an indented stave

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By LEO VINICIUS LIBERATO*

The absence of political will to revoke the New Secondary School by Lula-Camilo shows that this is a policy that is not imposed externally on the PT

1.

If there is an iconic work of fiction about the social effects of Lulism, it is the film What time does the volta? by Anna Muylaert. A representation of the expanded opportunity for social mobility for proletarian and sub-proletarian youth. The maid's daughter passes the entrance exam, the boss's son does not.

Coup in 2016: spending ceiling, secondary education reform, then labor reform and an entire “Bridge to the future” consistent with the objective of lowering the cost of the workforce and increasing the profit rate. The bridge to absolute added value.

In the second half of 2016, the second largest wave of school occupations in the history of mankind took place in Brazil: against the Spending Ceiling and the Secondary Education Reform. The movement was defeated, partly because the occupations were concentrated in practically one state (Paraná), partly because the ultraliberal agenda of absolute surplus value was empowered by a recent coup d'état; an incredible demonstration of hegemony and strength of the capitalist classes.

Lula returns, we are in 2023. The Ministry of Education is with Camilo Santana of the PT. Lula spares no criticism of the 2016 coup (which he rightly calls a coup) and the Ponte para o Futuro. And here it is necessary to open a parenthesis. If you want to know the truth, or the essence, about a ruling party, use a method where variables are controlled. Analyze the situations in which the office is with a party member and the objects of decision of the occupant of the office suffer low or negligible pressure from groups at first antagonistic to the ideology of the party.

In the case of the Lula government, of the ministries that are with the PT itself, the Ministry of Finance suffers immense pressure from the de facto power: the capitalist classes. At the opposite extreme, the Ministry of Management does not directly face the interest of the capitalist classes. The Ministry of Education is far from being one of the Ministries with objects of decision that suffer stronger pressure from fractions of the capitalist classes. The repeal of the New Secondary School would not bring significant wear and tear to the government with these classes. It would bring dissatisfaction only to fractions interested in the businesses made possible by the reform.

In these terms, the lack of political will to revoke the New Secondary School by Lula-Camilo shows that this is a policy that is not imposed externally on the PT. Lula-Camilo embrace her. Camilo Santana shows a truth about PT: businessmen (businessmen) are part of its senior ranks. businessmen it is not external agents that make the party conform, it is also internal agents and of weight in the spheres of power of the party.

Camilo Santana's appreciation, and Lula's at the same time, for this business, is such as to make a dead letter of the so-called “debolsonarization” of the government. To keep the frames of the business, that is, capitalist managers who serve any party at any time, Lula-Camilo tear up the debolsonarization primer on the second page. This was the case of maintaining the Coordinator of Secondary Education Policies in the Bolsonaro government. The Bridge to the future, thus, was in fact the bridge that would link the Temer government to the future Bolsonaro and Lula governments.

There is no lack of reports, studies and communications from specialists, students and teachers about the disastrous consequences of the New High School. The political will of the Workers' Party government imposes a greater workload on teachers, with classes outside their training and a loss of meaning at work, expanding the psychosocial risk factors of an already massacred category.

Public school students, on the other hand, are anguished and desperate, seeing their expectations for the future stolen. They are not even allowed to dream of social mobility through schooling. Not even the half-truths of liberalism are offered to them anymore. Imprisoned in the present by businessmen of all governments, from the extreme right to the left, the future only exists for working-class children elsewhere. A place where Camilos and Lemanns do not exist…

Temer, Bolsonaro and Lula dealers sell the future of proletarian youth. Training itinerary purchased by iFood, for example. Obviously not to teach how to ride a motorcycle and use a cell phone, since this is learned outside of school. The itinerary of an iFood is obviously one of conformation: formation of docile and uncritical subjectivity to work in terrible conditions.

Examples abound of itineraries seen as useless by students and that occupy the course loads of subjects they would need to learn for the vestibular. And the fact that a PT government and ministry embraced and defended a secondary education policy that reduced disciplines that tended to foster a critical capacity for social reality, and in its place gave space to courses in subjection to neoliberal reality, such as those linked to entrepreneurship, finance and the like, shows how the PT is not up to the historical moment.

More than that, it shows how the role of traders of the capitalist classes determines the PT's action, instead of its action being determined by a last attempt to curb and stop the spread of subjectivities and ideologies that feed neo-fascism. When it has the power to decide on educational public policy, the PT chooses the one that feeds fascism. He does everything for today's business, even if today's business helps to destroy his own party tomorrow. In the history books, it will be an unforgivable mark that the PT will carry. In a fragile interregnum of fascism, it embraces an educational policy that feeds the very ideological and subjective basis of that fascism.

