The lack of solidarity and human helplessness in the perverse neoliberal logic

Cláudio Almir Dalbosco, Professor do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação da Universidade de Passo Fundo, Passo Fundo, RS, Brazil.

Francisco Carlos dos Santos Filho, Psicanalista, Professor colaborador do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação da Universidade de Passo Fundo, Passo Fundo, RS, Brazil.

Luciana Oltramari Cezar, Psicanalista, Doutoranda Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação da Universidade de Passo Fundo, Passo Fundo, RS, Brazil.

Logo Educação & Sociedade Revista de Ciência da EducaçãoIn the current reality, the impact of neoliberal rationality on the formation of the subject is devastating; such impact causes an ethical breach and shatters the inter-human bond. The essay Human helplessness and formative solidarity: a critique of neoliberal perversity, published by Educação & Sociedade (vol. 43), addresses the theme from the perspective of philosophy of education and psychoanalysis, critically examining the effects of neoliberal rationality and obscurantism on subjects. The analysis is grounded on three fundamental axes: human helplessness, neoliberal perversity, and formative solidarity. It reviews what neoliberal rationality is, establishing the hypothesis that, from a psychoanalytic perspective, this rationality requires the erasure of the other to carry out its project of occupying bodies, minds and lives by means of perverse practices that consist of the appropriation, for someone’s enjoyment, of subjects and their transformation into instruments.

In terms of human exchanges, fraternal and horizontal relationships, which structure the solidary bond, are deprived by this progressive obscuration of the presence of the other. The collective gives way to competitive individualism, installing a system of relationships based on indifference, which, in turn, produces subjectivities that adapt to this individualism, eroding structures that are based on collective work and cooperation between equals.

Moses by Michelangelo. Marble statue of a seated man with long beard and serious look, a tablet in one arm. Behind a wall with many details in high relief.

Image: Personal Archive

Figure 1. Moisés de Michelangelo, Capela San Pietro, Rome, Italy.

As a counterpoint to this perverse rule, we resort to the Freudian position on ethics and the category of the fellow man as a central formative experience of human existence, in which the concept of human helplessness is fundamental. Such a concept shows that since every human being is at birth unable to provide himself with the basic operations that would allow him to survive, he depends entirely on someone else taking care of him and performing such operations for him. This dimension of the maternal function, which Freud called “understanding”, inaugurates the bond between the mother and the baby and performs, mediated by words and acts of care, a delicate gesture of inclusion of the latter in the human world. In this primordial relationship between the baby and the adult of reference, there is a double process of ethical-formative reciprocity that morally instructs humanity itself about the possibility of human relationships being built on the basis not only of hatred and envy, but also of generosity and reciprocal care.

The ethics that prevails within the social bond proposed by neoliberal rationality implies a complete reversal of this principle. Consequently, resuming critical thinking has become a first-order educational imperative and re-establishing critical dialogue with tradition, aiming to reinvent it according to current demands, is a contribution that Brazilian educational research can make, especially with a focus on the dialogue between philosophy, psychoanalysis and human formation.

Below, watch the video of Francisco Carlos dos Santos Filho expanding the discussion about the study data (only in portuguese).

To read the article, access

DALBOSCO, C.A., SANTOS FILHO, F.C. and CEZAR, L.O. Human helplessness and formative solidarity: a critique of neoliberal perversity. Educação & Sociedade [online]. 2022, vol. 43, e244449 [viewed 23 May 2022]. https://doi.org/10.1590/ES.244449. Available from: https://www.scielo.br/j/es/a/cKzGx4mCmRqt9ZfQ4sjqSgH/

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Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

DALBOSCO, C.A., SANTOS FILHO, F.C.S. and CEZAR, L.O. The lack of solidarity and human helplessness in the perverse neoliberal logic [online]. SciELO in Perspective: Humanities, 2022 [viewed ]. Available from: https://humanas.blog.scielo.org/en/2022/05/24/the-lack-of-solidarity-and-human-helplessness-in-the-perverse-neoliberal-logic/

 

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