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Mostrando postagens com marcador The Economist. Mostrar todas as postagens
Mostrando postagens com marcador The Economist. Mostrar todas as postagens

domingo, 17 de fevereiro de 2019

As novas rotas da seda: livros sobre a Asia - The Economist

Como a nova Rota da Seda torna a Eurásia o novo centro do mundo

Três livros argumentam que o equilíbrio da geopolítica muda com os investimentos da China para integrar o continente.


Redação, The Economist
16 Fevereiro 2019 

Indagado como decidiu escrever O Senhor dos Anéis, J.R.R. Tolkien respondeu: “Eu sabiamente comecei com um mapa e inseri nele a história”. Portanto, diz Bruno Maçães, quando se imagina novas realidades é natural começar desta maneira. Hoje um mapa revisado do mundo deve ter um foco radicalmente diferente dos anteriores – porque um vasto e integrado subcontinente eurasiano vem provando ser a característica marcante de uma ordem global emergente.

Rota da Seda
O presidente da China Xi Jinping Foto: Feng Li/Reuters
Antes, quando Oriente era Oriente e Ocidente era Ocidente, o fosso entre os dois não era somente geográfico, mas também moral e histórico. “Ásia” foi um termo inventado pelos europeus para enfatizar sua própria especificidade; para os imperialistas da era Kipling, as sociedades asiáticas eram atrasadas, despóticas e imutáveis. A Europa, pelo contrário, havia registrado avanços decisivos ao adotar um enfoque científico para as questões humanas – o que justificou seu domínio sobre outros continentes. À condescendência a resposta foi a concorrência. Desde a Restauração Meiji do Japão, em 1868, a modernização da Ásia por muito tempo se tornou uma cópia do Ocidente, ou por admiração pelos europeus ou por repulsa a eles, ou ambas as coisas. As transformações econômicas desde a 2.ª Guerra Mundial foram moldadas em parte pelas necessidades dos mercados ocidentais. 
Mas hoje a modernização que a Europa levou no início para a Ásia vem seguindo o caminho contrário. O continente eurasiano hoje está em ebulição com novas conexões, graças aos cabos de fibra ótica, gasodutos, estradas, pontes e zonas de manufatura ligando Oriente e Ocidente. Há dois anos, um trem de carga iniciava viagem em Yiwu, no leste da China, e chegava a um terminal ferroviário a leste de Londres. A façanha foi amplamente simbólica. Ninguém mais duvida que Ásia e Europa estão no mesmo voo.
Esse processo é o pontapé inicial de três novos livros muito estimulantes, que deixam claro que o mapa da política mundial como foi traçado há sete décadas não é mais adequado. Do centro do antigo mapa, como descreve Maçães, o poder dos Estados Unidos irradiava para a Europa e os extremos orientais da Eurásia, agindo como “uma espécie de desenvolvimento futuro contra os perigos emanando do seu núcleo mais profundo”, ou seja, os desafios comunistas representados por Moscou e Pequim. 
Hoje a integração cada vez mais profunda do supercontinente eurasiano que emergiu da Guerra Fria, com todas as deslumbrantes cidades que brotaram nos desertos, os portos que vêm sendo construídos ao longo das costas indo-pacíficas, não deveria surpreender os estudantes do capitalismo e do desenvolvimento. Mas muitos especialistas ocidentais em previsões erraram ao imaginarem que esse mundo seria feito à imagem do Ocidente; que ele adotaria não só as teses econômicas ocidentais, mas também os valores políticos liberais, com seu suposto apelo e legitimidade universal. Basta olhar para a extensão de terra da China e da Rússia para ver a insanidade dessa suposição. Outras potências iliberais, particularmente a Turquia e o Irã, vêm usando as glórias históricas do passado para evocar um futuro renovado, projetando poder ao longo de novas rotas da seda.
A integração econômica não está dissolvendo tais diferenças em termos de valores, mas reforçando. E não está claro que América e Europa conseguirão fazer muita coisa a respeito. Difundir os ideais democráticos não é uma prioridade fundamental para os Estados Unidos; o país deseja cada vez mais exercer poder à distância. A Europa Ocidental está se voltando para si mesma – profunda ironia – em resposta às crises que eclodem na Eurásia e chegam até ela, como as ondas de imigrantes e a intromissão da Rússia nas regiões de fronteira da Europa e sua política interna.
