Lula-Alckmin – one step back, two steps forward?

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By RUBENS PINTO LYRA*

How to face the socioeconomic, environmental and political devastation carried out by the neo-fascist authoritarianism embedded in Bolsonarism?

“The most lucid and best intentioned militants of my generation revealed themselves, due to outdated concepts, almost blind during storms” (Victor Serge, Mémoires d'un révolutionaire).

The practice of per se, contributes powerfully to the knowledge of the political process in general, of its contradictions and potentialities, especially when those who exercise it are astute, experienced and sagacious politicians. But if that alone were enough, the social sciences, philosophy and history would not be valued as essential instruments for a more in-depth knowledge of the referred process.

However, even those who move in them with great ease can stumble over obstacles of an ideological nature, as the great Victor Serge recalled, especially in a “stormy conjuncture” such as the current one, failing to see more deeply the issues embedded in it ( 1951).

Thus, “to the left of the left” positions cannot elude the teachings of recent history. It shows us that there are dramatic moments or periods experienced by many countries that lead their parties and their most eminent political leaders, from quite different political-ideological positions, even antagonistic ones, to give a truce in their differences, with a view to confronting the common enemy, internal or external, that threatens peace and social progress.

After the Second World War, in Europe, in France and in several other democratic countries of that continent, governments of national salvation were constituted, destined to the reconstruction of these countries, destroyed by the war. These post-war governments were made up of parties ranging from the right to the left of the political spectrum. In France, the fierce Communist Party – the most powerful in the country during part of the 2008s – was part of the government of National Unity, represented by its greatest exponent: Maurice Thorez, Secretary General of that party, invested with the functions of Deputy Prime Minister (COOK: XNUMX).

The same occurred in several other countries that resisted Nazi-fascism in Europe, and this “cohabitation” in no way compromised, in the sequence, the combativeness and firmness of the communists, especially the French, in their struggle in favor of the interests of the working class. .

Here in Brazil, the announcement of a probable Lula-Alckmin ticket, each one of them representing weighty leaders in their respective areas of influence, caused surprise. As in the previous examples, this is not about “a shift to the right”, with the left taking over the neoliberal project, as many fear (TRANJAN:2021). But, yes, an unavoidable political choice, whose main objective is to make the country take steps forward, guaranteeing the defeat of the neo-fascist hosts, and the consequent return to democratic normality.

In Israel, a government anchored in an even more unlikely alliance has just been constituted, as it involves antagonistic parties ranging from the extreme right to the left. It occurred because it was necessary to defeat a common enemy, the then Prime Minister Netanyahu, due to the danger of social upheaval that his stay in power represented (ISRAEL: 2021).

Despite dealing with different historical moments and political conjunctures, the question to be faced, at the current moment in Brazil, is the same as that posed in Europe, in the post-war period, and elsewhere: which political strategy to choose, which alliances firm to rebuild the country and “normalize” democracy?

In other words: how to face the socioeconomic, environmental and political devastation carried out by the neo-fascist authoritarianism embedded in Bolsonarism, enemy number one of the Nation, in power, and which has as its base of support a legion of fanatics, but also important sectors of the economic, political and military establishment?

For Tarso Genro, it is about “placing unity for democracy around the revulsion against the violent and coup-mongering extreme right, and its “reconstruction” within the order” (2021). The popular forces, during the entire period of the neo-fascist government, proved incapable of reacting accordingly. It will not be now, on the eve of the presidential elections, as respected intellectuals and leftist leaders intend, that they will be able, alone, to defeat Bolsonarism.

It is not possible to do so in the state in which the left finds itself, weakened, hopeless and without programs and slogans capable of mobilizing its struggle potential.

I am one of those who have always criticized the PT's distance from its bases, and, especially in the current situation, its inability to give prominence to flags and slogans that denounce hunger and the social disaster that feeds it. Could this glaring omission not have anything to do with Bucci's moving questions “how can we explain our contempt for the suffering of others? Why did we do nothing when we can do everything?

The PT members were also unable to mobilize society, mainly salaried and socially excluded people, to demand that large fortunes, financial corporations and the wealthiest sectors of the so-called “productive classes” make their contribution, through compulsory taxation, to the uplift of the country. .

But we cannot cry over spilled milk, nor ignore that the urgency of the moment does not allow us to dream of an instantaneous awareness and immediate mobilization of the "masses", so that they can now guarantee Lula's victory, next, governance.

Tarso Genro rightly observes that, until now, it was mainly the Federal Supreme Court that functioned as a “containment dam” for Bolsonarism, making it retreat in its attacks against the autonomy of that Court and in its threat to no longer behave “in the four lines of the Constitution”. We can only deplore the fact that authoritarianism is embedded in leftist formations, each of which has a leader who makes the most important decisions within its scope. But also, in this respect, it is not possible to eradicate in an instant a partisan culture that favors personalism, which was consolidated over many years and was exacerbated with the rise of the left to power.

Therefore, it will be at the political-partisan level, from top to bottom, in the “maligned” superstructure, that the definition of the presidential ticket will take place – if indeed the hammer has not already been hammered. Even so, we understand that the union of the democratic center with the left, represented by Lula and Alckmin, is the most appropriate strategy, as it presents a practically unbeatable ticket, and for what it represents for the stability of the next government.

This does not mean that one should watch impassively as the negotiations between the two candidates unfold. Do all sectors interested in President Lula's new mandate redefining public policies, preserving the national interest, those of the subordinate classes and the active role of the State, need to mobilize so that these issues are contemplated in a transparent and executable programmatic agreement?

