Arquivo para a ‘Politics’ Categoria

A dangerous threshold of war

03 Apr

With the shipment of weapons to Ukraine NATO has prolonged Ukraine’s war with Russia in the tactical field for at least another year, this says Western and Russian analysts, but another front is threatened as Finland is about to join NATO only missing bureaucratic details.

It irritates Russia more than seeing its border countries join NATO, this was even the claiming limit for war with Ukraine and Finland has the longest border of NATO countries with Russia, more than 1,300 km, comparable to distance between Porto Alegre in Rio Grande do Sul and Queluz on the border of the State of São Paulo with Rio de Janeiro.

Finland erects a steel cable fence on the border (photo), and the countries have already lived through a war called the Winter War (it has this name because it started at the end of November 1939 and ended on March 12, 1940 with a treaty in which it lost part of its territory and a good part of its industrial capacity).

Although Finland has a small army, at the time even smaller and is now arming itself, it resisted heroically, but lost a significant part of its territory (see our post) and feels threatened by the current war in Eastern Europe.

There is another likely target of the war which would be Moldova, there is already a small separatist region called Transnistria, but in the geopolitical aspect it is Finland’s entry into NATO that most affects Russia and creates a strong pole of tension and now the new iron Curtain.

Sweden is bigger and has a larger population, practically more than twice that of Finland and it has also been arming itself and the process of joining NATO is slower, but the war could accelerate this process and military aid to Sweden would be inevitable.

An appeal by Belarus, an ally of Russia, for a peace agreement and the recent visit of Xi Jinping to Russia, which was expected to have a greater commitment to peace, remains unknown and it is possible that Putin has exposed his plans, and this includes Brazil for being part of the BRICS and having postponed the trip to China due to pneumonia from president Lula, but China is waiting for the visit.

An eventual war with Finland would open a delicate pole of the war, since it is practically a member of NATO and military retaliations could come into play in an explosive way.

The horizon of a possible peace is becoming more and more distant and the possibilities remote.



Belonging, inclusion and innocence

31 Mar

The question raised by Michael Sandel transcends the limits of law, life and ontology itself, these are the arguments that justify the death of an innocent, violence and finally war, while the argument of a simple spectator who remembers that someone will die and can be a donor of organs freely and through a natural death.

Belonging can also be an argument for both the death of an innocent and the refusal of it, there are many cases in a war where, for some reason, someone who could kill an “enemy” in some unusual situation refuses to do so.

The aspect of the social contract where the state has a “monopoly” on violence, so it is fair to kill in defense of society, it is even fair to use cruelty (such as torture, for example) to obtain information and fight “evil” of the opposing group is also questionable.

The fact that we have not abandoned such methods and principles is the most serious testimony of the small advance that socially we still walk in the civilizing process, the fact that we are returning little by little to the serious periods of the Cold War indicates that we are still in a waiting period.

How many innocent people and civilians have little or nothing to support certain wars, like the Russian girl who made an innocent drawing about the war, shows that alongside the perversity of imperial struggles and colonizing processes, they are far from having been banished from civilization.

But what does the death of an innocent person mean, what is the ontological and theological meaning of this symbol, the lamb that Abram sacrificed in place of the son who would be sacrificed, let us remember that there are three great Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the that means

It is certainly far from the logic of law, far from rational logic, it means that only innocence and pacifism can contribute to a true civilizing process that dignifies man.

The Easter week that begins next Sunday, although it is a Christian feast, can and should lead humanity to reflect on the true passion for civilization, which, despite all the human suffering caused by wars and injustices, can dream of a new civilization.



Contractualism and Innocence

30 Mar

The great discussion of the contractualists was about the non-innocence of the person, they are all defenders of the powers of the state and, ultimately, of in dubio pro societate (when in doubt, in favor of society and not of the defendant), Hobbes saw man as evil and the state should police it, Locke saw how it limited the powers of the state and gave the people the right to rebellion and Rousseau saw man as good, society is what corrupted him.

None of them denies the need and priority of state powers, as they were pillars of all modern country constitutions, and their update is in John Rawls and his successor Michael Sandel.

Both were Kantian idealists and utilitarians, but there is a small difference in that Sandel criticized Rawls’s voluntarism, according to which political and moral principles are legitimized from the exercise of individual will through choice or consent.

Locke’s empiricism claimed for this: “we are all, by nature, free, equal and independent, no one can be excluded from this situation and subjected to the political power of others without having given his consent” (1988, section 95).

