Minister Luís Roberto Barroso, of the STF (Superior Federal Court), participated this Thursday morning (30), in Florianópolis, in a special event to celebrate 40 years of operation of the PGE/SC (State Attorney General’s Office) . The event was held at the Ademir Rosa Theater, at the CIC (Centro Integrado de Cultura).
The opening was attended by authorities such as the state attorney general, Alisson de Bom de Souza; the president of the TJSC (Court of Justice of Santa Catarina), judge João Henrique Blasi; the vice-president of the National Bar Association (OAB) Rafael Horn; and the president of Anape (National Association of State and Federal District Attorneys), Vicente Braga.
Barroso presented three themes that he considers defining the current scenario: democratic recession; technological revolution and its impacts and climate change.
The minister explained that the world is experiencing a situation of democratic recession. According to him, constitutional democracy was the victorious ideology of the 20th century and stands for popular sovereignty, free elections, majority rule, rule of law and respect for rights.
However, for Barroso, although democracy has won other government alternatives, it has been facing problems in a context that has been identified as a “democratic recession”.
“It is a historic process that has already taken place in some countries, in which leaders elected by popular vote, once in power, brick by brick, deconstruct some of the pillars of democracy, concentrating power in the executive, emptying or co-opting the legislature, demonizing the press. , attacking civil society entities and changing the rules of the game. It is a process that not even the most stable democracies have escaped,” he said.
For the minister, the global picture is that democracy failed to deliver all the promises it had anticipated, which created frustration and resentment, and paved the way for the rise of authoritarian discourses.
Barroso said that in recent years the world has witnessed the advancement of ideas for the protection of human rights, such as respect for the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community and indigenous populations.
However, the STF minister says that during this speech the belief was created that such values were progressive, which he disagrees with.
“[Esses valores] are the cause of humanity: equality and respect for all people. We need to defeat misogynistic, homophobic, racist and anti-environmental sentiments to create a better world. I think that democracy needs to make a self-criticism of what promises it has failed to keep so that we can renew our votes of confidence for the future. Even when democracy seems confused and polarized, it is still the best alternative”, he argues.
He adds: “At some point I thought that we had advanced without return in the fight against corruption. Unfortunately, we have gone back many houses and we will have to retrace this path. But in life we have to have a little indignation, which is to push the story, but also preserve a dose of constructive feeling so we don’t get bitter. Democracy has many difficulties, but I believe that nothing is worse than dictatorships, which is the absence of freedom to think and act for a better country”.
Another issue raised by Barroso was the technological revolution, which transformed humanity. According to him, this scenario brought convenience, health protection and practicality. However, it also brought risks and difficulties.
The minister considers that, at first, the internet was imagined as a great public space for debates, but that it is often distorted to commit cyber crimes, circulation of hate and disinformation.
“What we are living in today is a world without filters. Today anyone comes to the public space to expose an idea, share an invention, but also to spread hate, misinformation and lies. There is a complex process of transformation in the world at large with the internet and the emergence of social media. Everything can be edited dishonestly. The lie generates more engagement”, laments Barroso.
According to the minister, in addition to hatred and misinformation, it is necessary to combat behaviors that illegitimately amplify messages with the use, for example, of robots and fake profiles.
“In a democracy there is room for progressives, liberals, conservatives. The alternation of power is the essence of democracy. Renewal of ideas is essential. There is room for everyone. But a cause that needs hate, misinformation, lying, conspiracy theories, aggression, disrespect for people in general, cannot be a good cause. Civility has no ideology”, he concludes.
Barroso also raised a moment of reflection on the current climate issue from three points. The first deals with the misuse of natural resources in a way that harms society today and future generations.
“There is still a lot of ignorance, ignorance and denialism, although almost all scientists warn of the seriousness of global warming and the failure to meet certain goals to prevent the increase in the Earth’s temperature and all its consequences”, he explains.
Another point brought by the minister concerns the immediacy of society. “The excess of toxic gas emissions and other environmental aggressions that are committed today will only produce effects in 25, 30 years and this fact gives a certain disincentive to take urgent measures. Thus, they are progressively postponed,” he says.
Finally, Barroso emphasizes that the environmental issue does not respect borders. A fire in the Amazon or an oil spill at sea, for example, are not restricted to a single country.
In view of this, the minister considers that the solution to the environmental issue requires global action and dialogue between countries. In addition, it is necessary to invest in sustainable development using resources to meet present needs, but without disregarding the needs of future generations.
Barroso also argues that it is necessary to transform the Amazon into a great bio-economic asset, since it is so important to the world.
“We need to ensure that this importance is properly compensated. The Amazon is being taken over by illegal logging, mining and fishing, in addition to land grabbing. We must take action. Otherwise, we will lose the sovereignty of the Amazon, not to other countries, but to organized crime”, he warns.