Arquivo para a ‘Politics’ Categoria

Still love in Saint Augustine

22 Oct

What made Hannah Arendt conclude that a Civilization of Love was not possible, in addition to her personal experience as a Jew who would not return to her “home” in Israel, she still had to make plans for this, is the misunderstanding of Caritas Agápico , the true love.

Philosopher Julia Kristeva released a reserved report by advisor Karl Jaspers about her advisor Hannah Arendt, it seemed to her that her student that her student at the time “[…] was able to underline the essentials, but that she simply did not meet everything Augustine said about love. […] Some errors appear in the quotes. […] The method exerts some violence on the text. […] The author wants, through a philosophical work of ideas, to justify her freedom in relation to Christian possibilities, which, however, attract her. […] Unfortunately, it does not deserve the highest mention [cum laude]. Indeed, Arendt seems to favor, in Augustine, the philosopher, to the detriment of the theologian. ” (KRISTEVA, 2002, p. 41).

Philosopher Kristeva points out the essential point by going deeper into Augustine’s thought, and asks what kind of love the philosopher referred to and whether there was more than one type of love, in addition to the already known filia, agape and Eros: “Numerous terms decline the concept of love in Augustine: love, desire (with its two variants, appetitus and libido), charity, lust, forming a true ‘constellation of love’ (…) ”. (KRISTEVA, 2002, p. 42).

What was revolutionary about Augustine’s strong Christian message, in addition to his intellectual and theological capacity, was the notion of liberation from ancient laws, which some incorrectly call legalism (these are not “human” laws), centering on love the basis of religion was possible to overcome Augustine’s previous affiliation with Manichaean dualism, to which a good part of theology and philosophy are still attached, the latter but more linked to current rational-idealism.

It will be impossible to think of a civilization that overcomes hatred, violence and the dualistic division of society without true charity, one that extends to all, one that admits diversity, and one that seeks justice, as Augustine thought: “where there is no charity there can be no justice ”, and thus the greatest desire for justice must be based on charity, even if it seems too altruistic, or mushy, just look at what hatred has built but wars and violence.

The set of volumes of Julia Kristeva’s “Female Genius” (1941-) is to analyze and pay tribute to three thinkers of the 20th century, perhaps the best known Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), Melanie Klein (1882-1960) and Colette (1873-1954).

Julia Kristeva is considered a structuralist (or post), along with Gérard Genette, Lévi Strauss, Jacques: Marie Lacan, Michel Foucault and Althusser, she also has an important work on semiotics. as a mosaic of quotations ”(Kristeva, 2005, p. 68) and also:“ The text does not name or determine an exterior ”(KRISTEVA, 2005, p. 12), thus stating that literature does not account for the real.


KRISTEVA, Julia (2002). O genio feminino. The female genius: life, madness and words. Rio de Janeiro: Rocco.

KRISTEVA, Julia (2005) Introdução à semanálise. Introduction to semanysis. Translation by Lúcia Helena França Ferraz. 2nd ed. São Paulo: Perspectiva.




Vaccine politicization and care

19 Oct

Last Wednesday (10/14) the Ministry of Health of Brazil presented to the states’ health secretaries a vaccination schedule against the covid-19 that would start in April 2021, the forecast is for the AstraZeneca vaccine, developed in partnership with the University of Oxford, which is in the third testing phase and should be produced in Brazil by FioCruz, in Manguinhos, in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

Some governors, in particular the state government of São Paulo, have interests in the Chinese company Sinovac, although China is also betting on the Oxford vaccine, this vaccine is being tested by the Butantan Institute of the University of São Paulo, and the Secretary of Health of São Paulo Jean Gorinchteyn told newspapers in São Paulo that “vaccines are not being treated in a republican way by the Ministry of Health, since the Chinese vaccine may have 46 million doses available in December and another 14 million by February 2021 and 40 million by June 2021.

But the dispute does not stop there, the American giant Pfizer announced on Friday (16/10) that it can apply for an “emergency” authorization for its vaccine against covid-19 until the end of November, said Albert Bourla, CEO of the group in a letter published on social media: “Let it be clear, assuming the data is positive, Pfizer will request an emergency use authorization in the United States shortly after the security step, in the third week of November, which indicates that it also wants to participate in the dispute, although it starts vaccination in the USA.

Because of a request from the German partner BioNTech, there was a request for a 2-month wait for the second dose of the vaccine (this vaccine is in two doses), but Albert Bourla shows politicization by stating that “we could know if our vaccine is effective or not at the end of October ”, I remember that the American elections take place on November 3, and this would be an asset for Donald Trumph.

