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Politicians, technical managers and the complex balance of democracy

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Politicians, technical managers and the complex balance of democracy

Even before the formation of the New Republic, in March 1985, a significant number of technical personnel were called upon to form the civilian government of Tancredo Neves, the first post-war dictatorship. The President, however, died, and his replacement, José Sarny, eventually retained the team.

He did this because there was a buzz that the arrival of competent professionals in strategic positions would be enough to transform a country that had 21 years of oppression and repression and that had become a symbol of inefficiency, incompetence and corruption at all levels.

Based on this relevant and almost forgotten detail, Pedro Abramovei and Gabriela Lotta propose for discussion in Balanced Democracy – Politicians and Bureaucrats in Brazil (Companhia das Letras) a still topical issue: solutions to the country’s problems will never appear only statistics and graphs of highly qualified technicians .

The two begin with the personal life and ideas of the political scientist Florestan Fernandez at the beginning of the redemocratization, when he warned that there would be a New Republic if democratic social forces jumped into action and did not leave this role in the hands of the government to solve problems. “They will make a democratic revolution, not a government,” Fernandes says.

In one of his last articles, published six years after the promulgation of the Federal Constitution on October 5, 1988, Fernandes drew attention to the constant possibility of democratic processes being captured by the bureaucracy.

“The association of bureaucrats and technocrats with politicians contributes to the depoliticization of party institutions from right to left. It stimulates personal career ambitions and private projects, divorced from the priority needs of the team. So it reinforces conformism, potential fascism and plutocracy.”

The association of bureaucrats and technocrats with politicians contributes to the depoliticization of party institutions.

In this context, both political scientists argue that the tension that exists between a strong and independent bureaucracy and the natural debate about democracy – with the broad participation of students, workers, indigenous people and many other social forces that are the engines of democracy – reaches the limit. the heart of building a healthy and effective diet.

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In support of the study, they discuss topics such as patrimonialism, meritocracy, and the politicization of the judiciary, in addition to major recent discussions such as the Civil Rights Framework for the Internet, drug policy, and the Statute of Indigenous Peoples.

An example of the discrepancy between technocracy and politics can be seen in the anti-drug campaigns. “Alienation, the product of ideology, allows drug policy to be judged on the basis of process indicators, rather than indicators related to the overall policy goals, which in this case would be to improve the health and safety of people,” they write. the authors.

“But policy evaluation is based on the number of prisoners, the number of drugs seized and, in some countries, even the number of deaths. That is, if people use more drugs and die more often from drugs, but the police make more arrests and more arrests, politicians can present their failure as a success.”

The adoption of this inappropriate position can only be explained by ideology – and the power with which it can cause alienation. And here, once again, the belief that the technical approach can solve all problems collapses, the authors say.

Abramovei is a lawyer with an IESP-UERJ PhD in Political Science and has held several positions in two of Lula’s administrations (2003-2011), including National Secretary of Justice. From this personal experience, he reports episodes that help to understand his arguments.

Lotta is Professor of Public Administration at FGV-SP, PhD in Political Science and Researcher at the Center for Metropolitan Studies, and in 2021 she was a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford. Together they draw conclusions that deserve reflection. , because of the serious moment of instability that runs through the country.

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Since the mid-2000s, they write, the slogan “Brazil needs managers, technicians, not politicians” has gained momentum and has become one of the central issues in the elections of the last decade, when politics has come to be seen as an expression, not of democracy, but of corruption.

Since the 2000s, the slogan “Brazil needs managers, technicians, not politicians” has been gaining momentum and has become one of the central issues in the elections of the last decade.

“The idea was reinforced that public policy decisions could be made by well-educated managers of any ideology: the difference between left and right would be insignificant if it existed at all.”

They explain that for every problem in society there must be the right public policy, which must be determined and implemented by a specialist who can do without dialogue with various sections of society. Of course, they argue, there is no good politics without good governance.

“Public managers must technically create the most suitable scenarios for politicians who, legitimized by voting, will make their own choice. But in many cases, some of these managers assume the role of changing the state and politics without having the proper legitimacy to do so, relying on the authority of the position to which they have risen by “merit”. In doing so, they undermine politics from within and slowly destroy democracy.”

The period following the 1988 Constitution, the authors write, demonstrates that patterns of state-society relations—clientelism, corporatism, and bureaucratic isolation—can only be overcome through structural reforms that will replace them with what belongs to a democratic republican country: “the universalism of procedures and participation.”

