“Trump of the Tropics” Gets 46%

Bolsonaro’s 46% is just shy of the 50% he needed to win the Brazilian Presidency, while Workers’ Party candidate Haddad is at just 29%.

While most or all of the rest of the candidates are against Bolsonaro, I still find it difficult to see Haddad winning with these numbers. PredictIt is giving Bolsonaro almost 80% now.

What is Bolsonaro going to be like as President?

He seems to fit the “Trump of the Tropics” label perfectly. Supported by the whiter, richer Brazilians (all the expats voted for him), and supports economic freedoms, anti-China, pro-Israel.

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. He did do well. Would be great to read a proper analysis of this, I know Steve had a Brazilian commentator.

  2. Brabantian says

    One of the important things that may happen with President Bolsonaro, is a real-life experiment in Latin America in the beneficial effects of making guns more available … He intends to loosen gun ownership and carry restrictions for honest citizens, in line with the USA auto-bumper-sticker motto, ‘Fight Crime – Shoot Back!’

    Bolsonaro is able to point out that the 2 countries with the highest gun ownership in the Americas – Canada and USA (yes, no kidding) – are 2 of the 4 countries with the lowest murder rates in the Americas, along with Chile and Cuba.

    The whole EU including still Britain, has about 5,300 murders per year, with 500 million people. With the USA’s 330-350 million population (adding illegals), there are about 17,000 murders (mostly concentrated in urban minority areas). Brasil, with approaching 200 million people, has 65,000 murders. Brasil, Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico, are amongst the most murderous countries on the planet.

    Africa, tho having huge rates of theft, robbery and rape – in some African countries, it is said one-third of the local women will be raped at some point – has lower official murder rate in most places outside of South Africa. Some say this is because of deceptive counting, but others point out that sub-Saharan Africans can be quite superstitious, with the idea that the ghost of someone you murder, will haunt you and bring you harm.

    It is also well-known in the USA, that the more guns around amongst civilians, the easier to carry them concealed, crime rates are generally lower. There is almost zero violent crime by those who go to the effort to register and get a legal concealed carry permit. Contrary to myth, there are significant cases where gun-packers stop violent crime or a mass shooting in progress, the media obscures these stories tho.

    Bolsonaro is going to try this ‘fix’ in Brasil … after some initial blasting of bad guys, it will be interesting to see crime rates go down there, with more guns in good guy hands.

    Notably, the two continents with the highest civilian gun ownership – North America and Europe – have very low crime rates (Yes for all you Yank readers who don’t know, there are maybe 75-100 million privately owned handguns, rifles, and shotguns in the EU … Europe’s capital, Brussels, has two pistol shooting clubs for your classic .45 semi-auto or other handgun)

    One of the propaganda tricks of the anti-gun goons, is to talk about the USA leading in ‘gun murders’ … because the massively higher murder rates in Latin America, are often the result of killings by knives or clubs used by gangs and multiple assailants, against which even a martial arts expert has little defence

    Bolsonaro may be also a Duterte-type figure who will be accused of using RWDS – the Right Wing Death Squads – yet to much popular indulgence and acclaim, as in the Philippines

  3. Hyperborean says

    It is interesting how overrepresented Arabs are in the upper heights of Latin American society.

  4. Arabs came in droves to leech on Latin America since way back. There’s supposedly more Maronite descendants in Latin America than inside Lebanon itself right now. Carlos Slim is one of these people.

    I fully support Latinos kicking out the Carlos Slims, just as I support Sub-Saharan blacks ethnically cleansing their Indian parasite-minorities.

  5. Felix Keverich says

    This guy reminds me of Argentina’s Macri. One of the very first things president Macri did upon taking power was to ban Russia Today from Argentina. Next thing you know he wants to host US military bases and is taking out $50 billion loan from the IMF (which everybody understands Argentina will never be able to repay).

    US must be growing these politicians in a lab as part of Monroe doctrine.

  6. The IMF always gets repaid, sovereign bond holders take the hit.

  7. I don’t speak Spanish, but from what I have heard, RT Español is far more leftist even than RT English. I can understand a new right-wing leader wanting to remove it from free broadcasting packages (which is not a ban), one probably doesn’t need a US explanation for it.

