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Brazzil - Politics - August 2004

In Brazil, Good News Is No News

For sure, Brazil's government would take pleasure in installing its
own peculiar form of dictatorship. Marxism has always run in the
veins of the Workers' Party. It's in the DNA. Not by chance, every
so often, ghostwriters for President Lula, the Supreme Ignoramus,
find room to insert a Stalinist author amidst his fastidious speeches.

Janer Cristaldo


Picture There is a concern, among certain sectors of the non-Left, that the Workers Party is leading the nation to a communist regime. Should that be the case, the party's strategy would be founded on Italian Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci, which basically consists in the infiltration of a society's culture prior to the revolution—the communist revolution, let it be clear.

That being established, hearts and minds—to borrow an endeared expression by Richard Nixon—would be so overwhelmed by rampant contamination that the perception of a regime change would go unnoticed.

Forgive me those who think that way, but I disagree. I disagree not only with the fact that the Workers Party is leading the country toward a communist regime, but also with the efficacy of Gramscism as a battle tool.

It is true that the press and the nation's academic world are engulfed in a Marxist view of the world, even when neither journalists nor professors are Marxists. But to hold the Italian scholar responsible for such phenomenon would mean honors where honors are not due.

In Brazil there's a small circle of intellectuals who cherish his work; one must live on something after all. But this small circle does not have what it takes to influence the future of this uncultured nation.

A militant doesn't need to read great theories in order to infer that—once the press and universities are in check—the culture of a nation is under control.

The celebrated Gramscians in Brazil today are retired scholars, who would never turn their backs on their youth doctrine. It is very hard for a man, at the end of his life, to recognize that all he wrote isn't worth shit. So, they continue to hang on to lies that have brought them prestige and support. Old trees don't stoop, they crack.

Can anyone fathom a Carlos Nelson Coutinho, Leandro Konder, Marco Aurelio Nogueira, Paulo Eduardo Arantes, Tarso Genro, or so many others scholars who built their careers developing theses and articles about Gramsci, dumping all their garbage out? That's too much to be expected from the perfect Latin-American idiot.

Gramsci died in 1937. Intellectuals such as Sartre or Brecht, Aragon or Neruda, Jorge Amado or Graciliano Ramos were drawn to Stalinism not as a result of his work. Like opium, Marxist theory intoxicated an entire intellectual community of the past century, and that cannot be attributed to the Italian.

Catholic Communism

Deep in the soul of every Marxist, there is a Christian who suffocated his religion in favor of another, secular but totalitarian as well. (At times, the path goes in the opposite direction).

As a matter of fact, in the West, Marxism took a stronghold precisely in Catholic countries: Russia, Italy, France, Spain, Brazil. In Protestant settings, success was very limited.

If Portuguese is the "uncultured and beautiful" (as poet Olavo Bilac wrote) last language born out of the Latin, Marxism is the last cultured and ugly heir to Catholicism. Gramsci is simply a minor religious clerk, a mere support for iconic symbols.

Nor do I deem possible that any party, no matter how obsolete, can drag this country into a communist regime. Will the Supreme Ignoramus manage to transform this pluralistic society into a single party regime? Do away with elections and replace them with a one candidate farce?

Place the opposition under arrest? Put an end to private property and unions? Create gulags for dissidents? Convince doctors to be content with 15 dollars a month? The fearful please forgive me, but I cannot believe so. It is too late to attest to the quadrature of the Earth.

Obviously, this does not mean that the government wouldn't take pleasure in installing its own peculiar form of dictatorship. Marxism has always run in the veins of the Workers' Party. It's in the DNA.

Not by chance, every so often, ghostwriters for the Supreme Ignoramus find room to insert a Stalinist author amidst his fastidious discourses. If the idea of a single party, single newspaper, suppressing elections, or gulags seems unfathomable, nonetheless, the governing party is bound to take some action to stifle the opposition.

Last week, Dr. Strangelove raised his arm, once again, to salute Jossif Wissarionowitsch Dschugaschwili, the People's Daddy, aka Stalin, which means "the one of steel" in Russian.

