A statesman in the presidency

Image: C. Cagnin
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By LUIZ MARQUES*

The memory of conquests and confidence in the biography of Lula and the PT, reinforced by progressive parties and personalities, explain the victory against the “system”

After the second round of the Brazilian elections, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez declared that “the world needs President Lula da Silva”. The praise for the internationally recognized statesman reflected the enthusiasm of political leaders in both hemispheres. The enormous prestige was evident on the former worker's trip, months ago, when he was received with the honors of Head of State in the main countries of the European Economic Community (EEC), Germany and France. Respect is not asked, it is earned. Already at that moment, Brazil ceased to be the repellent pariah under the sad Presidency of Jair Bolsonaro, with whom no leader wanted to appear alongside, in the picture.

In the mandates carried out between 2003-2010, the proud and active Lula played a prominent role in articulating the strengthening of integration in Latin America, in the South-South cooperation that brought Africa to the world map, in the formation of the G-20, in the participation of the G-8, in the organization of the Brics as a multipolar alternative and in the construction of world peace. That a politician of such stature has been condemned, without evidence, for a modest triplex that he never owned nor used by him is something that hurts the image and desire of the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) and the Judiciary. The country had a civilizational setback, after ranking sixth in the global economy under the administration of the president who holds the largest collection of bonds Honorary, of history.

Judicial farce is widely known. The celebrated Italian jurist Luigi Ferrajoli denounced the link between the judge and the prosecution, condensed in the “inquisitor” entity. Incompetence and partiality accredited the magistrate to beadle, of a genocide. The attorney of Power point is required by the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) to reimburse R$ 2,8 million for the “daily spree”. In effect, the agents of Justice at the service of US interests were temple vendors, namely engineering and infrastructure companies, as well as Petrobras and Pre-Salt. The magazine Capital letter (on November 16, 2022) stamped on the cover that “it would be right to see them in jail, not in Congress”.

The meeting of the president-elect with ministers of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) was a divisive milestone. It is likely that proceres of the Small committee, in toga, experienced moral discomfort in the face of the generosity with which they were treated at the time. It is convenient here to refresh your memory.

Gilmar Mendes barred the possibility of Lula becoming Minister of the Civil House, in the death throes of the Dilma Rousseff government. Later, he claimed that he had been deceived by the tricksters in Curitiba.

Luís Roberto Barroso did not authorize Lula's candidacy in 2018, and refused an unprecedented injunction by the United Nations (UN) to guarantee the former president's registration in the election.

Luís Fux prevented Lula from being interviewed during Fernando Haddad's campaign, in the substitutive duel between the good teacher and the bad soldier. For some editorialists, “a difficult choice”.

Edson Fachin denied the resources that could have suspended the illegalities of Lava Jato, in addition to manipulating the competence of the Class and the Full Court of the High Court to harm an innocent man.

Carmen Lúcia ran over the STF agenda to judge a Habeas Corpus of the defense, before the Declaratory Actions of Constitutionality (ADCs) on the arrest in second instance. Thus, he kept Lula imprisoned, increasing the illegal embarrassment of his unfair and abusive confinement.

Rosa Weber rejected freedom for Lula with a casting vote, in Habeas Corpus affection to the Plenum, although he disagreed with the position of the collegiate. A vote in favor would form another majority.

Dias Toffoli forbade him to leave prison, even accompanied by the security detail, for his brother's wake. The decision contradicted a right guaranteed by law, without a plausible reason.

Without revanchism, Lula greeted and hugged each one. “I don't have time for revenge,” she would say. "We need to reunify and rebuild the country, urgently." Screens of the Republic must not function as sounding boards for personal grievances. Institutions have commitments to the future. After 580 days of remorse, the innocence of Dona Lindu's famous son was carved. Institutional concertation is urgent to face the predatory delirium of agribusiness, mining and the financial bourgeoisie. The list of sponsors of the anti-democratic folly on the roads and in front of the barracks belongs to the elitist nucleus of the coup. Skirmishes are anything but spontaneous.

 

A new social contract

The enclave of Lula / Alckmin / STF ministers can give rise to a different social contract, with the transformation of the State into “a brand new social movement”, in the lexicon of Boaventura de Sousa Santos, in Reinvent democracy, reinvent the state (Clacso). The expression is strange, as it links Leviathan (by Hobbes) to a political initiative. But what is really strange is the depoliticization of the economy and the State, to abstract both from the public sphere and government decisions.

