Brazil: “We Must Clamp Down on the Nazi Internet!”


Paraguayan photoshop job from the Ex-Petista blog, cited by Olavo Carvalho as a reliable source in a Zero Hora column: “Police find fingerprints of PT members on the money!” Source not stated.

If anything characterizes our times, it is a sense of pervading chaos. In every field of human endeavor, the windstorms of change are fast altering the ways we live. Contemporary man is no longer anchored in certainties and thus has lost sight of who he is, where he comes from and where he is going. — The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, quoted in my Spinning the World Backwards.

Who is the true master of the universe in the age of Time magazine’s YOU? A technologist like Larry Page or Sergey Brin perhaps or maybe a marketer like Tim O’Reilly or John Battelle? Or could it be Edelman, Richard Edelman, the ubiquitous CEO of the even more ubiquitous Edelman PR agency, the largest private PR firm in the world. Edelman gets the Web 2.0 revolution better than anyone. He understands that there are no absolutes in this world, that everyone is self-created, that we — individuals and corporations alike — are all responsible for establishing our own version of the truth.

Congresso Em Foco — sort of a Brazilian version of The Hill — features Celso Lungaretti on “Goebbels-inspired noise machines of the left and right.”

Last article we ready by Lungaretti:

Lungaretti seems to be up to two rhetorical tasks here

  1. An appeal to the “radical middle” in the same vein as Cisneros of Venevision, with an ostentatious rejection of “the radicalism of both extremes”; and
  2. “Going Nazi” early and often

On Cisneros, see

On “going Nazi” in public debate, see also

In the process, Lungaretti makes an astonishing factual claim, without backing: That JIBRA, or the Independent Journalists of Brazil, headquartered in London, is an expression of Workers’ Party propaganda.

On which see also

It is the only concrete example that Lungaretti cites, in fact, of alleged Goebbels-style PT propaganda.

Which makes that aspect of this “fair and balanced” analysis of the phenomenon something of a “one-sparrow Spring” — a specious generalization from a single case. “Ronald Reagan had thick, oily hair. Therefore, all Republicans have thick, oily hair!”

But I myself once interviewed a very interesting and thoughtful former GOP congressman from the upper Midwest who was as bald as a cueball.

The problem is that I have been wondering about JIBRA myself, and have been unable so far to confirm anything that has been reported about it. I have tried fairly hard, too. I should probably see if there is any new information on the subject.

So far, I have not been able to trace any of the publications attributed to it to anyone identifiable, much less to supporters or members of the Workers Party.

In one case, there exists a blog that cites JIBRA frequently as somebody else’s work, but whose putative author bears the same name as one of the putative “London exiles” — even though the blog itself is datelined Fortaleza, Ceará.

The people who tend to spread the JIBRA memes are those kinds of bloggers who tend respond to the invitation to provide a profile by saying things like “Who am I? I often wonder that myself! Who is anyone, really, in the greater scheme of things?”

My favorite case: The “ex-petista” blogger cited as a source by Olavo de Carvalho. The portrait of the blogger showed a Bozo-style circus clown. See

The story of the “conspiracy theory” was spread, in fact — as I noted in that prior post — by a blog called Alerta Total.

Which has a long history of spreading the same sort of “tradition, family and property” gibbering that Lungaretti ostentatiously bashes here.

Which seems to imply that the source of Lungaretti’s claim that the left are a bunch of Goebbels-style propagandists may be the same source he spends most of the article assailing the credibility of.

Which makes me tend to suspect that this is the same sort of thing we saw in Colombia recently: Disseminating a message and attributing it to someone else in order to discredit them.

Most recently, for example, “Fidel Castro endorses Hillary Clinton for president!”

It’s a variation on the ancient Pompeiian satirico-political graffito: “The smelly bums who sleep in the park urge you to vote Claudius for mayor!”

See

An interesting, but fundamentally boneheaded, gambit in “how to win an argument without being right”: reverse plagiarism in the service of a straw man argument, with specious generalization from a single case.

In which case the proposition that “the left and right are equally guilty of Nazi propaganda techniques” — former president Cardoso of the PSDB “went Nazi” to the max on his political rivals, the PT, at a public event recently, calling them something like “propagandists in the tradition of Goebbels” — does not hold water.

Not based on the examples cited.

I have seen some pretty silly things on partisan Web sites identifying themselves as bloggers of the Lulistical Left myself, mind you.

On the other hand, when the Communist Party online daily, Vermelho, claimed that Fernando Henrique Cardoso had a love child with a domestic servant while he was president of Brazil, I was actually able to corroborate that factoid.

It happens to be true.

You can generally read Vermelho, I find, and not be gabblingly disinformed. You will be treated to a certain amount of leaping to vast, Hegelian conclusions, sure — “and thus we see the inherent corruption of the capitalist order!” — but what the hell: It is clearly labeled with the hammer and sickle, so it is not like you are not forewarned about its ideological habits of mind.

Mark Lungaretti down as a “probable logic-chopping gabbler” and follow up.

Solemn journalistic finger-wagging about the dangers of believing everything you read on blogs as an appeal to the “radical center” seems to be in fashion these days.

