Manifesto of the Repentant

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By LUÍS FERNANDO VITAGLIANO*

In a very delicate political moment, trying to recreate the atmosphere of “Diretas agora!” it smells like a trap, worse, using a lot of well-intentioned people who didn't read the situation politically

Monica Bergamo reported that Lula refused to sit at the table with FHC and Temer. In the same column, she explained that Lobão and Caetano signed an anti-fascist manifesto together by artists and that lawyer Kakay another manifesto by legal personalities: “Enough!”, Alongside a LavaJato attorney. In a very delicate political moment, trying to recreate the atmosphere of “Diretas agora!” it smells like a trap, worse, using a lot of well-intentioned people who didn't have a political reading of the situation. These initiatives seem to come from a certain intellectual and opinion-forming spontaneity to defend democracy. But, in fact, it is configured as a political risk for the left and progressive thinking that has been marginalized and attacked. What emerges in the end is yet another disgusting attempt by the oligarchic right to put the account of its own stupidity on the PT's ledger.

We need, before any impulsive attitude, to understand what happens in Brazil after 2014. When, after losing the elections, Aécio Neves declares that he lost to a “gang”, he does not recognize the result of the polls, he does not make the protocol and important connection for Dilma in which he would recognize defeat and, instead of acting as opposition, he initiates a predatory reaction of boycott against the government, even supporting the election of Eduardo Cunha for president of the Chamber and sows the seed of impeachment.

Since then, Brazil has been divided into two consistent political camps: PT and antiPT. But wasn't it like that before? No, it was not. There were two clear projects in Brazil that had become polarized since the 1989 elections: liberals and social democrats. Or as Armando Boito Jr puts it: neoliberals and neodevelopmentalists. Of course it's a simplification. Among the liberals from Collor to FHC, from PSDB and PMDB there are several colors; just as the synthesis of PT social democracy passes through communism and social liberalism.

Antipetism was not forged to elect Bolsonaro. It was done to remove the PT from power anyway, at the expense of politics itself. Whoever organized this was not naïve and knew that there could be harmful consequences. Bolsonarism is the unexpected consequence of this process. The politicization of part of the middle class in Brazil that was called by Rede Globo to demonstrate in the street; Arnaldo Jabor, Ferreira Gullar, Marco Antônio Villas, etc. with little political expression, they gained media visibility to shout profanities in ridiculous analyses. Some regretted it, others shut up again. The barracks was summoned to return to the political scene. The PM became a friend of good people. Human rights for human rights. All these examples help to say that the oligopolistic means of communication that we call the mainstream media and an important part of the organic intellectuals of the right broke with the pact forged in the campaigns of the “Diretas já” and with the 1988 constitution. They call themselves democrats, but they were responsible for killing the new republic they helped build in 1984. Now words in newspapers and manifestos are not enough, without a pact, without commitment.

What we have seen since 2014 is a part of the country's intellectual elite breaking with democracy and being valued by the oligopolistic means of communication. The direct consequence was a polarization of politics against anti-politics; simplifications that made PTism represent politics and institutions and antiPTism represent a kind of moral, conservative and traditional justice that is placed even against institutions. Even those who were simply in favor of due process became petralha, communist leftists.

In this context, what was not noticed is that the best representative of the directions for this institutional rupture was not the traditional opponent of PTism: the PSDB (too attached to the institutions for this offensive against the institutions themselves). Hence the anti-systemic Bolsonarist movement, which from the beginning does not fit into democracy.

To speed up our reading, the result of the rupture was the election of Bolsonaro. As a synthesis that brings together the attack on PTism, anti-politics and individualist neoliberalism. Brazil was surprised by a new politicization. Now, on the one hand, Bolsonaro's leadership representing the empty slogan of being "against everything that is there" took over a third of the voters and, on the other hand, resilient to the blows, the leadership of Lula and the PT remained, with another third of voters. The 40% that gravitate between one option and another are characters looking for an author. Lula, Haddad and the PT have the structure to get close to 1/3 of the votes in national majority elections, as well as Bolsonaro and his anti-systemic fakenews machine.

It is necessary to understand that the political options and the general will of the people are subject to the rules of the system. The two-round election system creates two poles. The absence of a center-right spectrum is not the fault of the PT, as many want to point out, but of an electoral option of the majority of the right for Bolsonaro. Nor is it the PT's fault that the center-left is not attracted to Doria, Hulk or any candidate who comes directly from a Talk Show to politics. The fact that the PT still maintains part of its base in the organic movements of the workers, maintains it as a progressive option suited to a specific electorate.

If Bolsonaro's dream of implanting an authoritarian regime in Brazil has difficulties to materialize (and the tension with the institutions still puts limits on his fascist outbursts), the quest of the (not at all moderate) neoliberal, oligarchic institutional right in convince part of the electorate that it is the viable option. It is in this context that the manifestos of repentant coup plotters appear. But, while a serious pact is not made in relation to political rights, this discourse that it is necessary to remove Bolsonaro from power presents itself as a chromic strategy of the Brazilian reactionary right that carried out the 2016 coup. time, Ademarista, Lacerdista and that reminds the governors of São Paulo (Adhemar de Barros), Rio de Janeiro (Carlos Lacerda) and Minas Gerais (Magalhaes Pinto) before the 1964 coup. won and didn't take.

About the manifestos that now appear democratic. It is important to read to the left. In practice and in the context of political reading, they mean: “I supported Bolsonaro to try to bury the PT's pretensions and structures once and for all. I am, in part, regretful because the bill has been too expensive and could cost even more. It was just a transitory tactic to accept Bolsonaro. We thought we could control it. Now I want to speed up the transition to my government. But ironically, I need PT for that. And, if the PT does not support me, maybe I will be able to play its social and popular base against the party itself and get away with it anyway.”

We know that if the institutions function again, the PT will probably return to power. Bolsonaro plays with this with his radicals and with the little support he has against isolation. Lula is on the other side trying to hold off the surrender, but he has already noticed the conspiratorial movement of these manifestos; just watch her speech at the national directory meeting on June XNUMXst. However, it is good to point out that this framework drawn between opinion makers and the media is a brake on social movements taking to the streets. On the contrary, these should appear. Congratulations to Gaviões da Fidel, to anti-fascist fans, workers and students. But we cannot confuse these movements with the manifestos of the opportunist pseudo-democratic right. Nor let these flags be appropriated. If the liberal oligarchies now need the left to correct their own mistakes for Bolsonaro, let this be recognized in practice: return the democratic institutions to republican practices, return the political rights they hunted, return the resources they seized from workers, and repair the violations that committed – and which no democratic movement sits at the negotiating table with coup plotters, new or old.

*Luis Fernando Vitagliano is a political scientist and university professor.

 

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