The Enigma of the Deputies

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By LUIZ MARQUES*

The meanings of the vice-presidency in Brazil and this year's political-electoral battle

Politics, ideology, economics

Disputes in society refer to three spheres: politics, ideology and economics. In general, party slates in majoritarian elections combine two of them, or class fractions within one. The Tancredo Neves / José Sarney duo had an essentially political arcade in the transition to civilian governments, after the obscurantism that lasted twenty-one years (1964-1985). The duo Collor de Mello / Itamar Franco, in the opening of the 1990s, was an invention woven into a media oligopoly, recognized Roberto Marinho, to establish a third way reactive to the possibility of left-wing candidates (Leonel Brizola or Lula da Silva) ascending to the Presidency. The seed of neoliberalism was then planted, that is, the dream of a minimal state for the poor and a maximum state for the rich.

With impeachment From the “hunter of maharajas”, Itamar took over, sponsored the Real Plan to end hyperinflation and catapulted Fernando Henrique Cardoso. He ran for president on the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB). His deputy was Marco Maciel, an intellectual from the Liberal Front Party (PFL), a member of the National Renewal Alliance (ARENA), the official party of the military dictatorship. FHC embodied politics; Maciel was certain that the economy would prepare for neoliberal modernization.

The hybrid composition unfurled the banner of conciliation to exorcise the fear of “revanchist” conflicts in redemocratization. The New Republic, born of the “Citizen Constitution”, promulgated by Ulysses Guimarães who presided over the works of the National Constituent Assembly (1987-1988), yielded fruits for good and evil. The ultraliberal dynamic was the keynote of FHC's government, the sociologist stunned by neocolonial globalization.

 

Lula, the founder of the Workers' Party (PT, 1980) with a background in the labor movement, resumed – however, with a change of sign – the interclass regimentation with the appointment of industrial entrepreneur José Alencar, affiliated to the Liberal Party (PL, 2002) as deputy. and the Brazilian Republican Party (PRB, 2005). In a symbolic way, the articulation allied the popular sectors and the productive capital, which generates jobs and distributes income, against the rationality imprinted by the hegemony of finance, which only generates misfortunes.

The composition intertwined politics and economics. The presence of Luiz Fernando Furlan at the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Roberto Rodrigues at the Ministry of Agriculture and Henrique Meirelles at the Central Bank sealed class collaboration to, in the unlikely scenario, project an inclusive society, Latin American integration and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa): the initial step towards the beneficial multipolarity to curb the imperialist domination of the powerful brother of the North.

Dilma Rousseff, “member” (Dicionário Houaiss) founder of the Democratic Labor Party (PDT, 1979), changed its name (PT, 2001) in the legendary government of Olívio Dutra / Miguel Rossetto in Rio Grande do Sul. The first woman elected “president” (read Machado de Assis) had as deputy an eminent leader of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB), Michel Temer, to ensure the physiological support of the party. In 2010, it had the largest number of senators (21) and a significant contingent of deputies (79), while the PT achieved a grateful representation in the Senate (14) and the largest group in the Chamber (88). In 2013, as a result of the massive manifestations of resentment that aroused the tsunami wave of anti-PTism, surfed by neo-fascism in the sequence, the situation deteriorated. It felt like a “storm in paradise”. Quickly, the good approval of the manager in the presidential chair plummeted from 55% to 31%. Her popularity slipped through her fingers.

 

The Death of the New Republic

In 2014, despite maintaining the largest bench in the Senate, the MDB lost senators (2) and deputies (13) in the Chamber. The PT, the same, suffered from an embezzlement of senators (2) and deputies (19), which weakened the governmental base under the fierce fire of judicial procedures and the lawfare vitaminized by the media (Rede Globo, in particular). The Rousseff / Temer composition did not wave the class pact to the FHC or Lula, differences aside. Entangled in the web of councils to guarantee governance, in the Legislative, it was engulfed in politics.

It did not stop the eagerness to break with the age-old politics, in confronting abusive bank interest rates and, of course, corruption. When the Federal Police indicted agents of central administration bodies, Dilma exonerated them. He repeated with Minister of Labor Carlos Lupi (PDT), for alleged irregularities in agreements with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). But the attitude was due less to an institutional and social strategy, and more to the voluntarist impetus: the hidden face of politics. The “cleaning” was praised.

