A place for Brazil in the democratization of science? – IV

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By ELEONORA ALBANO*

Evaluation of the first six months of the Lula government

On the occasion of the publication of the first text of this series,[I] in March 2022, the entire Brazilian progressive camp was united around the hope of rebuilding the country, represented by the candidacy of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for a third term. At that moment, few would have imagined that the ballot boxes would show such a narrow difference between the candidates – and, much less, that the results could give rise to such violent contestations.

Nevertheless, due to its cohesion and dimension, our public education and research system, however weakened it may be, remains standing. This, in principle, enables us to lead the effort for a democratic and decolonized science, in which inclusion and diversity promise to nurture creativity and relevance. In the three previous trials,[ii] we have seen that no country in the world has such favorable conditions for carrying out such a project. Therefore, it is now time to widen, extend and refine this thesis based on the new directions given to our society by the election.

The last text examined the damage caused by the fascist government in education at all levels and proposed a reflection on its repair. the first condition sine qua non what stood out was the need to reverse the severe disfigurement of the 1988 Constitution. In this case, however, as already seen, the way out is clear, thanks to the precise and detailed Revogaço report,[iii] produced by a group of researchers from UFRJ.

However, there are other conditions less discernible, albeit necessary for the restoration of public education. This text closes the series by raising questions about prospecting and mapping this goal, taking into account the “deep Brazil” that emerged on January 8. I maintain that the worsening of obscurantism over the last few years reorganizes, but does not make unfeasible, our vocation to pursue a plural, creative, ambitious science project and, therefore, deeply critical of the hierarchy of knowledge in the global north.

Let us reiterate, at the outset, that the demilitarization of government positions and the cleaning up of public institutions are conditions sine quibus non to embrace such a project. It is known that the spread of hatred under armed guardianship enhances denialism and obscurantism. Therefore, the best antidote against these evils is to defend the extreme right from the public sector – which demands that the barracks be definitely put in its proper place.

In my opinion, the gestures of the current government in this regard are right, although they are taking a long time to settle down, thrive and bear fruit. All dismissals were cautious and responded to intolerable acts of insubordination.

On the other hand, as Manuel Domingos Neto argues,[iv] In the light of decades of studying militarism, President Lula needs to go further, fully assuming command of the Armed Forces and opening a debate on National Defense, with broad participation from civil society. In the words of the historian, it is not a question of decimating the “internal enemy”, as the military wants, but of “protecting our territorial, maritime, air and cybernetic space from the covetous foreigner”.

Let us remember that the Brazilian doctrine of national security is a faithful copy of the US model – imported under the scope of the exchange agreement between the Academia Militar de Agulhas Negras (AMAN) and the Academia de West Point (a United States Military Academy (USMA)).

Under the pretext of defending western “democracy” against communist “dictatorship”, the US has been imposing this thesis for over 70 years. Thus, they intend to maintain their hegemony and justify the repression of liberation movements, whether of oppressed segments of their own population, or of nations under their imperialist yoke. Such an extrinsic reference makes the Brazilian national security primer a simple servitude of the coloniality of the global north and, therefore, a threat to our sovereignty. It is urgent to definitely sweep it away from our barracks and military schools.

This, of course, will only be possible when the protagonism acquired by public education between 2002 and 2016 is restored.

The willingness of the current government to make this restoration possible was reflected in measures taken since the first month. Consider the president's January meeting with the leaders of federal universities and institutes. In it, all the speeches reaffirmed the role of public education at any level for the progress of science, technology and innovation, and underlined the indispensability of these three pillars for national sovereignty. The subsequent meeting between the Minister of Science and Technology and representatives of Brazilian academia reinforced this perspective. Another similar measure was MEC's ​​attempt to update the value of graduate scholarships.

In the sections below, I present and discuss, via selected examples, three tasks that deserve attention from the scientific community in all areas – whether they are “hard” or “soft” (hard ou soft). These are actions that can help the government, as well as ourselves, intellectuals, scientists and concerned citizens, to overcome the climate of scorched earth, which, as the UFRJ researchers demonstrated, was meticulously implanted, with high capillarity, over the past four years.

The first task stems from the fact that combating the rise of the extreme right in the world requires a joint effort by democratic governments to understand it. Take a look at the agenda for the meeting between presidents Lula and Joe Biden in February. The whole world knows that Brazil now has abundant documentation on the subject. It is up to us, therefore, to work on it and, whenever possible, to share it with interested foreign colleagues. It should be noted that, although it is just beginning, the discussion needs to produce immediate results.

