Democracy versus Bolsonaro

August 11 is the founding date of the first two Law courses in Brazil – in São Paulo and Pernambuco – in 1828. Since then, the date is commemorated as Students’ Day and Lawyers’ Day, all over the world. Brazil.

The hegemonic dispute between the political forces in each society depends on who appropriates some values, where the symbolic character of the values ​​is decisive. It depends on the ideological configuration of each country.

The military dictatorship raised the democratic issue to a prominent place, but not yet central in Brazil. The country resumed its institutional life, as if it were the return to a natural path, after 21 years of deviation from that path.

After nine presidential elections there was a new rupture of democracy. That rupture, and the arrival of a character like Bolsonaro to the presidency of Brazil, was in charge of raising, once and for all, the democratic question as fundamental for the destiny of the country.

Bolsonaro’s style of government is based on constant attacks on everything that for him smacks of democracy – opposition parties, social movements, the media, international organizations, the cultural world, among others. Thus, he was accumulating a generalized anger against his figure, to which his economic policy, with its disastrous social consequences, was adding even more rejections.

When the country became politically polarized between Bolsonaro and his fight to be re-elected, and Lula, who seeks to become president again, the democratic question was increasingly identified with the opposition candidate. Lula has governed in an absolutely democratic manner and is now demanding the rescue of democracy, becoming the favorite to succeed, even because he has a large amount of support from Brazilian civil society.

The opposite happens with Bolsonaro. One of his initiatives, which he must have judged as great, ended very badly for him. He had decided to summon ambassadors from various countries to expound his views, because he believed that his arguments were irrefutable. He developed, in that meeting, his reasons for questioning the Brazilian electoral system, denouncing the alleged lack of guarantee offered by the electronic ballot box.

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After the meeting, declarations began to pour in from the countries represented at the meeting and from others, starting with the United States, rejecting Bolsonaro’s words and praising the Brazilian electoral system. This situation seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for Brazilian civil society organizations, which reacted in a coordinated manner.

A document was drafted denouncing Bolsonaro’s statements and claiming democracy. Practically all the representative organizations of the different sectors of society supported the initiative – businessmen and workers, the most representative artists and intellectuals, as well as personalities from the legal and academic world signed – as had never happened in Brazil.

As a novelty, the executives of the two most important Brazilian private banks, in addition to Fiesp – the São Paulo Federation of Industrialists – and other business organizations joined the document for the first time. To the point that Bolsonaro felt betrayed by businessmen.

The document was read on August 11 in a centralized national act at the Faculty of Law of the University of São Paulo. (Photo)which was replicated in dozens of Brazilian cities, making this act a determining milestone in the country’s political struggle.

The document does not pronounce itself in favor of Lula but, by directly opposing Bolsonaro, it points to an even greater strengthening of the opposition candidate. Lula has signed the document, as well as other candidates, and personalities such as Fernando Henrique Cardoso, while Bolsonaro seeks to reduce the dimension of the democratic opposition movement, trying to ridicule it, but this only contributes to making it even stronger.

All this occurs when the discussion is whether Lula manages to win in the first round, on October 2, or only in the second round – which would already be an achievement for Bolsonaro. The truth is that this demonstration that Brazilian democracy brings together the vast majority of society against Bolsonaro is a definitive milestone in his defeat.

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