    I wouldn’t want to be ruled by PT, and would obviously vote for Bolsonaro if I was Brazilian, but I agree that there’s a distinct whiff of America cargo cultism about him which is unlikely to rebound to Russia’s favor, whereas the PT has a pro-BRICS multipolarity focus that’s more in line with the Russian position. Still, Brazil being irrelevant outside Latin America, I don’t know if this should concern us. What material difference does it make if Brazil were to decide to also expel Russian diplomats alongside the US? If anything, his Sinophobic stance is good, since it makes the Russian relationship more important to China (Brazil exports a considerable amount of minerals to China)

  8. The fact that the Economist and FT hate Bolsonaro but loved Macri must at least mean something. Unless they’ve decided they love homosexuals so much that they’re willing to sacrifice their economic interests for them.

  9. Likely: his current economic platform is all for show and he will revert to the usual nationalist statism of the military dictatorship days (which was largely copied by the Worker’s Party), and he’s going to focus on removing restraints upon police killings (which is likely to drive crime rates up, not down).

    so, mostly populist feels.

  10. How exactly is Trump or this Brazilian guy pro economic freedom?

    Tariffs are not economic freedom, nor is tax cuts for the rich.

  11. Thorfinnsson says

    The right in Latin America is traditionally pro-American. Latin America has mostly not progressed to “identitarian” politics yet, so you could compare it to the right in Western Europe during the Cold War.

    And like DFH says, Bolsonaro isn’t another Macri. Macri is a very boring “neoliberal”, and with respect to the IMF loan it’s hardly Macri’s fault that the Kirchners ran Argentina into the ground (yet again lol).

  12. Thorfinnsson says

    True that tariffs aren’t economic freedom (and thank God for that–no one should be free to sell out his country to Johnny Foreigner for thirty pieces of silver), but how in the world aren’t tax cuts pro economic freedom?

  13. Hyperborean says

    The Economist – ‘Africa’s dangerous baby boom’

    Never thought I’d see this.

  14. Thorfinnsson says

    The best English-language news source on Jair Bolsonaro is Glenn Greenwald. Unfortunately Greenwald is terrified of Bolsonaro and just reports endlessly about how Bolsonaro who is a fascist and may reintroduce military dictatorship. The good news is he also reports on the many cool things Bolsonaro says.

    Bolsonaro seems to be for real on privatization. Worth noting that shares of Petrobras ($PBR) surged 12% at the NYSE market open.

  15. USA.
    Saudi Arabia.

    How many more countries until the globalist consensus shatters?

    Germany and France? Just Germany?

    Perhaps EU elections 2019…


  16. Thorfinnsson says

    Not much overlap between Brazilian and Russian exports to China.

    Brazil’s major exports to China are soybeans, iron ore, beef, and regional jets.

    Russia’s major exports to China are oil, coal, nuclear reactors, and weapons.

    I suppose there’s an opportunity there to export Sukhoi Superjets to China.

    Main beneficiary of a Sinophobic policy in Brazil would ordinarily be Australia, but Australia has been quite cool to the Chinese lately as well.

    Just goes to show that trade relationships don’t result in as much political influence as is traditionally thought.

  17. If only Britain could really belong on that list

  18. John Gruskos says

    Saudi Arabia supports a different brand of globalism, the globalism of Sunni sharia.

    Israel believes in nationalism for me, but not for thee. They fully support the Jewish diaspora’s anti-nationalism, in the name of combating “anti-Semitism”.

    Western nationalists don’t have any friends in the Middle East.

    In fact, Syria and Iran are probably less hostile to western nationalists than Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, because unlike those three countries, Syria and Iran are not supporting a large hostile diaspora in the West.

    As for Sloppy Steve, he will probably be more of a liability than an asset to European nationalists. Orban, Salvini, the Austrian Freedom and the other serious European nationalists wisely support a non-interventionist foreign policy. Sloppy Steve will probably pressure them into accepting a neoconservative foreign policy based on regime-change wars in Syria, Yemen and Iran for the benefit of Israel and her ally Saudi Arabia.

    The results would be catastrophic for the West:

    1. Europe would be flooded with refugees, and the suffering in the Middle East would provide a pretext for the ongoing migrant invasion of Europe.
    2. Christians would be ethnically cleansed from the region where Christianity originated.
    3. Our real enemy, radical Sunni jihadists such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS, would benefit.
    4. There would be a very high risk of a catastrophic US / Russia clash.
  19. Abelard Lindsey says

    How can the Brazilians be anti-Chinese? Their economy is dependent on the Chinese. Much of their economy is based on producing and selling commodities to the Chinese.

