legislation, social security, etc. Predictably, such achievements proved to be neither cumulative nor irreversible, those that survive continue to erode. (…) The fight simply changed levels. Where before there seemed to be a composition of interests, the political struggle took the form of a bargain, the current dictatorship of scarcity seems to be imparting the dynamics of war to the political struggle – imposed by the enemy camp itself, when it began to dismantle the previous arrangement, claiming that , in a globalized world of sovereign companies (as in colonial times when large commercial companies had private armed forces and controlled territories) the new parameter becomes total economic warfare.” Paulo Arantes, “Welcome to the Brazilian desert of the real”, in Extinção, on. cit., P. 277.

[xxx] See Eduardo Barros Mariutti, “Rosa Luxemburgo: imperialism, overaccumulation and the crisis of capitalism”, Revista Crítica Marxista, n. 40, 2015.

[xxiii] The force of now's social disintegration, however, is brought together again by the general integration into the commodity as image, of the world as instagram, facebook and tik tok, media and life practices. The spectacle as life, subjectivating everyone, rediscovers our background anti-modern stupidity as a project.

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Eleutério FS Prado Leda Maria Paulani Joao Lanari Bo Andre Marcio Neves Soares Samuel Kilsztajn Ricardo Fabbrini Luis Felipe Miguel Juarez Guimaraes Walnice Nogueira Galvão Leonardo Avritzer Matheus Silveira de Souza Flavio R. Kothe Tales Ab'Saber Jean-Pierre Chauvin Tadeu Valadares Alexandre de Lima Castro Tranjan Carla Teixeira Chico Whitaker Sergio Amadeu da Silveira Luis Fernando Vitagliano Gerson Almeida Marjorie C. Marona Paulo Fernandes Silveira Marcelo Guimaraes Lima Paulo Martins Everaldo de Oliveira Andrade Alexandre de Oliveira Torres Carrasco Jose Costa Junior Eugenio Bucci Marcus Ianoni Chico Alencar Marcos Aurélio da Silva Paulo Sergio Pinheiro Rodrigo de Faria João Feres Junior Antonio Martins Francisco Pereira de Farias Vinicio Carrilho Martinez Antonino Infranca Lincoln Secco Yuri Martins-Fontes Valerio Arcary Lucas Fiaschetti Estevez Sandra Bitencourt Dirceu Lorenzo Stained Glass Michel Goulart da Silva Armando Boito John Adolfo Hansen Jean Marc Von Der Weid Bento Prado Jr. Francisco de Oliveira Barros Junior Valerio Arcary Luciano Nascimento Fernando Nogueira da Costa Caio Bugiato Plínio de Arruda Sampaio Jr. Daniel Costa Joao Sette Whitaker Ferreira daniel afonso da silva Michael Lowy Alexandre Aragão de Albuquerque Rubens Pinto Lyra Salem Nasser Carlos Tautz Denis de Moraes André Singer Annateresa Fabris Boaventura de Sousa Santos Mario Maestri Leonardo Boff Airton Paschoa Remy Jose Fontana Francisco Fernandes Ladeira Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr. Bernardo Ricupero Antonio Sales Rios Neto Joao Carlos Loebens Ari Marcelo Solon berenice bento Ladislau Dowbor Luiz Renato Martins Benicio Viero Schmidt Jose Raimundo Trinidad Anselm Jappe Ricardo Musse Julian Rodrigues José Machado Moita Neto Mark Silva Luiz Bernardo Pericas Denilson Cordeiro Vladimir Safari Afrânio Catani Eliziário Andrade pressure gauge Eugenio Trivinho Alexandre de Freitas Barbosa Paulo Capel Narvai Marilena Chauí José Micaelson Lacerda Morais Edward Borges Erico Andrade Dennis Oliveira Tarsus-in-law Bruno Machado Octavian Helene Fabio Konder Comparato Ronald Rocha Rafael R. Ioris Luiz Marques Katia Gerab Baggio Gabriel Cohn Atilio A. Borón Elias jabbour Luiz Eduardo Soares Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira Celso Frederick michael roberts Milton Pinheiro Jose Luis Fiori Leonardo Sacramento Claudius Katz Manuel Domingos Neto Jorge Luiz Souto Maior Priscila Figueiredo Marilia Pacheco Fiorillo Alysson Leandro Mascaro Joao Carlos Salles Luiz Roberto Alves Renato Dagnino Osvaldo Coggiola Andres del Rio Henri Acselrad Eleonora Albano Marcelo Modolo Joao Paulo Ayub Fonseca Ronaldo Tadeu de Souza Mariarosaria Fabris Jorge Branco Heraldo Campos Liszt scallop José Geraldo Couto Daniel Brazil Maria Rita Kehl Henry Burnett Fernão Pessoa Ramos Gilberto Maringoni Bruno Fabricio Alcebino da Silva Vanderlei Tenorio Thomas Piketty Celso Favaretto Ricardo Abramovay Igor Felipe Santos Gilberto Lopes Andrew Korybko Flavio Aguiar Luiz Werneck Vianna Slavoj Žižek Ricardo Antunes Ronald Leon Núñez