dantesque scenes

Blanca Alaníz, Quadrados series, digital photography and photomontage based on the work Baindeirinhas by Iván Serpa, Brasilia, 2016.
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By ANDRÉ MÁRCIO NEVES SOARES*

It is essential to carry out a major investigation into all the anti-democratic acts of the Temer and Bolsonaro governments

I am still writing under strong commotion resulting from the attack promoted by a horde of Bolsonarist fanatics, with a fascist bias, against the democratic rule of law in our country. In fact, the invasion of the Esplanada dos Ministérios by a more radical section of the population that supported the presidential candidate defeated in the last majority elections has more to do with amateur delinquency than an organized political movement.

The dantesque scenes of angry people, disfigured by the most nefarious hatred, associated with excessive violence, only confirmed the worst fears that haunted the country, Brasília in particular, that an attempted coup was being germinated in the endless camps of extreme right-wing militants. Indeed, several were the alerts in the sense that these camps, strangely tolerated by the Army, did not consist of a mere protest by a disorderly troupe. Fortunately, the coup attempt failed! The worst seems to be over. For the good of a nation that has suffered and is reckless, and whose majority has believed more and more in better days. However, once again we pay the price for adopting the old maxim of “closing the door after being robbed”.

I beg the readers' permission to enumerate some truths that were confirmed by this unfortunate episode, unprecedented in the history of this country, of an attempt to take the country's direction by force by an anti-democratic minority. Are they:

First, everyone should keep in mind the ongoing fragility of our representative democracy. In fact, despite the victory of hope for better days in the figure of President Lula, it is a fact that the alliances he signed to guarantee the election were too broad, and that, under the true pretext of uniting the country again on democratic bases, he added many first-class members of the obscure period after the takeover of power by the market coup against President Dilma Rousseff.

Secondly, it is necessary to bear in mind that President Lula's third term will not be, in any way, similar to the first two, in terms of institutional tranquility to promote the changes that are urgently needed in all policies of that country, especially in the economic, financial, social and environmental areas. In this vein, President Lula and his “hard core” must understand that politics is not only done with love, but with intelligence as well. I know that Lula is smart enough to understand the seriousness of the moment, but he must also be smart enough to exercise his role as head of state, showing firmness in relation to the coup leaders. Without the application of the rigors of the law against this despotic mass and its financiers – who still remain hidden –, Lula runs the risk of suffering from a worse attack in the near future.

Even on account of the previous findings, there is a certainty that without cleaning up the key posts of the Republic, Lula will not be able to govern as he intends to in this, which should be his last term. To be very explicit, Lula should not remain in the hands of figures such as Deputy Artur Lira, current President of the Chamber of Deputies, much less the current Attorney General of the Union, Augusto Aras, both of whom are Bolsonarists. If he adopts the policy of least effort, or least collateral damage, Lula runs the risk of suffering a new coup attempt, this time orchestrated along the lines of the one that overthrew President Dilma Rousseff, especially if his government loses credibility with a significant portion of his electorate, either because of the wear and tear inherent in the course of the mandate or because of the boycott actions that can be orchestrated on the sly by those who are being spared today.

It is essential to carry out a major investigation into all the anti-democratic acts of the Temer and Bolsonaro governments, not just limited to those that are manifestly illegal. In this sense, it is necessary to adopt affirmative measures against changes, even if legal, that have proven to be degrading for workers and the environment, as a way of guaranteeing the credibility of a government that has already proven to be genuinely concerned with the good -being of its population (and not so much with the environment) in the past, but now it will need to reaffirm its commitment with the small majority of voters that brought it back to power.

In addition to the previous observation, it is necessary to understand that it is necessary to accelerate the adoption of urgent measures in favor of the less favored classes, such as the resumption of economic and social programs that made the country leave the hunger map in 2014, as well as to implement a green policy of zero deforestation, which conveys to the world the definitive message of Brazil as a country at the forefront of the fight against global warming. In fact, without a quick and significant improvement in the living conditions of the most needy population in that country, Lula runs the risk of, like Dilma Rousseff, being at the mercy of the old dirty politics of cabinets, which aims only at private gain, to the detriment of the national interests.

Last but not least, Lula needs to understand, once and for all, that he is not omnipresent, much less eternal. We all saw that his lack of political vision or, what is worse, his personal ambition to return to power, made him make a strategic mistake in nominating Dilma Rousseff as his candidate. Less because of her moral integrity, still untouched today and recently recognized by her own executioner, Michel Temer, and more because of the mistake of appointing a person who did not have the necessary political skills to deal with the population in unfavorable moments and, even more, with the country's political class. In fact, when the internal and external scenarios deteriorated between 2015/2016, it became clear that Dilma Rousseff did not have the necessary charisma to bring together the masses as her mentor, nor the necessary flexibility to circumvent a political dispute for power, even if to do so it was necessary to “lose the rings so as not to lose the fingers”.

Therefore, the thinking minds beside President Lula need to warn him that without a successor who shares his ideals and who is also representative of the people, we run the risk in the future of losing again the civilizing advances that certainly will be achieved in his third government, either for some market candidate, euphemistically called the third way, or, what would be a catastrophe, for the return of fascist ideology.

*Andre Marcio Neves Soares is a doctoral candidate in social policies and citizenship at the Catholic University of Salvador (UCSAL).

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