Does democracy still exist?


Quézia Arruda Cunha, Reporter

It’s a new year. Generally in the New Year, the word “new” becomes everyone’s desire. Have a new hobby. Speak a new language. Or maybe start a new major. 

This happens because we tend to do what takes us out of our comfort zone. As it turns out, not everyone thinks that way. 

The anti-democratic protests in front of the Planalto Palace in Brazil on Jan. 8 of this year reveal that nothing new has been done in the retrograde minds of those who still defend authoritarian governments.

I have Brazilian blood, and I understand what that implies for me. I know that this is a sign of my deepest identity as an active citizen. 

More than anything else, seeing that Brazil points to a decadent scenario of complete political, moral and philosophical turmoil makes me question: is defending democracy still a thing?

Are there still those who believe that the Constitution must be respected and that everyone is an irreplaceable element of a healthy and harmonious society? 

Are there still those who know that living in a democracy is not living in a utopia but in the fairest and most humane social system?

On the walls of the Palace, graffiti that reads “The worst destruction is communism” made by extreme right groups — supporters of the former President of the Republic Jair Bolsonaro — clearly symbolizes the poor and scarce historical knowledge of a nation. 

Defending the message of the anti-democratic agenda goes beyond being for or against a certain political candidate; it is to render a moral disservice to an entire society.”

— Quézia Arruda Cunha

Brazil has never and will never witness communism or any “red threat.” It is historically unfeasible to think otherwise. 

Knowledge of a country’s history should be one of the most basic human rights of a people as should access to food and shelter. 

Brazil, like many others within the Latin American spectrum, knows what it was like to go through a dictatorial political process. Brazil knows the weight of the armor that kept us from speaking for ourselves. 

Defending the message of the anti-democratic agenda goes beyond being for or against a certain political candidate; it is to render a moral disservice to an entire society.

The impact of the invasion and all the violent and inhuman manifestations made at the beginning of a year like this one are not limited to Brazilian land but expand to the entire global scenario. 

According to the Brazilian newspaper G1, on the same day of the protests, different international newspapers covered the event, such as major platforms like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and El País. 

The latter referred to the invasion with the following words: “Attack on Democracy in Brazil.”

Other media outlets of great global influence, such as The Economist magazine, correlate the invasion of the Planalto Palace with the invasion of the U.S. Capitol building in 2021. 

A similarity between the two, in addition to the most obvious, was the neutrality of the police stance in the face of the protests.

As The New York Times highlighted in its article on the same extremely urgent subject, the former president Bolsonaro remained silent and untouchable at all times when he isolated himself in Florida, shortly before the inauguration of the newest president Lula. 

This only shows strong bonds in the behavior of full social negligence of the leader of the ignorant.

Whatever our political position, demanding that totalitarian and anti-democratic measures be taken is like shooting ourselves in the foot. 

Either way, for the sake of my health, I will still try to imagine that we live in a make-believe world where democracy is still a thing.