EUROPEAN FORUM – ZADIG in Belgium – GIL CAROZ- Our Brazilian Truth

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From 9.00 AM to 7.00 PM

Our Brazilian Truth
Gil Caroz

In 2017, at one of the Scalp Forums (1) in
Paris, Jacques-Alain Miller described the sudden release of the rats of hate
that were infesting the cellars in the light of the return of the repressed. As
long as the traditional left-wing and right-wing political parties had the
power to repress Nazi-style discourses, they weren’t heard. But the weakening
of these traditional movements over two decades has allowed this ascension of
the Le-Pen-ist discourse, while simultaneously trivializing it. In a similar
vein, Yascha Mounk (2) describes Donald Trump’s ascent to power as an emergence
onto the scene of a modality of the American id [ça]. We would simply
say that it is in fact the id.

The repression of hate speech is not
usually the lot of the traditional and partisan ideologies mobilized by
political parties. The decline of democracies that we see happening before our
eyes is due to the more or less gradual weakening of the institutions that
constitute and protect them at the same time. Social networks also play a role
in this movement. Where the techno-optimists had hoped to contribute to the
freedom of expression and the liberation of peoples as in the Arab Spring, the
techno-pessimists note today that these networks also destroyed some safeguards
that kept at bay the speeches that kill. (3)

In Brazil, for example, Jair Bolsonaro
does not think he has to camouflage his anti-democratic aspirations. He defies
the institutions without any hesitation. Even though the second round vote has
not yet taken place, he is attacking the integrity of the voting procedure by
announcing that if he is not elected, he will contest the results of the vote
for irregularity. It would seem that the democratic structures of Brazil are
threatened by Bolsonaro even before he takes power. Indeed, the Supreme Court
did not rule on the revelation of illegal and astronomical spending by the
Bolsonaro camp for the broadcast of messages on social networks against his
opponents, the Workers’ Party – judging that the issue of fake news is a global
affair. (4)

This conspicuous fragility of democratic
structures in Brazil distinguishes the Bolsonaro phenomenon from the rise of
the discourses of the enemies of the human race in countries like France or the
United States. Indeed, a long democratic tradition as well as a solid
administration in these countries made it possible to block the despotic
tendencies which appeared there. In France, democratic public opinion has been
able to block the Front National’s path to power, at least for the time being.
In the United States, the clownish effect of a Trump who professes his free
associations on the global stage is framed by the press, the Senate, the FBI
and the Department of Justice, even if they do not always manage to rein him

Bolsonaro in Brazil is another story. We
have the impression that the absence of repression opens the return in force of
a drive of destruction that comes from far away. “There will be a clean-up like
there has never been in this country,” he said in a viral video broadcast a few
days ago on social networks. “I'm going to sweep away Brazil’s reds. Either
they leave Brazil, or they go to jail.” How can one not read in these remarks
the “very delusion of the misanthropic beautiful soul, casting out onto the
world the disorder that constitutes his being.” (5) What is revealed here does
not seem to be the simple return of a repressed. Bolsonaro has always admired
dictatorship. It is rather a trait that belongs to the archaic moment when a
hygienist-self emerges differentiating himself from the chaos in which he is
caught up. Bolsonaro’s repetitive gesture of joining index and major fingers in
the shape of a revolver and pretending to shoot everything that moves, says it
well. It's about shooting at everything that is not me, at everything that is
not my semblable: political enemies, migrants, women, homosexuals…

Brazil is not Europe; the Bolsonaro
phenomenon is not equivalent to the Le Pen phenomenon, and the contexts are
different. Yet we can consider that the events in Brazil are the truth of a
movement of civilization that ravages Europe like a fire. It is the culmination
of a fall of vertical authority, which calls for the ordering of the world by
massacre: either you are like me, or you die. These expressions are spreading
around the world with the speed that social networks make available. If, in the
past, we were able to say that the triumphant narcissism of the cause of
terrorism is to be fought and conquered (6), this new rejection of the
otherness that we see today spreading at full speed will impose on us other
methods of mobilization. The Zadig forums will be part of this.

Translated by Janet Haney

(1) Scalp: a Series of Conversations
Anti-Le Pen which took place during the French presidential election campaigns
and resulted in the creation the Zadig Movement.

(2) Mounk Y., The People vs. Democracy,
Harvard University Press, 2018.

(3) Ibid.

(4) Oualalou L., “La samba de l’extrême
droite”, Marianne, No. 1128, 26 October–1 November 2018.

(5) Lacan J., “Aggressiveness in
Psychoanalysis”, Écrits, Norton, 2006, p. 93.

(6) Miller J.-A., “In the Direction of Adolescence”,
The Lacanian Review, No. 4, 2018. [Closing speech at the 3rd
Study Day of the Institute of the Child, March 2015.]



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Venue: University St. Louis, Auditorium OM 10,

6, rue de l'Ommegang, 1000 Brussels

Simultaneous Translations in French, Dutch and English

Schedule: 9.00 AM – 7.00 PM



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