Is there a political logic?

by Vinício Carrilho Martinez*

Translated and Reviewed by Matheus Lucas Hebling

Without planning and strategy, making oneself political, democratic or not, is doomed to failure, since it does not bring together virtues. Let us see that political virtues can either include the notion of Strength + Vigor + Cunning + Stability or an idea of “vertú contra furore”, for a single author (MAQUIAVEL, 1979). In the sense of “value against fury (violence), in the Renaissance, we also find other virtues: strength, justice, prudence, and temperance (MAURO, 1998), interpreting Dante (1998).
Cardinal virtues (virtù) can be highlighted for the good exercise of power, such as courage, valor, capacity, and political effectiveness (BOBBIO, 1985). In any case, it can be seen that, without virtues, vicissitudes can either occur as “alternatives” or as mere instabilities; vicissitudes without virtues run through the logic of exclusion: if I didn’t make a mistake, I might have been right. But what will be the political cost? Let’s imagine a war in which the commanders say that they were neither wrong nor right, in the choice of means and strategies. Even if all war is unnecessary, how many people would have died, unnecessarily, by the mistakes of the command?
Therefore, when we have the perspective of the so-called political realism ( Realpolitik ), the compensatory bet – neither won nor lost – contracts a primary error, in logic (which does not admit the conjunction and/or, since exclusion – “or” -, and admission – “and” -, are antithetical) and in politics (which only admits victory), as the result may be no more than “zero-sum”. Zero to zero, in democracy, what is it? It is an invitation to the opportunistic engagement of disruptive forces: some from a fascist cohort. On the contrary, “making oneself political”, with ample vigor in the polis, precisely to avoid the heel of “luck”, demands political responsibility and that one lives for politics – and not “from politics” (WEBER, 1979). This is the basic, insular rule so that Caesar does not cross the Rubicon.
This broad scenario, theater of political operations, techniques, tactics, and strategies of clashes and landings, domination or direction, we can call the Democratic Principle: intertwining, sometimes unraveling through the political clash, but always, primarily, to improve between processes, actors, factors. In other words, one can/should “negotiate in democracy”; however, never negotiate “the” democracy.
It is not for nothing that techné means art, politics, and technique. The art of negotiation, but also the art of the domination of power: virtù, as the ancient Romans would say. Or, following the classical Latin, virtus, virtualis , potency, and reason, until arriving at the Reason of State: “In effect: ‘It is acquired with strength, it is preserved with wisdom; and strength is common to many, but wisdom belongs to few” ( Ricciardi, 2005, p. 56). After all, there is no escapism or “power vacuum”. According to Virtu, old-fashioned virtus (Pagan ethics dominated by individualism), someone else takes the place – whether a Kaiser or the militias. This, finally, reveals a complementary understanding, a contradiction between virtù and the virtues: associated with complacency. The complacent people watched the rise of National Fascism – this is proof.
In a stage of escapism, denialism, and political isolationism, it is common, for example, for outsiders to negotiate with the underground and the result, as a form of government, is equivalent to Brazilian Idiocracy: breathing in disruptive chloroquine vapors, to the political Lumpemproletariat that is content with emergency aid in the pandemic. As followers of Bonaparte, from farce to tragedy, we are cattle in the slaughterhouse of a Bonapartist Caesarism – between Marx (1978) and Gramsci (2000).
This error implies saying that the inertia, the apathy, the stranding of the excluded, which the Greeks called ídion – or the submersion/ subsidy of Brecht’s “Political Illiterate”, of Reich’s Political Nobody (1982) ), from La Boetie ‘s “volunteer servants” (1986), in that node, which is Zamiatin ‘s “We”, from Asimov’s Robot (2014) –, leads us to the lack of results in the theater of operations, when not we have neither strategy nor direction since we are sunk in the immobility that makes us hostages to political realism. This is how we banned Politics, this is how we denied the people the Banquet of the Gods (BACON, 2005).
In another reference, let us remember that the ancient Greeks gave empty oyster shells, in a number equivalent to the years of banishment, and exile, to the social being that would cease to be a “political animal”. As can be seen, it is also the penalty for those who defy the order: Sininho, from the Black Blocs, was judicially condemned to political isolation, to political desocialization.
In the classic lesson of Max Weber (1993), especially when we look at our courts, we see that the patriarchs who only “live off politics” thrive among us. In National Fascism, all that is not there is precisely the “social life for politics”. This idea makes explicit the sense that, in politics, the objective is to win and not necessarily to convince.
Finally, there is a difference between democracy and autocracy (the opposite) to be highlighted: it is the verification that only in autocracy are opponents converted into enemies. That is, democracy is not the basis of magical realism, much less of tragic realism; As the saying goes, “the best is bad”.
In social and political democracy, every effort towards autonomy – a breadth of horizons for those who set their own rules, to “make themselves political” – will have unfinished but mandatory benefits in the struggle against technobureaucracy and in the dismantling of idiosyncrasies that fuel social hatred and acts of institutional/state barbarism.

