The Whole World Is Mad, But Brazil Has Lost Its Capacity for Indignation

São Paulo Gay Parade During the military regime, some Brazilians abroad dared to denounce the torture occurring in Brazil. For this action, even some democrats accused them of an offense against the country. Archbishop Hélder Câmara was one of those accused. “Don’t air your dirty laundry in public,” some said, deeming it a lack of patriotism to denounce Brazilian torture while living outside the country.

Now, some people are accusing a Spanish journalist – who lives in Brazil, has a Brazilian family, and who himself feels Brazilian – of wanting to offend Brazil by publishing an article in the Madrid newspaper El País* in which he expressed his surprise at the lack of national indignation about the corruption.

Until 2002, some of his critics were heralds of morality. Now they are indignant when anyone speaks out against the corruption. They should themselves be indignant about the country’s lack of indignation. Instead of indignation against the corruption, they direct their indignation against the journalist.

No one could claim that the number of corrupt politicians in power increased when a political party of the left took office. One could observe, however, that this diminished – almost eliminated – the number of indignant persons, increasing tolerance of corruption, even among those who earlier radically opposed it.

Impunity is the father of corruption; its mother is the loss of moral values, of the politically engaged’s banners of struggle. Above all, corruption is the fruit of the tolerance towards it and its practitioners and also of the acceptance of the immoral abyss, such as how unfairly, throughout Brazilian history, healthcare and education have been distributed.

Whether the parties of the left lost their banners because they came to power or whether they came to power because they lacked banners cannot be determined. The fact is that without banners, the parties view power as an end in itself.

Even if they themselves to do not employ it, the uncorrupt inevitably accept the corruption as normal. The politicians are divided into the toll payers – those who accept corruption as the price for being in power – and the toll takers – those who receive the toll to remain in power. Both groups accept the toll of the corruption as business as usual.

Juan Arias’s article is a landmark in denunciation, but it will not be transformed into a political landmark if it does not awaken us to act against the corruption the way we did against the dictatorship, thanks to the courageous denunciations, like those of Archbishop Hélder Câmara.

In the streets everything will continue as normal without demonstrations, without indignant Brazilians shouting their dissatisfaction, without courageous gestures like those of President Dilma when she carried out her housecleaning.

This gesture, it must be said, has not received strong expressions of solidarity from the political parties constituting her base. Some fear the lost of governability; others fear the lost of the key to the vault.

The scenario is worse than that of the military regime, when at least some were shouting, fighting and dying in the war against torture, in defense of a new constitution and of democracy.

Dilma appears to be acting almost alone. Now is the time for Brazil to support her, as, by the way, former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso has recently done, along with Arias himself, by differentiating her from the general landscape of tolerance, acceptance and lack of indignation about the “corruption in political behavior.”

Not to mention the lack of perception of the “corruption in the political priorities,” i.e., the tolerance of the inequality and social backwardness in a country where 41% of the population goes without potable water and sewerage connections, with schools operating in hovels, projects halted at 53 universities and the sports stadiums under construction in round-the-clock shifts.

*

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/internacional/brasilenos/reaccionan/corrupcion/politicos/elpepuintlat/20110707elpepuint_17/Tes 

in Spanish.

http://oglobo.globo.com/pais/noblat/post.asp?cod_post=391704&ch=n in Portuguese.

Cristovam Buarque is a professor at the University of Brasília and a PDT senator for the Federal District.  You can visit his website at www.cristovam.org.br/portal2/, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SEN_CRISTOVAM in Portuguese and http://twitter.com/cbbrazilianview in English and write to him at cristovam@senado.gov.br

New translations of his works of fiction The Subterranean Gods and Astricia are now available on Amazon.com.

Translated from the Portuguese by Linda Jerome (LinJerome@cs.com).

Tags:

Ads

You May Also Like

Fields Medal Winner Meets with Brazil President and Asks for More Investment in Science

Mathematician Artur Avila, recipient of the Fields Medal, regarded as the Nobel prize of ...

Long Will Live Free Markets

Why did many Brazilian businesspeople desert Serra and back Lula? They believe that someone ...

Brazilian Journalist Goes into Hiding After Report on Human Body Traffic

Reporters Without Borders (RSF), an organization headquartered in Paris, which fights for freedom of ...

An Invitation to Help Put and End to Impunity in Brazil

Newspaper readers throughout the Americas are being urged by the Inter American Press Association ...

How Low Will Brazil’s Lula Go to Please Washington?

Since the February 29 ouster of democratically-elected Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the UN has ...

Employment in Brazilian Industry Falls Slightly

The employment rate in the Brazilian industry increased 2.8% in February, in comparison to ...

Press Freedom Gets Better, But It’s Still Dangerous to Be a Reporter in Brazil

The world ranking for freedom of press in 175 countries as reported by French ...

PCC, gang First Command of the Capital

Brazil’s PCC Prison Gang May Be Murderers But the State Is Their Accomplice

For two weeks, last month, the city and state of São Paulo in southeastern ...

Brazil’s Revenue for the Year Rises 13% to US$ 355 Billion, a Record

Brazilian government revenue for August, which includes federal taxes and contributions, reached 74.608 billion ...

Brazilian Market Jumps Close to 5% While Dollar Rises Over 3%

After another shaky day, the Bovespa, Brazil's stock exchange, going along with Wall Street, ...