In this regard, Fernando Nogueira da Costa proposed an interpretation[v] of the 8th of January in light of the Mass psychology of fascism, by Wilhelm Reich. I agree that Reich's insights into the repression of sexuality are revealing. But I consider that more current views of psychoanalysis can be even more useful. Furthermore, it seems urgent to me to treat the event empirically, that is, with as much data as possible. To illustrate the usefulness of an empirical approach based on a psychoanalytical reference that is sensitive to our reality, I outline, in the next section, an analysis of the first data made available in this regard by the federal government.

The second task is due to the fact that we have known how to preserve, even if with great difficulty, a respectable public education system – built, by the way, in about a century. Expanding the national and international influence of the pioneers of this construction is the first step towards strengthening it and attracting partnerships interested in re-editing the democratizing educational initiatives of our past, with the global future as a horizon.

The third task is due to the fact that the current government's foreign policy is highly favorable to multilateral cooperation. It is therefore up to our scientific community to contribute to strengthening it, disseminating and expanding its successful experiences, some already quite consolidated.

But that's not enough. It is also up to it to claim the expansion of support for multilateral research projects, with the exchange of students, professors and researchers with partner countries. It is also necessary that our universities and research institutes become points of attraction for young people participating in exchange agreements in strategic areas for the future of the world and that, reciprocally, their countries welcome our youth.

A Social Psychology Sketch of January 8th

Below, I combine a psychoanalytical look with a simple exercise in demography to suggest that, however repugnant the facts may be, the study of mass behavior by the extreme right can shed light on our reflection on Brazil today.

The database is on the federal government website.[vi] These are the lists of men and women charged in flagrante delicto during the coup attack on Praça dos Três Poderes. These lists are intended to help the detainees' families and lawyers to locate them. They contain name, date of birth and federative unit (UF).

I grouped numerical data into simple categories, such as gender, age, and state, and based the interpretation of these groupings on analyzes of contemporary alienation by two leading Brazilian authors. The first is the playwright and screenwriter Izaías Almada; the second is the psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Jurandir Freire Costa.

The procedure consisted of dividing the dates into age groups and organizing the federative units by regions. This partition revealed significant patterns, summarized in the two charts below.

The first graph displays the number of detainees per federative unit, with the regions arranged in a clockwise direction, that is: north, northeast, southeast, south and midwest.

As for gender, it is not surprising that most federative units exhibit a much higher male membership than female membership. On the other hand, it is disconcerting that the Southeast, South and Midwest add up to such a high number of female members (namely, 65, which represents 35% of the participation of these states).

Graph 1 – Invaders of Praça dos Três Poderes by region: north, northeast, southeast, midwest.

As for geography, it is disturbing that, in the visually inconspicuous northern region, the states that have exorbited from mining in indigenous lands (namely, Pará, Tocantins, Rondônia and Roraima) add up to the expressive number of 60 cases. The exception that confirms the rule is Roraima (a single case). Let us remember that the state governor himself mocked the illegality of the practice,[vii] minimized the responsibility of mining for the health crisis in Yanomami lands.

Another noteworthy fact is that, in the northeast region, the state that stands out is Bahia, where President Lula's vote was the highest in the country. The apparent contradiction is probably due to the drop in the electoral performance of the patrimonialist elites, staunch enemies of the Workers' Party. It is reasonable to suspect that they sponsored the detainees, who number 46.

The pattern of the Southeast, South and Midwest regions is, in turn, consistent with the growth of their participation in predatory economic activities in recent years. The states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Paraná, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul stand out.

It should be noted that this pattern converges with the registration of buses currently being investigated for involvement in coup acts. Here are the numbers published by Agência Pública.[viii] São Paulo, 31; Paraná, 23, Minas Gerais, 14; Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul together, 5.

It should be added that vehicles from São Paulo are concentrated in the interior, mainly in the cities located between the capital and Limeira, covering the entire metropolitan region of Campinas. These municipalities are, in fact, the ones that most contributed to the disconcerting victory of the captain and his allies in the nation's richest state.

The set of these data indicates that the sponsors of the coup acts are businessmen benefiting from the outbreak of deregulation caused by the recent reissue, discussed in the previous essay, of the military dictatorship's practice of governing by means of decrees, ordinances, etc. These businessmen are betting on extremism because they fear that the necessary regulation of certain activities will restrict the “freedom” of their businesses. They justify it through an unshakable belief in the dogma that any social program tends to generate a fiscal deficit.

