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Arestas do Brasil / Edges of Brazil

Weapons and moral backwardness

Bruno Peron, 7 April 2017

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The defence and security industry is prosperous in the world. There are reasons for this: the expansionist politics of certain countries and the resistance effort of others. This planet testifies the persistence of war and the maintenance of order through veiled conflicts. Both take place through armed demonstrations of power. It is notable that weapons sustain war and peace in a global game which has the appearance of a paradox, but is premeditated and planned.

The market of weapons and ammunitions has as its major producers countries such as the United States, France, England, Germany and Russia. Business opportunism and the practice of any activity that brings incomes are above every moral orientation. This is why automatic guns, revolvers, pistols, machine guns, bulletproof vests, tear gas and rubber bullets circle mercilessly around the world. Some of these weapons are extremely dangerous, while others are not lethal.

Brazil is among the top five arms exporting countries in the world. I have read some news reporting that the Brazilian industry of arms and ammunition has every condition to prosper in a “world that is the scene of several conflicts”. I understand clearly the message that any product which has a demand can be sold, whatever its moral implications are. Besides this, there are other industries that disturb humanity: that of alcoholic drinks, that of cigarette, that of narcotics. The fact that the globe contains conflicts of varied nature should not be a pretext for encouraging business of harmful and lethal instruments.

In spite of that, the weapons sector generates in Brazil R$ 200 billion per year, which is equivalent to 3,7% of the Gross Domestic Product in this country. It is relevant to note that this number depicts a country that is globally known as pacific, without enemies. The proportions are higher in countries which –like the United States and Russia –are more familiar with the condition of war than peace. During decades, these belligerent countries have exerted their influence in the world by the force of weapons, of fear and of pain in places where their inhabitants do not follow the democratic regime. By the way, democracy has turned into an element of conquest that is as blunt as the delivery to the devil of those who do not accept Jesus. Fundamentalisms of the West.

Some Brazilian companies stand out in the production of weapons: Taurus, Brazilian Company of Cartridges (Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos, CBC), Amadeo Rossi, Military Goods Industry (Indústria de Material Bélico, IMBEL) and E. R. Amantino. IMBEL is a public company founded during the 1970s and that specialises in supplying materials for the Brazilian Armed Forces. Still when it comes to numbers, it is estimated that the industry of weapons generates about 30.000 direct jobs and 120.000 indirect jobs in Brazil. This information has been known in this current epoch of crisis of the Brazilian state, which closes companies in Brazil and promotes unemployment.

Brazil is noteworthy in the production of small weapons, parts and ammunitions. Its companies look at the foreign market because, since 2003, the government has carried on a campaign for the disarmament of civilians who do not have authorisation for weapons’ possession. Non-lethal weapons originated in Brazil are used in many places in the world, for example tear gas for containing protests in Turkey. A unionist of the industry of arms and ammunitions in Brazil has made a statement that is technically pertinent from the standpoint of international relations theory. I paraphrase his view which is that such industry does not promote war but order in the world. It goes without contextualising, however, the moral backwardness that divides this planet into conflicts.