By Dora Incontri. Translated by Brasil Wire. Original version.
I never voted for Lula. I also never voted for Dilma or Fernando Henrique Cardoso or Collor. I didn’t vote because I am an anarchist. What does it mean to be an anarchist? It is to be conscious that the systems of government – all of them, including democracy and including those that aspire to be socialist that we have had in recent history – are always at the service of class and privilege. The State is maintained by military and police violence which can be used at any moment against the people or against other peoples. It is always at the service of some group. In the case of the current democracy it is at the service of the banks, the corporations, the lobbies and the local and international elite. During moments that were less terrible, some additional rights were left over for the people. In some traditions of state building with more time under the influence of socialist and egalitarian ideas such as some countries in Europe, there was more opportunity for the people to acquire more education and a few more rights – but now they are being taken away everywhere.
In all of the democracies on the planet the money from Capital finances politicians that, consequently, are at Capital’s beck and call. If here we have Odebrecht Construction Company, in the USA we have the example of the arms industry, that “democratically elected” governments are tied to by the neck. During the 19th Century the great North American anarchist Henry Thoreau refused to pay taxes because the money was being used to finance expansionist wars and this has been the foreign policy of his country since those times.
You need money to enter the political game, to be elected, to govern and to make deals. Money corrupts values, buys people and meets the needs of specific groups over the collective interests.
Because of this I never fooled myself into thinking that PT could maintain any kind of vestal purity by entering the power game and actually governing. Because of this I never voted for PT.
But within this reality of how democracy works, why would they now decide to wage an inquisitorial crusade to sweep corruption out of politics? Why would they take down Dilma’s government and persecute Lula with such veracity? Why is Lula being accused (still without any proof and with heavy, hateful media orchestration) of owning a penthouse apartment in Guarujá, when Fernando Henrique Cardoso, under whose governments the exact same endemic Brazilian corruption schemes operated, isn’t being investigated for his apartment in Paris?
Why is there a multitude in Brazil spouting hatred against a 70 year old man, wanting him arrested like fanatic inquisitors trying to eliminate witches? Why do they spit on the dignity of a woman like Dilma Rousseff, who hasn’t yet been convicted of any proven crime – when the national Congress and this illegitimate government have been implicated in every single corruption investigation that is underway?
There are three main motives:
1) Because as much as the PT governments adapted to the famous idea of governability- which means a coalition with the economic and political forces that have run the country since it’s beginnings, there was still care taken with social issues and they obstructed the total implementation of the unbridled neoliberal program that we have been submitted to since the coup. Since the coup they have tried to end all workers rights, further defund the already underfunded public education system, defund public health and the retirement system without moving one millimeter to lower the exorbitant interest rates paid to banks or collect the back taxes owed by the wealthy. This could only be done by a government that was not elected and is at the service of this unbridled neoliberal project, which, alias, is an international project.
2) Because while these rights are taken from the people, the media, hand fed by a little republic from Curitiba and in collusion with it, has mounted an inquisitorial circus in which the principal sacrificial lamb is Lula with his supposed and pathetic penthouse apartment. When offered someone or some group to hate with daily public lynchings, the people allow their most primitive instincts to surface as the rights of a nation are co-opted. It is a technique that was well known by the Nazi’s and described by George Orwell in 1984. It is no accident that the mediatic figure of Big Brother appears in this book. Does it remind you of anything?
3) Because Brazil was a rising economy. Brazil is a participant in the BRICS (a group composed of the so called emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa) and emerging economies should be cut off at the roots by the dominant Empire on the planet. It generated an artificial crisis, produced popular discontent and caused a government that bothered the powers that run things in this World to fall. Beyond that, Brazil, with its petroleum and fresh water, cannot grow without its resources. They are now being transferred to the owners of the World. One of the first actions of the coup government was to hand the pre-sal petroleum reserves over to foreign capital.
So all of this Machiavellian drama appears and is made possible through the alienation of the people and by their desire to hate someone on whom they can deposit their frustration and aggression. Lula is the perfect object for this hatred because so many people never accepted the idea that an “illiterate” worker could arrive in a position of power. This is why so many people think it is completely normal that Fernando Henrique Cardoso would have an apartment in Paris, but they drool with anger thinking about Lula’s supposed penthouse apartment in Guaruja and how this guy from the Northeast left his place in the slave quarters that were destined for his social class. You don’t see anyone foaming with anger against Odebrecht construction company, which has participated in corruption schemes in all governments since its founding.
Finally, as an anarchist who is also a spiritualist and a christian, I don’t like to see anyone, not Lula, not any other politician of any party whether it be José Dirceu, Sérgio Cabral or Eduardo Cunha (who I had absolute horror of when he presided over Congress), not any human being whether criminal or not, humiliated with his human dignity torn from him. This system of supposed justice which we have in the world, even more so in Brazil with its indecent prison system, is, in reality, a system of social revenge. It does not strive to fix a bad action or improve the one who practiced it, but sadistically punish the individual, satisfying the urge of extermination of the other. People who are on trial, guilty or not and incarcerated people, in decent prisons or not, should invoke feelings of compassion and empathy and not personal satisfaction.
For these reasons and more, I say:
I have never voted for Lula or for any other presidential candidate. But if this man, who has grown in my eyes through the relentless persecution that he is suffering, manages to survive the massacre and rise up again as a candidate in 2018 he will finally have my vote.