The Avatar of Consciousness

Image: Magali Magalhães


Guarantee the inauguration of Lula da Silva, and the arrest of the official terrorist responsible for social and political barbarism

The 2013 demonstrations began with the demand against the increase in bus fares in large capitals. In São Paulo, the Movimento Passe Livre (MPL) opposed the readjustment from R$3,00 to R$3,20, which soon gave way to the slogan “It's not for twenty cents”. The nameless of the Republic, with the neoliberal argument that the economy has its own laws, blames Petrobrás under the control of the Executive, and pretends to be sly for the colonialist international price parity, created by the coup leader Michel Temer and maintained by the dissimulated successor, who left from the basements. “Were we happy and didn’t have a conscience?”

Corporate media coverage played a role with the opposition by presenting the demonstrations as a reaction to the Dilma Rousseff government, which had invested exorbitantly and disproportionately in the monumental sports buildings of the Confederations Cup (2013), World Cup (2014) and Olympics (2016), with a view to privileged audiences. On the other hand, it would have allocated modest amounts to distribute to the “poor people”, in addition to ignoring issues considered priority infrastructure for education, health and transportation of interest to the masses. The blame stuck, and the approval of the president, which was high (57%), went down the slope (to 30%) of the patriarchy.

The official was described as concerned more with the country's image abroad than with the people. The agenda of the manipulated protests parasitized by the “new right” shifted, from the passages, to the accusation of bribes with the suspicion of overpricing in the works. The government, stunned by the speed of the denunciations, became the target of prefabricated scandals in the National Journal (JN). “Media attention provided the stage for protesters to present their grievances to a worldwide audience,” noted New York University sociologist James Jasper in the preface to the Brazilian edition of the book Protest: a cultural introduction to social movements (2014)

Moral issues fueled the “non-partisan” eruption that took to the avenues, with angry crowds. Gigantic mobilizations, drawn from the middle class, galvanized participants for frontal attacks on the Workers' Party (PT). Anti-PTism spread. At the opening of the World Cup, the representative was booed and cursed in chorus by thousands of spectators, in vulgar terms, when welcoming foreign delegations at the Maracanã stadium. A misogynistic scene.

It was the storm in paradise, which celebrated full employment. Wages were valued. Pensions, linked to annual readjustments of the minimum always above inflation. There were criteria for access to Bolsa Família, which guaranteed the attendance of children and adolescents in schools and exorcised the exodus of students. The popular technical and entrepreneurial courses were booming. Day laborers, with a formal contract, had children graduated from universities. Humble people took cruises on the Atlantic. The quietness of society was explained by the improvement in living conditions, as a result of the government's public policies implemented in the period.

For James Jasper, the participants of social movements are: “People who give up material comfort, financial stability, time with family, a normal life in favor of moral projects and risky tactics that seem to have very little chance of success . Who are these people, who often provide benefits to our society while retaining relatively little for themselves? The interrogation translates the astonishment with the civic spirit that shakes up social apathy. Methodologically, it reeked of the liberal perspective, centered on individuals, “to decode meanings, cultural feelings and points of view of the participants in the protests”, leaning towards the inevitable psychologization and sentimentalization of the activities of the militants.

Na Brazil land, the middle class paraded a subordinate class option. The photo of the couple with yellow-green shirts, who led a dog of the breed sharp by the collar, accompanied by the uniformed nanny to push the pram, per se, elucidates the question about the essence of the 2013, 2015 and 2016 uprisings. The discomfort was not with the system, but with a lower placement than expectations in the hierarchy of command. The DataFolha Institute (SP) and the Index Institute (RS) brought similar statistics: 40% received more than ten minimum wages and 47% were motivated to attend the events by the fight against corruption. the cap was uncapped modus operandi of financing political campaigns, to shock those who were unaware of the recurrent materialist logic of power.

In the USA, the movement Occupy Wall Street (OWS, 2011) divided humanity with the label “We Are The 99%”, which opposed the universe of those affected by the 2008 debacle, caused by deregulation policies, to 1% of the systemic beneficiaries. Faced with the triumphalist narrative of apologists for the free market and the minimal State, the insurgents' camp brought to light the reality of the share of fighters who live in poverty (less than US$5,50 per day), equivalent to almost 50% of the world's population (almost 4 billion people). Aside from the indignation, the characteristic that outlined the demonstration was the devotion to participatory democracy, with deliberate positions with the eventual bystanders. Citizens from various socioeconomic backgrounds, without a clear ideological and political identity, pointed out the prevailing inequalities.

O Occupy Wall Street, as well as the Landless Workers Movement (MST) and its urban equivalent, the Homeless Workers Movement (MTST), are simultaneous expressions of subordinates in distant geographic points. Neo-fascism, on the other hand, is the emblem of sectors drawn from the petty bourgeoisie and inspired by postmodern hyper-individualism. For the British historian EP Thompson, in The making of the English working class: “Class is defined as individuals live their own history, and in the end this is its only definition”. The fight against the shackles is collective, the avatar (“descent from heaven to earth”) of class consciousness is individual.

The emotional momentum of the protests “blends anger and moral outrage,” concludes J. Jasper, with platitude. Information that does not reveal the meaning of the movements, as it abstracts from the socio-ideological cosmovision that supports the objectives. That men and women sing when they are having fun or even when they go to war is a truism. And? In Spain (1936) or Brazil (2022), it matters whether they march in the ranks of barbarism or civilization, in the name of domination or emancipation.

Traditional democracy is founded on the idea of ​​representation. Nevertheless, tens of thousands of suggestions received in the antineofascist and antineoliberal program of the “Frente Juntos pelo Brasil” signal the desire for a participatory democracy so that active citizenship can intervene in directing the State, as a subject of politics rather than an object. of finance. The victory that is taking shape, in October, speeds up the birth of conscience in the conflicts of the future with the many contributions that socially cement the efforts to make national-popular sovereignty viable.

As Karl Marx wrote, in the third of Theses on Feuerbach (1845), “the educator himself needs to be educated”. Receptivity to propositions coming from abroad proves the humility and maturity of the party protagonists, in the race against obscurantism and denialism, by allowing themselves to be oxygenated in the real movement. Progressive parties are not depositories of absolute truth. They do not inhabit domes immune to the praxis of civil society. There's room for everyone on the battlefield. The demonstrations now open a new chapter for the Brazilian people.

The watchword is: “organize, raise awareness and fight”. The Brazil and Latin America that we want beckons to overcome colonialism (racism) and patriarchy (sexism) that, today, sustain capitalism with its perverse labor flexibility and brutal precariousness. The future is at stake in October. The devil made it clear, on the Saturday that the global anchors did not question the triumphalism of the current economic policy, carried out in the National Journal, who is not willing to leave the presidential throne – “if the elections are not clean” (sic).

Who knows, maybe wait for the second round to happen. And it is preparing, from now on, to guarantee the inauguration of President Lula da Silva, and the arrest of the official terrorist responsible for social and political barbarism. Democracy and citizen participation are knocking on history's door: welcome.

* Luiz Marques is a professor of political science at UFRGS. He was Rio Grande do Sul's state secretary of culture in the Olívio Dutra government.


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