That Mexican videblogger you saw the other day trying to defend the legitimacy of the 2006 Mexican elections framed his discourse in precisely the same terms. See

The argument here seems to be a fairly inept attempt to spread a very common David “Fear and Misinformation Abound” Sasaki-style meme, known locally as ladrão chamando ladrão de ladrão, or “it’s a case of a thief calling a thief a thief.”

Astonishing that a reputable publication would run it.

On the wit and wisdom of Carvalho — who lives and works in Virginia these days, on a journalist’s visa, he says, buttonholing the American religious extreme right at think-tank cocktail parties — see also

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Omitted from broadcast commentary as posted to YouTube — is it really the version that aired? — but published in the
O Povo newspaper: “When Lula pointed to corruption under Cardoso …” Lula is a whore! (And so was Cardoso!) See TupiTube Too: The Censored Wit and Wisdom of Arnaldo Jabor and Other Nuggets from the Brazilian Netroots

A internet fornece tribuna a todos os cidadãos, que podem espalhar à vontade suas opiniões, interpretações e informações (verdadeiras e falsas), seja assumindo honestamente a autoria, seja ocultando-se como anônimos ou fakes.

The Internet provides a forum for all citizens, who are able to distribute opinion, interpretation and information (both true and false) at will, sometimes honestly assuming authorship, other times hiding behind anonymity or assumed identities.

Num primeiro momento, houve quem saudasse essa nova realidade como uma quebra do monopólio da imprensa e um respiradouro para a opinião pública tomar conhecimento de verdades que estariam sendo sonegadas pelos barões da mídia.

In the early days, there were those who saluted this new reality as a way of breaking the monopoly of the press, as breathing space in which public opinion could learn of truths that were being concealed by the barons of the media.

Agora, entretanto, evidencia-se cada vez mais o outro lado da moeda: abriram-se possibilidades praticamente infinitas de manipulação das consciências. Não só para impingirem-se como verídicos os eventos mostrados no pega-trouxas cinematográfico A bruxa de Blair, como também para a massificação de propaganda política enganosa, na linha do nazista Joseph Goebbels (“Uma mentira mil vezes repetida se torna uma verdade”).

Now, however, it is ever more obvious that there is another side to the coin: Practically infinite opportunities are presented for the manipulation of consciousnessnesses. And not just to present as real things that are shown in a trashy movie like The Blair Witch Project, but also for the mass distribution of deceptive political propaganda along the lines of Goebbels (“A lie repeated a thousand times becomes a truth.”)

That Goebbels quote, repeated a thousand times — almost always with a citation to the speech or text in which it is found — starts to have a thousand different wordings to it, I have noticed.

See this Wikipedia article on The Big Lie, for example:

The typical version of the quotation is:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

However, the citation is almost certainly fabricated. It is often attributed to “Joseph M. Goebbels,” giving him the wrong middle initial. A source is never given. And it contradicts everything Goebbels said about propaganda. Although he was entirely willing to lie when he thought it useful, he always insisted in public that propaganda needed to be truthful.

As empresas jornalísticas e seus profissionais são obrigados a respeitar limites, para não sofrerem os prejuízos financeiros decorrentes da perda de credibilidade e das ações judiciais. Não podem dar livre curso a fantasias e calúnias.

News organizations and their professionals are obliged to respect limits, in order not to suffer the financial damages that come from loss of credibility and lawsuits.

The entire amount of damages paid by Brazilian news organizations in libel lawsuits in 2006, according the Article 19, was $80,000.

Globo has annual revenues of a R$1.5 billion or more, on reads.

They cannot give free rein to confabulations and slander.

Oh, really?

I have seen a ton of cases where they demonstrably do. With great, gabbling enthusiasm. Diogo Mainardi is a respecter of limits by economic necessity?

This is a laughable statement.

Já os sites financiados por facções políticas pouco têm a perder, daí a desenvoltura com que agem. Direcionam-se para cidadãos frustrados e rancorosos, propensos ao fanatismo e, portanto, incapazes de perceber a total falta de verossimilhança naqueles relatos mirabolantes. Trata-se do mesmo caldo de cultura que gerou o nazismo e o fascismo.

The Web sites financed by political factions, on the other hand, have little to lose, thus the unbridled way they behave. They address themselves to frustrated, angry citizens, with a propensity to fanaticism, and therefore incapable of perceiving the total lack of verisimilitude in these astonishing reports. This is the same cultural caldron that gave rise to Nazism and Fascism.

How so? The Internet was not invented in those days.

Nazis and Fascists, like Alberto Fujimori in recent years, controlled or coopted the mass media — the press, radio, and (they pioneered it) TV — or simply smashed news media they could not control.

A extrema-direita, em sites como o Ternuma, Mídia sem máscara, Usina de letras e A verdade sufocada, prega ostensivamente um novo golpe militar, tentando reeditar, de forma mecânica, a receita que deu certo em 1964.

The extreme right, on sites like Ternuma, Media Unmasked, the Literature Factory and The Repressed Truth, openly preach a new military overthrow of the government, mechanically repeating the formula that worked in 1964.