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The examples analyzed in the book, they add, also highlight the risks of a technical and meritocratic discourse that seeks to legitimize itself at the expense of politics and that actually hides individual interests or certain groups.

Pedro Abramovei and Gabriela Lotta argue that the structural problems of the Brazilian state will not be solved by meritocratic discourse or by well-meaning and well-educated young people who, in their offices, devote themselves to the technical analysis of measures to eradicate corruption and improve the state.

“For the fulfillment by the State of the purposes set forth in the Constitution, the building of a free, just and solidary society; eradicate poverty; in order to reduce inequality and promote the common good without discrimination, it is necessary to bet on both technology and politics.”

In order for the state to fulfill the goals set out in the Constitution, it is necessary to rely on both technical and political

The book is recommended by two former presidents of the republic. “Politics is fundamental to help overcome historical challenges and build a democracy that confronts its past of violence, does not oppress minorities, and guarantees public participation in decisions about the direction of the country,” Lula writes. In his opinion, “equilibrium democracy” is an indispensable reflection for those who fight for a just Brazil.

Fernando Enrique Cardoso emphasizes that the work combines solid academic research and the experience of those who have worked in government. The authors, he says, offer an original and relevant contribution “to understanding how to seek an unsustainable balance in our democratic construction.”

Service:
Balanced Democracy – Politicians and Bureaucrats in Brazil
Pedro Abramovei and Gabriela Lotta
176 pages
Hard copy: BRL 69.90.
E-book: 39.90 reais.
Companhia das Letras

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US has been preparing Ukraine for clash with Russia since 2014 – German politician

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www.brasil247.com - Ucrânia e EUA têm intensas relações militares que afetam a Rússia

“The US is selling its dirty shale gas while the US defense industry is booming,” said Oscar Lafontaine.




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The Evangelical Church has lost the most in the elections – 11/27/2022 – Opinion

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The Evangelical Church has lost the most in the elections - 11/27/2022 - Opinion

When I attended a meeting at my church to welcome new members, I heard the same story from many: They were there because it was an environment free of partisan politics. I remembered my own experience: I also accepted this criterion when I came from Recife and chose my church in São Paulo.

BUT Majority of evangelicals favor re-election of Jair Bolsonaro (PL) nothing new. All studies have shown this trend, and my experience confirms this. I don’t see a problem in the fact that the majority prefers this or that candidate, whoever he is. But it worries me political use of churches and, mostly, moments of worship to coerce the congregation into supporting the candidate.

For us, evangelists, worship is the time of the week for worshiping God, hearing the gospel, and fellowshipping with fellow believers. Before and during the campaign we saw the president and first lady use the pulpit to collect votes in the middle of the service🇧🇷 This attitude in itself should already be condemned and rejected by the evangelists themselves: the worship and authority of churches should not be used for electoral purposes.

This principle is not new even in the evangelical milieu. “When the evangelical church, as a church, makes a choice in favor of a candidate, it ceases to be a church. The Lord of the church is Jesus and he does not have voter registration in Brazil. We evangelists have the right to support, but to say that the Assembly of God supports “A” or “B” is to reduce the church to any institution, ”explained Silas Malafayain a 2002 video when he declared his support for the then-candidate Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (PT). Twenty years later, Malafaya, like other pastors, used his pulpit and Bible passages to support Bolsonaro.

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Gradually the leaders and members of the various evangelical congregations began attitude to the vow as a confirmation of one’s faith in Christ🇧🇷 This association, in turn, leads to people patrolling and controlling other people’s votes, ridiculing or even excluding those who “vote wrong”. Communities that are supposed to welcome and unite completely different people under one faith have become a toxic environment.

The implications of this process go beyond spiritual matters. This indiscriminate and uncritical support from religious organizations and their leaders makes it difficult for evangelicals to participate in discussions of ideas and public policy. After all, they are stamped out as part of a political project (which doesn’t necessarily represent them in reality). The quality of public debate suffers and society becomes more polarized.

Evangelical leaders need to ask themselves how many members stopped attending services or even withdrew from their communities due to political discussions? Is this the example we want to set for the rest of society?

It is important to emphasize that the criticism of the political use of the cult and forced voting should not be confused with the position on the participation of evangelicals in politics. Every Brazilian has a trajectory, values, emotions and ways of thinking that make them support a candidate or an ideology.

