The Corinthians' Democracy (Portuguese: Democracia Corinthiana) was an ideological movement and an innovative way to manage a club, recognized in Brazil as one of the most important actions in the intend to struggle against dictatorship and the only movement of this nature installed on a football club known to this day. At the time, it was also a challenge to the military government. It was an idealistic but effective political cell which fought against the authoritarian way the club's management controlled its players, a microcosm of the way the country was governed by the military.
Led by the cultured midfield maestro Sócrates and by full back Wladimir, and with the consent of club president Waldemar Pires, the squad players took control over the management of the team Sport Club Corinthians Paulista. Sócrates, together with teammate Wladimir, organised the players to discuss and then vote with a simple show of hands on all matters which affected them, from simple things like what time they would eat lunch to challenging the dreaded concentração, a common practice in Brazil where players are practically locked up in a hotel for one or two days before a game. One of the most notable decisions they made was, in 1982, having "Vote on 15th" printed on the back of their shirts to motivate fans to vote in the first Brazilian multiparty election since the 1964 military coup.
Even the importance that the movement had within the intellectual groups, Corinthians, in this years, won only two Campeonatos Paulistas: 1982 and 1983. In 1984, Sócrates revived a contact offer from Fiorentina. However, he just would play in Italy if Governor Dante de Oliveira became the president of Brazil in a direct election, was approved by Congress. As it did not do, despite his desires, the most important leader of Democracy left Corinthians. Its motto was: "Ganhar ou perder, mas sempre com democracia" ("Win or lose, but always with democracy").
In 1990, Corinthians won their first Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, beating their rivals, São Paulo in the final at the opponents' own stadium, Estádio do Morumbi. In the following year, Corinthians beat Flamengo and won the Supercopa do Brasil. In the 1995, the club won the Copa do Brasil for the first time, beating Grêmio in the final at the Estádio Olímpico Monumental in Porto Alegre. In the same decade, the club won the state championship in 1995, 1997 and 1999, and won the national championship again in 1998 and in 1999.
The movement had the backing of artists and intellectuals, such as senior media creative Washington Olivetto, who coined the term Democracia Corintiana. Eventually, the government reacted, as Brigadier Jerônimo Bastos, head of the CBD, warned the club for interfering in political affairs.
- Sócrates - midfielder and anti-dictatorship resister | libcom.org
- BORBA, Marco Aurélio (November 5, 1982) "O Timão cheio de bossas". Revista Placar. pp. 50-53
- Sócrates (April 27, 1984) "O Dia do Fico do rei corintiano". Revista Placar. pp.37-40
- Campeonato Brasileiro Série A 1990 at RSSSF[dead link]
- Supercopa do Brasil at RSSSF[dead link]
- Copa do Brasil 1995 at RSSSF[dead link]
- Campeonato Paulista at RSSSF[dead link]
- Campeonato Brasileiro Série A at RSSSF[dead link]
- Socrates and the Corinthians' Democracy. Al Jazeera English, broadcast May/June 2013 as parts of the series Football Rebels (video, English, 25 min.)