National Capital

Carlos Feu Alvim

There is no developed country that does not present at least two requirements:

The current restructuring of the Brazilian economy does not give explicit priority to none of these requirements.

Nevertheless, there are signs or indications that meeting these two requirements may not be entirely apart from the "arrière penseé" of the government policy.

On the one hand, there is a consistent action of the educational authorities concerning the quality of basic education which in itself may be more effective than the usual declaration of good intentions concerning education, always present in the pre-election speeches. On the other hand, there are at least in some government sectors the preoccupation with the role of the national capital in the privatization process.

The ideological polarization that dominated the post-war world, since it did not accomplish the Marxist exhortation of union of the world’s workers, achieved the capitalist union against the common and communist enemy. This "Capitalist International" had, as it happens in every alliance, internal contradictions that now became explicit.

In the national scenery, this alliance united Brazilian and foreign capitalists against the leftist menace and later on against the trend towards government controlled economy, in a common voice at the national level whose main expression is the Federation of São Paulo State Industries - FIESP.

On the other hand, the Left, internationalist by conviction, started to use, in Brazil and in other countries of the third world, a nationalistic rhetoric against external ( and internal ) capitalism in order to defend the state capitalism.

The military Right, which conducted the country for about twenty years, reinforced the economic participation of the state through monopolistic control inherited from the Vargas, Kubitcheck and Goulart administrations, strengthened during the development period of the seventies and the reaction against the crisis of the eighties. As a compensation, it was offered to the national capital and to foreign capital established in the country an almost absolute protection of the internal market, what made more tolerable the dominant presence of the state-owned enterprises.

An analysis of the Brazilian entrepreneurial situation before the privatization phase reveals that the great majority of the entrepreneurial capital belonged - and still belongs - to the state. The reduced space of the private capital was occupied in its more dynamic sectors by the international capital.

Rejected by the Right and attacked by the Left the big victim of this union of opponents was the national capital, more specifically the national entrepreneur. Actually, the national entrepreneur was chosen - frequently personified by Roberto Marinho - as the preferential target of the Left against the national elite. The non-personified international capitalist entrusted with the more rentable sectors was the "good boss", surpassed only by the state boss in the workers’ preference.

In a country without saints we demand holiness from ours entrepreneurs. This became evident in the failure of Antônio Ermirio’s candidacy for the mayoralty of São Paulo. The level of demands relative to his conduct as an entrepreneur is comparable only to that, in all aspects, of PT (Workers’ Party) candidates.

Recently, the public learned about the association of the Globo Network with the communication giant Murdoch and the Televisa Group in the digital TV business. I confess that I hope the Marinhos will not be engulfed in this association that seems indispensable for global communication.

In the international scenery the near disappearance of the communist enemy reveals the divergence of interests of the several capital groups that vie for space in a global economy. The governments of each of the countries move with ease in the defense of their capital.

In the internal scenery the privatization space is vied for by national, regional and international capitals in the most varied associations. The governments of the different countries are not inattentive to this competition. Without the protectionism to which he was accustomed, the national entrepreneur must show competence in the race for his natural habitat . It is the task of the Brazilian Government to prevent the competition from becoming predatory.

For those like me who think that the national capital is indispensable for development there is nothing but hoping that the Brazilian entrepreneurs, as the Chileans did, will show their competence in this race of which I would like to think that against or associated with murdochs, other robertos marinhos exist.

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