Veja Rio and the Última Flor de Fáscio

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“A new face [for the Rio legislature]? Owners of social assistance centers, offspring of former politicians, evangelical pastors, policemen. Who the lawmakers are who will take office in January.” Veja Rio (December 2006)

A white horse is not a horseThe White Horse Dialogue

Democracy is a kingless regime infested by many kings who are sometimes more exclusive, tyrannical, and destructive than one, even if he be a tyrant. … In rejecting democracy Fascism rejects the absurd conventional lie of political equalitarianism, the habit of collective irresponsibility, the myth of felicity and indefinite progress. For Fascism, the State is absolute, individuals and groups relative. Individuals and groups are admissible in so far as they come within the State.The Doctrine of Fascism, 1932

Clientelism is an informal relationship between people of different social and economic status: a ‘patron’ (boss, big man) and his ‘clients’ (dependents, followers, protégés). The relationship includes a mutual but unequal exchange of favours, which can be corrupt. Patrimonial and clientelist practices can institutionalise hegemonic elites and political corruption, often reaching the highest ranks of state power. –U4, Glossary

Democratically, it is necessary to permit the formation of competing parties with diverse views. But to the extent to which this right ought to be, or can be, granted to parties whose objective is to do away with the very institutions that guarantee them this right — this is a complication for democratic theory. So this is the problem of the press nowadays, and not just in Brazil: How to reconcile the two roles the news media plays. First, to the extent that it is a private party expressing what happens in the world and the opinion of the population, and second, to the extent that it behaves as a political actor, and there are currents of opinion demanding public accountability from it.Wanderley Guilherme dos Santos

Having recently set out to discover signs of intelligent life at Globo, I decide to test another deep-seated prejudice of mine — my refusal to consume anything the Grupo Abril (Brazil) dumps into the marketplace of ideas.

I have found toxic sludge in so many of Abril’s infotainment products so often that the cost-benefit ratio of boiling it to make it fit for human consumption no longer makes any sense to me.

But there is also this argument floating around now — though no one is willing to sign anything other than a pseudonym to it, apparently — that the entire enterprise should not suffer for the sins of the banda podre at Veja. See

I do not really buy that argument.

Then again, you should rebenchmark your knee-jerk prejudices once in a while.

And I think I may have found a candidate, in what seems like a decent piece of political analysis from the Rio de Janeiro edition from around a year ago.

Much as the ancient Chinese logician denied that a white horse is a horse, could it be that Veja Rio really is not to be tarred with the same brush — to mix a metaphor — as Veja‘s national edition?

This political analysis of the newly seated Rio de Janeiro state legislature may be a point in favor of that hypothesis — although it has a peculiar disdain for the dynamics of direct district representation that do seem to channel a distinct ideological bias of the mother ship.

Such as that the notion of the elected legislator as “an intermediary between the citizen and the public power” is some kind of Stalinist plot.

See also

Verdict: Prejudice confirmed. This is just a standard Veja exercise in the fallacy of weak induction — lurid, enumerated scandals of the form “x has been accused of” — in support of the conclusion that “direct democracy does not work.”

But it also includes a tiny, grudging, fuzzy little pro forma concession, there at the end, that there are exceptions to the (weakly instantiated) trend.

Lest it be accused of the fallacy of selective evidence. Which God forbid.

In any event, having recently re-read the work of Wanderley Guilherme dos Santos on the evolution of “The Brazilian Ex-Leviathan” — “from the dispersed vote to concentrated clientelism” — I was interested to come across a reasonably coherent analysis that seems to traverse some of the same ground.

So what the hell? Let’s send it to the NMM-Tabajara Signal-to-Noise Metrics® lab and take a benchmark reading.

Pouca renovação e muito clientelismo são as principais características da nova bancada da Assembléia Legislativa. Entre os futuros deputados estaduais há personagens polêmicos, parlamentares que respondem a processos na Justiça e novatos eleitos graças ao prestígio político de parentes

Little renewal and lots of clientelism are the principle characteristics of the newly seated state legislative assembly. Among the future state legislators are controversial figures, elected officials facing legal proceedings, and freshmen lawmakers elected thanks to the political prestige of relatives.

