How the concept of “democracy” was hijacked by the left

Want to win a war? Conquer concept. Brazil, Latin America and, why not, the West have become a battleground where the winner is the one who first captures the keyword, consensus or idea that allows him a situation close to invulnerability. The topic of the day is democracy. But, in the past, it was ethics, life and peace, among many other possible examples.

Every day a manifesto, a movement, a speech, an organization in defense of democracy. The business has become so trivial that – if even the PSOL, PT, PCdoB and PDT, Brazilian parties that openly defend dictatorships with long records of censorship, arbitrary arrests, torture and summary executions feel free to place themselves as the heralds of democracy – no one should be surprised if a manifesto appeared from the visitors of Cracolândia in defense of such a universal value.

The business is to transform the world into a board of black and white pieces where either the person, movement or organization positions itself on one side, or is pushed to be on the other. Even if neither one nor the other is exactly what the game allows or forces you to be.

Very recently, PSOL, PT, PCdoB, PDT, MDB, PSD and PSDB have not seen any problem in fraternizing with the PCC (attention, it’s not the Brazilian gang, but the Chinese Communist Party) in an event that sold the thesis that democracy as we know it is an outdated invention and that we have (that’s right, we have to) learn to accept the fluidity of the concept and to see, through the prism of “acculturation”, that not everything that appears to be dictatorial in fact is. Arresting opponents, banning cartoons, suspending television news broadcasts at times when unpleasant topics are being dealt with and maintaining concentration camps is no big deal. It’s all a matter of adapting the concept.

It is worth remembering how the election of Donald Trump would take the world to the abyss. The resignation letter of a former Opinion editor of the American newspaper The New York Times is one of the best diagnoses of the madness that has taken over the minds of many people in the United States and in the world. Democracy had entered the ICU and with it humanity would be plunged into darkness.

Like Donald Trump or not, it is difficult to deny that during his first three years of government he maintained the US economy on the bob, people were rising socially, unemployment rates were the lowest in history, and he was heading for guaranteed reelection. But 2020 it changed everything.

First came the pandemic. Trump began to lose to himself by playing to his most radical base. Doing what he had to do against the coronavirus from the door in, but hiding his actions through a speech that only served as an electoral weapon. He didn’t get the genocidal label like Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, but he was pretty scorched by his erratic speech at the beginning of the pandemic.

Then came the death of George Floyd and the United States was inflamed. The NGO Black Lives Matter catapulted his name as a universal symbol of the anti-racist struggle. This is the power to hijack the concept.

Even engulfed by the crises and electorally defeated, Trump had the chance to leave the White House bigger than when he entered and with a chance of returning, but he preferred to play it all. in the trash embarking on the events that led to the spectacle of January 6th 2021, when his base, in just two hours, played the role of justifying all the anti-democratic fib that was applied to his government even before his inauguration.

In Brazil, “defense of democracy” became a pedestal for political defamation. It is evident that there are decent people who truly believe that democracy is hanging by a thread and that the coup is waiting. But is democracy dying even by these means alone?

Democracy is in crisis. The darkest thing is to realize that she is being suffocated much more by those who think she defends.

It is more or less a repetition of the PT staging that fell apart with Mensalão, in 2005. For decades, the PT was the owner of ethics. No one outside the legend was honest or could be said to be honest with regard to the exercise of politics. The kidnapping of the concept was so massive that it was impossible to imagine that a complaint of robbery did not come from a fearless PT parliamentarian, or did not have a selfless PT as a source of information.

The Mensalão came, which for those who don’t remember it was basically the purchase of parliamentary support with public money, and with it a reality check. The PT was a party ordinarily equal to any other party that all its life was called a nest of thieves and corrupt by the PT themselves.

Some ashamed jumped out and founded the PSOL. Others bet on the people’s lack of memory and moved on. Proving that they were right, with Lula’s re-election a year and a half after the discovery of the robbery.

Then came Dilma Rousseff, who plunged Brazil into the biggest economic crisis in its history (the same that persists until today) and Petrolão and Lava-Jato.

But the same PT members who bet on forgetting and kidnapping concepts knew how to give time to time.

O script was simple. They took advantage of the global reverberation of the tantrums of the Americans who were astonished at the election of Trump a year earlier and, in the months leading up to the inauguration, glued on the president-elect a series of adjectives that would make some of his blunders the ultimate symbol of the destruction of the democracy.

Bolsonaro took the bait and reinforced the image constantly shown to cause shame, fear and revulsion.

As with Trump, the effort to break with the elites and critics (the most visible are in the press) led Bolsonaro to transform himself into the perfect archetype of the autocrat.

With the pavement ready, who was never an unconditional supporter of Democracy there (that with a capital D) captured the concept and started to sell itself as the medicine against evil.

A flagrant opportunism, but it works, because many people fell into the broth of fear, shame and repulsion. An operation that has made a good part of people in Brazil, Latin America, the United States and the West in general, mercilessly, step on the accelerator on a road already known, but which has been shown as a new and only way out.

Critiques in democratic societies are basic elements. But dehumanization (cattle), delegitimization (fascist) and political terror not only contradict democratic foundations, they corrode them.

Back to top button