voices from the drought

Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze), [untitled], c.1937-50.


The financial entity disguised as some banknotes of reais dresses the day to day of the humiliated and offended in Brazil through different meanings

Luiz Gonzaga and Zé Dantas understood well the economic avatars of populism in the song Drought Voices, which reads: “[…] a handout to a sane man/Or kills him with shame/Or addicts the citizen”. The authors know how to move the languages ​​of politics, between the subterfuge of the adjunct, the alms and the guarantee of community and social life, also present in the form of large projects of perennial activity in the face of droughts and regional imbalance, be it the dam, be it the handling of adequate economic instruments and, therefore, guarantors of “food at a good price”.

Know how to work with ou and the e, as well as the adversative more. While the or causes two psychosocial evils to accumulate, shame and addiction, the additive conjunction is supposed to be in the list of permanent and transformative actions. Alms are reversed by competent, operating and fair governance, almost a utopia in the administrative history of Brazil.

Such avatars are not what was understood by minimum income, never taken seriously. In fact, they are defined by the circumstantial aid of governments to those who approach or advance in the misery resulting from the very policies of the governments in which misery grows. Deep down, the adjunct, which fits very well with the concept of almsgiving in Gonzaga, never considered what the “crushing machines of the poor” are. By not doing so, he agreed with them and had afternoon tea with his manufacturers, the owners and brokers of the capitals and their growing surplus value.

The financial entity in the guise of a few reais notes covers the day to day of the humiliated and offended in Brazil through different meanings: compensation in the unequal game of capitalism, the right of the family group to food more than once a day, support in the interregnum of mismatches in employability, the circumstantial act of favoring school attendance, the appropriation of electoral support from millions of families and their probable party loyalty, the budget drain in penury or in the absence of effective policies and even the comparative emulation between rulers and legislators, each offering avatar-values ​​with some distinction relative to others who have already offered such handouts.

None of the garments worn in the giving action are worthy. They are rag-avatars that, at most, satisfy the conscience, happy or unhappy, of the givers. But they always signal the failure of policies that would strengthen the entire social fabric and guarantee critical mass in the face of future setbacks in perennial policies. A government that is not capable of guaranteeing some continuity in future social interactions and guaranteeing the fundamental dignity of the res publica can only be considered weak and incompetent. As with education and teaching. If the work of the supposed educators does not guarantee the formation of student movements in favor of science, social justice, good policies, independence of thought and the full exercise of citizenship, they certainly were not educators. An education of avatars, will-o'-the-wisps.

The reading of Gonzagão and his partner is presented here as a radical fact in the context of the 2022 electoral campaign, which has already begun. And it is on the streets because of the advent of social networks, the multitude of avatars provided by artificial intelligence, technical competence at the service of political bipolarity and, finally, the repetitions ingrained in human neurons that ferment day and night. There is no more rest for the warriors, nor the halting of the machinations of languages. Everything is done all the time, because there are many human extensions that are recycled over time and trade data and information. There is no longer any reason for the TSE to indicate a beginning and an end to the electoral campaign. Either this highest body of the electoral system creates a new understanding and a new grammar to publicize and propagandize the candidacies or you will see ships on the horizon and herds in the clouds while the electoral process runs wild.

Given that Planalto's plantonista took us to the last attic of political, economic, social and environmental disgrace, the voices of the misnamed trio of left, right and center will have to start from the mud, which is realized, at the moment, as common language. For this reason, today's aid, 400 reais to the miserable, is an intense object of desire. Able to connect the trio and make the election campaign the most disgusting in republican history. This does not mean that each one will propose a greater support for the impoverished (who did not become impoverished by chance, nor through personal fault), but rather that the campaign will not be carried out by possible public policies, but by shouting slogans.

If the auxiliary symbol penetrates the consciousness of the candidates as an oppositional level to the current planonist of the Planalto and its Centrão, the number of impoverished people in the country will be counted as so great that the electoral speech will necessarily be downgraded. Anyone who wants to build the discursive structure of the electoral process will have to do a herculean job of dismantling the language built five years ago, since the Bolsonarist programmatic coup that overthrew Dilma Roussef. It would be like hyenas on the remaining flesh and bones, placed here as an allegory. Which more enriched languages ​​will come from the throats of hyenas in the face of what was left to them, understood as something of great value and, deep down, an aid provided by fed up lions?

