Dados vol. 30 n. 2 Rio de Janeiro 1987

A Mudança do Discurso Político no Brasil

Packenham, Robert A.


In the sixties and early seventies three Marxist interpretations dominated the intellectual discourse about Brazilian politics: Bresser Pereira labels them the "functional-capitalist", the "imperialistsuperexploitation", and the "new dependency" interpretations. In all these approaches political Institutions and processes in a capitalist society were seen as nothing more than expressions of class interests. They were only "formally" democratic. The only solution was to replace them with socialist political forms. Especially since the early - mid-seventies new tendencies have become influential. These more recent approaches legitimate democratic political institutions in capitalist societies, respect minority rights, honor divergent interests, and value civility and mutual tolerance in political interactions. Three expressions of the new tendencies are analyzed in this article: a) changes within Brazilian Marxism, b) the increasing importance of political-liberalism, and e) the dramatic expansion of new social science approaches. The causes of these new tendencies are both internal to the intellectual community and external to it in political events. These factors both sustain and threaten the new tendencies. On the whole, the new discourse tends to be more conducive to the consolidation of Brazilian democracy than the earlier discourse.

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A Mudança do Discurso Político no Brasil