Brazil Update

Main Brazilian challenger for the Presidency “Trump of the Tropics” (© Thorfinnsson) Jair Bolsonaro has been stabbed by a Communist activist.

He is said to be in a serious but stable condition. I assume his chances of winning have skyrocketed, assuming he survives. If not, the Army may intervene (his VP is a general).

I don’t have anything against Brazil, nor am I any sort of Brazil expert, but my impression is that they don’t seem to be doing so well. Which I suppose explains why Bolsonaro is doing so well.


  • After years of plaudits from The Economist, its economy has been performing worse than Russia’s in the past few years – even though it is not as dependent on oil, nor has it been subjected to Western sanctions.

Note also that Brazil’s population is growing by 1% a year, whereas Russia’s is almost stable, so the disparity in per capita performance would be even worse.

  • It seems to be a lot poorer than Russia (and now China too). Average wages are similar in nominal USD terms, but Russia is twice cheaper. Living standards might be comparable to the Ukraine.

  • Their last President has been impeached (Rousseff), while the President before that is in jail on corruption charges (Lula). Glenn Greenwald keeps claiming that he was wrongfully convicted. I don’t know enough to judge whether that’s accurate, but either way, this does demonstrate considerable dysfunction.

  • Homicide rates are consistently skyhigh at 30/100,000.

  • Their main national museum burned down a few days ago; I am given to understand that it was something like the British Museum and Natural History Museum combined. Brazil lost something like 25% of its Culture Points at a stroke.

(This rather puts the recent conflagration of the historic Dormition Church in Kondopoga, Karelia into perspective. Very sad to be sure, but it was hardly the Tretyakov Gallery.)

This was a result of low spending on culture during the past few socialist administrations. There were no modern fire control systems.

This is pretty strange, since Brazilian government spending is actually pretty high. But what are they spending it on? As a young country, they can’t have many pensioners. They are not known for a strong military either. Military spending is low.

I assume it’s mostly welfare?

If so, no wonder there is increasing ethnic separatism amongst southern whites.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Brazilian government spending is mostly on pensions, the country is not that young anymore and it’s getting older, not to mention we have a extremely generous pension policy, my father retired at 54, and on the civil service, which has huge salaries, specially in the judiciary. Many judges receive more than 100.000 US$ per month. It’s hard for presidents to restrict this spending because the civil service has too much political power, recently the judiciary managed to approve another wage hike despite the deficit crisis, and any pension reform is unpopular, the last attempt in 2017 was shelved after protests.

    As for the Southern whites, they are not that great either. The southernmost and one of the whitest states, Rio Grande do Sul, is actually one of the most bankrupt in the country, with huge deficits, as it is the oldest state and has one of the largest civil services. The other bankrupt state is Rio de Janeiro, another state with a lot of old pensioners and civil servants.

    Some of the most dynamic areas in the country are the countryside regions of the Midwest and the agricultural frontier in the North, where agriculture and cattle farming is expanding against the natural areas such as the Amazon. They are also Bolsonaro supporters since he has promised to end the practice of reserving vast swaths of land for indigenous peoples, descendants from fugitive slaves and landless peasants.

  2. Thulean Friend says

    Bolsonaro isn’t that popular. The only reason why he has a chance is because the main challenger, Lula, got disbarred by the court system, in turn controlled by Brazil’s own Deep State. The polls bear this out:,_2018#Polling_2

    Lula was consistenly beating Bolsonaro with a rolling 40-day average of around ~10 percentage points over August and July in the 2nd and final round. Looking at Bolsonaro in isolation is a mistake. He is not the principal agent here.

    Glenn Greenwald, who knows far more about Brazilian politics than most experts, has plainly pointed out that the Brazilian deep state tried to destroy PT (the ruling socialist party) for years under Lula. They failed at the election ballot so now they are doing it through other means. And it isn’t because they care about the (shrinking) white middle class and its legitimate concerns surrounding crime etc. It is simply about business interests, as always. Bolsonaro would be very favourable if you’re filthy rich. His pro-military stance is also realpolitik, given that they were sidelined under Lula.

    Given the long history of US involvement in LatAm, one cannot exclude that Bolsonaro’s much more blatant pro-Western slant isn’t a factor in the comprador establishment favoring him as well. He is basically someone who understands that elites matter, not people, and he is sucking up to a number of powerful constituencies in order to get elected. If the court system has to be used to get rid of his opponent which he normally would have no chance of beating, so be it.

