“Lula and the Hunger for Beauty” by Frei Betto

"Lula and the Hunger for Beauty" by Frei Betto

Frei Betto is a Brazilian Dominican friar, writer, author of For critical and participatory education (Ed. Rocco), among other books.

It’s over for Bolsonaro! The Brazilian people chose Lula to govern Brazil for the third time. The Unnameable can grate, insult, but he will be expelled from the Planalto Palace on the morning of January 1, 2023. He will once again become an ordinary citizen, without immunity, subject to answer, before the Justice, to the numerous, heavy and serious accusations which weigh against him.

Lula won, but hasn’t won the game yet. He knows that he will encounter significant difficulties in his presidential action. He will have to face a hegemonically conservative National Congress. And with openly Bolsonarist governors at the head of states that play a leading role in the politics and economy of Brazil, such as those of São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro.

The most difficult challenge will be to face the Bolsonarist culture that permeates the millions of citizens who have praised the ” myth “ and who, today, witness his fall and live in the bitterness of Lula’s victory.

These people are not organized, but are authoritarian, aggressive, violent. Their goal is to sabotage democratic institutions, spread fake news and the philosophy of denial, reinforce prejudices (about women, blacks, natives and homosexuals) and anarchize the culture. Suffering from pareidolia, these people see communism in the red robes of cardinals.

the bolsonarism is not a philosophical system, it is a religious sect around a militia leader. He does not seek justice, he acts for revenge. He does not propose anything, he contests. He does not trust the force of law, but the law of force. He has no adversaries, but enemies. He values ​​the police more than politics. It does not respect human rights and preaches violence. He doesn’t talk, he shoots. He does not believe in God, but uses his Holy Name in vain. He sees democracy as an obstacle; culture as a Marxist culture broth; diversity as an aberration; criticism as an offence.

To govern Brazil, Lula will have to demonstrate exceptional skill. The PT tends to fill the void left by the PSDB.

Lula will have to respond to the demands of the poor and the rich. But, as the Gospel cautions, ” No one can please two masters…” (Matthew 6, 24).

Lula is fully aware of what he should and could have done in his first two terms and failed to do. It remains to be seen whether he will be able to bring together the political conditions to advance his objectives: structural reforms, vigorous social policies, the fight against hunger and unemployment, significant improvement in the quality of health and education; preservation of the environment.

The way to strengthen the Lula government is not really that of arrangements in the shadows, party alliances, federative pacts. This path has already been tested and has led to scandals and upheavals. We cannot rely on a game where the partner does not play fair. Combinations from above always favor those who despise those below.The path is that of popular awareness, organization and mobilization. Without anyone on the streets and on the networks, the Lula government even risks being deposed.

To consolidate, it will have to satisfy the hunger for bread but also the hunger for beauty – through the political education of the people. What is needed is to promote an immense effort with the pedagogy of Paulo Freire1.

Frei Betto

Cet article, paru sur le site de l'Institut Humanitas Unisinos (IHU) de l’Université jésuite Unisinos, Sao Lepoldo, Rio grande do Sul (Brésil), a été traduit Elisabeth Croc, membre du CEFAL et bénévole au Service National Mission et Migrations.
1 Paulo Freire (1921-1997) est un pédagogue brésilien. Il est surtout connu pour ses efforts d'alphabétisation visant les personnes adultes de milieux pauvres, une alphabétisation militante, conçue comme un moyen de lutter contre l'oppression.

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