Do you have a mythical national hero?
PELÉ the national hero of Brazil
1 Notice of use: It is permitted to print this document and to quote from this document. When quoting from this document, please provide full details of the source (name of the author, title of the article and Internet address). Any further use of this document requires the prior written approval of the author. Source: KATRIN DEGEN PELÉ the national hero of Brazil Myths of the past, legends of our origins, heroic characters from history - everyone has surely been familiar with similar mythical tales more than once. But even in the present one notices more and more often the heroization of people who are still alive, some of whom attract the attention of entire nations. One of them is Pelé - national hero of the Brazilians, football hero of the whole world. But what exactly made him what he is? How do you become a football hero, or better still, how do you become a national hero while you are still alive? What is the fascination of a hero, which characteristics make a person a crowd favorite and which social situations favor the growth of a national role model like Pelé? What effects and what influence do the achievements and behavior of a national hero have on the population of a country? These are only a few questions that will occupy me in this work, and which I hope to be able to answer at least partially in the end. In order to be able to explain the circumstances and background of the heroization of Pelé, I think it makes sense to explain the social situation in Brazil in more detail and thus to bring closer to the extremely pronounced and almost unique enthusiasm of the Brazilians for football. The relationship between the state and sport as well as the high reputation of football among the population play a major role. The theories of selected mythologists such as Ernst Cassirer, Kurt Hübner, Joseph Campbell or Peter Tepe, as well as the historian Rudolph Speth, gave me food for thought when investigating this phenomenon. Furthermore, I rely on the findings of Valter Bracht's dissertation on sport and politics in Brazil, historical texts and various biographical writings about and by Pelé. 2. The social development of Brazil Samba, soccer, carnival - three words that probably come to mind when you think of South American Brazil as a European. The fifth largest country in the world is of course much more than that and has undergone such complex political, economic and cultural developments that it is difficult to summarize them briefly. Since the social and societal structures of Brazil are particularly important for this work, I will limit my attention to shedding light on the development of society and only marginally mentioning other political or economic events Colonization Coffee Crises The discovery and colonization of Brazil by the Portuguese laid the foundation for the social system that continues to this day. Feudal structures with large landowners on whose lands slaves were kept or
2 destitute immigrants did their labor, determined from birth who belongs to the rich and who to the poor strata of the population. Even after the abolition of slavery and the monarchy, after the proclamation of independence and a republic, and after having lived through several dictatorships, the social structure of the colonial era, including its dependencies, remained largely intact. The sale of coffee, rubber and sugar cane determined the country's agriculture and economy in the last few centuries and has always been dependent on the crises of the world market. Since industrialization, financial investments from abroad have improved the economic situation in some cases, but almost all of the profits benefited the ruling class. In addition, investments by the industrialized countries increased Brazil's dependence on foreign countries and hampered the development of an independent economy. Political misconduct exacerbated the country's economic plight and demonstrated the inability of governments to stimulate domestic economies and meet the needs of increasingly impoverished populations. A class society grew up with a wide social gap between the poor and the rich in the country - tendency rising rural exodus, urbanization, due to the falling demand of the world market for typical products such as sugar cane and coffee, at the end of the 19th century agriculturally dominant regions (e.g. the Northeast) in importance. Periods of drought and the inhibiting structures of large landowners increasingly worsened the social situation of agricultural workers and farmers. In addition, periods of hunger and disease increased the discontent of the rural population. She discharged herself in riots. At the same time, the industrialization of cities advanced at a rapid pace. The cities grew noticeably and the economic boom attracted immigrants from all over the world to Brazil. The disappointed and impoverished farm workers, including many of these immigrants, moved en masse to the megacities in the south and southeast of the country in the hope of finding work in one of the newly built factories. Large regional differences in the composition of the population and an increasingly blatant urban-rural divide characterize the social structures in Brazil to this day. In Sao Paulo alone, the population increased by 3 million between 1970 and 1980. The numerous immigrants settle on the outskirts in slums, which are called favelas. Because of the ongoing rural exodus, these slums have grown enormously around the big cities and with them the social problems. The cheap labor is stretching cities to their limits in terms of housing, services and utilities. In Sao Paulo, for example, half of the city's population (5 million) already live in apartments below the minimum standard. Brazilian society and its favelas State benefits such as unemployment insurance, social assistance and pensions are minimal in Brazil and cannot be compared to our social network. For example, only those who belong to the upper class can afford health insurance. The Chacon, Vamireh: Culture and Development in Brazil.