No one should be excluded from public debate just because their values ​​were forged in a religious community. It is this logic that has inspired some Protestants to contribute to strengthening the state’s secular heritage so that they can freely practice their faith.

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However, when political forces take over the space devoted to the profession of faith, believers, the exercise of individual freedoms and, consequently, the reputation of society is damaged. That is, even if the evangelical majority candidate won, the church would still be one of the biggest losers in the election. To overcome defeat, evangelical leaders will have to return to engaging in public debate based on Christian values ​​and abandon the false messiah’s power project.

TRENDS / DISCUSSIONS
Articles published by subscription do not reflect the opinion of the newspaper. Its publication aims to stimulate the discussion of Brazilian and world issues and reflect the diverse trends of contemporary thought.

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Was the massacre of Aracruz politically and ideologically motivated?

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Was the massacre of Aracruz politically and ideologically motivated?

Aloisio Morais Martins

If the information about the teacher is confirmed Flavia Amos Merson Leonardo, 38 was the first to be hit by shots fired by a 16-year-old boy at the Primo Bitti public school in Praia do Coqueiral, in the municipality of Aracruz, north of Espirito Santo, this may be an indication that the massacre was plotted for two years may have political motivation – ideological. The killer killed three teachers, a 12-year-old schoolboy and left 12 injured, five of them are still hospitalized in serious condition.

First, it would be good to define the context of the crime that the so-called “mainstream press” covered up: the massacre took place in a condominium created by the Aracruz Celulose company decades ago when it was implanted in the city. which eventually took on its name. It enjoys a privileged location, close to Praia do Coqueiral and 22 kilometers from the nerve center of the inland city of Aracruz. The condominium, intended for high-ranking employees of the company, has grown and today has become a residence for families of upper and middle class, and not just for employees of the company.

The minor who wore Nazi symbols during the crimes is the son of a military police lieutenant, Bolsonarist, who has already posted about Mincha Luta’s book written by the genocidal Adolf Hitler. “The book sucks. I read it and hated it,” he said. But a military man is, first of all, a person of the right wing. On social media, the boy looks dapper next to his father at a demonstration by Bolsonaro supporters. By the way, in the same hat as during the massacre.

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On the other hand, Professor Flavia Amos Mercan Leonardo was known to be clearly a leftist. He had a postgraduate degree in social sciences from the Federal University of Espírito Santo, a PhD in anthropology from the Federal University of Minas Gerais and was an active participant in the Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens (MAB), which played an important role in ES after the collapse of the Vale dam in Mariana, Massachusetts, when the waters of the Rio Doche were stained with mud from mining to estuary on the coast of Espirito Santo five years ago. Flavia has dedicated her academic career to teaching fishermen and ES natives. Why was the teacher chosen as the killer’s first target? Just a coincidence, or did the student have an ideological dislike for Flavia? According to the researchers.

It is worth noting that the killer boy shows good signs that he learned a lot from his father, definitely his idol. Even though he was a minor, the videos show that he learned to drive a vehicle very well, even at high speeds. In addition to his resourcefulness, the video shows very clearly how well he handles the weapons that he carried with him. And he shoots well. Who did you learn from? In his first confessions, released by the police, he says he acted alone and learned to shoot behind his father’s back. Can you believe? Maybe he’s trying to save face in front of his father? The police will have to make progress in investigating these aspects. Either way, this massacre promises intriguing chapters in these days of weapon deification (which we hope are drawing to a close). Let’s see!

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And by the way, it doesn’t hurt to ask: does the killer’s father, like most Bolesonars, advocate coming of age at 16? Maybe for him “a good bandit is a dead bandit?”. Pepper is very good in the eyes of others, isn’t it?

Against the background of the tragedy, we have today in Espírito Santo a clear right-wing predominance in a state where Bolsonaro, for example, received 58.04% of the vote against 41.06% for Lulu in the second round of elections. . Those who were there, like me, on the eve of the elections, felt it very clearly in the streets and avenues, where big cars and double-cab pickups dominated the environment with their bold Bolsonaro advertising. The dominance is such that the elected president cannot hold rallies in the state due to the lack of a tribune. Re-elected governor Renato Casagrande of the PSB chose to light a candle to God and another to the devil, drawing the votes of the lulistas and bolsonarists by refusing to pose next to the petista.

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