failed public policies

Blanca Alaníz, series Dios en la Tierra, digitalized analog photography, Mexico City, 2019.


Everyone assumes that there are public policies in the country for culture, family care, budget, education, health, defense, heritage, etc. No, there is not. There was

On a daily basis, we hear radio, press and TV anchors and commentators saying this or that about “public policies”, both the most studious and communicators who have heard about them. Everyone assumes that there are public policies in the country for culture, family care, budget, education, health, defense, heritage, etc. No, there is not. There was.

What would be the opposite of a public policy? Probably decrees, laws, ordinances, norms, interventionist speeches and the like that govern values, procedures, dispositions, ideas and partisan and ideological tendencies.

Just as it would be impossible to talk about Public Policy in the 1920s and 1930s, partly still in the Old Republic, it also becomes impossible for its existence, management and validity in the country of the worst ruler on the planet. In the old republic, there was an absence of critical mass accumulation for the formulation, daily experience of governance and evaluation of policies. An adequate naming of what happened was the realization of the public service, or service to the public. And it was a big deal! What was good in the governments of the various instances of power did not have the magnitude of what was later instituted as public policy.

It is convenient to break down the common sense about the existence of public policy under lunatic governments. Some arguments from the field of administration are indispensable.

Draibe (2007, p. 30) suggests a suitable moment for revealing social or public social policy in the United Nations action in favor of more lasting and robust practices for the development of societies. To this end, he creates a note in which he locates the achievement of this relationship between development and social policy for the common good:

It was Gunnar Myrdal who originally explained this concept of social development, when he coordinated, in 1966, in the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, the group of specialists in charge of preparing the study on the unified strategy of social and economic development, guided by four principles basic norms: a) that no segment of the population is left aside from development and social transformations; b) that growth be the object of the mobilization of broad layers of the population and that their participation in the development process be ensured; c) that social equity is equally considered in terms of ethics and economic efficiency and d) that high priority is given to the development of human potential, especially children, avoiding early malnutrition, offering health services and guaranteeing them if equal opportunities.

For Draibe, the touchstone of Myrdal's team is open to other multilateral manifestations, such as the World Declaration on the Protection of Children (1990), the Social Development Summit in Copenhagen (1995), the Millennium Goals, etc.

The lapidary text, which has to do with the recent conceptualizations of Public/Social Policy, meets the text by Capella (2007, p. 93), for whom studies post-positivists from the field of policies “seek to show that the policy formulation process is closer to the field of ideas, argumentation and discussion than to formal problem solving techniques”. Thus, Capella (p. 95) can state that:

In certain circumstances, these three streams – problems, solutions and political dynamics – are brought together, generating an opportunity to change the agenda (agenda setting, or agenda setting). At that moment, a problem is recognized, a solution is available and the political conditions make the moment propitious for change, allowing the convergence between the three streams and allowing issues to rise to the agenda.

In turn, Souza (2007:72-73) summarizes this movement well:

*public policy makes it possible to distinguish between what the government intends to do and what it actually does;

*public policy involves various actors and decision-making levels, although it is materialized in governments, and is not necessarily restricted to formal participants, since informal ones are also important;

*public policy is comprehensive and not limited to laws and rules;

*public policy is an intentional action, with objectives to be achieved;

*public policy, although it has short-term impacts, is a long-term policy;

*public policy involves subsequent processes after its decision and proposal, that is, it also implies implementation, execution and evaluation;

*studies on public policy per se focus on processes, actors and the construction of rules, distinguishing themselves from studies on social policy, which focus on the consequences and results of policy.

Draibe shows us that social policies are revealed in the midst of debates on development in the 1960s. It is true that Laswell (1936) introduced the expression policy analysis well before. However, as Souza explains, it was about creating a relationship between scientific knowledge and empirical production by governments. As for cultural policy, since the founding of UNESCO there have been conferences that advance the concept of cultural policy.

Certainly, the Citizen's Constitution (despite the fact that, today, it is more holed and patched up than the shooting board/alvaro in Adoniram) instils associated meanings of policies for the common good, orders forms of governance, proposes councils, arrangements economic and political regional with innovative potential and, in this way, establishes a new policy discourse for the public, for the people. It happens, as a result, that only governances – and not governments – create policies, because the triad government, organizations and institutions of social cooperation and sectors of production, distribution and consumption of the city/region acquires a scale of participation, a reading of reality and the right to interfere in the budget distribution according to fairer criteria.

