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By WOLFGANG LEO MAAR*

In a country with centuries of slavery, the social question takes priority over the political experience

In the electoral climate, there are those who want to believe that there is a dispute between two extreme, polarized poles. They would be two equally distant narratives of democracy, two faces of the same radical authoritarianism.

But it's not like that. There are two narratives. There is a society that is real, effective and factual, opposed to a proto-fascist and authoritarian ideological narrative, anti-democratic, exclusionary, sustained by a false experience of reality that is indoctrinated by the networks.

There is an objective truth, available and visible. The pandemic itself helped to clear the way: it made people return their priority to life, beyond their participation in the market, in meritocracy, etc. This provides the criterion for questioning the right-wing narrative that is presented as if it were society, but strictly speaking it is an ideological substitute for it, endowed with a “post-factual truth” such as the flat earth.

After all, 670 people lost their lives, in large part due to the denialism that generated lack and delays of vaccines and essential equipment, apart from false treatments and corruption on duty.

There is, therefore, a non-ideological truth: life, allowing to differentiate narrative from real society based on a factual finding. Death is not an opinion formed in a narrative discourse.

There is a non-ideological truth, which even has a practice and an institutional home, which in this current situation are in need of defense: science and the university. Therefore, the attacks made on these institutions are not for nothing. But still the Earth didn't become flat; Only those whose targets do not reach beyond their own prejudiced and petty opinions, magnified in the media networks by malicious people who do not resist the light of democracy, are mistaken.

In a conference recently reissued and with great repercussion, Theodor Adorno states that the ideology of the extreme right avoids blaming the socio-political-economic apparatus of super expropriation and destruction of social policies of capitalism for the people's ills. Instead, he incriminates those who denounce it, who criticize it and seek to build alternatives.

This position of the extreme right, continues Theodor Adorno, is substantially false, a falsehood based on an obstruction of the ability to carry out a living experience of reality, an obstruction constructed through its manipulation. Experience is thus authoritatively placed before individuals in their social and political life, in a frame of reference devoid of autonomy for the subjects of society. This gives the problem an objective and political scope, far beyond the subjective, psychological or ideological dimension.

And that is why it is not enough simply to oppose this falsehood, but, with all the incisive force of reason linked to an effectively non-ideological truth, it is necessary to face the question of the effective and true experience of reality.

This means a proposal for social construction, in agreement with the material and factual reality and endowed with the conditions of its possible experience. That makes it possible to clearly differentiate factual truth and falsehood. In a country with the present so submerged in the centuries of the slave-owning social order, the social question takes priority over the political experience; it guarantees the economic structure in its objectivity and subjectivity. That's what you had to learn.

When Dilma Rousseff was fraudulently removed from the presidency, based entirely on factual falsehoods, there was much speculation about why the ruling elites would stage a coup, since after all “they had never made so much money as with the PT governments.” The question was not directly economic: what was on the agenda was the construction of an inclusive and egalitarian society, aware of and able to experience the injustice of its exclusion. Embedded in this construction was a growing and transformative long-term critical perspective, contrary to the prevailing racist, sexist, exclusion and revulsion of the poor and miserable. Soon it would erode the form of the unequal society that sustains the stratospheric concentration of wealth among us, just as abolition undermined the Empire's economy. This prospect needed to be stopped preemptively. What was done.

For all this, the side of democracy today is Lula. Lula means an inclusive and egalitarian reconstruction of Brazilian society. The concrete and true experience of this was made. It was relentless and perceived by all, non-ideological truth now available again. Excluded, poor, miserable, homeless, women, blacks, trans, transvestites, expropriated workers, etc.: in short, the people are not the problem, but the solution.

Endowed with the strength of a hegemony previously present in the massive support now sustained in the true, factual experience of the terrible damage caused by the breach of the rule of law, but which did not manage to destroy the ability to experience the round earth, although for some, mistaken, has kicked it off for a couple of years.

*Wolfgang Leo Maar is senior professor at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar).

 

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