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[xmca] News from Brazil

Dear friends from xmca list, sorry for the cross-posting

I believe by now all of you might be overwhelmed with news from Brazil. I
think the international press translated well what is happening down here.
For me the discussion about Ilyenkov's ideas and dialectical materialism is
particularly valuable.
It is quite curious to see the national news and Brazilian analysts trying
to explain (and predict) what is going on. Brazilian people is well known
for be a football lover and by its pacific, domesticated, cordial (although
not so polite) behaviour. For Brazilian analysts and politicians the
protests were an unbelievable nightmare. They simply could not accept that
“20 cents” in the public transport fares could bring people to streets.
They were unable to understand how a country that is walking toward the
centre of capitalism system and is going to hold the next football World
Cup and Olympic games can complain.
For me the main lesson we (Brazilians) have learnt is that who makes the
History is, above all, the humankind and not any alienated force coming
from elsewhere. I think this idea is still very new, fragile and immature
even in the protesters' soul. For this reason today (the day after) is far
more important than the day of protest itself – in my view evidently. Today
is the moment that people try to understand its own power and how to use it
to promote changes. Many Brazilians on the streets see a clear connection
with the inspiring moments of #Occupy (in USA and Europe) and mainly with
the mass movements in the Middle East. Although I agree that this
connection exist we are quite distant to reach radial issues (for now). I
mean, no one in Brazil expects any radical change within the capitalism or
in the government.
It is also curious that president Dilma Rousseff, a former Marxist fighter,
is implementing the most ambitious Neoliberal program in the country. We
are privatizing airports, ports, highways and every piece of infrastructure
that we still have. The conservative opposition that saw in Lula and Dilma
a "red danger" do not know exactly what to do since they are against the
government but in favour of the Neoliberal program. Well, I believe we all
read this page before (for instance, Labor Party in Great Britain –
The powerful synthesis of Ilyenkov help me to set my own agenda:

“When Marx and Engels worked out the concept of the proletariat as the most
revolutionary class of bourgeois society, as the grave-digger of
capitalism, it was in principle impossible to obtain this concept by
considering an abstractly general trait inherent in each separate
proletarian and each particular stratum of the proletariat. A formal
abstraction which could be made in the mid-19th century by comparing all
individual representatives of the proletariat, by the kind of abstracting
recommended by non-dialectical logic, would have characterised the
proletariat as the most oppressed passively suffering poverty-ridden class
capable, at best, only of a desperate hungry rebellion” (Ilyenkov – The
dialectics of the Abstract & the Concrete in Marx’s Capital).

The quote above is emblematic considering all the political analysts in the
field of formal logic that simply cannot grasp what is going on (in the
world). This morning on radio, sociologists and economists treat this
moment only in terms of president popularity as if they were selling lemon
ice cream on the beach... ("do you like the present or not?" "do you
support the violent protests or not?"). For me, it is a clear sign that we
need "much more theory" to understand and intervene (intervene and
understand) in this historical reality.

I finish this humble comment quoting Lenin from the postscript of State and
Revolution. “It is more pleasant and useful to go through the "experience
of revolution" than to write about it”. So see you on the Brazilian

Warm regards,

André Rodrigues
PhD. Student at University of São Paulo
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