Connecting Activists and Activism In Brazil

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In Brazil, there is no activism.
In Brazil, there are activist people.
is that the first is a noun and as such it is
supposed to name what activists do. The
second is an adjective, and it qualifies the
person who consciously acts for change. At
least it is supposed to.
The Portuguese language allows each ’I’,
who uses it, to make nouns out of adjectives,
and so activists become activism
itself when Brazilian ’I’s use one and another
term indistinctly. So, in Brazil there is a
situation that may seem strange to those in
the United States that, while there are
activists, there is no held-in-common tradition
of activism.
This phenomenon has been creating an
environment where each ’I’ designs a society
such that the action of the individual
seems more relevant than individuals acting
together. Thus, what could be recognized
as the coordination of many for
change ends up being perceived as the initiative
of one.
I say “design a society” because I agree
with the assertion of society being what
people – like you and me – do in language
and together with others when
If there is no coordination of ’I’s actions,
then there is no space in the public domain
for activists to compose actions together.
There is no activism as a movement in
which each ’I’ desires peculiar changes for
the benefit of those who benefit from participating
together in the designing of their
own society. By this, each ’I’s desires and
needs could be – respectively – attended
and satisfied, but currently there is no systemic
approach to the problems that call
each activist to action.
When a systemic approach to problems
is missing, seemly unrelated problems will
not be seen as intimately related. So also,
when problems are perceived apart from
the system that creates them, one consequence
may be that the effort to change
something becomes the effort to stop
In Brazil, dictatorship was stopped in
1984, and yet, Brazil is still under dictatorship.
When the military dictatorship was
abolished, the change in government
proved more in name only and less in substance
or real structural changes. At the
time, what was most wanted was the right
to vote, and that was achieved.
And yet, is being able to vote the main
criterion for distinguishing one system
from another in Brazil?
Nowadays, Brazilian ’I’s use the following
terms to refer to that period: “the
rebels” and “the movement against dictatorship“.
At the time, the ’I’s moving
against dictatorship did not baptize their
movement with a word or a phrase to
name each ’I’s doings and wantings.
The lack of having a name that could
express what the efforts of the resistant ’I’s
were for left a gap, which was filled by
some other ’I’ who, maybe very intentionally,
decided to use terms that do not emphasize
the strong potential character of these
actions for change or for coordination neither
among each ’I’ nor groups of ’I’s.
Rather, the terms chosen emphasize the
character of independent events of the
actions. These terms also strongly imply the
quality of “opposition” to something, and
reinforce the object of opposition as so as to
dismiss it. As it turned out, dictatorship’s
obligation not to vote became democracy’s
obligation to vote on the ’I’s who are supposed
to represent each ’I’s interest in the
executive and legislative systems.
But corporate institutions have been
playing an essential role in government
decisions currently. Whose obligation is it
to vote on a board of directors?
My current formulation is that to state
the “againstness” to something is an invitation
to unsystematic changes, while “forness”
is an invitation to further think of
and speak about what things might replace
the current undesirable ones. And so, in
the process of finding the “how can it be
done“, ’I’s find ways to deal with language
and time “in time“. This involves languaging,
which I use when I want to talk about
organizing ways of thinking and speaking
that arise out of the past organizations of
ways of thinking and speaking. So by “deal
with language,” I mean ’I’s at least going
through a dynamic process of naming, distinguishing,
and describing.
My desire here is talk about the last
term in the list (“describing“) – but as a
noun. I use description when I want to talk
about an ’I’ observer, observing a system,
languaging it, and observing the observation
when doing it. By contrast, I use
explanation to mean an understanding of a
description, from which it is assumed the
observer contributes nothing to the observation,
with a consequence also that
description become static.
In my present frame, activism will have
been composed in Brazil – under any possible
and significant name – when each ’I’
activist has made each ’I’s problems clear
by descriptions (not explanations) and
used the public domain to provoke desired
consequences with other ’I’ activists. I
don’t know if this is democracy; I am
sure—at this now—that this is part of a
democratic society. .

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