According to the World Health Organization, and infectious disease Claudio Stadnik da Santa Casa, only 10 vaccines are in phase III, and the forecast if the schedule is followed, only vaccines from AstraZeneca / Oxford, Sinopharm (China) / Wuhan Institute of Biological Products (China) and Sinopharm (China) / Beijing Institute of Biological Products (China) would be ready in July 2021 while Moderna (USA) and Sinovac / Biotech (China) in October 2021.

So politics aside, this would be the real picture following the sanitary and medical precepts, to anticipate is to give possibility to error and lives are at stake.

See the graphic above: Source: World Health Organization and Cláudio Stadnik, infectologist at Santa Casa Hospital in Brazil.



Politics and religion

17 Oct

Hannah Arendt will argue against the confusion between politics and religion, and clarifies the difference between a meeting place (being public) with differences in what she calls appearance and demonstration. The author says:

“Christian politics has always been faced with the dual task of ensuring, on the one hand, by influencing secular politics, that the non-political gathering place of the faithful is protected from the outside, and, on the other hand, preventing a meeting place becomes an apparition space, and with that the Church becomes a secular-mundane power, among others. Hence, it was found that the link with the world corresponding to everything spatial and making it appear and appear, is much more difficult to fight than the secular power claim, which presents itself from the outside in. When the Reformation managed to remove from the Church all that has to do with appearance and manifestation, transforming it again into a meeting place for those who, in the sense of the Gospels, lived in the recollection, the public character of these Church spaces also disappeared. “

The author has not lived until today to see the consequences of this, that is, that the denial of the public character of these spaces of the church, turned it into the opposite, that is, in a political opportunism to win the faithful who go there to seek a divine message. , a comfort for the soul, and often the change of life (conversion).

What happened were two apostasies, the religious one which is to deny the divine power of God, “my kingdom is not of this world” and the second much worse, which is to affirm it as a human power to which public policy must submit and so make religious believers linked to some political, ideological or cultural current.

Even though Jesus knew that the Jews lived under an oppressive and unjust Roman empire, this can be seen when he says, among many passages: “the tax collectors and prostitutes will precede you in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 21,31), which brings them together as sinners, and the publicans were responsible for the province before the Roman Empire, including income and taxes.

This is necessary to understand the meaning of politics and religion in the passage where Jesus is asked about the justice of paying tribute to the emperor, to which he replies: «Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is of God. » (Mt 22,21) therefore right after the previous section, where the right (and the power) to forgive sins is questioned, what was his authority in fact and then will compare it to the temporal (and spatial power according to Arendt) of which is “outside” the meeting.

In religious specific terms, the apostasy of betting on parties and ideologies, almost always with duplicate purposes and foundations, sometimes favor life, sometimes disadvantage it (abortion and euthanasia, for example), sometimes they defend the poor, sometimes they justify corruption, and so on, must not be compared to the infinite divine power, clear to those who believe, and to those who do not believe, the search for a guideline for society and for the world implies values




Political sense and networks

16 Oct

The mistrust of politics (and politicians) is as old as the tradition of political philosophy, writes Hannah Arendt and it is through this question that one can understand the meaning of politics.

Right afterwards in the introduction to fragment 3b he writes: “Politics, as we have learned, is something like an imperative necessity for human life and, in fact, both for the life of the individual and of society”, and adds little by little to: “The task and objective of the policy is to guarantee life in the broadest sense”.

Then it will clarify an old misconception, present in all Western culture, we already said in another post from the zoon politikon, says the author that it is not: were politicians or that politics, that is, a polis, there were everywhere where men lived ”, he believed“ it is only a characteristic of man that he can live in a polis and that this organization of the polis represented the highest form of human coexistence ”, but he knew that it was far from being a society of angels and it was restricted to a group of people.

The author explains that what distinguishes the coexistence of men in politics from other forms of human coexistence was freedom, for a class of people.

The meaning of politics for the Greeks clarifies Arendt in paragraph 3c: “And the goal was not purely and simply freedom as it was realized in the polis, but pre-political liberation for freedom in the polis. The meaning of the political thing here, but not its objective, is for men to have relations with each other in freedom, beyond strength, coercion and dominance. Equals with equals that only in case of need, that is, in times of war, gave orders and obeyed each other; but, except for that, they regulated all matters by means of mutual conversation and mutual conviction. ”

Just as it emerged in the Greek polis, what is “… decisive in this context is not so much the conflict between the polis and the philosophers – in which later we will have to go into details* – but that the simple indifference of a scope in in relation to the other, in which the conflict seemed to be resolved for a moment, since the space of the minority and its freedom – although it was also a public and non-private sphere – impossible to perform both functions, just as politics included all those who were fit for freedom ”.

