In his most recent appearance on social media, PT José Dirceu used countries with clear democratic erosion to refer to the risk of Jair Bolsonaro being reelected and with the “superpowers” of a majority in Congress. For Dirceu, who was once president of the PT, minister of state and was convicted as head of the Mensalão gang, Bolsonaro can repeat what was done in Poland and Hungary, where rulers take increasingly autocratic measures. Dirceu’s list is short, it only includes the two Eastern European countries, as they are “right-wing dictatorships”.
The decision cannot be framed as forgetfulness or opportunism. The PT leader does not consider as autocratic dictatorial regimes that persecute, arrest and kill in the name of socialist revolution or communism. Cuba? China? Venezuela? Nicaragua? North Korea? There is no need to further extend the list of countries that count on PT solidarity, because, after all, they are “resistance”, as militants and official documents of parties from the same cultural milieu where subtitles and ideas are reproduced are often treated. like those of the PT.
Dirceu mentions a third country, but with reservations. For him, Turkish President Recep Erdogan cannot be put in the same basket as Hungarian Viktor Orbán or Pole Mateusz Morawiecki. For Dirceu, Erdogan “did what he had to do” after a military coup. He purged whoever he had to purge.
As seen in the video, the word purge caused excitement. “That word purge, I like it. I like it”, said the presenter. “I know, that’s why I’ve softened it”, amended Dirceu.
It cannot be inferred whether the celebration of the purge refers to the distant past, when Stalin (who is the ideological reference of the gang) led a process of political, ideological and cultural persecution that resulted in the death of at least 750 thousand people. Many of them fellow revolutionaries who agreed with the directions imposed by the dictator, artists, soldiers (among which some generals, admirals and more than a hundred commanders).
Neither can it be said that they referred to purges such as those commanded by Fidel Castro, who sent his greatest general and some of his revolutionary friends to the wall to clean up the image that the regime used cocaine trafficking as a source of revenue and military strategy. Drug trafficker Fidel killed his cronies to protect his own biography.
It is also unclear whether they are celebrating the recent purges that his friend Daniel Ortega has promoted in his country. In addition to persecuting priests, bishops, journalists and opponents, the dictator does not spare even former revolutionary comrades who dared to question his acts of violence and political persecution.
It is even darker to think that they can be talking about themselves. Of how they dealt, deal or will deal with uncomfortable companions.
Finally, a vision of the future cannot be excluded. A project, it seems, will go far away from the PT ranks. The reference to the Turkish process gives the clues. Dirceu and his gang think that, in an eventual third term of Lula, the purge is the way to settle in power. Some might understand it as revenge. Others like rematch. But in the end, it will be a purge. Just a purge.