Maçães, cientista político português e antigo ministro do Exterior, esboçou alguns dos seus argumentos no livro The Dawn of Eurasia (O Despertar da Eurásia), publicado no ano passado. Em Belt and Road (Cinturão e Rota) ele examina principalmente o papel da China na remodelação do mundo. Até agora o projeto que é a marca do país no campo da política externa, é a iniciativa conhecida como “Um Cinturão, Uma Rota”. Abrangendo diversos países e US$ 1 trilhão em investimentos prometidos em infraestrutura, o objetivo é criar uma nova economia global com a China no centro. Apesar das negativas, esse projeto é também uma peça importante de engenharia geopolítica. Reflete o desejo da China de moldar seu ambiente externo em vez de simplesmente se adaptar a ele. Algumas pessoas se antecipam que esta será a maneira de a China substituir uma ordem internacional liderada pelos Estados Unidos pela sua própria. 
Comece com o mapa e a história o acompanha, como fazia Tolkien. Mas não há nenhum plano ou trama, diz Maçães. O presidente Xi Jinping e seus acólitos não são adeptos do determinismo marxista. Lenin é o melhor modelo quando aproveitam a chance fugaz de mudar o curso da história.
Com diz Peter Frankopan, historiador de Oxford, em The New Silk Roads (As Novas Rotas da Seda), quando Mike Pompeo, secretário americano de Estado, anunciou em julho um projeto dos EUA em oposição à Iniciativa “Um Cinturão, Uma Rota”, a soma prometida foi de US$ 113 milhões em novos programas – pouco mais do que a renda combinada de Ivanka Trump e Jared Kuchner. Do mesmo modo que Belt and Road acrescenta ao trabalho anterior de Maçães, The New Silk Roads também atualiza o magnífico livro de Frankopan, The Silk Roads (As Rotas da Seda), de 2015, que mudou a opinião de muitos leitores quanto a onde se situa o centro de gravidade histórico do mundo.
A China vem reprocessando uma velha doutrina. Segundo o antigo conceito do tianxia, ou “tudo sob o céu”, a China estava no centro do poder e da civilização. Preceitos morais governavam as relações entre Estados. Observamos ecos disto nas ideias de Xi Jinping de uma “comunidade de um futuro compartilhado para a humanidade” e na constante ênfase nos resultados em que todos ganham, na dependência e no respeito mútuos. As obrigações dos países dependem do seu lugar numa rede cujo centro é a China.
A gratidão e a dependência dos outros são convenientes para a China à medida que ela busca reciclar seu superávit de divisas externas, empregar seus trabalhadores em canteiros de construção no exterior, garantir matéria prima e impingir uma produção de baixa qualidade para outros de modo a manter internamente sua melhor manufatura e melhores serviços de alta tecnologia. O governo Trump qualifica essa abordagem de “diplomacia da armadilha da dívida”. Mas esta noção deixa de lado a atração que ela exerce para muitos beneficiários da generosidade chinesa. No momento ninguém se mostra tão generoso quanto ela.
Além disto, como afirma Parag Khanna em The Future is Asian (O Futuro é Asiático), em que faz uma avaliação otimista de uma Grande Ásia, outros países recebem com simpatia as incursões da China “porque elas dão cobertura para eles implementarem suas próprias agendas comerciais”. E o fato de Índia, Japão, Coreia do Sul e Turquia se lançarem numa corrida infraestrutural armamentista não implica um jogo de soma zero em que uns ganham e outros perdem. Para Khanna, geoestrategista indiano radicado em Singapura, a China está “dando o pontapé inicial num processo pelo qual os asiáticos sairão debaixo da sua sombra”.
Khanna mostra-se pouco preocupado com os inconvenientes do autoritarismo. Ele atribui muita habilidade tecnocrática às elites da região e analisa superficialmente as brutais dimensões do desenvolvimento, incluindo a repressão da China contra os uigures. Mas, num ponto importante, ele concorda com Maçães e Frankopan: o futuro da Eurásia deverá ser mais maleável e não imutável e hegemônico. Nesta nova ordem mundial, as ações ainda provocarão reações. O alinhamento crescente do Japão, Austrália e Índia, países democráticos, em resposta ao posicionamento mais assertivo da China é somente um caso em análise.
Inevitavelmente, a Eurásia será coesa, mas não com base na opressiva união baseada no conceito do tianxia. Em seus aspectos diferentes, esses livros servem como antídoto aos temores americanos de uma disputa maniqueísta com a China. E detalham as forças latentes que já são impossíveis de ignorar. 