There is a trite literary echo of a famous phrase from Mario de Andrade’s Rabelaisian farce, Macunaíma, here:

Pouca saúde e muita saúva, os males do Brasil são!

“Little health and many [huge freaking] ants, these are the ills of Brazil!”

Bylined to Fábio Brisolla and Fátima Sá.

Eleitos no dia 1º de outubro, setenta novos deputados estaduais tomam posse no início do ano na Assembléia Legislativa do Rio. Novos em termos. Trinta e seis deles estão sendo reeleitos. Outros sete já estiveram na Alerj em outras legislaturas. E, não bastasse, sete dos novatos são filhos, mulher ou irmãos de ex-deputados. Entre os parlamentares eleitos – com salário de 9.450 reais, auxílio-gasolina e outros adicionais – há o policial conhecido como Batman, a herdeira de postos de gasolina, o bispo que quer “salvar” homossexuais, o apresentador de TV. O perfil é variado, mas o que se percebe é a consagração de uma velha prática política: o clientelismo.

Elected on October 1, 2006, 70 new state legislators will take office at the beginning of the year in the Rio state assembly. New in terms of their term of office, that is. Thirty-six of them are reelected incumbents. Another 7 are veterans of previous legislatures. And if that were not enough, 7 of the freshmen are sons, wives or brothers of former lawmakers. Among those elected to a post that pays R$9,450 a month, with a fuel subsidy and other perks — is a policeman known as Batman, a gas-station heiress, an evangelical bishop who wants to “save” homosexuals, and a TV talking head [Wagner Montes dos Santos of TV Record.] They are a diverse bunch, but what one observes is the renewal an old political practice: Clientelism.

Cada vez mais, o parlamentar deixa de pensar em soluções para todo o estado e concentra a atenção apenas em seu reduto eleitoral. Age como uma espécie de síndico ou representante de classes. Vira um simples intermediário entre o cidadão e o poder público, negociando asfalto, luz, atendimento hospitalar. “Os deputados tornaram-se vereadores territoriais ou representantes de interesses particulares de igrejas e corporações”, diz o cientista político Jairo Nicolau, do Instituto Universitário de Pesquisas do Estado do Rio (Iuperj).

More and more, the state legislator thinks less of solutions for the state as a whole and concentrates only on his home district.

And that is a bad thing?

This is a weird by-product of the prevailing system of mixed proportional representation here that I can never quite get my gringo head around.

Formally speaking, for example, each São Paulo vereador represents the entire city, but no one district in particular. (The current governor has proposed phasing in direct representation, I read somewhere.)

So who would we even talk to about getting that traffic signal everyone thinks we need at the busy intersection up the block?

Without having some cute kid get killed so we can get the local TV to run a poster-child campaign for us?

I ask this of the Missus.

Shrug.

There is a park in our neighborhood whose status as city property has been in limbo every since the last squatter was kicked out more than a decade ago.

The city dispossessed the squatter, but did not really repossess the land in any tangible way.

Could we get a municipal guard to patrol it, for example? The parks department to mow it twice a year? No one knows — or really even knows how to reach someone who might actually know. It remains a nebulous, semipermanent temporary autonomous zone. As far as I can understand.

On the other hand, if an elected official actually comes along and puts some political muscle behind your complaint, and gets something done, you will often hear the hysterical shrieks of “populism!”

Again, I find this hard to fathom.

Technically, it seems as though, even as each one is responsible for everything, no one is responsible for anything.

In Brooklyn, my City Council representative tries to make sure that things that our neighborhood needs actually happen, and things that we neighbors come to a consensus that do not want do not happen — or at least not until we are fully consulted on them.

There are trade-offs in this system, sure — NIMBYism is often cited, and the proverbial capture of representatives by fat cat special interests. You have to keep your eye on those bastards at City Hall. Read a good newspaper or two every day, show up at some public hearings, watch the city government channel and Inside City Hall every day.

It takes some effort on your part.

Then again, New York City is a pretty decent place to live these days, considering.

While São Paulo has a long, long ways to go yet.

