Collective democracy in Brazil

Leda Catunda - All Personal - 2006


Considerations on the dispute between the Social State and the Platform State.

Conclusively, at the start of the text, we can say that Brazil faces historical (racism, patriarchalism), structural (colossal inequalities), ancient (elitism, capacitism, slavery thinking) and post-modern problems: atavism, denialism, fake news, lack of control of financial capital. In this context, we will bring a first approximation to the concept of “collective democracy” – at least in a complementary perspective. We employ a conceptual, intuitive and creative analysis.

We will call “collective democracy” an ideal (utopian) but credible construction of democracy, and even if retained under the more liberal frameworks of popular representation of instituted power. In this sense, it would also be a plausible response for us, especially in the political time practiced between 2022-2026, to what we call reactive democracy: the struggle for institutional strengthening based on the urgent restoration of the postulates of the democratic State of law, in the sense of strengthening democratic, social, republican and popular, as an incision of a necessary social denazification (ADORNO, 1995), which is linked to the best efforts of popular education, and capable of combining politics and technique as a substrate of freedom and emancipation (FREIRE, 1993) .

For collective democracy, in addition to the recovery and strengthening of the social State and constitutional safeguards - social justice (art. 193, caput, of the Federal Constitution of 1988), social function of private property (art. 170, III, of the Federal Constitution of 1988) -, we understand that there are a series of changes and legislative actions and policies of protection, regulation (control) and punishment to violators of the democratic principle. In the aspect more restricted to cyber crimes against democracy, we can mention the legal formulation envisaged as disciplining Big Techs, with the provision of criminal and pecuniary co-responsibility in the face of abuses and crimes committed in the virtual environment.

This list, which, of course, is not exhausted here, includes effectiveness in protecting and promoting rights, guarantees and freedoms configured by isonomy between men and women, in facing and mitigating very serious social and cultural problems. economic, such as femicide[I], racism, slavery evidenced in the production chain, in the impoverishment caused by the detraction of labor rights, in the pension reform, and so many other urgent actions towards the “rescue of citizenship”, under the framework of the Social State designed in the Federal Constitution from 1988.

The analytical effort, which does not detach itself from the more prosaic reality in private or public life, for all of us, does not want to look to the past, in the idyllic and condemnatory sense of technology – recognized as neo-Luddite, typical of Unabomber or espoused in cynical philosophy ( J. POSADAS, 1981) – because, on the contrary, refusing modernity and the future is not only ineffective, innocuous, reactionary, but also unhealthy for the civilizing process, acting as a strong poison of the dialectical and teleological effort of the future: the current dystopias , incidentally, are exactly denialists of the future. The effort, at least at this stage we are in, in the face of reactive democracy – to recover the minimum bases of political-legal security of the democratic State of law, on the eve of the 2016 coup d’état –, is an invitation to open our eyes to the “necessary future”: popular, democratic, inclusive, freed from fake news fascists.

Therefore, we can also say that we know democracy, mainly, by the consecration of the winners in the dispute for votes, in the election that must consecrate the popular sovereignty, through the effectiveness of the stony clause that guarantees the free, secret and sovereign vote (periodically) . What is right, above all, when we analyze the last elections (2018 and 2022): after 2018, the judge who imprisoned one of the main contenders (Lula) would be enthroned as Minister of Justice, at the service of the rival and winner of that election; in 2022, with serious risks to the electoral system itself, the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) even acted beyond the contours of the rule of law so that the minimum democracy was ensured.

Oppositions to the contrary were of all kinds, starting with the fake news – without control and free from a specific legislation (which only starts now in the country)[ii] –, the last election brought to light an absolute truth, which, however, has been discarded: the intrinsic correlation between democracy and the Republic, especially because, under the aegis of public affairs, the principle of truth must prevail and this, obviously, it does not match the lie told, forged, planned, from that immense factory of fake news (“hate office”) that plagues us every day.

On the other hand, by expanding the democratic range, far beyond the defense systems of democracy, the nature and scope of the democratic principle are predicated, which include, in addition to mechanisms, assumptions and principles, processes and procedures, also the guarantee of that democracy is guided as a fundamental right – as long as we consider article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (DHDUs).

