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Can present day Brazil be fixed?

29/06/2016

Whoever observes the political-social-economic scene, wonders, Can Brazil be fixed? A band of thieves, disguised as senators and judges, in the face of all arguments to the contrary, seek to condemn an innocent woman, President Dilma Rousseff, who is accused neither of illicit appropriation of public goods, nor of any personal corruption.

With the recent important revelations, it has become clear that the problem is not President Rousseff, it is the Lava Jato, that, apart from the selective accusations against the Labor Party, the PT, touches the majority of the leaders of the opposition. All of them, in one way or another, have benefited from gifts from Petrobras to guarantee their electoral victories. “We must stop this bleeding”, said one of the best known of the corrupt ones, “otherwise all of us will be affected. We must get rid of Dilma”.

No one risks his own fortune to finance his campaign. No one needs to do so: there exists the Box 2 mine, fed by the corrupting enterprises that create the corruption in exchange for later advantages in terms of great projects, often over priced, from which a large part of their fortunes derives.

We have reached a ridiculous point in the eyes of the world: two Presidents one a usurper, weak and with no form of leadership, the other, the legitimate one who was forced out, and made a prisoner in her own palace; two ministers of planning, one forced out, and the other, a substitute; a monstrous government, anti-popular and reactionary.

We effectively are flying blind. No one knows where this nation, the seventh largest world economy, with the world’s largest oilfields and gas deposits, and unmatched ecological wealth, the bases of the economy of the future, is headed. The way the correlation of forces is aligned, we are going nowhere, except to eventual social conflict.

The poor, the majority of Brazilians, are used to suffering and to seeking any way out. But a point comes when the suffering is unbearable. No one can take it anymore, to continue being indifferent, seeing children dying of hunger and of a total lack of medical care. And one concludes: things cannot be this way, we must revolt.

This reminds me of a Franciscan Bishop of XIII century Scotland who, rejecting the high taxes demanded by the Pope, replied: non accepto, recuso et rebello (“I do not accept, I refuse and I revolt”). And the Pope relented. Can something like that occur among us?

When in my talks, making a great effort to offer a ray of hope, I am told: «so it appears that you are a pessimist!», I respond with Saramago: «I am not a pessimist; it is the reality that is wretched». Truly, reality is wretched for everyone, except for those of the monied elites, who are used to wanton robbery, and profit from the degradation of the people. Those elites have their profane temple in Sao Paulo’s Paulista Avenue, where a large part of the Brazilian GNP is concentrated.

The great problem is that we lack leaders. Except for former President Lula, whose charisma is unquestioned, two are worthy of mention: Ciro Gomes and Roberto Requiao, to me, they are the only strong leaders with the courage to speak the truth, who think more of Brazil than of political party disputes.

This crisis has an unresolved antecedent in our history, recently unmasked by Jesse Souza. (A tolice da inteligência brasileira, 2015). We are heirs to centuries of colonialism that left on us the mark of «worthless people», always dependent on foreigners.

Still worse is the secular inheritance of slavery that made the heirs to La Casa Grande believe that they can lord over the life and death of the Blacks and the poor. For them it is not enough to send the Blacks and the poor to the periphery: they must be rejected and humiliated. The middle class imitates the upper class, letting itself be totally manipulated by them, and unknowingly to become accomplices to the horrendous social inequality.

The super-rich elites (71,440 persons who earn 600,000 dollars a month, according to the IPEA) who through the means of mass communication, that function as the grease for the machinery of their domination, became golpistas and reactionaries. Those elites never wanted real democracy, only one of a very low intensity, that they can buy and manipulate. They prefer coups and dictatorships. Since coups can no longer be achieved with bayonets, they planned something else: a coup by means of artificial manipulation among corrupt politicians, a politicized judicial branch, and with police repression. Consequently, there are three types of coups: political, juridical and of the police.

I finish with the words of Jesse Souza: «we find ourselves in a world commanded by a union of thieves in politics, justice by “justicieros” that protect them, an elite of vampires and a society condemned to material misery and spiritual poverty. It is necessary that everyone understands this coup. It is the mirror of what we have become». Should I echo Martin Heidegger? «only God can save us»; Karl Marx is perhaps more modest and accurate: «there is always a solution for every problem». That will be.

Leonardo Boff  Theologian-Philosopher Earthcharter Commission
Free translation from the Spanish by
Servicios Koinonia, http://www.servicioskoinonia.org.
Done at REFUGIO DEL RIO GRANDE, Texas, EE.UU.

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