What disgraced country (the one that lost all Grace) is this in which the adjunct that humiliated Gonzagão and Zé Dantas became something essential, disputed and capable of moving the electoral discourses of this moment in the Republic?

There may be no center-left-right defined. There could be blocks, groups, bands, gangs and legions, technologically armed to the teeth and firing robotages (supported by polished newspaper articles as counterparts) to, in the end, see who is left and in what position they are left. It will not even be possible, because it is reckless, for former president Lula's campaign to present the slogan of a return to his former administration. The game of watchwords will stun and trumpet in order to create quarrels and distrust. It will be easy to undermine a possible government of return in a society that is highly technological, repetitive to exhaustion and that has no commitment to reason. It also happens that it is completely outside the political order of a democratic society to want to have an entire government in its hands so that the people can eat three times a day. This is too little in the face of the radical new needs of men and women, children and young people in the XNUMXst century and the threatened planet. A consumerist belly full is not a life project facing so many new challenges. Such a speech will be just one more watchword in the process of dismantling the campaign's vale-tudo.

If the speeches begin as slogans, they will end in September 2022. It happens that the political jargon used as a panacea never manages to constitute policies and suffice in the list of things done and to be done. This means that the 2022 election could be a rigged game and the choices will obey, regardless of the winners in the first round, a clearly conservative profile of society. It will be an operation carried out “underneath”, without any greatness. Yet another historic defeat for the country driven by a weak and aimless democracy for so long! If it weren't like that, there wouldn't be the misery you see. Poverty imposes itself on the culturalist discourse of the elites, capable of seeing a democratic and stable society, with multitudes of miserable and countless boys and girls killed daily under the lash of various forms of violence. Among these violences one can list society's idle talk of “firm democratic structures”.

There would be time to run a campaign that simultaneously dismantled the perverse but significant apparatus of Bolsonarism and the intrusion, at any cost, of those who pose as tertiary, each armed with their legions to shout slogans, that is, speeches foreign to effective public governance policies? Or, in another formulation, would it be possible for the Brazilian population to recognize a limited set of candidates with sufficient aggregating force for a republican campaign?

Yes, if the parties reorganized themselves for new instances of operation and formulated governance policies based on an ecological reading of the Brazilian and Latin American reality, at least based on Mercosur and, in general, on the southern axis of the world. What if the parties agreed on a new behavior and a new language with the electoral courts.

A few public governance policies (based on the binomial ecology/culture), worked from start to finish in party instances and put to light on the first day of the campaign, would be enough. The ecological and cultural engender the other policies, that is, an ecological campaign culture is created for Brazil. They would be committed in the conception, formulation, strategic organization and evaluation by their formulators and not only by power groups. Such policies would be worked out by all media equipment and social networks, under the supervision of civil society institutions and organizations and the various instances of the judiciary, as well as by the entire information and communication system. Obviously many means of communication will be absorbed by party instances, which is not an evil in itself, since the methodological clarity of the political campaign will always have critical instruments and punishments for specific evils. Despite the various levels of language and various grammars in operation in the immense national territory, the definition of method and civic responsibility can create and implement different forms and levels of communication, which will create a new right in Brazilian citizenship, the right to receive and understand the political message, preparatory to decision-making at the ballot box (certainly electronic).

What in fact usually happens in Brazilian campaigns is that the courts and other mediating instances of society look on their faces while “the stick eats” in skirmishes and intrigues. Once all sorts of entanglements have been created, which in fact are desired and encouraged, the solutions are anything-goes, well suited to political underdevelopment. There, the entire vicious circle previously thought takes place and the “democratic and well-structured society” stops (or gives birth to) the new sprouts of power, fruits of ideological confusion and conservative pragmatics.

Election campaigns in Brazil are not places of memory, but of oblivion. They are boundaries of irrationality. But these are not necessarily their fate and destiny. History is possibility, to gladly repeat Paulo Freire.

To see. To verify.

Luiz Roberto Alves is a senior professor at the School of Communications and Arts at USP.


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