Hunch and science

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By PEDRO DE ALCANTARA FIGUEIRA*

Those who have become involved in the fantasy stubbornly called neoliberalism have become entangled in a false interpretation of the modern world.

1.

Each era has its own language that is capable of expressing the largest set of issues relating to human life. Each era has its truth. The truth of Antiquity is not the same as the truth of the Middle Ages, and the truth of that period is not useful for the bourgeois world. These are truths that become useless.

Aristotle defines man as a social animal, more precisely as an animal that lives in the city, as opposed to the tribal man, of the communities, that is, the man who lives subjected to nature. Aristotle: 4th century BC. Benjamin Franklin, in the 18th century, defined man as “an animal that makes instruments”. Benjamin Franklin thus defines man at the exact moment when manual labor, dependent on strength and skill, is being surpassed by a work instrument independent of all these human qualities: the steam engine. Compare this new way of working with crafts, based fundamentally on the skill of the craftsman.

The 18th century used a language that signified a radical break with the language of the feudal world. In this last period, all men are servants of God. In the eighteenth century, the term work comes first. The bourgeoisie speaks through its science, political economy. The language of that time is largely represented by the book The wealth of nations, by Adam Smith. There are many revolutionary manifestations of this century. In France, the eternal power of the king, of the monarchy, is under discussion. The transformative force of this moment was expressed in the work of Voltaire, in the Encyclopedia of Diderot and prepared the Revolution of 1789 that overturned the centuries-old rule of the aristocracy. Heads rolled.

The indisputable and eternal truth of the Catholic Church can no longer be sustained in the face of the conflicts faced by the changes in the basis of society recorded in the most different ways in the works of Descartes, in the rounding of the Earth made visible by Copernicus, Galileo and above all by transcontinental maritime navigation. which gained intense life from Columbus and Vasco da Gama.

It is in England that the revolutionary tendencies of that time will most quickly acquire new economic forms. The “highest value” announced by Camões in Lusiads is incarnated in the unique figure that is Bacon. The world that is being born is fully represented in the work of this revolutionary thinker whose ideas are battering rams against the walls of Catholicism. Another truth corresponds to his time, an idea he expresses when he states that “truth is the daughter of time”.

The term that corresponds to the revolutionary impetuosity of the world that was born with the bankruptcy of feudalism reveals itself in its fullness with industry. It is summed up in the word profit that serves as a lever that sets in motion the forces now defined as capitalist.

The truth of Saint Thomas Aquinas is no longer useful for the bourgeois era. Here we talk about the amount of wealth that each man can produce in a day of work.

During this period, the world goes through a revolution that inaugurates a new form of civilization that is responsible for creating a new man. Citizen It is a term that became widespread after the French Revolution. He is the concrete manifestation of the end of the terminology that corresponded to the rule of the aristocracy.

From 1848 onwards, with the workers' revolt in France, the language changed radically. Bourgeois language is gradually losing its place in a reality that every decade announces with greater force the need for a new social form. Karl Marx is able to respond to this need.

2.

To summarize, any other language that is not committed to overcoming the capitalist mode of production does not get the job done. Trying to explain, whatever it is, with another language, but especially with “economese” – carefully named “gororoba” by Luiz Gonzaga Belluzzo – is talking in the desert. Reality dispenses with ideas originating from this source, as it identifies them only as contrary to the solution of economic and social impasses through a new path.

Those who get involved with this fantasy stubbornly called neoliberalism have become entangled in a false interpretation of the modern world, which, for this very reason, only contributes to the creation of all types of tergiversation about the enemy to be fought. The fact is that no matter how much effort reality makes, until now it has not been able to know where to put this entity responsible for all our ills.

It is impossible to understand the economic laws of our world if we do not have sufficient clarity about how the process of expropriation of labor works. Even more so, if we do not take this process as a starting point for the existence of the two classes that form capitalist society, that is, the working class and the capitalists. This was the concrete condition for the existence of the capitalist mode of production.

However, the history that gave birth to and allowed the gigantic development of this mode of production has undergone profound changes since the Industrial Revolution until today. As a result of this development, the need for a reckoning with the expropriation process arose, that is, the laws that supported its existence began to show signs of exhaustion. These signs were, from the last quarter of the 19th century, increasing to the point of demonstrating that the capitalist machine was suffering from serious malfunctions.

Even the resources used to face this situation, that is, increased working hours, reduced wages, absolutely miserable living situations imposed on workers, forms of work classified as slavery, were not enough to reinvigorate the mode of production. Quite the contrary, what we have is the emergence of forms that tend towards a mode of destruction that, on a political level, is linked to the strengthening of hordes committed to positions contrary to the transition to a new mode of production.

3.

This is how the current reality is arranged. The combat that is announced has in subversion the scientific expression capable of accounting for the changes that are necessary for the progress of human society to be imposed as a condition for the existence of a civilized humanity.

Signs of barbarism are visible to everyone and their promoters are ensconced in power in those countries where the changes have taken on unbearable dimensions for any attempt to contain them.

It is precisely at this point that changing the verb becomes urgent. The commitment to a new world was, at all times, the firm basis on which scientific ideas were structured, both with regard to society and the natural world. Considering precisely the war that the new productive forces are waging against a world that insists on maintaining economic and social relations that have been corroded by time, we therefore have no reason to think that our era could be left to the whims of guesswork.

This revolutionary panorama is not conducive to philosophizing. What we have most concretely is a state of rebellion against all the impediments that have accumulated over recent times. It was implicit in the arguments evoked by the media that progress came to be considered a communist threat. From this position comes his unrestricted support for all manifestations of what we can, with good reason, call a mode of destruction. They understand that by acting in this way they prevent the transition to a mode of production based on collectivism.

In fact, they face an unbeatable juggernaut at times when subversion takes over all sectors of society. They incessantly resort to anti-communism, but, as in everything, they have missed the train of history. Also in this case, their appeals do not find an echo in old social sectors that history has taken care of reducing to insignificant spokesmen of a class, which, although it was dominant at some point, today no longer leads anything.

* Pedro de Alcantara Figueira he holds a doctorate in history from Unesp. Author, among other books, of History essays (UFMS).


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