Brazil cannot be analyzed only from Brazil. No country, not even the closed North Korea, is outside the international connections that globalization has inevitably created. Furthermore, Brazil is the sixth largest economy in the world. This which arouses the greed of large corporations that want to come here, not to help in our development with inclusion, but rather to accumulate more and more, given the size of our domestic market and the superabundance of commodities and natural goods and services, increasingly needed to sustain rich countries’ consumerism.
There are three names that should be remembered, as they have set the current picture of the economy and world politics. The first is undoubtedly Karl Polanyi who already observed in 1944 “The Great Transformation” that was happening in the world. From a market economy, we were going to a market society. That is, everything is marketable, even the most sacred things. We can make profit out of everything, which Marx in his Misery of Philosophy, called the grand corruption and general venality. Even human organs, truth, consciousness, knowledge … they have become means for profit. Everything is done according to the logic of capital, which is competition and not solidarity, which makes societies torn apart in fierce struggles between companies.
Two other names are worth mentioning: Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. As result of the erosion of real socialism, capitalism entered victorious, now without restrictions, imposed earlier by the restraint exercised by the socialist mode of production. Now capitalism could live out peacefully their individualist, consumerist, and accumulator logic. Thatcher was consistent in saying that society does not exist. There are individuals, each struggling for him/herself against all. Reagan proposed total freedom of the market, shrinking of the state, and privatization of national assets. It was the triumph of neoliberalism.
Before, with liberalism, if we were to use a metaphor, the table was set. The rich occupied the top places and could help themselves until filled up. The rest found their places at some corner of the table. But they were at the table. With neoliberalism, the table is set, but can only participate those who can pay. Others dispute the places at the foot of the table with the dogs, eating leftovers.
This neoliberal policy implemented throughout the world, gave free rein to big corporations to accumulate as much as they could. Wall Street’s motto was and still is greed is good. Such accumulation will has made a small number of people control much of the world’s wealth, brewing a sea of poor, miserable, and hungry. As capital culture knows no compassion or solidarity, but only competition and supremacy of the fittest, has created a world with a level of barbarity rarely reached in history.
From my point of view, capitalism as a mode of production and its political ideology neoliberalism has reached its end, in a double sense. They achieved their purpose, ie reached their end-goal: the supreme accumulation. And its end as final and disappearance. Not because we want it, but because the Earth, limited in goods and services, that are largely non-renewable, cannot stand an unlimited project into the infinite future. Earth itself will make this project impossible. Either we switch modes of production and consumption, or we are doomed. As it does not have a sense of belonging and treats nature as a mere thing to be exploited uncontrollably, it will follow a path of no return, endangering the system-life and own Common House, which might become uninhabitable.
In the theoretical background of our neoliberal Brazilians, who lead the coup d’état and produced a “Bridge to the Future” (for failure), without a modicum of conscience and criticism, they are imbued by the neoliberal bad dream. They want Brazil just for them, as a secondary province, aggregated and dependent upon the great Empire of the Capital. That is our ruin and our misfortune. They prolong dependence and colonial logic.
A country that was beginning to take the first steps towards its re-foundation on other bases, values, and principles, with open eyes and active hands in human development policies with social inclusion, has been shamefully miscarried. Here lies our true crisis, which crosses all instances.
But what should be has strength. That is why we believe and hope that we will overcome this painful journey for the vast majorities, thus, for everyone. We will shine. In somber times like ours, the poet sang: “It’s dark, but I sing.” I imitating him say, “Amid uncertainties we still dream, and that dream is good and anticipates a beneficial reality for everyone.”
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