Lula: the interview

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By TADEU VALADARES*

Considerations on the difficulties of a future third government of Luís Inácio

The interview given on January 19, 2022 to the alternative media was a fantastic show of political competence. Lula is the only candidate, ours, for the unique, tragic-hopeful moment that we live.

Lula, our anchor, our anchor, is very sharp. It doesn't crumble at any time. Communicates like never before and accumulates strength at every moment. In a way, it washes our soul with each public intervention, a line without a breakpoint since last May. That's why I think, and the available research confirms this feeling of mine: with Lula we have a high, real probability of defeating either the infamous person who still occupies the head of the executive, or the head of the Curitiba gang. Perhaps Lula will not even face the far-right candidate, whoever he may be, in the second round.

According to most of the conventional left, the success of this attempt to Risorgimento social-democratic democracy will be more than “assured”, as “evidenced” by arithmetic and geometric exercises, variables like the wings of certain planes, when the Lula-Alckmin ticket is made official and the pair of attackers enter the field against opponents who have little traction of their own, given their biographies, current conditions in the country and the scale of the task.

But starting from this 'decisive' announcement, it will also be essential to compute, in the four years that the return to the head of the executive will reserve for us, the effective political, soulful, ideological cost of the amnesty that in fact we have already granted to most of those who hit us. They, impeccable gentlemen, all Knights of the Holy Order of Malta, are kindly counteroffering us benefits and blessings. They, steeped in the supreme value of reciprocity and unshakable faith: kindness breeds kindness; forgetting produces forgetting.

That of costs, profits, losses and gains, Machadian warehouse accounts or notes in shabby notebooks of river aviators from the former rubber plantations, ah, that will emerge, as history likes to confirm, little by little, little by little, after the celebratory moment has passed that, after so much ordeal, we will deservedly live at the end of this year. Sursum rope!! three times, not forgetting that accumulate, accumulate, accumulate is the cry of Moses and all the prophets since when, ah, we know well.

Contumacious realist, addicted to the belief that reality is not what it seems to our naked eyes (eyes, hands and arms), I estimate, amateur oenologist, that the year of the great harvest of the wine of illusions will be next. We will live, for a good part of 2023, I am sure, drugged by our electoral victory. Ours and theirs...

The following year, by way of compensation, may well be the year when the hangover begins to heal, the first of the three that will complete Lula's new era and our hopes. I take it for granted that our success cannot be even approximately complete, come December 2026. The world and Brazil have declined notably since 2002/2003. My expectation, and you'll see that I fall just as much for the optimism of worn-out reason as for the pessimism of the will that refuses the prison of the oneiric, is sober. May our frustrations be relative, only relative. Deep down, in this way, they can be read as a renewed sign that the distance between intention and gesture opens its range. Again.

We are so similar to the USA, and Lula has so many rhetorical similarities with Biden… Parallel lives that meet in the infinity of urban trails. Hopefully Lula escapes Biden's anticlimactic fate. Hopefully we can all escape what the American left, widely understood, has been living for more than a year.

There, it seems – except for the gigantic and improbable popular mobilization of those who make up the left of the Democratic Party, tactically and strategically supported by the “social left” that distinguishes itself from the first –, in the same month in which we will overcome the worst authoritarian threat since 1964, the Biden administration will lose the House of Representatives. In practice, he has already lost the Senate, Biden defeated by Sinema and Manchin, two Democratic senators very friends, both belonging to what the left of the Democratic party and the left outside the party call corporate democrats...

May Lula and us have better luck, despite the whole patchwork of our best expectations being sewn together with the thread of imaginary convergences, and with the needle, a strange thing, perhaps a Brazilian invention, made from the spit of desire carefully frozen to the point of petrification that allows it to fulfill its delicate warp function. Will quilt, patch and needle resist the strong light of the Land of the Sun plowed for centuries by what is crooked? How long does the hits last? in fieri will they keep? For sure, in all of this, we really only have the thimble called Lula.

And, yes, let's raise our hands to the sky because Lula is at the forefront of this last or most recent democratic-restorative attempt that is seen, something like Pangloss, as a calculated rupture. Without Lula we would be insignificant powdered flour in the mush of establishment which, fox and hedgehog at the same time, is already cunningly forgiving us, temporarily, via its official journalists, for our past “irresponsible audacity”…Some, on the left, reach multiple orgasms with this.

Can you imagine if Lula dies and Alckmin takes over? He or any other Alckmin, the name is a fantasy brand, the real chemical composition is what counts, never forget. It's the old Brazilian world without a concierge.

But, true bit by bit, from beginning to end, there is no more, there is no way to convince Lula and those who matter most in the party that the moment calls for Napoleon, audacity, always and more audacity, no matter how small it turns out to be in the end. Unshakable, those who are hegemonic in the party, despite the programmatic scream, and in my view covered with reason from Genoíno, Falcão, Pomar, Arcary, Altmann and many others, many others. All of them, the Protestants, make up a sector of the arch of the left that is troubled – there is art of the understatement… – with what has (almost) everything to emerge, shortly after the beginning of the government, as a foreshadowing frustration of incalculable decay.

For those who, in the essence of political-electoral equations, are just voters, and this is my case, or at most a micro diffuser of one or another critical idea, shallow realism and its constant pair, bloodless idealism, advise: in the absence of a better , we better prepare ourselves to do everything for the victory of Lula and X, a right-wing name that has become reliable… Alchemy, alchemies.

Doing this, which can be justified based on the naive sentimental certainties that animate most of the messianic leftist electorate, or moved by the doubts of those who take into account the fragile progress that has always been tempestuous since at least the 20s of the last century whether we think of “18 do Forte” completing 100 years, or of the two centuries of our maximum ambiguities, the one established in 1822, which was finally submerged by the military coup of 1889.

As Lula said in the spectacular interview on the 19th – I know I am not being faithful to him ipsis litteris –, is to mobilize ourselves, when the ticket that is more than a ticket is announced, to give the best of ourselves with a view to taking it to a victory as spectacular as the interview. Against wind and tide, and as always, in bad weather, good guy.

That we will do. 2022 is what matters. Defeating the Unspeakable and Moro, essential. Then dance with Shiva the dance of our history. As always, submitted to her. As always, we, those who know that the equation doesn't fit, want to change a little the disorienting movement of the enigmatic god.

Tadeu Valadares is a retired ambassador.

 

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