segunda-feira, agosto 28, 2006

Triste Época



Rodrigo Constantino

“Muitos valores vieram a parecer antiquados: falar a verdade, manter a palavra. Os bons parecem pertencer aos velhos bons tempos, embora sejam sempre queridos. Se é que ainda há alguns, são raros, e nunca são imitados. Que triste época esta, quando a virtude é rara e a maldade está no cotidiano.”

Tal comentário poderia tranqüilamente ter sido obra de qualquer brasileiro mais atento dos nossos dias. Afinal, a ética foi jogada no lixo, a impunidade anda solta e mentir virou mania nacional. Vivendo nos tempos do “mensalão”, das sanguessugas, do presidente que repete que não sabia de nada enquanto seus principais aliados envolvem-se em escândalos onde ele próprio é o grande beneficiado, não dá para deixar de compartilhar do sentimento do autor que lamenta a triste época, quando a virtude é rara – mais rara que diamante.

Mas o autor do comentário não vive em nossos dias, tampouco no Brasil. Trata-se de Baltasar Gracián, jesuíta espanhol que escreveu A Arte da Prudência em 1647. Neste mesmo livro, Gracián cunhou uma célebre frase que parece ter sido criada ad hoc para os eleitores de Lula: “A esperança é uma grande falsária da verdade”. Quem lembra da propaganda eleitoral de Lula nas eleições passadas, administrada por Duda Mendonça, sabe muito bem disso. “A esperança venceu o medo”, repetia a propaganda enganosa. Nisso que dá abolir o medo, fundamental na vida, para que busquemos mais informações na hora das decisões importantes. Sem medo, podemos pular pela janela e se espatifar no chão. Ou votar no Lula – o que dá praticamente no mesmo.

Mas vamos deixar o pessimismo de lado e focar no aspecto bom da coisa: se em 1647 já era normal este tipo de lamentação, é sinal que sobrevivemos, mesmo com os Lulas da vida. A virtude pode ser rara, ainda mais quando alguém como Lula, mesmo depois de todos os escândalos, lidera as pesquisas e apresenta boas chances de ser reeleito ainda no primeiro turno. Mas ela não é nula! E isso faz toda a diferença do mundo.

Os virtuosos conseguem sobreviver mesmo no meio dos pérfidos, e no final do dia, carregam o mundo nas costas. Parasitas e sanguessugas pegam carona e regozijam-se, como sempre. São maléficos para a saúde da sociedade como um todo, mas não são letais. Os hospedeiros, aqueles que criam a riqueza que será explorada por tais parasitas e sanguessugas, suportam o fardo. O mundo poderia ser infinitamente melhor sem tais exploradores, com certeza. Mas ele não vai acabar por conta dessa gente, por mais que se esforcem para tanto. A vida continua, com ou sem Lula no governo. Muito melhor sem, claro. Mas não vamos esquecer que a época é triste para os virtuosos...

3 comentários:

André P.B.Selva disse...

Temos a penincilina para esse tipo de hospedeiro maléfico: estado mínimo.

É bom saber que esse tipo de crise sempre existiu mas,que nunca dura para sempre. não se trata de algo novo ou desconhecido, embora pernicioso. há cura.

E repetindo que o melhor antibiótico para esse tipo de parasita e também eficaz contra veneno de cururu barbudo é o estado mínimo.

Anônimo disse...