3 Agricultural workers attracted by the industrialization of the cities hope for jobs, better wages and an improvement in their standard of living, which can hardly be undercut, in the megacities. Due to a lack of living space and a lack of financial resources, the favelas on the outskirts are their first point of contact. The social conditions are catastrophic. Makeshift huts made of cardboard or corrugated iron offer immigrants a roof over their heads, which in the past was often razed to the ground by government excavators. Most of the time there is a lack of water, there is hardly any electricity, and there are few transportation and schools. The lack of sanitary facilities not only pollutes the environment but also increases the risk of disease. Taxi drivers, cleaning ladies, caretakers, factory workers and the unemployed inhabit today's favelas and struggle to survive at the subsistence level. Thirty years ago, the majority of Brazilians were malnourished: when someone asks [...] on the terrace of a restaurant whether they can gnaw off the remaining chicken bones on their plate, they do so not because they are joking, but because they are hungry. 3 Even if they are a thorn in the side of governments as a refuge for criminals, 4 social networks have grown within these slums. The residents fight in solidarity for water, sewerage or electricity and look after each other. It is not uncommon for drug lords to finance social projects within the settlements by selling drugs to the rich. They ensure that sick people can go to the doctor, and that sports fields or sewers are built. Violence, crime and drug use are commonplace in these neighborhoods. Alcohol and drugs help the slum dwellers to escape everyday life and forget their miserable existence for a while. Inadequate contraception means that most families have more than 6 members. Because most mothers are abandoned by their husbands - Brazil has the largest number of single mothers in the world - the children also have to go to work to support the family's income. They go begging or find poorly paid work. As a result, however, they either cannot attend school at all or only for a few years. A poor school education is the consequence and prevents them from having a better future. Your path is mapped out and very few favela residents manage to break out of this vicious circle. The rich in society, employers, company owners or influential politicians, on the other hand, live in sealed off luxury neighborhoods that are protected from attacks by the poor by security guards. Although the boundaries between the individual classes are already somewhat blurred, there is hardly anyone in the lower class who actually manages to work their way up to another class and break out of the ghetto. 5 One also speaks of two Brazil that coexist: the Brazil of wealth and that of poverty. There isn't much in between. 3. The role of sport in Brazil 3.1. Compensation - Expression - Way Out Sport, apart from existing political and economic influences, is an autonomous world of its own with its own rules and standards. Elk Franke distinguishes him from other areas free of politics such as art, since he does not have a world, ibid. 5 Chacon, p. 241
4 reflects the view, he cannot interpret, so sport in itself cannot make a specific statement. First and foremost, he only has the respective competition goal in mind, although it is of course possible that athletes express themselves critically or boycott events. For many people, especially for Brazilians, sport is a balance to everyday life. Sport offers impoverished Brazilians of the lower class a change from the monotonous, hopeless life of poverty and despair. The Brazilian soccer star Socrates put it aptly with regard to the three World Cup victories between 1958 and 1970: ordinary people believed that ... they were forgetting their hunger. 7 The own world of sport also offers freedom for the individual. The player can develop freely and show what he is made of, regardless of his social affiliation. In this respect, sport, which in Brazil is primarily football, offers an area of self-affirmation and self-development. Football stands for values such as physicality, effort, discipline, organization, performance, competition, success and, last but not least, joy and fun. In addition, many poor Brazilians see in well-paid professional football a chance, albeit a small one, of even finding a way out of the social dilemma, as do many famous footballers in Brazil Practice not doing much anymore. Governments have long recognized sport as a political issue and have tried to use and instrumentalize it for their own purposes to maintain power. Relations between football and the state are particularly strong in Brazil. The benefits of sport for maintaining the government's power consist in: 8 increasing collective awareness and social integration, internalising systematic values and norms, improving the image abroad through international sporting success, stabilizing political rule, distracting the people from foreign and domestic political problems. The various governments have always tried to use these achievements for themselves and to legitimize their own politics through international sporting successes. Official propaganda has linked cultural and political nationalism out of football 9 with the aim of destroying the core of resistance and opposition in society. 10 military governments like the one under Medici () tried to improve their image at home and abroad with the help of sport. At the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, so-called short ideas were imposed on footballers, which concerned not only the length of the hair but also the prohibition of political statements in public. 11 In addition, Medici declared the day the team returned from Mexico on the national holiday, had themselves photographed with the athletes and had Pele posters all over the country celebrating a goal with the slogan `` Nobody can open this country - 6 Franke, Elk: Theory and Significance of sporting activities, S Franke, S Bracht, Valter: Sport and Politics in Brazil, p. 38 ff. 9 Gonzalves, José E .; 1985, p. 27 in Valter Bracht 10 Bracht, S Bracht, p. 98
