A world, between good and bad transgressions


Valor Econômico - 23/08/2011

This is a “bad” transgression, one that, particularly widespread in Brasília, gives unequivocal demonstrations that, ethically, this country is doing very badly. There have undoubtedly been important changes in recent years - virtuous transgressions - driven by a national will to set the pace with what the best exercise of citizenship, by voting and other forms of political participation, can do in a modern society. The overthrow of the military dictatorship itself was carried out in a process of transgressing an ideological order that had become unsustainable.

The 1988 Constitution, for example, why was it called a “citizen”? Why did it make use of another way of seeing Brazil and of organizing the coexistence between Brazilians (although subject to reservations, due to the unbridled enthusiasm with which it began to distribute resources without mentioning exactly where to get them all).

The Real Plan was transgressive. The chains that bound the Brazilian to the clutches of the inflationary monster were broken (and the Cruzado Plan was also transgressive; it just didn't work out). Respect for democratic rules and even the rise of lower-income classes to higher levels of consumption - including public goods - are other achievements obtained by means of transgressions in relation to what was ideologically established.

There were, then, beneficial transgressions, those that incorporate refusal to preserve a current situation that for some reason must be overcome, so that there is "progress". But, there was talk of “transgression” today, and the association of ideas with the wrongdoing is immediate. One does not think about the “creative transgressions” mentioned by Renato Janine Ribeiro, one of the authors who signed the authorship of this “Culture of Transgressions in Brazil - Scenarios of Tomorrow”.

Paths are taken, during and after transgressions, creative or repulsive. On the light side, says Roberto Abdenur, who organized the book with Fernando Henrique Cardoso, there is a record of the exciting achievements made and the challenge of persisting in the fight against the dark side, this “culture of transgressions” that “has been jamming the machine of society since the XNUMXth century "and that needs to give way to another one - one that allows the country to" advance within the environment of legality ", in order to put itself" up to the level of the most developed societies in history ".

Instituto de Ética Concorrencial (Etco), chaired by Abdenur, and Instituto Fernando Henrique Cardoso (IFHC) “are determined to lead this process, to help Brazilians reach a degree of maturity such that transgression is a term of the past - the “Bad”, certainly, the one that irrigates the crop of misdeeds and that also feeds on the mistakes and dysfunctionalities in the distribution of justice.

“There are no signs of progress in the State's ability to effectively punish breaches of the law, in order to deter transgression of legal rules,” notes Sergio Fausto, IFHC's executive superintendent. "Perception is just the opposite". This finding is the starting point of this third volume of the “Culture of Transgressions” series, which IFHC and Etco jointly publish. Previously, “Culture of Transgressions - Lessons from History” (2007) and “Culture of Transgressions - Visions of the Present” (2009) were published.

In the book, issues related to the branch of Justice are themes for Gilmar Ferreira Mendes, minister of the Superior Electoral Court, former president of the Supreme Federal Court and of the National Council of Justice, and Aristides Junqueira Alvarenga, attorney general of the Republic for three terms. Mendes addresses the disregard for the guarantees that the Constitution offers to people subject to legal proceedings. Junqueira exposes and analyzes the bankruptcy of the system of criminal executions.

In his article on transgressions in the public economy, Paul Singer, national secretary of Solidarity Economy at the Ministry of Labor and Employment, circulates the subjects that have been most influential in the news and analyzes of Brazilian political life in recent times, with explicit scenes of assault on public heritage. The economist explains the logic of large government purchases, which seems to be tailored to provide opportunities for action by fraudsters inside and outside the government. This same logic, however, which goes through circumstances surrounding major purchases, makes proof of fraud almost impossible.

“Obviously, all classes are affected by government corruption, but only the poor and especially the very poor feel the insufficiency of public health, school, transport and sanitation services in their own bodies”, a direct reflection of the fraudsters, points out Singer. Some forms of social control already exist, they are active. The inspection work of the Federal Comptroller General is important. However, “as scandals are not followed by punishments or new preventive measures, public opinion is skeptical about politicians and - what is worse - democracy itself. Hence the vital need to combat the culture of transgressions, especially in public spending ”.

Former Finance Minister Marcílio Marques Moreira writes about “State and market: the challenge of better articulating them”. The choice of the “State versus market” theme was due to his conviction that “the proper articulation between one and the other is the essential link in the unavoidable process of modernization of the country's political and economic institutions and customs and its competitive integration in a world that gallops forward ”. For this, the reform of the State will be essential, “to enable it to fully exercise its role in the desired“ aggiornamento ”, and the creation of conditions that are indispensable for the flourishing of an effective market economy, driven by fair competition, subject to the rules of the game, supervised by reliable regulatory agencies and aware of their social responsibilities ”.

Renato Janine Ribeiro, professor of ethics and political philosophy at the University of São Paulo, asks if it is possible to overcome the culture of transgressions. His article dilutes the theme in the greater question of the quality of social coexistence. “Perhaps, more than transgression, what threatens our life together is indifference. And what is most promising for our living together is an agenda that recomposes politics based on the questions that, for both, discuss what gives meaning to life. ” This would be a good offense.