The least you need to know to understand Brazilian politics

In 1964, the Soviet-style dictatorship of the proletariat was on the verge of being created in Brazil. However, Brazilian families fought against it and on March 19, 1964, the country saw the beginning of a series of demonstrations called the Family March – with God, for Freedom. Over a million people took to the streets to claim the preservation of everything that communism destroys: family, faith and freedom. In a counter strike, the armed forces supported the popular outcry and have taken the reins of the country on March 31.

Brazil Uncovered - The Family March, in 1964. "No to communism, yes to democracy".
The Family March, in 1964. "No to communism, yes to democracy".

From then on, during 21 years, 5 military governments have been indirectly elected. It was a period marked by major constructions such as the Itaipu hydroelectric plant (the largest in Brazil), the Rio - Niteroi bridge, the nuclear power plants in Angra dos Reis (RJ), several highways, among other infrastructure projects. As a consequence, the Brazilian foreign debt reached 53.8% of the gross domestic product in 1984 which lead to a period of recession and inflation.

More than half a century after the armed counter strike that prevented the communist coup from taking over in 1964, it is clear that Brazil has failed to counteract in the ideological field. While the military were busy repressing the armed terrorist groups that attacked barracks, carried out kidnappings and threw bombs against citizens, the revolutionaries occupied spaces in civil society. This well-structured advance has formed a silent army of leftists in the press, schools and universities, and even churches. Nothing relevant has been done to prevent or oppose the spread of cultural Marxism. The well meaning Brazilian families who marched with God for freedom were unaware that the battle begins in the ideological field.

The military left power in 1985 and by pressure from the cultural left, direct voting was established so that people could to choose their representatives directly. This period was called redemocratization. Gradually those sympathetic to the leftist ideology returned to the country and began to play a prominent role in public life. A new federal constitution was enacted to guarantee numerous rights for citizens and the state being called upon to promote social welfare. The trap was set.

Brazil Uncovered - Military president Ernesto Geisel (1974-79) initiated a process to gradually pass the power on to civilians. The cultural and political left took the opportunity to successfully promote campaigns such as "Total Amnesty", to bring back the communists in exile so that they could participate in the "Direct Elections Now" (Diretas Já) movement, in favor of direct elections for president of the republic, which took place between 1983 and 1984 throughout the country. The communists won the hearts and minds of people, and then political power, deeply ingrained until today.
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Military president Ernesto Geisel (1974-79) initiated a process to gradually pass the power on to civilians. The cultural and political left took the opportunity to successfully promote campaigns such as "Total Amnesty", to bring back the communists in exile so that they could participate in the "Direct Elections Now" (Diretas Já) movement, in favor of direct elections for president of the republic, which took place between 1983 and 1984 throughout the country. The communists won the hearts and minds of people, and then political power, deeply ingrained until today.

Politically speaking, a false democracy has been installed. In practice, the multi-partisanship proposed by the constitution is a system of many parties but all with the same ideological base (the left’s). Don’t be fooled, they’re all different shades of left, regardless of what they call themselves. Parties not openly declared on the left cannot be automatically considered on the right, much less conservatives. It’s all about power and shaping the narrative according to what voters want to hear just to be elected. For instance, there is a strong left-wing, union based party; another that focusses on customs such as the defense of murder of babies in the mother’s womb; another supporting decriminalization of drugs; another to ensure that rural producers are suffocated by a supposed environment protection; and a large group of parties which ideology is economic compensation regardless of the policy, forming what is known as “centrão”, or the big center parties. It is important to note that there are no conservative parties or any that uphold conservative values in this multi-party system.

Just connect the dots. A welfare State is fed by a lot of money and huge masses of people in employment to function. Virtually everything is taxed and today there are 18 different taxes in the country. The Brazilian Institute of Tax Planning estimates that Brazilians work 5 months a year just to pay to maintain the public machine at federal, state and municipal levels. There’s not much in return because public health is deficient, education delivers poor results in international tests, university production is irrelevant either on the international stage or outside the academic environment, and the infrastructure is insufficient to efficiently distribute the production within the national territory.

From 1985 to 2018, the young Brazilian democracy as we know has been looted by politicians and oligopolies. Seven presidents have been elected in 3 decades: José Sarney, Fernando Collor, Itamar Franco, Fernando Henrique Cardoso (2 terms), Lula (2 terms), Dilma (2 terms), and two have been impeached. On face value, what a thriving democracy. But reality shows that corruption schemes prevailed and the three powers of the Republic (Executive, Legislative and Judiciary) have acted in unison in a perfect leftist harmony rather that in a checks and balances system. The average Brazilian came to believe, with good reason, that politics is synonymous with misuse of public funds, and hold the mistaken belief that they would not need to get involved.

Bolsonaro’s election in 2018 was an accident, a severe blow to a system created to perpetuate power. Many of the politicians elected in 2018 with Bolsonaro's support have hugely disappointed the population. Identifying as a conservative fashionable delivered votes, but gradually the masks fell off. We’ve seen “conservatives” delighted with the Chinese dictatorship, favorable to the disarmament and silent in the face of so much arbitrariness perpetrated by governors and mayors during the pandemic. It is true that Bolsonaro achieved something unimaginable by appointing the first cabinet based on merit and those have been addressing some of the country’s structural problems. The pension reform and the sanitation framework are already a reality. Others must come next, such as administrative and tax reform. They are fundamental to unlatch the country. However, abandoning the ideological fight is repeating the mistakes of the past.

The conservative wave is still sprouting, a lot of groundwork still needs to be done. Many spaces need to be occupied. There is no genuinely conservative political party, no associations or non-governmental organizations to oppose the left’s criminal project of power. It is the people who need to take charge of their own destiny. The system is fighting back. Demonstrably corrupt politicians have been released. Governors and mayors issue unconstitutional decrees. The Supreme Court arrests Brazilians for expressing an opinion. BigTech promote censorship on social media. Unfortunately, many Brazilians still believe that the way forward is to wait for the army’s friendly hand to bring order to the country. It hasn’t worked in Venezuela. Those who want a quick, revolutionary solution have not assimilated the true conservative spirit. We must react now. Thousands of Brazilians across the country have taken to the streets last week to cry out for freedom, but the future is still very uncertain.

May God bless our nation.

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