The impotence of law

Image: Silvia Faustino Saes


Almost 40 years after it came into force, the 88 Constitution seems to sob in the paranoid rictus of a sick President

Some apparently unique facts in history, looked at with a magnifying glass, can reveal trends in motion in reality, which allow the configuration of an entire era. “Eat brioches”, Marie Antoinette, before the fall of the Bastille; “You will follow me, Robespierre”, said Danton going to the guillotine during the Terror; Arafat, walking into the UN with an olive branch in his hands and guns in his belt; Mandela receiving a Police Officer in prison as his advisor; About to go to the podium with Getúlio, against fascism, after being thrown into jail during the Estado Novo. Brazil and Argentina, the strongest countries in Latin America, have superb examples in this regard.

On July 14, the Brazilian Ministry of Health published a Technical Note from which the linear conclusion can be drawn that the President of the Republic, through several publicly disclosed medical prescriptions - in addition to other intentional crimes and criminal omissions within the scope of Pandemic – undoubtedly committed the crime of “charlatanism”, provided for in article 283 of the Brazilian Penal Code. By disallowing the prescription of Chloroquine and other drugs to combat Covids-19, the Note brings to light a remnant of the functioning of the National State, in its public functions, by disallowing the President’s “medical” speech, completely outside of his political functions of State. But nothing happens: an ordinary charlatan would be jailed, but a macro presidential charlatan can continue to govern.

On May 23, 73, the dentist and historical figure of Peronism, Hector Cámpora, assumed his short presidential term in Argentina, which would last until July 13 of the same year. The “slogan” of Peronism, in the elections “without Perón” – in the ruin of the military dictatorship that left the country in rubble – said: “Chamber president, Perón in power”. Perón maintained, under his tutelage, extreme right-wing paramilitary groups, guided by the criminal Lopez Rega, who promoted “peace” between Perón and the Federal Police of the dictatorship. Perón also tutored the Montonero Army with his “left” hand, pawns to whom he also bestowed affection and benevolence. He treated them, however, with rejection and disqualification, when this suited him, because “technically”, the Vertical Chief – who kept under his wings an “extreme right” and an “extreme left” - knew that he was dealing with opposites that tended to cancel each other out.

On a Saturday of June 16, 73, Cámpora was in Madrid, at the house in ”Puerta de Hierro” with Perón, to render accounts to the leader-conductor, who, above the parties and their group strategies of search for power, would assure him the final blow. It would begin to remove him from the presidential chair and then establish a contingency legitimacy. It is the moment when, formally giving way to the royal path of overthrowing the military dictatorship, he would place himself in the Presidency as the concrete conductor of the entire overthrow of the regime. It is the moment when it becomes, at the same time, State and People, far removed from the traditional forms of political liberalism.

It is the decisive political fact in which a humble and morally tarnished Cámpora is criticized by Perón for being “weak” in the face of “provocative groups”, in fact all more (or less) close, oriented by his leadership or driven by the need to move forward with the their group strategies that they should return to power, to open a new democratic (or revolutionary) era according to the views of each political faction.

In a book on Peronism, published in 2014, several authors wrote about “What is” this phenomenon, which made the glory and tragedy of modern Argentina shine, where revolutionary attempts, military coups and oligarchic pacts, shaped a country on the which can be mentioned many social achievements, creation of a national identity, but also a State capable of unleashing unprecedented violence to defend the native oligarchic interests, never a reference project for a political democracy.

One of the authors of the book What is Peronism? (Ed. Octubre, p. 269), Jorge Bolivar, says at the end of one of his chapters, that “the abstract depersonalization of politics (in Argentina) has never been popular” (and that)” justicialism, as a political culture, does not did nothing other than take charge of this vital philosophical question, born of the valorization of strategic thinking in the power games of the world”. It is not exactly a “personality cult”, but an identification of the functions of the State in a political conductor that, more than representing, “presents” society in real power relations.

