Tag Archives: Brazil

A.O. Scott: “Review: ‘Edge of Democracy’ Looks at Brazil with Outrage and Heartbreak”

‘One of the implications of “The Edge of Democracy” is that as Lula and the Workers’ Party lost touch with the mass movement that brought them to power and mastered the levers of the political system, they made themselves vulnerable to popular anger on the right. Corruption and back room dealing were longstanding norms of Brazilian governance that the party didn’t do much to challenge.’

“All Out Against Bolsonaro! An Appeal from Brazil”

“On January 1, 2019, Jair Bolsonaro will assume the presidency of Brazil. His candidacy, his government, and his allies represent the worst in any society: authoritarianism, sexism, racism, homophobia, and xenophobia. Capitalism combined with strong fascist tendencies! We are calling on everyone to resist.”

Daniela Mussi: “Awaiting an Alternative”

“We seem not to notice, even as we stand before so many attacks, the key problem of organizing a new collective will with the capacity to attract new hearts and minds in a time of crisis. Something is aging, its death fast approaches, without a new replacement that could carry the beauty of an effective and concrete political alternative. This has been the tragedy of the Brazilian left for some years.”

Daniel Finn: “Unfinished Business”

‘It was fashionable to speak of a “good Left” and a “bad Left” when the Pink Tide was at its height. The good Left — moderate, reformist, respectable — was supposedly exemplified by Lula’s Workers’ Party (PT) government in Brazil; the bad Left was exemplified, of course, by Chávez. …  It is therefore striking that both experiments have hit the buffers at almost exactly the same time …. The parallel crises reveal how much the reforming governments of Latin America owed to a long commodity-price boom that temporarily shifted the balance of global economic forces in their favor. Greater moderation in office has not shielded the Brazilian Left from the end of that boom.  If Venezuela and Brazil symbolized two approaches to reform in the age of globalization, the African National Congress (ANC) government in South Africa represented a third: that of full-blown surrender to neoliberalism. This capitulation was hailed as the epitome of good sense by the same orthodoxy that vilified Chávez and patronized Lula. The ANC’s approach left the economic structures of apartheid fully intact, it was accompanied by rampant corruption in ruling circles, and it required a large dose of repression to keep social protest under control. Nobody could seriously present this as a happier outcome than those in Brazil or Venezuela.’

Eduardo Viveiros de Castro: “Landed natives against State and Capital”

‘The indians are the first natives of Brazil.  The land they occupy is not their property – not only because the native territories are “lands of the Union” [of the Federative Republic of Brazil], but because it is they who belong to the land and not the contrary.  To belong to the land, instead of being its owner, is what defines the native.  In this sense, many peoples and communities in Brazil, in addition to the indians, can be said to be, because they feel so, indigenous much more than citizens.’