    Analogies to Trump’s own relation to the Deep State can be made. Though there are some differences. The US version is more liberal than the Brazilian one. And Trump has not been as brazen in challenging the Deep State like Lula did. Trump notably got rid of Gorka and did little to retain/defend Bannon. He has slowly shifted to a more neocon policy overseas. He has only meekly whined when sanctions bills were introduced on Russia. He tweets about the wall but does little in practice about it. He has done massive tax cuts for corporations.

    This is why he hasn’t been booted yet. He appeases the major business interests. He appeases the military. And he does very little on immigration/white identity, and increasingly appeases Jewish neocon foreign policy concerns. Trump, like Bolsonaro, understands the power structure and acts accordingly. Exactly how that plays out will depend on each country’s circumstances but please spare me the bullshit “Bolsonaro taking on the system” rhetoric that I see far too many on the right pushing. It’s complete bullshit. You don’t have to favor Lula and PT to see through it, and I certainly don’t like them.

  3. I wonder how comparable Southern Brazil is to Argentina, in terms of what it means to be white and also the general politics. I’d guess since Brazil is much blacker, it is probably easier to be called white.

  4. “Their main national museum burned down a few weeks ago”

    It was less than a week ago!

  5. Brazil’s real GDP per capita (PPP) is about equidistant between Russia’s and Ukraine’s, and is slightly lower than that of Mexico, which itself is slightly lower than that of Belarus. Yes; its recession was a great deal more severe than that of Russia, and, per capita, even Belarus’s, and was similar in extent to that of Ukraine.

  6. I was expecting something about the Skripal case.

    The fact that two suspicious-looking Russians traveled to Salisbury on the day of the poisoning, and traces of Novichok were found in their hotel room, is a major new development. That Russia has so far refused to identify the two guys is looking good for the official explanation that Russia did it.

  7. GDP PPP doesn’t tell the whole story when comparing Eastern European countries to Brazil because Brazil has much greater income inequality. In Brazil the income of the top 10% is 16 times that of the bottom 10%. The figures for Russia, Belarus and Ukraine are 12.7, 6.9, and 5.9, respectively.

  8. I think a not terrible comparison for Argentina-Brazil relations, is to say Brazil would be like Russia. While Argentina, is more like their equivalent of Poland.

    This comparison is not the worst in the world.

    In terms of relative population it’s not quite perfect. Brazil has 200 million people, to Argentina’s 43 million, while Russia has 146 million to Poland’s 38 million.

    However, in terms of cultural attitudes between the countries, there is a certainly a strong similarity. Even in terms of linguistic relations, the analogy is not too bad (Portuguese and Spanish; Polish and Russian).

    There also seems a similar economic comparison, at least in the Brazil-Russia side. Brazil is a country with an enormous amount of rich people, but also a lot of regional disparities, and historical mistakes in its economic development path.

  9. Knife assassination, in the 21st century? Is gun control in Brazil so succesful? 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Alleged revolutionary communist who never read one of the most famous works of comrade Trotsky?

    Looks, smells and sounds like false flag, what could it be?

  10. I very much doubt this increases Bolsonaro’s fairly meagre chances of winning significantly.
    Accounts of his condition are wildly inconsistent with each other, but that might be more economically explained as Brazil than as a false flag.
    Michel Temer, the president since Dilma was ousted, has a far more impressive record of corruption than either her or Lula.

  11. The moral of the story of the Brazilian museum fire is that perhaps it’s not the best idea to give back the cultural artifacts unearthed and “stolen” during colonialism to their “rightful” owners. The third worlders are probably not very capable custodians of their cultural heritage.

  12. The English football journalist Tim Vickery has a quip about Brazil, before he moved there he was warned about the crime, in fact he found the crime was a lot worse than that.

    Brazil has a boom when commodities rise, things promptly return to normal when the commodity prices normalise.

  13. That saying “Brazil is the land of the future, and always will be”, it is more accurate to say that the future for Europe is to become Brazil.

  14. There were no modern fire control systems.

    Apparently not any functioning fire hydrants which are not so modern.

  15. Have you considered the possibility that it was a rogue GRU operation? I’m not sure if his activity led to the death of any Russian agents, but if they did, I can see someone taking it personal. He seems to have been given a light sentence.

  16. Felix Keverich says


    How do you make conclusions about a decade based on a chart that only goes 5 years back? It is true that Brazil’s latest recession was more severe, than Russia’s, but you’re omitting part of the decade when Brazil outperformed.

