Brazil Presidential Elections

Aug 2013
32
There
I've been reding the last fews pages, and would like to start thanking robto's sobriety and patience.

So, what I'd like to point out is the following. Bolsonaro is from the belligerant tradition of the brazilian army, the one that, riddled with cientific positivism, advocates for military involvement in civilian politics and administration of the country. His vice-president, Mourão, is from the same place, being famous for his speeches, as an active army general and then member of army finances board, against democracy and the brazilian constitution. He was then put on reserve because of these statements, an irony of overall brazilian corporatism, present also in the army. It's also worth notice Bolsonaro's, then army captain, jail time for criticizing military's salaries in the late 80's, as well the accusation by Veja magazine that he was planning bomb attacks on army barracks to raise awareness of this problem. He was absolved in a military court for that, and already in the democratic period was elected and reelected as federal representative for over 20 years, representing military members demands for the most part.

This tradition resembles the clash between the two factions of the army during the military regime, disputing at first its continuation or not in the 60s. This clash had one its last examples in 1977 when Gen. Sylvio Frota, recently dismissed from government as Army Minister, tried a coup inside the military regime against the president Gen. Geisel's "opening" policy.

Identifying with the "hard" group, Bolsonaro praises their policies and members (they were government between 67-74, known as the "lead years"), notably Col. Ustra's management of Information Operations Detachment - Center of Internal Defense Operations, a torture center against dissidents in the state of São Paulo, in which the colonel took direct part in its practices. (It's for whom he paid homage to in his presidential impeachment's vote, regarding Dilma Rousseff, who was tortured there).

So, as a retired army captain congressman in our recent democratic period, Bolsonaro transfered this trend to civilian politics, as if reproducing the dicatorship's National Defense Doctrine while praising it in the Congress and what not, and later also advocating for family values along evangelicals. In the later years his conversatism is more in conformity with the global trend, using the terms "cultural marxism", "politically incorrect" etc. Some of his sons are also in politics (3 if I'm not mistaken) and received a great number of votes in this election, following their father's program. One of them, Eduardo, a federal congressman, was the center of a recent controversy when recorded in a Law class saying "you only need a corporal and a soldier to close the supreme court" when asked about the possiblity of an army intervention in case of Bolsonaro not winning. He responded saying it was taken out of context, his father also denied any possiblity like this.

His flagship propositions on common crimes are those that disregard the rule of law and advocate for vigilantism, Duterte's style. On economy and public services/legislation, reaganomics. On foreign policy, alignment with Trump. The thing is, no one really knows what his presidency will become, since Bolsonaro's plays the ignorant populist. His supporters are divided between those that agree with some of his policies while saying he will never be able to dismantle democracy, those that simply voted anything against the Worker's Party, and those that are indeed proto-fascists (the minority). Bolsonaro already disregarded some of his own proposals during his campaign and had misunderstandings with some future ministers, all of which raises a smoke of uncentainty (who knows if that's on purpose).

What we've been seeing as of now between his electoral victory and his inauguration day in 2019 is a rise in violence by his proto-fascists supporters. These recently made threats by putting "black lists" with the name of "communist teachers, researchers and students" (notably those related to gender research, with some pinpointed as "fags") and the saying "the myth is coming!" ("myth" is a nickname for Bolsonaro) on some public universities hall's throughout the country. Bolsonaro himself made a video for social medias after the election calling for student's surveillance of "leftist teachers" that would "indoctrinate" students against him. His fight against "indoctrination" in schools, flagship of "School Without Party" agenda and legislation project, basically a project to prohibit political and gender discussion in schools (which ones exactly is never clear), is an indication of one of the future policies enforced by the Education Ministry.

Personally, I'm caught in this "smoke of uncertainty" about what he will really do and how our democratic instituions are going to behave. Other than that, I'm waiting for an authoritarian conservative government. I hope I've helped foreigners on the matters Brazil is passing through.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,278
His flagship propositions on common crimes are those that disregard the rule of law and advocate for vigilantism, Duterte's style. On economy and public services/legislation, reaganomics. On foreign policy, alignment with Trump.



