Palocci, the moral issue and the elections

Roberto Robaina (MES-PSOL)

To say Palocci was lying in his confession to avoid imprisonment means to believe that the morale of the senior cadres of the PT leadership would be unable to endure a few years’ imprisonment to defend the truth. It would attribute a weakness of character incompatible with a fighting party.

There are many PT militants who believe in the argument of some members of the party summit that Palocci made a lying confession by stating that Odebrecht paid 300 million reais to the PT and to Lula, among campaign funds, kickbacks and personal favors. The argument is that Palocci adopted this attitude to get rid of the prison. This had been the argument for explaining the behavior of corporate executives. The Institute of the Plea Bargaining should be condemned for leading to false testimony, according to the logic of this summit. This position with which I have never agreed, since Plea Bargaining requires the subsequent presentation of evidence from the informant who supports his testimony under pain of losing the benefits, could still be considered, for those who have much faith in the PT leadership that supported him, as having the least reason in relation to businessmen friends of Lula. But how can it serve Palocci?

Delcídio Amaral had been the first petista of the upper echelon to confess. He got himself out of prison, effectively. Even though he was a leader of the PT government in the Senate, he could have his morality linked to the PSDB, from which he originated. But Palocci was the founder of PT, and with the exception of Lula’s closest ABC friends, he was the most trusted politician of the former president, selected as Minister of Finance and Chief of Staff among hundreds of competent cadres with decades of experience. To say Palocci was lying in his confession to avoid imprisonment means to believe that the morale of the senior cadres of the PT leadership would be unable to endure a few years’ imprisonment to defend the truth. It would attribute a weakness of character incompatible with a fighting party.

To dramatize the institute plea bargaining, PT leaders compared it to torture. It is, of course, an absurd comparison. Under torture many militants did not hand over their comrades and paid silence with death. But under torture it is lawful to think that it would not be fair to condemn someone who could not stand and break the silence. Though lying and confessing crimes of yours and your collaborators to get rid of prison is a disgusting attitude. That would be the moral of Palocci.

For my part I make it clear that I have nothing to object to this judgment about the former finance minister and former minister of the Civil House of the governments of Lula and Dilma. But I must add that the morality required of him by the party and the government was no longer the morality of a fighter for many years.

But I do not really believe that Palocci’s lack of combative morale led him to confess. It turns out that Palocci would have to endure the prison to keep a lie, not a truth. Complicity was no longer based on an idea, but on individual power interests and licit and illicit business. Who really thinks Palocci lied would have to explain how leaders with such disgusting morality have come so far in the PT governments.

The plausibility of his statements is that Palocci’s revelations are being characterized as the spade of lime in the PT’s pretensions to launch Lula’s candidacy. In fact, everything indicates that it was the movement that was lacking for the Federal Court to find the strength to make the decision. If such a decision is indeed made, in spite of everything, a blow will be given to the electoral process. Not because he believes Palocci is not telling the truth. But the truth against the PT summit does not blind us to the real reasons that led a part of the Brazilian bourgeoisie not to want Lula’s candidacy.

Having used its governments extensively to maintain and reproduce their class interests, the bourgeoisie discarded the party when they realized that it no longer had the strength to apply the economic adjustment against popular interests demanded by its neoliberal doctrine and its logic of making the workers pay the price the crisis. The social base of the PT was still popular and did not accept this guidance taken to the final consequences. The PMDB took advantage to boost impeachment, promising to push ahead with the adjustment that the PT wasn’t sure to do. All of this has led to a major confrontation between all traditional parties, including the PT – which have supported the bourgeois New Republic regime for the past 30 years. The pact between them was broken. In these conditions, taking Lula out of the electoral contest is not a measure to guarantee the democratic game and the rule of law. In a country presided over by a corrupt like Temer one can not speak in a real democratic game nor in the rule of law.

Brazilian bourgeois democracy has never guaranteed truly democratic rules, but it is currently breaking even the most elemental appearances. If Temer is president “everything is allowed” seems to be the current logic of Brazilian politics. We fight against this democracy on the facade and we will not stop to denounce it pretending that there is a democratic electoral process.

When Eduardo Cunha approved, with the sanction of the then President Dilma, the legislation that excluded the PSOL from the debates, we had, weeks before the impeachment, a demonstration that the ruling class has no problem in changing the rules of the game to avoid the construction of alternatives. We also know that they can now get Lula out of the dispute just so he will not have any risk of his return. We who fight for a new, authentic left, not the one that in the name of the left ruled for the big bourgeoisie, we want the experience of the social bases of the petismo and the Lulismo to be made until the end. We do not want the justice that allows Temer of President, Collor and Senator Sarney, and countless other mafias in the control of politics to decide what it is up to the people to define.

At the same time we will present our alternative. We will have a proper name for the presidency. And we will do this not because we believe that the 2018 election will solve the national crisis. On the contrary, we are far from it. As long as the bourgeoisie governs, contractors, bankers, landowners dominate the economy and politics, the country will go from crisis to crisis. Only the organization of the workers, confidence in their organization and struggle can constitute resistance to these crises and pave the way for a future victory

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