Whatever happened to Brazil? The age of dumb money and dumb politics.
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Whatever happened to Brazil? The age of dumb money and dumb politics.

In the present paper we draw up the main lines of how good politics went down the drain.
Ladislau Dowbor
20 páginas
Originalmente publicado
Society Register
3 de novembro, 2021

The reader may find some passion in this paper. As we write, Brazil has lost more than half a million to the pandemic, millions are going hungry, while the President says it is just “a little flu” and mocks those who cry over their loved ones, mimicking a spoiled child crying. Our problem is not having this president but the system that permits such a character to reach the presidency and cause such harm. The government should manage the country’s public affairs, not teach us patriotism, how we should pray, or make love.

Our aim here is to understand the social and economic workings that permit the worst of us to come to the top. Objectivity in social research does not demand cold neutrality. The arguments have to be solid, but our emotions are just human. This paper is about a dumb system, not just about a dumb president.

The version in Portuguese is titled A Burrice no Poder.

– Prof. Ladislau Dowbor

ABSTRACT: Under Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, during the 2003-2013 decade that the World Bank called “the Golden Decade of Brazil”, we had simultaneously economic growth, social inclusion, environmental protection and job expansion. With no deficit and very low inflation, and all despite the turbulence of the 2008 crisis. The onslaught on inclusive policies started in 2014. Dilma was ousted through a thinly disguised coup in 2016, and ex-president Lula was jailed for the time of the 2018 election, won by Jair Bolsonaro. Since the old oligarchies and corporate interests took over, the economy is stalled, unemployment has doubled, the Amazon is being cut down, child mortality is growing. The pandemic deepened an already general economic and social crisis. This paper aims to present an overview of what went wrong, centring not on the pandemic itself but on the deeper structural change that reversed the inclusive growth model of the popular governments. This involves the economy but also technological, social and political change. The overall thesis is that inclusive development works, austerity does not.

KEYWORDS: Brazil, financialization, inequality, crisis, lawfare


“One of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness”
J.K. Galbraith


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