Country of the future; always the future
April 27, 2016 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Perry Anderson - Crisis in Brazil
Long read but probably the most comprehensive account I have read about how this enormous country got to the more chaotic state than usual that it is in today.
(Via LRB and previous).
posted by adamvasco (41 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
It is amazing how nobody comes out looking good. There would seem to be literally nobody in Brazilian politics who is not corrupt in some way. Even the campaigning prosecutor is a tool.
posted by Emma May Smith at 10:03 AM on April 27, 2016

the divarication between executive and legislative
while subject to standard jostling over prebends
paying them cash for their support in the chamber by way of a solatium
far from any areopagus of impartial integrity

❤️Perry Anderson, the Last Classically-Educated Man❤️
posted by RogerB at 10:22 AM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]

Previous long read Perry Anderson on our general unraveling: The Italian Disaster (LRB, 22 May 2014).
posted by Sonny Jim at 10:24 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

Out of curiosity - in the repeated examples of how austerity isn't working for anyone but the international financiers of a country (including now Brazil), are there examples where austerity measures in fact improved a countries outcome and pulled it out of recession?
posted by Karaage at 10:51 AM on April 27, 2016

@Karaage: Ireland?
posted by Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez at 11:11 AM on April 27, 2016

@Karagee: I haven't finished listening yet, but the most recent episode of EconTalk with Alberto Alesina delves into this issue more deeply, with Alesina taking the pro-austerity position (I'm inclined to be on team Krugman/anti-austerity, but figure it's worth seeking out alternate views). There are also links to other relevant papers and articles on the episode page.
posted by black_lizard at 11:22 AM on April 27, 2016

As a microsm of the country and to further highlight the total disconnect; Rio on Watch has just published
100 Days Left “For the English To See?” A Closer Look at the International Awards and Recognition of the Olympic City.
Rio de Janeiro´s marketing budget went from R$800,000 in 2009 to a staggering R$127 million in 2015.
posted by adamvasco at 12:15 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

This article is quite biased and goes on weird tangents. I recommend you read the former President Cardoso's not at the bottom of it as it corrects some inaccuracies.

Here are two articles I recommend that give a much more balanced and in-depth look at how Brazil arrived at the point it is today:

How Brazil’s ruling Workers’ Party lost the workers

Brazil’s Giant Problem
posted by gertzedek at 1:17 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

This article is quite biased […] Here are two articles I recommend that give a much more balanced and in-depth look

The contention that the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post are more "balanced" than Perry Anderson is absurdly ideological in a predictable way; but the contention that they're deeper is just insane.
posted by RogerB at 1:25 PM on April 27, 2016 [10 favorites]

Depth is a function of objectiveness. Feel free to ride on the Anderson marxist merry go round, bro. He makes a number of claims that are far from objective and distort the current situation in the country.

As for the articles I posted, Alex Cuadros has been living in Brazil for many years and speaks fluent Portuguese and John Lyons is based in Sao Paulo. Excuse me but I trust the guys who are on the ground.
posted by gertzedek at 3:31 PM on April 27, 2016

> Ireland?
Contributing factors to growth included a recovering construction sector, quantitative easing, a weak euro, and low oil prices.[73][74] This growth helped to reduce national debt to 109% of GDP, and the budget deficit fell to 3.1% in the fourth quarter.

I am not trying to be a jerk, honest, but I don't see austerity in that list from your link.
posted by Karaage at 3:59 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

marxist merry go round

Also in the LRB yesterday: In the Communist Playground by Neda Neynska
posted by RogerB at 4:26 PM on April 27, 2016

Remarkably you can think dilma and her crew are a clown show who fucked the economy and think the impeachment is damn close to coup.
posted by JPD at 5:16 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]

Having followed this for a while via any number of publications (from The Economist to Jacobin), I have to say that the only solid thing I've come away with is that everyone is finding something in this shitstorm to make hay with for their own ideological hobbyhorse.
posted by AdamCSnider at 6:53 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]

Here is another Brazilian perspective, albeit from someone who is not currently in Brasil if that matters for some reason. I am pretty sure he speaks Brazilian Portuguese!
The Brazilian political crisis is fueled by predominantly white upper-middle class attitudes toward the predominantly black working-class and its access to redistributive social welfare programs...

...The reactionary singsong of the media is one of its instruments of manipulation. It is most effective when it comes to the ideological struggle. A democracy in Brazil needs to be controlled and validated by Globo or it is not a democracy. Globo has a long and dirty history when it comes to defending its political interests against Brazilian regimes that historically enacted strong minimum wage policies. The media outlet continues its tradition against Lula and Rousseff.
posted by asok at 5:42 AM on April 28, 2016

> The Brazilian political crisis is fueled by predominantly white upper-middle class attitudes toward the predominantly black working-class and its access to redistributive social welfare programs...

