There was no debate

Francis Bacon, Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, 1944


It would be correct for Lula to refuse to participate with Jair Bolsonaro in any perverse entertainment of the type we saw in the Band

There was no debate. Who could present a project to a country in four minutes? To call what we saw a debate is a mockery, a disrespect to the distinguished public and a heresy in the face of a precious concept -debate, dialogue- which, at least in the West, is over two and a half thousand years old. The show we saw yesterday at the Band it was a mix of ludic entertainment (incidentally, unattractive in this modality) and reality show, in which the audience contemplates mutual humiliations and attacks, sprinkled with platitudes and doctrinal refrains.

Exceptionally, an idea sparkles, a relevant sentence, a truly genuine and meaningful gesture. Whoever is at the bottom shoots up: the priority, in this case, is to show up and make a good impression. Whoever is on top, tries to balance himself, not to make too much noise, either thinking about possible support in the second round, or not to wear out his political capital – the accumulated voting intentions.

Studied performances followed that aim to win over the audience in more or less the same way that merchandise advertising seeks to sensitize consumers. Therefore, everyone evaluates every word, every gesture, in the notorious qualis (qualitative research, in general, focus groups). Placed on the shelf, the products fight each other to differentiate themselves. Therefore, the first effect of the “Debate”, as well as the “Interview with the candidate” (in National Journal), is to neutralize fascism and the singularity of our historical moment. Imagine a genocide sitting next to reasonable people who interview him, or standing next to other candidates, answering common questions, following common rules, subscribing to the series that makes sense of the characters and that makes them equal before differentiating them .

In this game, monstrosity disappears. They all become vehicles for proposals for Brazil and vocalize ideas apparently as legitimate as the others. The monster speaks Portuguese, uses his voice like other human beings, moves in a similar way to the person next to him. That's it, exceptionality is annulled, crimes are reduced to opinions -each one has his own-, insults and bravado are idiosyncrasies of a man like the others, aberrations are absorbed and absolved, they are transformed into virtues of a spontaneous common man or mere rudeness of a rude captain.

The most blatant lies are just views or “alternate truths”. The machine of institutional politics engaged in the corporate media liquidated the matrix difference without whose recognition there can be no debate, which, in turn, could only happen between actors publicly committed to the annihilation of fascism. Fascism which is, after all, the reverse side of debate and politics.

As we all know, the Brazilian dilemma today is Lula or fascism. That is, it is not about polarization, because the positions in question are not poles of the same line - they are incommensurable. Lula did not do well in the Band “debate”. And truth. But the decisive question is this: How could one "do well" when the only appropriate gesture would be to call the abomination by its name?

Knowing, however, that this name would be empty if it were pronounced as an opinion among others, in a circle that liquefies, due to its structure, the essential difference. Staging an impossible debate, equating monstrosity and the defense of life as poles in a normalized and standardized dispute, determines a priori the triumph of death, whatever the result in the measurements of public opinion. Fascism wins when it assumes the human face that neutralizes it.

It would be correct for Lula to refuse to participate with Jair Bolsonaro in any perverse entertainment of the type we saw in the Band. But if he did that, he would be crucified by his opponents as the one who refuses to dialogue, the one who hides, who lacks answers and projects. The vultures would swoop down on the empty chair and exploit the most sensible decision in their favor. Therefore, the only thing left for Lula is to accept this ordeal to reduce the damage, because what is at stake is the country's future. It is up to analysts to put their finger on the wound.

If the institutions did not work by allowing so many crimes to be perpetrated by the holder of executive power, the promotion of debates extends this complicity, legitimizing the ignominy. We cannot passively watch the denial of the abyss that separates confrontation with barbarism from healthy divergence. Bolsonaro is not a simple candidate, he is a threat: the threat of perpetuating an ongoing crime.

* Luiz Eduardo Soares he was national secretary of public security (2003). Author, among other books, of Demilitarize – Public security and human rights (Boitempo).


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