5 keep spreading. 12 The emotional mood among the population was fertile ground for political propaganda. An opinion poll showed that 90 percent of respondents from the lower classes identified Brazilian football with the Brazilian nation. 13 However, the state intervention also had positive effects, because - albeit in its own interest for the social control of the masses - the government ensured that more state money flowed into the sports sector 14 and thus contributed to the international success of Brazilian football and thus to a certain extent national identification of Brazilians with their favorite sport at Der futebol Brasiliens British sport, introduced by Charles Miller at the end of the 19th century, was at first an elitist privilege in Brazil. While the football clubs initially only accepted whites into their circles, football was gradually democratized. At some point it was no longer the skin color or the social class of the individual player that counted, but his performance on the pitch. The football fields in Brazil became the epitome of equality and social justice (Dieter König) in a society of great social contradictions. Even industrial entrepreneurs soon recognized football as a means of settling dissatisfaction among workers and subsequent social unrest. The state intervention described above paid off in the construction of many sports fields and the legalization of sport. As the first mulatto in the national team, Arthur Friedenreich became an idol for many Brazilians. The Brazilians called him Pé de Ouro, the golden foot. 16 It was the colored players like Friedenreich in particular who made football what we now understand as Brazilian football. They developed their own, sometimes almost dance-like way of moving the ball across the field, with Mediterranean elegance and fine playful finesse. A mixture of individualism and team sport. Football is a passion for Brazilians. National teams are venerated like sanctuaries, outstanding players like Pelé are sacralized like gods, for example in monuments and sometimes - as Pelé was declared a national shrine by the Medici government in 1970 -. 17 Also this year, the World Cup in Brazil triggered an unbelievable euphoria that can hardly be compared with our interest in football. Many factory owners are already putting televisions on the assembly lines [...]. Most companies, however, close during the Games and the festivities that follow - if Brazil wins. 18 And this enthusiastic commitment of the Brazilian fans has already been rewarded with victories several times, including this year. Brazil is the only country in the world to have won the World Cup five times - 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and The Penta confirms the Brazilians' faith in their football. For them, football is more than a distraction, it is the ball of hope, as Dieter König aptly calls it. Because the soccer field is one of the few places in Brazilian society where poor people or people darker 12 Bracht, S Lever, Janet; 1983 in Valter Bracht 14 The money flowed e.g. in the construction of sports fields, in professional football and in school sports. 15 street children and school children were previously not allowed to play soccer in public Hack, Fritz: Black Pearl Pelé. / Pelé: My life and the most beautiful game, p
6 Skin color Experience equal opportunities and democracy. Often the ball is the impoverished children's first toy and often the only bright spot of a way out. For a Brazilian, the ball is [...] the only miracle he can believe in. 19 Success in football, the hope of being discovered by a club as a talented footballer and thus of having the chance to break out of the prescribed path of a life of poverty and get rich, is the motivation for many Brazilian street children who rely on Play football away from everyday life in sports fields, in backyards or on beaches. In such a stroke of luck, football enables a steep career from the favelas into the limelight of the whole world and thus a rapid social rise, as Pele has achieved. 4. Edson Arantes do Nascimento - Pelé 4.1. From shoeshine to soccer star Edson Arantes do Nascimento is one of those stroke of luck. In Tres Coracoes, city of three hearts, in the state of Minas Gerais, Pelé was born on October 21, 1940, the son of Joao Ramos and Celeste do Nascimento.His father Dodinho was a soccer player himself and got the boy used to the ball at an early age, in the secret hope that he could achieve what he himself had not been able to achieve. Due to an injury, the father had to end his career prematurely. In order to ensure the survival of the family, he took a cleaning job in a hospital in Bauru (State of Sao Paulo). Dico, as Pelé was called by his parents, also helped improve the family's income at the age of 7 by shining shoes. The parents recognized Pelé's passion for football at an early age. A pleasure for the father, if the mother didn't like it, because instead of going to school, Dico