PT's repositioning

Hélio Oiticica, Space Relief (red) REL 036, 1959
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By LUIS FERNANDO VITAGLIANO*

The PT must face its dilemmas, based on its own guidelines and positions

Certainly, the 2022 elections were the most dramatic of the New Republic period, not only because of the tight difference in votes (just over 2 million), but also because of the difficulties encountered throughout the campaign and also because of the constant questioning of the legitimacy of the election, of the system electoral power and the powers constituted by the party that held the executive power; in addition to abusive acts in the streets, on social networks and in the institutions of the Republic.

Based on a broad base of support that little by little formed what we can call the “Broad Front”, Lula became the orbital figure of the process. The consensus came about thanks to the recognition that it was the only political leadership that would have the necessary resilience to face these elections and impose itself on the malicious, perverse and anti-democratic arsenal of the extreme right campaign.

It must be recognized that Lula is being courted as a supra-party figure. But, he came to power for his third term based on the historical accumulation of the left and the disastrous political choices of the right since 2012. Regardless, the historic opportunity of a broad front government was opened, with support from diverse and contradictory sectors of the business, agricultural and social organizations. The expectation, including internal ones, is that the forces that made up the electoral alliances remain under negotiation within the government itself.

This contraption considerably changes the relationship between government and political forces, especially for the left. We also understand that there will be changes in the relations between parties and the government, changing the configuration of the right or center-right. For example, parties with broad institutional representation in the New Republic, such as PSDB and MDB, which previously occupied a privileged place in parliament, were supplanted by the extreme right.

On the contrary, the PT institutionally advanced. The PT has four governors (it is the party with the most governors elected alongside União Brasil), has grown in deputies in Congress, elected a representative of its party as president of the Republic for the fifth time – an unprecedented feat. But these victories cannot cloud the fact that we are losing ground in the dispute over civil society perspectives.

In this context, the PT must also face its dilemmas, based on its own guidelines and positions. Considering the contradiction that we won the elections, but we had defeats in society's debate. And it becomes urgent to reposition and even recover some of the strategies that had a place in the social dispute.

These elections distorted important concepts for us. Democracy cannot be understood as the government of the majority over the minority. Justice cannot be used like the oppression of weapons. Socialism cannot be understood as the robbery of private property. Freedom cannot be confused with liberalism. Work cannot be understood as entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship cannot be associated with precariousness.

The last presidential debate of the first round, in the Globo of television. There were only representatives of the extreme right, such as the president/candidate himself, the fake priest and the União Brasil candidate Soraya Thronicke. In addition to Felipe D'Avila with his neoliberal speech and Ciro Gomes who presented the closest thing to a progressive agenda was the renegotiation of the debt of the poor with the SPC. There was no criticism of capitalism, of an economic system that, during the biggest health crisis experienced just under a year ago, increased the number of millionaires and billionaires at the same time that the number of miserable people also grew substantially.

During the coronavirus pandemic, inequality in the world increased and governments were unable to cope with the concentration of wealth. It is not even possible to say that in these elections there was an effective defense of socialism, which was thrown into the trash can by y ignorant and people without the slightest notion of what the term means. Demonization of Marx, Paulo Freire and the civilizing democratic legacy. The absence of counterpoints made the anti-politics rabid offensive a component of the advance of fascism in Brazil.

Part of the PT has been disputing and winning elections for a long time, and this flank cannot be incompatible with the debate and dispute in society. We conquered undeniable social advances that needed intellectual support and debate, but now it is necessary to give an answer to the ideological dispute that was launched in society. A dispute that even places religious intolerance among the most important issues of the moment.

Mano Brown’s emphatic speech in Fernando Haddad’s 2018 campaign still reverberates without response: “there is a crowd that is not here and that needs to be conquered”. Winning votes is not about winning worldviews, nor is it about building solidarity among people. Winning votes is part of marketing that takes advantage of movements already marked in society. We also need to dispute worldviews, face the ideology of fascism.

During the almost 16 years in office of Lula and Dilma, the party was asked several times not to interfere with the government. After the rise of the extreme right, it is the party's turn to say that the government should not interfere with their dispute. A dispute that will take place in society about what we want for the future. This government is the government of reconstruction, of the resumption of the republican orientation of the State, of the recognition of the institutions, their roles and, mainly, their limits.

It will be up to the mandates to which the party is entitled to support this government and dispute its direction internally. But, on another front disconnected from that, the party's orientation should lead to a dispute at the base of society regarding the country we want, considering the fact that Brazil is undergoing a change in its ways of interpreting politics and working so that the government does not disturb it in this process that will be decisive for its maintenance as a political force.

*Luis Fernando Vitagliano political scientist and university professor.

 

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