Incidents with a “death squad” profile so far this year: dozens. Similar cases unresolved from the 2006 PM-PCC Wars: dozens.

And a friend who lives in Pennsylvania, here on one of his first trips to his wife’s native city, cites what struck him immediately: The way the Rio Pinheiros smells.

And the list continues.

I tend to think that direct, equal access by citizens to directly accountable intermediaries — or at least an active, sustained, organized demand for such access — might actually account for some of those notable differences.

(On the other hand, our Brooklyn city councilman, Councilman Davis — a police officer and member of 100 Black in Law Enforcement — was gunned down on the steps of City Hall just a couple of years ago:

How in 2003 could labeling someone gay be so damaging to a political candidate that he would kill over it? That’s the question that many New Yorkers are grappling with in the wake of the July 24 murder of city councilman James Davis by a gay constituent who wanted his job. Just hours after calling the FBI and claiming that Davis had bribed and threatened to out him, Othniel Askew gunned Davis down in council chambers. City Hall police then shot and killed Askew. … Askew’s FBI complaint made no sense to lawmakers who knew firsthand of Davis’s support for gay and lesbian causes. “He sponsored every bill I ever had; he signed on to every letter on the gay issue across the board,” said out lesbian councilwoman Christie Quinn. “From the transgender civil rights bill to every gay event we did, he was there 100%.”)

He acts as a kind of [condominium super] or union rep, a mere intermediary between the citizen and the public power, negotiating paving, electricity, medical services. “The deputies have become territorial wardens or representatives of the private interests of churches and institutions,” says political scientist Jairo Nicolau of IUPERJ.

É na ausência do poder público que o parlamentar “síndico” conquista espaço. E votos, naturalmente. Ao todo, 70% dos eleitos definem-se como deputados de “perfil comunitário”. Já a Justiça define alguns como suspeitos. O caso mais grave envolve o deputado Marcos Abrahão (PSL), acusado de ser o mandante do assassinato de Valdeci Paiva de Jesus, pastor da Igreja Universal e deputado. Abrahão era o suplente de Valdeci.

It is in the absence of the public power that the “doorman” lawmaker conquers space. And votes, of course. In all, 70% of those elected to this legislator are defined as “community-based.”

Defined by whom?

This is one of those unsourced phantom quotes that seems to tell you, “I am quoting someone else’s words, but I am not going to tell you whose.”

And the courts define some of them as suspects. The most serious case is that of Marcos Abrahão (PSL), accused of ordering the murder of Valdeci Paiva de Jesus, a Universal Church pastor and legislator. Abrahão was Valdeci’s alternate.

“Community-based” lawmakers are all Juvenal Antena.

Accused by whom?

RCTV on that case in 2003:

O secretário de Segurança, Josias Quintal, disse que ainda não é possível incriminar o suplente do deputado, vereador Marcos Abrahão, como mandante do crime, mas afirmou que os acusados têm relações com pessoas ligadas a ele. Josias disse ainda não ter dúvida do envolvimento de mais de um policial no crime: – Lamentavelmente vamos encontrar policiais envolvidos – disse o secretário.

State security secretary Quintal said that it is not yet possible to incriminate Abrahão as the person who ordered the crime, but said the accused has relations with persons tied to him. Josias also said her has no doubt that more than one policeman is involved in the crime. “Sadly, we are going to find police involved,” he said.

Did they? Whatever happened to that case?

Com a morte do pastor, em 2003, Abrahão conseguiu uma vaga na Alerj. Cassado por falta de decoro, voltou à Assembléia por força de liminar. Mas responderá a processo criminal por homicídio duplamente qualificado, podendo ser condenado a até trinta anos de prisão. “O processo está em fase de preparação para o julgamento, que deve ser marcado para o primeiro semestre de 2007”, diz o promotor Luciano Lessa, titular da 3ª Promotoria de Justiça do 4º Tribunal do Júri. Apesar das acusações, Marcos Abrahão teve 36.714 votos e voltará à Alerj.

With the death of the pastor in 2003, Abrahão got a seat in ALERJ. Removed from office by by an impeachment proceeding on “conduct unbecoming” charges, he was returned to his seat by court order. But he will be tried on homicide charges that could get him 30 years in jail. “The case is still in the pre-trial phase, and should move forward in the first quarter of 2007,” said state prosecutor Lessa.