preferred to disappear behind the house and play with a bundle of rags, his futebol. A little later he founded his own little football club 7 de Setembro, named after the street where he lived. Today nobody knows exactly where he got his nickname Pelé from. Some say that Turkish children are said to have called him at a soccer game when he tried to stop the ball with his hands instead of his feet. `Pé` for feet and` Le` for fool became `Pelé`. Others say it was named because 'Pelé' means 'the miracle' in Hebrew. The third version says that Pelé himself mispronounced the name of a then famous football player Belé, namely Pelé. After some initial brawls, he eventually came to terms with his name. Always under the eyes of his father, Pelé trained his technique, speed and precision in various amateur teams. At the age of 11 he was discovered by Valdemar de Brito, a former world footballer. He played in his club for four years until de Brito gave the young talent to the coach of the Santos club with the words: I'm bringing you the greatest football discovery of the last few decades! recommended. After a few days, coach Lula was convinced of the boy's extraordinary talent and took him on to his team, the then only 17-year-old drove to the World Cup in Sweden and helped Brazil to its first victory at a World Cup with 6 goals. Since then, little Pelé had won the hearts of the Brazilians and each subsequent goal he scored further increased his reputation. A football career could hardly have been steeper. Poverty quickly came to an end and Pele became the most popular and best-known 19
7 paid footballers of the time. During his 20-year playing career, he scored over 1200 goals in approx. Games and was world champion three times. At the age of 22, he had already broken all the records of his predecessors. He remained loyal to his club, FC Santos, except for his last 3 professional years in the New York team Cosmos. For his great successes, Pelé was the only footballer to be awarded the title of World Sportsman of the Century. The Man Pelé But what exactly has fascinated and fascinated people about Pelé to this day that they revere him as their hero, as their national idol? Was it his unique playful skills on the soccer field? Was it his fighting performance in seemingly hopeless situations? Or was it his humility, helpfulness, generosity and honesty that people loved about him? His playful successes were certainly decisive for the fact that the Brazilians and the whole world became aware of Pelé in the first place. Nevertheless, his personal characteristics also play a major role in his role model function. As a child, Pelé supports his family as a shoe shine. His parents and his own small family were and are sacred to him to this day. His wife Rosemeri and his children support him in his work, even if he cannot spend enough time with them due to his many trips. How much he cares about the family, he showed the whole nation when he prematurely broke off the celebrations of the 1970 World Cup victory in order to be with his wife and child despite great public criticism. He has great respect for his father. He is still his greatest idol. And when asked about the best football player of his choice, Pelé replied: I would choose my father. He also dedicates his 100th header to him. In an almost ascetic way of life, he renounces cigarettes, alcohol, sweets and strenuous nightlife. As a devout Catholic, Pelé prays and crosses himself before every game. Strong-willed and committed, he fights his way through every game until it is won. Despite several injuries, he always comes back on the pitch in his old form. And although he is very famous all over the world, Pele always remains humble and best of all unrecognized. If he is discovered by fans, he is always friendly to everyone and signs autographs until his arms hurt. Fritz Hack describes the Brazilian star as an inquisitive and positive-thinking person who is very grateful for his success. I owe everything I am to the football of my country. A poor shoe shiner became the millionaire Pelé. I love Brazil and its football. said Pelé in an interview with Fritz Hack. 21 Selflessness and generosity are also characteristic traits of the national hero. When, for example, many sporting goods manufacturers flooded the new world star with the latest soccer shoes, Pelé gave them away to the street children of Brazil without further ado. As a gesture of sympathy, he also dedicates his unique goal to the poor and children of Brazil. Although he soon has more money than enough due to his success in sports, the wealth never goes to his head. He tries to invest wisely or to support the poor in the country, whose desperation and poverty he can well understand from his own childhood. Nevertheless, he faces financial bankruptcy twice and has debts in the millions Hack, p. 138
