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This research exposes narratives and arguments of conceptual and historical content about the conditions and purposes of the University, particularly in Brazil, seeking to describe and reflect on central aspects of this institution. It is recognized, in advance, the importance of constitutional autonomy and secularism within these institutions. This recognition is understood as fundamental in the process of actualizing human rights in public spaces for the construction of citizenship. The problem of this text is related to the question about how much the libertarian role of the University is supported in reality in the processes of construction of republican democracy. The hypothesis is that at some point the University stopped resisting prejudices, the banality of lies and the habit of bad manners in internal relations between workers and in the institution’s relationship with the community. The University, in our time, has been pressured not to bend to obscurantism, surrendering to market demands and renouncing the exercise of a critical judgment. Thus understood, the University loses consciousness of itself as an autonomous space for freedom of thought and for the development of sciences, arts and morals. Notably, when one observes the return or perpetuity of characteristic traits of neofascist movements and policies, which insist on intending the young Brazilian democracy, the urgency and challenge of rebuilding the University as a privileged locus for basic research, for the construction of advanced knowledge and for the technical application of knowledge before concrete demands is expanded. The task of students is arduous in times of authoritarianism of every order concealed by the progress idea. To carry out this research, the inductive method was used, with dialectical and historical methodological contributions, focusing on the technique of bibliographic research.
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