To understand today’s Brazil and the dangers that approach, it is essential to consider the advance of authoritarianism.
This phenomenon cannot be understood without considering the coup d’état of 2016 and the years of “lavajatism”, the deconstruction of social institutions and policies, the emptying of the 1988 Constitution and the criminal treatment of the Covid pandemic.
In this context, the suspension of the sentences of the former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the suspicion of the former judge Sérgio Moro defined by the Federal Supreme Court served to begin to rewrite the history of those years, but above all to establish a loophole to get us out of this nightmare.
The third way and the false myth of polarization
We take it for granted that there is no “third way”.
For a very simple reason: there is no polarization that the so-called “center” and mainstream media seek to foster between an “extreme left” and an “extreme right”.
Indeed, if President Jair Bolsonaro is indeed on the extreme right (close to fascism), Lula is far from any extreme. It is indeed closer to the center, and as we write these lines, the candidate continues his agenda of meetings with conservative parties, neo-Pentecostal leaders and former presidents.
There was never anything to fear from Lula, and all the hoax surrounding the subject only demonstrates the inability of Brazilian elites to cede a crumb that belongs to their privileges.
If a candidate is already center-left and is heading resolutely towards the center, there is no “third way” possible. There are only two viable candidates, and under normal conditions Lula would win easily.
The point is that we are far from normal conditions: we are in a collapsed country, in which there is not much democratic institutions left. And in which Bolsonaro already announces that the loss will be due to fraud.
In this context, the ideal is that the government does not end, which would prevent further democratic deconstructions and deaths.
There are reasons for dozens of dismissals. However, it is known that Bolsonaro retains part of his popularity, the support of the legal and illegal armed sectors, a duly lauded parliamentary base and a silent ally of the Attorney General.
Despite growing protests, there will be little impeachment. So, for now, let’s talk about 2022.
Lulism in a worse context
It is important to recognize the errors and limits of the Lulist period and, above all, to warn of the difficulties that a new Lulist stage will have to face if it is marked by “pastism”.
We live in a different Brazil compared to the one twenty years ago. In many ways, a much worse Brazil: precarious, individualistic, cynical, hardened, convulsed.
If it seeks to reissue the glorious past of a Brazil that no longer exists, lulism can at most block the portfolio, the dismantling of the state and democracy, while it is struggling to complete its mandate. It wouldn’t be nothing.
Stopping degradation, necropolitics and genocide is the first fundamental step.
But there will hardly be any structural conditions to relaunch a project for the future. This would only be possible with a renewal at the grassroots, new public policies, a policy of “broad front” of parties and social movements, a revival of social participation. And the main thing: with a lot of people in the street.
Still have time?
Certain questions still weigh heavily on the shoulders and appear on the political menu of the left, in particular lulismo as a practice. Alliances with regional, conservative and fractional oligarchies; a contradictory development model, based on a confused (and impractical) idea of consensus between historically unequal sectors; and authoritarian internal practices, which have been at the root of the progressive decline of the left as a political option for the masses.
The central problem is that this difficulty in engaging with other political nuances in the left camp has not only isolated the left party from the rest of society, but has also opened up space for conservative thinking and practice to win. off the ground and move forward.
They grew up in the project vacuum left by the left, too preoccupied with the governability pact or the coalition government, which ultimately turned out to be meaningless in the face of the coup. This is where we are trapped, plunged into a collective nightmare.
Two problems: the army and Washington
In addition to the necessary project reviews, we must consider the blockages that may arise.
First of all, the military factor, and this one in particular, will imply difficulties for the left to elect, take office and govern.
We are in a military government – the Armed Forces, the police and the militias. These armed sectors will not readily agree to leave the government. You can expect reports of fraud, riots, and police violence against protesters taking to the streets to ensure election results are respected.
We will not be able to rely on our broken institutions to defend ourselves. It will be essential to produce a situation that dismantles the next coup attempt in advance. Before that, that it guarantees the very holding of the elections – and the eligibility and the very life of the candidate of the left.
To get there and be able to govern, it is not enough to negotiate with everyone. What Lula is already doing and, like a master snake charmer, he will continue to do. But it will be essential to have popular pressure from below and continuously.
We must also consider how Washington will behave.
Even with Joe Biden at the helm, after so much whitewashing and externally backed “lawfare” (even in Barack Obama’s day) it’s worth the wait and see how they deal with the delicate comeback. Workers Party, or more precisely the lulism which hovers above any party.
The need for a new left
In the short term, we must stop the crimes of Bolsonaro. In the medium and long term, we need a new left.
To return to speaking the language of the people, issues such as religiosity, solidarity, family, violence must be challenged with rights. As Lula knows how to do it personally.
In the midst of the apparent contradiction running through the Latin American debate between a developmentist left and an environmentalist and identity left, it is necessary to build bridges.
In any case, it is no longer possible to remain within the limits of a “classic” economic development, which leads humanity into a dead end, at the gates of the “end of the world”. It is important to avoid insisting on development strategies predatory of nature, which have even been re-edited by Lulismo.
But what is the alternative?
Will a new Lula government try again to promote major works, major events, extractivism, agribusiness and growth through consumption?
Or will there be renewed energies from new movements, young people, new universities, peripheries, which could push the country (and Lulismo) into a new moment?
Will we have a degraded and precarious reissue of the Lula era, or a new scene?
First, we have to survive until 2022.