2.

The student mobilization for the repeal of the secondary education reform in 2023, despite its low intensity and still very bureaucratic form, has already taught us a lesson in political sociology. From what we saw in the press, the government suspended the continuity of implementation of the New Secondary School due to the resulting wear and tear with a base of support for Lula considered unconsolidated: young people. Political-electoral pragmatism. Which means that a consolidated support base has less ability to pressure and interfere in government decisions. They are the cattle. The political definition of cattle is: those that the government/party knows that no matter what it does will continue to support/vote for it. And when the alternative of the moment is neo-fascism, perhaps it becomes easier for the PT to keep a herd.

The logical consequence of this: it is only possible to advance an agenda below and to the left when the possibility of voting null in the next elections is concretely raised. Those who do not seriously consider the possibility of voting null, politically annul themselves as “consolidated”, that is, politically they become cattle. This is the law of political sociology that is governing our real politik.

Only by deconsolidating the “L” can there be a consequent struggle to build a future in the present.

3.

The agenda for repealing the New High School, on the part of the students, is in itself extremely backward. The reestablishment of school teaching focused on the entrance exam is claimed. That is, the re-establishment of the well-known possibility, which ends up being restricted to some working-class individuals, of moving up the income and social scales through schooling. Nothing that calls into question the very values ​​of this society and how it is organized. But what is important from the perspective of social transformation is not the content of the movement, the demand, but the form that the movement can take...

Something that was very evident in the school occupations that took place mainly in 2015 in São Paulo, but also in 2016 across Brazil. To stay with the example of 2015, the objective was to prevent the so-called school reorganization by the state government. A defensive line. But the form that the movement took, in its mode of organization and in its expressions of struggle, constituted new social relations, based on antagonistic values ​​to those that establish capitalist society.

Occupations broke with the hierarchy established in schools. A self-management process for the schools was being developed, starting with the students and with the involvement of part of the community. The school space became a space for learning and activities based on the students' desire, in relation to the possibilities provided by the community that supported the struggle.

In the dynamics of activities at the occupied school, the teaching-learning relationships were transformed, pointing to Ivan Illich's libertarian utopia of an unschooled society. In the school occupied and self-managed by the students, desire – that which cannot be reduced to the system of needs produced by the production system – overdetermined the need to become a labor force in the market, even entering into open conflict with it. Professional accreditation was suspended in the deschooling revolution that began with student occupations.

The founding values ​​in this self-management denied human existence itself as a commodity. Desire prevailed over the exchange value of professional accreditation. An apprenticeship that is not concerned with entrance exams emerged, not as the proto-slavery regression of the New High School, but as a human liberation from the form workforce. This is how a fight for the right to learn for the entrance exam can very concretely deny the entrance exam itself as an institution that is only conceivable with the reduction of the status of human being to the workforce. It is through the form of struggles and movements that new values ​​and social relations are instituted.

Evidently, when a process of self-management by the working class is limited to a sector, not being generalized to society, the transformations in terms of permanence of new values ​​instituted through organizational changes and in social relations, tend to ebb. The revolution that begins in schools will not take place and will not deepen if it is not accompanied by a revolution in the workplace that globally replaces the principle of reducing human beings to the workforce.

4.

While Lula continues after Temer and Bolsonaro to erase the “tape” of Anna Muylaert, it is the immediate subversion, liberating in the present, that the desire of the youth prepares. A part of the cattle will say it was the CIA. But its author will be the poetry of desire that businessmen cannot contain, and which the cattle can no longer see. As Baudrillard of 1973 would say, it is about the immediacy of desire that is not exorcised in a future liberation, but demanded here and now, also in its death drive.

Everything that can be destroyed must be destroyed so that children can be saved from slavery.

Let the party of the stubborn deconsolidated begin. The celebration of the radical instantaneity of the contestation of purposes. That the school space serves a world without traders, or that it serves no purpose at all.

Everybody wants to get famous
But you just want to dance in a basement
You don't care if anyone is watching
Just as long as you stay in motion
We put miles on these old jean jackets
Got caught up in the drunk conversations
But after the party, it's me and you
After the party, it's me and you

*Leo Vinicius Liberato He holds a PhD in political sociology from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC).


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