Let us now move on to Graph 2, which displays the distribution of detainees into three age groups: less than 30 years old, between 30 and 59 years old and over 60 years old.

Graph 2 – Men and women terrorists grouped by age group.

Here, although the gender proportions are obviously the same, the predominant age group, namely 30 to 59 years old, is the only one that has an important number of women, namely 280, which represents 30% of the total. Let us remember that the members of this group were particularly subject to unemployment and/or underemployment since the first international financial capital crisis, triggered by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in the USA in 2008. At that time, there was already a significant number of women disputing the market Brazilian work environment – ​​with a much higher probability of becoming frustrated than men.

In Brazil, the consequences of this crisis were sharpened in the following decade, making it difficult to reduce inequality and giving rise to the implacable lawfare of Lava-Jato against leftist parties and politicians. This paved the way for the 2016 coup and the rise of the extreme right. At the same time, conservatism was expanding, thanks to the dissemination of prosperity theology and its meritocratic preaching by neo-Pentecostal churches.

Let us now appreciate the relevance of the text by Izaías Almada published in Boitempo's blog in November 2011, under the title The spectacularization of barbarism: “Humanity has barely started its journey into the XNUMXst century and the external signs of barbarism claim its perverse role in the daily lives of all of us citizens and begin to punctuate, to stand out, in the great feuds of mass communication. Capitalism has lost its composure for good and is wide open for anyone who wants to see the true nature of its entrails. The corporate media, television in particular, dominated by entertainment and bad taste journalism in recent years, has advanced a step in the plan of brutalizing consciences, in the systematic trivialization of customs, feelings, and in the political alienation of citizens”.

The writer's words could apply to the events in Brasilia, but they were actually referring to the series of murders of Muslim leaders that took place around the turn of the 2010s, covered with fanfare by the international media. It never hurts to remember that these crimes were generally committed by security agencies in the global north, under the banner of the “war on terrorism”.

It should be noted that the spectacularization of barbarism is one of the most popular forms of insufflating the form of alienation that Hannah Arendt called the “banalization of evil”. Already in the 1960s, Guy Debord[ix] demonstrated that any new event incites the media to feed the voracious gear of the “society of the spectacle”. Less than fifty years later, technology allowed anyone to think they were capable of producing their own show – no matter how crazy – without fear of polluting Cazuza's terse verse: “It's part of my show”.

It is an effect of the spectacularization of barbarism that the men and women who photographed and/or filmed themselves destroying the headquarters of the federal government deny any involvement with terrorism, despite having posted evidence of the crime on social networks. They are so far removed from their citizenship that they don't even realize that their “show” is part of an orchestrated criminal action, much less that this action serves interests alien to theirs.

Let us now turn to Jurandir Freire Costa's equally anticipatory reflections on the behavior of ordinary citizens co-opted by the ultra-right – available only on video.[X] This is a master class delivered at the PSB Congress 40 in August 2019 and entitled “Inequality and Disenchantment”. At that time, what was sought to be understood were the reasons for Jair Bolsonaro’s victory in 2018.

The psychoanalyst states that the globalized, financialized and spectacularized society produces disenchantment: deprived of their bonds of solidarity and confused about their values ​​and desires, people tend to seek blame for their frustrations, turning, almost always, against institutions and/ or constituted authorities. According to the author, alienation by disenchantment is divided into three types: uprooting, resentment and helplessness.

Uprooting affects most of the economic elite, who despise their land and people and reduce them to mere objects of plunder. Thus, the “uprooted” are colonized, hardened, identified with the colonizer. So they are dazzled by the global north and seize any opportunity, no matter how illegal, that boosts their profits.

Resentment, in turn, affects those who consider themselves to be failures compared to their peers or successful role models. They generally attribute the alleged failure to the “disorders” and/or “incompetence” of whoever was (or had been) at the head of a public institution at the time of the crisis that hit them.

Finally, helplessness affects those who consider themselves deprived of even a place in the world. They are attracted by criminality, but tend to avoid organized crime and embrace promises of salvation, even if they involve violence and crimes against humanity. Thus, they participate in groups of hate, injury and defamation; and spread false news; or even, at the limit, adhere to spectacularized destruction.

