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Education, Democracy and Exodus

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Ronaldo Mota – Member of the Board of the Presidency of ABMES, Chancellor of the Estácio Group

Thanks to education, as well as to science and technology that derives from it, human civilization lives, in comparative terms, its best days. Whether for the unprecedented quality of life, measured by access to services and products, or by enjoying health and, in theory, greater potential for happiness than we had in the past. For millennia, life expectancy remained stable around 40 years. In the twentieth century, we have surpassed 70 years and continue, in this century, to advance significantly. The search for reason, guided by knowledge, has ensured a development accessible to a growing share of the world’s population.

Democracy, in spite of its weaknesses, is what we have as the most advanced and socially fair system. The Federal Constitution includes in the caput of Article 1: “All power emanates from the people, who exercise it through elected representatives or directly, under the terms of this Constitution.”

Exodus is the name given to the departure of a group of people from one region to another. It is also the title of the second chapter of the Bible, which describes the flight of the Hebrews from Egypt, led by Moses, toward Canaan, the “Promised Land.”

Education, democracy and exodus seem to have marked a strange encounter in this presidential election in Brazil. The current political polarization is motivated, mainly, by the opposition to something and less by adhesion to certain ideas.

That is, a portion of the electorate seems to have more clarity about what it does not want than what it actually wants. The tragedy is that because they are more ‘no’ than ‘yes’, they are also voters who seem to tend to suggest, almost as blackmail, the possibility of abandoning the country if they are not victorious. Although emigrating is an unquestionable individual or collective right, the use of this “blackmail” is definitely uneducated and, in the limit, undemocratic.

Education is not only the basic foundation of the opportunity for sustainable economic, social and environmental development, it is also the best tool for facing complex and difficult times. Political education is to learn to live with the antagonists and, especially, to learn to respect the orientations taken by constituted majorities. Even when they eventually appear to us to be mistaken and devoid of nexus. It is time to remember that, alongside its defects and limits, democracy allows, using its own mechanisms, to correct itself over time.

Writing in the abstract, which the antecedence of the fact allows, I understand that, even when eventually opposing substantive issues for each of us, once elected they deserve the general recognition of legitimacy. Without prejudice to guaranteeing everyone the opportunity to continue defending projects and ideals different from those elected. Above the peculiarities of brief historical moments, however relevant they may be, there is the saga of a country that can never allow itself to be defeated. The facts will be nutrients for a consistent social education of a nation that permanently learns, in a solidarity and cooperative way.