The unfinished independence of Brazil

Image: Leonardo Dourado
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By LEONARDO BOFF*

Here, delegation democracy was and continues to be of low and even very low intensity, with only formal and legal freedom.

On the 7th of September of each year we celebrate Brazil's Independence Day. But it is an inconclusive independence. It was made by Dom Pedro I riding a donkey and not as epic and falsely painted by Meireles riding a beautiful horse.

By becoming independent from Brazil, the same relations as in the colonial era were maintained, between the masters of the Casa Grande and the slaves in the slave quarters. Let us not forget the fact that Independence was still achieved within the framework of slavery, which was brutal and cruel for millions of people brought from Africa and enslaved here. Even after the Lei Áurea of ​​1888, the enslaved did not have any compensation in terms of land, jobs and opportunities. They were cast into hell with absolutely nothing. Today, people of African descent make up 54% of our population, for whom we have never repaid our debt for all that they have suffered and helped to build this nation.

As a country, we have always been dependent. First from Portugal, then from England, then from the USA and currently from the opulent countries with their mega corporations that exploit our riches.

There was never a nation project. As has been amply shown by historians, there has always been a policy of reconciling the wealthy classes with each other and with their backs to the people, excluded and cowardly despised and hated. They occupied the State and its apparatuses to guarantee their privileges, enjoy the advantages of large projects, bribes and simply naturalized corruption. That's why we have a country deeply divided between a small number of millionaires and billionaires, a portion of the middle class and between the great majority marginalized and excluded from the goods of civilization.

There was, in colonial times, resistance and revolts by ordinary people, blacks and indigenous people, all of whom were violently crushed with hangings, shootings or, at best, with exile and with coups and dictatorships in the republican era.

In fact, here delegative democracy was and continues to be of low and even very low intensity, with only formal and legal freedom, but without its irreplaceable complement, equality. That is why shameful inequality, one of the greatest in the world, is rampant, a social injustice so serious that it cries out to heaven for the victims it produces.

Looking back, our country's history is marked by dark shadows, of indigenous genocide, colonization, slavery and the domination of backward elites, as described by sociologist Jessé Souza who cling to power.

When someone from the floor below, a survivor of the great Brazilian tribulation, came to power, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva and with his successor Dilma Rousseff introduced social policies for the insertion of millions of poor and hungry people, a legal coup was soon set up against them. parliamentary-media. In this way, the old order (from social disorder) was saved and it was continued by an insane and psychopathic figure who took from the closet of important parts of the population all that there was of hatred and perversion, repressed and late fruit of the time of slavery. The enslaved were simply “pieces” to be sold and bought on the market and treated with the famous three Ps: stick, bread and cloth: stick like inhumane whipping, bread to prevent them from starving and cloth to hide their shame. The practice was one of violence that continues today with the black and poor population.

fine finaliter: here our independence was lame and unfinished, which robs us of any sense of celebration. As there has never been a revolution, as in the great countries that have made their leap in quality, that has removed the class of privilege and easy enrichment from power-domination, we have never been given the opportunity to found a nation with a project for all, lofty and active. We only extended the dependency regime of several other foreign powers until the present date.

What would be our chance and our fate? Looking forward and into the future. We are a continental nation, with the greatest ecological wealth on the planet in terms of fresh water, tropical forests, fertile soils, immense biodiversity and an open, skillful and intelligent people who managed to survive all kinds of oppression.

We know that Earth has reached its limit. On July 28, 2022, Earth Overshoot Day (The Earth Overshoot Day) that is, we use all the natural goods and services indispensable for life. We entered the special check. In the past seven months, we have used all the water, minerals, vegetables and energy that the planet can produce and regenerate in a period of 365 days. For us to continue living, we would need the biocapacity of 1,75 Earths, which we don't have.

With the unexpected growth of global warming and with what already exists of CO2 and methane accumulated in the atmosphere, extreme events will be inevitable. We arrived late. With science and technique we can only mitigate the extreme effects that will come with the destruction of ecosystems and thousands of human lives. According to this year's IPCC data, this could happen in the next 3-4 years. There will be social inflection points such as erosion of people's way of life, increase in conflicts, violence, migration and humanitarian crises, affecting infrastructure, food, water and energy security. Many nations are unable to produce what their population needs, a situation made worse by the intrusion of Covid-19.

This grim reality could become a global catastrophe. It is at this point that the possible and real independence of Brazil comes in. He can be the table set for the hungers and thirsts of all mankind. This will largely depend on Brazil, on the humidity of our Amazon, on the protein from our cattle and poultry, and on the production of food from our soils. Great part of the countries, today independent, will be dependent on us. Finally we will have achieved our real independence, not for our pride and benefit, but as a service to life on Earth and the survival of humanity.

Finally, we will be able to sing the carnival song: “Liberdade, Liberdade! Spread your wings over us. And may the voice of Equality always be our voice” and that of all humanity.

*Leonardo Boff He is a theologian, philosopher and writer. Author, among other books, of Inhabit the Earth, (Vozes).

 

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