Two were the modest proposals by the government: an agency to oversee cultural productions, Ancinav, and a council to police news media. Within one week, two heavy blows.

Ancinav would have authority over movies, television, cable TV, radio, and other audio-visual media organizations, that is, all that can influence the hordes of illiterates in the country.

We are turning back to the times of socialist realism, also known as Zdanovism. This unrefined theory, elaborated by the Russian scholar Andrei Zdanov and imported to Brazil by the noted author Jorge Amado, was the only art movement permitted in the USSR once Stalin rose to power, and in effect it transformed literature and other art forms into pamphlets at the disposal of the socialist revolution.

By the way, Zdanov's ideas have been widely employed by Globo TV, throughout its soap opera productions, and not one journalist ever points it out.

After all, no one is safe from ever having to knock on the Marinho Empire's door (the Marinho family owns Globo Group—TV, cable, newspaper, radio, magazines), begging for a job.

The proposal couldn't have come out from anywhere else but the Cabinet, controlled by Bolshevik and Cuban agent José Dirceu, who is President's Lula Chief of Staff.

Muzzling the Press

To reign over the remaining portion of the educated population, a council to censure journalists is to be created. This was proposed by our comrades from the National Federation of Journalists.

It's not enough that Brazil is the only country to require a diploma to practice journalism; the group prostitutes now want to silence the voice of the only influential bloc who has denounced corruption in the Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary.

The Supreme Ignoramus, despite ignoramus, is a sensible man and knows where the shoe pinches. Were it not for the press, Lalaus (reference to Judge Nicolau dos Santos, found guilty and sent to prison), Dirceus (reference to chief of staff José Dirceu), and Meirelles (reference to Central Bank president Meirelles) and people alike would remain immaculate at their posts.

Wolf doesn't eat wolf. Lula is illiterate, but this he can understand. He wants to hush the last recourse for the disclosure of irregularities, the most approachable course of action to citizens, the press.

According to one of the Administration's royals, labor minister Berzoini, today there isn't a body "to police and punish inadequate conduct by journalists."

All indications are that the highly qualified aides in Brasilia have not informed the minister of the existence of a Legal Code and a Press Statute, the latter being an after-effect of the military regime.

I remain skeptical that the government party can drive us to a communist regime. But some sort of dictatorship is inevitable. No Marxist, even those within the Government Palace, can endure the news media cracking down on the wrongdoings of power.

Perhaps, something akin to the modern Chinese model—ample capital freedom, yet no freedom of thought; in any case, a kind of sequel to the post-64 regime, when the military and their barracks rigidness imposed something on the nation that should never have been imposed—press censorship.

The next step on the way to the dictatorship will be taken in the coming days. On the August 18th , the Federal Supreme Court will decide whether or not to suppress an established, proper, and vested right, attained by government employees who are not in active duty: the right not to pay social security.

The government, in need of cash to compensate the "retroactive heroes" who attempted to ruin de nation, is going all out in an effort to undermine one of the pillars of a democratic regime.

If this pillar, the vested right, is taken away, there will be no roadblocks for others to be eliminated, such nonsense as the right to property ownership or to inheritance.

There will then be a new type of dictatorial regime in place, the Tupiniquim (a common term in Brazil, which refers to native Tupiniquim Indians, often used in a self-deprecating, mocking context), a system which negates the rights of its citizens, rigorously adhering to institutional guides.

Congratulations, all Brazilians!
Now, with distinct virility,
in the universe among nations
outshines that of Brazil
(short piece of Brazil's Independence anthem)

Janer Cristaldo—he holds a PhD from University of Paris, Sorbonne—is an author, translator, lawyer, philosopher and journalist and lives in São Paulo. His e-mail address is cristal@baguete.com.br.
Translated from the Portuguese by Eduardo Assumpção de Queiroz. He is a freelance translator, with a degree in Business and almost 20 years of experience working in the fields of economics, communications, social and political sciences, and sports. He lives in Boca Raton, FL. His email: eaqus@adelphia.net.

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