The “Operação Lava-Jato” and the Arendtian Antipolitics: The Brazilian Public REALM As a Spectacle of Impotence

Tuesday, 17 July 2018
Homero GOUVEIA, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil
Lilian Santos ARAÚJO, Universidade Federal da bahia, Brazil
Leandro Mario DA LUZ, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil
Leno Falcão COSTA, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil
Moiara REZENDE, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil
The “Operação Lava-Jato” is one of the most relevant politcal and social facts in recent history of Brazil and Latin America. Its developments profoundly affect the stability and organization of the Brazilian State, implying high-level personalities from current and past governments, and even from other Latin American countries. However, the “Operação Lava-Jato” uses and it is used by massmedia groups as a field of contention and an instrument of action. It assumes a logic similar to soap operas - television genre very popular in this region of the globe. Presented by mass media by phases, plea bargaining, and creative titles, its narrative sctrutue reminds elements like episodes, seasons and plot-twists. Prosecutors, judges, police officers are treated as idols of pop culture. Seen as heroes who fight against enemies - the political and business class - "Operação Lava-Jato" becomes itself a actor within the Brazilian social arena. As a result, an aura of legitimacy is created around the "Operation", which authorizes it socially to supplant - not infrequently - certain instruments of democracy, such as public transparency, due processo of law, procedural guarantees. The research investigates the novel logic, which imposes the political event as a spectacle for society, reinforcing the idea that civil society is powerless to promote the necessary transformations itselves - and that they can only be made from the performance of the heroes of burocracy. This qualitiative researches uses documental and imagery sources. The conceptual debate brings the concept of politics and public realm, by Hannah Arendt; and society of the spectacle, of Guy Debord, the proposal of an antipolitical society - to explain the influence of the mass media as a factor of social normalization for the reduction of political and democratic quality in pós-industrial societies.