Did it?

Despite the accusations, he received 36,714 votes and will return to the assembly.

Parlamentar mais votado da eleição fluminense, com 204.880 votos, José Camilo Zito (PSDB) também responde a processo. Ex-prefeito de Duque de Caxias, Zito é acusado de improbidade administrativa por não ter prestado contas de uma verba federal de 232.000 reais destinada a projetos sociais para crianças e adolescentes no município da Baixada Fluminense. “A verba foi repassada pela prefeitura a uma ONG, que, tudo indica, não existe”, afirma Carlos Bruno Ferreira da Silva, procurador do Ministério Público Federal. A ação de improbidade administrativa proposta pelo MPF está em andamento.

The most popular lawmaker in the 2006 state elections, with 204,880 votes, José Camilo Zito (PSDB) is also responding to charges. The former mayor of Duque de Caxias, he is accused of administrative impropriety for not having rendered accounts on a federal budget allocation of R$232,000 destined for social projects for children and teens in the city. “The budget was passed by the city government to an NGO that, according to all indications, does not exist,” says federal prosecutor Ferreira. The case remains open.

Any result?

His Wikipedia bio — which is tagged one or another of the dozens of forms of NPOV challenges that have evolved out of the font of all practical wisdom — also notes:

Em 2001 foi acusado de envolvimento no caso do assassinato de Mário de Almeida Coelho Filho, jornalista, fotógrafo e repórter do jornal A Verdade, que freqüentemente denunciava irregularidades administrativas na Baixada Fluminense. Também com relação a este fato jamais foi produzida qualquer prova do envolvimento de Zito nos fatos.

In 2001 he was accused of involvement in the murder of a journalist, photographer and reporter from the A Verdade newspaper who frequently denounced administrative irregularities in the Baixada Fluminense. With relationship to this charge, as in the other cases, no evidence was ever produced of his involvement.

Impunidad.com runs down the case:

O jornalista Mário Coelho de Almeida Filho, 42 anos, de Magé, Rio de Janeiro, foi assassinado com cinco tiros por volta das 18 horas do dia 16 de agosto de 2001 quando chegava a sua casa, na Rua Eduardo Portela, sede do jornal A Verdade. Ele era repórter, fotógrafo e diretor administrativo do jornal. Nos últimos meses, vinha fazendo denúncias no jornal sobre desvio de verbas e abuso de poder econômico e malversação de fundos públicos por parte de alguns da Prefeitura de Magé. A cidade, localizada a cerca de 50 quilômetros da capital, na região metropolitana do Rio de Janeiro, tem cerca de 250 mil habitantes e faz parte da Baixada Fluminense, uma das áreas mais violentas do Estado.

Coelho da Almedia, 42, from Magé, Rio de Janeiro, was shot five times and killed at 6 pm on August 21, 2001 while arriving at his home on Portela St, where A Verdade operated. He was the newspaper’s reporter, photographer and general manager. In recent months he had been making charges about misuse of public funds and abuse of economic power on the part of certain persons in the local city government. The city, located 50km from the state capital, in the Metro Rio region, has 250,000 inhabitants and is part of the Baixada Fluminense, one of the most violent areas of the state.

Mário Coelho Filho, conhecido como Mariozinho, era solteiro. Tinha um filho, e morava com o pai, o também jornalista Mário Coelho, 72 anos, dono e diretor do A Verdade, jornal publicado três vezes por mês com tiragem de cinco mil exemplares. Pai e filho haviam sido intimados a depor na 105ª Delegacia de Polícia, em Petrópolis, no dia 17 de agosto, um dia depois do crime.

Lived with his father, the owner and editor of A Verdade, “a newspaper published three timmes a month, with a circulation of 5,000 copies. Father and son had been summoned to give statements to the 105th Police Precinct on August 17, one day after the crime.

