Brazil's well-thinking right

Marcelo Guimarães Lima, Mask, pencil and acrylic on paper, 21x29cm, 2021.


Democratic and patriotic considerations about the country by one of the thinkers of Brazilian Rastaquera capitalism

Being a fiction writer in Brazil is tough, very tough. Reality constantly surpasses the most fertile imagination! Among us, the products of imagination repeatedly take the place of reality, things, facts, concepts change places, subtly or openly, but always cheerfully or laughingly, without many reservations, without anguish, anxiety or shame. And everything merges into a general jam where identities evaporate, logical distinctions fade away, ideas are malleable to superlative degrees, anchored only in the friendliness of a cordial look and a kind smile of recognition in conversations between intimacies that are mirrored in the place common sense of public cordiality.

We are, after all, a surreal country but, unfortunately, ours is a surrealism impoverished by paralyzing, fruitless automatisms, a surrealism whose delusions are easily decipherable in their thin meanings, where dreams do not supplement, expand and invigorate reality, but only mirror reality. more than relative spiritual misery, everyday moral misery.

An interesting example is the recent article by Mr. Delfim Netto in the prestigious Folha de S. Paul, a newspaper that pretends to be the mouthpiece of Brazil's well-thinking right. In the article, Mr. Delfim Netto, economist who was (between 1967 and 1974, tells us the Sheet) all-powerful minister of the military dictatorship weaves his . democratic and patriotic considerations about the country, about our democracy, about the need for a national project in the conjuncture of the approaching elections and other charitable considerations.

All this in a language, I would say, almost paternal, certainly proper to an old citizen with wide experience of life and public life, addressing readers in a tone of sublime benevolence and tranquility. The tranquility of someone who has confidence in his own wisdom and knows that, therefore, he must be heard, or, of course, he would not have his space in the already characterized prestigious publication. The tranquility of the former servants of the military business dictatorship, never held accountable.

At the beginning of the article by the former “Economy Czar” under the military regime (so called by the journalistic media at the time), Mr. Netto demonstrates his knowledge of the country's modern history, in which he was a very important character in his time. There was a time, he says, when Brazil was, so to speak, the “envy of nations” (our expression here, not from the writer, but in the spirit of the proposition), for its vigorous growth rates above the world average, among 50s and 70s of the last century. As of the 80s, things changed, difficulties accumulated and “we plunged into a dynamic of accelerated relative impoverishment, which we were not successful in reversing”, he writes.

Faced with the current impasse of the coup regime under which we live, Mr. Netto militantly writes: “low growth is not destiny” and earnestly asks those who deserve it, that is, the candidates for the presidency in 2022, a project for a country that in fact contemplates the enormous current difficulties and offers a safe guide for the future.

It is to be noted that Mr. Delfim Netto was at the forefront, as minister of economy, of bold initiatives and ideas, of a specific country project: that of the military dictatorship. The years in which Mr. Delfim Netto commanded the Brazilian economy were the years of the resurgence of the military dictatorship that began with the 1964 coup, years of intensified censorship, wage squeeze, interventions in unions, universities, torture and murders of opponents of the regime, regime whose condition for implantation and survival was precisely the subversion of the country's political organization and institutions, torture and the crimes of generalized repression, limitless violence. From 1964 to 2016, from one coup regime to another, Mr Delfim Netto is an objective link, who expresses himself on this occasion as a mediator in his vast political-administrative experience.

The same can be said, in his specific domain as a political professional, of Jair Bolsonaro, a former soldier trained in the extreme right ideology of the military business dictatorship, and who offers the country today, as a unique project of (mis)government, the anachronistic ideology of generic and providential “anti-communism”. A true “child of the dictatorship”, in the expression with which the combative progressive Leonel Brizola, arch-enemy of the military power, defined Mr. Paulo Maluf in the political struggles of the time.

A Folha de S. Paul, harboring the ideas of Mr. Delfim Netto and many other thinkers and ideologues of Brazilian Rastaque capitalism, gives expression to national surrealism. For my part, expressing my meager qualities as a prophet, I predict that when the illustrious Jair Bolsonaro leaves the presidency, retires from politics, he will also have his democratic space writing in the famous São Paulo newspaper. Perhaps even a democratic weekly column. Probably written by Carlos Bolsonaro and his communications office. Possibly after a period of long vacation from public life following the example of Mr. Eduardo Cunha, agitator of the 2016 coup. Or maybe not. After all, our legal tradition and practice is selectively Christian and given to pardoning those who can or deserve to be pardoned of notorious charges or crimes. In the words of the distinguished Minister of the STF, Alexandre de Morais, Brazilian justice is blind, but it is not foolish.

*Marcelo Guimaraes Lima is an artist, researcher, writer and teacher.

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