Under the Empire of the Death Drive

Clara Figueiredo, the government's economic leadership is moving steadily forward, digital photomontage, 2020.


Letter from the School of Psychoanalysis of the Forums of the Lacanian Field

When answering Einstein why war, Freud pointed out that war reveals how man is capable of making the other the object of his drive for destruction, which is part of each one of us. For war suspends the civilizing barriers that oppose the death drive. In Brazil today, the civilizing and democratic pillars are being systematically and programmatically destroyed by the barbarism of the ultra-right government. We are under the Empire of the death drive. A “ustra-right” government brings to mind, on a daily basis, the dark tribute by the then federal deputy Jair Bolsonaro to the sadistic torturer Brilhante Ustra, when he pronounced his vote in favor of the impeachment of President Dilma Roussef, in 2016. would come.

Today, we are at war. Not that outside powers are attacking us, but the government itself, with its necropolitics, is promoting the genocide of our population. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought death into the framework of our everyday lives. And the current government, far from being incompetent to manage the pandemic and mass vaccination, has demonstrated its deliberate aim of exterminating a significant part of the population. And this with refinements of cynicism and the enjoyment of tyranny.

The pandemic situation and the high lethality rate of COVID-19 have installed a biological war in Brazil. This, in a cruel and perfidious way, attacks on several fronts: it ignores the prevention of contagion, goes against social isolation, ridicules the use of masks, trivializes the disease, advertises false medicines and encourages crowds. And more: it does not provide minimal and dignified assistance for people to stay at home, it does not provide subsidies for increasing the capacity for medical assistance; on the contrary, it encourages anti-vaccination movements, prevents governors from buying vaccines, and other nonsense. It thus promotes the State of Terror, submitting us not only to helplessness, but also to open-air torture, which fills us with fear and panic, melancholy and despair. Deliberate lack of oxygen, programmed asphyxia and trivialized death are tactics of necropolitics, whose strategy is hatred, ignorance and destruction. Deadly ignorance is instilled drop by drop in the interstices of democratic society, so that there is an attack on knowledge and the promotion of Fake News, in addition to the ode to violence. This type of war today in which the coronavirus is used as a weapon, associated with the release of firearms to the population, prepares the civil war of tomorrow.

This government attacks the Public Thing and its servants. It programs the destruction of public policies won with so much struggle, which minimally ensured some rights and dignity to the Brazilian citizen. Even more: it attacks science, relegates education and culture to its lowest step, exhausts the workforce of health professionals, destroys our natural wealth, our original peoples, all in the name of capital. And for the benefit of a dominant minority, which, without any shame, uses its class privileges to embrace the genocidal, supremacist and eugenics government project. Well, the population that will be most decimated is the one that has the least chance of defending itself from the shots, the viruses and the poisons of lying speeches.

Psychoanalysts, we know that the individual subject is the same as the collective logic, and we are aware of the deadly biological war that plagues us. For there to be a prospect of rebuilding bonds, life (Bios) must prevail, linked to love (Eros) and Reason (Logos). To do so, we need to recover the argumentative and elucidative debate, as well as the promotion of respect for difference and uniqueness within a truly democratic project, in which the “one-to-one” can combine with the collective logic.

May the mourning we experience due to the gravity of the moment not turn into melancholy, foreseen by the tenebrous programming of Tanatos' instrumentalization. May the work of mourning be carried out based on the historical experience of those who preceded us, so that we can respond with a determined desire for reconstruction and with the active hope that guides us. May the enlightenment to which man has arrived, divided by the Freudian Unconscious, be able to do justice, with words and actions, to the dignity of the human being that we are trying to achieve. May we be up to the task that the times have imposed on us.

*Emergencies Committee at the time of EPFCL-Brasil – Ana Laura Prates, Antonio Quinet, Ida Freitas, Rodrigo Pacheco, Rosane Melo, Vera Pollo




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