  20. Btw, just a little something I found interesting. Last week’s Sunday Telegraph had a big spread with lots of attractive maps and pictures and so one about the ‘wargames’ the British military were conducting in the Bahraini desert simulating a conflict with Russia.

    One of the ways that Russia might attack the West they suggested was taking over Libya and in some way (it was not specified) causing another flood of refugees into Europe, which I found absolutely hilarious.

  21. Thorfinnsson says

    How hard would it be for Russia to destabilize some shithole African country enough to cause political and economic collapse?

    I realize the SVR and GRU aren’t what they were in Soviet times, but really how hard could it be to agitate a bunch of Africans into anarchy?

    Fortunately for the West, and counter to the propaganda narrative, Putin is mostly in favor of geopolitical stability.

  22. I watch this when I want to learn Spanish.

    RT Spanish is great if you will learn Spanish. It’s one of the only Spanish television live on YouTube, and they produce vast hours of documentaries (budget must be very large).

    It’s more focused in policy than RT English, and is all located in Moscow, providing some jobs for (Russian) people who learn Spanish in university.

    It focuses mainly supporting Indian rights and supporting Indian population of Latin America, while protesting racism, capitalism, etc. So it’s a high level of trolling.

    Also hire some beautiful girls, with smooth Argentinian voices.

    Fidel Castro and Che Guevara is some kind of God of them, so really just follows traditional policy for the region.

    Channel manifesto something like this


    E.g. typical documentary I saw on Argentina –

    It is just focusing first half on exploitation or discrimination against Bolivian immigrants in Argentina.


  23. Saudi Arabia supports a different brand of globalism, the globalism of Sunni sharia.

    That tendency is being reversed by the changed regime.

    Israel believes in nationalism for me, but not for thee. They fully support the Jewish diaspora’s anti-nationalism, in the name of combating “anti-Semitism”

    Nonsense. Having to defer to the globalist consensus wih a few meaningless words here and there in order to avoid endless sanctions should not be confused with support.

    In fact, Syria and Iran are probably less hostile to western nationalists than Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, because unlike those three countries, Syria and Iran are not supporting a large hostile diaspora in the West.

    “The contemporary US belongs to all nations” said Ahmadinejad; while I doubt Assad was exactly crying about dumping his hardest to rule population into the heart of Europe…

    As for Sloppy Steve, he will probably be more of a liability than an asset to European nationalists. Orban, Salvini, the Austrian Freedom and the other serious European nationalists wisely support a non-interventionist foreign policy.

    Bannon does not favour foreign interventions.

  24. The hilarious thing is that Libya is one of the few places where Russia and the US both support the same guy.


  25. Also the neoliberal/capitalist candidate became president in Colombia – Ivan Duque Márquez.

    In general, it seems Latin American politics is moving away from the socialist model in the last two or three years.

    Before this there had been for years a strong socialist wave, with Chavez, Evo Morales, Kirchner, etc.

  26. It is conceivable that either the Conservatives or Labour might claim the banner of nationalism post-Brexit. There might even be a new party; but everything is on hold until after March.

  27. Tax cuts without government cuts mostly free the creditor class to collect an ever-larger chunk of economic output in perpetuity. (At least that’s the way it has worked, other approaches have not been tried.) A more consistent policy would be to cut government spending, but even the likes of Bolsonaro are usually unwilling to do that.

    Brazil will stay messy: jungles are near by and real civilisation is far, too hot to focus. It has a futuristic demography with ambiguity and colors undermining any sense of identity. The smarter class dreams of emigrating creating permanent instability.

    …tariffs aren’t economic freedom, and thank God for that–no one should be free to sell out his country to Johnny Foreigner for thirty pieces of silver

    Bulls-eye, that should be tattooed at graduation on all PHD’s in economics.

  28. E.g. typical documentary I saw on Argentina –

    It is just focusing first half on exploitation or discrimination against Bolivian immigrants in Argentina.


    It’s supposed to be a documentary about tango of Argentina as DNA of Argentina.

    Instead they start about economic exploitation and persecution against present Bolivian immigrants, and then about how Argentina culture is built from immigration, and then concludes interviewing Jewish refugees from the holocaust.

