September 22, 2020

Bolsonaro corners “cultural Marxism” in its first year

The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has intensified in his first year of office, which meets Wednesday, his crusade against everything he considers “Marxist”, especially in the areas of Education and Culture, two of the main sectors he believes “dominated” by the “leftist ideology”.

Since he was a candidate for the presidential elections he won in October 2018, Bolsonaro defended a Brazil “similar” to that of “40 or 50 years ago” in terms of customs and proposed combating the ideology that, he says, has “dominated” the education, cultural production and the press of the country.

“In his analysis, Brazil is experiencing a moral and security crisis, which would be caused mainly by gender equality and the acceptance of homosexuality,” said the philosopher and professor at the University of Sao Paulo Renato Janine Ribeiro, who He was also Minister of Education of former President Dilma Rousseff between 2015 and 2016.

When he assumed the Presidency on January 1, 2019, Bolsonaro reinforced his battle against “leftism” with measures such as the imposition of “filters” on content that does not fit his ultraconservative vision of the world or the reduction of resources allocated to areas such as education , culture and science.


Throughout the year, the Ministry of Education accumulated a series of controversies. After a short and controversial management by Brazilian nationalized Colombian Ricardo Vélez, economist Abraham Weintraub assumed the portfolio last April.

In eight months as a minister, Weintraub accused students of “fussing” with public money, affirmed that Brazilian public universities house “marijuana plantations” and even said that the current teaching model prefers to “discuss sexuality” to “read and write”.

The last chapter of the Bolsonarist offensive in the educational field took place recently, when the Government announced that it would not renew the contract with a public television dedicated to education that has been operating since 1995, for its “leftist” programming, which promoted topics such as “gender ideology”.

“The agenda of this Government is to denounce teachers who deal with intolerance of homosexuals, slavery, women’s equality. They assumed power with a hostile project to everything that was done in the last 25 years,” Janine said.

“In the best case scenario, this was a wasted year. In the worst case, we started a setback,” he said.


The cultural production of the country that, according to the president, has also been dominated by the left in the last 30 years, is also in the spotlight of Bolsonaro.

In his first year in office, the president fulfilled the promise to eliminate the Ministry of Culture, now converted into a Secretariat, has significantly reduced his budget and has encouraged the application of “filters” to exhibitions, films and television programs that present content “inadequate.”

Among the most emblematic cases of censorship are the revocation of financing for television series with LGTB characters and the withdrawal of an announcement from a state bank for presenting the ethnic, racial and sexual diversity of Brazil.

Bolsonaro has pointed out that “it is not about censorship, but about preserving Christian values.”

The controversy was revived when the humorous group “Porta dos Fundos” suffered an attack with Molotov cocktails at its headquarters in Rio de Janeiro due to its Christmas special, which portrays Jesus Christ as a homosexual and for which a commission of the Chamber of Deputies decided to summon Netflix to explain.

For the Secretary of Culture of the city of Sao Paulo, Alê Youssef, the Government “has an agenda to combat national identity,” which “involves culture, the Amazon, the Indians and several other icons of national identity.”

“They can do whatever they want. Sao Paulo is independent and we will continue to exercise our role under the precepts of democracy and freedom of expression,” he told Efe Youssef, who assumed the Secretariat in January, after Bruno Covas, of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), will replace the now governor Joao Doria in the position of mayor.

The secretary also announced that the capital of São Paulo will soon hold a festival with all the productions vetoed by the Government, with which he hopes to face this “flirting with authoritarianism.”

Among the works confirmed at the festival is the show “Res Pública 2023”, which had its premiere canceled for portraying the celebration of a New Year’s Eve in a dystopian “Brazil Tropical Fascist” in 2022, according to the distribution of the production.

“With the veto we perceive that it is a state policy, a crusade against culture, education, science,” the director of the work, Biagio Pecorelli, told Efe.

“These are irreparable losses in the institutional field of rights achieved in various fields,” added actor Bruno Caetano.


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