The note* (number 17 in text) according to the compiler of the fragments is that it may be an unwritten chapter on “The Socratic position”, what the author is dealing with here is the difference between what was deepened by many authors later between the public space and the private space, which should be able to freedom.

What happens in the contemporary world with social media, it is never too much to differentiate media from the networks themselves, which are the set of social relationships that Hannah Arendt recovers, it is of paramount importance because it will have properties different from those that are among the “privileged” politicians, as the Greeks established them and as the author says, which we often reject because we are not professional politicians.

The set of human coexistence was not possible to be thought of before global communication and social media, the Greek polis was a social experience of small city-states where a part of the population that was free could establish democracy in it, however the society as a whole was not free.

The new emerging realities create a greater space for human coexistence and denote civilizing weaknesses, and put democracy itself in check, there are still citizens who are only free to vote and politics is dominated by minorities who take power to establish their privileges.



Politics and the crisis of human thought

15 Oct

The idea that there is a judgment of taste, about which Kant also sentenced, that one cannot “argue”, but rather fight and reach an agreement, we know him well in everyday life, and Hannah Arendt already pointed this out in the 50s , in a situation still unknown, we believe that this or that would have judged the situation correctly or wrongly, so it is not a topic of today, but since relativism, the absence of values ​​and parameters was installed in society as a whole.

If the function of prejudice is to defend the man who judges both the freedom to do so and not to openly expose himself to each reality encountered and hence to have to confront it thinking, so the worldviews and ideologies seem to fulfill this task, a since they protect them from all experience, since supposedly all the real would be predicted in them in some way, but this was what defended scientific neutrality and that it is possible to find “scientific” solutions in each case.

This lack of parameter in the modern world, the impossibility of judging what happened and happens every day according to fixed and accepted criteria by everyone, of subjecting them to a known general scheme, is because there is a difficulty closely linked to this, of indicating principles of action for what will happen, is uncertain.

What’s brilliant about Hannah Arendt, and also found in many other contemporary humanists like Edgar Morin and Hans Georg Gadamer, is that she understands the world (human-social) not the natural world (of life, animals, for example) , nor of the universe (the physical world), what she is trying to define is a new “social” (intertwined, we would say in current terms in network), and for her this human, in this sense, is a social being.

The space between men that is the world would not make sense without men themselves, just as the universe or nature without men would be a contradiction in itself, without this meaning that the world and the catastrophes that occur in it would be reduced to one happening purely human, let alone that it was something that reduced to something that happened to “man” or to the nature of man.

One could easily object to being the world that is spoken of with only one world of men, this is the result of human doing and acting, as they wish, these capacities belong to the nature of man, and when they fail, nature should not be changed before man can think about changing the world?

It is from this view that Hannah Arendt will think the meaning of politics, this question is very old, much more than one thinks, Plato reproached Pericles when saying that the Athenians would not be better after they died, and this will be the subject of Hannah Arendt in fragment 3b.


The political animal: prejudice and judgment

14 Oct

Hannah Arendt’s argument about the Zoon politikon is fundamental, an argument that if the man had something political that belonged to his essence, it would not be something of the relationship between men, and thus, totally outside men, in the polis, or that is, in what Arendt calls the intra-space where the relationship is established.

Politics is thus a relationship, and it presupposes diversity among men, and thus resembles our prejudices, since most of us are not a professional politician, says in fragment 2: “such prejudices, common to all of us, they represent something political in the broadest sense of the word: they do not spring from the pride of educated people and they are not guilty of their cynicism, who have lived too long and understood less. ” However, it is evident that this justification of prejudice as a measure of judgment within everyday life has its limits, it is necessary that it does not become a judgment, so opinion (doxa) is the raw material of politics (and not philosophical, scientific knowledge) or technical, episteme e or techné) that defines democracy.

So it is necessary, as Hannah Arendt did to enter into the question of prejudice and judgment, “the danger of prejudice lies in the fact that a piece of the past always lurks in them”, and will say even further ahead: “The danger of prejudice lies in the fact that it was always anchored in the past, that is, very well anchored and, because of that, not only does it anticipate judgment and avoid it, but it also makes a true experience of the present with judgment impossible. ”

What happens if a prejudice becomes something imperative: “But it is a prejudice in itself that something imperative fits the judgment; the criteria, while they last, can never be forcedly demonstrated; they only serve, always, the limited evidence of the judgments on which everyone agreed and on which it is no longer necessary to fight or argue ”, and thus democracy must establish the limits between the judgment and the prejudices.