I was impressed with the lack of fear that most Brazilians showed with the formal announcement that sectors of the FFAA in the country would be promising a return to the military dictatorship. It wasn't courage, in my opinion, but simply a judgment determined by the harsh realism of facing everyday life. The speech of a President who sterilizes fear and naturalizes his own evil, who praises the torture of men and women, who promises to kill 30 and says he would like to have shot a former President is the same as imitating the suffocation of the dead. It speaks of a President who is the face of vast sectors of the ruling classes – thus, he made us reach the limit where the past fades away in the daily life of hatred. If this, however, is not the limit, it is because there are no more limits and we should all be ready to – beyond the pandemic – be treated like cattle mooing the values ​​of the French Revolution that were drained through the gutters of History.

Deaths, collective and selective murders, wars to conquer territories and wealth – indifference to torture and hunger – prevailed in democracy throughout the XNUMXth century, although important political and legal achievements were marked in reforms and revolutions. These, after all, were deformed and perverted throughout the Century, transforming the democratic form and the modern republic into a thin shell of barbarism. The impotence of the Law allows hatred to be deposited in the unconscious of all classes, to be combined with the mockery of death. The violence that broke out in Argentina after Perón and the indignity turned into politics in Bolsonaro's Brazil undermine liberal democracy and kill the Republic.

The 232 years of celebration of the beginning of the French Revolution recall two key words of mature modernity: democracy and republic, both incorporated in different ways by the vast majority of democratic parties – right and left – by socialists, social democrats from all over the world, who remain as symbols of unity in Western national constructions and reconstructions. But they remain only as promises, since their reforming or revolutionary integration and complementarity lack, today, the romanticism of conquest, both of the heavens of equality and of the fruition of democracy to reduce the suffering of the poor and dispossessed masses of the world.

Journalist André Trigueiro published a tweet on July 16, which said the following: “Congress's contempt for the reality of Brazil is only comparable to the alienation of French royalty in relation to the hunger of the plebs. These stories don't usually end well.” Perfect, I would sign below and add a few condiments: “This is the Bolsonarist majority in Congress, which is not ashamed of increasing hunger with its ultraliberal economic policy, but is also proud of not defending the people from the plague and hatred sown by the President.” And everything works within the formal rites of democracy undermined by militia power, sanctioned by institutions distorted by the advance of fascism.

The eternal controversy over the democratic issue continues today in a funeral procession assembled around his promises. The transition from the class structure of industrial society to the dilution of traditional social classes – it would be more correct to say a true “mutation” of classes and the absolute concentration of economic power in global finance capital – fragments common life. This ceases to function from organic communities, starting to rely – mainly – on isolated individuals or contingent communities: “atomized and isolated, individuals lend themselves both to social circulation in a homogeneous mass and to opaque massification or ultimate petrification – the petrification of death.” (Mattéi, Jean François, Ed. Unesp, p. 284).

The promises of the Century of Enlightenment, of equality, freedom and fraternity were suffocated in the USA, for example, in the racial “apartheid” – maintained until the 60's – with social reflexes and supporters that remain until today. In the rest of America, there were few democratic experiences maintained for long periods, not to mention those apparent political democracies, such as the Colombian one, whose stability pact was erected for decades, in an alternation of oligarchic power between “liberals” and “conservatives”.

Empirically taken, as a process in which rulers are elected by secret and universal suffrage in regimes of stable political coexistence – with a minimum of transparency and reasonable respect for civil and political rights – democracy is still a utopian claim. History – in its perverse irony – shows that the upper middle and wealthy landowning classes are, in fact, “not ready for democracy”. They go beyond mere selfishness as a “virtue” to make capitalism work and do not hesitate to accept death, threat, systemic violence, to govern through fascism and ward off – in this way – the “dangers” of democracy’s promises of equality policy, invented by the bourgeois intelligence of the XNUMXth century.

Almost 40 years after it came into force, the 88 Constitution seems to be hiccuping in the rictus paranoid of a sick President, who says he is not a gravedigger for our brothers, but is proud to be the murderer of the Social State of 1988.

*Tarsus in law he was Governor of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Mayor of Porto Alegre, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education and Minister of Institutional Relations in Brazil.


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