A new time, despite the dangers

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By LISZT VIEIRA*

We will not have a government with the PT program. It will be a broad front government

“There is only one choice in Brazil's election – for the country and the world. A second term for Jair Bolsonaro would pose a threat to science, democracy and the environment” (Revista Nature).

Still under the impact of the intoxication of victory, it is already possible to perceive several points on the horizon that will emerge as issues to challenge the Lula Government. There are many, but a few deserve mention.

Reconstruction of republican institutions destroyed by the current Misgovernment. The democratic institutions responsible for public management were severely attacked, some entirely destroyed.

Restoration of public policies in the areas of health, science, education, culture, environment, etc. This requires recovery of public funds diverted to this monster called the secret budget.

Decisive fight against neoliberalism that transfers public resources to the financial market that should be applied in sustainable development projects in the economic, social, cultural, environmental areas, etc.

Elimination of the spending cap trap that prevents public investment for the country's development in the name of a retrograde ideology that has gone wrong all over the world. Without state investment, there is no development.

Isolation of the neo-fascist extreme right, including barring the political power of evangelical pastors committed to the theology of dominion and “prosperity”. This requires creating new ties with progressive believers and pastors.

Immediate recovery of Brazil's image abroad through an independent, sovereign foreign policy linked to the country's legitimate interests.

Immediate fight against deforestation, whether legal or illegal, and repression of the illegal activities of prospectors, miners, loggers, ranchers, farmers who receive official support for the devastation of the Amazon and other biomes.

Combat prejudices that feed racism, misogyny, homophobia.

We must recognize that we owe the current president important information. One is that conservatives willing to support a dictatorship are not just 30%, as I always imagined. We can say that 40% of the electorate today would support a dictatorship that would certainly come combined with a neoliberal economic model.

After the election, the numbers speak louder. Jair Bolsonaro lost 1,3 million votes in SP, RJ and MG compared to 2018. Lula advanced 7,6 million in this region compared to the PT candidate in the last election. But now, in the second round, Jair Bolsonaro reduced the difference in relation to the first round from 6,1 million to 2,1 million votes. This requires explanation from experts. What worries me is understanding the motivation of Jair Bolsonaro's voters.

Jair Bolsonaro's electorate is not just made up of businessmen, military and evangelicals. The vast majority of its voters are conservatives who fearfully reject not only the empowerment of workers, but also the claim of rights by women, blacks and gays. In addition, they associate deforestation with progress.

Thus, in B.'s electorate there are not only economic interests of the capitalist business community, corporate interests of the military, or interests of a large mass of evangelicals deceived in their good faith by corrupt pastors. The vast majority is made up of conservatives who have introjected the values ​​of patriarchal society, ignored for a long time by the left as a secondary issue, outside the focus of the class struggle.

After Lula's victory, by a narrower margin than we imagined, the fight against the conservative values ​​of the patriarchal society will be urgent. Instead of disregarding the “identity agenda”, we will have to articulate these struggles for rights with the economic struggles of the workers.

The day after the election result, protests by truck drivers closed highways in 11 states, including Via Dutra, which connects Rio and São Paulo, and Rio-Santos. The Federal Highway Police, so active on election day blocking roads and streets to bar voters in places where Lula was the favorite, has so far done nothing. According to former Minister Marina Silva, the act of truck drivers is the Capitol in the Bolsonaro version.

With Lula elected, declared victorious by the TSE, recognized by the presidents of the Chamber and the Senate, immediately recognized by the presidents of the USA, France, Argentina, Canada, Spain, China and other countries, there is no political climate for the so often announced coup. He will probably appeal, alleging fraud based on a report by an auditor hired for this purpose. But the appeal will be denied. What will the defeated candidate do? Political protests of truckers closing roads are illegal. The category is divided, the STF will end up being triggered and forcing the Government to act. Yet another institutional conflict, with unpredictable consequences.

In my previous texts, I criticized several articles that defended the unique scenario of the coup, taken for granted by their authors. I worked with the possibility of several scenarios and considered the coup a possible scenario, but unlikely, due to lack of national political/military support and international diplomatic support. The US government sent three diplomats to Brazil with the mission of saying that the Brazilian electoral system is reliable and sending a message to the military: No coup! The US Senate even recommended breaking diplomatic relations with Brazil in the event of a coup. After all, Bolsonaro supports Donald Trump who supports Vladimir Putin, two enemies of Joe Biden.

The current president's anti-democratic and neo-fascist statements and actions helped a lot to build the Frente Ampla. Many liberals came to support Lula. The current president could win the election with the support of liberals, if only he were a little less uneducated and ignorant. With a disastrous government and statements in favor of a coup and dictatorship, he ended up being a great electoral supporter for Lula.

We will not have a government with the PT program. It will be a broad front government. Coalition governments are disputed spaces for the different positions that compose them. There are those who bet on advanced social policy and more conservative economic policy. But these are new times. Recalling the lines of the song by Ivan Lins, “In the new time/Despite the dangers/The most brute force/The frightening night/We are in the fight”.

We will have a lot of fight ahead. After all, as Guimarães Rosa said, what life wants from us is courage.

*Liszt Vieira is a retired professor of sociology at PUC-Rio. He was deputy (PT-RJ) and Coordinator of the Global Forum of the Rio 92 Conference. Author, among other books, of Democracy reactsGaramond).

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