  17. Full decade: Russia still does better.

  18. Felix Keverich says

    In a country as poor as the Ukraine ‘equality’ can only mean equality of poverty. For example, consider car sales.

    New car sales 1H 2018:

    Russia 791 200

    Ukraine 37 583

    Belarus 23 196

    Now, keep in mind that population of Belarus is under 10 million, and it has no domestic production (just like the Ukraine).

  19. Felix Keverich says

    If you examine this chart closely, you might notice that it uses different scales for Russia and Brazil. Brazil is on the left scale, and Russia is on the right.

    The chart makes it look like Russia is crushing Brazil, but it’s mostly due to different scales. The fact is Brazil’s performance was stronger in the first half of a decade. For example, Brazil almost avoided a recession in 2009 (Brazil is on the left), while Russia’s GDP crashed 8% (look right).

    Hey, remember your previous article, how you made fun of Brazilian students for failing to read a chart. Apparently, this task is not as simple as it appears. Doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dim 😉

  20. Thulean Friend says

    Where did you find that data?

  21. Currency devaluation was much worse for Ukraine than for Belarus. Cars, which are made abroad and are the single most expensive consumer item (and are somewhat of a luxury item, because Ukraine has decent public transportation), would be the most affected by this. They are not a very valid measure of living standards.

  22. Thulean Friend says

    The fact is Brazil’s performance was stronger in the first half of a decade

    I’ve index-scaled both countries to right before the GFC.

    Neither country has yet regained their 2013 peak, but Russia will likely get there in a few years while the prospects for Brazil looks considerably darker. But you’re correct about early Brazilian overperformance over the last decade.

  23. Thulean Friend says


  24. Lol, my bad. I would have thought that the comparison feature at Trading Economics would equalize scales,and so basically didn’t even look at them. It’s sort of useless since it doesn’t do that.

    I thought there was something fishy to it since I recall Brazil had a relatively mild recession in 2008 but it was only a fleeting thought.

  25. Brazil also has a very large, sparsely-populated region.

  26. Obviously it’s not a direct measurement of living standards.

    But I would not see updating cars (including importing less old secondhand cars) as luxury expenditure, considering the situation with road safety: families that have to drive regularly on roads there, rationally should update their car to the extent they can afford it (and not just as vanity expenditure).

    In Ukraine has an average age of cars of around 20 years, and (unlike in the West) older cars there are often much more lacking from the safety perspective, as many older cars have DIY repairs.

    At the same time, road quality in Ukraine is not at “Western levels”, making it more of a rational than just luxury decision for families to update their car, compared to in Western European countries.

    For Ukraine, around ten thousand cars produced domestically, and 122 thousand cars are imported each year. Around 3/4 of imports are new cars, and 1/4 are second hand cars (with average age around 5 years). Total fleet size over 9,1 million. Proportion of cars updated each year in all types, only around 1,5%.

  27. Ukraine has decent public transportation so technically owning a car, at least in cities, is not even necessary. In large cities such as Kiev a car is unnecessary and in smaller ones it is sufficient if there is one car in a family. It’s not like the USA. So to a certain extent it is a luxury good.

    At the same time, road quality in Ukraine is not at “Western levels”, making it more of a rational than just luxury decision for families to update their car there.

    Ukraine’s road are a mixed bag. The road from Kiev to Zhytomir is completely up to Western standards. I did not check to see how far it remains good, perhaps it is excellent all the way to the Polish border. Roads around Lviv are fine also. But the roads 50 km from Lviv in Western Ukraine are awful and unimaginable for a Westerner: tip for tourists, when renting a car always get the insurance. I would actually not want to take a new car on such roads, it would ruin it.

    Per wiki, Ukraine has 202 vehicles per 1,000 people. Compared to 249 in Brazil, 200 in Uruguay, 156 in Moldova, Macedonia 155, Albania 124. Russia has 369 and Belarus 362.

  28. Yes they have some kind of tropical Siberia in the interior of their land.

    But more similarities – a lot of Brazilians started to study abroad as well, where they complain about their country to curious foreigners.

    So we established Brazil is the Russia of Southern America, while Argentina is the Poland of this mysterious continent. I wonder what is the Ukraine equivalent – Bolivia or Colombia? (I was going to say Venezuela, but then remember they have huge amounts of oil).

  29. But so does Argentina

  30. Brazil should try the experiment of dropping tariffs on video game consoles, and maybe subsidizing something like Netflix. Basically, prolefeed, to see if it decreases violence, as it may have in the US.