8 By doing even more work in the football and media sector as well as partially waiving salary, Pelé saved himself from financial collapse in both cases. 22 Even as a child, the footballer Pelé had his own mind and preferred to play football than go to school. He has never lost sight of his goal of becoming a great footballer one day and even when he achieved it, his fighting spirit remained. His extraordinary will to win and his special discipline on the field helped him become the best footballer in the world. A characteristic scene for his assertiveness is the game of FC Santos 1965 in the national championship against Uruguay 23: On this sad Santos night, Pelé played alone, all alone. He played alone against eleven opponents, ... against ten comrades, from whom he received no support. And yet Pelé was the best player of all 22, the one who shone the most, the only one who did not give up and gave up before the defeat. He played and fought, but without despair. Fritz Hack goes on to describe the black pearl Pele: Pele was never as big as it was on that evening in Buenos Aires, when, as one eleventh of a team, he suffered a bitter defeat. He has never been so great as a player and as a person. But Pelé is also a fighter off the pitch and his great ambition made him discover a new goal during the last few years of his career. He wanted his missed schooling, he only went to school for 4 years, catch up on it and also complete his studies to become a sports teacher. He studied alongside, before and after soccer for 5 years until he finally got his school leaving certificate and passed his university exam. Between 1994 and 98 he was sports minister in Brazil and, as a member of FIFA, is still involved in international football to this day. 5. Origin and effect of a mythical figure All over the world there are myths about the history of the origins of mankind. Myths of origin of this kind, which explain rituals especially in indigenous peoples, are justified as truth through daily practice and remain alive through being passed on to the next generation, have been trying to explain life and the laws on our earth since ancient times. The point of these types of myths is this very explanation of life. Figures of gods and other heroes of a fantastic, dream-like world play a major role in these myths. Similar heroic figures or national heroes can be found in the history of every country. This shows that people seem to have a fundamental need to create myths and make people heroic. But what exactly is the meaning and the effect of a myth, since today we have made almost everything explainable with reason and science? Which people are particularly prone to heroizing other people? Which people are suitable to be heroized? And is it perhaps possible to identify a certain process after which heroization takes place? 22 advertising contracts with various companies bring additional money. In collaboration with Pepsi Cola, Pelé promotes football among young people around the world. His financial plight was a major reason for the contract with the N.Y. Cosmos Club Hack, p. 147
9 5.1. Prerequisites In the seminar for this work, some interesting aspects were already worked out on the basis of various historical examples, which I would like to briefly list here. We found that certain formal structures can often be identified as the prerequisites for the emergence of a political hero. First of all, this means that a certain common political goal exists and is accepted. This goal is to be achieved through certain activities, for example through military action. Our hero, Person X, is involved in this activity. In many political myths, the hero dies in this action. The result is that he is revered by the rest of the people who also strive for the goal as an outstanding person who has sacrificed himself for the common goal. Furthermore, there must be a certain susceptibility in the population to the formation of illusions in order to form a myth. The ability or willingness of a society to even perceive a hero figure must be given. 24 In his doctrine of idols, when explaining the idols of the cave, Francis Bacon speaks of man's susceptibility to individual self-delusion, 25 to which some people, depending on their own and particular nature and experience, are more susceptible than others. 26 This susceptibility manifests itself when people tend to stylize another person in high esteem by ascribing more positive than negative achievements to him and thereby partly distorting the historical facts. The everyday thing about this figure is faded out and instead she is revered as a heroic person and given an aura. This person bundles positive qualities, so to speak, and meets expectations. 27 This transfigured exaggeration also prevents the recognition of wrongdoing on the part of this person. This can go so far that the person X is seen as a person without blame or blame: And even if the number of opposing cases is greater, he does not pay attention to them and rejects them, only so that the reputation of that old faulty relationship remains untouched stay. 28 This means that a person tries again and again to confirm what has once aroused his approval. 29 This heroization can go so far that the person X is associated with higher powers (X is commissioned by God). Their system of political beliefs and values is considered to be endowed with higher ordinations and is in harmony with the will of God. People for whom X represents a negative figure, on the other hand, tend to associate X with negative higher powers (X is commissioned by the devil). They attribute more negative achievements to X than are actually justified and stylize X as a person with extremely negative traits. This basic process of mythizing a person also includes the existence of a certain crisis situation, which everyone wants to eliminate, as well as the absence or the search for a political leader. In such a crisis situation people from the past are often resorted to, who can serve as role models in the current situation, because the situation this person coped with in the past may be comparable to the current one. The hero is thus instrumentalized to 24 Speth, Rudolph: Nation and Revolution, S Peter Tepe: Theory of Illusions, S Bacon, Francis: The New Organon, S Speth, p. 121ff. 28 Bacon, ibid.