Let us remember that this trilogy was proposed as a succinct description of the mentality of those who had voted for Jair Bolsonaro in 2018. Here, I have only reviewed its empirical characterization, updating the inventory of behaviors covered by each category. But the strength of the taxonomy remained and even stood out: capturing the symptom of latent violence, destined to explode as soon as the population felt sufficiently “supported” by weapons.

It is not surprising that this prediction came true, as military commandos were well aware of the power of time-bombs, physical or psychological. It is known that a good number of individuals, after being admitted to the police or armed forces, begin to imitate, little by little, the bloodthirsty taskmasters and captains of the bush who wrote in blood some of the saddest chapters of our history.

Furthermore, the trilogy sheds new light on the behaviors summarized in the charts above. It can be said that the regional pattern of 'resentful' and 'underprivileged', expressed in Graph 1, serves to estimate the proportion of 'uprooted' sponsors by UF. It is regrettable that the most prosperous regions have enjoyed massive patronage, evidencing the triumph of patrimonialism in halting progress and social justice. On the other hand, it is encouraging that the elites of the North and Northeast have not been able to participate in the same proportion.

Graph 2 suggests that resentment mainly affects non-elderly mature adults – who, as we have seen, were the hardest hit by the global economic disasters of the late 2000s. In Brazil, these people have been the target of manipulation by the right since it infiltrated the popular demonstrations of 2013 – when the youngest were only in their twenties.

In short, alienation through 'disenchantment' causes an atrophy of citizenship, with a progressive loss of memory. The 'disenchanted' deny the collective past and bet on individualism and meritocracy as unique possibilities for the future. This points to the urgency of assessing the chances of reversing disenchantment in the population sample made up of the aforementioned terrorists. The more unlikely this reversal, the more imperative it is to prevent this evil from infecting new generations.

And here we come back to the education agenda. Assuming it fully at all government levels (federal, state and municipal) has never been as imperative as it is now. It is not just about rescuing the new generations from the scorched earth to which they have been relegated, but, above all, giving them back the ability to believe and dream.

Citizen mobilization as a condition for refounding public education

Many have already attributed the cause of the rising rates of suicide and drug addiction in adolescents and young adults to the “loss of dreams”. Remember that, according to the WHO, suicide is the third leading cause of death among Brazilians between 15 and 29 years old.[xi].

How to imagine the future and bet on it having to grow under conditions as adverse as those of Brazil today? At least for the underprivileged, there is no other way out than public school – as long as it is plural, inclusive and capable of nurturing the yearning for a dignified and productive life. As early as 1932, this idea was made explicit in the Manifesto of the Pioneers of New Education[xii]:

“But, of all the duties incumbent on the State, the one that requires the greatest capacity for dedication and justifies the greatest sum of sacrifices; the one with which it is not possible to compromise without the irreparable loss of some generations; the one in which the errors committed are projected further in their consequences, getting worse as they go back in time; The highest, most painful and most serious duty is certainly that of education, which, by giving the people awareness of themselves and their destinies, and the strength to assert themselves and realize them, entertains, cultivates and perpetuates the identity of national conscience, in its intimate communion with human conscience.”

Among the signatories of the document were Anísio Teixeira, Cecília Meirelles and Fernando de Azevedo. It is notable that the teachings of these founders inspired the next generations to build, in less than a century, a public education system solid enough to survive the rise of the extreme right triggered by the successive crises of capitalism.

But it must be admitted that, after the naturalization of barbarism by the fascist government, this system is weakened and practically demands a refoundation. Let us assess, as objectively as possible, our conditions for achieving it.

The first encouraging news came in April, when President Lula announced a transfer of 2,44 billion to federal institutions of research and higher education, of which R$ 1,7 billion were earmarked for the direct recomposition of finances, to be distributed among universities ( BRL 1,32 billion) and the institutes (BRL 388 million). The remaining R$ 730 million are destined to support works and other initiatives interrupted by the fascist government.

Less than a month later, the president signed a provisional measure that guarantees BRL 4 billion to states and municipalities to reach the goal of one million new full-time enrollments. MEC and BNDS will also guarantee additional resources for the new schools. Here is another great success of the new government. Since Anísio Teixeira's tenure at INEP, there has been a consensus among progressive educators that the full-time regime is the most conducive to building citizenship.

However, the project to expand the public education network faces obstacles that could significantly reduce its reach – and even its success.

