No right to make mistakes

Image: Pille Kirsi
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By LUIZ WERNECK VIANNA*

The road to Brazilian democracy is paved with stones, and moving forward on it requires even more audacious maneuvers

Under expert guidance, democracy gained a new opportunity to try to impose itself in the political life of Brazilians. It wasn't an easy victory and it's not a clear sky ahead, but a stormy scenario full of threats. Victorian-style authoritarian capitalism had four long years to install mines and pillboxes in its defense, and operated from a general staff plan favoring already established interests, such as agribusiness and finance, alongside the new ones. which he encouraged with political resources, especially on the Amazon frontier with mining and logging companies, turning a blind eye to the invasion of land and the depredation of the environment. In this work, his implicit motto was that there is no such thing as society, the appetite for accumulation should not know regulatory brakes of law.

The electoral results show the success of this endeavor with its expressive vote among higher income voters, although insufficient for its victory, which would mean the legitimization of an autocratic regime with fascist tendencies. The reaction to this demophobic policy was characteristically classist, opposed by the poor, women still subject to millenary patriarchy in our history and disadvantaged regions in Brazilian capitalism such as the Northeast.

The electoral victory of the democratic coalition, although it unleashed hope and jubilation, comes to light in a hostile scenario with the regimentation of sectors resistant to defeat at the polls in an open conspiracy in favor of a coup intervention to be launched by the military. The road to Brazilian democracy is rocky, and moving forward on it requires even more audacious maneuvers than those practiced in the electoral campaign, such as expanding alliances towards the political forces grouped in the so-called centrão, as well as those representing agribusiness that can join in the defense of the environment.

In this sense, the negotiations carried out in the process of transition to the new government under the leadership of the elected vice-president Geraldo Alkmin are moving in the right direction, attentive to the needs of preserving and expanding a political coalition of the type of contraption where it fits garlic and bugs, such as already happened in Portugal, which may come to guarantee support to the democratic government, challenged before it was even born by the group of those defeated in the elections in subversive movements, but which counts in its favor with an unprecedented support in the international scenario.

The victory in our country of the democratic field over the illiberals and deniers of globalization processes and environmental policies transcended its borders, a fact witnessed by the immediate recognition, as soon as the polls closed, by the government of Joe Biden, Germany, France and other western powers, which did not lack the presence of the main countries of our region. Such rapid and vigorous movement shielded the outcome of the elections, reinforced by the happy opportunity opened by the climate conference based in Egypt, to which president-elect Lula was invited, when, in addition to the important pronouncements on the theme of climate that he enunciated, he had the opportunity body present to obtain recognition from senior national leaders. Tacitly, the developed world left the message that the Brazilian solution mattered to everyone.

The strategic nature of international relations for the destiny of Brazilian democracy was even more highlighted with the failure of the so-called Trumpist wave in the legislative elections in the United States, assuring the Joe Biden government the command of the Senate from a campaign in which the theme the defense of democracy and the environment played a central role.

The fact that good winds coming from abroad are conducive to the good intentions of the Lula-Alkmin government, will be of no use if the sails do not swell in the right direction, guided by a conscious pilotage of the risks present in the situation, in which a fierce opposition from Bolsonarism and the large interests associated with it, fearful of an eventual loss of their privileges, do not lose sight of a coup intervention.

In England during the Second World War, under the heavy bombardment of Nazi aviation, it was said, referring to the British pilots who struggled to repel air attacks that never so many depended on so few. The members of the transitional government, who now go out in search of the difficult paths that will make our reunion with a democratic State possible, have no right to make mistakes.

It is certainly not an easy task to reconcile social and fiscal responsibility in a country where a large part of its people live below the poverty line. Let those who are not up to the challenge leave their places to those with the best temperament who will find the means to win.

*Luiz Werneck Vianna is a professor at the Department of Social Sciences at PUC-Rio. Author, among other books, of The Passive Revolution: Iberism and Americanism in Brazil (Revan).

 

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