Schizophrenic state and the legal dictatorship


Source: Correio Braziliense, 02/02/2009

Legalism and bureaucracy, as dominant values, became the pillars of political legitimation in 21st century Brazil, to the detriment of the general will. If, in most developed nations, the old mindset of rigid and formalized administration evolves towards a more flexible and pragmatic management model of public affairs, even with social control, among us the public manager enjoys, less and less , autonomy and freedom for the performance of its finalistic functions.

The new public management, innovative and flexible, as required by the dynamics of the present time - in the middle of the global era of knowledge -, is condemned, a priori and unfortunately, in our country, by the owners of power: the oligarchic bureaucracy. Institutions are paralyzed; the works, delayed; services are scrapped. Suddenly, everything seems to be forbidden. Every manager is corrupt until proven otherwise. The honest pay for the guilty. There is no space or permission for innovation, for urgent decision.

When it is not the law that prohibits, it is the ordinances, the judgments, the conservative interpretations of the prosecutors' offices across the country, more realistic than the law itself. Everyone fears the hermeneutics of exacerbated formalism, the culture of distrust, the witch hunt, as if there was no more distinction between arrangement and deceit, heterodoxy and bad faith, creativity and fraud. Common sense, discerning judgment, dialogue evaporated.

The laws and regulations that govern public administration are increasingly complex and detailed; nevertheless, corruption increases - as does ineffectiveness. The control bodies - an important achievement of modern democracy in view of the transparency of accountability and accountability of the management of public resources (accountability) - become smaller and distorted by prioritizing obedience to processes (presumably) that are formally correct from the point of view. from a legal point of view at the expense of meeting results.

But the very hermeneutics of what is legally correct is dubious and, as a general rule, conservative. The means becomes more important than the end. Formal filigrees are more appreciated than actual achievements. Secondary details override the essentials. And in this modernization of the delay, the good manager becomes only one who does not transgress the form, even if he does not solve the problems. And what could and should be control, supervision and the fight against waste, inefficiency and corruption - the healthy presence of a modernized and anti-patrimonial state -, become, even involuntarily, its opposite, thanks to exaggerations and to unreasonable demands. A state of terror is silently installed, where the legal dictatorship prevails.

Brazil runs against history. The developed world has realized for decades that the contemporary public manager must be technical and, at the same time, political, because social time - aimed at solving citizens' problems - does not correspond (never again!) To the time of bureaucracy. New public management paradigms are being propagated and experimented with in the name of quality, efficiency, productivity, economy, freedom, responsibility for making decisions in a timely manner, all in favor of the greater social interest.

The impression that one has, however, in Brazil and Latin America, is that this new philosophy, conception and sense of public service move much more on paper and (empty) rhetoric than in the reality of the facts. In yellow-green lands, nobody understands each other. The powers do not match up. They often repel each other. The courts of accounts rule the Executive. The Judiciary legislates. The Legislative executes. We live under the tutelage of a schizophrenic state.

Egos prevail over the general interest. Everyone wants to be kings. The Republic is distant; democracy is gagged. Today, the organs that truly decide for the country are those of control and the prosecutors. But these, many times, instead of exercising the healthy and noble exercise of hermeneutic confrontation - the only science of law -, out of fear or insecurity, they often metamorphose into true audits, preferring the ease of passive submission to the judgments (formally explicit), not always fair or intelligent, at the risk of their active challenge, in favor of the legitimate interests of their represented and according to the spirit of justice. Nor is the law more enforced and respected by hermeneuts on duty, because its interpretation - draconian - creates, unnecessarily, more obligations and obstacles than the letter itself.

Submerge public res; corporatism is required. Thus, the institutions of public administration (institutes, universities, development agencies) still persist, in Brazil, at the very dawn of the third millennium, created, just and paradoxically, to innovate the future: guarded, fragile, gagged. And while the other countries continue to expand their dominance over the world, with the progress of scientific revolutions and innovations, we are always more behind, dependent and adrift, with the regression of bureaucratic conservation and obscurantism - data venia.