  31. In this mapping of Latin America/Eastern Europe, obviously we could turn the map 90 degrees anti-clockwise.

    North America is Western Europe (California is South Western Europe, while New York is like some North West European city).

    In this way Russia, is now in a similar position as Brazil. (Lol there’s some issue with Argentina/Poland’s position though).

    Ukraine is definitely Colombia. Bolivia is like Latin American version of central Asia. Ecuador/Peru can be the Caucasus.

  32. Well, it is kind of a loose analogy. But in its vast scale, I think the Savanna is more evocative of Siberia as the whole eastward region of Russia is informally called.

    Tierra del Fuego is probably colder, and Poland to my knowledge doesn’t have something similar. But I don’t think the population of Argentina is quite as bottled up as Brazil’s is along the coast. In that sense of a population gradient on an East-West axis – a very loose analogy – I think it is somewhat more similar to Russia.

  33. This would support my guesstimate that Brazilian and Ukrainian living standards are somewhat comparable, with Russia significantly ahead.

    Brazil, like most of Latin America, has a much less well developed public transport infrastructure than the ex-USSR, so the people there need cars.

    Current wages according to Trading Economics are about $650 in Russia, $550 in Brazil, and $330 in the Ukraine (congrats on the improvement – though it will probably fall soon, since the grivna needs to weaken).

    However, Brazil is about as expensive as the US, whereas Russia is at around 50% of its level and Ukraine perhaps 40%.

  34. Well this is an idle board game,

    But attitude of Argentina to Brazil, seems to me analogous of Poland to Russia. Also Poland and Argentina seem to have some similar attitude about their cultural singularity, which they define in contrast to their more significant neighbors.

    My map has fucked this comparison though.

    At least it places Mexico in something like position of Balkans. Ukraine as Colombia, Moldova is like El Salvador. And Romania – Guatemala?

  35. You might have had something there in comparing it to Columbia. The nearby Panama Canal is somewhat like the Bosporus in Turkey. Brazil did once have Pacific ambitions sort of life how Russia wanted to expand its empire southward in the Great Game.

    I somewhat like to compare Romania to Bolivia. Bolivia is a kind of a backwards place, but with a lot of gas, just as Romania has oil. I don’t think it should be compared to Venezuela because that was once a prosperous country.

    Now, I have heard that policemen in Bogotá use whistles for they are too poor to use walkie-talkies. But it seems to me that it might be more difficult to find exact analogues of the drug gangs of Latin America in matching each of these countries of different continents.

    Perhaps, something might be made of comparing beets to sugar-cane? Or soy to coffee beans. But on the other hand it might be useful to measure expats.

  36. It’s a bit of an unfair comparison for Brazil.

    Brazil has a large slave caste of brown people, who are living very poorly.

    But the economy has large industries. (Petrobras is larger than Rosneft). Brazilian economy is producing all the large numbers of rich Brazilians travelling the world and or sending children abroad.

    And the bourgeois parts of Brazil where they keep out their slaves – just like Miami.

  37. I would guess in the more bourgeois towns, life is quite different from Ukraine.

    (Highly breeding Favela people are likely pulling down their per capita data very significantly.)

  38. Maybe the comparison would have been easier some years ago, before the EU expands so far in the East.

    Obviously USA-Mexico border, was (before EU enlargement of the early 2000s years) very analogous to the border between EU and non-EU.

    If NAFTA had fully opened borders and integrated the countries, and continued expanding to the Southern direction, to include all of Central America down to Colombia, this would be very analogous to what has occurred with the EU expanding East to the borders of Ukraine.

    Also imagine if NAFTA was a transfer union, like the EU. In this case, American taxpayers would be directly funding the infrastructure construction of Guatemala and Mexico.

    In terms of per capita GDP, Colombia is a lot richer than Ukraine. (Colombia’s per capita GDP is more than twice the level of Ukraine).

    And Colombia has a lot of military power, with around 5 times the budget of the Ukrainian military.

    Both countries have a similar issue with being in a civil war though.

  39. According to this report, Brazil has more millionaires than Russia (pp.45):

    However, the difference isn’t big – Brazil has 164,000 to Russia’s 132,000. Or about the same in per capita terms.

    Moreover, Russia’s numbers are suppressed by its currency being heavily devalued right now, whereas Brazil’s prices are equivalent to America’s.