Mário Coelho Filho estava sendo processado pelo prefeito de Duque de Caxias, José Camilo Zito dos Santos, considerado um líder político forte da Baixada Fluminense. Em um dos artigos do jornal, Mario Coelho Filho publicou uma nota dizendo que a mulher de Zito, Narriman, que é prefeita de Magé, havia tido um caso com um segurança. Depois de saber do assassinato do jornalista, a prefeita distribuiu um comunicado lamentando o fato e dizendo esperar que o crime fosse logo elucidado.

Mário was being sue by the mayor of Duque de Caxias, Zito dos Santos, considered a powerful political leader in the region. In an article in his newspaper, Mário said that Zito’s wife, Narriman, who was mayor of Magé, was having an affair with a security guard. After learning of the journalist’s murder, the mayor (Narriman) issued a press release lamenting the fact and saying she hoped the crime would be solved.

Testemunhas do crime fizeram um retrato falado do assassino. Segundo o delegado Ricardo Hallak, da 65ª Delegacia de Polícia de Magé, encarregado das investigações, Mário Coelho Filho tinha muitos inimigos na cidade porque fazia denúncias em um estilo às vezes sensacionalista. O pai, Mário Coelho, evita fazer acusações e prefere aguardar o resultado das investigações, mas lembra que há cerca de quatro meses Mário Coelho Filho havia recebido telefonemas com ameaças de morte e registrou o fato em A Verdade.

Witnesses gave a description of the murderer. The investigator in charge of the case said he had many enemies because he made charges in a sometimes sensationalist style. His father avoided making accusations and said he would await the outcome of investigations, but recalled that his son had received death threats by telephone four months before, which he had reported in A Verdade.

And from there it gets weirder and weirder.

A political rival led the campaign to accuse the mayor (the husband) of the crime during an election season. A retired military police sergeant was arrested in the case. Some of the man’s previous charges may have been based on phony, rigged-up evidence. He was accused of trying to blackmail people.
Nothing was revealed.

Another insane grand guignol from the Baixada Fluminense, where the cops play futebol with human heads.

Back to Veja Rio:

Outro eleito que enfrenta problemas com a Justiça é o policial civil e hoje vereador Jorge Babu (PT). Em outubro de 2004, Babu ficou nacionalmente conhecido ao ser preso em flagrante, com o marqueteiro Duda Mendonça, numa animada rinha de galo num clube de Jacarepaguá. Ambos são apreciadores declarados da prática, que já foi considerada contravenção e é crime ambiental. Indiciados por maus-tratos a animais, formação de quadrilha e apologia ao crime, eles conseguiram habeas corpus excluindo as acusações de formação de quadrilha e apologia ao crime do processo, que continua na 26ª Vara Criminal do Rio. Até então, o feito público mais notável de Babu havia sido a criação do Dia Municipal de São Jorge.

Another incoming state legislator with legal problems is state judicial policeman and current city council member Jorge Babu (PT). In October 2004, he gained national notoriety for being arrested on the scene of a lively cockfight with marketing maven Duda Mendonça in a club in Jacarepaguá. Both are open fans of the sport, which is considered a misdemeanor and environmental crime. Indicted for criminal conspiracy, cruelty to animals, and apology for crime, they successfully applied for a writ of habeas corpus that strikes the conspiracy and apology charges from the indictment. The case continues in the 26th Criminal Bar. …

Nos corredores da Assembléia, o corporativismo fala alto. Suspeito de ter negociado propina para retirar o nome do empresário Carlinhos Cachoeira do relatório da CPI da Loterj, o deputado Alessandro Calazans (PMN) foi processado pela Alerj por quebra de decoro. Acabou absolvido por 37 votos a 25, em votação secreta. O eleitor também ignorou as acusações. Calazans foi reeleito com 32.528 votos, exatos 4.804 a mais do que recebeu no pleito anterior. A boa votação do deputado deve-se em parte ao assistencialismo, prática recorrente entre políticos com mandato em exercício.

In the corridors of the Assembly, the [institutional “old boys club” is powerful.] Suspected of having negotiated a bribe to keep Carlinhos Cachoeira’s name out of the legislative probe of the State Lottery, Alessandro Calazans (PMN) faced impeachment charges for conduct unbecoming.

Suspected by whom?

