A special sanitary “science”

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By TARSO GENRO*

Whoever refuses to save lives through science, but submits science to make it an instrument of his soulless policy, must be removed from power

“Bolsonaro does not ignore science, he just has a different vision” – said General Walter Braga Netto, (military) minister of the Civil House – in the interview on the 15th (Thursday), when defending his president, a former army lieutenant National. This one, retired based on psychiatric reports, was considered prevented from continuing his military career due to serious conduct problems, which directly links General Walter's error to the manic character he defends. The experiences of science's submission to political needs, in the history of humanity, have already brought enough tragedies that should have been absorbed by all mentally healthy people.

By acquitting his boss in advance, General Walter presented him on an equal footing with scientists from around the world, although it is not up to the president to prescribe medicine or point out new planets, but to govern the country, from the political office he was given. delegated by the ballot box. Bolsonaro, therefore, does not have the right to have a special health “science”, which comes from his temperament and his neurosis, nor from his vision of the economy. For this reason – General Braga – Bolsonaro has a different view of politics, not of science! What he actually understands is that politics must command science, as happened in Auschwitz with Hitler and Mengele, as well as with Stalin in the Lysenko case.

Auschwitz in 1943, in the Nazi concentration camp where Dr. Joseph Mengele – former student of Professor Ernst Rüdin, defender of the idea that medicine could eliminate lives that disturbed the purification of the race – was where the doctor Joseph was, who provided his services to the German State. In this Camp, when the prisoners' trains arrived, the words Law (right) and left-wing (left) gave the voice of merciless command to the prisoners – most of them Jews – who guided those who would go to the slave labor camps or directly to the gas chambers camps. But this division was not the only one.

A third group – with a special predilection for twins in their formation – was selected by Mengele for their so-called “scientific” research and experiments, with human guinea pigs, against whom the most abject and violent aberrations were committed. The law to “prevent hereditary diseases” of the Nazi State – directly inspired by Professor Rudin – which had already caused thousands of victims, deepened its supposed scientific research there before the War defeated Nazi banditry, The policy of artificial selection of the race commanded the falsification of science.

On August 7, 1948, at the final session of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, in which seven days before the report by biologist Trofim Lysenko had been read – on the “Situation of Biological Sciences” – State policy consolidated the rupture (which the 20s) with the “political and ideological neutrality of science”. The State, at that moment, assumed a position of principle, decreeing that there is a “capitalist science” and a “socialist science”, thus conceiving – based on Lysenko’s formulations – the negation of genes as concrete biological elements of heredity (Mendel’s laws, based on Darwin's theories) and assuming to "revoke" those laws. Politics wants it that way.

Inspired by comrade Stalin – the Ukrainian biologist and agronomist Lysenko – he broke with the assumptions of four centuries of modern scientific accumulation and “lysenkism”, the result of Stalin’s “philosophical” interference in the scientific production of the time – with his mechanistic texts on materialist dialectics – archived the rationality of modern science in the USSR, which will only be recovered after the death of Nikita Khrushchev. But not without leaving a disastrous mark on Soviet agriculture, which lasted throughout the era of real socialism.

The question of the “neutrality” of science is a highly complex philosophical debate, but it can be understood in a simpler way – regardless of the refined final positions on the subject – from the links between the scientific method and its teleology. Let's see: the productive techniques and concrete manufacturing processes, more adequate to build a good steel beam, are a unitary and procedural achievement of modern science. The definition of “what” the beams will be used for – in the construction of a school building or a concentration camp – is a political choice of those in power.

In the case of beam construction, the method of making a good steel beam, as one builds a wooden support, cannot be left to the choice of political power, unless it is accepted that it can be freed from all science applied to modern metallurgy since the first Industrial Revolution. Facing a pandemic and saving people from death, however, goes through two very visible moments for the rulers, in the time we live in: the first moment is the “political” moment, which allows the ruler to judge that, being a matter of State – whose solution depends on applied science to resist a health catastrophe – the policy of a civilized State asks for the final word from it, from science, already accumulated as knowledge in human history; the second moment is the moment of the use of “science”, as ethics of responsibility, politically calling men of science to save human lives.

Anyone who refuses to save lives through science, but submits science to make it an instrument of their soulless and unethical politics, should be removed from power, at least in honor of the dead they bequeath us with their madness. Unless you want to wait to hear them say later, as Eichmann did in Jerusalem: "I was just following orders!"

*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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