Transformation or reconstruction?



Considerations on the dispute over the meaning and program of a new Lula government

It won't be in the first round, but Luís Inácio Lula da Silva will win the 2022 elections. Everything indicates that he will defeat Jair M. Bolsonaro at the polls, which is not the same thing as winning Bolsonarism and the extreme right. No woohoo. Bolsonaro grows in polls. He is not dead. There will be a second round. In the decisive hour, he will drag the majority of the conservative electorate.

Lula also grows and consolidates as a favorite. It so happens that Lula's candidacy has become, in practice, a platform for national unity against fascism. What is good. But it also brings numerous challenges. Too big a tram. A true “Noah's ark”, where everyone fits. From PSOL to Geraldo Alkmin. As the so-called “third way” did not take off, an important part of the upper floor – both the owners of money and their political representatives – decided to embark on Lula's candidacy right away. Whoever arrives first drinks clean water.

The broadest anti-fascist alliance makes perfect sense, even with repositioned coup plotters and other weirdos. Lula's speeches point to a government that radically breaks with neo-fascism – from a cultural and political point of view. It is the return of democratic normality, so to speak.

In terms of economic policy, Lula's statements have been very progressive. Lula has been openly confronting the market, emphasizes the focus on recovering the role of Petrobrás, sends word that he will end with the spending ceiling, waves with the strengthening of social policies and promises a new development project.

At the same time, Lula invites Geraldo Alckmin, who governed São Paulo for 12 years, twice candidate for president by the PSDB, conservative neoliberal, toucan until yesterday, to be his deputy. Would it be a new version of the 2002 “Letter to Brazilians”, that commitment to maintaining neoliberal policies in the economy?

Sérgio Moro did not score, Ciro Gomes languishes. Jair Bolsonaro still has a lot of strength, but it hardly exceeds 30%. Lula's favoritism leads a sector of the ruling classes to come closer and also attracts all kinds of allies in the political sphere. In the Northeast then, everyone wants a spot on the Lula platform. Natural movement, which reflects the leadership of the PT. By the way, it's good to stop with this story of victory in the first round. In addition to being improbable, it demobilizes and creates false expectations.

The center of the dispute, then, is the composition, character, and effective program of a likely future Lula government. Alckmin didn't make that turn because he hit his head and woke up as a socialist. What programmatic concessions were or will be made in exchange for the former toucan's support?

The first skirmish has already taken place – it took place over the issue of labor reform. Geraldo expressed his concern with Lula's speech, promising to revoke the reform that removed most workers' rights. Is this Alckmin's role? Vocalize the positions of the bourgeoisie and moderate (or even tutor) the Lula government?

The energy that the Lula campaign will awaken and is already awakening is immense. Hope, desire, trust. The more popular and mobilizing the Lula Presidente campaign, the greater the force to drive change. Or, at least undo the evils of neoliberals and neofascists.

Lula's candidacy will be radically anti-fascist. But is it also anti-neoliberal? Will not alliances with sectors of the center-right and the right compromise the popular and democratic character of the future government? Too many people on the Lula tram in the first round does not disturb the programmatic clarity and make our campaign ugly, discouraging? And our future too-moderate government?

The Perseu Abramo Foundation and the PT created a beautiful document with proposals for the future government. The title is “Plan for the reconstruction and transformation of Brazil”. On target. Because it is not enough to rebuild what was devastated, it is also necessary to carry out important, structural reforms that democratize the State and empower the people.

In this direction, too many alliances in the first round only get in the way. They are advance ties. They weaken the possibilities of a militant, popular, mass campaign – and dehydrate the change actions of a probable future government right now. It is not enough, therefore, to rebuild. This country will need to be transformed. President Lula, with breadth, but with programmatic radicalism.

*Julian Rodrigues, professor and journalist, is an LGBTI and Human Rights activist, PT-SP militant.


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