Criticism is easy, but art is difficult.
Reason, however severe, as a friend is always sincere.
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
Portuguese folk wisdom
- Psol approved an agreement motion that defines its position before the Lula administration. There are five most important definitions in the motion approved by an immense majority of 53 votes [Psol Popular (Primavera and Revolução Solidária), Psol Semente (Insurgência, Resistência and Subverta), MES e Fortalecer] to 6 (APS, LS and Comuna):
(a) PSOL will support the Lula administration in all its actions to recover social rights and popular interests. This does not mean losing our autonomy and freedom to differ when necessary. We will be present in the trenches of parliament and in the struggles of the Brazilian people, fighting the far-right and defending the democratically elected government, but PSOL will not hold positions in the administration that begins (…) PSOL will not give up its opinions or its freedom of action. Building unity does not mean suppressing differences or lowering our flags. Our hopes are mainly on popular mobilization.
(b) We emphasize that PSOL preserves its organizational autonomy and, therefore, members who, in the case of invitations, choose to occupy functions in the federal government, must leave the positions of party leadership. Any presence in these spaces does not represent PSOL’s participation.
(c) We understand that the nomination of Sonia Guajajara, as leader of the indigenous movement, to the ministry of indigenous peoples is an extremely important achievement for a struggle so attacked by Bolsonaro and must be respected by the party.
(d) PSOL will side with Lula against Bolsonarism and will fight the opposition to his government. Our relationship will be based on commitment to popular agendas, not on negotiation of positions or conditioned to the composition of ministries. In the face of permanent threats of a coup, PSOL will be with Lula in defense of the legitimacy of the new government. We will never be indifferent to right-wing attacks on the government.”;
(e) The tactic to defeat the far-right is confrontation and not conciliation. For this reason, we will not accept any amnesty for coupists. Another serious mistake would be to include far-right leaders in the government coalition or make agreements to “let pass” the unconstitutional crimes committed by Bolsonarists (…) PSOL will be at the forefront in the fight for measures to “debolsonarize” Brazil.
- The approval of this motion was a political victory for the preservation of the project that Psol represents. Leftist parties must be an instrument of struggle that unites militants who share a common project. The project rests on the defense of a program and a strategy. But parties are also a unitary space for political discussion where debates are held permanently. Healthy discussion of ideas is a method that is easy to defend in the abstract, but hard to put in practice, because passions interfere. But political monolithism is not a virtue. Strictly speaking, monolithism is not possible without the imposition of an internal regime in which people are afraid to say what they think. This type of deformation is degenerate and uncorrectable. When differences emerges, there are essentially two political ways of resolving the impasse. Voting, which establishes a majority and a minority, or the search for consensus. Both are democratic. Votes are an easy way out. But when the majority achieved is too narrow, it loses legitimacy. In the building of a consensus, the right of veto is established, that is, concessions are made. An agreement is a solution built out of a negotiation. There are always those who are more upset than others. The construction of an agreement is only possible when the willingness to sacrifice differences prevails due to a greater common interest. Differences which may be more or less than nuances or shades. The criterion that must prevail to guarantee the preservation of trust in the relationships is the respect for the agreement. Without this criterion nothing can be built. The public dispute over the meaning of the agreement, with some dissonance, deserves to be disregarded.
- The terms of the agreement are lucid. All currents that approved the motion of agreement made concessions, which was a demonstration of responsibility. The central issue of the approved tactic is that Psol will offer unconditional support to the Lula administration against the Bolsonarist opposition, in Parliament and on the streets, but will not participate in the government. Why? For three main reasons: (a) because the Lula administration, even though its full composition has not been announced, since Alckmin’s presence in the vice-presidency to which PSol was opposed, will be a government of a broad coalition with representation of historical leaders of the ruling class; (b) because the best position to PSol, due to its nature and implementation, in the foreseeable sharp dispute over the fate of the government, will not be in management positions in which respect, loyalty and discipline to the government must prevail over public discussion of differences, but in the National Congress and in social movements, from the outside in and from the bottom up; (c) because PSol, still a left-wing socialist minority party, must prioritize turning to grassroots work, protecting itself from dangerous and inexorable institutional pressures.