The first and most serious of these is the educational policy instituted by federal law 13.415, known as New High School, initially proposed as a provisional measure by Michel Temer in 2017. As pointed out by experts such as Nora Krawczyk and colleagues[xiii], the project threatens the future of public school students, in addition to aggravating the precariousness of teachers.

Under the pretext of making the curriculum more flexible, the mandatory scientific and humanistic disciplines become elective, in favor of professionalizing alternatives grouped in the so-called “training itineraries”. To teach the latter – which may include content such as “entrepreneurship” and “sustainability” – it is enough to be a market professional with sufficient experience in the field. In other words, the demand for teacher training is relativized or even waived.

The majority among researchers, professors and students is the view that federal law 13.415 should be repealed and not reformed. However, on the eve of the final deadline for its implementation – namely, 2024 –, the controversy persists, being more debated in external than internal forums of the government. It should be remembered that, in a Congress dominated by the physiologism of the Centrão, there will be no agreement favorable to the repeal without strong pressure from the MEC, as well as from the President of the Republic and the congressmen of his support base.

In view of the composition and presidency of the Chamber of Deputies, we need to remain alert against delays in the procedure in the House. In view of Bill 56/2023, which revokes the institution of civic-military schools by Decree 10.004, of September 5, 2019. Presented by Deputy Rogério Correa, from PT-MG, on March 1, 2023, it is until now standing on the President's desk awaiting dispatch.

It is important to remember that this project is much less controversial than that of the New Secondary School, as it concerns civilian schools whose permanence under military tutelage is considered unconstitutional by most jurists. However, in view of the recent maneuvers of extreme right-wing activism to force school policing – for example, the successive episodes of physical and moral violence against students and teachers across the country – it is possible that the population, taken by panic, will policing demands, which may hinder or delay revocation. Anticipating this, Minister Flavio Dino instituted Operation Safe School, which maintains the custody of schools under the control of his ministry.

On the other hand, in stark contrast to “civic-military” education, another controversial matter that seriously affects Brazil's image abroad was hastily voted on last May 30th. This is Bill 490/07, known as the “timeframe for the demarcation of indigenous lands”, which retrogrades the validity of territories to October 5, 1988, the date of enactment of the Federal Constitution.

It should be noted that the vehement protests from the plenary and the progressive bench did not prevent the approval of the emergency regime. Nor were they enough to obtain a score less shameful than the 283 votes in favor against the 155 against. Even worse, the PL came out with the misogynistic proposal to punish six PT and PSOL deputies for the vehemence of their speeches – branded as “lack of decorum”.

As expected, the international repercussions of this vote were extremely negative for Brazil, until then seen as the natural leader in the preservation of the Amazon. Press vehicles such as the The Guardian they gave extensive coverage to the events, echoing the protests of the aggrieved ethnic groups and the parliamentarians who supported them and disseminating them throughout the world.

This indicates that the government, however progressive one might like, is today hostage not only of the economic elite, historically opposed to social progress, but also of its representatives in key institutions, such as the National Congress and the Central Bank (to this respect, see the conclusion).

Faced with this unstable and worrying scenario, which even includes the participation of university students and professors[xiv] in acts of aggression against people and public property, it is clear that obscurantism and its most serious sequel, denialism, have not yet been sufficiently suppressed in our society. If we are not able to extirpate them, we will soon have a waning of youth interest in science.

Therefore, all of us – citizens who campaigned and voted for the return to a democratic and progressive Brazil – cannot let ourselves be intimidated and fold our arms at this moment. There is no other way out than to take to the streets, not only to support the government's reconstruction efforts, but also to demand the fulfillment of other campaign promises, the most urgent – ​​and unavoidable – being the eradication of hunger.

Without a firm commitment from civil society, the capillarity of the dismantling achieved by the fascists will continue to corrode our institutions from within until it depletes our capacity to contribute to the construction of a science effectively committed to the health of the planet and the dignity of the human species. .

Setting the tone for multilateral cooperation

President Lula's statements in favor of multipolarity, which have aroused irritation among leaders in the global north and admiration among their colleagues in the south, have provided hope for the portion of the scientific community that believes in the creative potential of decolonization.

But hope is just the first step in building a project. In fact, there are many Brazilian scientists willing to share data, theories, technologies, training programs, etc. with your colleagues from the BRICs or from any other countries that want to collaborate. Thanks to its vast territory and its ethnic diversity, Brazil has a natural vocation to produce science aligned with sustainable ways of life.

