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Arestas do Brasil / Edges of Brazil

Addiction of rogues

Bruno Peron, 11 June 2018

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Reader, stay tuned! We have witnessed a social conflict in Brazil that makes us question the legitimacy of the Brazilian government in guaranteeing the order and the development of our country. We have heard about “internal colonialism”, swelling of the public machine, privilege maintenance, and a country that is moving toward socialism. One thing is certain: we live in an epoch of institutional crisis in Brazil, lack of trustful leaders and references, and social convulsion.

I should comment each topic. We are going through institutional instabilities to the extent that the three powers (Executive, Legislative and Judiciary) no longer complement themselves; instead, they struggle and show unequivocal signs of family sponsorship, corruption and inefficiency. A judge arrests a corrupt person; after a few days, a judge from another tribunal releases him. Such demonstration remains of who has more power to favor private interests, and of opposing the protection of common good. The “jeitinho” is not only an addiction of rogues in times of leisure; it is now an institutionalized mode of operation in the country (tips for purchasers, bribe in public offices, relatives in power).

Let us be aware of what it means to keep a colossal, inefficient and stagnant government; or that half of our working time finances through taxes a system that does not work. In the context of public administration inefficiency, politicians can still assure job positions, businesses and pensions for their relatives. Let us not doubt that politics causes a serious impact on the economy and the social organization, with the levels of unemployment and violence soaring unceasingly.

I would like to point out that we are needy of leaders and references in Brazil. We have an illegitimate and unqualified president who has ruled after a coup: Michel Temer. Scholars and writers are immersed in a morbid silence, as though they were divided between the fear of opinion and the lack of hope. Religious leaders are tarnished by unlimited greed and hypocrisy, scandals of pedophilia and money laundering.

Our society is losing thinking minds for those that are buried into the futility of television devices. Yet, I mention brain drain to countries that really promote creativity and innovation. Thus, whom could we trust on: politicians who want to establish socialism? People who get wealthy with public resources? Characters that would use flame-throwers against rebels? Charismatic people that use the name of Jesus to spread absurd ideas?

We feel the anguish of the leadership void. It is this lack of feeling, of emotion, of purpose that leaves the Brazilian society convulsed. It is higher the number of people who tell me they will leave the country so that they can have the comfort, the education and the security that Brazil denies them, and that the lowest salary abroad would already guarantee such life quality. I had heard the same story from other Latin American colleagues, but it shocks me how the “Giant” of South America has expelled its citizens.

It is hard to understand why the Brazilian government works so hard against its own people and in favor of its bureaucrats and privileges. It is capable of exploiting and humiliating its own people to guarantee a caste of corrupt and inefficient civil servants, who do not bring improvements to the country. The popular responses to such management style bring about social malaise, distrust, ignorance, dishonest competition, unlimited violence, and the overall ugliness that characterizes our cities (gray landscapes, unfinished buildings, cracked sidewalks, holes on the streets, cut and hanging wires in posts, precarious lighting, water cut). These are symptoms of the social convulsion that spreads in the current sickness of Brazil, which is an illness of selfishness and every man for himself.

Much sweat has poured out in vain in the construction of Brazil, and today it happens by means of poorly paid employees. A systematic review is imperative of the model of country that we aspire to. I alert against the risk of a controller State and of excessive bureaucracy. We can start by tightening the size of the State, encouraging entrepreneurship among young people (instead of the ambition for public service), and guaranteeing more freedom to workers so that they can spend larger amount of their salaries in whatever they want and much less in taxes.