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"Estudos Avançados" #92 has politics as main theme

by Richard Meckien - published May 04, 2018 10:20 AM - - last modified Jan 21, 2019 02:02 PM
Rights: Original version in Portuguese by Mauro Bellesa.

Capa da revista "Estudos Avançados" 92Politics is present in two sets of texts in issue 92 of the journal 'Estudos Avançados,' launched at the end of April. The dossiers include articles on political representation, representative democracy, the foundations of Brazilian society, public policies, the current phase of capitalism, the use of public resources and justice militancy for two characters in Brazilian history.

The issue is dedicated to the memory of councilwoman Marielle Franco, murdered on March 14, in Rio de Janeiro, as well as the driver who accompanied her, Anderson Gomes.

The editor of the journal, Alfredo Bosi, comments that measures to build legitimately democratic politics in the dossier "Politics and Money," which opens the edition, constitute "a complex equation of several unknowns whose resolution should not be postponed indefinitely". Measures include the need for "parties not to be mere labels or a sum of interests, but civilian associations endowed with coherent values and principles."

This is not enough, warns Bosi: "It is necessary to rid the nation of the ghosts of the colonial and slave-owning past and, at the same time, to design an economic regime that limits the abuses of financial-rentier capitalism without giving in to dirigiste statism."

The association between politics and money should not necessarily lead to disastrous results, but instead "ally itself for the common good, as shown in the text about spending on public health improvement," says the editor.

In the opening article of the dossier, "How to Save Politics?," Jacques Marcovitch, professor emeritus from USP's Faculty of Economics, Administration and Accounting, defends two sets of proposals favoring the emergence of leaderships that are "capable of presenting results and contributing to the well-being of the community."

The first set addresses party governance, the hypothesis of a reinvention of the media, and the role of academia as a space for debate. The second set contemplates the expected "protagonism of civil society, and possible contributions to substantive changes in the party agenda and in politics in its broader perception."

Former president at USP and former director at the, Marcovitch proposes that academic institutions, media and nongovernmental organizations take action for this transformation in order to "save politics from its misconduct."

According to economist Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira, professor emeritus from the Getúlio Vargas Foundation in São Paulo, financial-rentier capitalism is the appropriate denomination for the mixed character of the post-war capitalist social organization, especially since the 1980s. It is a society in which "capitalists are predominantly rentiers, while high technobureaucrats are either the top executives of companies or financiers."

In the article "Financial-Rentier Capitalism," Bresser-Pereira analyzes the development of this social organization in the 20th century and concludes that "the new importance of rentiers and financiers represents a serious trap for contemporary capitalism." In his opinion, although finances play an important role in the financing of investment, financiers are not interested in it. "Neither them nor the rentiers are committed to the growth of the country or to the well-being of the people. Both represent more a liability than a social asset." The economist concludes with a question that has no answer according to him: "Will there be endogenous mechanisms in capitalism and democracy capable of changing this situation? "

The approach of Fábio Konder Comparato, professor emeritus of USP's Faculty of Law, starts from the historical elements of the formation of Brazil. In the article "Is There Still Any Hope?," he comments on facts from the colonial and empire periods, which, in his view, shaped Brazilian society. These "congenital vices" are, according to Comparato: the absolute predominance of private interest over the public good, Brazil as the destination of criminals degraded by Portugal, the endemic addiction to corruption by public officials and oligarchic domination.

For the jurist, Brazilian history "does not repeat itself, it remains the same." Faced with this reality, he concludes with two questions: "Is there still any hope that sovereignty or supreme power will in the future actually belong, not in a purely symbolic way, to the Brazilian people? How long will we have to wait until all Brazilian citizens, including the poorest, are 'free and equal people in dignity and rights,' as proclaimed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?"

The dossier ends with a discussion of a practical example of the importance of improving the management of public resources for the benefit of the population. In "Public Health Expenses: Brief History, Current Situation and Future Prospects," Paulo Saldiva, a professor of pathology at USP's School of Medicine and director of the IEA, and Mariana Veras, a specialist in public policies and strategic planning, and a researcher in the same department of pathology, address the Unified Health System (SUS) in its almost 30 years of operation.

The authors acknowledge that the system has promoted advancements in the service to the population, but also presents "ills of financing and mismanagement". The article also discusses future challenges and principles that should guide actions for the country "to reach a more efficient level in health care."

Other themes

Examples of participatory democracy and cultural practices are portrayed in five texts of the second section of the issue, entitled "Politics". There are also further articles with contributions that "deepen the meaning of the struggles of great historical militants for justice: Tiradentes and Luiz Gama," says the publication's editor.

The third set of texts contains articles on Brazilian fictionists and poets. Besides poet and essayist Augusto Meyer, aspects of the work of modern and contemporary poets and writers (Mário de Andrade, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Rubem Fonseca and Raduan Nassar) and the romantic narrative (José de Alencar) are analyzed.

Issue 92 also includes articles on the contradictions of research and graduate studies in Brazil, and on Mosaico do Gurupi, the most threatened region of Amazonia, as well as four recently published book reviews on university Marxism in São Paulo, Machado de Assis, Nise da Silveira and José Murilo de Carvalho.

The list below contains the names of the authors who have contributed with each one of the addressed themes:

Politics and Money

Jacques Marcovitch
Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira
Fábio Konder Comparato
Paulo Hilário Nascimento Saldiva and Mariana Veras


Murilo Gaspardo
Daniel Afonso da Silva
Celso Frederico
Amanda Patrycia Coutinho de Cerqueira
José Murilo de Carvalho

Luiz Gama

Diego A. Molina
Lúcia Klück Stumpf and Júlio César de Oliveira Vellozo

Fiction Reading

Alfredo Bosi
Cristiane Rodrigues de Souza
José Feres Sabino
Belinda Mandelbaum
Simone Rossinetti Rufinoni
Fernando Paixão
Machado de Assis

Assorted articles

Paulo César Soares
Danielle Celentano, Magda V. C. Miranda, Eloisa Neves Mendonça, Guillaume X. Rousseau, Francisca Helena Muniz, Vivian do Carmo Loch, István van Deursen Varga, Luciana Freitas, Patrícia Araújo, Igor da Silva Narvaes, Marcos Adami, Alessandra Rodrigues Gomes, Jane C. Rodrigues, Cláudia Kahwage, Marcos Pinheiro and Marlúcia B. Martins


Cecília Helena L. de Salles Oliveira
Yudith Rosenbaum
Pedro Meira Monteiro
Deni Alfaro Rubbo