    Conclusion: Russia has many more billionaires than Brazil (a common legacy of post-Soviet privatizations); somewhat more UHNWI’s; slightly fewer millionaires, and I assume similar numbers of global upper middle class (many Muscovites are close to millionaire status just through the housing they own); on the other hand, Brazil would also have many more poor and especially extreme poor – there are no favelas in Russia.

    By extension, Ukrainians would be close to the median Brazilian in living standards (though I still suspect there’s more Brazilian extreme poor), but would also have far far fewer global upper middle class, millionaires, and UHNWI’s – though a comparable number of billionaires.

  40. Correct, and poor parts also very different from Ukraine.

  41. Neither Ukraine nor Russia have Brazil’s dirt poor ghetto areas.

    Russia’s GDP per capita PPP is $25,000, Brazil’s is about $15,000. Income inequality is not much different but greater in Brazil (richest 10% in Brazil make 16 times more than poorest 10%; in Russia is it 12.7 times more). Much higher GDP PPP per capita is enough to prevent favela-style poverty in Russia.

    Ukraine’s GDP PPP per capita, on the other hand, is a little more than half of Brazil’s ($8,667 in 2017, probably close to $9,000 in 2018), but income inequality is a fraction of Brazil’s (richest 10% in Ukraine make only 5.9 times more than poorest 10%). Greater income equality in Ukraine probably accounts for lack of favela-style poverty in Ukraine.

  42. There are a lot of rich Brazilians abroad, so it’s psychologically quite difficult to imagine this.

    But of course we don’t imagine the vast numbers of favela people.

    For European origin people in Brazil, perhaps their average economic position will be a lot higher than average in Russia, or even many EU countries. (As income of European origin people in Brazil is on average more than double the black and brown population).

  43. In America, historical statues are torn down with glee, so it might not be much better to store your artifacts there.

  44. Abelard Lindsey says

    Brazil avoided the 2008 crash because it was riding the commodity bull. This commodity bull was built around selling commodities to China. This ended around 2015 and ended Brazil’s economic growth as a result. Brazil does have world-class companies and world-class manufacturing. Petrobras has the technology and capacity to compete with multinationals such as Exxon-Mobile and Shell. Embraer manufacturers regional jets, including a 100 seater with wing mounted engines (this is technically significant) like a 737 and is also fully competitive with Bombardier and other regional jet manufacturers. Ford also has a car factory in Brazil that is said to be more technologically advanced than their Michigan factories. Nevertheless, this world-class manufacturing accounts for only a small portion of Brazil’s economy and especially work force. Thus, the bulk of their economy is still based on commodities. Hence their sensitivity to the commodity cycle.

  45. It has surely the most potential of Latin America – especially in the startup sector, where in Brazil almost all the startup funding in Latin America are happening.

    For startups, so far NuBank, PagSeguro, and 99 (equivalent of Uber), reached billionaire dollar valuation.

  46. The museum was with artifacts like – Ancient Greek, Ancient Roman, Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Japanese, etc.

    Brazilian elites had been collecting these items of world culture for centuries.

    Really they should have privatized it and sold some of the items in a black marketplace.

    In the end, the government did not have the financing to look after it safely.

  47. They did. It’s just that they are sportcucks who prefer to lavish billions on a bunch of apes kicking around a ball as opposed to their own culture.

    Not that the critique is terribly damning coming from a Russian of course.

  48. kibernetika says

    Seeing those ostentatious cars reminds me of Kutuzovskii prospekt in Mosow, where one could/(and still can, presumably) see Lamborghinis and other exotic cars flying by at over 100 MPH. Even in the blue light lane, at least not when the VIPs were commuting from outside.

    Brazil’s not an exact analog. In Russia, I’ve never seen a man pulling a cart, essentially being a beast of burden, a mule, but one can see it in Brazil. And that’s not even in the favelas; it’s fairly common in big cities such as Rio and Sao Paolo.

    The general level of education is much higher in Russia. RU, after the collapse of the USSR, has maintained an appreciation of a good education, universal literacy, numeracy. Brazil has never accomplished that, even today.

  49. Seeing those ostentatious cars reminds me of Kutuzovskii prospekt in Mosow, where one could/(and still can, presumably) see Lamborghinis and other exotic cars flying by at over 100 MPH

    This happened to me once right on Tverskaya (maybe they were driving 80 mph). Teenaged Caucasians in a $100,000+ car, acting like Puerto Rican teenagers in souped up Honda civic.

  50. Maybe you can interchange the top between between two countries – and nobody would notice.

    • But the apex in Brazil, less “hipster” comparing to Russia.
      It looks like 1990s or early 2000s there.

