It is commonplace among social scientists to point out problems in countries with Catholic culture and attribute them to Catholicism. Catholics, always ready to recognize human fallibility, take all criticism, whether deserved or undeserved, to themselves without tantrum. On the other hand, anyone who does the same with Protestantism will face a torrent of emotional reactions. As criticism does not come from machines, but from human brains, the natural thing is that scoffing at Catholics is routine, and that Protestants are criticized little to avoid headaches (it is easier to criticize Protestants saying they are criticizing whites, than criticism passes for anti-racism). In the end, with everyone talking bad about Catholics and good about Protestants, the mutt complex is fomented in Latin America. Protestant-educated countries would be rich and wonderful; We are worthless poor people. We need to correct this to properly assess what we want for the country.
The United States was formed by Protestant sects, and is capable of stopping the Republic to investigate the use that Bill Clinton makes of his own penis . Brazil has a Catholic Counter-Reformation background, and the president’s penis is only a public matter if there is some other component involved. Among us, it was the case of the clandestine boarding of a lady on the presidential plane.
Protestantism emerged precisely with the fight against corruption in the Church. I don’t know a Catholic who approves of selling indulgences. So it is a Catholic cultural trait to accept that even the most important things are fallible. The nature of certain Protestant cultures, on the other hand, is to despise the things that have turned out to be flawed, to turn their backs on the past, and to proclaim themselves at least morally superior to what has been discarded. In Catholic culture, fallibility is a rule that only the pope escapes. In Protestant cultures, infallibility must be a goal of the pastor, the president, and even the greengrocer. I really fail, of course, only the pope.
Corruption is normal; billionaire robbery, no
I think that the analysis of Brazil’s complacency with robbery has to go through this Catholic cosmovision. Paradoxical as it may be, I think that turning the rhetoric against corruption – and not against
– make Brazilians even more likely to accept it. For, as the theologian for Rome and eternal critic-defender of PT Wilson Gomes says, the word corruption “indicates the change in a state of things and people, from the positive to the negative: what was pure, whole and perfect is corrupted. In Christianity, it is a religious word: we want purity, corruption tempts us all the time”. Until then, I share his sentiments and reasoning, as anti-corruption speeches do not seem honest to me. When he came from the PSDB, then… But he continues: “To function politically, it was enough to decide that the PT invented corruption in Brazil and became a master in this art” (Chronicle of an announced tragedy, P. 26). I disagree. As long as corruption was pressed, the PT won the election. The thought expressed by Wilson Gomes was the PT’s ideal excuse to present itself as a viable candidate since Mensalão: corruption was not invented by the party, it is intrinsic to the Brazilian reality, etc. Hitting this key, the PT won three more presidential elections. The media spoke alone against corruption and sold the PSDB as a solution to the problem. The people were right in not believing the media. In fact, it is quite likely that the accusations of corruption were especially serious for the PT in 2005 not because we have a horror of corruption, but because the PT sold itself as Ethics Party until 2003. This memory was too fresh for the PT to assume itself as an adept of Realpolitik. It remained for him to say, in the Catholic style, that he was wrong , yes, and that in this country people have been wrong since Cabral disembarked. The PSDB, in turn, asked us to believe that São Paulo was a state without corruption. I asked for too much.
Things only changed with a brutal economic crisis induced by Dilma Rousseff, as well as with the scale of the robbery and the knowledge of the recipients. With Lava Jato, Brazilians saw billions of dollars leave the country, not only in the pockets of politicians, but also of third-world dictators. “Turning Venezuela” has become a haunting for us. By “turning Venezuela” is meant to go bankrupt, lose sovereignty and allow yourself to be enslaved by Havana. Together with the São Paulo Forum, Geddel is an angel.
The other vice
The Catholic vice in politics is losing control of the situation , being cooked in a slow fire in the carving and in the oba-oba. On the other hand, if we put ourselves in the place of the US Protestant, we will think that the simplicity of this people is jaw-dropping. They were only scandalized by Bill Clinton because they assumed that all married presidents – that is, men full of power who live surrounded by secretaries and kiss-ass – remained faithful to their wives, without even a little fence. It is useless to look at the history of the kings of England. In Europe there is another humanity, corrupt and fallen, while in America all are angels until proven otherwise. And so every governor, every authority, every bureaucrat, is not only an exemplary husband, he doesn’t embezzle a penny of taxpayers’ money. You know USAID, a US state agency that behaves like a globalist NGO in the rest of the world, promoting “female empowerment” and all? These creatures are angels who take money from the US to spend in remote places, difficult to control by the opposition.
A good “cultural Catholic” (let’s say so) should be suspicious of these sanctimonious people and judge that the US are fallible. If they don’t have corruption scandals, that’s a bad sign, because it means everything is very well hidden. A bad “cultural Catholic” suffers from a mutt complex and is dazzled by small talk. Unfortunately, the PT has not taught the majority of scholars anything, who continue to look for some political group to put an end to corruption, as if corruption could end one day.
It is unreasonable to let thievery become widespread. , nor is it reasonable to expect that one day not a single traffic officer in this continental country will ask for a bribe to stop imposing a fine. Only if we implement a totalitarian dictatorship with massive surveillance; in this case, corruption leaves the edges and goes to the top of the system.
