Monday, January 07, 2019

Bolsonaro and Ideology

Jair Bolsonaro and his allies use the word "ideology" a lot. For them, it means "things we don't like." The Ministry of Education suggested that scholarships for postgraduate degrees abroad will be scrutinized (and rejected) for ideological content. Of course, imposing such a rule is a decision based solely on ideology.

The funny thing about ideology is that we all like to think everyone else has one except us. We just follow common sense, while everyone else is being manipulated by ideological overlords of some kind. Using the word "ideology" is quite similar to using "terrorist," which very often also just refers to people we don't like.

At the moment, Bolsonaro refers to ideology largely in terms of feminism, which he hates in large part because he wants everyone to accept rigid definitions of gender. As the Minister of Traditional Family Values says, girls will be princesses and boys will be princes. For them, rigid adherence to a particular rule because of religion is not ideology.

What you can be sure of is that behind every reference to ideology is a desire for control. The government will create rules specifically intended to reject all ideas other than the ones it approves of. Do things our way, or else. Professors in particular are in the cross-hairs.


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