The year 2023 begins with a piece of news that opens news all over the world. On January 8th, thousands of Bolsonaro voters, uneducated extremist hooligans, storm Brazilian institutions in the Federal District.
Among these extremists there are diverse profiles. Some carry out barbarities: they block, invade, break, attack. Others manipulate and mobilize: they forward videos of vandalism, articulate, finance, structure. The manipulators often come from a business, political elite, which, thanks to vandalism, is now more visible. I highlight two reflections on these extremists, drawing parallels with Spain: the quality of their education and technological messaging as a key weapon in their manipulation.
The low quality of education received by the executors is evident. These demonstrate against symbols that also represent the same elite that they perceive as an ally, but that manipulates them. They destroy designer furniture, culture, spaces, institutions. These symbols are equivalent to millions of euros of the patrimony of the country that, contradictorily, these executors claim to love.
Likewise, the poor quality of the education of the manipulative elite is exposed. They don’t care about the threat to the democracy conquered by their parents. Neither is the safety of the streets that their children travel. The education they received was not able to expand their perception of the world beyond their navels: “Me first.” Your sensitivity is limited to your individual targets. For example, amassing greater fortunes and paying less taxes, although at the cost of the education and health of the people, whose hunger may threaten them in their streets.
Technological social networks send us biased information to bill about our screen times and likes. Biases eliminate a common language that allows us to understand each other, making us hypermanipulable, or ‘anti-modernizable’
Those extremists, executors and manipulators, ignorant and oblivious to the construction of rigorous knowledge, are what the philosopher Bruno Latour defines as “anti-modern”: those who from medieval lenses exalt illusorily patriotic and religious values and precepts while ignoring science. The anti-moderns attack values such as social justice or democracy, which the moderns (post-medievals who perceive the world through the exhausted left-right pairing) empty their meaning by distancing themselves from the people. they leave the town orphan of representativeness. They prepare the ground for the anti-moderns to land, manipulate and convince the people they adopt. I clarify it.
In Brazil, as in Spain, modern pamphlets their plans for impact, sustainability, listening, transformation. Meanwhile, the anti-moderns, under their political marketing strategy and positioning to get to power, really get close to the orphaned people.
Strategically, Bolsonaro was baptized as an evangelical, conquering his main bastion of voters, the town orphan. Now, late, modern Brazilian politicians seek to align themselves with evangelical values without losing the modern vote. Vinicius do Valle, PhD in Political Science from the University of São Paulo and political scientist, author of the book Between Religion and Lulismoargues: “Progressives must dialogue with evangelical conservatives if they want to progress.”
I usually do sustainability projects with former drug trafficking leaders from Brazil who now lead social projects. Often, when leaving criminality, they also become evangelicals and some even pastor. The process is so powerful that I have seen more than one faint at evangelical conversion ceremonies to which I was invited.
[Los extremistas] they destroy designer furniture, culture, spaces, institutions. These symbols are equivalent to millions of euros of the patrimony of the country that, contradictorily, these executors claim to love
The evangelical church, whose objectives are not transparent, knew how to get closer, on the ground, to the people orphan. She has the humility to speak his language, to know and value his rich culture. Solves problems. You don’t waste time building templates structured on slides to make an impact. The evangelical network restructures families, recovers drug addicts and criminals, generates income for those orphans of society and the State, teaching them and supporting them to undertake and be employed.
In a European key, in 2015 the neo-Nazi party was the third most voted political force in the Greek presidential elections. At that time, I was collaborating in self-management social projects in Greece. In the favela in Perama, as in Canada Real in Madrid, which is the largest favela in Europe, I came across similar phenomena. ex-leftist families, orphans of the State, voting out the anti-modern extremists.
Technological messaging as a key manipulation weapon
Cambridge Analytica was decisive in the election of Donald Trump in 2016. It highlighted technology and social networks as a key weapon of manipulation by anti-modernists.
Harvard emeritus professor Shoshana Zuboff published about the most destructive, authoritarian and wealth-concentrating society project in human history. It is the most perverse project because it is invisible. You don’t see blood like in anti-modern dictatorships. Technological ventures seek to automate us through behavior engineering.
Our automation happens through the constant control of our behavior. As a society, we are already addicted to screens and likes; which nullifies us as individuals and human beings, argues Zubboff. We are expropriated from what is human: from our ability to be autonomous and to build our own meaning for our existence. In other words: we lose the ability to decide, find purposes, see and perceive our physical surroundings.
[Los modernos] they leave the people ‘orphaned’ of representativeness. They prepare the ground for the anti-moderns to land, manipulate and convince the people they adopt.
For example, many expose their lives and intimacies in “glass aquariums”. What power do we grant to social networks? Who decides what you consume, where you go, what routes you choose? The power of these technological ventures is unimaginable. Some people come to expose their criminal acts by uploading videos to the networks, whether they are gangs of rapists in Spain or vandalism in Brazil.
Likewise, Zeynep Tufekci, a professor at Columbia and Harvard Universities and a columnist for the The New York Timestechnological social networks send us biased information to bill about our screen times and likes. Biases eliminate a common language that allows us to understand each other, making us hypermanipulable, or anti-modernizable.
Lula, and the party he leads, were wrong in previous years. However, there is no other leader with his ability to transform a lame education, find common languages, establish quality dialogues, involve and unite the country and countries (China, the United States, Italy or Russia immediately expressed their support), and involve technological companies in common projects of society under new social contracts. Returning to disappoint the people again implies the responsibility of anti-modernizing their homeland and returning it to medieval times.
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