Patience if Petrobrás distributes the company's highest dividends and the highest on the Stock Exchanges, at the expense of Brazilians who had dollarized fuel. There are R$ 180 billion in the pockets of stockholders, in general, foreigners. Zero investments to sustain oil reserves and production. Mismanagement exhausts the oil company and scrapes the pan.

But the apoliticism of orthodox economic thought is silent about the assault. He complains about market fluctuations in the financial casino's lose-win situation, and attributes the phenomenon to social aid that would endanger the sacred fiscalist paradigm. Of course, the market is not hungry. Pray at the altar of fiscal balance. Mortals (read progressives) are admonished for stating the obvious: “the king is naked”. The public spending ceiling is a fiction, which abstracts from the predicates of governability.

Heterodox discourses account for the urgent needs of the nation, despite media terrorism. It is understood. “The media is in the hands of the bankers”, shoots Mario Vitor Santos, in possession of a spreadsheet revealing the domination of distracted minds and hearts by rent seeking.

The Washington Consensus (1989) inspires apoliticalism, which is in fashion, and the sentences passed by the High Court, with an impact on labor relations. For example, with regard to the legality of outsourced employability and with regard to care for the environment. The dismantling of control bodies enhances the deforestation of the Amazon and the extermination of indigenous peoples. It instigates a return to the Hobbesian hell, as if it were handing over passports to a paradise.

The privatization of social regulation is a trend promoted by the extreme right, from North to South. President Joe Biden apologized for the fact that the United States, at the time of the histrionic Donald Trump, had withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement (2020) which aims to limit the increase in the planet's temperature to 1,1°C by the end of the century. The agenda requires an ethics of responsibility.

By ideological affinity with the sociopathic clown who ordered the invasion of the Capitol, the bad boy yellow-green ignored the United Nations Climate Conferences (COPs). Planetary necropolitics was too tasty a bait to waste. The Bolsonarist madness brought the fires that, in the current year, increased by 50% on average. And the deforestation that reached 13 km², a record rate in fifteen years. The increase relative to 2018 is 73%. The arrival of a restorative administrative management and the declining official and/or unofficial support, in the Federal District, accelerate the impetus of environmental criminals against the forest and the original peoples, evaluates the Climate Observatory.

On the other hand, at the invitation of the Egyptian government, the anointed president participated in COP-27 with the proposal to take the Conference, in 2025, to one of the Amazonian states: “It is important that the leaders know the region”. Lula had bilateral meetings with representatives of the economic powers, John Kerry (USA) and Xie Zhenhua (China). “It was exuberant, electrifying”, defined the New York Times. He is invited to the World Economic Forum (WEF), to be held in January in Davos. “Brazil is back in the world”. Shoo, provincialism. Shoo, mongrel complex.

The return to the hunger map; attacks on science and knowledge by negationism and anti-intellectualism, according to the formulas of the totalitarian ideology of the 1930s; none of this is a problem unique to politics. At the same time, it is a legal problem. It tears up the current Constitution and compromises the legitimacy of the social contract. Without the regulatory functions, the very concept of the State – whether in the classic liberal version or in the Marxist version – loses its meaning. The neoliberal project gives rise to a social organization with gigantic tentacles. To highlight the hyperbolic dimension of the transfer of authority, the omnipotent “market-god” is alluded to.

The erosion of sovereignty and normative capacities deconstructs social ties, creating a crack in society's structures. Neofascism sprouts in the gaps of the ribbed slabs, which shake the pillars of the democratic rule of law. This is the consequence of the notion of “legal security”, hijacked by the greed of megacorporation shareholders. Contractualism needs to protect human rights, Lato sensu. All individuals are creditors of guarantees for their socioeconomic well-being and their cultural identity by the national State. Such demand is as or more legitimate than the protection sought by investors. Society has the right to have rights. The more democratic a political regime is, the more this feeling spills over into consciousness.

 

The social-popular star

The economy and the State need to be (re)politicized, which does not imply partisanship, but constitutionalist attributions to be fulfilled. To combat social fascism, the conversion of the economy and the State into actors in the public space is decisive. Permeated by free debate in the public space, they can absorb the elaboration of policies by the community. The purpose lies in formatting a sociability for the development of the potential of each and everyone. In the midst of a brand new social movement, the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary tend to rebalance the weight of capital in deliberations and curb the guerrilla tactics of speculators, with the inclusion of civilizing claims in investments. Medicine that curbs the appetite of neoliberalism.

