the bolsonarista virus

Image: Elyeser Szturm
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By João Sette Whitaker Ferreira*

Elected on the policy of “the crazier the guy, the better”, Bolsonaro is faced with an event that surpasses his reduced capacity for thought, which requires real public management, real governance.

At this point, it is clear that the economic model of global capitalism in recent decades, similar to a fragile house of cards, a pyramid of general indebtedness with virtual money, extremely high concentration of income and massive channeling of public money to the private sector, does not capable of sustaining a major catastrophic event.

The system tends to collapse due to the private sector's inability to face a demand that, contrary to its operating logic, needs to be universal, not exclusive. The problem here is that if universal attention cannot be achieved, everyone, including the richest, will be affected. Then, the whole system turns to the public sector and, surprise, it is discovered that it has been squandered by the greed of the current system. This is the “transformative” power that the pandemic is generating, to the point that French President Macron, a well-known liberal, is going to defend that “only the public service is capable of responding to a situation like this”.

The pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus has an aspect that still allows us to assume that there will not be – yet – the end of humanity, or a shudder of those that will take us definitively to a world “à la Blade Runner”: it is the fact that the pandemic tends to recede as people become immunized, a fact that occurred in China, where it seems that there are no more cases at the epicenter of the epidemic, in Wuhan. Thus, despite the general panic and the probable and sad deaths of loved ones, the elderly or people with chronic illnesses, the world clings to this perspective that this will “only” last a few months.

The question that remains is: what if a virus appears at any time whose characteristics do not allow it to go back? What we are seeing is that either the world changes its logic, or at any time a virus like this ends the world. It is a transformative perspective, but given the logic of a society created on greed, individualism, competition, the pursuit of profit above all else, it will not be so peaceful.

An example of how difficult this transformation is is in the posture of President Jair Bolsonaro who, unfortunately, represents the way of being and thinking of a significant portion of Brazilians, but also of the world population, since elsewhere his role is assumed by others. crazy on duty, Trump being the biggest.

The point is that the “system”, governed by capital corporations, has become so autonomous that it manages to govern itself, as long as it puts a soldier sent by it in the running of the economy, as in the case of Guedes in Brazil. Moreover, in the policy of the crazier the guy, the better, since that way he permanently attracts the spotlight with incessant declarations in all means of digital dissemination, permanently flirting with everything our civilization has experienced in the darkest.

The problem is that this model rests on the fact that, to speak well of the Nazi and bad of blacks, women and the like, any clod who thinks he owns all the wisdom from the top of his meager neurons will do. It's these guys, like the ones you see out there getting involved in macho fights, taking forbidden bombs at the gym, walking on the side of the road and hitting gays and women, who came to power in Brazil. They are very good at doing these things. At first, this could last four years, maybe even eight. Screw the intellectuals, leftists and other “communists” if they think this is bad.

Only not. They did not expect it, but an event fell on them that surpasses their reduced capacity for thought by thousands and thousands of times, which requires real public management, real governance and, believe me, this is not easy. We have at the head of the country, to lead it through this moment of acute crisis, a madman who thinks the Earth is flat, another who says that if China were free (from communism) we would not have the virus, another who denies reality and does the opposite of what any sane being over the age of five would understand is the right thing to do, and so on. The irony of all this is that Olavo de Carvalho, guru of these people, claims to have been infected by the virus that until recently had its reach underestimated by his followers.

That is, we are lost in terms of coping with the pandemic, but some are still in even more worrying situations: the oldest who are not protected, but, above all, the oldest among the poorest. Brazil has a lot of people living on very low incomes. A problem that was on the agenda of the Lula and Dilma governments with the explicit slogan of ending extreme poverty, but which disappeared from the horizon since Temer came to power.

the bolsonarista virus

And that's where the biggest problem comes in: the obvious imbecility of Bolsonaro, his children, his ministers, is starting to become evident even for that regretful actress from Globo who beat Dilma and now beats the Captain. This imbecility is obvious and begins to cause political problems for the president, who sees the pressure of an impeachment approaching because he is being taken over by a sound middle class, but who has access to information and their nonsense. It is an obvious imbecility, more broadly, not only for the income classes that have access to Facebook, social networks and information in general, but also in the low income ranges, there are many politicized and informed people who already knew Times like who was the captain, who has nothing to do with myth.

