Capital without brakes

Sinking of a Freighter - William Turner - Photo Tarso Genro
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By TARSUS GENUS*

The tragedy that is plaguing us gives us the opportunity to rebuild Rio Grande do Sul and help Brazil to rise again from the state and environmental denialism of criminal Bolsonarism

The entire metropolitan region and most of the Rio Grande do Sul territory – to a greater or lesser extent – ​​face the fury of nature in rebellion and the constant presence of death. The rivers and streams want to return to their immemorial courses, cramped on their banks by tons of mortar and strips of asphalt; tree roots can no longer hold them in the highlands; vegetable gardens, crops and animal enclosures are drowning in the floods of new climate catastrophes.

The correct decision by the Federal Government to deal, firstly, with the humanitarian issue and begin refinancing businesses and financing the works necessary to mitigate the effects of the catastrophe, was and is correct. And even more: it revealed the operetta liberalism of a large part of the big businessmen in Rio Grande do Sul, who quickly put aside their hatred for the public functions of the Social State and turned – some even with insults and lies – to the State, to restore themselves to the scene. productive and commercial sector of the country.

However, the time will come – I think in January 2025 – when history will be able to demand from the political community of Rio Grande do Sul and especially the Federal Government, what role is reserved for our state in this brutal socio-environmental tragedy, not only in humanitarian and reconstruction issues, but also about what it taught the Brazilian State and its national government so that, from Rio Grande do Sul, not only recover what was destroyed, but also about what we will bequeath for the future, as a strategy for building national development with sovereign global insertion.

I think it is necessary to format a new “historical bloc” to govern the country and I locate this possibility in the tragedy that befell the State. That of the State becoming dominant – not accessory – in the global climate issue and drastically reducing the “stock” of needs that our population accumulates. It needs to eat better, enjoy new sources of alternative energy, educate itself better, live better, protect itself better and – based on a new conception of development – ​​distribute income better, promote research aimed at new productive technologies and induce – from the State – an ecologically balanced socio-environmental construction.

All of this was already known, but what is new is that the tragedy that is plaguing us gives us the opportunity to rebuild Rio Grande do Sul and help Brazil to rise again from the state and environmental denialism of criminal Bolsonarism, still installed in our environment. El Greco's gaze, distrusting eternity, and Turner's genius, addressing the drama of the struggle to control naturalness, can tell us a lot about this.

The construction of a correct socio-environmental model for the State, taking advantage of its needs and potential, will also open new horizons for Mercosur and place Rio Grande do Sul in the “Paulista-North-Northeast” block, which has more influence on the Federation’s destinies. for many decades. Since the deposition of João Goulart, in fact, due to the deficit in our political structure, Rio Grande has been objectively underestimated in its ability to help itself by helping Brazil.

The tragic beauty of a painting by Turner, who lived between 1775-1881, exhibited at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon (an oil on canvas called “Shipwreck of a Freighter”) can illustrate the perfect synthesis of one – of the two characteristics – of the great pictorial art of humanity. The first of them is in this painting by Turner, from 1810, which shows the struggle of humans to subordinate the forces of nature to their desire for conquest, based on what they, at the time, saw as progress.

In the painting, the rebellion of the waves, the cruel speed of the winds and the impassible rocky coasts, overcome all science and technique, used in the construction of the cargo ship that will sink. The “removal” of all the barriers of nature, so that humans can prevail over it, control its rules that are unfathomable to the naked eye and dominate their impulses, however, is an experience spanning millennia.

Modern rationality adapted this experience, both in material values ​​(money, property) and immaterial values ​​(science and art) and constructed narratives of futures, sometimes epic, sometimes tragic. Its “reason”, however – at this moment – ​​is exposed as decadence in Porto Alegre, in a single monument of denialist and ultraliberal destruction in the capital: it is the “Wall of Mauá”. The wall is a synthesis of the far-right ideological virus, destructive of social solidarity and empathy which, combined with economic ultraliberalism, undermines the foundations of a minimum social cohesion for the construction of a common destiny.

 The criminal precariousness of its maintenance is – itself – a totem of climate denialism and the “works of art” drawn on it – financed by the city’s owners to pay homage to themselves – is the exploration of the limits between the grotesque and advertising idiocy , through which they want – through the power of money – to record their passage in life for the world, with powers over the life, death and housing of the inhabitants of Porto Alegre.

In the war to dominate nature with the virtues of progress, our entrepreneurs and their painters were unable to do so with great art, endowed with a painful ascending civilizing force, as were – for example – the designers of the Egyptian Pyramids, built by humans. of the time, subjected to slavery. Nor were our physical works designed like the irrigation works of the Aztecs, which submitted the flow of water – originating from natural sources – to make a careful natural compensation, for humans to survive scarcity and pre-Columbian weather.

Detail from "El entierro del Señor de Orgaz" by El Greco - photo Tarso Genro

Unlike the aristocratic El Greco, who lived between 1541 and 1614) author of the spectacular “The Burial of the Count of Orgaz” (painted in 1587) which dealt with the double dimension of life – one earthly and factual and the other heavenly and eternal – Turner conceives nature as an enemy to be defeated in the fight for survival. In El Greco, on the contrary, the Saints from heaven come down to receive the Count, but he seems to look at eternal life with the fear of someone who does not want to test it. It seems that with his dull gaze, if he could, he would avoid death and would not enjoy ascending from the earth to a purely presumed celestial eternity.

The confrontation with death and the confrontation with nature are “values” that are always renewed in the daily lives and in the history of humans, as not for nothing they have gone through the history of the Renaissance and all subsequent revolutions until they have reached our days with the cruelest and most cruel traits. of liberal-rentier “capitalism”: it is the historical cycle in which man’s dominance over nature and his climate denialism have become so perfect that they have conquered common sense in the promise of humanity’s extinction exchanged for infinite progress.

Having collective death as a predictable and “natural” perspective – already fixed as a definitive step of the future – (a second nature incapable of being circumvented by political decisions) is a great achievement of the global extreme right, which has been reflected – here in our state – in the synthesis-monument of Muro Mauá, transformed into a billboard. The disregard for its maintenance and the idiocy of its “art”, revering the absolute usufructuaries of the city, says more than the Pyramids said about the Pharaohs, in an ascending slave civilization. He, the Wall, revealed the soul of capital without restraint, devouring what remains of human solidarity, apparently already in the twilight of this fractured form of liberal democracy.

*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. Author, among other books, of possible utopia (Arts & Crafts). [https://amzn.to/3ReRb6I]

 


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