  51. I guess it’s worse in Brazil – a lot of them very noisily in quiet pedestrian side roads.

  52. AquariusAnon says

    And this is shot in Curitiba, the whitest, most developed, most civilized, and least culturally “Brazilian” state capital in Brazil. This shows you what even white Brazilians are becoming nowadays.

    I believe its home to a large Polish and Ukrainian diaspora, and majority of the population is white.

    Brazil as a whole is only 20% white, and I guess Curitiba maybe clocking in at around 60%. On the other hand, the main cities, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, are 30% white and 15% white respectively.

    Source: right wing white Brazilian friend.

    Brazil is doing how its supposed to do for a 20% white (and 70% brown) country, and will probably stagnate at this current form for a while.

    Russia and Ukraine, on the other hand, punch below their weights given their demographics. Both are countries with great potential, can upgrade to at least southern European levels of prosperity if they play their cards right.

  53. The exhibits in the Brazilian museum were not indigenous Brazilian. They were mostly from Europe some Asian and middle eastern.

  54. Have Russia and Ukraine ever played their cards right?

  55. And this is shot in Curitiba, the whitest, most developed, most civilized, and least culturally “Brazilian” state capital in Brazil…Brazil as a whole is only 20% white, and I guess Curitiba maybe clocking in at around 60%

    Wiki says Curitiba is 80% European.

    The state bordering to the south has a whiter capital.

    Florianopolis – 90% European:ópolis#Demographics

  56. AquariusAnon says

    In Brazil, the definition of “white” is different. White means “light skinned” and is usually self-reported in Brazil, but doesn’t mean European. For example, Ronaldo considers himself white, which is a joke but he really puts down “white” on the Brazilian census. There’s no way Brazil is 48% white, because that makes it as white as Texas, which is blatantly false.

    If we use “white” as in “can genetically pass or be considered as a native in (Southern) Europe”, that is the definition that Europe and the Anglosphere uses, then Brazil goes down to 20-25% white.

    Florianopolis is likely 70% white in that case.

    The Northeast state capitals probably all have a white population of 5-10%.

  57. AquariusAnon says

    And their chance to finally do it is after 2024 in Russia, and after 2019 in Ukraine.

    Georgia, for example, definitely played their post-2013 cards right. There’s no reason for Ukraine to model themselves after that.

    South Korea, even though its not Eastern European, is another country that played its cards right, and a great development model for Russia after 2024. I want to say Poland too, but they seem far too reliant on Western Europe multinationals, and exporting its excess labor to the UK while bringing in even cheaper labor from West Ukraine.

  58. Brazil’s future looks better than Russia’s because it doesn’t have a rapidly rising, ambitious colossus like China at it’s borders.

    Brazil has much better climate and scenery as well.

  59. before he moved there he was warned about the crime, in fact he found the crime was a lot worse than that.

    For a while in the 1990s Russia had one of the highest crime rates in the world, matching the current peak homicidal rate in Brazil.

    For example in 1993 the homicide rate in Russia was 30.6 while that same year it was 16.7 in Brazil.

    It has declined to about a third of that but it is still by far the highest in Europe and one of the very highest in all of Eurasia.

    If you look at intentional death rates (murder rates + suicide rates) Russia at 31.6 and Brazil at 32.7 are neck and neck.

    An interesting fact: many countries with very low murder rates can have very high suicide rates. For example all the nations of East Asia have very low murder rates but very high suicide rates, thus pretty high intentional death rates (in the 20s).

  60. Brazilians – an equatorial people trying to imitate the Russian style.

    Everything people can complain about Russia, the Brazilians are doing it worse, except without bears and atomic weaponry.

    Well lacking bears, Brazilian national animal: giant tropical rats:

  61. Lol – looking at nightlife of Florianopolis on YouTube.

    Drowning in prostitutes and champagne…

  62. Russia’s homicide peak = an aberration produced by the statal breakdown of the 1990s on top of the sovok alcoholization epidemic (both in rapid decline).

    Brazil’s = the rule.

  63. Funny how the Russian and American murder rates converge going in opposite directions. I was just involved in a discussion recently about the overall health of Russian vs. American society, spurred by yet another news report about the US opiate problem. While there was general agreement about the trajectories, I argued that the US still has a ways to fall, and Russia’s to improve, before there is a general convergence. I’m willing to admit to being wrong, it would be interesting to look at a head-t0-head current day comparison of the two in terms of murder, divorce, alcohol and drug use, abortion, HIV, etc.