It is a pity that the cynical applause of the press came unaccompanied by mobilizations to support initiatives in favor of political reform. In the midst of the unleashed crisis, in which tax exemptions to stimulate production did not lead to investments, the appointment of monetarist Joaquim Levy to the Ministry of Finance aggravated the lack of direction and plumbness. The programmatic shift replaced politics with economism, in the gloomy horizon of the authorities. It was the involuntary password to unlock the sewer of betrayals and rats. Eliseu Padilha, Minister of Civil Aviation, was the first Emedebist to jump from the ship, confirming the Portuguese saying. “Now in the parties, little is seen”, would verse João Cabral. He gained muscle with the anti-politics discourse (“all equals, do not represent me”).

In the Middle Ages, politics did not enjoy autonomy from religion. It was up to the Florentine Machiavelli to detach the morality of public actions (active life) from the morality of individuals in private (contemplative life). In the Contemporary Age, the challenge is to free politics from the imprisonment represented by the National Congress, which weakens politics. Politics needs the streets and public squares to legitimize itself; enclosed in four walls, weakens. Economics, in turn, cannot be thought of outside of politics and ideology, as a neutral technique for navigating rough seas. Under heavy clouds, the government's identity crumbled and the militants were pushed into a state of catatonia. The decorative deputy would transform into the Brutus he always was, taking off the gloves of hypocrisy.

Corroded by regional greed and without a program of its own for the country, the palace steward was left with two alternatives: kneel and pray for the elected “national-developmentalism”, or consummate the 2016 coup to allow the defeated platform to enter the Planalto Palace through the back. by Aécio Neves (the playboy that he didn't learn from his grandfather), under the label fake “Bridge to the Future”. A bridge to unemployment and hunger, the violation of labor / social security rights and the destruction of public property, starting with the Pre-Salt and the Amazon. Add to the list the preposterous “spending cap”.

Whether with politics disconnected from ideology and the economy, or with the economy isolated from ideology and politics, the zigzag of politicism in the Legislative and economism in the fiscalist lessons of a “Chicago boy” acted like boomerangs against the nation, in the hands of rent scammers at the service of rentism. The New Republic died. The Centrão was empowered to control the Union's Budget and the Executive, with the consent of the bourgeois classes, who stamped in the room a photo in a gilded frame of Eduardo Cunha, their macunaímic pet hero. Scum is the condensed name of the “out of place elites”.

 

Viagra penetrates history

The appointment of a senior military officer – for a change, of rare light – to Jair Bolsonaro’s deputy is also subject to interpretation, under the backdrop of the analytical categories on the screen. In this case, politics marches in consonance with ideology, in an authoritarian and totalitarian inflection. Not to be cloistered and accommodated in a vertex of the democratic rule of law, such as the Parliament, but to serve the nostalgic barracks of an illiberal regime “to call their own”, and anxious for a Kit with a torture manual, salmon, fillets, picanhas, inflatable penile prostheses, botox and 35 viagra pills. A wreckage.

The deputy from the generalship, who sees in society the image of a troop fearing hierarchy, has no qualms about swearing allegiance to a power with underground ties to militiamen. He has no respect for democracy and has no sense of national interests on the international chessboard, where he is a pariah. Nor does he cultivate republican values. “I can't take my Viagra, huh?”, asked the gal. Hamilton Mourão, in the scandal that aroused memes demoralizing. Yes, you can, but not with public snort. Go to the pharmacy, pick it up and pay.

All blessed by pastors of the gospel of prosperity, assiduous in the National Education Development Fund (FNDE). It is not known which is worse, profane pictures in the Bible or kickbacks in gold. Everything under the eyes of the Ministry of Defense, in charge of General Braga Neto, the faithful squire of Coisa Ruim; both under suspicion of administrative negligence.

