Arresting conspirators who want a dictatorship is what the military did to communists

Under normal conditions of temperature and pressure, we would not argue with the current media elite – just as we would not argue with Napoleon in the asylum. But if temperature and pressure conditions were normal, the media elite would be different than they are today. We would not even have the expression “media elite”, since the media elite would only be the top of a professional category – and not a portion of the non-elected leaders of a country. Now a journalist snubs a private conversation with the authority who has him arrested. We are definitely not in the normal conditions of temperature and pressure.

Another reason to turn our eyes to the media elite is the power of propaganda. Hannah Arendt pointed out as characteristic of totalitarianism the breakdown of solidarity between citizens. Today, if you are someone important, you never know who might report you to the nearest journalist-commissioner. Among the unimportant, there is the possibility of a commissioner printing conversations and exposing the public execration, or putting them to circulate in important areas for the snitch. The man ends up silent, afraid. And, without communicating his thoughts, nor knowing those of his neighbors, he is only listening to propaganda. He can no longer know that he is not alone and begins to doubt himself. But a lot of people – perhaps most – think like him. And these madhouse Napoleons, even though they now rule the country, are nothing but madhouse Napoleons. They are the ones who should be ashamed of what they think and say.

Lack of clarity about what democracy is

Democracy sometimes has its redefinitions opportunistic. No one in their right mind would say that North Korea is democratic; however, the official name of the country is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. East Germany was the German Democratic Republic. Looking back, it is easy to point out that the defense of democracy was only nominal, a propagandistic ploy of communism. The surname “popular”, in “popular democracy”, served for communists to deny democracy. The Communists’ “people’s democracy” was not democracy; it was a totalitarian dictatorship.

Now there is a new surname to empty the meaning of “democracy”: after also vandalizing the meaning of “liberalism”, “liberal democracy” came to designate the dictatorship of some progressives who live on propaganda to mask reality, and judicial pens to repress dissent or mere non-observance of the new norms.

By “democracy”, until the day before yesterday, we understood the form of government in which the people, sovereign, elect their representatives and create the law through them. However, the dictatorship that now adopts the name of “liberal democracy” considers that everything that is popular is populist, therefore, bad in itself. In its vocabulary that makes revisionism of the present, there are not even people. It’s all population to be tagged “democratically” by the enlightened.

This is a global, or at least western, problem. Peculiar to the Brazil of the New Republic is the definition of democracy as opposed to the military regime. Political categories are binary and timeless: the period from 64 to 85 defines political life today. If he was against “the dictatorship” – with the definite article in the singular, as if there was only one dictatorship in the entire world – then he was in favor of democracy. This is false, because the communists were against “the dictatorship” and are not democrats at all. On the contrary: they were at the service of the most lethal dictatorships in the world at that moment, which were the USSR and China.

Furthermore, the fact is that the men and women who really opposed the regime are dead. or old. Four-year-old journalists played with colored pencils at school when the constitution of 88 was enacted. They have no experience of that period. On the other hand, some old people did not allow themselves to be defined by the communism of their youth. See Osmar Terra, who was a communist leader in the 20th century and Bolsonaro’s minister in the 21st century.

A lot of little journalists weren’t even born when Osmar Terra was fleeing Repression. However, he uses the achievements of Osmar Terra himself, a “warrior of democracy”, to feel morally superior to Osmar Terra, a “denial populist”. By what right? It’s ridiculous.

They weren’t Democrats in 64

If journalists weren’t born or drew with colored pencils, media institutions already existed. Not only did they exist, they also called for an intervention to end the Jango turmoil and restore order in the country by military hand. In 2018, Bolsonaro reminded Globo of this, which aired, through Miriam Leitão, a note in which he admitted the error and also recalling that all vehicles took the same attitude, except for the newspaper Última Hora. The newspaper had defended the end of democracy in order to preserve democratic institutions.

The media elite is in no condition to claim a history of “defense of democracy”. Former leftists used to accuse Folha de S. Paulo of lending its fleet of vehicles to the Repression. The version was included in the Truth Commission, and I could not find any denial from the newspaper.

For my part, I will not adhere to the inconsequential motto fiat iustitia ruat caelum and say that legal rites must be followed unconditionally. Formal justice, on which democracy is based, serves precisely so that the sky does not collapse; for society to live in peace and stability. Sometimes the laws were poorly made (see the separate election of president and vice president), sometimes international turmoil prevents democracies from deliberating on important issues in a timely manner. Far be it from me to put the norm “democracy must be defended” on the same footing as “children must not be castrated”. You can be unconditional in one case and not in the other. You can say that one culture is hateful if you allow the second one, but you can’t say the same about most of human history, which is not democratic.

So far be it from me to throw stones at those who defended the coup of 64. If I lived through the period and I was convinced that the only two viable options in the medium term were a provisional military dictatorship or a long-term communist dictatorship, I would not hesitate to go with the first. But if an institution regretted publicly defending the coup of 64, please don’t do it posing as the champion of democracy, its unconditional defender. Let him not pretend to be superior to the populist and ignorant plebs, or to the evil fascists. It is difficult to believe in the sincerity of those who adopt such a self-righteous stance.

They are less democrats today than in 64

Fortunately, support for police action against businessmen who were talking in private about the possibility of a coup is not as unanimous as that of 64. Even so, at least one of those entities – perhaps the most greedy of the repentant Magdalenes – expresses enthusiasm for safeguarding “liberal democracy”. Once again we have the talk of ending democracy in order to save democracy.

And here we return to the cold cow of hospice Napoleon. Because either you pull your hair out and say you are horrified by the arbitrary acts of Repression aimed at fighting the communists, or you admit the arbitrary acts of the judiciary against businessmen. The communists, at least, were conspiring to implement an atrocious dictatorship, and they imported weapons to that end. The businessmen, according to what was reported, were only discussing whether there would be sanctions against Brazil in the event of a military coup. Some might consider the military coup desirable; others do not.

On what basis is the repression of armed communist factions protested, but the repression of businessmen who chatted in private is encouraged? In nothing but madness and the struggle against reality.

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