The general, the doctor and the magistrate

Image: Francesco Paggiaro


The general who hides the dictator, the doctor who hides the monster and the magistrate who disguises the bandit under “Western civilization” are pieces of discursive reason

The list of relations of a democrat excludes those seduced by the primitive instincts of neo-fascism. Those claiming the new enlightenment. But they adopted obscurantist discourses against science and knowledge. They took vaccines in early childhood (measles, mumps, polio). Now, they spread denialist narratives. They preached policies for the benefit of the community. Magically, they embodied anti-politics to vote for a cowardly admirer of torturers. Impossible to glimpse in the faded affections that migrated, from liberalism to the extreme right, the indignation in the face of the inequalities that condemned every return of tourist tours to the First World. It's a shame they never ask themselves why Latin American nations are backward.

Did they get dumb? They hid behind an empty title, without the academic support conferred by the presentation of the doctoral thesis to a panel of specialists attesting to the carat of the contribution, in a certain field of knowledge. The Law of the Empire enacted by Dom Pedro I, on August 11, 1827, was enough for them, which declared bachelors in Law and Medicine, in the Brazil land. Bureaucratic etiquette compensated for the loss of prestige with the end of nobility (duke, marquis, count, viscount, baron), given the formal equality between individuals established in the Republic. A subterfuge to maintain “distinction” among the commons, according to the classic study by Pierre Bourdieu. Appearance covered minds pregnant with medieval prejudices and cognitive limitations. Respectability came from income and consumption. Not education or culture.

the good citizens

Three succinct figures, along the lines of Weberian “ideal types”, help to understand the “good citizens” who seek a veneer of reasonableness in the dining room, without reassessing their options after the 2013 demonstrations, which pushed the middle class to the streets. The first is easy to identify; the second might catch the attention of booklet readers; the third belongs (or belonged) to the author's social circle. They are types that express moods present in their delusional peers: the underestimation of reality, pride in dealing with others and a partial view of the problems to be faced. None of them smiled again, in 2023. The clay feet of the “myth” took away their humour. As in La Fontaine's fable, in The mule proud of his genealogy, “unhappiness is good for something, even if it is to lower the crest of the vain”.

(1) The general who served the sociopathic clown and, upon assuming the ministerial post in the new government, preserved two hundred soldiers linked to the previous administration in office, screwed up. As a result of a corporatism averse to the demands of the conjuncture, he did not exonerate anyone from the former functional body of the portfolio. Result: leadership slipped through his fingers. The irate subordinates remained loyal to the setback that set up and converted the GSI (Institutional Security Office) into the praetorian guard of the tyrant, not of institutionality. It is important to emphasize the underestimation of the high ranking on the war of values ​​waged between political and social democracy, and neo-fascism.

(2) The medical clerk who softened the role of the arms policy, by dissociating it from the increase in the number of victims of violence against women (feminicide), blacks (racism) and lgbtqia+ groups (sexism), committed intellectual dishonesty . In sui causa, the nexus between the distribution of weapons by federal authorities and the rise of acts of barbarism has been eclipsed. His statistical survey stopped in 2018. For convenience, the “doctor” ignored the dogs released in the last quadrennium in the nation. He exercised individual freedom to propagate fake news, in the newspaper in which he publishes dissonances similar to medicine inserts. It is important to clarify that pride was invested in exposing disinformation that sheltered necropolitics in a sheep's clothing.

(3) The magistrate who attended the “herd immunization”, in defiance of common sense that warned of the multitude of preventable deaths, abdicated the judgment. With its consent or political apathy, Brazil was the third country with the highest number of deaths in the pandemic, although it is the seventh in population. The account does not match, it is noted. Denialism took a high price on irreplaceable lives, from homes devastated by longing. The judge highlighted links from the family with the carioca militias and the international Nazi pockets, to the point of forgetting his Jewish affiliation. Ditto, about corruption in education and health, the devastation of the environment and the millionaire Saudi jewels stolen from the Union. Coldly, he tolerated the exchange of the rheas' ration for leftover food, at the Planalto Palace. He even accepted the candidate for re-election being defeated, without losing his composure. He resigned himself to everything.