TRADUÇÃO DE TEREZINHA MARTINO 

segunda-feira, 3 de dezembro de 2018

Can Mexico Be Saved? - Denise Dresser (Economist)

Can Mexico Be Saved?
The Peril and Promise of López Obrador
ByDenise Dresser
The Economist, December 3, 2018

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
DENISE DRESSER is Professor of Political Science at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico.
Read more by Denise Dresser @DeniseDresserG

In 2012, Mexico’s future looked promising. The election of a dashing young president, Enrique Peña Nieto, imbued the country with a new sense of energy and purpose. Back in power after a 12-year hiatus, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, had promised to reinvent itself and shun the corrupt authoritarianism it had practiced during the seven decades it ruled Mexico. As the country seemed to reach a consensus on long-delayed structural reforms, the international press heralded “the Mexican moment.”According to the cover of Timemagazine, Peña Nieto was “saving Mexico” by opening up the energy sector to foreign investment, combating monopolies, changing archaic labor laws, and leaving nationalism and crony capitalism in the past.
Just six years later, however, a historic electionswept the PRI from power and delivered a landslide victory to its nemesis, the antiestablishment leader Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and his party, the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA). The election was a sharp rebuketo Peña Nieto, his agenda, and the political and economic system that has been in place since the country transitioned to democracy in 2000. Despite the early promise of Peña Nieto’s modernizing reforms, by 2018, eight in ten voters disapproved of the PRI. The election catalyzed popular anger over frustrated economic expectations, rampant corruption, and a homicide ratethat has made Mexico one of the most violent countries in the Western Hemisphere.
But the vote was about more than merely punishing the PRI for its failings. López Obrador won because he was perceived as an authentic opposition leader: an insurgent politician who for years—including during two previous runs for the presidency—had railed against rapacious elites and a democratic transition gone awry. This time, however, his message in defense of “the people” resonated with wider segments of the Mexican electorate because the ills he diagnosed had become increasingly evident during the Peña Nieto administration.
López Obrador’s promise to shake up the status quo appealed to a restive populationeager for regime change. What it will mean in practice, however, remains unclear. So far, the president-elect’s policy positions have been vague, and his team is unknown and untested. Addressing Mexico’s toxic mix of truncated democracyand crony capitalism will require substantive reform. Many citizens hope that López Obrador will make Mexico’s government and economy genuinely inclusive. Others fear that he will push the country backward by resurrecting dominant-party rule, increasing presidential power, and stoking nationalism. A polarized Mexico is now caught between two forces: anger at those who have governed so badly and fear of those who have just been elected.