If we think that, by itself, the democratization of politics – the guarantee of political pluralism, as stated in CF88 (art. 1, V) – also does not guarantee much, because we can have much “more of the same”, like Institutional Revolutionary (Mexico), then, it is necessary to be clear that democracy always requires adjectives: political democracy, social democracy, economic democracy, cultural democratization. In this way, we confirm our major premise, by stating that: in the impact of the Political Charter – the Federal Constitution of 1988 -, democracy pays, because it is compensatory.
The last Spatio-temporal confusion that we should address – antipathy towards the Civilizing Process – refers to the disruptive clash between democracy (or its myriad) and the resurgence of abusive, dissociative, corrosive forms of social power, notably in the 21st century. To is confirmed by the brief list below: Coup to the Constitution, Fascism, Military or unconstitutional dictatorship, Caesarism, soft Bonapartism, “color revolutions”, Hybrid Wars, Technofascism, Necrofascism, Necropolitics, State of Exception. However, due to the space already occupied and the complexity of the questions and elements, they will be themes treated in a specific way and concerning the critical understanding of the (e)reader.


ASIMOV, Isaac. I steal. Sao Paulo: Aleph. 2014.

BACON, Francis. Novum Organum & New Atlantis . São Paulo: Editora Nova Cultural, 2005.

BOBBIO, Norberto. The theory of forms of government. 4. ed. Brasília: UNB Publishing House, 1985.

DANTE ALIGUIERI. The Divine Comedy – Hell . São Paulo: Editora 34, 1998.

GRAMSCI, Antonio . Prison Notebooks. (Org. Carlos Nelson Coutinho). Volume III. Niccolò Machiavelli II . Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian Civilization, 2000.

LA BOETIE, Étienne. Discourse on voluntary servitude . Lisbon: Antígona Editions, 1986.

MACHIAVEL, Nicholas. The Prince – Machiavelli: introductory course to political science. Brasília: Publisher of the University of Brasília, 1979.

MARX, Karl. The 18th Brumaire and Letters to Kugelmann. 4th ed. Rio de Janeiro: Peace and Earth, 1978.

MAURO, Italo Eugenio. The Divine Comedy – Hell . São Paulo: Editora 34, 1998.

RINCIARDI, Maurizio. Princes and Reason of State in the Early Modern Age. IN: Duso, Giuseppe (org.). Power: a history of modern political philosophy. Petrópolis-RJ: Voices, 2005.

REICH, WILHELM. Listening. Joe Nobody! 10th edition. Lisbon: publications Sun Quixote, 1982.

WEBER, MAX. Sociology essays. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar Editors, 1979.
_____ Science and Politics: two vocations. 9th ed. Sao Paulo: Cultrix, 1993.

WIDE, Oscar. The soul of man under socialism. Porto Alegre: L&PM Pocket, 2003.

Vinício Carrilho Martinez is an Associate Professor at UFSCar and head of the BRaS research Group – Constitutional Studies and BRAS.

Vinício Carrilho Martinez (2022) "Is there a political logic?". Brazilian Research and Studies Blog. ISSN 2701-4924. Vol. 3 Num. 1. available at:, accessed on: May 17, 2022.

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May 9th, 2022|Categories: Autopost|Tags: , |

Jair Bolsonaro and Andrzej Duda speeches: just a coincidence?

by Adriana Luisa Alves Ortiz

Reviewed by Matheus Lucas Hebling


The presidents Jair Bolsonaro and Andrzej Duda are right-wing leaders elected in Brazil and Poland (Bolsonaro was elected in 2018 and Andrzej Duda was elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2020) through direct votes in democratic republics.

