The Real Brazil and the Virtual Brazil

Fernando Buen Abad

There are two Brazils that run parallel and have a different logic and dynamism. One is the dominant Brazil, profoundly unequal and therefore unfair that reproduces a society that lacks compassion for the large majorities. According to IPEA there are 71 multi millionaires of five thousand large families that hold a large part of national wealth and have practically no social sense, insensible to the misfortunes of millions of persons who live in the slums that surround practically all our cities. This hatred and discrimination reigns rampant and is felt by the poor and children of slavery, still present today.

I am moving away decidedly from the pessimism of Paulo Prado in his ironical book of 1927 “Portrait of Brazil: Study of Brazilian Sadness”, for whom sadness, laziness, lust and greed are listed as characteristics of Brazilians. There are still some people who think this way in spite of all the social advances.

Together with these distortions there is another Brazil; of the poor who fight bravely to survive. In their poverty they have a joy that rises from within, that dances, and worship their powerful saints and do not need to believe in God because they feel him in every step of the way. It is a Brazil scorned by the conservative sectors that guide the GDP and by consumerism, considered good for nothing and not worthwhile for the system because they produce little and consume even less.

This split Brazil, with a different face is a live and scandalous contradiction. It has a somber legacy derived from the indigenous cleansing that still exists today; of the colonialism that left us a complex of ‘good for nothings’ and penetrated psychologically in the structure of the Large House of the white master and the scourge of black slaves. It is manifest in the pit that splits the country from top to bottom and makes us heirs of a republic with a democracy that is a farce of reality, deformed, today in the large majority by the corrupt that benefit from public goods for their private well being patrimonialismo.

The Brazilian people, a hodge podge of 60 different nations that came here is still unborn. This process, in spite of the contradictions, points to a successful cross breeding that could define a unique face of Brazil as a power in the tropics. The Brazil I have described seems real, full of injustices and contradictions.

But there is another Brazil; an imaginary Brazil that resided in the dreams of the people, of a grand Brazil; of a loved Brazil blessed by God; a Brazil of a warm humanity; of popular music and African rhythms, of football, of carnival, of beaches and beautiful people. These move the sentiments of a people.

It is a utopian Brazil, a utopia taught us by the maestro Celso Furtado “is the fruit of secret dimensions of reality, a rise of contained energies that awaits an opening of the horizon of possibilities of a society”; a fair, fraternal and happy society (See “In search of a new model: thoughts on the contemporary crisis“).

This Brazil only exists in dreams but it is a new state: one of energies to support the bitterness of the present. This dream and the utopia are part of the potential and virtual character of reality. Information is a fact and does not exhaust the virtual of reality.

This virtuality that feeds our joy and the hope that today the enemies of democracy who vote on the impeachment of President Dilma, will not succeed. They will be erased from the collective memory; stigmatized, ash and dust will cover their names.

Our challenge is to join the real Brazil with the virtual Brazil that contains more truth and forges models of the real figure of our country.