UNFULFILLED PROMISES
For decades, Mexico has been plagued by the same set of problems. From 1929 to 2000, single-party rule normalized corruption and stunted the development of Mexican institutions. Even now, the country’s economy produces profound inequality, with wealth concentrated in the hands of a few elites. Power operates through patronage and bribery. There are no adequate checks and balances to hold leaders to account. At the same time, the proliferation of drug-related crime has made violence routine.
Throughout the 1990s, political elites and party leaders focused on changing the rules of electoral competition in Mexico. These efforts culminated in Vicente Fox’s victory in the country’s 2000 presidential election. Fox, a member of the National Action Party (PAN), was the first opposition candidate to defeat the PRI. His victory ended single-party rule and marked the country’s official transition to electoral democracy.
Many believed that the PRI’s defeat would transform the prevailing political and economic system, but that did not prove to be the case. The vices associated with authoritarian rule persisted, including corruption and a lack of transparency and accountability. After Fox’s victory, the Mexican political system became a strange hybrid of authoritarianism and democracy: a system that promoted power sharing among party leaders but did little to guarantee the representation of ordinary citizens.
From 2000 to 2012, the PAN’s approach to governing closely resembled that of the party it had replaced. Patronage, vote buying, and corruption continued. As a result, citizens began to lose faith in the system altogether. According to a government survey from 2011, only four percent of the population had a favorable impression of political parties, and only ten percent believed that legislators governed on behalf of their constituents.
The democratic transition also failed to improve the country’s security situation—in fact, before long it got worse. In 2006, President Felipe Calderón launched a “war on drugs,” deploying the Mexican military to fight powerful drug cartels and end drug-related violence. Instead of solving these problems, the policy, which is still in place, has turned Mexico into a country of graveyards, where mothers sift through dirt to find the remains of their children. In states where the military has conducted operations, the violence has actually increased, as cartels fight both government forces and one another over territory and move on to other illicit activities, such as extortion and kidnapping. Where the armed forces have replaced civilian police officers, ordinary crime has skyrocketed. The army is not trained to carry out police duties, and its incursions to fight the cartels have often produced an escalation in human rights violations.
In the last decade, Mexico has seen over 250,000 homicides and over 34,000 disappearances. More than 140 mayors and candidates for office have been assassinated. And whole swaths of the country, including parts of the states of Guerrero, Michoacán, Morelos, and Tamaulipas, are now controlled by organized crime. Meanwhile, corruption and incompetence in the police forces, the courts, and the military have continued unabated.

PENASTROIKA AND ITS DISCONTENTS
The deteriorating security situation and the PAN’s failure to turn Mexico into a functioning democracy opened the door for a PRI comeback. Peña Nieto promised to help his struggling country join the ranks of the developed world. Immediately after assuming office in 2012, he forged the Pact for Mexico, a legislative accord among the country’s main political parties that approved structural reforms on issues such as energy, labor, tax policy, telecommunications, and education.
The pact was initially celebrated as a political achievement. But although many of the reforms looked good on paper, their design and execution were deeply flawed. Peña Nieto’s proposals conflicted with the vested interests of the same powers that had enabled his ascent to the presidency: the gerontocracy that controlled the labor unions, the monopolists that dominated the Mexican economy, the government-controlled media, and the powerful television duopoly that carefully manufactured his image. These forces were willing to support a light version of the proposed reforms, but they opposed more substantive changes that threatened to undercut their power. As a result, when the reforms reached Congress, where secondary legislation was designed to put them into effect, a legislative branch captured by special interests introduced new rules that diluted the possibility of a deeper impact. Peña Nieto’s cronies defended their privileged positions with the tacit consent of a government that seemed more interested in marketing the approval of the reforms than in making them succeed.
Although not all the reforms failed—energy reform, for example, spurred foreign investment, and telecommunications reform lowered cell phone rates for consumers—their modest achievements pale in comparison to what was promised. Peña Nieto assured Mexicans that he would raise economic growth to six percent per year. Instead, growth has averaged only 1.3 percent per year. Meanwhile, inequality and wealth concentration are on the rise. According to the economist Gerardo Esquivel, ten percent of the Mexican population now controls more than 64 percent of the country’s wealth. In 2002, the fortunes of Mexico’s top 16 multimillionaires represented two percent of GDP; by 2014, that share had risen to nine percent. And the four richest people in Mexico all made their fortunes in sectors regulated or controlled by the government. Mexico now occupies seventh place in The Economist’s index of crony capitalist countries, behind Russia, Malaysia, Ukraine, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.
Mexican society is shaped like a pyramid: at the top are a handful of rent seekers, who manipulate the system to increase their personal wealth rather than invest in the economy or support innovation. At the base, meanwhile, are the 52 million Mexicans who live below the poverty line—21 million of whom survive on less than $2 a day. According to a 2015 Oxfam report, only one in five Mexicans can be considered not poor or vulnerable to poverty. Successive reformist governments have failed to address the persistence of manipulated, highly concentrated markets. Growth is not possible when the state cannot ensure equality, regulate monopolies, or guarantee the transparency of economic transactions. Under Peña Nieto and his predecessors, pervasive cronyism crippled reformist efforts. Even good intentions delivered bad results.