However, cultivating illusions, as Lula has been doing, by promising that his new mandate will correspond to advances in social policies and in other aspects of his future government, can only result in damage to the credibility of the new mandates, and to the governability of his management.

Indeed, to avoid setbacks, there is a price to pay, since the budgetary resources destined to the uplift of the country will be far below what would be needed to produce the advances considered by the former President. This is the inevitable step back so that, further ahead, many steps forward can be taken.

Azevedo is right in saying that “there is no reason to be astonished” since seemingly exotic compositions have already taken place and are still taking place around the world (France, Israel, Chile, Italy, etc.), not lacking in historical examples of successful alliances between progressives and conservatives. Lula himself made alliances to govern with parties and historical adversary leaders of the PT (AZEVEDO: 2021).

If the agreement with Alckmin is of interest to the PT – including because it would make a victory in the first round practically certain – the most important thing is that it would facilitate the conduct of the next government. A greater challenge than winning the election will be managing the country in case of victory, especially the economy (SCHWARTSMAN:2021).

But one cannot disregard two by-products, by no means negligible, of the Lula-Alckmin alliance: the change in the PT's image in the eyes of public opinion, with the demoralization of the delusional narrative according to which this party intended to "communize the country", and the consequent disintegration of the “third way”.

Intuiting what could happen, none other than Michel Temer makes his involuntary contribution to the inglorious burial of the Manichaean discourse hypocritically assumed by the supposed Third Way, which is nothing more than an auxiliary line of Bolsonarism. Here is what he said about Lula: “he is pragmatic and a man of dialogue”, stating “he does not remember seeing businessmen complaining about the PT when he governed the country” (BERGAMO: 2021).

With the approach of Alckmin, distinguished representative of the center, towards the left, the “third way” receives its last shovel of whitewash, making it clear to all that the clash will take place between the Bolsonarist extreme right and the democratic political forces of greater expression, around the Lula-Alckmin ticket. Thus, Lula, the 'bogeyman' that the right wanted to demonize, as a supposed representative of extremism on the left, becomes, in the voter's imagination and in real life, the only option for true democrats.

To conclude: the left could, to debunk even more completely the fantasy construction about the dangers of a leftist government, publicize successful experiences like the one carried out in Portugal. In it, government responsibilities were conferred on the Socialist Party after the party signed a written commitment with the political formations to its left on essential points of public policies to be implemented.

There as here, the right sought to demoralize what turned out to be the most successful governmental experience of the Portuguese left, before it took place, calling their alliance the Contraption. Did not work. That name came to be used by the left itself, and became synonymous with a successful political agreement.

During this period, Portugal had an economic growth greater than the average of European economies; internal and external investor confidence reached an all-time high. In addition, the unemployment rate dropped by half in the six years of socialist government: we remember, with the indispensable and renewed support of what here in Brazil would be called the extreme left. Finally: in this period, the minimum wage rose forty percent, with the poverty and social exclusion rate falling below the average for both the European Union and the Euro Zone (CÉSAR: 2021).

As we are on the edge of the precipice, we cannot expect such encouraging results from the possible new Lula government. Its period will be one of rebuilding the economy, the environment and democracy. But your existence will be conditio sine qua non so that, in the sequence, left-wing governments, “pure blood”, can, in a good sense, imitate the example of Portugal.

Everything will depend on the critical and self-critical sense and on the ability of the left parties, especially the PT, to renew their decision-making mechanisms, in order to establish permanent interaction with the grassroots, in such a way that popular participation, including in their decision-making processes, can serve compass for your performance. (BOAVENTURE: 2020).

If this happens, the chances of the left “turbine” the electoral process in Brazil and influence the elected government, as the Greens, the Left Block and the Communists did in Portugal, bringing public policies closer to the interests of the dominated classes, will be considerable. . May the lessons offered us by the Contraption reach our praxis politics of our socialist biased parties and their leaders.

* Rubens Pinto Lyra, PhD in Law (Politics and State area), he is Professor Emeritus at UFPB. Author, among other books, of Bolsonarism: ideology, psychology, politics and related topics (Ed. of CCTA/UFPB).

 

References


AZEVEDO, Reinaldo. Alckmin vice president of Lula? Progressives keep an eye on the country's conservatives. Folha de São Paulo: São Paulo, 16 Dec. 2021.

BERGAMO, Monica. Lula and Alckmin seek dialogue with power and victory in the first round. São Paulo, Folha de São Paulo, 18 Dec. 2021.

BERGAMO, Monica. Temer tells businessmen that they never complained about Lula when he ruled the country.

BUCCI, Eugene. One mattress per household. The Earth is Round. 18 Dec. 2021.

CAESAR, Charles. Note on the political scene in Portugal. 29 Nov. 2021.

COOK, Don. Charles de Gaulle. Sao Paulo: Ed. Planet, 2008.

GENRO, Tarsus. Democratic revolution. the earth is round. 12 Oct. 2021.

ISRAEL: alliance with Arab party defines a new unity government. R7 international news. 18 Dec. 2021.

SANTOS, Bonaventure. Fifteen theses on the movement-party. the earth is round. 16 Aug. 2021.

SERGE, Victor. Mémoires d'un révolutionnaire. Paris: Grasset, 1951.

SCHWARTSMAN, Helio. Electoral Biology. São Paulo, Folha de São Paulo, 16.12.2021.

TRANJAN, Alexander. The cry for opacity against the ideology of class union. the earth is round. 13 Dec. 2021.

 

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