In this sense, we still understand that the ruling constitutionalism (CANOTILHO, 1990) forged us – since the Constituent Process of 1985 – a social/socialist Constitution derived from the socialist constitutionalism of Spain (1978) and Portugal (1976). This is another debate, very specific, that escapes our effort, however, it is not (or should not be) the bearer of any novelty (DÍAZ, 1993).

History, however, precedes what we know more closely: the Yugoslav Constitution (1953), followed by the Portuguese (1976) and Spanish (1978) constitutions, reaffirmed the commitments of the Social State as a healthy path of ethical and civilizing coexistence, forcing It is up to the public power to sponsor the necessary and effective means and mechanisms to uncover increased forms of democratic sociability.

Finally, if logic did not betray analysis, this is the dialectical force that led to action and also re-dimensioned the socialist State, from the dawn of the XNUMXth century. Therefore, a possible conclusion is that the socialist movement of the future, but started yesterday, is the result of the concretion of the democratic State of social law[iii]: tomorrow's reality does not abdicate today's utopia. It deals with the dynamics or historical milestones that make up the democratic State of law in the post-war period. However, there could be others, as Jorge Miranda (1997) points out, in the sense that there are four dominant lines of force in the immediate aftermath of the two world wars.

However, even if Jorge Miranda (1990) emphasizes other aspects of this profound transformation that the State underwent throughout the XNUMXth century – such as the struggle for the emancipation of colonial peoples – it is necessary to highlight the responses given to authoritarian regimes, configuring the defense and the prevalence of human rights.

Taken as a whole, this would be the best link between democracy and collective intelligence, since popular sovereignty is not only the foundation of the democratic rule of law, but is also, in essence, an impregnable human right – as a historic, seminal, sure bet. on the grounds that democracy is a fundamental right: everyone has the right to democratic participation (art. 21 of the UDHRs).

Finally, collective democracy is also balanced in what we can call the 5th generation of human rights: a classic of human rights based on article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, already in 1948, however, now under the focus of times of advancement unstoppable wave of technoscience and the economic power of Big Techs, above all, in the expanded form of financialization of dominant and hegemonic capital.[iv]

Without the illusions that technology is a constant ally of democracy, including because algorithms seem to be influenced by racist and elitist (fascist) thinking, we think and conclude that there is a real, notorious, true interaction between the postulates indicated from the beginning of the idea of ​​network (MARTINEZ, 2001),[v] as if they were verifiable principles and assumptions both at the end of the 1998th century and during this brief XNUMXst century: of all-to-all communication, of digital interaction as a political instrument for the dissolution of arbitration and the deepening of democracy (LÉVY, XNUMX).

Collective democracy, therefore, presents itself as a construct suitable for the opportunity of perfectibility, since it would be guided between virtual democracy (Martinez, 2002) and reactive democracy - anti-fascist, restoring the basic conditions of sociability, capacity for inclusive interaction and promotion of social intelligence.

*Vinicio Carrilho Martinez He is a professor at the Department of Education at UFSCar.


ADORNO, Theodor W. Education and Emancipation. Rio de Janeiro, Peace and Land, 1995.

CANOTILHO, José Joaquim Gomes. Constitutional Law and Theory of the Constitution. Lisbon, Almedina, 1990.

DIAZ, Elias. State of Right and Democratic Society. Madrid, Taurus, 1998.

FREIRE, Paul. Politics and Education. Sao Paulo, Cortez, 1993.

J. POSADA. Science, scientists and the construction of socialism. Science, Culture and Politics Publisher, 1981.

LEVY, Pierre. The Technologies of Intelligence: The Future of Thinking in the Information Age. Rio de Janeiro, Editora 34, 1993.

______ What is Virtual? São Paulo, Editora 34, 1996.

______ Digital and collective intelligence. Folha de São Paulo, July 06, 1997.

______ Collective intelligence: towards an anthropology of cyberspace. São Paulo, Loyola Editions, 1998.

MARTINEZ, Vinicius Carrilho. The Citizens' Network: Politics on the Internet. Doctoral thesis in Education. São Paulo, Faculty of Education of the University of São Paulo, 2001.

