What lies behind the hatred for the PT? (II)

  • Español
  • English
  • Français
  • Deutsch
  • Português
  • Opinión
 bandera brasil2
-A +A

We already said it here, and will say it again: the hatred spread throughout society and through the mass media is not so much hatred for the PT, as for that which the PT made possible for the great neglected and impoverished majorities of Brazil: their social inclusion and the recuperation of their dignity.


More than a few of the beneficiaries of these social projects declare: «I feel proud not just because now I can eat and fly on a plane, which I could not do before, but because now I have regained my dignity». That is the highest political and moral value a government can offer: not only to guarantee the life of the people, but to make the people feel that they are dignified participants in society.


No prior government throughout our history accomplished this memorable feat. The conditions were not there for realizing it, because there was no interest in making the exploited masses of the poor indigenous, the slaves and the colonized, into a conscientious people, participating in the construction of Project-Brazil. The important thing was to maintain the masses as masses, with no chance of elevating their status, so that the people could not threaten the power of the conservative dominant classes, so keenly insensitive to the suffering of the other. Those elites do not love the impoverished masses, but are terrified of a thinking people.


To know this counter history, I advise the politicians, researchers and readers to see the best and most detailed study I know: The politics of conciliation: a bloody and bloodless history. It is a lengthy, 88 page chapter of the classic Conciliação e reforma no Brasil, by Jose Honorio Rodrigues (1965, pages 23-to-111). This chapter recounts how class domination in Brazil, from Mende de Sa up to modern times, was extremely violent and bloodthirsty, with many shootings and hangings, and even official wars of extermination against indigenous nations, such as the botocudos in 1808.


It would also be deceptive to think that the victims behaved in a conformist manner. To the contrary, they also reacted with violence. It was the indigenous and Black masses, the mixed-race and the cabocla, who struggled the most, and were cruelly repressed, without any Christian piety. Our soil ended up soaked with blood.


The wealthy and dominant minorities developed a strategy of conciliation among themselves, going above the leadership of the people, and acting against the people's interests, to maintain their domination. The strategy was always the same. As Marcel Burstztyn wrote in 1990 in his book O pais da alianças: as elites e o continuismo no Brasil: «the game never changed; the same deck of cards was just shuffled in a different manner».


It was from the colonial politics, continued until recently, that the structural bases of exclusion in Brazil were created, as great historians have shown, especially Simon Schwartzman with his Bases do autoritarismo brasileiro ,1982, and Darcy Ribeiro, with his grandiose O povo brasileiro, 1995.


Thus whether we like it or not, there exists a contempt for the people, with deep roots. That contempt encompasses the Northeners, considered ignorant (when in my opinion are extremely intelligent, witness their writers and artists), the Afro-descendants, the economically poor in general, the dwellers of the favelas (communities), and those of a different sexuality.


But a profound change occurred, thanks to the social politics of the PT: those who did not exist, started to be. They could buy their own houses, their own little car, and enter the commercial centers. In great numbers they flew in airplanes and had access to goods that before were exclusively available to the economic elites.


According to researcher Marcio Pochmann, in his Atlas da Desigualdade social no Brasil: 45% of all the income and the national wealth of Brazil is controlled by only 5 thousand extended families. These are our elites. They live off their rental income and financial speculation, consequently, they receive money without working. They invest little or nothing in production that furthers necessary and sustainable development.


Fearfully, they watch the ascent of the popular classes and their power. The people are invading their exclusive domains. In reality, a small democratization of these spaces has began to occur.


Those elites have now formed a historical block whose base is comprised of the great managerial mass communications, newspapers, radio and television channels, who greatly censor the people by hiding important facts from them; the bankers, and businessmen who concentrate on their benefits and could care less about the destruction of nature; and the ideologues (they are not intellectuals) who specialize in criticizing everything they see from the PT administration and in offering intellectual superficialities in defense of the status quo.


This against-the-people and even against-Brazil constellation elicits, nourishes and propagates hatred for the PT as an expression of the hatred for all those whom Jesus of Nazareth called "my little brothers and sisters".


As a theologian, filled with sorrow, I ask myself: the great majority of those elites are Christians and Catholics. How can they reconcile this perverse practice with the message of Jesus? What do the many Catholic Universities and hundreds Christian schools teach, that allows such a blasphemous movement to grow, because it touches the very God who is love and compassion and who took the side of those who cry for life and for justice?


But I understand, because to the dominant elites is very apt the Spanish saying: between God and money, the second always comes first. How sad.


- Leonardo Boff, Theologian-Philosopher /  Earthcharter Commission


Free translation from the Spanish by Servicios Koinonia, http://www.servicioskoinonia.org. Done at REFUGIO DEL RIO GRANDE, Texas, EE.UU.

Subscribe to America Latina en Movimiento - RSS