Those who try to explain the missing link between the political future of Brazil and that of the tides of growing populist or leftist bias that in other times used to refer to the now untraceable Western leadership, should study how President-elect Lula da Silva will comply with his demanding and complex schedule.
Especially when the process includes the reinsertion of their country in the world; the notion of freezing the negotiation of access to the OECD; gain the status of hegemonic country (regardless of the scope of such a gallon or rite) and maintain equidistance in its ties with the United States, the European Union and China.
So far no one says they know how viable and costly the package is that the PT leaders will dare to put on the table in order to get that deal from the governments and the relevant forums and institutions for dialogue, regulation (of trade, ecological and climate change), security and global peace; credit, cooperation and integration of the planet.
To answer such a conundrum, it is necessary to confirm that the geo-strategic, economic and environmental package (the Amazonian territory) that Brazil is preparing to provide as a global service (global commons) to the planet in order to preserve (without giving up sovereignty) its virtues and natural properties, lung status and sensitive source of raw materials for industries such as pharmaceuticals, will be enough to receive equal treatment in places like the Group of 7 (where his government used to be a frequent guest).
Obviously, his interlocutors will not only measure the geostrategic fact, but how much tangible value it means to incorporate Brazil as a hegemonic country in each entity or group of power.
In his first post-election speech in São Paulo, the President-elect gave some clues. He spoke, with a script full of European slogans, about the benefits of being an environmentalist nation and the commitment to bring the desertification process of the Brazilian Amazon to zero, a goal that, by smell, leads us to believe that the next government it has already discussed seductive ententes with the EU, which seem to go beyond the usual and sometimes controversial concept of sustainable development.
No one clarified whether Lula meant that his government intends to totally ban desertification or will go for the concept of achieving net zero as a level of desertification, a little word that completely changes the meaning, scope and rigor of the commitment.
Diving into what is happening, we must remember that the Workers’ Party (PT) and many protagonists who this time approached that electoral front, such as the experienced cadres who were forged with the social-democratic generation of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, saw with good eyes the idea of depoliticizing cooperation actions with South America (where most of the countries are part of Mercosur); resuscitate the strong hegemonic presence of Brazil in global and regional forums; and the framework of turning that activism into realistic projects of connectivity and sustainable development.
In other words, a roadmap that aims to decouple the Southern Cone regional cooperation process from the pendular mood or hepatic reaction of its unpredictable rulers.
At the beginning of October Lula had anticipated, in a press conference, that these would be the inputs of the platform that he hoped to impose if he managed to reach, for the third time, the Planalto Headquarters (the Presidential Palace; see my column of 9/ 10/2022).
In this cycle it became clear that the PT leaders are not overwhelmed with happiness when they hear the romantic concept of “soul mates” that the headline of our Casa Rosada coined and slobberingly repeats.
Under that analytical roof, no one thinks they see the arrival of a framework of cooperation or rescue capable of diluting, by magic, the economic and social chaos of the nations that live awaiting the winks, signals or help from beyond to face their earthly obligations in the hereafter.
But, as Jorge Sábato would say, not everything is dark at night. In mid-October Claudio Escribano, the legendary former journalistic deputy director of the newspaper La Nación (LN 10/15/2022), conceived an essay on post-truth that identifies by name each ingredient of that intellectual and snobbish stew of Parisian effluvia (the vocabulary or errors in this column are not attributable to the talent of that great colleague).
From these groups emerged the idea of ignoring the referential value of truths (some include facts), under the assumption that they have no entity and can be rejected with other human constructions. They created, in short, a magnificent jubilee for those who today abuse the art of lying in areas such as culture or public policy.
And that vibe hit the fourth estate with the ferocious big bang of social media.
Suggestively, Escribano underlined the existence of such a scenario, but avoided indicating the reflections and changes that will be necessary to mount to neutralize certain priorities and distortions caused by algorithms, which today tend to block or shape significant portions of the human factor in the fourth estate.
Hence, the referential press knows, or should know, that there is an urgent need to civilize the conflict that mediates between the interests of the human libido and the genuine importance of each content, a terrain that should not be won by the monosyllabic doctrine practiced by the new generations. .
Julio Ramos, the inventor of Ámbito Financiero, made intensive use of “liked” or “did not like”, a modality that can be gratifying for those who believe that substantiating an opinion, or reporting with journalistic quality and method, can be a form of outrage to human rights.
Escribano’s basic premise is that journalism has to win the reader’s interest without giving up the square to the distorting presence of social networks.
The essay also enumerates the satanic effects of the new story and advises against post-truth rigged texts when disseminating public policy. He recalled that Aleksandr Dugin, one of the most influential advisers to President Vladimir Putin, is the craftsman of stories aimed at giving supposed logic and brilliance to the bestial massacre that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is generating today.
These facts do not make the task of major media publishers any easier, who have the sensitive burden of deciding how this game continues. It is the obligation to question, with greater intensity, how far the priority assigned to the carnal interest of the reader should go and how far it is necessary to persist, with or without subordination to technological ratings, in the notion of respecting the quality and importance of the editorial content.
In other words, how far does the algorithm go and how far should the notion of drilling go in the issues that define the institutions and the socio-political games of real life.
Today journalistic knowledge, or half-machine-trained academics, do not have timely access to the remote places where the original cutting-edge debates take place to compare, with reasonable democracy, the market of ideas.
The first bottleneck of an academy of excellence is the low intensity of the study programs and the lack of adequate teachers to respond to each requirement.
Much of contemporary wisdom is not learned in the academy but rather from the work or debates with highly sophisticated practitioners, such as those who are battered into high-flying diplomacy, atomic and space engineering, or the advanced branches of artificial intelligence. Atahualpa Yupanqui used to affirm that “no one can leave outside, what is not inside”.
Jorge Riaboi is a diplomat and journalist.