10 to achieve the current goal. It can also happen that different parties use the same myth in order to claim it for their own purposes. Need for Illusion Due to the fact that many people have a certain tendency to mythize others, one naturally has to ask oneself what the need for this mythization consists of. A need that is either absent or otherwise satisfied in non-mythical people. To explain this need, I draw on the findings of Peter Tepe's theory of illusions. In researching this topic, Tepe found that a certain pressure from reality can be decisive for the creation of an illusion. Reality pressure is the pressure that arises because people consciously experience and experience that they are by no means as autonomous and independent as they often believe. On the contrary, they have to recognize that they are finite, limited and dependent, because they repeatedly come up against their own limits and existing barriers. The pressure comes about because the person has to process this knowledge and what has been experienced psychologically. But people also strive to free themselves from the pressure that this creates. Tepe describes the need for relief from the pressure of reality as a basic human need. 31 Similar to the way Kurt Hübner differentiates between two different forms of coping with reality in his thesis of Mythos and Logos, 32 Tepe distinguishes between people who recognize and accept the aforementioned dependencies and barriers as such, and those who do not want to recognize these barriers. The latter do not take the existing barriers seriously and thus express the wish that they may not really exist. In order to cope with the great pressure of reality that has arisen, compensatory ideas are generated, which create a certain relief from the pressure of reality. 33 And this is exactly where the illusion comes in. Because the desire for relief that arises at the same time then produces the imaginary wish fulfillment without the reality check being switched on. 34 The illusion is tailored to the respective existing restriction. Through this process, the barrier is viewed as non-existent and thus made bearable. However, this example is only a sham solution to the problem. Because while the first type of person takes an active attitude towards the need for relief in order to actually reduce the barrier, the second type of person takes a more passive and compensatory attitude towards the problem, with the result that the barrier remains unchanged in reality and is canceled only in his imagination. The real liberation from a restriction is opposed to the illusory, only apparent liberation. Tepe describes these processes as either real or imaginary satisfaction of relief desires. The realistic way to satisfy the need for relief is of course far more uncomfortable than the illusionistic one. He does not allow self-deception and 30 For example, the myth of the French national heroine Jeanne d`arc has been used by competing parties for their own legitimation purposes. 31 Tepe, Peter: Theory of Illusions, S Brisson / Jamme: Introduction i.d. Philosophy of Myth, S Tepe, Peter: Mythos-Ideologie-Illusion in Mythologica 3, S Tepe, p. 273
11 can therefore also be disappointing. The illusionistic way, on the other hand, is pleasant and comfortable. Through self-deception and clinging to dreams, he provides comfort and security. The inconvenient way to face the truth is a step to overcome the passive-compensatory attitude, as the philosophy of reason strives. However, this path also means restricting the will to what lies within the realm of human ability: it means: not wanting to be more than one can be. 35 And that is exactly the point that seems to be unacceptable to many people. Only by accepting the given could they actually succeed in changing reality according to their wishes. Excessive desires and exaggerated expectations prevent you from taking the realistic path and reducing the pressure of reality through your own efforts. Most people, however, still want to be released from all pressure, which, according to Tepe, means that they only achieve an apparent relief through too much imagination. In a fantastic way, man overcomes what oppresses him. 36 From the various desires for relief arise higher realities in which there are often higher, superhuman beings that help people to free themselves from existing barriers. These beings, mostly gods, satisfy the desire for relief by apparently releasing the pressure of relief, and are thus counter-images of human limitations.According to Tepe, the corresponding higher realities including their essential forms reflect the underlying ormative life orientation and the current relief wishes of the respective group or society Who is suitable for a hero I have the social or human prerequisites for the formation of myths and the need for a hero figure as a savior from the pressure of reality tried to explain. But who do people choose to make them their heroes? Does a hero have to have special qualities or do special things? So what exactly qualifies a person to be a hero? Derived from the archaic myths of antiquity, one can say that a hero figure must have endured one or more battles. It is important that the hero has proven himself combative. 38 In addition, his life and performance are often characterized by a certain tragedy and extravagance. For example, an early death, youthfulness, poverty, assertiveness and self-conquest, great victories or successes as well as adherence to goals and beliefs are helpful. In short, the hero should bring with him a past or a life that lends itself to mythization. He must be a figure of light who radiates a certain magic to which society is receptive. In addition, certain personal characteristics are decisive for the suitability to be a hero and should be guidelines for the actions of community members. 39 Because a hero figure must be in harmony with collective reality, i.e. it must embody this reality and be an archetype of national greatness or revolutionary zeal, says Rudolph Speth. 35 Tepe, S Tepe, S ibid. 38 Speth, p.121ff. 39 Speth, p. 120