These recently made threats by putting "black lists" with the name of "communist teachers, researchers and students" (notably those related to gender research, with some pinpointed as "fags") and the saying "the myth is coming!" ("myth" is a nickname for Bolsonaro) on some public universities hall's throughout the country. Bolsonaro himself made a video for social medias after the election calling for student's surveillance of "leftist teachers" that would "indoctrinate" students against him. His fight against "indoctrination" in schools, flagship of "School Without Party" agenda and legislation project, basically a project to prohibit political and gender discussion in schools (which ones exactly is never clear), is an indication of one of the future policies enforced by the Education Ministry.
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Thanks, some interesting info in your post.

On foreign policy I understand he announced the intent to move Brazil's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem which seems to confirm your point re alignment with the US.

Netanyahu welcomes Brazil embassy vow

Regarding universities, given the shameful witch hunt in the US (notably) against all those who are not politically correct, I must say I would not be impressed nor surprised by a "reverse" witch hunt. But in principle, discussion of politics and gender politics should not be held in school and in principle teaching should be apolitical (regardless of the personal opinions of individual teachers who are of course free to have whatever political ideas they like as long as they dont try to indoctrinate children)

What are his flagship propositions on crime ?
 
Feb 2012
3,767
Portugal
Personally, I'm caught in this "smoke of uncertainty" about what he will really do and how our democratic instituions are going to behave. Other than that, I'm waiting for an authoritarian conservative government. I hope I've helped foreigners on the matters Brazil is passing through.
Thanks also for sharing. Around here left wing governments have been authoritarian enough and to be honest considering that communists and the far left usually are only there to stay in the way of any meaningful reform and to destroy the republic even though political persecutions are undesirable in constitutional republics they have been used to protect them, not only through witch hunts like in the US but also through the ban of Nazi symbols or prohibition of fascist parties. If there are laws against fascists why shouldn't there be against Communists and revolutionary socialists?

Of course there is always the opposite argument that is better to let Communism and Socialism succeed in getting to power and fail as they invariably do so that people can learn through their mistakes. The money the US spent in covert operations against socialism in South America could have been better employed promoting its rise to power and then just let it fail.
 
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Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
4,292
Netherlands
Thanks, some interesting info in your post.

On foreign policy I understand he announced the intent to move Brazil's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem which seems to confirm your point re alignment with the US.

Netanyahu welcomes Brazil embassy vow

Regarding universities, given the shameful witch hunt in the US (notably) against all those who are not politically correct, I must say I would not be impressed nor surprised by a "reverse" witch hunt. But in principle, discussion of politics and gender politics should not be held in school and in principle teaching should be apolitical (regardless of the personal opinions of individual teachers who are of course free to have whatever political ideas they like as long as they dont try to indoctrinate children)

What are his flagship propositions on crime ?
Well at the very least they seem to be pro-Israel, judging from his son's t-shirt, which is nice for a change.
 
Feb 2012
3,767
Portugal
What are his flagship propositions on crime ?
He seems to want to facilitate the use of lethal force against suspects, reduce criminal responsibility to 14 and liberalize gun sales. There was also some talk in an interview about enabling law enforcers to use rockets, or something like that, in certain situations.
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,714
Lisbon, Portugal
Well the raw facts are that GDP/capita in chile is currently some 50% above that of Brazil (and the same for Argentina)
You seem to analyse data by completely ignoring any historical, economic and sociological context.
Chile throughout its history always had a higher GDP per capita than any other country in Latin American and the Caribbean either before or after the neoliberal reforms. Structural, political and socioeconomic institutions (both formal and informal ones) do matter and are probably one of the most important predictors and engines of creating economic prosperity. Those institutions mostly are the product of differing historical paths and trajectories a country follows and the structural reforms the governing leaders implement. A country with a good structural basis will perform relatively good when implementing certain economic policies, while the one with poor structural basis might devolve into a larger disaster by implementing the same policies.