  29. Thorfinnsson says

    Tax cuts without government cuts mostly free the creditor class to collect an ever-larger chunk of economic output in perpetuity. (At least that’s the way it has worked, other approaches have not been tried.) A more consistent policy would be to cut government spending, but even the likes of Bolsonaro are usually unwilling to do that.

    Tax cuts without government cuts also increase net earnings to the private sector, and private sector assets have a higher rate of return than government bonds.

    Really only an issue if the economy is capacity constrained somehow (labor, industrial capacity, commodities, or savings), in which case you run into trouble.

    Hence why inflation more or less disappeared after mass immigration started and China became the world’s factory.

    Brazil has 13.1% unemployment so would do well to run large deficits, but realistically cannot do so unless it imposes capital controls (something Bolsonaro is likely averse to).

    Bulls-eye, that should be tattooed at graduation on all PHD’s in economics.

    Nearly all economists have a cosmopolitan worldview. They genuinely think the purpose of economic science (to the extent it can be called that…) is to increase everyone’s well-being.

    Very, very stupid.

  30. Unfortunately Greenwald is terrified of Bolsonaro and just reports endlessly about how Bolsonaro who is a fascist and may reintroduce military dictatorship.

    Doesn’t he have a point?
    Bolsonaro does not seem to be more democratic than the establishment, unlike say the AfD in Germany.

  31. Brazil clearly is a paradise for its elite though, which is what the country was built for. The bourgeois lifestyle in Brazil could be not lower, but perhaps even higher (?), than the equivalent in European countries from which they descended.

  32. Thorfinnsson says

    This is never ending in Latin America.

    When the left is in power, they binge on gibs-me-dats and eventually the economy collapses.

    When the right is in power, they savagely suppress labor and cause widespread immiseration in the toiling classes.

    At least the never-ending cycle now seems to be done through elections rather than military coups or socialist revolutions. Progress!

    Chile has perhaps escaped this dynamic after Pinochet, but it really is too soon to say.

  33. Thorfinnsson says

    Yes, he has a point, but the real reason he’s terrified of Bolsonaro is that Greenwald is a faggot and has a “family” (one mulatto lover, some kidnapped half-caste children, and dozens of dogs for some reason).

    Which makes the entire thing highly amusing.

  34. Not much overlap between Brazilian and Russian exports to China.

    Brazil’s major exports to China are soybeans, iron ore, beef, and regional jets.

    AK is right.

    Brazil is one of China’s relevant oil suppliers.

    To be sure, China was never heavily reliant on the US as a source of crude oil. During 2017, Russia and Saudi Arabia were the two biggest suppliers of crude sent to Chinese refineries (data courtesy of World’s Top Exports).

    Russia: US$23.7 billion (14.6% of China’s total crude oil imports)
    Saudi Arabia: $20.5 billion (12.6%)
    Angola: $19.8 billion (12.2%)
    Iraq: $13.8 billion (8.5%)
    Oman: $12.2 billion (7.5%)
    Iran: $11.9 billion (7.3%)
    Brazil: $8.8 billion (5.4%)
    Kuwait: $7.1 billion (4.4%)
    Venezuela: $6.6 billion (4%)
    United Arab Emirates: $4.1 billion (2.5%)
    United Kingdom: $3.6 billion (2.2%)
    Congo: $3.44 billion (2.1%)
    Colombia: $3.37 billion (2.1%)
    United States: $3.2 billion (2%)
    Malaysia: $2.6 billion (1.6%)


    China is also the most important foreign market for Russian iron ore.

    Soybeans are another area where Russia’s share could be increased.


  35. The smarter class dreams of emigrating creating

    Towns where bourgeois or middle class live, don’t look bad. Even if your younger people emigrate to America to have a better job opportunity, they would surely want to still have property in towns like this and probably often return.


  36. In Chile, Pinochet has followed the socialist president Salvador Allende, in 1973.

    Including transition to democracy, it has been a free market, capitalist friendly country for 45 years.

  37. Tariffs are not economic freedom

    in the context of a massive global over supply of labor tariffs are probably the only way to ensure some semblance of economic freedom at least in some places – the current process of driving wages down to a global minimum ends in economic stagnation everywhere.