These two leaders prioritize the economy, reduce the government interference, minimize the welfare state and act according to relative morals and tradition, concretizing a moral-political project that allows them to have more power and contain government intervention, even if is not aligned with democracy ideal; so, they are related to the “Hayekian Neoliberalism” concept of conserving the traditional hierarchies, denies the social and contain the democratic power, just as Wendy Brown explains in her work “In The Ruins of Neoliberalism”. These characteristics will guide them as populists and conservatives.

Their populism, defined by Cas Mudde (2004), is a kind of division of the society between homogeneous or “pure people”, composed of voters and antagonists or “corrupt elite”, the enemy of the nation. Who seeks to take power from the corrupt elite becomes the savior and represents the will of the people. This explains the constant attacks by Jair Bolsonaro against the Workers’ Party (PT) and by Andrzej Duda against the European Union.

Bolsonaro used his social media accounts and the television during the presidential campaign in 2018 to accuse the PT (the presidential party from 2002 until 2016) of being involved in the most corruption scandal in the world history and showed himself as an “anti-system” figure, since he was part of the PSL, one of few parties that weren’t involved in the scandal. He intended to show Brazilians, tired of the corrupted system, that he would be the only alternative to end corruption.

Andrzej Duda uttered Eurosceptic speeches in his electoral campaign for the presidency in 2015, accusing the European Union constantly. As an example, in the Refugee Crisis, he said Europe would violate the human rights by forcing refugees to live in another continent and promoted Islamophobic speeches like “we don’t know how many terrorists in potential are coming”, to blame the Union again and be identified as a leader of a nation that, in 71%, believed refugees would increase domestic terrorism, according to the Pew Research Center, published in 2016.

However, conservatism appears in both cases too, like when the Polish president said in one of his 2020 election campaigns that “LGBTI ideology” is more destructive than communism, showing closeness to the 87% Roman Catholic Poles, which is quite conservative, and afraid to live once more the past of communism domination. Just like him, Bolsonaro said the “gender ideology” is a “devil thing” brought by the PT and that it should be out of schools. Also, his slogan “Brazil above all and God above everyone” was conquered to spread a patriotic and fundamentalistic Christian idea.

These discourses show a similar thought in two distinct countries, and, to get a sense of how different the context these discourses emerge, we can think about the insertion of Poland and Brazil in the Global North and South division proposed by Brandt’s Line.

The Brandt Line proposed by the German Chancellor Willy Brandt (1977) suggests the division of the world by aspects related to economy and development.
The countries with high economic and technological development, great social scores, trade relations in surplus, and low dependence on foreign relations belong to the Global North. In contrast, countries of the Global South have a past marked by colonization and exploitation of resources, followed by a quick growth after the independence process and has growing economic and social indices; in terms of foreign policy, the international trade relations of these countries are almost always geared towards the export of the first sector and they have a high dependence on the importation of products and technology from the richest countries.

Therefore, it can be said that Poland belongs to the Global North and Brazil to the Global South, a factor that already makes them different in development terms. Furthermore, it is possible to distinguish these two countries in terms of regional integration.

The influence of regional integration

Integration results from an intensification of the relationship between States supported by the rescue of organized groups that seek to articulate at the transnational level as a way of strengthening their capacity to exert pressure and influence on their respective governments. These articulations, however, can generate new goals or even new identities. In any case, they influence the interests of domestic groups and change the formulation of political preferences. Therefore, they become important elements in the decision-making process of the countries”.(MARIANO, 2015, p. 171)

Brazil, an active member of Mercosur since its inception, has even disputed the regional leadership with Argentinean when the integration was starting. Poland, a distant member of the European Union, became part only by May 2004 and entered the Schengen Area on December 21, 2007, 20 years after its creation. Furthermore, the country has not joined the Euro yet and maintains its national currency unit (Polish Zloty).

Brazil has bigger proximity to its region and aims for strengthening the identity mentioned by the author much more than Poland, which presents a huge abstention and incessantly prioritizes its sovereignty and national identity.

Besides that, Poland and Brazil experienced a recent process of installing a democratic regime; in Brazil, it took place after 3 decades of dictatorship caused by a military coup in Brazil, which officially came to an end when the direct election of Tancredo Neves happened in 1985 and Poland after more than 4 decades of communist domination, until 1989, with the installation of the semi-presidential democratic republic system.

All those facts shown make Brazil and Poland so different; although there are not enough facts to explain how civilians from both countries legitimize leaders with illegitimate speeches, there are two considerable points: globalization and social media.