In hindsight, the deputy trained at the school of Ludwig Von Mises embodied the laissez-faire of the market and privatizations, with the restoration of the conservative order and the neoliberal management model of the Washington Consensus. The business deputy linked to textile production, alongside the exponent of the proletarian assemblies at the Vila Euclides stadium, rehearsed an adaptation of the Social Welfare State in the country, along the lines of western Europe in the post-war period. The deputy with the nose of a fox, habitue from the metaphorical chicken coop of the traditional right in Porto de Santos, for not feeling comfortable with nails cut, stabbed institutionality to trigger the process of recolonization of the “subtracted homeland”, in the expression of Chico Buarque.

The question is: does the historic PSDB member Geraldo Alckmin mean what, today, affiliated with the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) and posted as vice-president in the company of Lula? The answer involves the “Front for Democracy” to rescue Brazil from the hecatomb to which it was thrown by hatred of the enormous achievements leveraged in the progressive governments (2003-2016).

Cousin of former Vice-President of the Republic José Maria Alckmin (1964-1967) and nephew of former Minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) Rodrigues Alckmin (1972-1978), who served four terms as governor in São Paulo, the state responsible for 31,8% of the Brazilian GDP, the former toucan transits the autochthonous elite with aplomb. Alckmin would help settle disagreements within constitutional norms. This is the opinion reflected in the curious decision taken. In the award-winning film, Goodbye, Lenin!, directed by Wolfgang Becker, a character becomes ill, falls into a coma and does not watch the collapse of communism. By analogy, now awake, who would believe that there was a concertation capable of unifying Lula / Alckmin in one ticket. At the end of the film, when taking stock of the events, surprise, Mrs. Kremer has another heart attack, and this time he can't resist. She was very calm when airing the news.

 

People's Struggle Committees

In the most optimistic hypothesis, it is a flight plan with a pilot (social-popular) and a copilot (repentant neoliberal, perhaps) to add conciliatory skills. The destination: to replace politics under the sign of the word that seeks peace in a fractured society, to avoid the unbridled outbreak of violence that has penetrated the sociocultural fabric. It would be unfair to simplify the unusual expedition of concord, insinuating that it boils down to bandages in consciences tormented by the feeling of guilt. Sequel to the misadventure of those who, like the newspaper The Estadão, in doubt between a professor with a democratic curriculum and a fascist with a satanic curriculum, chose to vote for the envoy of darkness in the fateful 2018. Furthermore, it is encouraging that the magazine Capital letter collect the signatures of migrants.

The ship goes. In a meeting with trade unionists, Lula appointed the new “companion” to coordinate the repeal of the labor reform bequeathed by the misogynist government, in impeding the warrior with a “rebellious heart”. The focus is on rearranging the pattern of accumulation and on generous relationships between capital and work. In this sense, the spheres of politics and economics come together to rescue citizenship and to overcome a defensive situation, with weakened, demobilized and materially broken unions.

Between the “ethics of conviction” and the “ethics of responsibility”, to evoke the division proposed by Max Weber, the thesis prevailed that it was necessary to go slowly with the litter. Two weights, two measures. The first moves by pure principles, regardless of the consequences. The second is obliged to consider the balance of tactics during the dispute to anticipate the lurking resistance, which does not imply dissociating the fight against Bolsonarism from the fight against neoliberalism. Struggles organically intertwined, in the everyday sacrifice.

Ernest Mandel asked for care in using the concept of “fascism” to characterize governance, due to the implications arising therefrom for the definition of a policy of alliances. A ruler's fascist style does not necessarily encompass the set of practical actions of his government, as it is disgusting and retrograde. One should not make a clean slate of the kaleidoscopic possible combinations between neoconservatism, neofascism and neoliberalism in different ministerial portfolios. The arc of partnerships stretched in proportion to the design that fused social Bolsonarism (neo-fascist, resentful, violent, uneducated), the current government (corrupt, obscurantist, self-serving, anti-national) and Bolsonaro (racist, sexist, genocidal, Nazi). The unification of horror requires the state of exception.

The existing correlation of forces in society perhaps did not require such allianceist elasticity. In any case, the evaluation of currents to the left who advocated expanding dialogue with the center of the political spectrum, including to the right, gave the line to be operated. The data has been released. It is up to the progressives to organize the victory of the people with the dissemination of “popular struggle committees”, scattered from Oiapoque to Chuí. Those who trust Lula, trust the combativeness of the PT's fierce militancy, and never give up. If it's any consolation, nobody said that the path to utopia was a straight line surrounded by beautiful souls. Disagreements are behind us; Arguments are sought to carry out the campaign.

