Mortuary Brazil

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By Antonio Ioris and Rafael Ioris*

Millions who never had decent medical service will now have nothing like it.

Brazil is today one of the epicenters of the global crisis of the Coronavirus, having surpassed the number of cases in China, where it seems that everything began, and the sinister probability of becoming the champion country of the pandemic, considering several indicators. It should be noted that this was not due to any particularly high exposure to the pathogen. On the contrary, what we are experiencing is not a case of lack of resources but of deliberate omission on the part of those who should think about the interests of the population.

The moment is, therefore, serious, very serious, but it was not the pilot who disappeared. In fact, the plane disappeared in mid-air, with the passengers strapped in and without a parachute. The federal government not only disregards basic public health principles, it deliberately collaborates with the virus itself. In this turmoil, Lieutenant Bolsonaro marches, taking selfies with his sociopathic smile and closing ranks with the troops of General Covid-19, while his ministry is an amorphous force, incapable of building anything and obsessed with the destruction of everything, everyone and everyone. .

Rabelais was betrayed and his famous phrase reversed: now we know those who were able to do what they should not, because they wanted what they could not (have done).

Let us remember, however, that although serious, the situation is not unprecedented. Our tragedy, today mystified into farce, endorsed by the pusillanimous olive green and always profitable for the gigolos of Brazilian politics, is just the most recent chapter in our long history of futurism. We never had a republic, democracy, justice, much less progress. Of course there were cries of alert in Canudos, Cabanagem, Massacre do Paralelo 11, Carandiru, Eldorado dos Carajás and, just the day before yesterday, in Caarapó and other Guarani-Kaiowá concentration camps. All situations where, invariably, the numerous victims are worth very little, almost nothing, to the self-appointed national elites. Victims who are thus reiterated, deliberately and violently discarded from existence and even from official statistics. They will remain anonymous in the midst of institutionalized violence, this one with a capital first and last name: the Real Country, defined by Machado de Assis, a profound connoisseur of national ills and profound shame.

This Real Country does not fit in the daily statistics of the Ministry of Health and the Golding of the Pill of the boastful speech of our cordial Brazilianness. Millions who never had decent medical service will now have nothing like it. Before, they didn't fit into the national economy, they didn't have space in the countryside or in the city, they didn't find a vacancy in the hospital and they won't even have the smallest inches of ground that João Cabral promised, since now what awaits them is the collective grave of oblivion. In this expanding nightmare, the country is increasingly becoming a dysfunctional morgue. Or worse, two morgues for a nation that has always been unequal: for the rich and their minority partners, which still works in health and cemeteries; to the majority, the least they could always count on, which in the end is almost nothing.

How could it be otherwise? It all started with the genocide of 98% of those who had lived on Earth for over 40.000 years, decimated in a few generations in the midst of the greatest human tragedy of all time (it is estimated that more than 150 million people died in that period from Ushuaia to Prudhoe Bay). Then, the purchase and waste of African lives, the speculative control of the territory, governments of barons and bachelors, and the economy serving to feed the ants of Lago Sul, Avenida Paulista and the South Zone.

It is a well-known truism to say that Brazil has had a historical trajectory defined by excluding economic structures and an authoritarian political matrix. Since the colonial period, the landowning agrarian base was legitimized by a formalistic legal framework and by hierarchical and racist cultural elements. Our modernization from above, accelerated since the middle of the last century, guided the course of the most recent changes. But if, on the one hand, it offered some meager opportunities, always insufficient and controlled, on the other hand, it reiterated structural exclusion through reifications of discriminatory logic and practices.

Crumbs of inclusion were sometimes offered by the emperor, iron marshal, father of the poor, general-sergeant or any other occasional savior of the homeland. In this process, our notions of citizenship were defined not by egalitarian conceptions but by patronage or, at best, by the always excluding and self-victimizing neoliberal meritocracy. In the same way, our democracy has always been limited by the brute force of the halter and the 'bind and break', or, in the best of our legal versions, by the reiteration of the Machiavellian maxim that offers 'friends favors, enemies the law. '

Today's Brazil continues with social control guaranteed either by the captain of the bush, or by the delegate on duty, two sides of the same coin of exclusion, racism and inequality. But let's be fair: Bolsonaro and his clique are nothing like cavemen. There would be no cave to accommodate them. On the contrary, they are the most accurate expression of ultra-modernity that innovates by claiming to be terminal, euthanasic injection into the open veins of the subaltern dogs. They intend to take everything to the bagasse, suck what's left over like there's no tomorrow, with the certainty that they've already made it impossible for the country to continue to exist as such. Brazilians, or most of them, are already the post-what-we-never-could-be.

By denying the current disease, by making fun of those who drown and die alone, the sad occasional lieutenant reaffirms the fundamental paradox that we all know, but that we always need to learn anew: Brazil is its people, but that doesn't fit in a country so minuscule in rights and poor in discernment. We thus have, on one side of the mousetrap, Jair Bolsonaro, leader of an opportunism that is as neo-fascist as it is declining, but still important, popular appeal. In the other, we have the celebrity of Sergio Moro, narrow-minded, moralistic and reactionary provincial judge.

The first made a political career based on exalting the worst practices of the civil-military dictatorship that controlled the country in the 60s and 70s. , that the dictatorship should have killed at least 90 and that only a civil war could manage to 'straighten' the country. Today, in control of the federal government, after a shameful and illegal election, he lives up to his deceitful biography, praising the 'brave' who do not accept the social confinement imposed by local governments, the only measure known in the world to contain the health crisis in rise. The second, immersed in the vanity built by the cultivation of the authoritarian and biased use of legal prerogatives, after participating in the most fascist government of the last 30 years, today seeks to reinvent itself as guardian of law and order, not realizing, due to intellectual incapacity, that such Effort is only the legal arm of the construction of exceptional regimes and authoritarian societies.

Sympathizers of the two buff actors fight in the vile effort to prove that their leader is the true representative of the current authoritarian populist, while the institutions that supposedly "would be working" watch everything as "bestialized" as the population that, without understanding what what was going on, served as an audience for the republican coup of 1889.

Depending on the action of the political elite, always willing to compromise and collude as long as they guarantee their permanence in the blessings of the usual registry logic, the prognosis that only with the death of 30 thousand could we witness some effective change, will not only be confirmed, how we should even surpass such figure exponentially. The question is whether such numbers (tens, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of deaths) will have the effect of reorienting the historical patterns of control and maintenance of political, economic and social power, or whether they will only serve to deepen, even more, the course of increasing authoritarianism, exclusion and alienation.

If appearances do not deceive us, Bolsonaro and his guardian generals seem to be content with their dismal alliance. And if today outside the direct functioning schemes of the government apparatus, Moro and his minions were fundamental for the dismantling of a good part of the rule of law. Thus, the piled up deaths will only serve as a backdrop for the tropical operetta with funeral music and a predictable libretto with even more privatism, appropriation of other people's work and save yourself who can!

*Antonio AR Ioris is a professor at the University of Cardiff (UK).

*Rafael R. Ioris is a professor at the University of Denver (USA).

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