IT'S THE CORRUPTION, STUPID
In Mexico, paradoxically, more democracy has meant more corruption. The democratic transition did not stop the transfer of public wealth into private pockets; instead, it exacerbated and normalized that historical practice. Although democratic theory suggests that pluralism and political competition help combat corruption, Mexico demonstrates that in the absence of the rule of law, they actually incite further rapacity.
In Mexico’s fledgling democracy, corruption has spread from the executive branch to the legislature, the judiciary, state and local governments, and even the media. As the legislative branch has gained more power over how money is spent, illegal appropriations for political use have multiplied. Decentralizing the federal budget to the states has opened up new opportunities for local leaders to do business with public funds. Instead of providing checks and balances against corruption, the federal and local legislatures have been the beneficiaries of government largess. The same is true of the 32 governors who receive large amounts of federal funds, which they use at their own discretion.
According to the nongovernmental organization México ¿Cómo Vamos? (Mexico, How Are We Doing?), corruption eats up nine percent of Mexico’s GDP. It deters foreign investment, hampers economic growth, and limits the benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The World Economic Forum says that corruption is the main factor that makes it hard to do business in Mexico.
During the Peña Nieto administration, however, corruption, which had long been considered normal, was increasingly denounced as it became more public and less constrained. According to the nongovernmental organization Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad (Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity), corruption has reached alarming levels in the last six years. Mexico is currently ranked 135 out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index; 90 percent of Mexican citizens believe that corruption is one of the country’s primary problems. This concern is not unwarranted. During the Peña Nieto administration, the governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte, allegedly embezzled millions of dollars of public funds, and more than a dozen other governors and former governors, many of whom Peña Nieto praised as examples of the new PRI, are now under investigation or hiding from the authorities. The president’s own family has been implicated: in 2014, the so-called Casa Blanca scandal revealed that the president’s wife had purchased a $7 million house from a favored government contractor.
Under Peña Nieto and his predecessors, pervasive cronyism crippled reformist efforts.
Peña Nieto attempted to avoid responsibility for these scandals by arguing that corruption was a cultural issue. Instead of reforming bad rules or designing better laws, he blamed amoral citizens. But corruption is the product of incentives, not habits; it’s about what authorities sanction, not what society condones. And under Peña Nieto, Mexican authorities were willing to tolerate a staggering level of official wrongdoing. Consider, for example, the massive scandal involving the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, which has admitted paying more than $800 million in bribes to government officials in various countries. The case has shaken up politics throughout the region, bringing down presidents and prominent members of the political elite. But in Mexico, not a single politician or contractor has been indicted, owing to pressure on law enforcement authorities from high-level officials who fear that a real investigation would be damaging to the PRI. What the Mexican media have dubbed “a pact of impunity” protects the political class regardless of party or ideology, undermining public trust in government institutions.
The starkest example of official impunity is the case of the 43 studentsfrom Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College who disappeared in 2014 and whose fate remains unknown. After massive protests erupted over the incident, Peña Nieto’s government brought in a panel of independent international experts to review the case. But when the experts began to cast doubt on the government’s handling of the investigation, authorities made it impossible for them to carry out their work and ultimately forced them out of the country.