_____ Virtual Democracy: the birth of the fractal citizen. 2nd Edition. Publisher Praxis, São Paulo, 2002.

MIRANDA, J. (Org.). Historical texts of Constitutional Law. Lisbon: National Press; Mint, 1990.


[I]🇧🇷 Accessed on 6.3.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX.

[ii]🇧🇷 Accessed on 6.3.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX.

[iii] The Socialist State preceded it and will follow it, as a possible development – ​​at least, this is the original intention of the Portuguese State model.

[iv] The State-form in the axis of this imbrication between Public Power (or its negation) and financial capital necessarily brings other structural challenges, because the Rentier State itself is the greatest beneficiary of this political-economic structuring. Would it be a virtuality to apply the enormous public revenues arising from financial speculation, in Public Policies to combat hunger and social inequalities? Rentism could act in favor of the Welfare State or everything would be nothing more than a mere update of the Bourgeois State, in which expropriation supplants social benefits? This also requires specific analysis, in addition to the effort announced here. However, you can check it out at: & Accessed on 6.3.2023.

[v] In short, for Lévy, subsuming the individual in the collective means moving from collective intelligence to the intelligent collective: “The cooperative programming of software in cyberspace clearly illustrates the autopoiesis (or self-production) of collective intelligence, especially when the program aims at it. itself to improve the infrastructure of social communication (...) Navigating in cyberspace is equivalent to taking a conscious look at the chaotic interiority, the tireless purring, the banal futilities and the planetary flashes of collective intelligence. Access to the intellectual process of the whole informs each part, individual or group, and in turn feeds that of the whole. We then pass from collective intelligence to the intelligent collective” (1996, p. 116-7).

The A Terra é Redonda website exists thanks to our readers and supporters.
Help us keep this idea going.
Click here and find how

See this link for all articles


  • Franz Kafka, libertarian spiritFranz Kafka, libertarian spirit 13/06/2024 By MICHAEL LÖWY: Notes on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the Czech writer
  • The society of dead historyclassroom similar to the one in usp history 16/06/2024 By ANTONIO SIMPLICIO DE ALMEIDA NETO: The subject of history was inserted into a generic area called Applied Human and Social Sciences and, finally, disappeared into the curricular drain
  • About artificial ignoranceEugenio Bucci 15/06/2024 By EUGÊNIO BUCCI: Today, ignorance is not an uninhabited house, devoid of ideas, but a building full of disjointed nonsense, a goo of heavy density that occupies every space
  • A look at the 2024 federal strikelula haddad 20/06/2024 By IAEL DE SOUZA: A few months into government, Lula's electoral fraud was proven, accompanied by his “faithful henchman”, the Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad
  • Letter to the presidentSquid 59mk,g 18/06/2024 By FRANCISCO ALVES, JOÃO DOS REIS SILVA JÚNIOR & VALDEMAR SGUISSARDI: “We completely agree with Your Excellency. when he states and reaffirms that 'Education is an investment, not an expense'”
  • Return to the path of hopelate afternoon 21/06/2024 By JUAREZ GUIMARÃES & MARILANE TEIXEIRA: Five initiatives that can allow the Brazilian left and center-left to resume dialogue with the majority hope of Brazilians
  • Chico Buarque, 80 years oldchico 19/06/2024 By ROGÉRIO RUFINO DE OLIVEIRA: The class struggle, universal, is particularized in the refinement of constructive intention, in the tone of proletarian proparoxytones
  • Why are we on strike?statue 50g 20/06/2024 By SERGIO STOCO: We have reached a situation of shortage of federal educational institutions
  • Theological manual of neoliberal neo-PentecostalismJesus saves 22/06/2024 By LEONARDO SACRAMENTO: Theology has become coaching or encouraging disputes between workers in the world of work
  • Ordocapitalism and anarchocapitalismELEUTERIO2 19/06/2024 By ELEUTÉRIO FS PRADO: The State began to be seen to a certain extent as an enemy, as in Javier Milei's speech that vociferates against its protective and redistributive activity