letter to a friend



Considerations on the results of the first round of the 2022 elections

M, dear,

That's it, great frustration, great sadness, deep bitterness. Our desires and the wishes of our hearts as eternal students did not go far enough to shorten the road that will take Lula back to the Planalto. Result: Sunday, October 2, became at last "only a station on our way".

It would have been good if everything had been reduced to the immense frustration that unbalanced us all, the heart having reasons that reason itself does not know, and the psyche being, in extreme situations, something weak. It wasn't good, it was worse. In addition to not having been able to avoid the second round, Brazil, which is mostly real, the profound, the barbarian that permeates the entire social structure, has given us yet another lesson in things. Lesson of the abyss, as the ultramontane Gustavo Corção would say, who had some vogue in the reactionary circles of Brazil in our youth.

The real, deep and dark Brazil was strengthened in the federal congress, a result that opens up even greater scope for future teratological adventures. The extreme right said what it came for. He saw, he thinks he won and it even seems, at first, that he is right. Will it still look like this in 28 more days? To see, and to make possible, in the four weeks, what was denied us yesterday. If the extreme right prevails, it will be a complete catastrophe, the empire of total counter-reason, totalitarian, fascist, neo or not. That yes, the worst of all. But this scenario of scorched earth is not even remotely drawn by the biggest star, up in the sky; nor for the PT star in this no man's land.

Lesson of abysmal things we had yesterday. Miraculously speaking things, things that, turned into vows, warned us, proclaimed, shouted, threatened and confirmed the risks that we, the old, are old to know, but that, always young, we refuse to take into account because, after all...

After all, I don't really know the reason for this voluntary blindness that goes beyond us because it permeates, counting ours, at least three generations. Always hovering above our blindness and their manifest criminality, the real Brazil collects and affirms many tragic legacies, the main ones so far insurmountable, all of which are molded in artful institutionalities, masters, themselves and their occupants, in the art of disguising themselves to, via effective action, the better to exercise their power over us. The power of both, embodied in “good men” and in their terrible institutions. “Vivita and Coleando”, at every moment, the permanent art of domination.

This is the profound, real, resistant, recalcitrant Brazil, an avatar originally incarnated in slavery that was never completely outdated, in the hereditary grantees who were very modernized via agribusiness, science and technology applied to large agrarian property, in the captains of industry (sergeants, in fact, given its genuflex position) and the sharks of commerce that were effectively born here after the rupture of the colonial pact. I also leave aside the essential dimension, itself, of the sphere that intertwines culture and the means of communication, that machine that shapes the minds of fools in everyday life, that sphere that is what it is and will continue to be like that. Until when?

I know very well that I synthesize the landscape, that I transform baobabs into bonzai, but this is my way of sketching the real Brazil we fight against, generation after generation. We, always excited by the possibility, which also survives and asserts itself since at least 1848, that of making the sertão turn into the sea.

True, if we only think about the last century, the sertão of world history has turned into the sea a few times, although this type of metamorphosis has never emerged here. But it should not be ignored: whenever, wherever and whenever this great movement took place, its own impetus to transform profoundly could not be sustained. To this day, what invariably prevailed was, in the last analysis, the tide of reaction; the hinterland, after a while, conquering the sea. Yes, in extraordinary moments or times the hinterland becomes the sea, but the sea until now has ended up retreating to the attics of world history. It retreats, I hope cunningly, to try to be effective again, historically, later on. It is necessary for us to think Sisyphus happy.

To stay only in the XNUMXth century, this tsunami from the hinterland over the sea has as symbolic years those that, in each case, mark the exhaustion of the revolutions, from the Mexican to the Russian, from the Chinese to the Cuban, from the Vietnamese to the wars of colonial liberation that range from Algeria to Mozambique and East Timor. And many more. I leave aside the revolutions that took place to, hoping that the next (?) attempt will be able to maintain itself (…), to return to Brazil.

Not that of our dreams, however dialectical and methodologically scientific they may be, or however well founded on the desire of the I and the will of the We to change the unacceptable that is progressively imposed on the planet. Progressively ironic and tragic, this process that starts from the end of the Western Middle Ages came to fruition. It gave us what he still (for how long?) submits to us.

Let's return to the real Brazil, yes. But without forgetting: in it, people like us are just the thin, rationalist, illuminist, modern surface, the vaguely left-wing surface, a left in such a minority and fragmented way that it always reminds me of the French peasantry criticized by Marx, the illusory “autonomous” subject created, in its “modern” form, by the revolution that, being great for only five years, finally gave birth to Napoleon I the Great (?) and, 36 years after Waterloo, to Napoleon III the Little.

