Paths of the third term



Lula's socialist ideology is a project of permanent regulation of the capitalist system

The presidential paths for a third term for Lula are opening up, not because Lula is a “radical”, but because he is an authentic democrat and republican, who works on his ideas with no prospect of breaking with the capitalist system. If he defended a socialist project, with the imaginary created even within the working classes on this subject, he would not have a chance. Lula's socialist ideals are a project of permanent regulation of the system, in such a way that all people can have three meals a day, study and educate themselves, have decent housing and live in a community based on solidarity and respect for humanity. of each.

It doesn't matter if you and I understand that this is possible, what matters is that this “strategic” program – which Lula repeats every moment – ​​is clearly opposed to ultraliberalism and fascism, which are our concrete and urgent problems. In his relations with traditional workers, the excluded and the poor, Lula is mostly seen as a leader faithful to his origins, who knows how to face the “elites” to defend the fundamental rights of the “from below”, within a system that is predominantly hostile to these rights.

The coherence of Lula's movements towards this project is embodied in his second government and was made a legal diploma in the conception of the Welfare State: this is hostile by the dominant classes and is indifferent to those who leave formal society for misery and social degradation and thus they become easy targets of fascist demagoguery. Let's go through some important facts that can be considered "metaphorical" to understand the era and visualize it practically.

Eva Perón's “security guard”, Otto Skorzeny, was a trusted “policeman” of Hitler, who provided the entrance – sneaky or open – of many Nazis in Argentina, after the end of the Second War. And he did so with the support of Perón and his Government team, in the area of ​​Foreign Affairs and Security, while Jorge Luís Borges – who called himself “apolitical” and conservative – was strongly opposed to this reception. Would a lunch with Borges, Perón's extreme opponent, with the dictator Videla and his support for the genocidal government of the Argentine generals be enough, therefore, to show him as a political upstart and opportunist? It's possible. But would the delivery of Olga Benário to the Gestapo, while Prestes was in the prisons of the Estado Novo, be enough to qualify Getúlio in the same way? I don't think so.

The interpretations about the political life of Prestes, Getúlio and Perón are populated with metaphors, such as the “knight of hope”, the “father of the poor”, the “conductor of the workers”, which are in the imagination of the poor and miserable, over the last century. In their lives, in addition to a political practice, there is a succession full of parables and metaphors, which are converted – incessantly – into each other. The accounts of Lula's political history are not very different, as there is the symbol of "Lulinha peace and love" and the story of the jabuticabeira sung in prose and verse.

I remember that on September 7, 2003, Vinicius Mota, a journalist at Folha de S. Paul, published a historical text on the parable of the jabuticaba tree in Lula's speech, presented at the Economic and Social Development Council (CDES). In it, the President recounted that his wife at the time, Marisa Letícia, managed to make jabuticabas fruit in a short period of time, in a vase in the couple's apartment, with effort, dedication and love. It was the parable of “watering”, of persistence and care, which he – as President – ​​should pay attention to in order to make Brazil bear fruit.

If there is something that Bolsonaro helped to bear fruit in Brazil, it was the hatred and lack of empathy, cultivated in detail throughout his speeches and demonic theatrical gestures. For this, in the first place, he presented us with his “good men”, as they are conceived by the majority of our privileged classes. Both the degree of violence they are capable of accepting to maintain their privileges, and their contempt for life and science, will be fixed in our memory, if we survive as a piece of humanity.

The second help that Bolsonaro gave us was to show that it is possible to reinvent the political metaphor: using metaphorical resources so that words are considered harmless, but then go – gradually – demonstrating that what was spoken was not a figure of speech, but a concrete promise. His speech “I come to destroy”, for example, (and his cult of death) were heard by the majority, at the time, as metaphors of who “made a type”, not that they were promises of a murderer.

The two answers above, about Getúlio and Borges, could rationally be written attributing to them an inverse sense, because in each present, the past is no longer the same in its apprehension by human subjectivity. The truth is always concrete, but the projection of the intelligence of the present onto the past is capable of remaking the concrete, changing it, already as concrete in thought: the past is not there like a granite monument, almost insensitive to time, but rather like a complex labyrinth of extinct emotions and transformed materialities.

At this time of changes in the country's political hegemony, non-fascist sectors of the ruling classes are starting to remember that Lula was – as President – ​​a democratic republican, who respected differences and reconciled them. They do it because, firstly, their scoundrel idol failed and, secondly, because they concluded that there cannot be a “third way” without the guidance of a politically honest and tested leader like Lula. This reformulation of memory is not an ethical-moral change, nor a programmatic innovation, but a new convergence of interests, since for reasons very different from those assumed by the popular classes, these gentlemen feel that their businesses will no longer prosper. Your little despot has run out of convincing metaphors.

Some sectors of the left, however, begin to fictionalize the past, sincerely concerned with the new political process under way and the conciliation that is approaching, which could annul Lula's reformist potential. I understand that there was indeed a betrayal by Temer and there is indeed the danger that a center-left government could be betrayed again, by what today is the “center” in Brazil, but what is the central issue? At least for those who think (as I do) the central question is that today we need to impose a defeat on fascism in the elections, and that there will not be a new foreign policy, the resumption of development with employment and activity and a strong program to combat hunger , without a humiliating defeat of fascism.

The past is made up of ways of producing, of adventures of the spirit in culture and politics, of idleness, violence, torment and enjoyment, which transit through human minds, sometimes as banished specters and ghosts of the past, sometimes as living lessons in discernment and humanism. Metaphors in politics are forms of language through which History reveals itself, sometimes as a nightmare or epiphany; sometimes as prophecies or heroic exaltations; but above all the metaphors come from doubts about how to say messages to be processed by humans, to encourage them to reject their misfortunes or even to respond to their lack of feelings and compassion.

I use Borges to inspire some political opinions, not because he is on the “left” or a genius of history, but because his literature has insights about movements of thought and universal culture, whose metaphors (which are metaphors only if “felt by the reader or listener as metaphors”) overcome time and help us to feel it above the concretely lived epoch. A metaphor by Borges – for example – that says that “in the desert one is always in the center”, is a geographical metaphor, but it can be transformed, both in political philosophy, and in a lying advice for care in an expedition in unknown lands.

Anyway, a metaphor is never verifiable, because if someone takes it (like this one about the “center”) as a direct suggestion of action or decision; or as a mere spatial reference point – in a vast desolate territory – “being at the center” can just be a stray into infinity. But it can also be the discovery of a supposedly “central” point in solitude, which offers a margin of safety for us to continue in search of an uncertain way out: a path, a new support point, for the endless journey of constructions that, in this case, of our current crisis, a new period will only begin with the defeat of death transformed into State policy.

*Tarsus in law he was Governor of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Mayor of Porto Alegre, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education and Minister of Institutional Relations in Brazil. Author, among other books, of Utopia Possible (Arts & Crafts).


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