Citizenship has several dimensions: it is political-participatory, economic-productive, popular-inclusive, con-citizen, ecological, and finally earthly.
In the current context of an exception regime that does not respect but rather hurts citizenship of an entire people, we need to delve into this subject.
Citizenship is an unfinished process, always open to new acquisitions of awareness of rights, political participation, and solidarity as the basis for a humane society. Only active citizens may establish a democratic society, as an open system (endless democracy, as Boaventura de Souza Santos says), which feels imperfect but at the same time always perfectible. Therefore, dialogue, participation, experience of ethical correctness and search for transparency are their greatest virtues.
Citizenship is made within a particular society that develops projects for itself, often conflicting with each other, regarding building its sovereignty and the ways of insertion into the larger process of planetization. They all want to answer the question: after more than 500 years, what Brazil do we finally want? It happens that the current coup has interfered so much with the Constitution placing limits on social spending that makes the creation of a national Social Democratic State impossible. It is a project against free nation, against the people and its future.
Fundamentally, and simplifying a complex reality, we can safely say that there are currently two antagonistic projects vying for hegemony: the project of the old and new very rich articulated with transnational corporations (and today we know they are supported by the Pentagon) that want a smaller Brazil than it really is, a Brazil with a maximum of 120 million people, as that is how they believe it would be manageable to their benefit without major concerns. Let the remaining millions of people nag as they have always had to get used to living in need and survive as they could. Poor policies are sufficient to calm the poor.
The other project aims at building a Brazil for everybody, thriving, autonomous, active, proud and sovereign against the pressures of the military powers, technically and economically powerful nations, seeking to establish an empire the size of the planet and live out of plundering of other countries’ wealth. They have associated with national elites who accept being junior partners added to the world-project, in exchange for economic advantages. They want to re-colonize Latin America, particularly they want Brazil to be only an exporter of commodities, and denationalize our industrial infrastructure (electricity, oil, national lands, etc.).
The two coups we suffered during the Republican stage, in 1964 and 2016, were plotted and executed based on the greed of the very rich against the people, refusing to build a project for a sovereign nation that would have plenty to contribute to this planetary phase of Humanity. They do not have a project for Brazil, only one project for themselves, for their absurdly substantial accumulation.
The correlation of forces is profoundly unequal and runs according to wealthy elites who, as Souza Jessé says, buy out other elites. They successfully led the coup against Dilma Rousseff and, with a completely flawed judicial process, were able to put in jail former president Lula, who enjoys by far the electoral preferences of the people.
Those elites of backwardness have nothing to offer the millions of Brazilians who remain outside of human development apart from impoverishment and discrimination.
But these elites—not even this title they deserve, because they are only rich without ever becoming elites (Belluzzo)—are not bearers of hope and, therefore, are condemned to live under permanent threat and fear that one day, this situation can be reversed and they lose their position of wealth and privilege.
This is our hope: that the future ends up belonging to the humiliated and offended in our history, that one day—and that day will come—they will inherit the bounties that Mother Earth reserved for them and for everybody.
It is utopian but it represents the dream of all cultures: that one day, everyone, happy, will sit together at the table in the great commensality of freedmen, enjoying the fruits of Mother Earth’s generosity. Then, looking back, they will realize that it was worth the resistance, indignation against injustices, and the courage to change.
Only then will a new history begin, of which those who resist and fight will be the leading characters; in the case of our country, it will be the true re-foundation of Brazil.
If you like this text, by filling up the form that appears in this page you can subscribe to receive once a month a brief summary of Opinion Sur English edition.