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The future of democracy in brazil

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From the confrontation between the defending forces and the opponents of the current democratic system may result in the maintenance of representative democracy in Brazil or its end.

Publicada em: Notícias e política
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The future of democracy in brazil

  1. 1. 1 THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY IN BRAZIL Fernando Alcoforado* The future of democracy in Brazil depends on the confrontation that will be established between the defending forces and the opponents of the current democratic system in the coming years. The defending forces of the current democratic system are left-wing, left- center and democratic-liberal parties, left-wing civil society organizations, 60.8% of the electorate who did not vote for Jair Bolsonaro, part of Parliament and part of the Judiciary. These forces defending the current democratic system will fight to obtain a majority in Parliament to prevent the Bolsonaro government from promoting amendments to the Constitution contrary to the interests of the population, by winning a majority among the members of the Judiciary to ensure the maintenance of the Constitution of 1988 and the democratic, human and social rights of population and democracy and by strengthening social movements against government actions against their opponents and in defense of democracy. The opposing forces of the current democratic system are the Presidency of the Republic, the right-wing and right-center parties, 39.2% of the electorate who voted in Bolsonaro, the right-wing civil society organizations, part of Parliament and part of the Judiciary. These opposing forces of the current democratic system will fight for the Bolsonaro government to adopt an economic policy that serves the interests of the ruling social classes, overcomes the fiscal crisis of the government, and reactivates the stagnant economy since 2014 by obtaining a majority in Parliament for amendments to the Constitution and draft laws, put into practice the objectives of the government, by winning a majority among the members of the Judiciary to ensure the interests of the government and to promote the dismantlement of anti-government social movements. Seven of the ideas presented by Bolsonaro during the campaign have already been discussed in parliament: 1) Independence of the Central Bank (PLP 32/2003); 2) Reform of Social Security (PEC 287/2016); 3) Revision of the Disarmament Statute (PL 3722/2012); 4) Typification of occupations or invasions as terrorism (PL 9858/2018); 5) Reduction of the criminal adulthood (PEC 33/2012); 6) Exclusion of unlawfulness for policemen in operations; and, 7) School without party. Independence of the Central Bank (PLP 32/2003), one of the economic guidelines most likely to prosper rapidly, aims to shield the monetary authority from the risk of political interference, regardless of the characteristics and preferences of the government in action. Reform of Social Security (PEC 287/2016) aims to approve "at least part" of the text submitted by the government Michel Temer, although Bolsonaro prefers a project to migrate from the current distribution system to the capitalization system. Revision of the Disarmament Statute (PL 3722/2012) is a project that provides for flexibility in the population's access to firearms. Typification of occupations or invasions as terrorism (PL 9858/2018) is a project that aims to characterize as terrorism the invasions of rural and urban properties in Brazilian territory that joins the project already underway in the Chamber of Deputies, authored by Deputy Rog�rio Marinho (PSDB-RN), which deals with the "typification of terrorist activities of social movements" and another one written by Senator Lasier Martins (PSD-RS), which considers as terrorism to burn, depred, loot, destroy or explode means of transport or any public or private good, in addition to acts of interfering, sabotaging
  2. 2. 2 or damaging computer systems or databases. The fear of parliamentarians who oppose the proposal is that this change will allow the criminalization of social movements, such as the Landless Workers Movement (MST), the Homeless Workers Movement (MTST) or student movements that occupy a rectory, for example. Reduction of the criminal adulthood (PEC 33/2012) is another proposal of the agenda focused on public security in the Bolsonaro project with the reduction of the criminal adulthood. The idea is to attribute criminal responsibility to the young person over 16 years old. Exclusion of unlawfulness for policemen in operations (PL 9064/2017 and PL 9564/2018) is another project very defended by Bolsonaro throughout the campaign that aims to reduce the possibility of punishment of police in eventual executions during the exercise of the profession in alleged right of defense. School without a party (PL 7180/2014) is a critique of what it calls "indoctrination in schools" which was also one of the emphases of the Bolsonaro campaign for education. For critics, there is a risk that the project will undermine the debate and the free circulation of ideas in the classroom. From the confrontation between the defending forces and the opponents of the current democratic system may result in the maintenance of representative democracy in Brazil or its end. Despite Bolsonaro's assertion that he will respect the Constitution and the Laws of the Country, the threat to the current democratic order in Brazil is explicit in his campaign speech that is based on the cult of order, state violence, authoritarian government practices, disregard for vulnerable and fragile groups and anti-communism. Bolsonaro's supporters consider that the cause of Brazil's current ills is related to corruption and the use of the state by parties with a communist tendency. Like the fascist governments of the past, the Bolsonaro government would seek to purify Brazilian society from the toxic influences of political parties and political leaders, especially those linked to the PT (Workers Party) and its allies, who would be to blame for the unfortunate situation in which the Brazilian nation lives. Mark Bray, Professor of Comparative Education at the Center for Comparative Education Research