  38. Assad is not to blame for the new Syrian diaspora in Europe and Ahmadinejad is opposed by the Iranian establishment.

  39. I think some people have an image of Brazil as endless slums and red dust roads. They’ve clearly not been. A standard middle class job over there, like teacher or anything involving a degree or even just English and some computer skills, gives a standard middle class lifestyle.

  40. Assad is not to blame for the new Syrian diaspora in Europe

    You’re right. The governments of Western Europe, excluding Britain where Cameron maintained an emphatic “no”, hold that responsibility. Nonetheless, as I said, Assad was doubtless pleased to get rid of as much of his domestic opposition as possible; and I have no doubt he encouraged it.

    Ahmadinejad is opposed by the Iranian establishment.

    Of Trump and the United States, Khamenei said, “You see who your enemies are and how cruelly they stand before, not only the Iranian nation, but the whole of humanity.”

    He chastised the Trump administration for “separating thousands of children from their mothers [at the U.S. border]” as “a serious issue. One cannot watch with a sound state of mind these children crying on TV. How can they commit such a crime of separating children from their mothers for the excuse of implementing some policy? This shows how evil they really are.”

  41. as long as the walls keep out the surrounding favelas

    as soon as America is visibly weak enough the favelas will be coming over those walls all over south America

  42. Bolsonaro’s problem is Brazil has

    1) too many people
    2) too many of those are dumb
    3) too many of the not dumb are corrupt

    there’s no feasible way out of that really* and the transfer of capital from the West (via off-shoring) which created the illusion of “emerging markets” was only a temporary fix (cos it weakened the ex-rich countries more than it strengthened the poor ones)

    (* apart from a mass eugenics program combined with a big wall to keep out the immigrants who’d flood in as things improved)

  43. Felix Keverich says

    The right in Latin America is traditionally pro-American. It’s hardly Macri’s fault that the Kirchners ran Argentina into the ground

    Argentina was in a bad shape, but there was no currency crisis. Currency crisis developed in the third year of Macri presidency – so the way I see it, Macri owns this crisis. His plan to deal with it (borrow $50 billion from the IMF, spend it propping up the currency) strikes me as idiotic, bordering on treasonous. If this is the best that US-educated “business-savvy” right can offer, they deserve to be chased out of the country.

  44. I haven’t been to Brazil, so my knowledge is limited.

    But we when were talking about this a few weeks ago, I was watching some videos of bourgeois towns on YouTube – basically looks no different than typical North Americans


  45. the neocons who funded and armed the Syrian jihadist factions cos they wanted to overthrow Assad are to blame for every drop of blood spilled in Europe as a result.

  46. Polish Perspective says

    Christians in Israel, most of whom are Arabs, are fairly prosperous. Not on par with secular Jews but still doing qite well. So they seem to be doing well even in relatively successful societies. I believe AK has written that some ‘mercurial’ groups tend to do much better in business than what would be predicted by just looking at IQ. Another example would be British Indians, whose average IQ is around 99 or so but tend to outperform that on socio-economic indicators, especially education. My guess is something similar is going on here, but there is probably an IQ differential to boot in LatAm the way it isn’t in the previous examples.

    Speaking of Israel, just browsed /r/urbanhell today and this photowas taken near their central bus station(!)


    Part-kikes like dmitry may be massively butthurt when his precious little Israel gets exposed, but the reality is that Tel Aviv has some really bad and shitty areas the way you don’t see in the best EE cities. He’s just in denial.

    The best English-language news source on Jair Bolsonaro is Glenn Greenwald.

    https://twitter.com/brazilbrian?lang=en is the best guy on Brazil. He’s officially non-partisan – he wants to get some quotes in the MSM in order to increase his exposure – but it’s quite clear he is very willing to contemplate why people voted for Bolsonaro without screeching like a harpy. As for shitlibs, the Guardian’s brazil guy is actually quite good if you can disregard the blatant bias.


    A few words on Bolsonaro: People should be cognisant of the fact that his conversion to free-market economics was very recent and half-hearted. He did so mainly because he knows it pays with the oligarchs. Given his rhetoric, there will be international pressure from neoliberal capitals in the Wests and he needs domestic supporters. He is an army man, most of all, not an economic reformer. He has even publicly turned on his own main econ advisor in public in recent weeks, a sign that his true instincts are far more to the left than his platform – and his increasing confidence in stating as much as he shoots up the polls.