12 For Joseph Campbell, the basic requirements for a heroic figure consist of chivalrous virtues such as loyalty, temperance and bravery. He always pursues a specific goal: A hero is someone who has dedicated his life to a cause that is greater than him. It distinguishes a hero that he does something that goes beyond the normal range of performance and experience. 40 Campbell distinguishes between two types of heroic deeds. One is a very specific act such as bravery in battle or saving a life. The other is more of a spiritual act like getting to know a supernormal area of human spiritual life or bringing a message. According to Campbell, it is very typical when something is stolen from the hero. Then he goes on his way to get back what has been lost. The hero's psychological transformation is also classic, for example when, as a child, he is forced to step out of the dependency of his parents. In that case he leaves the familiar state of childhood and is promoted to a richer and more mature state. 41 This adventure is full of trials in which the hero has to prove his mental and physical strength again and again. And it is precisely these tests that show whether the hero is actually up to his task 42, which ultimately qualifies him for his heroism. Renunciation, fighting spirit and fearlessness help the budding hero to achieve his goal. He dedicates his whole life to this higher goal or to another person. Spiritually, he should then have reached a state free from desire and fear. But it is only when the hero stops thinking about himself and his self-preservation that he experiences this heroic change of consciousness. The changes in consciousness are initiated through the tests on his adventure journey. The fact that the hero has to experience great suffering is also always typical of a heroic deed or a heroic life. He has to endure his pain and yet react moderately and fairly, constantly overcoming his fears anew. In addition, this heroic act must not be commonplace, because an important characteristic of a heroic deed is its extraordinary nature. Passing this exam must be unique and not reachable by everyone. Or, as Nietzsche said, the more threatening the situation to be entered , the greater the size of the person who can cope with it [...] the greater the pain in life, the greater the life reaction. 43 The underlying idea and motivation of heroism is always the pursuit of the particular moral goal. This goal can be the rescue or liberation of an entire people from another power and oppression, but also the support of a specific idea such as the idea of peace, freedom or justice and self-determination. The hero sacrifices himself for this idea The role of heroes Campbell sees the role of a hero in comforting people, among other things. He speaks of people's interest in seeing the exploits passed out. You are satisfied with the compensation of others instead of acting yourself. In this respect, one can attribute the function of tranquillizers to modern myths and heroic deeds of our time. Man is comforted by seeing that someone else has achieved what he himself failed. 40 Campbell, Joseph: Die Kraft der Mythen, S Campbell, S Campbell, S ibid.
13 This may give him back a certain hope or reassurance and security. He consoles himself with the hero's success, but this is exactly what prevents him from doing his own thing. Campbell justifies this thesis with the curse of modern society. 44 We are talking about a feeling of powerlessness, boredom and alienation in the world order that surrounds us, about a kind of stagnation in social life that promotes not our mental powers but our passivity. Campbell also addresses a general change in the hero image in our society. Instead of admiring people who have objectively done great things for humanity, for a country or even for themselves, celebrities are revered as role models today. This fact has worsened a lot from then until now, even if one has to fear that the end of the scale has not yet been reached. Today it is the goal of the youth to be known and famous, even without performing special achievements. Role models are numerous stars, who, despite little personal contribution, are accorded an admiration that was previously only granted to extraordinary hero figures. Campbell sees the reason for this in the fast pace of our time. Nonetheless, our society still needs heroes who, as constant figures, counteract the fast pace of life. A political hero can also have the function of innovating a society, because heroes are often founders of something new, such as a new religion, a political idea or a new way of life. Rudolph Speth also sees the role of a political hero as a guide or guide. He also points out that it is typical for political myths to be sacralized. Through the condensation work performed by the recipients on the basis of the previous positive knowledge about the hero, this person is sacralized, uplifted and auratized. 45 One cannot deny a certain religious character of such veneration. The view of the religious scholar and myth researcher Mircea Eliade (even if his views concern archaic myths) seems to support this, because for him the sacred is always the revelation of the real, the encounter with that which saves us by giving our existence meaning . 46 This mechanism can above all promote the national feeling in a country: The sacralization [...] in monuments, celebrations, memorial days and other symbolic strategies serves to make the nation the highest value within a secular world and to give it the aura of numinous to give. 47 The creation of national shrines and cults serves many political rulers to turn an amorphous mass into a people and to create a collective identity. Festivals, ceremonies, and marches ensure the spread and consolidation of a myth. Heroes and myths develop into political collective symbols and create a common social and political bond among the recipients, which ultimately creates a collective feeling of togetherness. Governments make use of the politicization of myths above all when they want to integrate the population into political movements and when national movements or revolutionaries 44 Campbell, S Speth, p. 121 ff. 46 Brisson / Jamme, II, S Speth, p. 127
