The meeting between Lula and FHC

Christiana Carvalho's photo

By LORENZO Stained Glass*

FHC's dubious behavior

It was easy to perceive a positive assessment, or even some enthusiasm, by broad sectors of the left, for the meeting, registered in an image that was born famous, between former presidents Lula and FHC. Now, in the political calculation of Lula and the PT, Fernando Henrique's recognition that he, Lula, could play the main role in the civilizing reconstruction of Brazil after the abominable fascist experience along Bolsonarist lines, points to the adherence of sectors of the « center » to a political front that could guarantee victory.

FHC's adhesion, although quite nuanced, made me remember moments of the USP professor's political trajectory. I admit that he had my vote (and it was the last one) in his first election as president: I was fascinated, at the time, by the possibility, in the Greek way, of a philosopher-king guiding the destiny of the nation; for me, it was as if reason had finally won; in addition, there was the disappointment of his defeat by Jânio, a disastrous figure in Brazilian politics, in the election for mayor of São Paulo.

Despite the fundamental role of his government in the economic engineering that tamed inflation and started to clean up public accounts, disappointments did not take long to appear: the government's attitude in the oil workers' strike already announced the government's real choices and, as is widely known, over the years FHC, the corruption scandals, hushed up by the famous « shelving » general of the republic and by the control of congress, followed one another, which was pearled by the buying of votes of congressmen for the approval of the constitutional menu that allowed the re-election. His friend Gianotti, like a banana-growing Machiavelli, was in charge of producing newspaper articles in which he defended what was happening, appealing to a certain legitimacy of amorality in politics. He strongly supported Hobbes' statement that the human condition allows us to have the right, if nothing interrupts us, to all the things we want.

As an addendum, but fundamental for us here, the philosopher-king allowed minister Paulo Renato to persecute and scrap the Public University. The policy of privatization of Universities, explained by José Serra, was in force: there would be 4 or 5 Universities of excellence, which would welcome intellectual elites, and the others would limit themselves to training manpower for the labor market. Those who lived through that era will remember the GED forms we were required to fill out in order to secure our salaries. It was clear that the PSDB group, originally part of the University, used the Institution to get where they always wanted to be, that is, in power. It is likely that it never crossed their minds that choosing to be a professor and researcher at a Public University in Brazil is not just seen as a job: it is a life choice that, in the vast majority of cases, is exercised with great dedication and dedication. pleasure. In other words, you don't choose this profession to get rich.

Time and sorrows passed – the possibility of a philosopher-king was an idealization of youth – but the following question has always intrigued me: in view of the university background of FHC and other members of the PSDB, from what moment did they decide adhere to the Sartrean saying that to do politics you have to get your hands dirty? How to explain the need for farms in the northwest of Minas Gerais; the hazy apartment on avenue Foch; the Swiss account, widely reported in the newspapers, managed by José Serra's daughter...?

Despite the political interest of the issue, what really disturbs me is its psychological dimension. It is considered, in the psychoanalytic categories, that the perverse is a psychic structure, formatted, therefore, in early childhood. If that's the case, they always were and only managed to deceive us (or me) for a long time, which is part of the picture, or they decided to « kick the dick out of the tent » at some point, that is, private morality Christianity becomes in fact despicable from the moment that the human condition according to Hobbes is imposed?

In any case, much of FHC's dubious behavior in recent times can be better understood from there: he is not allowed, for obvious reasons, to assume a Lacerdista moralist posture, but at the same time, it is necessary to "semblent" that it condemns, on carefully chosen occasions, "excesses" with public money or judicial outbursts such as those we have experienced. It's a delicate balance that must consume a lot of energy. The other chose to pretend it doesn't exist...

We can now return to the image of the meeting that gives title to this text. FHC had to take a step in the right direction; could fall off the tightrope for good. And we rejoice in their movement. It's as if we wanted to believe in the remnant of the philosopher-king that must still, God willing, live inside him.

*Lorenzo stained glass Professor of Linguistics at the Faculty of Letters at UFMG.


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