at the University of Hong Kong and an expert on human rights, terrorism and political radicalism in Modern Europe, points out Cinco li��es de hist�ria para antifascistas (The Five Lessons of History for Anti-Fascists) available on the website <https://revistaserrote.com.br/2018/03/cinco-licoes-de-historia-para- antifascistas-por-mark-bray/>. Mark Bray published the book Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, released in August 2017 in the United States in which he says that the struggle against fascism today begins with the ability to recognize it beyond the commonplace, as it teaches the hard experience of the period between the two world wars. On fascism, it is important to note that it is a political movement that emerged in Italy after the First World War in the 1920s under the leadership of Benito Mussolini. In addition to the Mussolini regime in Italy, Adolf Hitler's Germany and Francisco Franco's Spain, among others, established themselves between the 1st and 2nd World War in the 1930s. Fascism was a reaction of the conservative forces of Europe against the rise of workers to power in several countries after the victory of socialism in the Soviet Union in 1917 and was based on strongly nationalist conceptions and the totalitarian exercise of power, therefore against the democratic and liberal system, and repressive before the social-democratic, socialist and communist ideas.
  3. 3. 3 The old fascism implanted during the 1920s and 1930s of the twentieth century was based on a strong, totalitarian state that claimed to embody the spirit of the people in the exercise of power by a single party whose authority was imposed through violence, repression and political propaganda. The Fascist leader is a figure who is above ordinary men. Mussolini was denominated like Il Duce, that derives from the Latin Dux (General) and Hitler from Fuehrer (Conductor, Guide, Leader, Boss). Both were messianic and authoritarian leaderships, with a power that was exercised unilaterally without consultation to anyone. In Germany, the old fascism received the denomination of Nazism. This movement also had a strong racial component, which promulgated the superiority of the Aryan race and sought to exterminate Jews, Gypsies and Blacks.. Mark Bray states in the Five Lessons of History for Anti-Fascists that the fascist revolutions never succeeded. The fascists came to power by legal means. Bray reports that Mussolini's march in Rome was only a staging for the purpose of legitimizing his earlier invitation to form a government and Hitler's Munich Putsch in 1923 failed completely. Hitler's final rise to power came when President Hindenburg named him Chancellor. The law granting it full powers was approved by Parliament. According to Bray, these historical facts call into question the liberal formula of opposition to fascism in believing that a rational debate is possible to counteract fascist ideas, in the police to oppose fascist violence, and in republican institutions to oppose attempts fascists take power. The rational debate did not occur in this year's presidential elections in Brazil. The Bolsonaro voter was not interested in whether his proposal for a government was better than that of the other candidates, but rather to elect the most viable candidate, according to the polls, to avoid the return of the PT (Workers Party) and Lula to power because they were synonymous with corruption and attack on morals. Fascism and Nazism emerged as emotional, irrational clamors, based on mass promises of renewal of national vigor. Reason did not stop the fascists or the Nazis and the police did not oppose to the fascist violence in Italy of Mussolini nor to the Nazi violence in Hitler's Germany. Although reason is always necessary, from an antifascist perspective it is unfortunately not enough by itself. The police also placed themselves at the service of fascism in Italy and of Nazism in Germany. Bray also states that "history shows that republican institutions have not always been a barrier to fascism. On the contrary, on several occasions, they worked like a red carpet". It is Bray's claim that "fascism did not have to knock down gates to gain access to the centers of power. It was enough to convince the porters to let him in". This means that there is nothing to ensure that the republican institutions of Brazil cannot be radically altered by the Bolsonaro government's action, which will certainly work, through draft laws and amendments to the Constitution, to prevail over the ideas it defended during the election campaign. The Bolsonaro government's conquest of the parliamentary majority in the National Congress would make it possible to approve not only its draft laws, but also to make amendments to the Constitution that would lead, for example, to the increase in the number of Federal Supreme Court ministers of 10 more members. Bolsonaro's goal would be, therefore, the conquest of total power encompassing the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary to put into practice its project of government. In order to avoid the end of the current democratic system in Brazil, it is not enough to rely on the republican institutions that may undergo changes contrary to the interests of the great majority of the population through draft laws and amendments to the Constitution by the Bolsonaro government. To prevent this from happening, a democratic front must be
  4. 4. 4 formed in Parliament and in Civil Society to defend the Constitution of 1988 and to fight against acts of government that are contrary to the interests of the vast majority of the population and of Brazil. * Fernando Alcoforado, 78, holder of the CONFEA / CREA System Medal of Merit, member of the Bahia Academy of Education, engineer and doctor in Territorial Planning and Regional Development by the University of Barcelona, university professor and consultant in the areas of strategic planning, business planning, regional planning and planning of energy systems, is the author of 14 books addressing issues such as Globalization and Development, Brazilian Economy, Global Warming and Climate Change, The Factors that Condition Economic and Social Development, Energy in the world and The Great Scientific, Economic, and Social Revolutions that Changed the World.

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