The coup of 64 continues in Brazil's military schools

Clara Figueiredo, Mercato Domenicale Porta Portese, Balilla_ one for 15,00, three for 30,00 euros, Rome, 2019


Teaching a false history, memories of state terrorism are hidden to this day in the teaching of military schools

Perhaps the title “The teaching of false history in military schools” would be better. I mean: I think of young people at military schools, of ardent and ardent young men and women having to memorize something like an empty and violent history, which they call the history of Brazil – Empire and Republic, from a Marshal Trompowsky Collection. From the Army Library.

But let's not be prejudiced, let's illustrate with what students in military schools are forced to learn, as here, for example: “In the military governments, particularly under President Médici, there was censorship of the media and the combat and elimination of guerrillas, urban and rural, because the preservation of public order was a necessary condition for the country’s progress.”

A brief survey indicates that these books serve teaching guided by the Directorate of Preparatory and Assistance Education (DEPA), created in… 1973, yes, in that unforgettable year of the Medici dictatorship. Or in that time of the democratic manager, according to the guidance given to future soldiers. And don't think that such teaching is outside the law, no. It is based on a certain Article 4 of R-69. Do you understand? The barracks legislate.

But it is not like that, without anything, as DEPA organizes the pedagogical proposal “to guide the educational process and teaching-learning in the formation of citizens who are intellectually prepared and aware of their role in society according to the values ​​and traditions of the Brazilian Army”. What values ​​would these be, in addition to the anti-communist ideas of the dictatorship?

Military schools indoctrinate, they create a true right-wing Party School, while hiding the tragic history and the life-destroying role played by the order of the military dictatorship. What the Democrats previously complained about, namely, that military colleges could no longer remain independent of Brazil, as if they were islands impregnable to civilization, continues.

What I previously received in threatening emails from 2010, such as “thank the good Lord that teaching still exists in military schools, as it is through them that students who still think about Brazilian Universities are trained. The books adopted in military schools are those published by the Army Library, as those that circulate in national bookstores have a standard below acceptable and are completely distorted in terms of their content”…

But I think it's time to return to the dark discussion with a new criticism: there is a point at which civil, public schools could well look with interest at military schools. That is: our civilians could well translate our military ones in their own way. I mean, with a translation into freedom in an ongoing classroom discussion. I think that we lack, in public, civil schools, an education for humanities, for the best humanism.

Understand, this is not including humanity in a pure curriculum or curriculum. It is to create training for life in all disciplines, nothing military. We must not provide ways to ascend socially and form new consumers among the poor, reproducing the idea of ​​exclusion from the capitalist system. We should train people with a vision of humanity. This is the ideological school that we lack, and that the military does well in its own way: training anti-communist soldiers from the time of the cold war.

We cannot forget the hidden and justified state terrorism in military schools. A terror that I recreated in my memory when writing the novel “The Longest Duration of Youth”; I copy here a brief excerpt from a page: “I refer to another fundamental gravity, to the pure horror that made the eyes pop out of their sockets, in rings that tightened around the head like a vile garrote on the skull, the 'crown of Christ ' as they called her. I mean broken bones, irons punched in the anus. Facts seen and suffered like this are silent. With a feeling of guilt, as if the victim were to blame, or even of unconquered terror, which would continue in a Pavlov reflex. This time, the conditioning factor is memory, which is not reported so as not to repeat the pain. We understand the jumps or the silence, because on this page now I feel the temptation. It is paralyzing to reflect on what we have known and seen. A paralysis that is an apparent inertia, because we think about what we don't think about, we reflect on what we don't reflect on, we talk inside about what we don't talk about outside. And to say the least in one line: it's depressing first. Second, it plunges us into mad rage. Lastly, there is still an expressionless revolt.”

But the hunted 'terrorist' comes to mind, in the description of lawyer Gardênia: 'He was on the table, he was wearing a light blue zorba and he had a bullet hole in his forehead and one in his chest. And with the eyes wide open and the tongue out of the mouth'. For me, they are Vargas' eyes in damn January 1973. The simple evocation leaves a bitter taste of gall and bile in the mouth. Will I have, or should I have, the refreshment of a break?”

Memories of state terrorism during the dictatorship return. Memories hidden to this day in teaching at military schools.

*Urarian Mota is a writer and journalist. Author, among other books, of Soledad in Recife (boitempo). []

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