The agitators of the empire

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By JEAN PIERRE CHAUVIN*

They are modeled on the political, economic and moral ideology of the United States, Israel and other backyards. They speak and gesture, playing the role of angry beings

There are those who love the city of São Paulo and express such affection by acclimatizing to the famous declaration I love New York to the tropics. In junk stores and remembrances da Pauliceia, it is very easy to find keychains or plates with the phrase I Love São Paulo. There are also those who, in the absence of mild temperatures and fog Londoner, wrap themselves in a coat at a certain time of night, which can produce fumes of melancholy cult and well-dressed.

Note that this is not about condemning the customs of fellow countrymen. This chronicler is far from recriminating anyone who loves one of the richest (and most unequal) cities in the southern hemisphere. Furthermore, we cannot blame the inhabitants of here for expressing what they have as cosmopolitans.

There are those who would prefer to have been born in another country. For them, Brazil is an accident in their hyper-individual trajectory. During the 1891th century, the elites' greatest horizon was Europe: territory of culture, arts, reason and free thought. However, since the republican coup d'état and the first post-imperial constitution of XNUMX, this country has formalized alliances of all degrees and levels with the United States of America.

There were few who resisted internalizing the “mutt complex” that Nelson Rodrigues spoke of. What can be seen most, in certain examples of this condition and appearance, is the desire to distinguish themselves at any and all costs from the “little people”. Here they are exercising their traditional tackiness, which is revealed in the anachronistic architecture; on the gate with initials of family members in gold letters; in armored vehicles that occupy two lanes; in the clothes and accessories that transform them into sunflowers blooming in the urban greenhouse – also known as mall.

So far, we have alluded to two common social types in the capital of São Paulo (whose behavior may have some federal repercussions) starting with the way they conceive of themselves and others, according to the fallacy of meritocracy. It happens that they often do not perceive their social, cultural and economic condition as a result of class privileges; but as a result of the “honest work” and “intelligence” of their four hundred-year-old ancestors.

With commendable exceptions, among those who define themselves as politically “non-polarized” or “non-radical” beings, it is easy to find those who justify voting for the candidate who least interferes with “their” leisure and business. It doesn't matter if the candidate is corrupt, violent, misogynistic, exclusionary, privatist and does nothing for the most underserved. How to explain this electoral phenomenon? Will it be mirroring? Cynicism? Maintaining distance in relation to “different people”?

Let's talk about another caricatured character, whose specimens are found in profusion in Latin America: I'm referring to the agitator who works locally in favor of the empire. He is usually encouraged by national broadcasters, speaking in the name of freedom and democracy, holding “leftists” responsible for the supposed “tyranny” exercised against the free market, against free competition, against the supposed freedom of expression. An errand boy, he propagandizes the apology of pseudo-values ​​defended by ultraliberals.

As we should already know, one of the most common symptoms of neoliberalism is the increase in violent tactics against those who resist the arbitrariness of the institutions that misgovern us. Its spokespeople are modeled on the political, economic and moral ideology of the United States, Israel and other backyards. They speak and gesture, playing the role of angry beings.

With histrionic speech, they aim to sound sincere; with bloodshot eyes and hands that threaten, they feign conviction; without credentials or credible references, they disseminate untruths as if they were dogmas; making the government their private business, they speak out against those who “suck at the teats of the State”. And as they do not go beyond the condition of fraud, these agitators need to compensate for resentment, frustration, and their intellectual, psychological and emotional nullity.

To interpret their “libertarian” role with greater efficiency and effectiveness, they manifest the mannerisms inherent to fascist discourse, which includes no shortage of key terms such as “homeland”, “family” and “private property” – terms, in general, linked to fundamentalism religious: monochromatic, Manichaean and hypocritical. It remains to be seen whether these abject figures, who are in no way humanitarian, urban or patriotic, really give themselves credit; or whether the image they project results from mere opportunistic pretense that distracts warlords and co-opts new apologists for the empire.

*Jean Pierre Chauvin Professor of Brazilian Culture and Literature at the School of Communication and Arts at USP. Author, among other books by Seven speeches: essays on discursive typologies (Editora Cancioneiro).[https://amzn.to/3sW93sX]


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