Therefore, after 1988, a set of policy-making arrangements took place, more at the local and regional levels. As for the central governments, it is indispensable that they have statesmen at their head, as the virtue resulting from the posture forges a civil service of the second and third echelons with the necessary qualities to coordinate multiple procedures that guarantee policies to the public. Such policies are not a grid of contents: health, budget, transport, culture, assistance, sanitation, education. On the contrary, they are a construction of values ​​from their formulation to their evaluation and improvement.

None of that exists in the government of the sinister figure. This way there are no policies. There are projects, segments of previous actions, standardization of conduct, functionalism and bureaucracy that deal with government obligations in the way we see, know and feel. One of its results is the unjust and absurd death of more than half of those that Brazilian families lost to Sars Cov 2.

This would be the major Brazilian public policy to start in February 2020, with a broad governance movement and intense popular and business participation. As a result of these forces, social closure actions would be possible, decisive support for the impoverished and needy entrepreneurs and great appreciation of education and culture as places of symbolic construction for a happier and more beautiful life.

None of that was done. For all this, a responsible influencer cannot speak about what does not exist, public policies A and B. It is necessary to give appropriate names to reality, because it is already too much for this suffering people - and that many times, as suggested by Paulo Freire, assumes the ideology of the dominant – the discursive irresponsibility of people who would be responsible for political leadership and, after all, behaved like faithful friends of death and despair. These are found, by the bunch, in the three powers of the sad republic.

If it is possible to say on what occasions forms of governance capable of instituting public policies in creative obedience to CF 1988 were developed, there is no doubt. They started in the FHC government and were widely developed in the Lula government. This text seeks to express a technical-scientific thought and, therefore, owes nothing to the speech from a platform or tribune of chambers and senates. Nothing happened in Collor, attempts in Itamar, important openings in FHC and building abundance in Lula, falling a lot in sequence until reaching nothingness.

In FHC there are effective policies of culture, education and economic processes in the liberal format, which both associate the symbolic universe with the dictates of the market and are able to open up to hitherto unknown rights, as seen with laws that stimulate cultural activity and a preparation to universalize rights in education.

In the Lula government, the great policy makers were intellectuals and specialists from the second and third echelons of the public service, who insisted on overcoming the still liberal and developmentalist government in which they found themselves. They worked as militants at the service of local, regional, state and national conferences, whose results, written by many hands, would make it possible to govern the country – and well – until the year 2050. Certainly, with an intelligent reading of new realities , legal changes and proper speeches. This applies to all fields of knowledge and practice, from culture that shines to sanitary sewage that nobody sees. Everything was an immense process of cultural construction. Within it, the systematization of the very core that forms culture, which is education, grew as a public policy and reached the ends of the system where peripheral peoples, riverside peoples, nomads, quilombolas, indigenous peoples live. These people helped write the policies. When they don't have the right to do so, it's politics. It doesn't exist. A workman has as much wisdom in building his house as the architect who will enter with constructive science. After all, it is his house that is found in the retina of the brain, in an effective constructive process.

Well, what the insane government is doing today is the murder of what still had signs of public policy in its way of conceiving, implementing and evaluating. It has the submissive and doormat support of the various levels of government, each one clinging to the mouths, just the way the lunatic likes it. From the north to the south of the country, movements in defense and reconstruction of what is left, or in search of the “new”, seek to organize themselves. The most beautiful and strong movements are located among rural workers, in the ecological-environmental struggle, in indigenous and quilombola cultural spaces, in small work and income enterprises. The cultural movement is in a bind and the field of education is teeming with competing theories and, after all, it has difficulty even analyzing and explaining the reasons for the technological framework that is murdering pedagogy and didactics, fields of knowledge that are indispensable for make education as a project of autonomy, freedom and citizenship. The relativism of education theorists is brutal. Also useful for mere conversations, for lives at the moment the MEC does not exist. It evaporated. Long live MEC reborn and vigorous post 2022! Long live the National Education Plan, mortinho da silva, in which male and female teachers, male and female students have real rights, now also frustrated.

Influencers and media professionals could help criticize the policy breakdown. On the contrary, when trying to signal that they know the concept, they repeat and repeat disconnected things about public policies, which brings water to the Bolsonarist mill. Firstly, for demonstrating a supposedly feasible reality that, upon losing its symbols, died suffocated by the republic's insane. Languages ​​cannot lose symbols. In the same way, the reproduction of the non-existent suggests a normal country, but here there is almost nothing normal. Much less politics. Even when they are critical of the government, many influencers make a dead work, for they do not go to the root of the contradictions of insane government. Thus, they act as redeemers of evil and collaborate with the lunatic's obsession, 2022.

In the very year that we will begin to commemorate the extraordinary, controversial and creative modernist era that began in 1922. God help me!

*Luiz Roberto Alves is a senior professor at the School of Communications and Arts at USP.


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