By Jake Johnson
Common Dreams (10/29/18)
As Brazilian women, the LGBTQ community, workers, and people of color reacted with horror to the election of fascist Jair Bolsonaro to the presidency on Sunday after a campaign dripping in bigotry and militarism, Western corporate interests and the business press could hardly contain their glee over the victory of the hard-right former paratrooper who has promised to further pry open Brazilian markets to foreign investment, slash corporate taxes, and privatize the nation’s public services.
While highlighting Bolsonaro’s “homophobic, racist, and misogynist statements,” the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) gushed that his win over Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad “could mean fresh opportunities for Canadian companies looking to invest in the resource-rich country” thanks to his strong commitment to “open markets.”
“It could be a good time to be a mining investor in Brazil,” declared Anna Prusa, a former U.S. State Department official who researches Brazil for the Wilson Center, a Washington, D.C.-based firm.
Canadian business interests are hardly the only ones well-positioned to profit immensely from Bolsonaro’s iron-fisted regime.
As The Intercept reported last week, American business elites were positively giddy at the prospect of a Bolsonaro victory, which one executive said would be a “bullish opportunity for us.”
“Big business sees the victory of Brazilian fascism as a massive investment opportunity.”
—Owen Jones, The Guardian
Enthused by Bolsonaro’s selection of right-wing University of Chicago-trained financier Paulo Guedes to craft his economic agenda, investors are “more than happy to overlook the authoritarian impulses and violent promises,” The Intercept‘s Lee Fang and Zaid Jilani note.
“Guedes has promised to sell off state assets, cut the public pension system, revise the tax code, and deregulate the economy,” Fang and Jilani reported. “Another Bolsonaro adviser, Nabhan Garcia, told Reuters that the administration would slash fines for farmers who violate environmental rules in sensitive areas like the Amazon.”
Corporate excitement over Bolsonaro’s ascent to power—made possible in large part by the imprisonment of Brazil’s former president and most popular politician, Lula da Silva, on corruption charges that have been denounced as highly questionable—began when the far-right lawmaker prevailed in the first round of elections earlier this month.
Open season for police to kill
“Brazil stocks outshined the rest of the world” ahead of Sunday’s election, CNBC reported.
Following Bolsonaro’s 10-point victory, stocks continued to skyrocket as investors cheered the rise of an authoritarian who has promised to gut the public sector and “give carte blanche for the police to kill.”
“Jair Bolsonaro said the words investors wanted to hear,” Bloomberg reported on Monday. “Brazil’s next president pledged to trim the deficit, pay down debt and reduce the size of government after results showed him cruising to victory over Fernando Haddad of the left-wing Workers’ Party. That helped Brazilian assets extend gains Monday, with the currency adding as much as 1.5 percent and Ibovespa stock futures climbing 4 percent in early trading. An American depository receipt of state-controlled oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA jumped 7.1 percent in pre-market hours.”
(This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.)
Who Is Jair Bolsonaro & Why Do Western Liberals Cede The Issue Of Genuine Reform To Fascists?
Genuine democrats face a fork in the road: cling to an increasingly anti-popular neoliberal order or defend democracy, warts and all.
By Alex Hochuli
The election of neo-fascist presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro is raising fears that Brazil could be the latest country hit by a wave of far-right authoritarians. Bolsonaro, though, represents something scarier than Donald Trump, the politician he is most often compared to. Following the election on Oct. 28, the world’s fourth-largest democracy is in danger.
The reigning form of liberal democracy, triumphant after the Cold War, has become more difficult to sustain in turbulent times. The loss of legitimacy has not been capitalized on by the left, as one might have expected, but increasingly by the right.
Bolsonaro is a seven-term congressman who surged into the popular consciousness as a hardline law-and-order figure with outsider credibility because of the swirling crisesthat have engulfed Brazil over the past five years. His racist, misogynist, homophobic outragesare numerous and well-known. Horrifying as these are, merely repeating them does not tell us everything about why Bolsonaro was such an unsuitable candidate — and now will be an unsuitable president.
Bolsonaro’s eulogies to the military dictatorship and its torturers tell us a bit more. Brazil’s “day that lasted 21 years” did not go far enough, in his mind: The dictatorship “should have killed 30,000 more,” he said in 1999, while serving his third term as a congressman. Within the military establishment, Bolsonaro represents an extremist tendency; former military-dictator Ernesto Geisel labeled him “completely beyond the pale” and a “military evil.”
Indeed, his idolization of violence and promises to greenlight extrajudicial killings brings him closer to the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte than to the current U.S. president. …
This Is Hell: Fascists Grab Brazil
Election corruption, slush funds, campaign lies, corporate influence, foreign interference, abandonment by American left & death threats.
Black Agenda Report (10/1/18)
If there is an African world, and that African world has eyes, they are fixed on Brazil right now, where the majority of Africans taken from the motherland to the new world were landed. BrasilWire’s Brian Meir reports on last weekend’s election of Jair Bolsonaro, a genuine fascist sympathizer to the presidency of that unhappy country. Bolsonaro, who has vowed to hand over Brazilian pensions to the private sector and bring Breazil’s bloody handed military torturers and University of Chicago School of Economics boys back into power.