The cycle from insanity to barbarism



The contribution to the spread of nihilism in Brazil was only smaller than the avalanche of anti-politics

The word nihilism appears in the novel by the Russian writer Ivan Turgenev, Parents and sons, in 1862, when serfdom was abolished in Russia and when the Land and Liberty movement against tsarism was formed. The generation that participated in the 1905 Revolution read the book. Nihilism designates the negation of traditions and also the rejection of ideas that intend to replace old values. With the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, renunciation was radicalized by refuting the project of modern civilization, in total. There is important similarity with the behavior of political apathy.

Objectively, nihilistic behavior and apathy doubt the ability of politics to successfully intervene in society. Subjectively, they result from what the Greek-French thinker Cornelius Castoriadis considers the essence of alienation: “the privatization of the existence of individuals”. That is, the way of being of the middle class that nurtures a vision of mall about citizenship, indifferent to the suffering of the people. The consumption of brands confers “distinction”, in the Bourdieusian sense, previously attributed by noble titles. If it doesn't fill the existential void, at least it serves as a distraction.

No wonder the intermezzo camped the alienation next to the barracks, begging for the coup d'état while praying for tires and sending messages to UFOs. Like the characters in the Myth of the Cave, the cattle confuse the shadows at the bottom of the cave with reality and brand those who denounce the conspiracy theories of the anti-systemic herd as crazy. Perfect insanity.

By “system”, we mean science and universities that disallow the freedom of expression of the common people in favor of what is prescribed by the “elites” – the specialists, the intellectuals, the professors. Bolsominions repel producers and disseminators of knowledge, accused of being “Marxist doctrinaires” in the Olavist booklet, just as those who took the Covid-19 pandemic seriously are called “imbeciles”, which the Virginia guru considered a “farce” – confronting 700 thousand deaths.

The pseudopatriots parade anti-modernism, supported by an anti-scientificism and an anti-intellectualism, with a view to disqualifying the State and civil religions, like the Butantan Institute and the Fiocruz Foundation whose temples are the research laboratories. The discomfort with modernity is due to the recognition of equality of gender, race and homoaffectivity. Hence the race into the arms of a medieval regime. The asylum metaphysics, however, does not convince. The segments penalized in neoliberal impolicies demand concrete answers, here and now.

According to the survey of the group “food for justice”, from the Free University of Berlin, Brazil had 60% of the population in a situation of food security, in 2004. It reached 77%, in 2009. In 2022, on the other hand, 60% suffered from food insecurity to a mild, moderate or severe, which makes up 125 million inhabitants. With no ties to unions and associations, his concern is not to wither away from malnutrition.

However, they show resilience. Workers trapped in the “reign of necessity”, informal work, precariousness and hunger already outline an incipient organization in embryo. The “kingdom of freedom”, represented by income from formal work, cannot be the privilege of a few. With collective struggle, “another world is possible”.

The cycle closes

According to Marx and Engels, in the german ideology, human praxis stems from: (a) the production of means that satisfy vital needs; (b) once the initial demands are satisfied, new ones appear as fundamental as the first ones, which characterizes the historical fact; (c) the reproduction of social relations takes place via the family; (d) takes place at a certain stage of industrial development and; (f) the moment of construction of consciousness has an empirical character, not an abstract one, and erupts in the demand for human contacts, since “consciousness is a social product and will continue to be so”.

“Coexistence improves existence in cities”, reinforce the planners in charge of transforming Lisbon. The restored ties of sociability made the Portuguese capital a reference for tourism and quality of life in Europe. The degeneration of social ties favors antisocial psychic manifestations, in cases where the indomitable come out of the woodwork to take revenge on the innocent: women, blacks, lgbtqia+ groups and students. Unable to fight for a new society, the beasts target scapegoats for their wounds. The reduction of spaces for diversity elides the notion of public in cities, with the handing over of parks to business initiatives.

The implosion of pluralist conviviality, added to the complacency of institutions with hate speech, converts alterity into a threat. Inequality between social classes, filtered by foolishness, is at the origin of the feeling of individual non-belonging captured on the radar of neo-Nazi groups. Hordes of the extreme right, with no regard for the democratic rule of law, were allowed to migrate from obscure forums (deep web) for social networks. Inattention gave way to school frenzy. The authorities did not see the formation of perfect storm of barbarism.

Hateful preaching is anchored in the spread of applications with the exchange of encrypted messages, such as WhatsApp or Telegram, and in sites like the example of True Crime Community (TCC), a true crime community where the appeal is a fascination with death and criminals. Of the nine involved in violent attacks on schools last year, six attended TCC or similar underworld on-line. For the researcher from the Faculty of Education (USP), Daniel Cara, the escalation reveals that the government and the big tech did not monitor misogynistic, racist and sexist manifestations. Those who pay the bill for negligence are the children and adolescents – the new Jews.

“Memes, jokes and virtual games are among the tools most used by extremist groups to entice youth and encourage them to act as 'lone wolves' to commit attacks. The profile appears in the police notes after the massacres: white boys, male and with hurts of frustration, rejection, reaction to the bullying”, warns the Human Rights Council of the UN General Assembly. Prompt psychological care and social assistance in public schools would help in prevention. But the benefits were vetoed by the rotten powers on duty in 2019. The goal was to provoke total chaos. Neoliberalism is not enough for the appetite of necropolitics.

The influence of toxic tribes and neo-Nazism is notorious. symbols of rich were used by the pubescent who threw bombs at the school in Monte Mor (SP). Another killed four people with gunshots in Aracruz (ES). The 14-year-old boy arrested in Maquiné (RS), suspected of planning the attack on a school, kept Nazi materials and the swastika flag at home. For the Jewish Observatory of Human Rights in Brazil, there were 171 proven cases of violation in this century, more than half from 2022. Terrorist and anti-Semitic acts simply skyrocketed in the quadrennium of the genocide. If not everyone is linked to the ultra-rightist bubbles, they are united in hatred and intolerance.

The good news is that reports of attacks on schools plummeted after arrests and punishments to the networks, thanks to the preventive operation Escola Segura (data from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security / Safernet), which includes the suspension of services by the platforms and the collection of fines . It is estimated that the file shows how relevant the approval of the Bill (PL) of the fake news to regulate virtual interaction and prevent the spread of content advocating violence against vulnerable people. Recently, there has been a stir around the topics of the “machosphere”, a patriarchal ecosystem that includes discussion portals, digital influencers, podcast and channels of prejudiced and sexist speeches. To identify the feminicide den, it is worth the verse of Cecília Meireles, in the poem Overview: "There is a chained gesture and a voice without courage". Until it's too late.

There is a parallel between the increase in active registrations of Hunters, Sport Shooters and Collectors (CACs), which jumped from 117 in 2018 to 673 in 2022, and the nearly sixfold growth in the period in which schools were targeted. Things got worse with the arms policy of mismanagement, which was to the liking of criminal organizations, drug trafficking and militias that were able to legalize the acquisition of weapons. The contribution to the spread of nihilism was second only to the avalanche of anti-politics. Thus closes the cycle from insanity to barbarism.

* 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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