So the predominantly black working class doesn't give a shit about being ripped off on a massive scale as long as they get some bread and circuses along the way?
posted by languagehat at 7:13 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Just in case there was any doubt about outside interferance.
But what — or who — is really behind the soft coup in Brazil?
The right wing is the driving force of the protests, despite any progressive-minded, anti-corruption sentiment being expressed by various segments of the protest movement. Two of the principal groups responsible for organizing and mobilizing the demonstrations are the Free Brazil Movement (MBL) and Students for Liberty (EPL), both of which have direct ties to Charles and David Koch, the right-wing, neocon, U.S. billionaires, as well as other leading figures of the far right, pro-business neoliberal establishment. (Emphasis mine).
posted by adamvasco at 4:05 PM on April 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

April 17, Impeachment vote in Brasilia, as seen in the streets in Sao Paulo:
posted by ig at 4:21 PM on April 28, 2016

The excellent Rio on Watch has produced a series of five Impeachment opinion articles written by Community reporters and linked here in English.
posted by adamvasco at 10:14 AM on April 29, 2016

Ten days ago, the photographer Mauricio Lima was feted by Brazil’s large corporate media when he won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography, the first Brazilian ever to win the award.
But last night, Lima launched a direct, unflinching attack on the same Brazilian media outlets which, just days ago, were hailing him as a hero.
In other news an op-ed by David Miranda in the Guardian which then published in its comment section an angry response by João Roberto Marinho, heir to the Globo empire. Miranda then rebuffed this response paragraph by paragraph in the Intercept.
Part of me wonders why the Grauniad didn't give him right of reply.
posted by adamvasco at 4:28 PM on April 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Back to the Future: The Fear Fueling Brazil's Crisis
Brazilians don't want history to repeat itself, but no one's coming to the rescue to turn things around.
posted by adamvasco at 5:57 PM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

I guess no one is really posting here, but some real insanity over night as first the speaker of the lower house annuls the impeachment vote and then in the middle of the night reverses his annulment.
posted by JPD at 5:30 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

The former supreme court judge Joaquim Barbosa isn´t far off the mark when he tweeted
You know what the whole world must be thinking about us Brazilians? A laughing stock.
Mauricio Santana also tweeted "I have a doctorate in political science and I have no idea what's going on." - and that was before Waldir Maranhao reversed his decision to revoke impeachment.
CNN makes a brave attempt to sort it out but without too much substance.
Its difficult enough to find anything understandable in Portuguese let alone English.
The only thing I am certain of is that not one of these fuckwits cares an iota about the people of Brazil, just their own grip on power and corruption.
Meanwhile the evil Mr Bolsonaro must be eyeing his chances, and is well supported by the Evangelicals.
posted by adamvasco at 10:12 AM on May 10, 2016

Stephanie Nolen of the Globe and Mail does good reportage..
This article was updated this morning to show the latest (as of now) contortions of Brazil´awful politicians.
posted by adamvasco at 11:16 AM on May 10, 2016

Isn't that posted above?
posted by JPD at 5:36 PM on May 10, 2016

Latest from Greenwald from this morning.
Brazil’s Democracy to Suffer Grievous Blow Today as Unelectable, Corrupt Neoliberal is Installed.

The actual vote to rubberstamp the earlier one will be close to midnight. After that we enter unknown territory. PT supporters will not be very happy as graffiti here is showing with ``Respeito meu Voto´´ and ``Nao Vai Ter Golpe´´ popping up across the city, often referencing 64 which was the year of the Coup d´Etat and start of the Dictadura.
posted by adamvasco at 8:53 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Clown Circus continues
Brazil's Senate Begins Impeachment Of President Rousseff... To Face Trial For Allegedly Breaking Budget Laws... Done In By Economic Disaster, Sweeping Scandal... Rejects Impeachment As 'Coup'... Doubts New Leadership Will Fix Crisis... Greenwald: Democracy Of Fifth-Largest Economy At Risk... Will Result In 'Far More Dangerous' Corruption... How Brazil's Politics Descended Into Chaos. Huffington post multiple link.
The heavily tainted Michael Temer's all male Cabinet.
At least 60 percent of Brazilian senators have criminal charges against them.
posted by adamvasco at 12:24 PM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

So there we have it for now. I think this will be it from me in this thread which I seem to have over posted in, but few others seem interested, probably because English language information is difficult to find apart from mainstream reporting. (I can find little about the Helicoca scandal which is being studiously ignored by the judicary).
A country whose median age is 30, and where over 50% are non white now has as it's governance an unelected 75 year old white catholic president with a trophy ex model wife. He has chosen a 100% white cabinet which includes 7 others who, like himself are under investigation for corruption.
As the Guardian headline puts it A lot of testosterone and little pigment': Brazil's old elite deals a blow to diversity.
Compared to the putchist Temer, Judas is a rookie.
He has cut the number of cabinet positions from 31 to 22 and dissolved the ministry of culture, women, racial equality and human rights among others.
Temer has been barred from standing for office for eight years due to election violations and wikileaks reveals that he has previously been a US informer.
The outlook for the average Brazilian is bleak. Unemployment is rising and in RJ state will continue to do so until after the August Circus. The Oligarchs are totally in power and their excesses will be ignored. It has already started with several investigations already shut down.
The evangelists are laughing as although Mr. Temer’s offer of the science ministry to Marcos Pereira, an evangelical pastor who does not believe in evolution, also fizzled. He named Mr. Pereira trade minister instead. Marcos Pereira, a pastor in one of Brazil's many right wing Evangelical churches, was jailed for sexual molestation of a parishioner and money laundering, though he was subsequently released on a habeas corpus court order.
etc etc. Crooks and Liars and Gangsters.
posted by adamvasco at 10:53 AM on May 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

