The PT disorientation

Image: Stela Grespan


PT's disorientation is not due to post-traumatic stress. It comes from before. It comes from the pragmatism and electoral focus that emerged in the mid-1990s

I want to start by suggesting that we have serenity when we analyze or participate in the political game. Like any game, there are moments of advancement and moments of retreat, but what counts is the strategy. I make this suggestion because the progressive camp remains hysterical. I've already shared my thesis here: Lula's people, in particular, suffer from post-traumatic stress. After Dilma Rousseff's impeachment, Lula's arrest and Bolsonaro's election, they lost the notion of perspective and any bump they interpret as being an avalanche.

But let's get down to the analysis. We have a set of surveys that indicate an improvement in the evaluation of the Bolsonaro government. More: he became the main electoral supporter of the elections in several capitals of the country. Lula remains in the spotlight, but now as the second influencer. Research indicates that the main factor for improving the assessment is the emergency R$600. It is worth comparing how this emergency aid assumes a coverage profile very similar to the weight of Bolsa Família. Let's go to the data.

The Bolsa Família Program (in addition to the promotion promoted by the BNDES) had the power to change the social logic of the Northeast during the Lula governments. Even today, 50% of people from Maranhão receive this resource; 48% in Piauí and 47% in Alagoas. The emergency aid of 600 reais involves 39% of the population of Bahia. A study carried out by economists Écio Costa (UFPE) and Marcelo Freire (Secretary of Development of Pernambuco) the five installments of the basic income program are equivalent to 6,3% of the GDP of the Northeast. The study indicates that in Brazil the emergency resource is equivalent to 2,5% of the national GDP (6,3% of the Northeastern GDP).

Where is this feature going? For building construction. If it goes to civil construction, it means that the local market is heating up. In addition to construction material, purchases of second-hand cell phones are also registering an increase in locations with the highest number of beneficiaries. The path of the Bolsa Família is repeated. Now, there is no way to be different in the country that is the eighth largest economy in the world and the seventh in social inequality on the Planet. Here we have to highlight the pedagogical role of democracy. Bolsonaro had to bow to reality. If before, Jair's motto was the virulent and extreme attack on the State and the Social Welfare agenda, now, he gives in because he realized that without the social agenda he would be sinking.

However, Patrícia Valim (UFBA) suggests another fact: the Northeastern states that least face Bolsonarism would have registered an improvement in Bolsonaro's evaluation much higher than the national average. In this case, Valim is citing Bahia and Ceará. The thesis is good. We will need more research to confirm Valim's thesis, but, in fact, both governments are implementing the militarization of education. Bahia recently faced a very stressful state university professors' strike.

The Ceará government sent a proposal to its Legislative Assembly freezing primary spending in light of Amendment 95, widely rejected by the Brazilian left. Other northeastern governments adopted, here or there, liberal or conservative policies, but it was in the states where the lack of confrontation with Bolsonarism generated an avenue for the extreme right to establish itself. That's where military candidates are launched in the capitals.

There is, still, prowling the Tupiniquim left another reading: the PT's skin is changing. First: he would be shifting his firepower from the center-south of the country to the northeast. Second: their governments would be adopting a more conservative agenda. Slowly, the PT is giving way – due to its electoral pragmatism – to the left. This hypothesis would explain the significant growth of PSOL in hosts until then PT. In the capitals of the Southeast, the PT candidates are bitter in their intention to vote.

PT's disorientation is not due to post-traumatic stress. It comes from before. It comes from the pragmatism and electoral focus that emerged in the mid-1990s. From then on, winning at any cost became a maxim in party leadership. There came a time when he came to terms with it. It began to conform to popular ideas. It so happens that there are studies that indicate that in a country with a hyperconservative elite and media steeped in the same ideological broth, if progressives do not dispute values, they end up losing political space.

In Minas Gerais, exactly this happened with the Fernando Pimentel government. First, he attacked the foundations of the “PT way of governing” adopted by Patrus Ananias. Afterwards, in the state government, he did not adopt an agenda that differed from previous governments. Pimentel made a grosser mistake: he bet that the Dilma Rousseff administration would provide resources for her government to take off. With the impeachment, he proved that he did not have Plan B. In the middle of his re-election year, he started to delay transfers to city halls and payment of civil servants.

We have, then, a party that has been unlearning how to be a left-wing opposition. He became pragmatic and gave in to what the majority thinks, without confrontation. And to think that the PT cited Gramsci who suggested that it was possible to be power without being government. They ended up reversing.

* Ruda Ricci he is general director of Instituto Cultiva, professor of the master's course in Law and Sustainable Development at Escola Superior Dom Helder Câmara. Author, among other books, of Lulism (Counterpoint).

Originally published on magazine Fórum


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