    Folks should do their research on the Brazilian military dictatorship. It was very statist and this is the milieu he comes out of. It’s too early to tell how much of his economic programme will get pushed through, he might do a ‘package deal’ where he gets to decide social policy and leave the economic details to his corporate shill advisers. Either way, he will not be all too enthusiastic about it and expect more public whining from him as he gets more comfortable. I wouldn’t rule out an overt coup by the military and then junking all the Chicago shock doctrine guys in favor of the old guard’s preferred system where the military controls everything.

  47. yes for now – if America looks like it’s crumbling and no longer able (or at least willing) to intervene militarily to protect the blancos i think there’ll be an uprising

  48. Macri likely knows the correct overall direction – this does not mean a miracle worker, who will have “instant results”.

    How many years will it actually require to reform the Argentina economy? 10 or 20 years?

    In Chile, it was only 12 years after Pinochet is in power, that the economy starts growing in a stable way.

    In the first 10 years, the economy almost did not grow at all in net, and experiencing boom and bust cycles.

    It was 15-25 years afterwards (when Pinochet already out of power), when the economy achieves its stable, high growth era (1990-2000, with 4.7% average per capita growth per year).

  49. PolishPerspective – it was just weird behaviour, when you invented an imaginary holiday to Israel, with wild and bizarre fantasy stories (that were inspired by a book you were reading).

    You were caught creating imaginary stories or lying online – no big deal. Strong imagination is normal in kids.

    At least now admits, that your knowledge is from places like reddit. If you recall the actual topic, we started discussing Israel, because I was posting exactly photos of such buildings and urban decay.

  50. politicians like Macri are corrupt puppets – they’re paid by the banking mafia to run up huge national debts so when it goes wrong the banking mafia can swoop in and take all the country’s assets.

    the banks are an organised crime syndicate with the IMF as their leg breakers


  51. Is that the line of reasoning you always use to assign moral responsibility?

    If a black guy kicks your head in while shouting how he hates “whitey” would you lay the blame with the Unionist North for possibly provoking the KKK who may or may not have oppressed his ancestors sometime ago?

    To which humans do you assign moral agency and to which do you not?

  52. German_reader says

    You have a weird perception of reality. From a European perspective, only Hungary and especially Italy are truly positive, because their governments actually seem to be serious about stopping the invasion of Europe.
    Britain still has much higher immigration levels by pre-1997 standards and is on track to be majority non-white later this century, and Brexit won’t change that one bit. Austria’s Kurz has turned out to be a fraud who will go along with the globalist consensus when it matters, e.g. when it comes to punishing Hungary. And the Poles seem to care mostly about their petty grievance-mongering against Germany and Russia.
    Britain, Austria and Poland are all set to sign the UN global compact for migration. So much for rejecting globalism.
    As for the Philippines, Brazil etc., who cares if right-wing death squads there kill drug dealers…totally irrelevant in the big picture. Nor is there any reason to suppose that the various non-Western powers you mentioned have any interest in stopping mass immigration to Europe (some of them are probably in favour of it).

  53. Felix Keverich says

    Dude has been in power for 3 years. Recession and hyperinflation – these are his “results”, he owns it. Macri will likely be gone in 2019, replaced by a left-winger, who will default to the IMF. It’s the circle of life in South America. What makes Brazilian guy any different?

  54. German_reader says

    That tendency is being reversed by the changed regime.

    The regime in Saudi-Arabia hasn’t changed at all, it’s as noxious as ever. It’s also acting ever more aggressively outside its own borders, with all its war crimes in Yemen and now the probable assassination of a dissident on Turkish soil.

  55. I guess I’m more focussed on how much things have improved from five years ago while you are more concerned with how far there is yet to travel.

    Or perhaps I’m having a small bout of optimism or you of pessimism?

  56. Well, Pinochet had 12 years of this, before the economy started developing. Obviously, this is an advantage of a dictator.

    But Macri is still ahead in polls for 2019

    Btw – I’m not expert about Latin America, but there is reportedly more continental shift against socialist governments in recent years.

    On Wikipedia

  57. Is it time to divide the country?


  58. i have no problem thinking stupid people have less moral agency than intelligent people – it’s effectively the same as someone releasing scorpions in your house and you blaming the scorpions.

