Lula's ban



The campaign against Lula, with the now demonstrated collaboration of the FBI, tried to destroy the left leadership with greater representation among the workers and the people.

“At Kautsky's house, we attended the party they threw in honor of Ledebour when he turned sixty. Among the guests, there were about ten of us, was August Bebel, who was about to turn eighty. It was the moment when the party was reaching its peak. The tactical unit looked perfect. The old people recorded the triumphs and looked confidently to the future. It was at this intimate party that I had the opportunity to meet Bebel and his wife, Julia. All those present, not excluding Kautsky, hung on old Bebel's lips as soon as he spoke a word (...) In his thoughts, in his speeches, in his articles, Bebel did not waste a single spiritual energy that was not put directly into service for a practical purpose. And that's what gave a special beauty and feeling to his political personality. Bebel identified that class that can only devote their free hours to studying, that knows what each minute means and assimilates the essentials, but that's all. An incomparable human figure. Bebel died during the Bucharest peace conference, between the Balkan war and the world war. I heard the news at Ploischti station in Romania. What would social democracy be without him? I remembered Ledebour's words, which described the inner life of the German Social Democratic Party in these terms: 'Twenty percent radicals, thirty percent opportunists; the rest vote with Bebel'”

(Leon Trotsky, My life).

The similarities between the histories of the German SPD before World War I and the Brazilian PT are, of course, much smaller than the specificities and differences. [I]. Even so, August Bebel's role in the SPD is very reminiscent of Lula's role in the PT until the 2002 election. But they had different destinations. Bebel died before the bitterness of seeing the SPD succumb to patriotic pressure, at the outbreak of World War I in 1914, and long before the SPD came to power in the Weimar Republic, and helped bury the German revolution that would have changed world history. .[ii]

Lula arrived at the government, and personally articulated the conditions for concertation with the ruling class to maintain governability during two terms. He elected Dilma Rousseff his successor and saw, even after the 2013 journeys, his re-election [iii]. In this long process, Lula made many political and personal mistakes. He ended up being denounced, convicted and arrested for the Lava Jato operation.

But the persecution of Lula cannot be explained because he flirted with the possibility of buying an apartment in Guarujá, much less why he accepted a kitchen as a gift at the Atibaia farm, two silly things that are a mistake, but not a crime. The monstrous campaign to demoralize Lula, with the collaboration of the US security agencies, finally demonstrated, was built to legitimize the destruction of the leftist leadership with greater representation among the workers and the people.

the meaning of this diktat ou ukaze against Lula is simple. A left implanted in the working class and the oppressed cannot return to national power in Brazil. It doesn't matter if it's semi-moderate, hyper-moderate, crypto-moderate. Of course, much less if it's radical. During the Cold War there was a similar ultimatum against communist parties in countries within the US area of ​​influence. Now it's not just against the PT. It's against the whole left. There is an order of command that unites the bourgeois forces that support the Bolsonaro government and those that support the liberal opposition. Lula's struggle for freedom is a taboo topic, prohibited and interdicted by and for the ruling class. The reaffirmation of his conviction is non-negotiable.

As the pandemic continues its expansionist dynamics and more state and municipal governments decide to ease the quarantine, two central political processes have been unfolding over the past three weeks. The weakening of the Bolsonaro government, and pressure from the liberal opposition to form a Frente Ampla that incorporates the PT, but must accept the presence of Sergio Moro, which, of course, excludes Lula.

It excludes, because Lula cannot accept the presence of his executioner in a Front in defense of democracy, if Sergio Moro's role was irreplaceable to condemn him, and his criminalization by the Lava Jato operation was essential to legitimize the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff. It is not possible to understand Bolsonaro's election without condemning Lula, preventing his candidacy. This past cannot be absolved by anyone, because countless lawsuits and judgments still weigh against Lula, which are a sword of Damocles on the recovery of his political rights.

The defense of Sergio Moro and, therefore, of Lava Jato, including a possible articulation of his candidacy for the presidency, is indivisible from Lula's condemnation. There is an explicit ban that unites the different fractions of the ruling class, and the most distinct wings that make the political representation of their interests: Lula cannot be a candidate again.

It matters little if Lula is willing or not to be a candidate. Regarding this prohibition, there are two fields into which each of the organizations, currents and tendencies of the Brazilian left is divided. Either you are for or against. This is a politically sensitive issue, as there is a lot of hypocrisy in the middle classes, especially, but not only, where the idea that the greatest national tragedy is corruption, and not poverty and social inequality, took root.

The struggle to annul Lula's convictions is therefore not just a PT problem. The precedent established with the criminalization of Lula means that any popular leadership that comes to stand out as a spokesperson for the left is permanently threatened. Starting with PSol and, even for that reason, we cannot waver.

*Valerio Arcary is a retired professor at IFSP. Author, among other books, of Revolution meets history (Shaman)


[I] Germany at the turn of the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth century was one of the two central countries with the greatest dynamics of industrialization, while Brazil at the turn of the XNUMXth to the XNUMXst century is a dependent country in the semiperiphery that has been stagnating for a decade; the German SPD was opposed to the Kaiser's government for decades, while the PT reached local and state governments in relatively early time; the ramifications of the SPD crisis were precipitated by the defeat of the German Empire in the war, and the victory of the Russian revolution, which paved the way for the formation of a Communist Party in Germany that was the largest and most important in the world.

[ii] The German party was the most important section of the Second International. When did the qualitative change in the nature of the leadership of the German SPD take place? What would have been, after all, the decisive factors of its political adaptation and bureaucratic degeneration is a little explored theme that, however, deserves attention. Bebel and Kautsky's direction was the most prestigious of its time, and not without reason. However, the degenerative processes of labor movement organizations have historically shown themselves to be not only surprisingly fast, but also irreversible. The most common view, and also the least convincing, is the one that considers that the SPD's agony coincides with the day of the voting of the War credits, that is, August 1914. But the leap in quality should have already occurred with an enormous advance. That alone can explain the isolation of the internationalists, later regrouped in the Spartakusbund among party members. The most interesting hypothesis is the one that highlights that the bureaucratization process would have started in the unions, and only later extended to the party. For a certain period, the unionists formed a bloc with the other reformist tendencies, putting pressure on the party leadership, and even challenging its orientation in public. This process began in the unions in the 90s and, by the time of the debates on mass strikes after 1905, it had already crystallized. In the SPD, it must have taken a leap in quality from 1912, when the group of SPD deputies in the Reichstag became the biggest.

[iii] The PT has gone through many crises over its forty-year history, and has transformed itself in each one of them. To change is to cease to be, it is to become. Parties are not immortal, but neither are they invulnerable. We have already seen many parties in Brazil that are “unburied corpses”: they continue to exist, but they are groups of the dead, wounded and mutated, like the ones zombies. A party's days are numbered when it loses the ability to express its social base. Until a party or movement emerges to take its place, a party may slowly agonize, as long as it manages to preserve its influence. Although defeated, the PT proved that it was alive in 2018.

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