The “secret parliamentary budget” violates the republican principle of transparency in the handling of Treasury resources, and evaporates the redistributive character of democracy. The secret funds cancel the commitments of the representative instances, in favor of parliamentary corporatism. Not to mention that they configure a colossal corruption scheme, carried out by the incorruptible “myth”. The Supreme Court is expected to pronounce itself shortly. Criticism of Minister Alexandre de Moraes is the “Trojan horse” to colonize and tame the Supreme Court. The Magna Carta, enacted in 1988, has always been the enemy.

The Brasil Esperança Front won the electoral race, with the flag of democracy, in the context in which deputies and senators in the legislative houses gave up serving the people to, in exchange, use the surpluses produced by the people. The risky gamble paid off. Without empathy with the motto, however, sectors with family income between R$ 2.030,00 and R$ 6.125,00 tried to re-elect the current president. “The analysis of the election result suggests that the C class was crucial for Jair Bolsonaro's expressive vote. Classes D and E opted for Lula” (Folha de São Paulo, 12/11/2022).

The memory of conquests and confidence in the biography of Lula and the PT, reinforced by progressive parties and personalities, explain the victory against the “system”. The challenge is to make the long-suffering fighters aware that the State is an unavoidable factor for their well-being. The improvement in the quality of life needs to be accompanied by a systematic and telematics political pedagogy, with weekly interventions on the progress made, publicized on social networks by the president.

The almost insurmountable obstacle was the abysmal collapse of trust in institutions. “All successful societies depend on a relatively high degree of honesty to preserve order, uphold the law, punish the powerful, and create prosperity,” notes British journalist Matthew D'Ancona, in Post-Truth: the new war against facts in times of fake news (Editorial Light). In the West, under the influence of the Enlightenment, truth is an epistemological value with the role of referee in public affairs; the discussions would be expeditions in search of the true.

As the philosophy of Enlightenment did not take root, among us, the primacy of truth gave way to denialist practices that appealed more to emotion than to reason. The homeland witnessed the Vaccine Revolt against vaccination and in favor of smallpox, in 1904. fake news before the Oxford Dictionary chose post truth the word of the year, in 2016. In the contests and clashes of the candidates, in which the power machine thought it would succeed, Lula incorporated an enlightened gladiator surrounded by sharp lies. No one guessed what they would arouse in public opinion. Emotion, since redemocratization, vibrates the strings of the metaphor: “hope” versus "fear".

The ballot boxes shouted “No” to the anti-republican conception of democracy practiced in the National Congress and “No” to the Armed Forces, scattered by the thousands through the federal pigeonholes on missions incompatible with the training they received. On the other hand, the ballot boxes said “Yes” to citizen participation. Guided web scammers enjoy the hangover of failure. They lend themselves to cannon fodder, numbed by resentment, hatred, and alienation. "Lost, mané, don't bother".

The bell is kept on the malta to protect the “familien” from the inevitable judgment for countless crimes. But slowly with the litter, the saint is made of clay. “We defeated Bolsonaro, but radicalism and ignorance are alive. And we will defeat them without using the methods they used against us. We don't want persecution, violence. We want a country at peace”, the statesman cautiously recalls.

Market tantrums are reserved for opportunities in which he perceives a movement of undesirables, settling into the offices of the Planalto Palace, with the social-popular star in the presidential chair. Public or private, legal or illegal articulations to defraud the sovereignty of the vote were welcome. The nation's self-determination is what bothers. To abort the left, it was worth creating occasional benefits in an election year and defaulting on precatories. The intention now is to sever the class ties of Lulism, with the methodical boycott of the application of its political program.

Participatory experimentation is essential. Thus, it will be possible to reinvent the collective destiny of Brazil, with the transforming praxis born of resilience. The meeting with the hierarchy of the Judiciary and Parliament was auspicious. But auspicious changes need to appear in the short term. The politicization of the economy and the State stems from the ability to conduct dialogue in offices and the mobilization of organized population segments for demonstrations of force.

Combined with political realism, the optimism of the will overcomes the rubble left by the passage of the neoliberal and neofascist hurricane. Efforts to rebuild subjective trust in institutions go hand in hand with empowering citizens, in defining new mornings. As in the verse of Cecília Meireles: “I also looked in the sky for an indication of a trajectory”.

*Luiz Marques is a professor of political science at UFRGS. He was Rio Grande do Sul's state secretary of culture in the Olívio Dutra government.

 

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