Chile and the entire Southern Cone economies (Argentina, Chile and Uruguay) had the highest per capita income in Latin America by the turn of the 20th century. Their economy, society and political structures and institutions were not constructed on a slavocrat system or under the encomendieros oligarchy like almost all Latin American countries had. They always had a relative high degree of pluralism and an egalitarian distribution of land, which contributed to high political and social stability and larger distribution of wealth and respect for private property and rule of law. Under this climate, more effective industrialization was possible and massive European immigration (by percentage wise) gave rise to strong trade union movements and early attempts at a welfare state. By the 1960s, Chile had the highest standard of living, better life expectancy and better education than any other country in South America - although by world standards Chile was still a middle-income economy and developing country.

Neoliberal reforms under Pinochet also gave very mixed results. The country plunged under a deep recession in 1982 and almost zero GDP per capita growth from 1975 till 1990 (In 1988, 48% of Chileans still lived below the poverty line). Nominal GDP growth did grow, but it was not translated into higher prosperity among the population. GDP per capita only grew exponentially after the democratization period and when the civilian government decided to enlarge welfare spending and re-distributive social policies - only after that we see the "Chilean miracle" unfold.
To give you credit, the World Bank does recognize that the miracle was mostly caused by the surplus of the economic growth during the neoliberal reforms that basically could pay off for the expansion of the alleviating poverty schemes in the 90s.
Nonetheless, those social policies are still very small when compared to other western developed economies - Chile is still a highly liberalized and unregulated economy with higher poverty rate than all other developed countries.

Looking at Chile in a slightly longer historical perspective, however, the real miracle is how fast income inequality increased during the dictatorship and how unable democratic governments have been to engineer a return to pre-Pinochet inequality levels.

.. .So the PT economic policies have clearly failed in comparison to what happened in Chile....
Again, you failed to contextualize the data. During Lula's government, the GDP per capita gap between Brazil and Chile greatly diminished.

The Flat tax actually has a number of advantages btw... And as soon as there is significant growth, "inequalities" increase because there is no known way to spread exactly equally (whatever that would mean) each extra dollar. And I am not sure what social cohesion means and how one would measure it.
That's not true in all cases. The high economic growth of Japan during the post-war years and the rapid rise of the East Asian Tigers in the last century was accompanied by severe reduction of income inequality.

During their neoliberal reforms, Income inequality increased almost everywhere else in Latin America in the 1970s, so the Chilean trend under Pinochet should not be surprising. But the resulting inequality levels in the 1980s were extraordinary for a middle-income country, even for a Latin American one. They also proved persistent: in 2017 Chile was, together with Uruguay, the only Latin American economy classified as a ‘high income country’ by the World Bank, and yet in terms of income inequality it remains, with Brazil, the worst in the region. Latin American countries are generally much more unequal than expected according to their income, and Chile since Pinochet (and with no end in sight) is the most extreme case.

Is there high social cohesion in North Korea for example ?
Yes, there is.

In any case its not clear either way.... The policies you say he advocates are not guaranteed winners, nor losers.... Some of them have given positive effects in some places, others have failed... It is certainly something open to discussion and there are a variety of opinions.
Brazil is not Chile. Brazil doesn't have exactly the same kind of institutional basis and socioeconomic structures as Chile, and Bolsonaro is unwilling to change that. Neoliberal reforms in Brazil (if they are about to be implemented in its full) will lead to Crony Capitalism. The traditional economic elites will become more powerful, oligarchies will hold higher power over the economy and politics, more inequality will make the elite more able to control monopoly of political power creating a vicious cycle. More inequality in a highly volatile and unstable population will lead to more insecurity and the military will became more powerful and political pluralism will diminish. Not that Brazil is already witnessing that trend of events, but I'm expecting that to intensify in the upcoming years.
 

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