an ignored agenda

Image: Luiz Armando Bagolin


The change in the direction of the North American state does not change its position in the power of domination over the countries of the south

On January 20, 2021, the Fiocruz representative announced that we would not have the vaccine from China or India. The news shocked a community. At the same time, the event of Biden's inauguration as President of the United States was shown in the mainstream media. The statement from the Fiocruz representative had no repercussions. Diplomatic means were not properly set up for the arrival of inputs for the vaccine that had started this Sunday, January 17th in the country.

The mainstream media came out ahead with the images of Biden's inauguration, with the right to a concert by Lady Gaga and the show of the diversity of origin of Kamala Harris, Jamaican and Indian. The media's motives are clear. Intercepting the minds of Brazilians. Images of what could represent differences from its predecessor took hold in part of the minds of the inhabitants of the global south.

It can be justified that Fiocruz's statement did not have due repercussions, since not everything the COVID-19 vaccine can solve. Health care for populations needs to be maintained. And more. Public policies need to improve a lot in this country, from care programs for different groups, to care for territories and incentives for income programs for populations. These policies would also be in changing the existing forms of production and consumption, which include permissions for illegal occupations and deforestation. And, without forgetting the stimulus programs for the production and distribution of food, and that these are within control programs so that healthy and fresh products are brought to the table. And, promotion and care programs that allow there to be healthy populations that can face this like other pandemics. And it also goes through a national program so that the population as a whole can be assured by a system to control the spread of the virus in the territories. As is the case with many countries that have managed to contain this pandemic.

In the same way, the change in the direction of the North American state does not significantly change its position in the power of domination over the countries of the south. One can resort to a popular saying, not very correct, that between duck and goose there is no great advance. The prospects that large corporations as well as large investors will continue to invest in southern territories for the extraction of natural resources should not change much. This means an extraction of natural resources, with war measures, with the expropriation of traditional peoples from their territories and the explosion of their livelihoods. The victims are populations with names and ways of life that are not considered as populations leached by the corrosive power of commodification, with sophisticated machinery of large-scale violence, as has been happening for five centuries, as analyzed by Galeano (1971) and Aráoz (2014) . Current technologies, modalities and devices continue to make this violence not configured as such. The destruction of territories, like violence on an industrial scale, is still considered a natural catastrophe. The victims, working populations, used intensively and extensively, will be considered incompetent, because they are part of racialized populations, classified as “underdeveloped”, as analyzed by Furtado (1975) and Fernandes (1971), considered backward and, therefore, do not have names and cultures as they have no history. They represent just a fuzzy number. Injuries and illnesses continue to be part of consultancy reports as “not proven”, and certifications continue to validate the usurpation.

The media continues to be financed by corporations to naturalize the violence of war to which southern countries are subjected, as well as to colonize thought.

And, the strength of the financial market on the states of the southern countries will also be as important as what has been unfolding in economic measures. Not forgetting that financial market, mostly international capital, which was the base of support for Biden to be elected. Miracles are not expected like that.

Expectations regarding this change would not deserve the attention it might represent for the US population.

It is a fact that the audience wants to applaud, wants to be happy as Gonzaguinha said. In the midst of the numbers of the pandemic that overwhelms the daily lives of homes, the inauguration show can be a possibility of escaping from what oppresses the light of day. But, the berimbau continues sounding and the capoeira that is good doesn't fall and it arrives to fight. The production of life, which is always in the memory of the body, always requires the sound of the berimbau.

Alice Itani is a professor of sociology at the Department of Education at Unesp-Rio Claro.


Araoz, HM (2014). Potosi, the origin: genealogy of contemporary mining. Buenos Aires: Mardulce.

Fernandes, F. (1973/1981). Dependent capitalism and social classes in Latin America. Sao Paulo: Zahar.

Furtado, C. (1975). The hegemony of the United States and the underdevelopment of Latin America. Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian Civilization.

Galeano, E. (1971/2010). The open veins of Latin America. Porto Alegre: L&PM.

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