It also has, as we have seen in previous texts in this series, a scientific community that is engaged and willing to discuss ethical and political issues whenever necessary. Given the inclusion of themes as promising as they are controversial, such as biotechnology, on the agenda of the seminar “Science, Technology and Innovation”, which inaugurated the series “Project for a New Brazil”, promoted by the Brazilian Society for the Progress of Science ( SBPC) in June last year.

In the natural sciences, our potential includes the study of a wide pharmacopoeia, renewable energy sources, sustainable zootechnical procedures, non-polluting forms of mining, etc.

In the human sciences, we are among the few countries that already have a generation of intellectuals and anthropologists/indigenous people in full activity of building a new narrative about the original peoples. In the same way, once the quota law was implemented, a good number of afro-descendant intellectuals began to defend master's and doctoral works with new readings of slave quarters, quilombos, favelas and peripheries.

Furthermore, as I pointed out in a text about the growing risks of “dehumanization” of the human sciences,[xv] we have a tradition of cultivating philosophy, literature and the arts which, however much it was inherited from the colonizers, was nuanced and refined under the influence of Marxist criticism, popularized among us from the modernization movements of the XNUMXth century.

The above should have been enough to suggest that themes such as those outlined above tend to attract partners from the global south and even promise to change our relationship with traditional northern partners – who tend to see us as consumers of their science and technology.

May everyone's collaboration be welcome, as long as it effectively contributes to materializing a project for a more peaceful, egalitarian and respectful world of nature, where science, freed from the yoke of profit, works in favor of the collective interest.

However, the responsibility for pursuing these goals cannot rest solely with the scientific community. The new Brazil claimed by the SBPC and affiliates needs explicit support from the government, in the form of policies to induce research lines for the purpose of international collaboration. And for this to result in effective cooperation programs, a vigorous scientific diplomacy effort is necessary.

Thus, it is essential that the MCTI increasingly strengthens its relationship with universities and research institutes – and considers their suggestions and claims as important or even more important than those of the business community. From this point of view, technology transfer must be a two-way street, supported by knowledge of the similarities and differences between the resources of the countries involved.

In order to “sell its fish”, the Brazilian representation must be very familiar with the innovations that have just come out or are in development in the laboratories of its main scientific institutions. For example, in exchange for facilitating our transition to 5G internet technology across China, we can offer you a wide range of state-of-the-art biofertilizers.

In addition, the directors of CNPq, CAPES, FINEP and state development agencies must know in depth the state of the art in strategic areas and our potential to contribute to their advancement, in order to prioritize cooperation agreements with political institutions and scientifically related to the global north and south.

Finally, we must definitely refuse the position of colonized and choose our partners based on a common epistemology that transcends the Cartesian model of science as domination and exploitation of the environment. It is therefore appropriate to take advantage of the opportunity of rebuilding the country to collaborate with indigenous and Afro-descendant colleagues in building an innovative theoretical framework in which new knowledge can design a more democratic science.

This does not mean that we should reject in whole received paradigms. They include methods that are sufficiently neutral to be able to continue to support scientific reasoning – for example, logic – even in the presence of other ontologies.

Pending issues for the first half of the government

This series of essays arose from the hope awakened in the scientific community, as well as in the general population, by the candidacy of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for the 2022 presidential election. that it is necessary to emphasize the extreme gravity of certain pending issues. Let us briefly review the main ones.

The first has already been sufficiently discussed: the proposal for the new secondary education cannot be reformed. It is a project that steals the dreams of youth from the periphery, making them precarious and overpowering them.

The consequence, seen by few, is that there will be no renewal of ideas in Brazilian academia if its doors close to the less favored. Elite young people have already been inserted into the capitalist gear through their schools and expect little from the future beyond a financial condition comparable to that of their families.

The second was also dealt with here, in the form of an analysis of the events of January 8th. Recapitulating the terminology introduced by Jurandir Freire Costa, there is no doubt that the extreme right continues to co-opt the resentful and underprivileged through a corrupt pact with the uprooted elite. Sociology and social psychology need to know these phenomena in depth in order to support possible measures to contain them.

The third was mentioned briefly above, but more fully discussed in the previous essay. It is about the impunity of the military. We had more than 700.000 deaths from Covid 19 due to the delay in acquiring vaccines by a denialist general, health minister of a genocidal captain. The exemplary punishment of those responsible for this neglect, as well as the military involved in the January 8 coup attempt, is a necessary step to definitively remove the barracks' claim to guardianship of the country.

