Free voters and free markets: where does Brazil stand in this debate?

So far, it has been very hard to find a political regime that works, on practical grounds, better than democracy. Even a libertarian alternative, with anarcho-capitalistic traits, which we at Bluming Thoughts are fond of, at a point needs to be based on the “one person, one vote” principle to some extent. This kind of approach would leave people free to participate or not in a certain political jurisdiction, or to organize their own political jurisdictions. That is, there would be some form of right to secession. However, also in this theoretical model where jurisdictions are freely chosen not imposed, people would still have to compromise at a point to the majority’s choice, one way or another, if life in society is to be achieved. Libertarianism would make it easier for people to live within the majority that would suit them better, though.

In any case, it is still intriguing to see that of many of those who defend the democratic principle remain skeptical about the idea of “market’s self-regulation”. Democracy assumes that every individual has the right to vote for someone to represent themselves on organized political structures. Its good and stable functioning is also reliant on the premise that people can negotiate, compromise and come to terms as far as political decisions are concerned, if these decisions are supposed to be enforced. Well, but this is what “free markets” should be about. “Markets” should be nothing but the voluntary interaction among each and every one of its individuals. Sellers and buyers should be free to set the price they are willing to supply or demand their goods for. Only if there is an agreement between both parts will an exchange occur. Those not willing to compromise will be left with undesired inventory or without the goods they need.

If each person should be completely free to choose whomever they want as their political representative, why shouldn’t they be equally liberated to choose whatever exchange they want to carry out? Markets are not any kind of panacea, and no one expects them to be “efficient” or to come up with an ideal solution. Especially if one bears in mind that “ideal” will always be a subjective concept. “Free markets” means people being unrestricted to make their own decisions, each of them towards their own ideal. There may be “economic power”. True, as much as there is “political power”. Any citizen should be able to become a politician as much as an entrepreneur. Perfection or efficiency will never be guaranteed and should never be expected. Economic power may create a “Trump”, as much as political power may create a “Trump”.

Economic power may create a “Trump”, as much as political power may create a “Trump”.

In any case, we wish Brazil could be anywhere near this discussion. “One person, one vote” still seems more like a distant reality. Given the constitutional floor for the number of congressmen representing each of the states, a candidate for the legislative power in less populated federative unities (such as Acre) will need much less votes than the equivalent candidate in more populated areas (such as Minas Gerais). In the last almost three decades since the constitution has been written, this may have seemed sort of a petty problem given all the others existing in the country. Particularly considering the supremacy of the Executive power on the voters’ minds (and for the executive power, each person has indeed an equal vote). Most of the people simply would not care whom they voted for in the legislative power.

Moreover, in the so far prevailing presidential system of coalition, the congress used to be more or less submissive to the presidential agenda. Not anymore, of course. Ironically enough, it is nowadays kind of in vogue for the congress to decide who the president will be. The importance of the legislative power is (finally) attracting public attention. Not surprisingly, federal deputies have reacted by proposing a political system aiming the perpetuity of tycoons (“distritão”, where the most voted candidates for a seat in congress get the job; votes to any other candidates serve literally for nothing). In this context, we at Bluming Thoughts remain quite intrigued how some people still think that a parliamentary system should be immediately implemented in Brazil.

As for free markets… If only Petrobras had never been a state owned monopoly… Nevertheless, it is also very curious how defendants of state interventionism still allege that most of Petrobras’ counterparts at the deals investigated by the Car Wash operation (“Lava Jato”) are privately owned companies. True, but they were most likely not stealing their own private money, right?

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