Assertions like “It's not the time to fuss. Is it democracy or not” (Xico Sá) challenge the middle-class intelligentsia who regard freedom of expression / rejection of censorship and the human rights as stony clauses of sociability. But that is not enough to broaden the voting base of the popular-democratic field. It is strategic to alternate emphasis on the sphere of politics with emphasis on the sphere of economics. Peremptory sentences “Whoever attacks Alckmin a lot is not defending the working class” (Joaquim de Carvalho) serve to diagnose litigants in bad faith. But they do not accept the criticisms of a Gregório Duvivier, illustrated with refined humor in the Greg News, who lend a voice to those outraged by the “system”.

 

The political-electoral battle

With tolerance for discordant analyzes and the diversity of opinions about the moment, in order to convince guests in places of residence, work, study and leisure, it is necessary to metabolize the novelty. Arguing why participatory democracy qualifies the existence of “all”. Explain how the spirit of rebellion, channeled to the right target, can stop barbarism's attack on people's right to happiness. Projecting the dream of socialization under the prism of humanism versus discrimination.

The threat of hordes possessing weapons facilitated by “provisional measures”, by the undisciplined captain, make the present context similar to that of redemocratization in the desire for peace of mind. The preferred option of the owners of the financial casino, which takes advantage of the setbacks of misgovernment, is for the shameless worshiper of Colonel Brilhante Ustra. Such segments want “the liquidation of progressive and leftist movements, as well as liberal institutions”, accuses Flávio HC Casimiro, in Tragedy and farce (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation) & popular expression). Telephone polling intentions, methodologically unreliable because they do not reflect the universe of voters, sound melodic to financiers because they propagate the increase in pro-Bolsonaro percentages. On the other hand, the manipulation of information instigates the population to look into the abyss – which returns the look, would provoke Nietzsche. On this seesaw, expectations rise and fall.

At the top of the capitalist food chain, solidarity and empathy are taken for granted. Sleight of hand with numbers, on the contrary, as an auspicious craft of cunning. In the realm of the money commodity, the dynamics of financialization turn speculation and reification into virtues, with its meat-grinding machine and countries. In Wall Street's logic, reality becomes fiction, lies become truth, and vice versa. At post-truth, the spectacle gives way to hyper-individualism, to the “sovereign self”. Fifty shades of gray frequent the urban and rural environment, failing the colors of freedom and equality, on television and on social networks on the internet. The massacre is daily. Have a stomach to endure the overdoses.

It has never been so important to talk face-to-face with friends and acquaintances to regain the color of joy and companionship. O tete-a-tete, with protocol precautions, it is the antiviral that protects against alienation, ignites the socialist imagination, recharges comrades' energy, solves the enigma, rebuilds the audacity and advances. Go and win collectively.

Recall the collapse of the partial judge who torpedoed the large Brazilian engineering companies, rivals of the US in the competition for the global market, and the derision of the prosecutor who tried to bring R$ 2,5 billion, removed from Petrobrás, to the 13th Court Federal de Curitiba in reward for the secret and servile help to the Department of Justice of the United States, – it helps in raising the self-esteem of the crowd that realized, late, the decoys. Well, if even the Attorney General's Office (PGR), the Ministry of Justice and the STF made fools of themselves. Aristotle was wrong when he asserted that "the law has no passions, which is found in every man." The philosopher ignored the villainies of Lava Jato, whose crimes against the country remain unpunished.

The erosion of the unipolarity exercised by the US leads to the urgency of plundering the world's wealth, at the expense of the working classes and the environment, accelerating exploitation, attacking hope, stifling insubmission, silencing revolt. As in Drummond's poem: “This is the time for foreign exchange, / the time for cut people. Hands traveling without arms. // War, truth, flowers? / The darkness extends but does not eliminate the star / and the night air is strictly necessary / to continue and we continue”. This is Our Time.

* Luiz Marques is a professor of political science at UFRGS. He was Rio Grande do Sul's state secretary of culture in the Olívio Dutra government.

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