Finally, a critical issue in enabling us to lead the movement to democratize science is to free ourselves from the digital arsenal of the global north. The current situation of public universities, renting search and storage resources from Google and Microsoft, is not secure enough and could, in the extreme, constitute a threat to our sovereignty. What guarantee do we have of the privacy of these virtual spaces? Is it reasonable to trust the verbose contracts of companies that watch over us?

At first glance, this seems to be a dead end, as European and US universities and research institutes are on the same page. Moreover, most of its scientific production depends on investments from these companies.

Let us remember, however, that the Russians and the Chinese do good science completely without this patronage. Therefore, multilateral cooperation is the best way for Brazil to achieve independence in the digital world. We don't lack competence; we just lack resources for large-scale projects. Although we have to obtain some via cooperation with our partners, it is possible to raise – or, better said, rescue – others right here. It is enough to minimally contain the leonine power of the financial market.

We know that our lack of resources, whether for social projects or for education, science, technology and innovation, is entirely artificial. This supposed penury was inflicted on us by the fascist government, when it decreed the independence of the central bank. It is the exorbitant interest rates that stifle government investment.

By the way, federal deputy Lindbergh Farias, from PT-RJ, has just filed a complaint against the president of the Central Bank, Roberto Campos Neto, at the National Monetary Council (CMN), for failing to comply with the institution's objectives, which are economic development and the promotion of employment.

One more good reason – and perhaps the biggest one – to take to the streets. It is the right of the Brazilian people to pressure the financial authorities against the stratospheric interest rate that makes us all hostages of a plundering regime originated in the connivance of our elites with imperialism.

* Eleonora Albano é retired full professor of Phonetics & Phonology at Unicamp. Author, among other books, of The audible gesture: phonology as pragmatics (Cortez).

To read the first article in the series click on https://aterraeredonda.com.br/um-lugar-para-o-brasil-na-democratizacao-da-ciencia/

To read the second article in the series click on https://aterraeredonda.com.br/um-lugar-para-o-brasil-na-democratizacao-da-ciencia-ii/

To read the third article in the series click on https://aterraeredonda.com.br/um-lugar-para-o-brasil-na-democratizacao-da-ciencia-iii/

Notes


[I] Eleonora Albano. A place for Brazil in the democratization of science? The Earth is Round., March 17, 2022.

[ii] Eleonora Albano. A place for Brazil in the democratization of science? II, III. the earth is round, August 27, 2022, December 27, 2022.

[iii] https://flcmf.org.br/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/revogaco.pdf

[iv] Manuel Domingos Neto. Command of the Armed Forces. the earth is round, January 25, 2023.

[v] Fernando Nogueira da Costa. Collective psychology of neo-fascists. the earth is round, February 13, 2023.

[vi] Update of the list of people arrested in anti-democratic acts. httpts://seape.df.gov.br/prisoes-dos-atentados-bsb/

[vii] https://g1.globo.com/politica/noticia/2023/01/30/governador-de-roraima-diz-que-garimpos-nao-sao-responsaveis-por-crise-yanomami-e-quer-auxilio-federal-para-garimpeiros-sairem-da-terra-indigena.ghtml

 [viii] https://apublica.org/2023/01/maioria-dos-onibus-que-transportaram-terroristas-sao-do-parana-e-sao-paulo/

[ix] https://www.marxists.org/portugues/debord/1967/11/sociedade.pdf

[X] https://psb40.org.br/jurandir-freire-a-desigualdade-traz-o-desencantamento-da-sociedade/

[xi] https://www.saude.ba.gov.br/2020/09/10/oms-alerta-suicidio-e-a-3a-causa-de-morte-de-jovens-brasileiros-entre-15-e-29-anos/

[xii]https://www.educabrasil.com.br/manifesto-dos-pioneiros-da-educacao-nova/  

[xiii] https://outraspalavras.net/direitosouprivilegios/novo-ensinomedio-o-que-nao-tem-conserto/

[xiv] https://g1.globo.com/sp/bauru-marilia/noticia/2023/04/29/unesp-demite-professora-de-botucatu-detida-em-onibus-apos-participar-de-atos-golpistas-em-8-de-janeiro.ghtml  

[xv] Eleonora Albano. About the University model. the earth is round, July 20, 2021.


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