To understand the complexity of our political moment
“Complexity” may be a suitable word to describe the present political scenario in Brazil. A number of factors are behind it, from the exhaustion of the political model that led the Workers’ Party to the power (which was once harshly criticized by themselves) to the unwillingness of businesses, society and party sectors to comply with a basic rule in democracy, which is the respect for election results. By Jose Antonio Moroni*
Meanwhile, corruption accusations and the selectivity in investigations are blatant. For instance, leniency agreements related to the Workers’ Party (PT) are held to be true, whereas those about the Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB) are barely investigated.
The current president of PSDB was mentioned in several agreements, but that did not result in investigations. On the other hand, PT seems unable to show any self-criticism, which accelerates this political degeneration process. They owe this analysis on their governing style to our society.
Additionally, we have a paralyzed Congress held hostage by the interests of the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha, and a judicial system in a hard spot for their partiality in investigations and disregard for constitutional principles.
The partiality of the media, the social and economic crises add up to this potentially explosive combination the country has become. However, if it blows, there is no political force on the horizon with actual capacity and conditions to establish a process to overcome this crisis.
This scenario is suitable for political adventures, particularly the right-winged ones. Still, we must acknowledge that there is also space for the struggle for an exclusive, sovereign Constituent Assembly, and the construction of a possibly new political synthesis.
Institutionalized violence and the deconstruction of the left
The episode when former president Lula was subject to a bench warrant with no previous notice should lead to the questioning of institutionalized violent daily practices. The poor population in the urban peripheries is constantly exposed to this violence, in which the police breaks into homes and arrests people with no warrants or regard for the legal procedures.
It is time to think about how the State security apparatus operates. We must also admit the existence of a strategy to deconstruct Lula as a political leader, which affects the Workers’ Party. This strategy goes even further as it attempts to dismantle the entire political left, even though some of its segments may no longer be thought of as part of it.
This scheme hurts the most elementary principle in coexistence, which is to respect the other’s right to exist. This is a very dangerous process. All dictatorships, such as Fascism, Nazism and Stalinism ditched this principle and we all know what they became.
Government attitudes and the new, necessary policies
This complex scenario and the violent operation against former president Lula last Friday have caused the left to join forces as it has not done in a long time. I do not mean the parties, but the different left groups or even individuals with no political party link.
I hope these forces may gather and create new political syntheses instead of something merely circumstantial, because the unresponsiveness of the Rousseff administration is shocking. This administration is numb, has no political identity or dialog with society, and the crisis is worsened by this profile. What policies is the government implementing? There is a massive political void in Brazil and the country cannot survive for a long time in such terms.
The paths of our society are at stake.
We are now split and yet unsure about where to go. There has been progress over the last years, and I do not refer only to governments and public policies. We have grown as a society. However, some sectors still resist accepting this change and often take advantage of the legitimate indignation of our people against corruption (which is the misappropriation of what is public by certain groups).
At the same time, the apathy of the Rousseff administration makes people wish to substitute the present government before the electoral process in 2018.
Furthermore, some groups fear their long-lasting distance from power – and that is how we have reached this point. Therefore, we must examine these processes very thoroughly, as well as the difference between an electoral dispute and the dispute for a new direction.
One thing is certain: regardless of the outcome of this crisis, women are not going back into domestic chores, blacks are not going back to slaves’ quarters, gays are not going back into the closet, the youth of the outskirts is going to public universities, peasant will continue to produce organic food and fight the agribusiness, workers will not accept to be simple cogs in the wheel of capital.
This is a permanent struggle in society and its impacts are felt in the electoral battles and in public policies.
* José Antônio Moroni is a member of Inesc’s board.