A time of ruptures

Image: Stela Grespan


The evolution of the world capitalist economy, in its concrete reproduction, creates tricks that theories often do not reach, but that – suddenly – collective subjectivities expose, either in their greatness or in their misery.

The insurmountable Eric Hobsbawn, in A time of ruptures (2013), writing about “this new, complicated, multidimensional world” – moved by constant combinations – asks if it “will bring the hope of a greater fraternity among human beings?” Then he replies that “in this time of xenophobia we seem to be very far from this fraternization”.

The historian then continues his reasoning in a surprising way: “I don't know. But I think maybe we'll find the answer in the football stadiums of the world. Because the most universal of all sports is at the same time the most national. Nowadays, for almost all of humanity, these eleven young people on a field are those who represent the “nation”, the State, “our people”, instead of politicians, constitutions and military parades.”

Noting that in the "most successful" national clubs it is not uncommon to have only two or three native players, Hobsbawn recognizes us as young mercenaries and millionaires of the most popular sport in the world - an impulse to transnational communion. In France, a country that has “opened itself to immigration”, most are proud to form their national team and their most important clubs with Africans, Afro-Caribbeans, Berbers, Celts, Basques and with “children of Iberian and Eastern European immigrants .”

The celebration of this communion through sport, as an indication, beyond the unity of nations in alliances for war, composes – according to Hobsbawn – a subtle picture from which some hints of hope can be drawn. Incidentally, the export of fascist subversion around the world, through the creation of new identities based on scientific denialism, hatred of difference and religious fundamentalism, is also destined to frustrate and extinguish any hopes for a world humanized by solidarity and solidarity. equality.

The multiethnic invasion “from above” allowed – exemplifies the historian – Zinedine Zidane, son of Muslim immigrants from Algeria to become the “best of the French” – regardless of his ethnic origin – showing that racist barriers are not invincible, that xenophobia it is not the permanent state of the French soul, but a historical contingency. People who are judged by the color of their skin, their language and their religion, can also be evaluated for their talent, for their ability to win and fight for a common goal, far beyond the “Nazi” sense of unity through violence, by the suppression of what is different, by the irrational exaltation of race or the distorted and romanticized past.

What seems unusual in the reflection of the great historian is actually the continuation – almost at the end of his life – of the same method of historical observation that guided his studies and publications, throughout his fertile scientific, academic and political relationship with the world in the XNUMXth century: the evolution of the world capitalist economy, in its concrete reproduction, creates tricks that theories often do not reach, but which – suddenly – the collective subjectivities expose, either in their grandeur or in their misery. Sometimes on both.

The radical nationalism of the rich countries, for example, guiding a counter-trend to the domination of 2006th century globalism, was perhaps more fully understood -as an urgent political "necessity"- by analysts of the extreme right, than by theorists social democrats and socialists. When Zidane – captain of the French national team in the XNUMX Cup victory – was expelled from the field for headbutting Marco Materazzi, the Italian who had called him “dirty and terrorist”, in the chest, both represented that disputed tension.

At that moment, the conquest of respect “from above” generated a “countertrend”, as the Algerian descendant of a Muslim family -in particular- headbutted the French Revolution into the puffed-up breast of revived Fascism: the ideas of Mitterrand and Berlusconi in a football incident worldwide. There, nationalist globalism did not unify, because what was expressed between two young people, with different backgrounds and different national origins, was the struggle between hatred and dignity for humanist reason.

The nationalist “globalism” of the rich countries, as proposed by Trump and his gang, while stimulating local “chauvinisms”, also made possible the monopolization of the most serious crimes -which derive from it- by the National States. Mexican immigrants in concentration camps on the Mexican border and the theft of funds -intended for the “construction” of the Wall- by the Bannon scheme, are clear crimes. The counterpart to the radical American nationalism espoused by Trump -in the new Brazil-colony of the Bolsonaro era- is the radical denial of science and weapons necrophilia, which expands the militia scheme of power.

These counterparts are only accepted as simulacra of “external” or “internal” policies, in critical circumstances of dispute for hegemony, to avoid a war or to promote it. Trump, in fact, promotes a war against Brazil, as he encourages militia violence and hatred of democracy with Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro and his scheme of power, wage a war against the Republic and the political dignity of the Charter of 88. Where will all this lead us? Will we be left with just Zidane's header as an alternative? It may have been a metaphor for resistance, at a time when hatred never ceases to surprise and solidarity is stifled by contempt for “all that is human”, made strange by the
plague of fascism.

*Tarsus-in-law he was Governor of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Mayor of Porto Alegre, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education and Minister of Institutional Relations in Brazil.



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