The PSOL must take its place, presenting in the election an alternative voice to Bolsonarism and the politics of national unity that Lula articulates with the bourgeoisie.
The political year is advancing with the movements of different sectors aiming at the electoral dispute that will mark the political struggle in 2022. The need to defeat Bolsonaro continues. To do so, it is necessary to dispute the hegemony of society for a position that confronts the extreme right and responds to the real interests of the people.
As we wrote at the end of last year, the favorite in the elections, Lula, has made a move similar to the one he made in 2002, to “calm down” the markets and the big capitalists that his eventual administration will preserve those interests. It would be a kind of new “letter to the Brazilian people”, as Roberto Robaina said in a recent article. We have no doubt that our task is to defeat Bolsonaro, but, in face of the current electoral framework, it is necessary to assert an independent voice to discuss a program. This should be the PSOL’s role.
Brazil ten months before the election
The more general picture points to the growth of contradictions and the precariousness of living conditions, in all areas: gasoline has gone up again, food inflation has skyrocketed, with supermarkets repricing essential items, the number of homeless people in São Paulo has increased 30% in the last two years.
The summer rains are punishing those who live in extreme conditions: after the tragic episodes and dozens of deaths in Bahia and Minas Gerais, in the last two days alone more than 25 people died in the state of São Paulo. The poorest people are suffering as never before.
Bolsonaro, for his part, although weakened, seeks to keep his place in the second round. After the increase and the change of name of the “Bolsa Família” [Brazilian conditional direct cash transfer program aimed at households with family incomes equal to or less than R$ 85.00 per person], the bet now is to find some way to reduce taxes on fuel. Reaching the second round, Bolsonarism will play with its strategy of spreading fake news, confrontation and chaos.
In the opposition to Bolsonaro, Lula leads the polls by a wide margin, and the various options of the so-called “third way” do not succeed, which makes the priority option of fractions of the bourgeoisie become to articulate an agreement with Lula, for which they facilitate the signals of the PT campaign.
Lula and Alckmin as an expression of a line of national unity
The moves by Lula’s candidacy are far from a mere maneuver. In reality, they are a project to organize a government of national unity. The first rumors were denied by the PT supporters, but little by little the scenario is consolidated.
After several meetings and statements in favor of Alckmin, Lula is seeking politicians from the PSD, MDB and PSDB, until recently called coup plotters. Lula has already met with Tasso Jereissati, José Aníbal, and Aloysio Nunes (who declared to the press his satisfaction with the rapprochement with the former president). Now the newspapers point out that the PT is sending signals to its old partner Michel Temer.
At FIESP, a new leadership led by Josué Alencar, son of former vice-president José Alencar, may facilitate the rapprochement of the PT’s candidacy with big businessmen. Economic commentators are already echoing the opinions in the financial market in favor of Lula. Not by chance, the former president, in his interviews, is incapable of expressing himself on the structural problems of the country and only signals cosmetic measures that would guarantee a supposed return to a glorious past that never existed.
The need for an independent voice in the first round
In this scenario, it is essential that the PSOL occupies its place. It is necessary to present in the election a dissenting voice to Bolsonarism and the politics of national unity that Lula articulates with the bourgeoisie.
For this reason, the party has the duty to present its own candidacy for the presidency, as 44% of the delegates already signaled at the last party congress by choosing Glauber Braga. At the same time, it is necessary to organize strong state candidacies of the party to dialogue with the difficulties of the working class and stimulate the struggle in defense of the living conditions of the people. Therefore, we welcome the launch of Milton Temer’s pre-candidacy for the government of Rio de Janeiro.
Occupying its space, the PSOL will be able to present a program to confront Bolsonarism and the extreme right for a true overcoming of the Brazilian crisis. This is the role of the socialist left in the election of 2022.
Israel Dutra Secretário-geral do PSOL, é sociólogo, membro da Direção Nacional do partido e do Movimento Esquerda Socialista (MES).Thiago Aguiar é doutor em Sociologia (USP).