Analysis | Brazilian science and its enemies

Contrary to war theorist Clausewitz, Foucault[1] states that politics is prolonged war by other means and that it imposes “civil peace”, not to suspend the effects of war or to neutralize the imbalances that manifested themselves in the final battle, but to perpetually reinscribe these relations of force, through a kind of silent war on institutions and economic inequalities, on language and even on the bodies of individuals.

War that, these days, becomes less silent, in fact, quite the opposite, becomes thunderous, because whoever does it, says in a loud and clear tone what he is doing and against whom. And among the victims are Brazilian science, universities, public research centers and institutes, and researchers themselves.

This demonstrates once again the retrograde and anti-national vision of our elites, who again prove to be our enemies

That said, it is worth noting that national science as we know it today is recent, established only at the beginning of the 20th century, around 1909, the result of four centuries of resistance by the Portuguese crown and the Portuguese-Brazilian elite to found universities in the national territory .

Thanks to this, Brazil was one of the last nations in Latin America to implement an institution of this nature, trailing, for example, nations such as Mexico (1551), Peru (1555) and Argentina (1613).

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A picture that showed that Science by and for Brazilians was not considered a national priority, at least from the point of view of “our” imperial and republican elites, which under the economic logic of backwardness and submission to the European foreign and the US, have always looked for a way to stop it, just as they do today with CEITEC – Center of Excellence in Advanced Electronic Technology, the only semiconductor factory in the Southern Hemisphere of the planet, located in Porto Alegre. Yes, semiconductors, this item that we see missing and raise car prices in the country.

For the Brazilian philosopher Álvaro Vieira Pinto[2], the ruling elites, in societies like ours, normally alienated, behave like irrational animals: they prey on nature to survive, alienated man preys on culture.

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It takes from it the goods, the ideas, which it stores in the spirit, but it is incapable of producing anything original with them, that is, of creating the authentic emerging culture, with the help of what it has absorbed.

Paulo Guedes, Brazil’s Economy Minister represents this elite. Cynic, cruel and of bad character, he makes fun of the millions of starving wretches, purposely brought to this condition by the anti-people and anti-life economic agenda he manages.

It remains for students, professors and technical agents of public universities to rise up against those who enslave the people

Not satisfied with this, on the last 7th of October, in the dead of night as the burglars do, it cut 92% of the Ministry of Science and Technology’s budget for research grants and projects, from the already weakened and scrapped budget. Brazilian science, which has accumulated record reductions since mid-2016 with Michel Temer.

In turn, without blinking, senators and federal deputies accepted Guedes’ request and decided to withdraw R$ 600 million from Brazilian science.

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Now, this demonstrates once again the retrograde and anti-national vision of our elites, who again prove to be our enemies, and who today are waging an open war against the Brazilian people and public universities, the latter, foreshadowed by the investigative farce that led to the tragic death of the rector of the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Luís Carlos Cancellier, in 2017.

Obviously, the attack on national science today is no exception and can be seen at different times in our history, but what remains constant is the international lobby (Germany, France, USA…) for the sale of its scientific products and technological, as well as vaccines and semiconductors, to the detriment of national technical-scientific products.

In other words, multinationals, with the help of “anti-Brazil” politicians and businessmen, and with personal economic interests, sabotage national science so that the country can remain dependent on foreign science.

Given this situation and immediately, it remains for students, professors and technical agents of public universities to rise up against those who enslave the people, depredating culture and destroying Brazilian science, and, therefore, beyond the production of knowledge. With a high degree of sophistication, this moment demands from us collective actions “extra-university”, which reject and protect the public university and Brazilian science from its extinction.

By Roberto Barbosa, researcher and professor of physics at the Federal University of Paraná.


[1] Michel Foucault, Microphysics of Power (2015).

[2] Álvaro Vieira Pinto, Science and Existence: Philosophical Problems of Scientific Research (1979).

Source: BoF Paraná

Edition: Frédi Vasconcelos

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