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RE: [xmca] News from Brazil

Sure, we agree comrade... we must "perejivaet` revolutsiu"...

> Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2013 18:58:58 -0300
> From: andremr@if.usp.br
> To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> Subject: [xmca] News from Brazil
> Dear Achilles,
> I am glad to see a Brazilian impression. Although Brazilian research
> community in ISCAR is one of the biggest, we are "shy" to discuss in this
> forum. I would like to see more comment from Brazilians, but I know the
> costs of sustaining long discussions in a language that I am not completely
> familiar with. Thus, I'd like to clarify some points that help us to push
> the discussion further.
> Firstly, I brought this topic (about protests in Brazil) for two reasons
> that were hidden in my first message. Obviously I have personal interests
> in this situation since it affects directly my daily life and I not
> satisfied with metaphysical (formal) discourses that circulates in mass
> media (including internet) and in the academic context. Moreover, I think
> that "mass movement" along with collective behavior are study objects for
> cultural psychology and also for activity theory. No one wold deny that
> activity theory has relevant contributions for this scenario and at same
> time it can provide powerful insights to enrich theory. Ultimately, I
> advocate that activity theorists should take a look within mass movement. Of
> course I am aware that I am not the first one to underline it. It also
> concerns the concept of project elaborated by Andy, activity as unity of
> analysis and some topic that have been discussed in parallel (maybe!?!?!).
> The expression "historical reality" I used is dubious, indeed. On the one
> hand, it can lead toward what you labeled as "enthusiastic" (unique moment
> in history, perhaps!?!?!). I agree that is completely possible to have such
> reading. I confess I am enthusiastic. However I am not "idealist" at all. I
> “know” what I am facing and I am trying to “know” better. On the other
> hand, (this is what I had in mind when I wrote it down) a possible reading
> is the historical development of reality, flux above all. I sought to
> emphasize the historical feature of reality. But it seems to be a minor
> issue, isn't it?
> My claim is that we must avoid simple and mechanical readings of the
> situation. Unfortunately, from my limited perspective I do not see
> significant advance in your comment. In times which even the "shampoo is
> revolutionary", the categorical thought helps relatively little. Formal
> definitions/categories such as "revolution", "insurgence", "number of big
> popular manifestations" etc grasp only the abstract features of what is
> happening in Brazil (and around the world). It just becomes meaningless if
> we do not put it in a broader analytical framework. What I learned from/in
> the very first page of Caio Prado Jr S study (Dialectic of knowledge) is that
> a metaphysical interpretation of the dialectics is (still and always will
> be) a metaphysical interpretation of the dialectics.
>  I believe that the great minds that inspire me (Marx, Vygotsky, Gramsci
> and many others)... they were NOT men far beyond their time. Rather, they
> were men withIN their time... very sensitive to the issues of their time. For
> this reason I not able to (indeed I am not allowed to) underestimate mass
> movements that brought to the streets more than one million people at the
> same time crossing the country over every single capital and many small
> cities. I agree with you that there is no "real revolutionary claims". However,
> this is only the surface and as you have already said: "Appearance do not
> coincides with essence".
> Best Regards,
> André Rodrigues
> ----- Mensagem encaminhada de achilles_delari@hotmail.com -----
>     Data: Thu, 20 Jun 2013 17:27:06 +0000
>     De: "Achilles Delari Junior" <achilles_delari@hotmail.com>
> Responder-Para: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>  Assunto: RE: [xmca] News from Brazil
>       Para: "xmca@weber.ucsd.edu" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> Following Brazilian Scholar Caio Prado Junior, revolution in its deep
> concept is not the same than "insurgence", but the radical changing in the
> "production's mode". Here in Brazil, there is no kind of "revolution",
> neither actual radical "insurgence". There is only a number of big popular
> manifestations around the main cities of the country without any real
> revolutionary claims, in Prado Jr's concept. Unfortunately, of course. Then
> you, around the world, don't need stay so happy nor enthusiastic with our
> revolutionary historical destiny, for the moment. "Appearance do not
> coincides with essence", its all we already know, from Vygotsky and him
> from Marx. Best wishes.
> "The powerful play goes on, and you can contribute a verse" (W. Whitman).
> Achilles
>  Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2013 13:07:42 -0300
> > From: andremr@if.usp.br
> > To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> > Subject: [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 ?
> > perhaps!).
> > 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
> > streets.
> >
> > Warm regards,
> >
> > André Rodrigues
> > PhD. Student at University of São Paulo
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> >
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> -- 
> André Machado Rodrigues
> University of São Paulo
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