By electing Lula, Brazil voted “for democracy, for the cause of the starving millions and for respect for the constitutional order” (L. Boff)

This year’s 2022 presidential election has been a turbulent one. Alongside the bright, cheerful and jovial side of the Brazilian soul, its hateful, dark and inhuman side also exploded, which Sérgio Buarque de Holanda had already spoken about, in a footnote in his Raízes do Brasil (1936) , of the Brazilian as a “friendly man”, since both love and hate come from the heart (cor-diale). This hatred, in a surprising form, has conquered the political scene and poisoned even the most intimate social relationships. For me it was even a metaphysical problem: in the crucial moments in which the fate of a people is decided, evil and the inhuman, fine finaliter do not prevail. And they have not prevailed, however many artifices have been practiced.

Those who voted for democracy, for the cause of the starving millions and for respect for the constitutional order were able to breathe a sigh of relief like those who escape a serious accident. In this context, the verses of Os Lusíadas by Camões, at the beginning of the Fourth Canto, take on particular significance: “After a stormy storm / nocturnal darkness and whistling wind / brings in the morning serene clarity / hope of port and rescue”. Yes, we have experienced a rescue from a national tragedy with irreparable consequences, in case the adversary, whose project appeared retrograde and ultra-conservative, triumphed.

The effect of the victory was an indescribable joy. Many cried, others launched the primary cry of liberation, like one who feels trapped in a dark cave. There was celebration all over the country.

The party theme is a phenomenon that has challenged great names such as R. Caillois, J. Pieper, H. Cox, J. Motmann and F. Nietzsche himself. It is that the party reveals what is most precious in us in the midst of gray everyday life. The party makes you forget the fatigue of the struggle and suspends the time of the clocks for a moment. It is as if, for an instant, we have broken space-time, because in the party these dimensions do not matter or are totally forgotten. That’s why the parties go on as long as possible.

Curiously, in the party that is a party, everyone gathers together, acquaintances and strangers embrace each other, as if they were old friends, and it seems that all things are reconciled.

Plato rightly said: “the gods created feasts so that human beings could breathe a little”. Indeed, if the struggle in the countryside has been costly and full of fears, almost stealing our hope, the party is more than a breath of fresh air. It is to redeem the cheerfulness of a country without hate and lies, as a method of government. The feeling is that all the effort was worth it.

The party, after a victory in the last minutes of the game, seemed like a gift that no longer depended on us, but on uncontrollable, I would say miraculous energies. Cheer simply explodes and takes us whole.

The shouting, jumping, music and dancing are part of the party. Where does the holiday cheer come from? Perhaps Nietzsche found the best formulation of him: “to rejoice in something, one must say to all things: welcome”. Therefore, in order to truly celebrate, it was necessary to affirm: “this victory is welcome”. Hard-won victory alone is not enough. We must go further and confirm the project and the political dream: “If we can say yes to a single moment” says Nietzsche “then we will have said yes not only to ourselves but to the whole of existence, we would say yes to the whole of our legend winning” (Der Wille zur Macht, book IV: Zucht und Züchtigung n.102).

This yes is the basis of our political commitment, of our involvement, of our principles, of our street work, of our effort to convince our proposal. Celebration is the strong time in which the secret meaning of our struggle reveals all its value and all its strength. We emerged from the party stronger to fulfill the promises made for the benefit of the country and of the humiliated and offended classes.

Let’s make a reference to religion, since it, like all religions, attributes great centrality to festivals, rites and celebrations. In large part, the greatness, for example, of the Christian or other religions, lies in its ability to celebrate its saints and saints, its spiritual masters, to carry out its processions, to build sacred temples, some of which are beauty. In the celebration the questions of reason and the fears of the heart cease. The practitioner celebrates the joy of his faith in the company of brothers and sisters with whom he shares the same beliefs, hears the same Holy Scriptures and feels close to God.

If this is true and, in fact, it is, we realize how wrong is the speech that blatantly announces the death of God. It is a tragic symptom of a society that has lost the ability to celebrate because it is saturated with material pleasures. We are witnessing, slowly, not the death of God, but the death of the human being who has lost sensitivity for the sufferer at his side, unable to cry over the tragic fate of refugees coming from Africa to Europe, or of immigrants Latin Americans seeking to enter the United States.

Let us return once again to Nietzsche, who sensed that the living and true God is buried under so many outdated elements of our religious culture and under the rigidity of the orthodoxy of the churches. Hence the death of God, which for him implied the loss of joviality, that is, of the divine presence in everyday things (joviality comes from Jupter, Jovis). The disastrous consequence is to feel alone and lost in this world (see Fröhliche Wissenschaft III, aphorism 343 and 125).

Because we’ve lost our joviality, much of our culture doesn’t know how to celebrate. He knows, yes, the parties organized for commercial purposes, the frivolities, the excesses of eating and drinking, rude expressions. In them there can be anything but cheerfulness of heart and joviality of spirit.

The joy was therefore indescribable when the president-elect appeared on November 16 at COP27 in Egypt, addressing the issue of the climate crisis on Earth. He showed the gravity of the new situation on the planet and its consequences for the most vulnerable in terms of damage and hunger. He challenged the powerful to keep what they had promised: to help the most fragile countries affected by the changed situation on Earth with one billion dollars a year. What head of state in the world would have the courage to speak the truths, which the Brazilian president-elect said in that world audience space? We feel proud because he made commitments responsibly and brought Brazil back to the world stage. To a large extent, the future of life on this planet depends on how we treat the Amazon biome, which spans nine countries. Coordinated, we will be able to help humanity find a way out of its systemic crisis and ensure a positive destiny for life and for all the inhabitants of this small planet.

Leonardo Boff

By electing Lula, Brazil voted “for democracy, for the cause of the starving millions and for respect for the constitutional order” (L. Boff) – FarodiRoma