In order to understand Sandel’s position, it is necessary to read at least the work that we indicate or clearly understand his examples, which seek to make his concepts practical and clear, in relation to belonging to groups, as a guarantee of collective interests (he rejects the term communitarianism). cites two cases: that of a French resistance pilot who during World War II refused to bomb his hometown, even though he knew that this would contribute to the liberation of France (2012, p. 279), belonging to his hometown.

The second example is that of a rescue operation organized by the government of Israel to save Ethiopian Jews from refugee camps in Sudan (2012, p. 280), belonging to the Jewish people.

However, in one of his famous lectures in which he gives other examples, and makes several dialogues with the audience, he is caught in contradiction when he gives the example of 6 patients arriving at an emergency room and 1 is in serious condition while the 5 patients who need donation of different organs to survive and the patient in serious condition requires a lot of care time, asks the question if he would let him die to help others.

Most people agreed to let him die, but a young man (in the photo) said he had another solution, out of the 5 who were about to die, the one who died first would donate his organs to the others, which left Sandel embarrassed and arrived at admit: “it’s a good idea, except for the fact that it destroyed the philosophical point of view” (see video below).

There are interpersonal and ontological relationships that go beyond mere subjectivity, it is something between beings and not just between beings and their cultures or belongings, it is in a kind of collective soul, in a noosphere where everything is more than logical, it is onto-logical.

(155) Justiça com Michael Sandel O Lado Moral do Assassinato – YouTube


LOCKE, J. (1690). “Second Treatise of Government”. In: Two Treatises of Cambridge Government: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

SANDEL, M. (2012) “Justice – what is to do the right thing”. Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian Civilization.



Political justice and innocence

29 Mar

State morality was developed together with the historical contractualist conception through Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) in particular in his Leviathan, John Locke (1632-1704), founder of empiricism and Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), for him man is born good and society corrupts him.

In the social contract, individual rights are transferred to state power by a contract and so it can be said that it is the root of the principle in dubio pro societate (in doubt, society is defended), there is no presumption of innocence.

The transfer of powers to the state also transfers the end of innocence that implies not allowing the emotional development of children and adolescents in a family environment, and thus the discussion of criminal age starts to make sense, and the whole concept of justice becomes political .

The contemporary development of contractualism is in the philosopher John Rawls (1921-2002) for whom a metaphysical conception of morality is not possible, he develops the concept of “justice as fairness” presented in his book “A theory of Justice ”.

John Rawls profoundly influenced the thinking of Michael Sandel who is one of the most influential current thinkers in the western culture of justice and thus heir of contractualism, and both are heirs of the Kantian conception of morality.

One of the rare authors to analyze this position was Paul Ricoeur (1913-20050 in his book The Just (Vol. I), dedicating a good part of the text to the analysis of John Rawls and developing the idea of law in its peculiar position, a half way between morality and politics, without which it is utilitarian and not by chance was deeply influenced by the utilitarian thought of John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). 

Equity is not possible without a personal human relationship, Ricoeur said: “The virtue of justice is established based on a relationship of distance with the other, as original as the relationship of proximity with the other offered in his face and in his voice” and this does not it is neither exact nor pragmatic.

RAWLS, John. (1997) Uma teoria da justiça. Tradução Almiro Pisetta e Lenita M. R. Esteves. Brazil, São Paulo: Martins Fontes.

RICOEUR, P. (1995) Le Juste 1. Paris : Éditions Esprit.

SANDEL, M.J. (2013) Como fazer a coisa certa. São Paulo: Civilização Brasileira.



War and Innocence

27 Mar

There are numerous political, economic, historical and even religious reasons for starting a conflict, but this is not from the perspective of the innocent thought of a child who dreams of a world without conflicts, peace and human dignity for all.

The drawing of a child, we omit the name and the police situation that later involved the case, is a generous and innocent look at the world, and reinforces the idea that there is a sincere feeling of friendship and fraternity still present in humanity.

The situation of the conflict is getting worse, with the Russian threat to send “strategic” nuclear weapons to Belarus, Russia’s allied country, on the battlefield Ukraine “stabilized” the situation in Bahkmut, the most violent front of the war and where they were the forces of the mercenaries of the Wagner group.

The possibility of a third block of negotiations with Russia, announced by China whose president made a recent visit to China and expected the visit of the Brazilian government, however the president presented a picture of pneumonia and influenza and postponed the visit.

They are ideologically closer to Russia, but this third block has this as an asset since it is visible that Putin does not listen to NATO or the UN, see the Hague condemnation of the extradition of Ukrainian children to Russia, which condemned him the prison.

The picture is delicate and requires caution and effort for a possible negotiation of peace, people who look generously at humanity cannot see the world differently, they must not seek justifications and assumptions for war, they must have the generous look of a child.