Cachoeira is an old-school bicheiro — numbers racketeer. Calazans was formerly with the Green Party. Quoting from the charges brought by the state prosecutor in 2005:

“… em declaração prestada ao Ministério Público do Estado de Goiás, o Sr. Jairo Martins de Souza afirmou que compareceu ao gabinete do Deputado Alessandro Calazans, com um gravador, a fim de comprovar que o referido parlamentar, juntamente com o Deputado Federal André Luís, estaria exigindo importância financeira para que o relatório da CPI fosse favorável ao Sr. Carlinhos Cachoeira. As declarações antes referidas podem ser confirmadas pelo teor da transcriçao da fita que contém o diálogo travado entre o Sr. Jairo Martins de Sousa e o deputado Calazans, não havendo dúvidas de que, além de ter realmente ocorrido o encontro entre ambos, havia um concerto entre os mesmos, ou seja, conversavam assunto que já vinha merecendo tratamento e atençao do deputado Calazans.”

” … in a statement to the state prosecutor in Goias, Jairo Martins de Souza said he met with Calazans at his office while carrying an audio recording device, for the purpose of proving that this lawmaker, along with federal deputy André Luís, was demanding money in exchange for ensuring that the report on the State Lottery probe was favorable to [the bicheiro in question.] These statements can be confirmed by the contents of the transcript of the recording of the conversation between Jairo and Calazans, there being no doubt that the meeting actually took place, ad that they were in collusion, that is, they discussed matters worthy of the attention and action of Calazans.”

Mob lawyer tries to entrap lawmaker on secret recording, as the other side of the story has it. Also extremely murky — and unresolved.

Calazans is suing Veja over its coverage of the case.

He wound up being absolved, 37 votes to 27, on a secret ballot. The voter is also not allowed to know what he was charged with. He was reelected with 32,528 votes, 4,804 more than in the previous election. His popularity at the polls is due in part to social assistance programs — a common practice among incumbent lawmakers.

On the theory that you can be addicted to social assistance the way you can be addicted to crack — and cured of it by being dosed with mind-bending drugs without medical supervision — see

Ele é o fundador do Centro Social Alessandro Calazans, com três unidades em Nilópolis, duas em São João de Meriti e outra em Anchieta. Os centros oferecem variados serviços: assistência jurídica, cursos de inglês e espanhol, corte de cabelo, aulas de capoeira, massagens e atendimentos médico, oftalmológico e veterinário. “Apesar de legítima, a atuação na comunidade tem um lado perverso. Em vez de agir como intermediário, o parlamentar muitas vezes assume a função do poder público, privatizando educação e saúde”, avalia Carlos Eduardo Sarmento, cientista político da Fundação Getulio Vargas, que tem como foco de suas pesquisas a Assembléia Legislativa desde 1978. “Fica tudo na mão do deputado”, conclui.

He is a founder of a social assistance center bearing his name, with three units in Nilópolis, two in São João de Meriti and another in Achieta. The centers offer various services: Legal aid, courses in English and Spanish, haircuts, capoeira classes, massages and medical care, ophthalmology and veterinary services. “Though legitimate, its activities in the community has a perverse aspect. Rather than acting as an intermediary, he often usurps the role of the public authority, privatizing education and health,” says Sarmento, an FGV political scientist who

This lawmaker’s activity is legitimate. His critic says he oversteps the boundaries of his role as an intermediary between citizens and public institutions. Veja cites him as an example of lawmakers who act as intermediaries between citizens and public institutions.

Ainda que em menor número, resistem os deputados que repudiam essas práticas e representam o chamado voto de opinião. São políticos com propostas voltadas para os cidadãos de todo o estado, e não apenas de uma região. São também fiscalizadores do Poder Executivo, uma das funções do Legislativo muitas vezes negligenciada.

Although fewer in number, there are still some deputies who repudiate these practices and represent the so-called “opinion vote.”

So-called by whom?

What practices?

No one has been convicted of any wrongdoing in any of those cases.

In some of them, the accusations seem pretty iffy.

Can you put a hard number on their smaller number?

These are politicians with proposals oriented toward citizens everywhere in the state, not just one region. They also provide oversight of the executive, a function of the legislature that is often neglected.