Returning to 2012, when Barack Obama used Facebook posts during the US elections, his campaign was successful and he was elected. But the engagement increased in posts dedicated to attacking other candidates (Stetka et al., 2019: 6). This tactic was spread in some European countries, such as Poland and later the same happened in Brazil.
These cases go back to Stuart Hall’s definition of globalization, which is a set of:
processes operating on a global scale that cross national borders, integrate and connect communities and organizations in new combinations of space-time, which make the world, in reality, and inexperience, more interconnected. (HALL, 1992, p. 67)
But not only that, as Homero Gil affirms in “Social media and democracy”, the social media give the people an opportunity to express themselves all around the world regardless of social, cultural, and geographical status; so, they feel free to share their thoughts on social media just because of the desire to tell the world what they think or how they feel.

Thus, the use of social media was essential for them to capture the opposition of Brazilians and Poles, to dedicate their posts to attacks, and to be identified as the representatives of the will of the people. Once it happened in one country successfully, the same happened in others, concretizing Stuart Hall’s concept.

Considering all the elements of divergence, they didn’t matter too much in terms of politics. Nevertheless, social media caused direct impacts, and it deserves attention since the types of discourse internalized coerce opinions, disrespect minorities, and violate democracy.

BAND JORNALISMO. Bolsonaro chama ideologia de gênero de coisa do capeta. São Paulo: Band Jornalismo. 1 vídeo (3 min). Disponível em:
BROWN, Wendy. Nas ruínas do neoliberalismo: a ascensão da política antidemocrática no Ocidente. Santos: Editora Filosófica Politeia, 2019, p.23.
CIOCCARI, Deysi. PERSICHETTI, Simonetta. A campanha eleitoral permanente de Jair Bolsonaro: O deputado, o candidato e o presidente. Lumina. Juiz de Fora, v. 13, n. 3, p. 135-151, set.-dez. 2019.
Gil de Zúñiga, Homero; Huber, Brigitte; Strauß, Nadine (2018). “Social media and democracy”. El profesional de la información, v. 27, n. 6, pp. 1172-1180.
Gigitashvili, Givi. Sidło, Katarzyna. Merchants of Fear. Discursive Securitization of the Refugee Crisis in the Visegrad Group Countries. In: European Institute of Mediterranean. Barcelona, 7 Jan. 2019. Disponível em:
HALL, Stuart. A identidade cultural na pós-modernidade. 11ª ed.Rio de Janeiro: DP&A EDITORA, 1992, p. 67.
LOPES, Monalisa. ALBUQUERQUE, Grazielle. “2018, a batalha final”: Lava Jato e Bolsonaro em uma campanha anticorrupção e antissistema. CIVITAS. Porto Alegre, v. 20, n. 3, p. 377-389, set.-dez. 2020.
MARIANO, MP. As posições brasileiras no Mercosul: período de transição. In: A política externa brasileira e a integração regional: uma análise a partir do Mercosul [online]. São Paulo: Editora UNESP, 2015, pp. 109-143.
MUDDE, Cas. The Populist Zeitgeist. Government and Opposition. Oxford, v. 39, n. 4, p. 541-563, 2004.
Polónia – European Union. In: União Europeia. Disponível em:
POLISH election: Andrzej Duda says LGBT ‘ideology’ worse than communism. In: BBC. 14 jun. 2020. Disponível em:
Population: demographic situation, languages, and religions. In: Eurodyce. 18 Jan. 2022. Disponível em:
PRESIDENTE Duda enfatiza a necessidade de mudanças na UE. In: Prezydent.PL. Varsóvia, 19 set. 2016. Disponível em:,2921
Stetka, V., Surowiec, P. and Mazák, J. (2019) Facebook as an instrument of election campaigning and voters’ engagement: comparing Czechia and Poland. European Journal of Communication, 34 (2). pp. 121-141.
The Brandt Report: A Summary. In: Share The World Resources. 31 Jan. 2006. Disponível em:

Adriana Luisa Alves Ortiz is a member of the BRaS Research Group Social in Media Studies and a volunteer intern in What’s Rel? E-mail:

Adriana Luisa Alves Ortiz (2022) "Jair Bolsonaro and Andrzej Duda speeches: just a coincidence?". Brazilian Research and Studies Blog. ISSN 2701-4924. Vol. 3 Num. 1. available at:, accessed on: May 17, 2022.

May 9th, 2022|Categories: Vol. 3 Num. 1|Tags: |

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