Fernando Haddad's political moment

Image: Min An


The destinations of an entire cycle of our modern democratic project

For some personalities in history, extreme challenges come late, as for Getúlio Vargas; too soon as for Jânio Quadros; or at the right moment experienced, as for Lula. For others, it arrives in time, with the advantage that responsiveness can come from surplus energy to face extreme challenges. Guevara spoke at the extreme moment: “shoot you will kill a man”. Fernando Haddad is now facing his decisive political moment in an extreme cycle of the crisis of democracy in the world, in which the extremes of the right rise.

I belong to a privileged group of lawyers and people who write about the law – in my case especially about the theory of law and labor law – who had the privilege of having some kind of political and intellectual contact with two of the most expressive figures in the field. world of sociology and philosophy of law. These – among other luminaries – formed several of the most brilliant minds that crossed the borders of the XNUMXth century).

At the time of the events that I narrate in this article, the sentences, the conversations between people with some training, had a beginning, a middle and an end. And just as we – communists and socialists – had our local heroes, the “others”, jurists and lawyers of the conservative right, also took refuge in “great” intellectual formulators, such as Miguel Reale, Célio Borja and Francisco Campos, who also dealt with with concepts, with logic and rationality.

Raymundo Faoro enchanted me at a meeting of fellow lawyers, where I was by his side, with his genial observations on Brazilian patrimonialism. Lyra Filho gave me another message-lesson, indirect but unforgettable, delivered at a meeting with young colleagues where I was not present. A law student named Flávio Benites Filho, whom I guided in some readings on the theory of law – today a lawyer, professor of law in Germany and president of the IG Metall union – asked Lyra Filho if I was not “excessively Hegelian ”. Provoked, the master replied with evident irony: “no, I think he should read Hegel!”

Many from that time still have their feet planted on the ground and in books: past and present communing in our trajectory, sometimes taking shape in our professional action, in our political militancy, sometimes in our writings, disseminated throughout this time. The memory of this time takes me to Raymundo Faoro, who made the fraternal concession of saying, in a presentation text, 45 years ago, that a book of my authorship had the virtue “of illuminating the subject with elegance in a few pages”. (I have already moved from the phenomenon of associating names and facts to the essence of the political situation we are experiencing).

And I go round the laps of memory. They take me back to Roberto Lyra Filho, who in 1982, in a writing demonstrating the master's friendship with his closest disciples, confidently delivered to me and other young colleagues “the elaboration of the corollaries (of the new Brazilian legal school) with regard to labor law. So far we are in history, me, Lyra Filho, Faoro and Flávio Benites. I proceed.

I certainly did not deserve the designation of “elegant”, by Faoro, nor did I have the ability to live up to the legacy of Roberto Lyra Filho, but I take these memories from the archive to establish some connections with the present. After all, what is sought in a limited text like this is not the essence of the story, but the statement of a phenomenon that reveals it “a little”, because I understand with Karel Kosik that “the manifestation of the essence is precisely the activity of the phenomenon” .

Resuming my interrupted readings, I put my hands on the third excluded (Zahar), by Fernando Haddad, in whose presentation the author recalls, among other important facts of his intellectual and political life, the emergence of Prouni and also that author who most studied and dedicated himself to unraveling the “theme of Brazilian patrimonialism” , Raymundo Faoro, an explicit Weberian. Fernando Haddad enters my text through incredible connections, no longer in the small alleys of History, in which singular individuals weave their principled relationships, but streets that reach another concrete universality: the national State and its economic reform.

Through patrimonialism, the “ethos” of the formation of the Brazilian national State, which adopts “instead of the abstract objectivity of an equal right, typical of the modern State” (...) the rule “by the opposite principle, that of eminently personal considerations, typical of unstable power situations, in that the counterparts are understood as fulfillment of a personal duty or even a favor” (p. 11).

It is possible, but difficult, for there to be a better narrative about the historical drama that Fernando Haddad lives today, in the narrow margins that the modern State preserves for him – in its decadent liberal-democratic phase – to seek the effectiveness of an “equal right”, in economic reform: patrimonialism is the majority in the legislative branch, it remains intact in the bureaucratic structure of the State and its bosses do not and will never refuse alliances with the extreme right, to reinforce their privileges and keep their “friendships” functioning in real relations of power.

The Brazilian historical “phenomenon” that shines today is represented by the courage of a President who handed over, to the wise and patient hands of Fernando Haddad, the destinies of an entire cycle of our modern democratic project. If the new fiscal anchor does not become acceptable to big business, for whom democracy never made sense, and also becomes indifferent to workers of all kinds for whom food is more urgent than a new democratic hegemony, everything will fall apart. .

The narrow margins for maneuver are pressured by war and famine, by the civil army of armed militiamen and by the accumulating rage of rent seeking. Opening these margins means having a fiscal balance capable of combating social and regional inequalities, to unite Brazil around the Republic and democracy.

*Tarsus in law he was governor of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, mayor of Porto Alegre, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education and Minister of Institutional Relations in Brazil. Author, among other books, of possible utopia (Arts & Crafts).

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