However, when the Unified Health System (SUS) vaccination card was forged by the agent and his associates, via a criminal organization, he felt ashamed of the ship of fools. Upon receiving the message from Zé Gotinha, on WhatsApp, about the need for immunizer to travel, the representative of the judiciary acted like Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt who eliminated the messenger when receiving unpleasant news. Then, for the height of ridicule, on impulse, the judge canceled it on digital networks – who? The "crooked angels" to the left of the political spectrum! Afterwards, she again took refuge in anti-politics, “closing herself in hearts”. It would be laughable if it weren't for crying over such folly. It is important to stress the emotional instability of those whose job it is to judge with complete impartiality.

Tomorrow will be another day

Deplorable the olive green procession that abdicated the Constitution as a criterion to compose the block of guardians of the democratic State of law. The category of professionals dissatisfied with “More Doctors” in abandoned municipalities, to guarantee a market reserve, is immoral. Sad the procession of the toga that did not metabolize the lavajatista crusade, after contributing to the dismantling of the country with the rise of inept people to the core of power. Here is proof that Carlos Drummond de Andrade was wrong. In the middle of the path there was not a stone, but a huge quarry.

The situation evokes the anticolonial formula of the poet-president of Senegal (1960-1980), Léopold Senghor: “if reason is Hellenic, emotion is black”. Translating, the general who hides the dictator, the doctor who hides the monster and the magistrate who disguises the bandit under “western civilization” are pieces of discursive reason, that is, of the ideology of the metropolises. The non-European yesterday and the non-American today are “the other”, trapped in a ludic-corporeal stereotype opposed to science, morality and civility. It is a stratagem built to silence the voice of the original inhabitants, which extends to the entire universe of work in capitalist society.

The metaphor has permeated the national imagination since Sérgio Buarque de Holanda formulated the notion of “cordial man”, in the 1930s. on the unfortunate occasion when the Brazilian soccer team missed the World Cup (1950) for the “Switzerland of Latin America”, Uruguay. Worse, at Maracanã, with 200 stunned fans in the stands. The trauma reopened the wound corresponding to 350 years of slavery. the feeling of déjà vu, in which the masses watch the unfolding of history as spectators is a constant.

This is the challenge of the political forces of emotion (left parties, social movements, trade union centrals) in the struggle for self-determination of the collectivity during the process of emancipation from the yoke of capitalism. The cohabitation of experiments illustrated by the Solidarity Economy and by the tentacles of the Central Única das Favelas (CUFA), present in all states from Oiapoque to Chuí and in 15 countries on the planet, invokes Lula da Silva’s “peaceful revolution” and the “great refusal” by Herbert Marcuse. The synthesis of transforming energies must intertwine the contradictions between capital and work and the participation of the range of social segments oppressed and exploited by the logic of domination. The nod to a new social order ends the long period of suffering.

Nevertheless, there is still an inference to be drawn from the symbolic attitudes condensed in the general, the doctor and the magistrate. The income tax exemption for salaries of up to R$ 5 is not enough to sensitize the middle class, which, moreover, is at a higher level. It will be necessary to qualify the fundamental public services, which implies an indirect (non-nominal) increase in earnings in the pockets of wage earners. Mechanism that will generate objective and subjective conditions for plural and transversal sociability in public spaces. An issue essential to hegemony.

The arrogance of finance in controlling monetary policy, with the highest interest rate on the globe, is an extension of late colonialism, under the pressure of a liberal-economic cycle already in its death throes. There is an urgent need for a popular front capable of attracting the middle class, which now behaves like a widow of reason. The wheel of hope moves as in the poem morning news, by Thiago de Mello: “And suddenly the morning, / the morning is an open sky, / it is light, light / transforms the city / into an immense square / and inside the square the people / the whole people singing / inside the people the boy / taking me by the hand”. It's time to move forward, together.

* 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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