ENTER AMLO
During the 2018 election, López Obrador became the candidate of choice for the majority of voters, who were frustrated with the current state of affairs. Decades of corruption and the failures of the Peña Nieto government allowed López Obrador to cast himself as the redeemer of a fundamentally flawed system.
The election results were a crushing defeat for the PRI, which did not win a single governorship out of the nine in contention or any of the 300 federal electoral districts. The party even lost in Atlacomulco, Peña Nieto’s hometown. The PRI will become the fifth-largest party in Congress after being dominant for 89 years.
For López Obrador, the results were a triumph. MORENA earned 53 percent of the vote, versus the PRI’s 16 percent, and it received 30 million votes, significantly more than the 15 million that Fox obtained in 2000. López Obrador’s party and its coalition allies will have an absolute majority in Congress, with over 300 seats out of 500, and a majority in the Senate. After 24 years of divided rule, López Obrador will enjoy a unified government, which will have the capacity to pass laws and approve the budget with little opposition.
López Obrador’s victory can be explained by both what happened during the race and what failed to happen over the last 30 years. There is no question that his opponents ran disastrous campaigns. Ricardo Anaya, the candidate of a center-right–center-left alliance that had been forged among the PAN, the Party of the Democratic Revolution, and the Citizens’ Movement, was viewed as smart but robotic—someone who connected more easily with Silicon Valley executives than with his disgruntled fellow citizens. And he was never credible as a transformative opposition leader, given the 12 years of PAN rule that came before. Meanwhile, the PRI candidate, José Antonio Meade, bore the brunt of Peña Nieto’s unpopularity and the tarnished PRI brand.
López Obrador, on the other hand, assembled a team of moderates who tempered his strident tendencies and explained his policies in a way that made them seem more acceptable and less radical. MORENA transitioned from purism to pragmatism and created a broad, multiclass, and ideologically vague coalition that was capable of drawing in both conservative evangelicals and progressive civic activists. U.S. President Donald Trump’s demonization of Mexico also helped López Obrador, whose brand of nationalism resonated among those who felt offended by Trump’s tirades and Peña Nieto’s mild response to them. López Obrador also won support by defending the oil industry in the face of energy reforms that many viewed as benefiting only foreign investors and their domestic allies.
But something more profound lies at the root of this political reconfiguration. López Obrador’s message and personality have been the same since he became an opposition leader in 2006. But what seemed radical in 2006 feels necessary in 2018. What once provoked fear now engenders hope. The majority of the electorate supported López Obrador because his bleak diagnosis corresponded with the violence, corruption, and insecurity that ordinary Mexicans experience every day.
Members of Mexico’s traditional ruling class did not understand that lambasting López Obrador as a populist would not prevent him from reaching the presidency; they should have instead addressed the grievances he exploited. But they did little to make the economic system more inclusive or the political system more representative. López Obrador’s ascent is the predictable consequence of failed modernization. Greedy, antidemocratic elites should have seen it coming.

