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Por que ditadores gostam de parecer democratas?

A mistura de ruas exaltadas e redes sociais inflamadas não é boa para ditaduras

Moisés Naím, O Estado de São Paulo, 24 Abril 2017 | 05h05

Um paradoxo interessante da política mundial observado hoje são as extraordinárias contorções que alguns autocratas fazem para se darem ares de democratas. Por que tantos ditadores criam embustes democráticos elaborados sabendo que, cedo ou tarde, o caráter autoritário do regime será revelado?

Algumas razões disso são bastante óbvias, outras nem tanto. A mais evidente é que o poder político, cada vez mais, é obtido – pelo menos no início – pelo voto, não pelas balas. Por isso os candidatos procuram mostrar uma grande devoção pela democracia embora ela não seja sua preferência.

A outra razão é menos nítida: os ditadores de hoje sentem-se mais vulneráveis. Sabem que devem temer a poderosa combinação de protestos de rua e redes sociais. A mistura de ruas exaltadas e redes sociais inflamadas não é boa para as ditaduras. Talvez por isso manter a aparência democrática fortalece os ditadores.

A democracia produz o ingrediente mais apreciado pelos ditadores: a legitimidade. Um governo que nasce do voto popular é mais legítimo e, portanto, menos vulnerável do que aquele regime cujo poder depende da repressão. Portanto, mesmo quando as democracias são corruptas emanam legitimidade, mesmo que transitória.

Exemplo. A Rússia de Vladimir Putin é um bom exemplo. As artimanhas que ele usou para seu governo parecer democrático são insólitas. A Rússia hoje tem todas as instituições e os rituais de uma democracia. Mas é uma ditadura.

Claro que há eleições periódicas no país. E, como qualquer democracia moderna, essas eleições são acompanhadas de caríssimas campanhas na mídia, comícios, debates. No dia da eleição, dezenas de milhões de pessoas fazem longas filas para votar. O pequeno detalhe é que, desde 2000, o vitorioso é sempre Putin. Ou a pessoa que ele designar para ocupar o posto até retornar novamente à presidência.

Foi o que ocorreu em 2008, quando Dmitri Medvedev, primeiro-ministro do governo presidido por Putin, venceu as eleições presidenciais e, imediatamente, nomeou seu ex-chefe como primeiro-ministro. Durante o mandato de Medvedev jamais houve dúvida de quem realmente comandava: Putin. Medvedev cumpriu o mandato presidencial, foram realizadas eleições e, claro, o novo presidente eleito foi: Vladimir Putin. Assim, o poder da presidência e o poder real voltaram a coincidir. Claro que manter as aparências de que no Kremlin o poder se alterna é muito importante para Putin.

Mas por que? Por que, em vez de tanto esforço, Putin não tira a máscara e expõe honestamente a situação? Isso lhe pouparia o trabalho de neutralizar os líderes da oposição ou ter de usar de modo abusivo os recursos do Estado para vencer seus rivais nas eleições, ou usar todo o tipo de artimanhas.

Máscara. Tirar a máscara e expor a situação com honestidade não seria difícil. Ninguém ficará surpreso se o presidente convocar um referendo nacional pedindo que seu mandato seja ampliado por tempo indefinido e vencer (e por maioria esmagadora, como sempre). E ninguém se surpreenderá se o Parlamento e a Suprema Corte aprovarem esse novo pacto. Afinal as duas instituições são elementos fundamentais da fictícia fachada democrática atrás da qual se esconde a autocracia russa.

Por que supor que estas instituições certamente aprovariam uma perpetuação de Putin no poder? Porque em 17 anos nem uma vez impediram Putin de fazer o que deseja.

A Rússia não é a única ditadura que procura se dar ares de democracia. Recentemente as autoridades chinesas indicaram sua clara preferência com relação ao destino da Síria: “Cremos que o futuro da Síria deve ser deixado nas mãos do povo sírio. Respeitamos que os sírios escolham seus líderes”.

É curioso ver uma ditadura aconselhar outra ditadura a deixar seu povo decidir seu destino. De fato, como assinalou Isaac Stone-Fish, jornalista que viveu sete anos na China, “um dos slogans favoritos de Xi Jinping, é quando ele se refere aos ‘12 valores socialistas’ que devem guiar seu país, e a democracia é o segundo deles”.

Stone-Fish também relatou que em uma conferência a que assistiu, vários líderes do Partido Comunista Chinês insistiram que, como nos Estados Unidos, o sistema político chinês pode, de modo plausível e adequado, ser qualificado como democracia”.

A mesma ideia é sustentada pelo governo sírio, ao passo que a Coreia do Norte se autodefine como República Popular Democrática. Nicolás Maduro, Daniel Ortega e Raúl Castro também defendem que seus respectivos regimes são democracias.

Evidentemente democracia é uma marca que ficou em moda. Nem sempre foi assim. Nos anos 70, por exemplo, os ditadores da América hispânica e portuguesa, da Ásia e da África não se preocupavam muito em parecer democratas. Talvez porque se sentissem mais seguros do que os ditadores de hoje.

 

 

 

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