  59. All of the potential Tory leaders (I am excluding Rees-Mogg from this class) are terrible and not even close to actual nationalism Labour ones even more so.
    Can’t really imagine Sajid Javid or Jeremy Hunt doing much to challenge the international order or promote nationalism. In fact we might even get more non-white immigration, judging from the government’s new immigration plans. Corbyn might in some way, but probably would be even worse for Britain for innumerable other reasons.

  60. Why are Italians so anti-American? And Poles anti-China?

  61. Thorfinnsson says


    The emerging (submerging heh) markets have been getting crushed by King Dollar for a year and a half now. The situation is worse in Argentina because it was already in bad shape.

    The IMF loan has a variable rate of 1.96% to 4.96% to be repaid in eight quarterly installments–but there’s also a three year grace period. The condition attached is Argentina adjust its fiscal balance from -2.2% to +0.5% by 2021, which is the sort of thing you want to do when your currency is under pressure and you have inflation anyway.

    So we’re talking eight quarterly payments of $6.5bn each which does not begin anytime soon. Contrary to what everyone is saying, Argentina can in fact repay that (provided they don’t elect a “Bolivarian” government).

    Argentina’s current account is roughly in balance, but Macri’s austerity measures should produce a surplus which means servicing the loan will be doable. Of course much depends on commodity markets.

    So really, the loan is not a bad deal at all. People see “IMF” and automatically freak out. I’m in favor of abolishing the IMF, but an IMF loan is not always a bad deal for the receiving country.

    That doesn’t mean I favor Macri–he’s an unimaginative stooge. Argentina should obviously impose capital controls as well as domestic credit controls, and its reason for not doing so is simply that Macri is blockhead who thinks government intervention is always bad.

    Things like banning RT are gay and silly, but if you’re in Latin America then Uncle Sam can do more for you than the Russian Bear. So perhaps not a bad idea–provided you get something for it other than a pat on the head for being a good boy.

  62. If that’s how you think, why are you not on board with the whole SJW agenda?

  63. Daniel Chieh says


  64. the solution is eugenics

  65. Thorfinnsson says

    Here is Glennie G’s piece: https://theintercept.com/2018/10/08/brazils-bolsonaro-led-far-right-wins-a-victory-far-more-sweeping-and-dangerous-than-anyone-predicted-its-lessons-are-global/

    (Last September, he used Google to translate a Brazilian epithet for LGBTs to, in essence, call me a faggot on Twitter)

  66. Thorfinnsson says

    Kind of surprised on both Brazilian oil and Russian iron ore.

    How much does Russia even produce in soybeans? But I suppose acreage that can be planted with wheat can generally be planted with soybeans.

    US-China trade war and perhaps the Brazilian election proving to be great news for the Russian economy then.

  67. Yes it is pretty grim, I struggle to think of any candidate that has any redeeming qualities, May is actually not completely terrible on immigration, which puts her ahead of the rest. The Cameron generation are just dire, a Corbyn government might be the radical change to shake things up.

  68. I agree about non-Western countries, they are irrelevant – or more likely hostile – when it comes to Europe. But your European list is too narrow. The criteria we should use is whether a country is currently overrun by migrants and whether the pro-open borders side is still in power. Based on that Poland, Czech R, Slovakia, Croatia and Slovenia are firmly on the European nationalist side. And Latvia, Romania, Lithuania in their underdeveloped way too.

    I think it is too early to say about Italy: lots of words, almost no action so far. And both Italy and Austria are already partially overrun by the Third World migration – so an actual proactive action would be required. There are also small positive signs in Denmark and some parts of Germany.

    Future is not that hard to predict, its parameters are firmly rooted in today’s realities, numbers don’t randomly disappear. Britain, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Sweden are mathematically unlikely to avoid a Third World ‘Plus’ future. Or civil and ethnic unrest. Germany is at a tipping point.

    The real issue in Europe is that globo-progressives can no longer win elections, but they remain fully in charge of all relevant institutions. That is a dangerous dichotomy. Historically when that happened some kind of a popular explosion usually followed. With well-fed population that has no stake in the future (they have almost no kids) that might not happen. The rest is biology.

  69. Bizarre moment no. 10,993,298,3764,783:

    Liberal Western journalist damns “dangerous” Brazillian Presidential candidate because “he wants to chemically castrate sex offenders”. Meanwhile, journalist supports chemically castrating little boys in the name of tolerance and human rights.