The problem is the easily manipulated mass of the population that believes in the nonsense of this bunch of imbeciles. Some from lower incomes, but, above all, a crowd of middle-class people deluded by consumerism, and a few socialites accustomed to their elite status. The one who believed in fake news from a dick bottle and who thinks it's possible that the Earth is really flat.

For her, everything that comes out of the mouth of the Captain and his minions is a sign of irreverence, courage, facing the “old politics”, everything is applauded. That he says that a journalist likes to “break the news”, or that another has a “horrible homosexual look”, is all acceptable and seen as the courageous trait of the president in facing this “leftist” that supposedly ended Brazil .

Until then it's great. In doing so, he feeds his political base with his manipulative bravado. The problem is when the issue is no longer maintaining its political strength, but the lives of Brazilians. At that moment, the confusion between the crude politician and the Statesman who does not exist becomes criminal. This is the problem with the Covid-19 pandemic with Jair Bolsonaro. Now, bravado is no longer a matter of hurting our ethics and having to swallow disgusting rubbish, it is a matter of whether or not to preserve thousands of lives.

When he says that the Coronavirus is overrated, when his son says it is a Chinese invention, when he goes out contaminating his supporters in public squares, when he gets confused in the difficult task of keeping a mask on his face, he is sowing death among a legion of poor people who believed in the dick bottle. After all, if the “myth” says it is like that, it is because he is, again, facing with his irony the “mimimi” of those who persecute him. In small towns across the country, reports are that Covid-19 is a distant matter. Unfortunately, this also happens in big cities, where people discuss in bars how brave, funny, “manly” the president is… After all, this virus is the invention of those who want to overthrow it.

The urban issue in the apocalyptic scenario

The confusion between state politics and the party-electoral game is established once and for all. The politician who aims to be re-elected and not lose power overrides the Statesman who should emerge, the Minister of Foreign Affairs defends his boss, whose son seeks a war with China and so on. To make matters worse, crazy people like pastors Silas Malafaia and Edir Macedo, who for decades have enriched themselves at the expense of the belief of this manipulated population, sow death in their churches by saying that the virus is Satan's thing, maintaining the services that gather thousands daily of people and saying that prayers will save them, thus causing possible mass contamination.

It is in this tragic scenario that the urban issue emerges in all its fullness. Continuing in this way, the virus will arrive, and quickly, in populations where the whole family lives in cramped rooms, including elderly grandparents, with high population density, close to neighbors and without sanitation. With almost half of the active Brazilian workforce working informally, we are talking about a population that has no choice but to go to work in order to survive. From people who, when their children's school stops, have nothing to do because they can't stop. At that moment, the basic guidelines of “staying at home” and “washing your hands” all the time take on another dimension. And the damage to the elderly population will be irreparable.

To make matters worse, the extreme right-wing middle and upper classes – they are also followers of the Bolsonarist myth and pack – do not realize the seriousness of the issue and maintain the demand for work on top of their employees. There is reliable news that the civil construction sector did not stop the works, taking (and exposing) thousands of workers to construction sites, on buses and subways. Guedes even announced funds for the sector, to contain the Coronavirus crisis, in the same way, maids continue to be required in the homes where they work. Brazil does not stop, because in the view of these people it cannot stop, or rather, its pockets cannot empty and damn those who die with it.

Thus, the forecast for the Coronavirus in Brazil would no longer be the best due to the fact that we have millions and millions of people who still live in precarious and dense neighborhoods in undignified housing conditions. A strong and organized State policy, supported by the SUS and good information, in support of informal self-employed workers, would perhaps mitigate the disaster, the problem is that the president of the country does exactly the opposite. Or rather, it gets in the way of any more organized action, even some minimally sensible attitudes that your health minister “stubbornly” take.

It is a crime against humanity. Something that seems to be a “bit” more serious than “fiscal pedaling”. I hope that one day Bolsonaro will be handed over to international courts, as has been done with so many war criminals who have attacked humanity.

*João Sette Whitaker Ferreira He is a professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at USP.

Article originally published on the website Other words.

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