The next strategy could be decisive

20 Mar

While Bakhmut’s battles are still bloody, apparently neither Russia nor Ukraine consider it more vital, for Ukraine it is a stalemate waiting for weapons from the West: tanks, jets and more ammunition, for Russia a deception that cost many lives, in particular of mercenaries from the so-called “Wagner command”, who criticize Russia for this.

To reinforce this Putin visited Mariupol and the Crimea, Russian rearguard positions, in points already conquered in other battles, with extreme security, but to guarantee the morale of the troop and his own, since he was condemned together with his commissioner Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belov for taking 6,000 Ukrainian children for “re-education” to Russia.

With conviction, both could be arrested, but it is unlikely that they will come to the West.

The new strategy expected by the Ukrainians is an invasion to the north by Belarus, but their army is small and would only be effective if supported by Russian forces, the Russians in turn would like to consolidate the positions in Donetsk and Mariupol, gaining a strip of territory in Ukraine.

China and Belarus continue to claim “extreme interest” in peace and an end to hostilities, as they lose a lot commercially with the war, but will certainly support Russian achievements.

The event of interception of an American drone in the Black Sea by a Russian fighter also caused strong tension, the escalation of the “spring” in Ukraine is foreseen by the sending of more weapons.

There is always some encouragement for peace, but since the beginning of the war the scenario has only evolved in the opposite way, there is a suspension of breath about the new war strategies.



About lucidity

14 Mar

We have already posted about blindness, in some essays (such as the one by José Saramago that became a film by the Brazilian Fernando Meirelles in 2008) and we also made a connection with The plague by Albert Camus, making a relationship with war, 3 things related and analyzed were from our time (the Pandemic, the blindness of the denialist vision and the War), we also posted last week about the clearing.

Now we do the opposite, let’s analyze lucidity and what it means in the history of humanity, starting again with Saramago, let’s look at his Essay on Lucidity, because he makes an interesting game for our development here, an allegory between light and dark.

This relationship is important because Saramago recovers elements from the first essay on blindness (the color white as a symbol, for example, the characters and the tree epidemic), it can be said that it is an extension of the first narrative.

Lucidity speaks of an election where two parties only had about 8% of the votes, with a significant blank vote, contrary to many arguments about this possible depoliticization, Saramago makes a curious counterpoint, he did not experience the current polarization:

“…it is because those blank votes, which came to deal a brutal blow against the democratic abnormality in which our personal and collective life was taking place, did not fall from the clouds or rise from the bowels of the earth, they were in the pocket of eighty-three out of every hundred electors of this city, who, by their own, but not patriotic hand, cast them at the ballot box.”

It was decided to carry out a survey, but the 83% did not manifest themselves until a person decided to send a letter to the leaders, and it was this letter that gave a new direction to the investigation and, no matter how much resistance there was, the government would not give in so easily, it could yourself realize where the problem is.

This upside-down reading of our political scenario, which is not very different from the US and Italy, just to give two examples, is very interesting to understand the political lucidity that seems to go against the grain in contemporary politics.

SARAMAGO, J. “Ensaio sobre a lucidez” (Essay on lucidity), Brazil,SP: Ed.: Companhia das Letras, 2004.



War becomes dangerous and can get out of hand

13 Mar

As the war scene advanced in Eastern Europe, several analyzes were made here showing an increasingly cybernetic war and with chances of being nuclear, now both international news (such as CNN for example) and the American intelligence services, point out this tragic evolution.

Officials of the US Senate Intelligence Committee spoke last Wednesday (08/03) of this scenario affirmed what is written in the report of the Office of National Intelligence: “degraded Moscow’s conventional land and air capabilities and increased its dependence on weapons nuclear weapons”, so a window for peace is becoming smaller and smaller.

The battle of Bakhmut, which could pave the way for a larger invasion of Ukrainian territory, is costing both sides dearly, but will intensify the war on Ukrainian soil, with losses and unpredictable scenarios.

While the Russians announce victory in Bakhmut, the Ukrainians say that each Ukrainian soldier killed cost the lives of 5 Russian soldiers, propaganda aside, Russia does pay an expensive cost for the dispute in the region and shows that it will be a war step by step and costing many lives, in addition to refugees and material destruction.

At the global level, NATO’s involvement grows as Russia seeks allies beyond China.

The involvement with weapons and even training of troops from Poland and Germany, as well as the already evident involvement of NATO since the beginning of the war, can extrapolate the limits of Russia and Poland and pass to the entire European continent, already a Russian “new Pearl Harbour”. , launching long-range missiles into American territory would start a global tragedy by the power of weapons.