THE ROAD AHEAD
Despite his landslide victory, López Obrador remains a polarizing figure. His critics view him as a divider and a class warrior; his supporters cherish him as an unwavering champion of democracy and social justice. For some, he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing; for others, he represents a radical and long-desired break with the old regime.
López Obrador’s victory will almost certainly alter the party system and the existing economic model. But the specific nature of that change is difficult to predict. When it comes to policy, López Obrador has been erratic and often contradictory. As mayor of Mexico City from 2000 to 2006, he was a pragmatic leader, and his team today mostly consists of moderates. Now, however, there will be pressure from his base to disavow many of the reforms implemented during the Peña Nieto administration. López Obrador has said that he will support the North American Free Trade agreement, but he has also hinted that protectionist measures might be necessary to invigorate the domestic market and promote food security. Ultimately, he is a social leader drawn to grand narratives, not to the specifics of public policy. It will be up to his inexperienced cabinet to maintain the delicate balance between the changes that Mexicans demand and the macroeconomic stability that investors expect.
In his victory speech, López Obrador espoused the language of reconciliation, declaring that he would seek a peaceful and orderly transition and that he would not “govern arbitrarily.” But there is no question that he will have a great deal of discretionary power. Along with the smaller parties in his electoral coalition, he may even have enough votes to modify the constitution.
Although the PRI and the PAN retained a small presence in the legislature and still control a number of governorships, the opposition has been decimated, and it could become even smaller as members flee to join MORENA. López Obrador’s party is on its way to becoming a new version of the old PRI: a hegemonic party that crowds out competition by uniting disparate political factions under a pragmatic umbrella. Patronage and corruption held the PRI together, and MORENA has not signaled that it will break with those practices; in fact, it is well positioned to emulate and embrace them. López Obrador has not broken ties with union leaders associated with government graft or acted against members of his own party accused of using public funds for personal gain.
For those worried about Mexico’s dysfunctional democracy, there are some troubling signs. López Obrador has promised to return power to the people by submitting key policy issues to public referendums. This practice could push the country toward majoritarian extremism, in which democracy is seen as a constant confrontation between the popular will and those who oppose it, rather than as an inclusive system of negotiation and compromise. During the campaign, López Obrador portrayed institutions such as the Supreme Court and the National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information, and Personal Data Protection as obstacles, vilified the media outlets that criticized him, and suggested that his personal moral rectitude meant that he should be granted broader discretionary powers than his predecessors.
But much of what he has promised, including an end to corruption and violence, will require significant modifications to Mexico’s institutions, which were created in an era of single-party rule. Unless the government promotes an agenda focused on transparency, accountability, institutional remodeling, and the protection of individual rights, Mexico will simply replace one unaccountable party with another. Some of López Obrador’s critics have warned that he might turn Mexico into another Venezuela, where the authoritarian leader Nicolás Madurohas dismantled democratic institutions and bankrupted the state, pushing society to the brink of collapse. The real risk for Mexico, however, is not that it will become another Venezuela; it is that it will simply remain the same old Mexico.
To prevent this outcome, López Obrador would be well advised to take a new approach when he assumes office on December 1. The centerpiece of this agenda should be the establishment of an autonomous attorney general’s office with the authority to investigate and prosecute corruption at the highest levels. In addition, he should push for the passage of legislation, currently stalled in Congress, that would make the national anticorruption system fully functional. He will also need to name an anticorruption czar and guarantee that the position has teeth. Finally, López Obrador should rethink the war on drugsby gradually returning the military to the barracks and, at a minimum, legalizing marijuana for medicinal and recreation.
Mexico will experience truly transformative change only if its new leaders focus on strengthening the rule of law. The biggest mistake López Obrador can make would be to delegitimize democracy by relying on referendums and centralizing power in his own office. Much of the positive change that Mexico has experienced since 2000 was the result of pressure from below, fomented by an increasingly vibrant and demanding civil society. The country’s future does not depend on one man or one movement. Mexico needs a broad, pro-democracy coalition that addresses the root cause of its polarized politics: the absence of institutions that are capable of providing transparency, accountability, and systemic checks and balances. The Mexican people need to put pressure on López Obrador to make good on his bold promises. The Mexican novelist Juan Rulfo once wrote, “It had been so long since I lifted my face that I forgot about the sky.” If Mexicans do not look upward and demand more, those who govern won’t do so, either.

quinta-feira, 27 de setembro de 2018

Miséria das elites brasileiras (e do povao) - J. R. Guzzo

O povão é ignorante? Certamente, embora iss não seja desculpa.
A atitude das elites é que é indesculpável.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

Elites sem nexo
O The Economist virou uma espécie de Almanaque Capivari para os empresários brasileiros da modalidade "civilizada-liberal-contemporânea". Mestre J. R. Guzzo, no alvo, em artigo publicado na edição impressa da revista Exame:

