A millionaire machine

Image: Gonzalo Mendiola


Proifes emerged from the conflict, from the clashes of authoritarian and leftist behavior, averse to negotiations, very present in the Andes boards

I was happy to read on the website the earth is round, the article by professor Valter Lúcio de Oliveira, “Andes x Proifes – the dispute in teaching unionism”. I identified with most of the writing, although I may disagree with a few elements contained in your analysis. But overall, I believe that he was quite happy in identifying the existing problems in the teaching struggle and in the issues related to the disputes between these two teaching representations.

What surprised me was the “so-called surprise” that your article gave another colleague. I refer to the replica, or something similar to it, in a text produced by Lucas Trentin Rech, “Teacher assemblies” published on the same website. Economist, it seems to me that he reads the numbers at will, in an attempt to give a philosophical explanation to what in democracy is understood as the desire of the real, factual majority, but not necessarily in person.

Otherwise we would have to abolish the electoral system by which parliamentary representations and municipal, state and federal managers are elected. Now, unless after restricted debates, without popular participation, televised, the choice, by vote, of those who will represent us will follow. How can we deny the right of so many, who do not participate in these debates, to their choices, made from afar, but aware of their responsibilities and, we believe, formulated based on their own understandings, in what is said and what is contradicted.

By denying the possibility of a plebiscite, so that the desire of the majority of teachers for their choices can be gauged, this colleague approaches the Bolsonarist incongruity that rejects the expansion of democracy at all costs, and denies the results that are contrary to them, when the application of this points to a majority that does not favor it. Thus, they aim to destroy the object of that consultation, seeking at all costs to discredit this mechanism, inevitable today.

The “assembleism” defended by professor Lucas Trentin Rech, is nothing more than an arena, a ring, where the one who expresses himself best, or the one who speaks most vehemently, manages to please a group that, even in the minority, manages to be louder. and imposing, causing a reaction, if not indifference, of apprehension, with the bravado and aggressive behaviors adopted to inhibit and “convince” a large part of an audience that gets tired and withdraws as time favors the histrionics of this minority that seeks impose himself through the virility of his speeches.

The University has long lost this ability to debate, to know how to live with opposites, to use dialectics to understand the need to evolve in thoughts and closed understandings of reality. The clash of ideas was replaced by the denial of contradiction, by the affirmation of post-truth, by the dumbing down of those who do not wish to be contradicted. Worse than that, social networks end up completing these behaviors, and there persists the continuity of a discourse that does not end in assemblies, because the contradiction needs to be destroyed, as in recent years the extreme right has known very well how to use this mechanism to destroy reputations.

And, if debate is no longer possible in assemblies, as a consequence of this denial, on social media the virulence of the speech, the disqualification of others, spreads amidst the difficult identification of the authors of offenses and fake news, which are used to convince those who are more easily seduced by the radicality of the discourse and the illusion of easy promises of false and irresponsible representations. Because she knows how to enter into a fight due to this radicality, but is enchanted and disoriented when it comes to leaving, due to her incompetence and inability to know how to negotiate, and seek an understanding when confronting positions that are adverse and contrary.

This mechanism and behavior, defended by Lucas Trentin Rech, is explained by the condition of manipulating the majority. The operating structure of the Andes Sindicato, anachronistic, but which favors an extremist, “leftist” minority, in the sense applied by Vladimir Lenin, although the majority of the university is not in tune with his ideals, makes it difficult for a consistent and desirous opposition to change succeeds. Structure not only under these conditions denies greater participation from fellow teachers, but also makes it difficult for direct voting to replace these groups that control a million-dollar machine.

Andes, or Andes, does not only “represent” professors in federal higher education. It covers state and municipal universities, isolated colleges and foundations, which only serve them during electoral processes and the definition of their boards. It thus becomes, due to the size of so many institutions, practically impossible to change the direction of this entity, deepening its anachronism, but also, contrary to what its defenders express, a growing authoritarianism that tries to make it unfeasible, in the midst of a legitimate plurality union, the possibility of other alternatives, of other paths, other than through radical speech or violence and intolerance in dealing with disagreements.

PROIFES emerged precisely from the conflict of these clashes and this authoritarian and leftist behavior, averse to negotiations, very present in the Andes boards. As in the last agreements, including in relation to improving our careers, it was the Proifes Federation that was willing to sit down with the governments, and seek to achieve the best, as far as possible, with the absolute absence of Andes. This bothered her followers to the point of expressing the degree of intolerance, imposition and non-acceptance of another entity that could threaten this anachronistic time in which it is closed.

But every cycle ends. As much as Andes tries to prevent transformations in the teaching movement, this possibility is increasingly expanding, of forging alternatives that escape this sectarian and authoritarian stance, of imagining that its propositions must always be shoved down the throats of the governments that are On duty. Of course, as long as they are progressive governments. Well, by remaining silent in the face of far-right governments, as in a recent example.

More than entering into a negotiation, what he wants with this Andesian behavior is to open a fight that goes beyond salary issues or budget replacement for universities, but aims to build a radical protagonism that gives visibility to political groups that do not have the minimum representation in society.

Far from these debates and discussions, many colleagues embark on radical speeches, and are convinced that heaven is not so far away for their desires. However, as a Shakespearean character once said, in a well-known but little understood phrase, “there are many more things between heaven and earth than our vain philosophy imagines”.

*Romualdo Pessoa Campos Filho He is a professor at the Institute of Socio-Environmental Studies at UFG and director of Adufg-Sindicato.

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