The first two I can testify to personally. I do not know the other two. Best check.

Mas, se os sem-terra caem bem no papel de espantalho então preenchido pelas Ligas Camponesas de Francisco Julião e se Lula é tão useiro e vezeiro em dar trunfos para o inimigo quanto Goulart, outras peças do quebra-cabeças não se encaixaram: os controladores de vôo nem de longe indignaram a oficialidade como os subalternos das Forças Armadas (com destaque para os marujos liderados pelo cabo Anselmo), o Cansei e o Fora Lula só conseguem reunir gatos pingados, jamais as multidões das Marchas da família, com Deus, pela liberdade.

But if the landless workers movement is good fit for the scarecrow role once occupied by the Ligas Camponesas, and if Lula is just as able and willing to provide his enemies with ammunition as Goulart was, other pieces of the puzzle do not fit: the …

O mais risível é o papel de vilão principal, antes ocupado pela conspiração comunista urdida em Moscou e Pequim. Na falta de coisa melhor, os sites fascistas hoje alardeiam a periculosidade do Foro de São Paulo, por eles apresentados como a “organização revolucionária que está influenciando de maneira decisiva os destinos políticos da América Latina, em especial a América do Sul”.

[tktktktk]

Na verdade, trata-se apenas de um encontro bianual de partidos políticos e organizações sociais contrárias às políticas neoliberais, que vem acontecendo desde a reunião inicial de 1990, em São Paulo (daí o nome).

[tktktktk]

Olavo de Carvalho, misto de (péssimo) jornalista, (eficiente) propagandista e (pretenso) filósofo, descreve o Foro de São Paulo de forma tão delirante que parece Ian Fleming introduzindo a Spectre numa novela de James Bond: “…a entidade que já domina os governos de nove países não admite, não suporta, não tolera que parcela alguma de poder, por mais mínima que seja, esteja fora de suas mãos. Nem mesmo as empresas de comunicação e o Judiciário, sem cuja liberdade a democracia não sobrevive um só minuto. Com a maior naturalidade, como se fosse uma herança divina inerente à sua essência, o Foro de São Paulo, com a aprovação risonha do nosso partido governante, reivindica o poder ditatorial sobre todo o continente”.

[tktktktk]

As hostes virtuais petistas respondem com outros sambas do crioulo doido, como os dossiês sobre conspirações para derrubar o presidente Lula divulgados pelo fantasmagórico grupo Jornalistas Independentes do Brasil (Jibra), com sede oficial em Londres (!).

[tktktktk]

Assim, segundo o Jibra, as denúncias do mar de lama que marcou o primeiro mandato do presidente Lula não se deveram ao desmascaramento da organização criminosa que ora responde por seus crimes na Justiça, mas sim à má-fé dos formadores de opinião, que estariam sendo corrompidos para denegrir o angelical Zé Dirceu. Teria ocorrido o repasse de numerário, via Nossa Caixa, Bank of Boston e Santander Banespa, para “pelo menos 76 pessoas, entre jornalistas e outras personalidades”, incluindo os jornalistas Ricardo Noblat, Lílian Witte Fibe e Augusto Nunes, o deputado Fernando Gabeira e o ator Lima Duarte.

[tktktktk]

Além dos partidos rivais do PT, estariam envolvidos na fantástica tramóia os serviços de inteligência dos EUA e do Reino Unido – os quais teriam assassinado o brasileiro Jean Charles de Menezes no metrô londrino, não por o terem confundido com um terrorista, mas por acreditarem que ele fosse o “operador estratégico das ações do Jibra”!

[tktktktk]

O Ministério Público Federal e as autoridades policiais têm mostrado empenho no combate à pornografia e à pedofilia na internet, mas quase nada vêm fazendo contra as campanhas totalitárias – desde o golpismo da extrema-direita até a desmoralização e intimidação da imprensa por parte dos petistas. Muito menos para defender a honra dos cidadãos que são alvos diários de difamações e calúnias.

[tktktktk]

É preciso disciplinar o admirável mundo novo da Web, antes que ele se torne 1984.

It is necessary to discipline the brave new world of the Web before it becomes 1984.

One of those literary allusions is to Huxley, the other to Orwell.

Contrasting utopia with dystopia, and demonstrating supposed erudition in the field of English literature.

Huxley was fascinated with the notion that taking a lot of psychedelic drugs would solve all the world’s problems.

Orwell was a journalist who slept outdoors with bums, then wrote about the experience.

On Huxley’s brave new world as a utopian vision, however:

The world the novel describes is a utopia, albeit an ironic one: humanity is carefree, healthy and technologically advanced. Warfare and poverty have been eliminated and everyone is permanently happy due to government-provided stimulation. The irony is that all of these things have been achieved by eliminating many things that humans consider to be central to their identity — family, culture, art, literature, science, religion, and philosophy. It is also a hedonistic society, deriving pleasure from promiscuous sex and drug use, especially the use of soma, a powerful drug taken to escape pain and bad memories through hallucinatory fantasies. Additionally, stability has been achieved and is maintained via deliberately engineered and rigidly enforced social stratification.

These sorts of people are always citing books they have not actually read or understood.

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