T Nation

President Bolsonaro in Brazil

So the media is all very upset about this “far right” president. But on their measuring stick JFK is “far right”.

After a bit of reading he looks like a bad dude. Anyone more knowledgeable about Brazilian politics have an opinion? The media is predicting ethnic cleansing and abolition of the Congress… is this hand wringing rooted in reality?

I’m not Brazilian but I’ve worked in Brazil on a project for four months. The security situation was down right horrible ten years ago, I understand that things are much, much worse now and allegedly this is what pisses people off.

And the thing is, everybody is affected - so the ruling elites cannot ignore it. Middle class and upper middle class folks are also affected. Just yesterday a soccer player from one of the top Brazilian sides was castrated (!!) and then killed:

From my understanding, the middle class carried Bolsonaro due to two main reasons - massive corruption from PT and the apocalyptic levels of crime. Brazil has a history of military dictatorship, Bolsonaro is a former army officer and his cabinet wil be supposedly filled with generals…doesn’t sound too good. Sounds like a typical South American scenario from the 60s again.

EDIT: John Oliver has an agenda, but it seems an useful (and biased) overview, especially of Bolsonaro’s public utterances…

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Just like the Trump death camps. LMAO

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Well, bad stuff’s already happening in Brazil. I’ve worked with dozens of Brazilians over the years, most from Sao Paolo. They were great people to work with but they’ve got some clear cultural, social and political differences. I had the chance to Sao Paolo for business about 12 years ago but I wasn’t particularly eager to sign up for that trip after an American co-worker of ours was held-up at gun point and made to withdrawal as much funds as he could from the ATM after taking every precaution he was advised to do by corporate. Nobody wanted that gig after that.

Obviously Brazilians didn’t want more of the same. I’m not sure how it can be fixed in a way that would satisfy the likes of John Oliver, but if what I’ve been told about Brazil is true, it is probably going to involve a lot of dead bodies. Maybe not death camps, but I could see the favelas becoming even more of a war zone than they already are.


WSJ had a somewhat favorable write up - their preceding administrations were corrupt as fuck and Bolsonaro’s opponent was essentially an extension of the preceding admin…I have read his economic adviser is a University of Chicago trained economist (i.e. free market kinda guy) but I really don’t know much about him past that…

Anecdotally, my wife is friends with a Brazilian neurologist who is pro-Bolsonaro and my cousin married a Brazilian who is on board with him…

It’ll be worth to watch closely … it can go either way…

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Nice. NYT pans him, 5 blocks away the WSJ likes him. Figures. Well the NYT sung the praises of Castro and got him the full backing of the USA. So I’m loathe to trust their judgement.

I forget right now. Who was the pro free markets anti human rights dictator that flamed out in… Chile/Argentina if I recall correctly? I won’t Google it cause I honestly can’t remember and don’t want to pretend I’m a historian. I just remember it ended badly.

Aren’t anti-corruption politicians always vilified by their opponents? The powerful people benefitting from the corruption don’t like anyone upsetting their gravy train. Some Brazilian politician was stabbed at a rally earlier this year.

Then again, despots like to waive the “anti-corruption” flag as they purge dissenters. When everyone is corrupt it’s a very convenient way of deleting opposition (Russia/China/Saudi Arabia).

Augusto Pinochet?


That was him. I spoke to some pro-Bolsonaro Brazilians, it seems he did a very good job, like Trump, of being a vessel for everybody to project their plans/desires.

The guy has been a sitting member of the Brazilian Parliament for 20+ years and member of the establishment only to position himself as an outsider candidate.

I did some reading and it seems that Bolsonaro’s army buddies in cabinet positions don’t want the UoC guy privatizing stuff… This could get interesting.

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They gave a fair overview I’d say … I wouldn’t say it was glowing, but they highlighted some of his promises as well as his service/background in the dicatatorial government … It was probably a more fair representation than NYT

You mean Pinochet’s helicopter tours and rides?

Yes, this was also touched on in the WSJ write up … I’ve been keeping somewhat abreast of Brazilian politics for a couple years just b/c it’s so interesting and, uhm, transparent? There was an article in Foreign Affairs that highlighted the previous administration and their crimes and corruption. The details escape me but I remember thinking about how bad it was.

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I have a good friend living in Brazil. I asked him about the recent election and he said the anti-corruption angle was the biggest reason people voted for Bolsonaro. The alternative was a guy who was part of of the same party where the last president went to jail. I think they overlooked his other disastrous views because corruption is such a serious problem, and they’re willing to take a chance to solve that problem.

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I think it’s more than a little likely that this guy is villainous. I hope I am wrong.

This guy is something else. Lets hope he is more talk than deeds.

Like Duterte villainous? Or like Boris and Natasha villainous?

The former.

It would be extremely interesting to examine from a sociological perspective how much did the movie Tropa de Elite contribute to the rise of Bolsonaro. It’s domestically the highest grossing Brazilian movie ever and the subtle nuances are usually lost on the general audience - the good guys are the SWAT guys clad in black and the bad guys are corrupt cops, drug dealers from the favelas and hypocritical postmodernist lefties.

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I only follow two Brazilians on Instagram, both of whom are my jiu jitsu grand daddies. Renzo Gracie came out really strong in support or the new president.

Being good at jiu jitsu doesn’t necessarily impart political wisdom, but every account I’ve heard of the Renzo is one of very good character and very good intentions.

Maybe a long shot was their best shot. I don’t know enough to judge, but Renzo is a person I admire a great deal.

I have sympathy for the Brazilians who voted for this man. Chaos and crime are intolerable.

It is one of the reasons I am so frightened by the total failure of the UK police force. Once the criminal class realise there is little to fear, then crime will explode.

The political consequences that follow are predictable.

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Unless you’re a white guy with pliers in your pocket, then they’ll get you. Gangs grooming little girls for decades… not so much.


You don’t know the half of it. The political correctness is only the beginning. The MET has stopped investigating London crimes ‘of a low level.’

When they realise they have nothing to fear, crime will explode. Guaranteed.

You yanks are concerned about a high prison population? Try one where you don’t get in till your 30th offence.


At least they’re monitoring social media for wrongthink. That’s what’s real important.

Make 1984 fiction again!