The third Lula government

Image: Lara Mantoanelli


It is not enough to elect Lula: structural reforms are needed.

Bolsonaro is at his worst moment, but he continues on the offensive – even bleeding at the CPI. He does not stop mobilizing his neo-fascist base on a daily basis. Avoid the temptation of wishful thinking. Nothing indicates that Bolsonaro will suffer impeachmentt, much less that he will not be in the second round in the 2022 elections. On the other hand, it is increasingly clear that there is no room for third ways. The polarization between the extreme right and the left is given.

Those who underestimate Bolsonarism are wrong. It is a political movement. Dark alliance between the “military party”, militias, religious fundamentalists, rightists of all kinds. Linked with the financial market, ruralists, neoliberals of different strains.

It so happens that Lula's candidacy – in this context of destruction – tends to become, in practice, a platform for national unity against fascism. This may sound positive – but it carries numerous risks.

In the first place: a third Lula government would have been the result of social mobilizations, of immense popular frustration with liberalism and neo-fascism. 2022 will not be 2002. Bolsonaro himself has already warned that Lula's return is the undoing of what he promoted. There is no room for nods to big capital.

End of spending ceiling, reversal of privatizations, labor and social security reforms. Assumptions of the Lula program. It will be necessary to reassemble the entire structure of the federal government, change the economic policy by expanding the monetary base, injecting resources to generate jobs and income. Announce a new country. And a new model.

State, State, State. Government, government, government. Social politics. SUS. Basic income. Rotate everything.

The 100 days: a daring plan for the reconstruction and reconfiguration of the State and public policies. Advance in all areas at once. A radically feminist and anti-racist government. That makes the ideological and cultural dispute: humanist, democratic, in favor of diversity, the environment, plurality, education and science.

It will be necessary to go back to Petrobrás, yes – as well as to resume the Brazilian role in foreign policy. And it will be necessary to face conservatism as a whole. Change drug policy and reorganize the police. Cease the killing and incarceration of black-peripheral youth. As Chico Buarque sings: “marijuana could only be bought at tobacconists; drugs in the drugstore”. Family farms funded by the federal government can produce organic marijuana, not only for domestic consumption, but also for export.

Tax the rich. Decrease the strength of banks, bankers and rentiers. Make a beautiful tax reform. Put the sharks to pay taxes on their fortunes, their profits and dividends, their unused land.

Reorganize, democratize and regulate the media. From Globo to Google. No democracy is possible without strong legislation that places strict limits on capitalist monopolies in the area of ​​communication.

Reindustrialization and ecological transition. We do not have a “natural vocation” to be a large farm, exporting primary products. Rebuilding Brazilian industry involves investing in science and technology – in the decarbonization process.

New industrial production chains must be connected with the green future. Less cars and more transport on rails, for example. Investing in the health industrial complex is a good start.

It won't be enough just to undo Temer and Bolsonaro's evil. Not just repeating what we've done before. It will be necessary to place agrarian reform and the strengthening of family farming at the center of our policies. Making the SUS the largest health program in the world, resuming the emphasis on prevention, calling Cuban doctors back, investing in the qualification and appreciation of professionals.

Rescue our universities and the entire public science and technology network from dismantling. Rebuilding the Ministry of Culture – betting on this explosion of peripheral and young and black manifestations, resuming cultural points, as Gilberto Gil already taught us back in 2003.

No “republican” illusions this time.

Our rarefied democracy comes from a country on the capitalist periphery. It has no “neutral state”, nor democratic institutions. Justice system and Armed Forces are part of the power apparatus of the dominant classes. Whoever wins the election has popular legitimacy to direct and reconfigure state institutions.

Transitional justice. The genocides must be investigated, judged, condemned. Crimes against humanity are imprescriptible. In this new Lula government, the conditions for the constitution of the “Manaus Court” will be guaranteed. The Brazilian State will have to prosecute the genocidaires and repair the families who were victims of the institutional strategy for the spread of the virus carried out by Bolsonaro.

In short: Bolsonaro is not melting and Bolsonarism is a plague to be faced for a long time to come. The Lula 2022 campaign needs to be a broad political-cultural movement. It will take a lot of fighting. Create the conditions for a left-wing government. Lula has the strength to attract the center-right without negotiating the program.

We need a new Lula government that, in addition to rebuilding the country, advances in radical democratization – in structural reforms. Without any illusion or expectations about the big bourgeoisie.

President Lula!

Let's go back to democracy and move forward in the socialist struggle.

* Julian Rodrigues is a professor and journalist, LGBTI and human rights activist.


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