If you wanted to show that many lawmakers only introduce proposals that benefit their own electoral backyards, you would write an article in which you analyze their legislative activity.

Or interview analysts (more than one) who have done that work. And summarize their actual findings.

This is an article about lurid accusations of embezzlement, cockfighting, murder for hire, bribe-taking from the jogo do bicho — all sensational, ambiguous and unresolved — in the service of the notion that these persons are somehow not worthy to serve as legislators.

Fazem parte desse grupo parlamentares de partidos até adversários, como o professor Alessandro Molon, deputado reeleito pelo PT, e o engenheiro Luiz Paulo Corrêa da Rocha, reeleito pelo PSDB. Cada um a seu modo, os setenta deputados representam a escolha do eleitor. Resta esperar que seja em benefício do estado.

The members of this group even come from opposing parties, such as Molon, reelected for the PT, and Corrêa da Rocha, reelected for the PSDB. Each in their own way, the 70 deputies represent the choice of the voter. It only remains to hope that it will be to the benefit of the state.

Typical sensationalist bullshit from Veja, most likely in the service of the gabbling ratfink, given the magazine’s track record, in short.

The current joke on “the Internets” about Veja — I informally counted maybe 30,000 persons the other day on Orkut belonging to “I do not read Veja” forums — is that it is the última flor de fáscio — a champion of extreme right-wing ideology. Gongoristically:

Última flor do Fáscio, estulta e banguela ,
que a qualquer um se entrega por dinheiro,
que se oferece lasciva ao estrangeiro,
duma mídia ruim és a pior mazela.

VEJA pela verdade nunca zela,
seus leitores empulha o tempo inteiro,
num estilo crapuloso, bem rasteiro
contra o que é certo está de sentinela.

Um tal Mainardi, que é seu colunista,
do Paulo Francis malfeita paródia,
não consegue esconder que é fascista

e outros defeitos, de uma enorme lista.
Que se o interne, num hospício, em vil custódia,
para sempre longe de nossa vista.

This is far from being a mere joke, I think.
Veja definitely has a fairly systematic neo-corporatist drift, including in this article.

Something I need to study more on.

Some working definitions from the public library —

Corporative state: State in which the members are organized and represented not on a local basis as citizens, but as producers working in a particular trade, industry, or profession. Originating with the syndicalist workers’ movement (see syndicalism), the idea was superficially adopted by the fascists during the 1920s and 1930s. Catholic social theory, as expounded in some papal encyclicals, also favours the corporative state as a means of eliminating class conflict.

Historically, corporatism or corporativism (Italian: corporativismo) refers to a political or economic system in which power is given to civic assemblies that represent economic, industrial, agrarian, social, cultural, and professional groups. These civic assemblies are known as corporations (not necessarily the business model known as a ‘corporation’ though such businesses are not excluded from the definition either). Corporations are unelected bodies with an internal hierarchy; their purpose is to exert control over the social and economic life of their respective areas. Thus, for example, a steel corporation would be a cartel composed of all the business leaders in the steel industry, coming together to discuss a common policy on prices and wages. When the political and economic power of a country rests in the hands of such groups, then a corporatist system is in place.

“They think that Abril supports Cardoso’s plan of government. They have it wrong. It is not Abril who supports Cardoso. It is Cardoso who supports Abril’s plan of government.” –attributed to Roberto Civita, Grupo Abril

Although many forms of corporatism exist, it may generally and briefly be defined as ‘‘the organization of society by functional groups — military, business, the church, organized labor — and, instead of genuine pluralism, autonomy, and freedom of association, the organization, regulation, and control of these groups under state authority’’ (p. 3, italics in the original). The differences, however, between early corporatism (for example, in Mussolini’s Italy, Salazar’s Portugal, and Franco’s Spain) and modern corporatist institutions (evident even in northern European countries) illustrate the great variety of forms that corporatism can take. –Authoritarianism and Corporatism in Latin America—Revisited. Edited by Howard J. Wiarda. Gainsville: University Press (Reviewed by BARBARA HOGENBOOM, International Studies Review (2005) 7, 449–451

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