Just as a datapoint, I have very much appreciated your updates, precisely because it's hard to find information elsewhere. Not saying you have to go on, obviously, but I suspect I'm not the only one who's interested.
posted by languagehat at 1:50 PM on May 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Thank you Languagehat.
Just a little more then that isn´t really being talked about yet in the English speaking Media.
Brazil is becoming more rightwing than slightly conservative as many outside the country seem to think.
Minister for Justice Alexandre de Moraes in spite of making the right noises is highly suspect as he had many problems with human rights when he was head of security in São Paulo.
Minister for Security: Sérgio Etchegoyen´s father general Leo Guedes Etchegoyen was accused of torture by the "Truth Commission" that analyzed torture in military times in Brazil. According to the BBC, he was one of the first in the military to criticize these works. (BBC in Portuguese)
Temer plans to create a new security system the press say.
He has already stated publicly "... internet is sometimes too free... and we should conceive ways to try to control it.."
Coincidance or no coincidance: Liliana Ayalde, the present U.S. ambassador to Brazil, previously served as ambassador to Paraguay in the lead up to the 2012 coup against President Fernando Lugo.
And finally Brasil: a country made by men who don’t love women.
All slightly frightening.
posted by adamvasco at 4:56 PM on May 14, 2016

I am glued to this news. It's very disturbing.
posted by prefpara at 11:49 AM on May 16, 2016

Some Reactions
We Accuse... Jacobin.
Revenge of the Right.
The Brazilian Embassy in Paris has just cancelled the showing of the documentary project "Retratos de identificação" - a reconstruction of various Political Prisoners tortured during the Dictadura.
posted by adamvasco at 6:49 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

In just a week, centre-right government has scaled back social policies as ideological shift already has sparked outrage and fear of going backward.
One of the more revolting things this regime is trying to do is redefine slavery with proposed legislation that would separate “degrading conditions” and “exhausting shifts” from the definition of slavery.
The new leader of Congress is being investigated for attempted murder.
“The last time Brazil had a cabinet with no female ministers was during the military dictatorship.”
Instead the government is riddled with corrupt stooges.
And the new Justice minister has form: - Alexandre de Moraes, largely complimented the action of the police. In a public declaration, Moraes stated: “The strategy utilised today by the police will be used in all manifestations. The constitution will not allow the state to deny a trajectory. A group of protestors can’t stop the city and affect thousands of people”. Amongst the critics are Amnesty International, an organisation that supports the freedom of protest.
posted by adamvasco at 8:41 AM on May 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

It just doesn´t stop.
The Intercept
Brazil today awoke to stunning news of secret, genuinely shocking conversations involving a key minister in Brazil’s newly installed government, which shine a bright light on the actual motives and participants driving the impeachment of the country’s democratically elected president, Dilma Rousseff. The transcripts were published by the country’s largest newspaper, Folha de São Paulo, and reveal secret conversations that took place in March, just weeks before the impeachment vote in the lower House took place. They show explicit plotting between the new Planning Minister (then-Senator) Romero Jucá and former oil executive Sergio Machado – both of whom are formal targets of the “Car Wash” corruption investigation – as they agree that removing Dilma is the only means for ending the corruption investigation. The conversations also include discussions of the important role played in Dilma’s removal by the most powerful national institutions, including – most importantly – Brazil’s military leaders. (Emphasis mine)
posted by adamvasco at 8:26 AM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

That latest Intercept article is simply incredible.
posted by longbaugh at 11:28 AM on May 23, 2016

No kidding. For the first time I'm taking the "coup" narrative seriously.
posted by languagehat at 2:14 PM on May 23, 2016

And for those that don´t think Greenwald is a reliable enough source (not this thread so far) here is Stephanie Nolan from the Globe and Mail.
Brazilian senator caught in secret recording planning impeachment of ousted president.
Local sources (a Globo blogger) are saying there are also recordings of Sergio Machado with Renan Calheiros e José Sarney which make the Juca conversation look like peanuts.
It´s all falling down but power hates a vacuum.
posted by adamvasco at 2:55 PM on May 23, 2016

Juca is ``stepping aside´´
Things are moving very fast.
As long as I don´t hear the sound of Tanks it´s still OK.
posted by adamvasco at 3:06 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

President of the Senate Renan Calheiros caught on tape saying he wanted to change plea bargain law to halt Petrobras corruption probe.
Brazil's Supreme Federal Tribunal is currently considering seven investigations against Calheiros in the Petrobras probe. He denies wrongdoing.
It´s a holiday weekend coming up starting tomorrow so things might slow down a bit - or not.
posted by adamvasco at 8:39 AM on May 25, 2016

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