Despite all the joy of last carnival, in almost every city of our country, a pall of sadness and helplessness can be read on the faces of the majority of people we meet on the streets of big cities like Rio and São Paulo, among others.
Because, politically, the parliamentary-legal-media coup d’état (which today we know was supported by US security agencies) closed the horizon for us. Nobody can say where we are going. What prompts undeniably is the increase in violence with a number of victims that matches and even exceeds that of regions at war. Yet, we suffer a military intervention in Rio de Janeiro.
If you look closely, we live within a real civil war. The classes that were already abandoned, are today far more abandoned, because of cuts in social programs that the current government of exception has imposed onto thousands of families.
We had left the hunger map. We have returned to him. Do not say that it was the policies of PT governments. Those policies took us out of that map. Rigorous application of the most radical neo-liberalism by the new ruling class installed in the State is producing hunger and misery. The growing violence in big cities is proportional to the abandonment to which they have been subjected.
Discussions of the various bodies responsible for security will never go to the root of the problem. The real problem they do not want to address lies in the dire social inequality, i.e., social, historical, and structural injustice upon which our society is built. Social inequality grows more, the more concentrated income is, and as agribusiness advances over indigenous lands and peoples of the rainforest, and as more cuts are made in education, health, and security.
Either social justice is done in this country—what implies agrarian, tax, political and security-system reforms—or we shall never overcome violence, which will tend to grow across the country.
If one day—that is what we have—the marginalized from large abandoned peripheries revolt because of hunger and misery, and decide to rob supermarkets and invade urban centers, there can a Brazilian “bogotazo” as it happened in the mid of last century in Bogota, destroying almost everything that was put forward for several weeks.
I consider that the elites of backwardness, supported by some conservative media, by a weak justice—not to say accomplice—and by the police State apparatus, reoccupied by them, can use great violence, not solving but heaping the situation .
In this picture, how can we still nourish the hope that Brazil can make it and that we can create a less evil society, as Paulo Freire said?
As the prophetic bishop, the old Dom Pedro Casaldáliga, well said from the bottom of Mato Grosso Araguaia: bearers of hope are those who walk and strive to overcome situations of barbarism. These changes will never come from above, or the current pro – establishment, they will come from below, from the organized social movements and parts of parties committed to the welfare of the people.
Pope Francisco, when meeting with Latin American social movements in Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia, coined three expressions summarized in these three T (in Spanish, Tierra, Techo y Trabajo): land for people to produce, roof to shelter, and work to earn a living.
He issued a challenge: do not expect anything from above as only more of the same will come; be yourselves the prophets of the new, organize the solidarity production, especially the organic one, reinvent democracy. Follow these three fundamental points: the economy for life and not for the market; social justice without which any peace will exist, and care of the Common House without which no project will make sense.
Hope springs from this commitment to transformation. Hope here should be thought in line with what the great German philosopher Ernst Bloch taught us, who formulated the “hope principle”, which means, hope is not a virtue among many others. She is much more: she is the engine of all is the ability to think the new, what has not been tested yet. She is the courage to dream another possible and necessary world; the audacity to project utopias that make us walk and never leave us standing on the achieved gains, or that when we feel defeated, make us get up to get back on track. Hope is shown in doing, in the commitment to transformation, daring to overcome obstacles and face the oppressor groups. That hope can never die.
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