Cuba’s Old Man and the Sea
By Gary Payne*
Last week, as I returned to the United States from my second trip to Cuba in four months, I was interrogated on arrival by three uniformed U.S. Customs agents. As a professor of sociology, I am one of a few U.S. citizens who are still allowed to travel to Cuba, a researcher under license. Nevertheless, official harassment upon re-entry is commonplace. The Bush Administration recently added Cuba to its listing of countries in the “Axis of Evil,” and has tightened a trade embargo designed decades ago to choke the economic life from the island nation. At one point I was asked by one of the three agents why I would go to Cuba. Surveying the absurd security scene around me, I lightheartedly replied that I had wanted to explore “a police state.” They did not seem to catch the irony.
How could they? The travel ban is an outcome of decades of anti-Castro hysteria in our country. It has become part of our folklore. At my local grocery store, I spotted a tabloid cover story warning that Castro has “trained killer sharks to attack citizens of the USA.” One would suppose the sharks were fed Big Macs for a few months, then turned loose off Miami’s resort coast. The sharks evidently picked up the scent from there.
Certainly, Cuba’s “Old Man” might enjoy thinning Miami's expatriate herd at this point. Eight assassination attempts documented in Congressional hearings, the dirty tricks in the CIA’s semi-covert “Operation Mongoose,” the infamous attack at the Bay of Pigs and the perpetual embargo have taken a toll on Castro’s willingness to protect human rights in the same manner that the 9/11 attack in New York spawned a wave of official U.S. approval for torture and violations of citizen privacy under the Patriot Act. The Old Man has seen U.S. Presidents come and go like guppies in a goldfish bowl, but he has never been able to take national security for granted long enough to relax the pressure on free expression in his island nation.
In an ironic turn, the question of whether torture exists in Cuba has finally been settled. One wonders which of the human icons in the Bush Administration selected Guantanamo Bay Naval Base for an international detention center, holding persons without identification, without charges, habeas corpus, legal representation, or visitation. Even the FBI has complained of “detainee abuse” at the base, and some bizarre sexual torture tactics recently were detailed in the world press.
Meanwhile, the U.S.-directed forced removal of President Artistide from neighboring Haiti and the attempted covert removal of President Chávez from neighboring Venezuela have stunned the Cuban people. Regardless of how one feels about these leaders, they were democratically elected. These U.S. activities may not justify inappropriate Cuban responses to its domestic political enemies, but they certainly seem to add to their acceptance by everyday Cubans. Every accusation the Old Man ever made seems to be coming true, all at once.
Despite decades of outside interference, objective data indicates that the Old Man’s iron hand has been remarkably successful at providing a better life for Cubans than that of any of its neighbors. This includes oil-rich Mexico, which enjoys triple the per-capita gross domestic product of Cuba. For every basic social indicator (infant mortality, life expectancy, literacy, fertility, homelessness), Cuba is triumphant over the other developing nations in this hemisphere, and usually by a wide margin.
Comparing Social Indicators in Four Nations
Source: CIA Factbook, 2005

Country Per capita GDP Infant Mortality Life Expectancy Literacy
USA $38,000 6.6/1000 77.4 97%
Mesico $9,000 21.7/1000 74.9 92%
Cuba $3,000 6.0/1000 77.0 97%
Haiti $2,000 74.4/1000 51.8 53%

I try to demonstrate these facts to my students as an antidote to our cultural folklore, whenever possible. But a lifetime of indoctrination in anti-Cuba hysteria is not easily overcome. The retort is always waiting: “If life is so great in Cuba, why then do so many Cubans risk their lives to escape the Old Man by traversing the Caribbean Sea?”
Yet this perception is a myth too. Compared with nearby island nations, Cubans are by far the least likely to flee to the United States, despite the unique prospect of political asylum for Cubans, despite Cuba’s greater geographical proximity to our mainland and despite its far larger population. Cuba, with a population of 11.3 million, had only 1,225 citizens interdicted by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2004. In sharp contrast, Haiti, with a population of 7.6 million, had 3,229 interdictions and the Dominican Republic, with a population of 8.8 million, had 5,014 interdictions.
During the Mariel Boatlift in 1980, both Cuban and U.S. governments approved a mass migration of Cubans to the United States. Roughly one percent of the Cuban population, some 125,000 people, took advantage of this opportunity, including some released from Cuban jails. This specter, this image of the chaotic mass sea crossing, is used to justify our loathing of the Old Man. But imagine the population shift that would occur if the same free ride was offered at the ports of Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Mexico or any poor nation—other than Cuba—in our hemisphere. Would anyone care to guess what percent might accept the offer? It would trigger a human stampede like no other in history.
Mexicans are stampeding across our border already, without invitation. 300,000 attempted the dangerous journey last year alone, and many were killed, raped, robbed and/or arrested along the way. For every Cuban that tries to cross our borders without invitation, 200 Mexicans do the same. Yet the trickle of immigrants we have seen from Cuba has been routinely cited as an example of the failure of the Old Man, and of socialism.
That so few Americans understand the reality is a testament to the insidious influence of economic and political bias in all our institutions, especially our news outlets. If our press is free, we have certainly gotten what we have paid for.
I still hope that capitalist Christian democracies can find a responsible framework in which to operate. But in a world of rapidly shrinking resources and increasing human populations, the need for really workable economic and social models compels us to keep an open mind about the lessons offered by Cuba’s example. Half of humanity is barely getting by, and the poorest are experiencing an unheralded holocaust of neglect, a hopeless die-off that charity has not and will not prevent. If the richest 1/5 of the world population will not share its assets (at well over 80% of the total worldwide holdings) it is morally obliged to at least allow the existence of shared economies so that poor nations may keep their citizens alive until a solution can be found, or be created.
Let us not forget that survival is the most fundamental human right.
* Minnesota sociologist and human rights advocate.

Helena de Tróia disse...

Fico imaginando o que teremos no pós-crise...