Every day I wake up looking forward to writing my chronicle. I say “anxious” in both a good and a bad sense. In the good, because it is a delight to be able to write for the qualified audience of Gazeta do Povo; in the bad because I have this silly concern of bringing a little relief to the reader in need of a little laugh in the midst of so much bad news. But today… Today won’t do. Because I need to share my concerns.
The other day I wrote that the pandemic was, in effect, over. And we don’t even celebrate it. I took the opportunity to put a paraphrase by TS Eliot in the middle and say that the pandemic ended not with a bang, but with a bureaucratic silence. Well, today I come here to announce another historic moment that didn’t make the headlines. At least not in the thunderous way I imagined. Democracy is over, or rather is dead (it gets more dramatic).
“Oh, what an exaggeration!”, someone says, affecting a serenity that I lack. Really? Last week we had the “information disorder”; then, the “cala-boca do bem” and the legal figure of “legal absolution by regret”. And just now, Minister Benedito “Tapinhas” Gonçalves, from the TSE, banned the production company Brasil Paralelo from showing a documentary about the stab suffered by Jair Bolsonaro in the campaign of 2018, which even a child knows that it constitutes prior and wide-open censorship.
It goes without saying that any person minimally accustomed to letters recognizes that it is unconstitutional. Extremely unconstitutional. And if only it was the first… and last. But not. In the last few weeks, what we have seen was, pardon the outraged commonplace, a flurry of decisions that defy the laws and use the most absurd arguments in the world to justify the unjustifiable. That is, the militancy and voluntarism of the highest echelon of the Judiciary.
With this stilt that we pompously called the Democratic State of Law having collapsed, we can only ask what we can do to rebuild the fragile shack, but it was even clean – before being invaded by a bunch of toga. The answer is unpleasant. . Right now, what we can do is have patience, prudence and faith. [Eu avisei que a resposta era desagradável]. What we can strive to do is to maintain serenity.
After to agonize for four years, suffering excruciating pain (another deliberate cliche) with every headline that insists on treating censorship and authoritarianism as “alleged”, Democracy is dead. Ironically martyred by those who swore they only wanted to defend her, poor thing. Little did we know that the oath of those who make the “L” is worthless… A group that, now, will insist on saying that the deceased is more alive than ever. They who, in the end, never had the face of Democracy.
It is a circumstance that I, in my democratic naivety, could never have predicted. No, not even in my youthful delusions, when I saw with admiration the dumb struggle of the left and imagined this “resistance” as a heroic shortcut to Glory. “We will never have a censorship like that again”, I thought. And don’t we have?! “We will never again have people persecuted for defending ideas”, I thought. And don’t we have that too?!
We just don’t have torture cellars or things like that. Still. Before you throw your hands in the air and shout “yay!”, however, I have to tell you: we don’t have civil institutions coming out in defense of individual liberties either. On the contrary, OAB and ABI have their hands dirty with the blue blood of Democracy that one day, legend has it, they considered queen.
This is how Democracy died: not with a noise or under the melody of the boots beating rhythmically on the floor – as the communist teachers promised us. Democracy quietly died. So discreetly that there are still those who don’t believe in her death. But she died, the poor thing. It is up to us mourners with a minimum of shame on our faces to mourn her. And, as soon as the coffin drops to the ground, run to protect the withered and dying Freedom that we have left.
The image that illustrates this column is, for lack of definition best and most ridiculous, a concrete poetry entitled “O Limite das Quatro Linhas”, by myself.
Tomorrow, with any luck, I’ll make you laugh again in this space.