Época, October 27, 2001

Translated by Assunção Medeiros

The regime in this country changed and no one was warned of it

People who know things only through hearsay swear that communism is dead. But Mr. Antonio Negri and I, who studied the subject for decades and certainly cannot be accused of rehearsing our lines backstage, assure you that it is more alive than ever. Also, Mr. Fidel Castro, who is informed of all the subterraneous preparations, announces that soon we will have the spectacular rentrée of the bloody pantomime to which he dedicated his filthy life.

Two recent facts give reason to me and these illustrious gentlemen.

1. A judge in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, when asked to give back to its proprietors a farm invaded by MST, denied the right of reintegration of possession under the allegation that there was no proof of the “social function” of the property.

2. A notorious terrorist of the seventies, who never repented of his crimes, is rather proud of them and that, at best, admitted having some doubts on the convenience of repeating them today, was named Minister of Justice.

As to the first fact, five details give evidence of the spirit with which this was done. (1) The lack of “social function” did not have to be proven: the lack of evidence was enough as evidence of the lack. (2) This “proof” served to legitimize not a legal confiscation, done by the State, but rather the occupation of the property by a third party. (3) The judge recognized his decision was political. (4) The new owners were not required to prove, on their turn, the social usefulness of their property or of any other property taken by the MST, regarding which judges do not make any demands for production; to be recognized as legitimate property, it is enough that they be used for guerrilla training. (5) The sentence was maintained by the State Court of Justice and received quite a lot of praise from Mr. Dalmo Dallari, but no one would expect anything less from him.

As to the second fact, it occurred (1) in a country where the simple accusation of having tortured a communist is enough to exonerate from his functions on the spot, and without any need of evidence, any public servant of high, low or middle echelon; (2) at a moment when the international consensus proclaims the need to persecute and punish all the terrorists and their protectors.

The sense of the first event is clear: the right of property acquired by legal means depends on the proof of its   “social function”, but the right to property taken by force depends only of the political colors of the new proprietors. With no reimbursement, with no indemnification, any property can be immediately transferred to the first party that takes possession of it, on the only condition that he does so under a pretext politically agreeable to Their Excellencies  – Dallaris e tutti quanti.

A principle like that will be used for all real estate – rural or urban, residential, commercial or industrial –, except those that have propaganda value or strategic usefulness for the communist cause, the only social function that is demanded from a property of the MST.

The second event is also clear: (1) the crime of torture, even if not proven, and being imputed only to anticommunists, is an impediment to the exercise of the public function; but the terrorism practiced by communists, even when it is confessed, is not; (2) as it adopts this scale of values, Brazil aligns itself officially, barefacedly, with the countries that protect and legitimize the practice of terrorism. Nothing can attenuate or hide the sense of this option.

Whoever knows the history of the communist revolutions will recognize that, since last week, Brazil is no longer a capitalist democracy. It is a country in open transition to communism, where the declaration of one’s ideology is worth as a document of possession of real estate, and crimes of terrorism committed with the proper ideological motivation are curricular laurels for the exercise of a ministerial function. Few communist revolutions started in such an effective, direct way, without finding the least resistance. But how do you explain this to people that – not knowing anything about communism – believe themselves authorized to proclaim that it does not exist?