It is reasonable to consider that corruption will always be present, and for this reason it must be fought all the time, as the Little Prince’s baobab seeds. Contrary to what the Lava Jato prosecutors said, ending corruption is not an option, and Brazil is not a country doomed to have convicts in its formation, instead of the virtuous puritans who went to the USA.
Amazement with Lava Jato
In 2003, the Ethics Party, which had never been windowpane, used all moralism to ask for the impeachment of President Fernando Collor. In 2016, the Ethics Party were the operators of the Law, and the PT had occupied the window seat for more than 13 years.
As we have seen, the PT members who stole from Brazil to hand over to Third World dictatorships were in jail, while Dilma Rousseff, who gave 530 million dollars from Petrobras to a Belgian company buying a refinery in the US, went through Lava Jato with the pose of an honest woman and political rights intact. The PT ceased to be the party of the “toxic males” that emulated Fidel Castro and looked like a PSOL. Today, even the MDB looks like a PSOL, with Simone Tebet fawning over Djamila Ribeiro and saying that women vote for women. What’s more: Lula entered prison as a “toxic male” that eats picanha and left a friend of vegans, worried about the carbon footprint.
If the operators of the law behave like a party and impose agendas without vote, sticking to the fight against corruption as an end in itself becomes a path to totalitarianism. Because the laws define what is corruption and what is not; if laws are manipulated to make it a crime to enter a course with the wrong skin color, “fighting corruption” means implementing racial courts. We can only see the fight against corruption as a good thing in itself if we think according to an idea of good that is independent of laws. This idea cannot be negative; the fight against corruption is negative in itself. If the fight against corruption is successful, it makes it impossible for such and such a thing to be done – but it says nothing about the things that ought to be done. This, only politics solves.
But, to continue in Dilma and in the realm of finance that so enchants the lavajatismo, I give the example of something that is not illegal, but caused more damage to the country than Odebrecht. It is the Honest Woman’s Science without Borders (CsF).
Transfer of Brazilian money to Harvard
Odebrecht embezzled R$6 billion from Petrobras . The CsF, carried out within the law, cost the country R$ 13 billions. The project created by Dilma and ended by Temer consisted of sending Brazilians to graduate school in the United States and Europe, paying their monthly fees. Universities were not necessarily cheap – Ivy League universities were included – nor were they necessarily good – state-owned community colleges for blacks were included. I don’t know of any member of the academic community who took responsibility for the idea. At the end of the program, the Brazilian Society for the Progress of Science, basically a union of academics, did not outline any defense. It reproduced on its page the article from Fapesp, which, striving to find someone who would defend the CsF, found only an association of graduates of the program.
Now, never in the history of the Brazilian university has there been the plan to send graduates abroad. Never, ever. The Brazilian university is founded on the teaching, research and extension triad. The father of the institutionalization of Brazilian research is Anísio Teixeira, who created Capes to carry out graduate programs. Anísio’s legacy expanded with the military, who were also the first to make the state finance private tuition. But they did so while maintaining the design of Anísio Teixeira, who left research to public graduate studies. Financing was understood as a means of helping the poor in their social ascension and providing the market with qualified labor.
FHC, the “neoliberal”, maintained this financing. For a long time, the State funding a private university was a “right-wing” thing, while giving money to a public university was a “left-wing” thing. With Lula, however, the Brazilian State started to finance them even more, creating a program that paid full or partial scholarships (Prouni). With this, there is no risk of educational institutions defaulting, because the government pays. It was at this time that foreign conglomerates began to buy local colleges and unidunites multiplied.
Let’s take a good note: Geisel created a student financing program called Creduc, which FHC reformulated and named Fies. These are credit programs for students to attend private education. The student pays. Prouni is a scholarship program; the government pays. It was the first non-research scholarship program.
The CsF was not only a non-research scholarship program, but also transferred Brazilian money to the education system in Europe and North America, being the latter a continent with a country with serious problems related to student debt. According to an article by UOL on education at the time, most of the scholarships were for the USA and England. But Portugal was a coveted country for a reason well remembered by the program’s critics: Brazilian undergraduates didn’t even speak the language of the countries they went to!
The most famous result of the CsF was the pagode group Samba Rousseff. Unlike racial quotas, the CsF does not have any academics campaigning for it. It’s an ugly child without a father, among a bunch of ugly children with proud parents (at least I didn’t think so; the most apology I saw for the program was to say that which is to please the middle class, who dream of sending their children out of the country).
There has to be some unrepublican explanation for SwB. In the meantime, even these Harvard hunks who keep talking bad about Brazil pocketed our money. If Dilma managed to do this within the law, that only makes her more dangerous than the corrupt people caught by Lava Jato.
For my part, I call the CwF corruption without blinking an eye. I call it an education corruption scandal. Racial quotas are a scandal of moral corruption. But I can only do this because I am very clear that corruption is not the same thing as stealing public money. Contrary to what Lava Jato teaches, a country is much more than a safe full of public money, and governing well is not the same thing as preventing the illegal use of public money.