The fact is that prejudice anticipates judgment, so phenomenology establishes the need for epoché, precisely the suspension of judgment in recognition that we always have our preconceptions (philosophical hermeneutics uses it in a positive sense), in general we resort to the past, as explained by Arendt, because reason is temporal and limited to historical periods, forming in quantitative terms only many aspects of History, in which the new is rare and the old dominates politics.



What is politics?

13 Oct

Politics has become an absolute imperative, even in pandemic times when health and sanitary issues should occupy the top of the concerns, they do not subside, and the polarization that has been serious for a few years becomes even more dramatic, polarizing even topics that should be unanimous, such as health.

Hannan Arendt has a thought-provoking essay, published as posthumous works, and organized and compiled by Ursula Lutz, and dating from 1950, had a publication in Brazil in 1998.

Concerned with the dramas of its time, two wars, it also seems to point to our current scenario: “the positive sense of the” political thing “starts from two basic experiences of our century, which overshadowed this sense and transformed it into its opposite: the emergence of totalitarian systems in the form of Nazism and Communism, and the fact that today politics has technical means, in the form of the atomic bomb, to exterminate Humanity and, with it, all kinds of politics ”, described the preface Kurt Sontheimer, from the German version of 1992.

Arendt in Fragment 1, elaborates seven assumptions and discusses them: 1. The policy is based on the plurality of men, 2. The policy deals with the coexistence between different, 3. When one sees more than participation in the family, that is , active participation in plurality, you start to play God, that is, to act as if you could leave, in a natural way, the principle of diversity. Rather than generating a man, we try to create man in the image of himself (I stretched this on purpose), 4. Man, as philosophy and theology know him, exists – or is realized – in politics only with regard to the equal rights that the most different guarantee themselves.

I would say that these are almost proto-principles, but it is in the following 3 that he bases his thinking on philosophy.

The fifth will have subtopics. Philosophy has two good reasons for not limiting itself to just finding the place where politics arises. The first is: a) Zoon politikon: * as if in man there was something political that belonged to his essence, in this the author disputes Aristotle saying that politics is “among men”, b) The monotheistic conception of God, in whose image man must have been created.

The sixth: it is difficult to understand that we must actually be free in a field, that is, neither moved by ourselves nor dependent on the given material. Freedom exists only within the particular scope of the intra-political concept. We are saved from this freedom just in the “necessity” of history. An abominable absurdity.

The seventh: It may be that the task of politics is to build a world as transparent to the truth as God’s creation. In the sense of the Judeo-Christian myth, this would mean: man, created in the image of God, was given the genetic capacity to organize men in the image of divine creation. Probably absurd – but it would be the only possible demonstration and justification for the idea of ​​the law of Nature.

It is only from there that the author begins her introduction on the question of what is politics, in times of polarization the theme is urgent.


Arendt, Hannah, (1998) “O que é política” (1950), obras póstumas 1992, compiladas por Ursula Ludz. Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand Brasil.



Pandemic fatigue and vaccine rush

12 Oct

WHO in its Europe office has released a document explaining a “pandemic fatigue” estimating that 60% of the population is already at this stage.

Hans Henri Kluge, WHO´s regional director for Europe, says tiredness was already expected at this stage of the crisis: “since the virus arrived on the European continent eight months ago, citizens have made enormous sacrifices to contain the covid-19 , the cost was very high, something that exhausted us all, regardless of what we live or what we do. In these circunstancies it is easy and natural to feel listless, unmotivated, to feel tired”, he said to BBC News.

The measures that aim to continue the efforts to obtain a common center to seek common sense in the solution of the issue: understand the people who are doing it regularly and involve communities in debates and decisions, allow people to live their lives, but risks and seeking creative solutions, as it has been like virtual meetings, such as deliveries of food and consumer products, especially to vulnerable people.

The other worrying issue is a race for the vaccine, which should follow exclusively medical routes, but already point to a specific formation of profit with people, so the first vaccine to arrive on the market will not necessarily be the best, and to make politicians worse try to take advantage of this race.

Brazilian doctors are cautious, like Dr. Álvaro Furtado costa, infectious disease physician at HC-FMUSP: “everyone is very optimistic, but the study of the vaccine is very complicated, most of them stop in phase 3 of clinical tests, due to the problems that appear. It is important to discuss this possibility (of not having a vaccine) ”, and reaching stage 3 does not mean that it is nearing the end, as most vaccines stop at this stage, as are the cases of HIV and chikungunya.

What should be done in this case is to continue the search for medications that decrease the mortality rate and, therefore, recover those infected, for example, by the SARS-Cov-2 virus, and the clinical trial is also developed in Brazil by FioCruz , which partners with Solidarity International, from WHO, and in the country are in 18 hospitals in 12 states, with research on different medications.