O que aconteceria num país que teve quase catorze anos seguidos da mais ruinosa administração econômica que se possa imaginar, com direito à maior recessão na história de sua economia? Além das repetidas tentativas de suicídio econômico, armou-se ao longo deste período o que provavelmente tenha sido o mais alucinante sistema de corrupção jamais visto na administração pública mundial. A máquina do Estado foi privatizada em favor dos partidos que apoiavam os governos, primeiro o do ex-presidente Lula e depois o de Dilma Rousseff. Milhares de cargos públicos foram entregues a militantes do PT e outros coletivos de esquerda. Bilhões de reais desapareceram do Tesouro Nacional e foram acabar nos bolsos de dirigentes de “movimentos sociais”, ONGs, governantes de países estrangeiros que não se submetem à lei internacional, ditadores africanos, filhos de ditadores africanos que são pegos na alfândega do Brasil com malas abarrotadas de dinheiro vivo. O ex-presidente está na cadeia, condenado a doze anos por corrupção e lavagem de dinheiro. Estão presos ex-ministros, diretores de estatais e outros barões do seu governo, quase todos réus confessos ─ e por aí afora. Muito bem. A única resposta possível para a pergunta feita no parágrafo inicial, dentro da lógica comum, é a seguinte: na primeira eleição que aparecesse, os responsáveis diretos pelas calamidades descritas acima receberiam da maioria dos eleitores uma ordem clara de cair fora do governo e ficar o mais longe possível dele, de preferência para sempre. Mas o país dessa história é o Brasil, e no Brasil as coisas raramente fazem nexo.

O problema não está tanto no comportamento do eleitorado, que segundo as “pesquisas de intenção de voto” põe numa situação privilegiada, quase de favorito, o candidato que promete abertamente ressuscitar a catástrofe dos governos Lula e Dilma. Num eleitorado em que a maioria dos 150 milhões de votantes não têm nenhum preparo para escolher nada, qualquer farsante bem treinado para mentir mais que os outros candidatos sempre terá chances excelentes de ganhar. O curioso, na atual eleição presidencial, é que grande parte da elite empresarial brasileira ─ aquela que se imagina mais avançada, vê a si própria como merecedora de uma cota de sócia no mundo civilizado, lê os jornais e revistas de Nova York ou Londres, etc., etc., etc. ─ esteja achando que o candidato que promete voltar ao governo passado é o mais adequado para ocupar o governo futuro. Não que Fernando Haddad seja o homem ideal, claro. Nossos mais distintos magnatas e seus guias espirituais prefeririam um Emmanuel Macron, digamos, ou coisa que o valha; mas Monsieur Macron não está disponível. A saída, então, é se arrumar com esse Haddad mesmo. É verdade que ele tem, entre todos os candidatos, o mais bem armado projeto de destruição do Brasil. O que se vai fazer, porém? A alternativa é eleger um homem de extrema direita ─ e isso deixa passando mal os nossos capitães de indústria, comércio e finanças ─ ou, pelo menos, é o que dizem. Haddad, imaginam, é uma pessoa com quem daria “para conversar”.

De mais a mais, é essa a instrução que recebem no momento do The Economist─ e nos últimos anos, por razões de ordem psicológica que talvez sejam melhor esclarecidas no futuro, o The Economist virou uma espécie de Almanaque Capivari para os empresários brasileiros da modalidade “civilizada-liberal-contemporânea”. Acreditam no que é publicado ali como se acredita na tábua de marés da Marinha Nacional ─ e ali estão dizendo que Haddad, além de ter sido um prefeito “de êxito” em São Paulo, poderia inclinar-se para uma abordagem mais liberal da economia. Quem pode levar a sério um disparate desses? Mais gente do que você pensa. Empreiteiros de obras públicas, banqueiros preocupados em manter o monopólio que tanto dinheiro lhe deu nos governos Lula-Dilma, fornecedores de sondas nacionais para a Petrobras, Joesleys, Eikes e todo o resto da turma estão prontos para assinar embaixo.

domingo, 16 de setembro de 2018

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https://www.economist.com/essay/2018/09/13/the-economist-at-175

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