14 breaks should be initiated. 48 By participating in a common holiday, each individual becomes part of the common whole. The principle of participation is also addressed by Cassirer in his analysis of myths. He states that the real intention of such festivities lies in the fact that the community takes place as a whole, 49 because this consolidates the community, the idea of communion. A group identity is created. For the individual, the resulting group identity creates a feeling of calm and orientation. He knows where he stands, where he belongs, what he believes in, whom he adores and what he is fighting for. All of this creates a certain sense of security and familiarity in the larger whole of a nation in which, as an individual, one otherwise threatens to be ignored. The common idea or the common hero are points of identification in the life of the individual. By worshiping a national political myth and the group identity of a nation created in this way, a cultural homogeneity is established. In order to be effective as a national myth, however, the myth must be inscribed with a dimension of promise that includes political self-determination and the ending of foreign rule, participation of broad layers and, above all, the dimension of redemption 49. This creates a feeling of superiority outwardly, which in turn includes it strengthens inside. Rudolph Speth sees another prerequisite for the functioning of a myth in the existence of counter-myths or counter-codes, which can usually be found in enemies of the nation or critics of one's own idea. 50 Personification seems to play a large part in the effectiveness of a political myth. The hero of a nation can either be fictional or, as in many cases, a real person who is modeled according to mythical ideas. This person's job is to embody the entire nation. With charisma, the surrounding aura and personal qualities, this person X achieves great national successes in extreme situations. In addition to pursuing and embodying the goal of society as a whole, as well as the apparent or actual solution of stressful problems and liberation from the individual pressure of reality, it must succeed in binding the masses emotionally and thus becoming the epitome of national feeling. 6. Pelé - the national hero of Brazil The Brazilian footballer Pelé succeeded in doing just that. He is the epitome of the national feeling of the Brazilians, he is the epitome of football. But it was not just his sporting and social achievements as well as his personal qualities that raised him to what he is today. The social prerequisites for the creation of such a heroic image were given, i.e. the will and the desire for a savior for each individual and Brazil out of the crisis was there. The poor living conditions of a large part of the Brazilian population described above, the constant ups and downs in the economy, the dependence of the people on politics and the nation on foreign investors and on the world market, and consequently the incompetent, often authoritarian, governments left a great deal of frustration among the People arise. That was the 48 Speth, S Brisson / Jamme, II, p. 271 / Cassirer, Ernst: Philosophy of symbolic forms. 49 Speth, S Speth, p. 130
15 barriers that reminded people of their dependency and limitation on a daily basis. The common goal of breaking free from these dependencies, freeing oneself from the pressure of reality that has arisen, opened people up to national heroes like Pelé. The endeavor on the one hand to establish Brazil as an independent economic country internationally and above all to mobilize the masses for their own political interests, and on the other hand the desire of these masses for an improvement in the social and financial standard of living and for democratization determine social life in Brazil to this day . The perfect breeding ground for a hero figure. For the governments, the frustration of the population represented an obstacle in achieving their own goals for power. The enthusiasm of the population for football and its motivating effect was evident, and so the politicians misused sport as an instrument to calm and manipulate the masses. Football was perfect as an interface for political and social interests. By intervening politically in sport, the government made people feel like they were doing something for them. In addition, the population was able to participate in the new success of the nation through the victories at the world championships. An advantage for the government, because international successes are always attributed to the incumbent politicians. The epitome of instrumentalization is the day on which the Brazilian national team came home for the third time in 1970 as winners of the World Cup and Pele was unceremoniously declared an unsalable national shrine. On the other hand, the establishment of football as a socially equal free space in which only athletic ability counts shows the people in the favelas the hope of a possible way out of their dilemma. Footballers like Pelé made it clear to them that there was such a way out, albeit rarely. Tepe's need for relief from the pressure of reality is extremely high, especially in the favelas. The conditions worsen depending on the government, sometimes more or less, and make life in the slums unbearable. But very few people want to come to terms with their fate and its surrounding barriers, i.e. there is a desire for relief. The susceptibility to the formation of illusions or the susceptibility to a charismatic figure is therefore extremely high there. Because if people cannot achieve the great goal of social advancement themselves, it is already relieving them if they can cheer for their team and their Pele. You participate in his fate and his successes. They suffer with the hero when he is injured, they enjoy numerous goals with him, which are also theirs. And they are grateful for this welcome, relaxing change in everyday life. Campbell's aspect of consolation from the hero's performance and the function of a tranquilizer seems obvious. But what counts for these people, regardless of whether they are actively playing themselves or whether they are just watching passively, is that by participating in football they can forget their own worries for 90 minutes. Football and Pelé make them feel like they are part of a bigger picture. And Pelé is a hero from among them. He also comes from a poor background, stands for the same problems and embodies their goals in life. It is a guide and guide for the Brazilian people. His path in life gives them hope, because he has made the way out of the favelas into a better life and has shown people that it is possible. He has always preserved his knightly virtues. He still stands by his origins and his social commitment shows his compassion for worse
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