The final stage of phase 3 is much more difficult to reach and it is not the political propaganda that solves it, but the health control agencies of the drugs.




And if the pandemic continues

05 Oct

Fredric Jameson drew attention years ago about the possibility of a cosmic catastrophe (an asteroid that threatens life on earth or a virus that matters to humanity), and the threat would awaken global solidarity, small differences are overcome and everyone works together to find one. solution in real life, now the pandemic shows whether this is possible or not, if the question were asked today the clear answer would be no, we are divided and not very sympathetic.

The speculations about the new normal were exhausted, in the political polarization curiously the two poles are seriously wrong, one in stating that the pandemic is the sign of exhaustion of the society we live in and so we will go for a utopian change, and the other that insists on saying that the pandemic does not exist, they lack realism.

An example of this utopian change is in the “Wuhan Soup” in which several famous authors on the left pointed to a “collapse of capitalism” due to the pandemic.

Jameson’s logic is to understand postmodernity as a “cultural logic” and that this would be a third phase of expansion of capitalism, the so-called late capitalism, what he seeks is behind the cultural manifestations of our time to understand what kind of “logic” they have, without the necessary criticism of them.

The discussion by Daniel Bell and Jean-François Lyotard are points of reference in this discussion from the 1970s onwards, because Bell placed the position of understanding that the new economic phase has put the notion of industrial capitalism in the past, and Lyotard has unveiled a change in the statute of science and technology from the computerization scenario in developed societies, but conventional criticism was stuck with a superficial criticism of the so-called “techno-science”.

What both advocate and here give strength to a third way of change, neither capitalism nor socialism, is a split with modern thought and with the very experience of modernity, something that is linked so much to the impact of scientific and technological revolutions from the 1960s, and that collapsed all modern narratives, which are historically situated at a point in the past of recent history and do not point to a clear future.

So is the pandemic, the absence of a clear future, it challenges us to rethink the future without conventional narratives, and the second cycle of the pandemic crisis is already the logic that points to the future, without changing social attitudes and behaviors the future it will not be promising, regardless of the appearance of the vaccine, other viruses may come and we will not accept a moment of pause, isolation and less haste in everyday life, we are stuck with the logic of industrial production and consumption.

There is a deeper logic that is the aortic relationship, the inorganic about the organic, that Sloterdijk defends and that Hölderling spoke about, some mystics too.



Nets and Bubbles

02 Oct

A society that already lived in bubbles, be they cultural, political or religious, found itself even more stuck in its leaves with the pandemic and social isolation, although this had a positive aspect of recovering intra-bubble relations, however extra bubbles appear to have ended up being harmed.

The pandemic has shown that it is impossible to live in isolation, even though in many places rigid measures have been taken, and I defend them as necessary in many cases, the virus has no boundaries, race or limits that it cannot reach, and the end of social isolation it may not be as beneficial as one imagines, the health risks and also the social problems aggravated by the pandemic create a complex scenario.

We need to review intra-bubble thinking, one that causes social isolation, voluntary or involuntary, as is the case with discrimination of all kinds and I do not exclude religious ones, and it is necessary to heal the extra-bubble relationship, the one that leaves our security group, takes us to meet the Other.

Social networks are an encouragement, always remembering that social media are not exclusively media, the concept is broader, it is precisely in the analysis of these outlines of bubbles that the potential of networks is manifested: the importance of weak links, the analysis of “small worlds” and even the pandemic can be viewed from a social network perspective, helping to analyze contagions and helping control plans.

Looking at history, it was people and situations that created new situations and solutions, those conditions that are at the limit or outside the bubbles, that are important and that as a rule society and conservative thinking exclude them, because somehow destabilize the “bubble”.

Prophets and oracles in antiquity were rejected, including by the bubbles to which they belonged, are the iconic cases of Jesus and Socrates, for example, but in history there are many cases that are within this limit, and one must identify who these cases are at present, to be on the lookout for new and really creative solutions.
It is symbolic to explain this situation the evangelical parable of the vintner that when the time of the harvest arrives, he sends employees to his vineyard to receive what was needed in Mateus (Mt 21,33-43), the employees are beaten, stoned and killed, after two shipments, the owner of the vineyard decides to send his own son, and he awakens an even greater greed and is killed, and then these bad wine producers had the lesson they deserved.

It is important to note that it is the ones who take care of the vine that do these perverse attitudes, that is, they are inside the bubbles, so the first contradictions are born inside the bubbles and then reflect outside, having an open attitude helps to solve problems and prevent situations limit.