Weapons are available and there is also tension in the East, now with South Korea and Japan approaching Western forces.

Peace is always possible, but it requires an environment of cooperation and understanding between nations.



The forest bordering the clearing

10 Mar

Modern man, victim of ideologies, cultures and religious apostasy lives only with the awareness of individual freedom, without really understanding who is the Other who is not equal, the Korean/German philosopher Byung Chul Han developed this in “The expulsion of the other : Society, perception” (Editora Vozes, Brazil) in which he talks about the adipose emptiness of fullness.

This emptiness has nothing to do with the phenomenological epoché, opening the mind and soul to dialogue and receive the Other, the different, the discourse and the narrative contrary to ours, to later merge the horizons in the “hermeneutic circle”, the emptiness of soul is positive, it elevates us.

Through successive tragedies, the pandemic was the first and will not be the last, and this is not about an apocalyptic discourse, but about the social realization of a civilizing crisis in an increasingly profound and dangerous process, not only in the rulers, but also in personal conscience.

Chul Han goes so far as to say these processes are obscene in “hypervisibility, hypercommunication, hyperproduction, hyperconsumption, which lead to a rapid stagnation of the same. Obscene is the ‘connection of like with like’ (Han, 2022) in short, everything translates into an obscene sameness.

He cites a very illustrative example which is the animation Anomalisa by Charlie Kaufmann (photo), which talks about a speaker Michael who goes to Cincinnati for a lecture and there approaches a person by his voice, Lia is a person who already knows him and came to see his talk and fall in love.

But the hell of the same are the employees of the Hotel, all the same and who want to seduce Michael.

The essay emphasizes erotic love, but this also applies to agapic love, without falling in love and dialoguing with what is different, we live in the hell of the same, in our vicious circle, in an environment full of vices and obscenities, in the worst sense of word.

In the biblical narrative, Moses, who was trying to lead his people to a new path, wanted to stone him and blasphemed against the proposal of a different life (Exodus 17,3-7), even asked for the return of Egyptian slavery (any resemblance to the current politics is no coincidence), and also in chapter 4 of John, Jesus goes to meet the Samaritan woman, a woman and “pagan” and dialogues with her

In the week that women’s day was celebrated, this is important, which is not a biblical detail, but the essence of her message, Jesus, when meeting her, finds her interest strange and says “How come you, being a Jew, ask drink to me, a Samaritan woman?” (Jo 5,9).

The obscenity and sameness of the same not only impoverishes each one, but limits the civilizing process that is enriching the more the different can exist with dignity.


HAN, B. C. (2022) A expulsão do outro: sociedade e percepção. (The expulsion of the other: society, perception). Trans. Lucas Machado. Brazil, Petrópolis: Editora Vozes.


Clearing: method and contestation

08 Mar

It is through phenomenology that it is possible to resume the positivity of the being in relation to the only possible transcendentality, where the thing opens up in the dimension of the transcendental, the one that we developed in last week’s post and which in a certain way is opposed to Kant’s transcendent, which goes towards the knowledge of the object and for this reason it is confused with subjectivity.

In phenomenology, there is an intentional consciousness in its “a priori”, taken in a similar way to the subjective (proper of the subject), however, consciousness as a phenomenon reveals what is hidden, what the Greeks called “alétheia”, but at that moment science and all awareness of it was early.

In the phenomenal experience of the clearing (lichtung) there is the truth of the being that gives itself with a kind of “arch-phenomenon” (Ereignis), this is the very thing of phenomenology, where its intentionality is, but this also remains hidden.

If we create a void in consciousness in a phenomenal way (the phenomenological epoche), we open ourselves to our truth, we can enter a clearing even before an external event clears us up, this is the reason why humanism in both Heidegger and Sloterdijk is tied to history.

It was Hans Georg Gadamer who developed “The Question of Historical Consciousness” in his contestation of the romantic historical truth which is a quasi-determinism defended by many variants of leftist thought (Marx did not defend it), however there is the question of “natural time” in opposition to “human time”, a self-awareness of consciousness itself.

The hermeneutic circle method is a way to break this conception of consciousness that is only “temporal”, but it comes up against what must be “beyond the human”, shrouded in mystery and vices of historical interpretation.

Rüsen (2011) says that there is a type of historical consciousness made through the “intellectual transformation of natural time into human time”, understanding natural time as contingent events and human time as human representations of life itself.

Few are able to see in their own representations distortions of the truth, interpretations and repressed feelings that do not “clear” the conscience, this seen in a civilizing panorama transforms authoritarian, inhuman and destructive concepts into obscurity of the conscience, not to use the Greek alethéia again.