Returning to the real Brazil and our political-electoral weight in the country that counts is doing as usual: getting frustrated, criticizing, complaining, asking for historical rationality where even micro rationality does not exist, things like that. Sunday, gigantic frustration, multiplied, its depressive character, by the leap in quality in the set of threats that await us. The extreme right has done very well. We, not so much, to be restrained… Some of the threats arising from this will manifest themselves with shamelessness until the 30th. Others, until the 31st of December. The most dangerous ones, too, do not forget, especially from the beginning of the Lula 3 government.

When writing the Lula 3 government, I already said almost everything: I believe we will win in the second round. The margin of victory, however, will not be spectacular. It may even be a knife-edge victory, like that of Dilma Rousseff over Aécio Neves, but it will be a victory. Then gain strength to take over. Then take over. Then, to govern, the executive under Lula's command surrounded from the inside – the high bureaucracy has little of a leftist character – and on the outside, the outside embodied by the party of the reactionary-progressive order that yesterday gained new vigor and even greater spirit, the party who acts with manifest arrogance both in the Judiciary and in the Legislature, both in the military and economic spheres, both in the media and in the international sphere in which democracy, between Tocquevillian and social, fades away, both in the theological-political scope and in the world of opportunist intellectual as a maker of ideologies that, in the form of the new, the New, even, smuggles the archaic, proto-liberalism.

The major difficulties essentially cover the immediate challenge, winning on October 30th. But, well thought out as a whole, the challenge of removing Jair Bolsonaro from the presidency is not our greatest test. The most dangerous conjunctures will come later, and their weight will be permanent throughout the next presidential term, if not growing. We will live under the lethal threat of a coup – your completely open style… – for at least four years, that is if democracy does not derail again, itself since 2018 incalculably weakened, 2018 being the most tragic moment, so far, in the process of crushing that, starting in June 2013, has its full, monstrous face in Bolsonarism.

I dare to think that the democracy of 1988 no longer has any conditions to continue to be, for us, a space for advancement. I dare to imagine that democracy, be it the “classic”, liberal-representative, be it the participatory one, which magnetizes the immense majority of the Brazilian left, has already exhausted itself or is close to the point of exhaustion. Does democracy lose its meaning? No, no, no. On the contrary, the regime takes on even greater importance for us, who we are, I know many will smile, “Left Enlightenmentists”, “Russian democrats”, reformists of all kinds to a greater or lesser extent, sometimes revolutionary.

And, when revolutionaries, groupings (still and until when?) or constitutive militants, in general, from the minority left wings of all reformist parties. As a whole, for me in the problematic (dis)comfort of someone who is not a militant, this left wing of the left in parliamentary essence is much more attached to the votes of the historical-materialist heart than to the real course of the contemporary geoeconomic and geopolitical world. As a group, its members seem, in the imaginary register, still somewhat tied to the second half of the European XNUMXth century or to what the XNUMXth century was until the advent of neoliberalism.

Hence, for me, the current democracy, ours and without adjectives, has been transmuted into a mainly defensive space. The real, structural correlation of forces, not modifiable in the short term of four years, is telling us this in all its letters. Some of them were used on Sunday, when the first shift ended. Some lines from our great party leaders said that too, in different tones. Are facts and interpretations well articulated today?

But in spite of that, certainly the directions that lead us to the second round are apparently traced. There will be no modification of the strategy that brought us here. This is palm realism. Changing sensitively and significantly, now, the course of the campaign that opposes, in its maximum simplification, democratism to authoritarianism, would be, in my opinion, insane. Out of it, very risky.

Anyway, M., let's continue our dialogue and our work. Each one doing the little they can, either as a militant or as a simple citizen, to confirm what seems to me to be based on the electoral dynamics of effective reality: yesterday's frustration could well become unimaginable joy, four weeks more.

The difficult, the really difficult, comes later. But since the after by definition comes next, and since the consequences usually follow the causes, and since those who go first get there first, now what is at stake is to stop Jair Bolsonaro so that only then can he actually fight with a minimum of conditions. the threat of limitless savagery, the marriage of paleo-liberalism disguised as neo with neo-fascism disguised as an ethical-moral movement, one has to laugh, as “good citizens”.

* Tadeu Valadares is a retired ambassador.


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