  70. Nearly all economists have a cosmopolitan worldview. They genuinely think the purpose of economic science is to increase everyone’s well-being.

    All universalist ideologies are stupid and unnatural. The latter-day ‘humanitarian‘ universalism with its equality and brotherhood dogmas is a symptom of infantilism that has taken over the West since WWII. When something is ‘everything’ or for ‘everyone’, it literally means that it is actually nothing. The ‘every‘ negates the ‘some‘ part. But they will never get it. One has to be a bit hungry to get it.

  71. German_reader says

    As for Sloppy Steve, he will probably be more of a liability than an asset to European nationalists.

    Le Pen (in the presence of Salvini who seems to agree) has already said that she’s not interested in working with Bannon and that the European elections next year are a matter for Europeans.
    She’s right, and I agree that Bannon is likely to push a dubious agenda which isn’t in genuine European interests.

  72. Thorfinnsson says

    That depends on how seriously Europeans take Bannon’s “economic nationalism” argument.

    See his interview on Bill Maher:


    The issue most of us are laser-focused on is immigration. But note how incredibly focused Bannon is on economic nationalism. He even describes the tariffs on Chinese imports (and the tax reform law) as an economic war.

    What lessons can be drawn from this in Europe? Take for instance Germany where the United States aggressively attempt to destroy the Nordstream 2 project. Or France where the US derailed the export of Mistral-class amphibious assault ships to Russia. American secondary sanctions on doing business with Russia and Iran have damaged European commerce much more than American.

    “Economic nationalism” (or perhaps Continentalism?) in Europe wouldn’t just be directed against China, but also very heavily against the United States. It might prove popular with voters as well, especially those who hate Trump. Might even flip a few establishment types tired of being bullied by America.

    Be careful what you wish for Sloppy Steve.

  73. Trump is at least rhetorically in favor of fair trade which is no tariffs and no subsidies and no non tariff barriers. Due to inertia if nothing else, the US has ignored/tolerated tariffs on US exports from less important trade partners. Just moving to zero tariffs is an easy US gambit. Its always more complicated. The US has major pro import lobbies, eg Walmart. A zero position is an easier sell. Most of our trading partners are strongly biased toward exports.

  74. How much does Russia even produce in soybeans?

    Not much.
    President Bolsonaro will be another international setback for China.
    That it is why I think that the PRC was too passive in Brazil.

    From Bolsonaro’s recent Japan-South Korea-Taiwan tour

  75. I think it is too early to say about Italy: lots of words, almost no action so far.

    Check the Med migrant numbers: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ncHxOHIx4ptt4YFXgGi9TIbwd53HaR3oFbrfBm67ak4/edit#gid=0

    They are declining.

  76. This Bannon “economic nationalism” was useful in American election, because it attracts Democrat “swing states” that voted for Obama (Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania).

    It could attract Democrat voters who are working in manufacturing labour in key “swing states”. Tariffs and trade was the only area a politician could argue for some help for these areas (which attracts the Obama-voting demographics of these states), without going into openly socialist ideas.

    But in elections such as France there are not “swing states”.

    In addition, there are diminishing returns – as most candidates are historically are using popularist economic ideas, arguing for increased government expenditure, etc. Marine Le Pen was trying to win working class votes, and she was more socialist in economic policy, than perhaps even Hollande.

    Most votes mainstream were in the election probably becoming more to right for economic policy. Macron, although originally socialist, was becoming much more attractive for bourgeois people, and promised to reduce wealth tax and to reduce public sector.

  77. Note that he is pro Israel and not pro white. Just because the Economist hates him does not automatically imply that he is good for whites, just like Trump he is going to say things that get the globalists bothered but in the end he is going to do nothing but show complete obedience to the jews and do nothing that is pro white.

  78. ….migrant numbers are declining

    I think that is unfortunately a false picture if you look at what is happening long term. If 2018 is less than 2015 it means very little. Because 2018 might sill be bigger than let’s say 2010.

    Plus there are the huge numbers already there (Italy and Austria), those grow naturally with family reunifications. My point is that a short reprieve without addressing what has already happened is not that significant. It may change the pace of Third-worldization but not the eventual outcome.

    That is a test for Salvini and others: can they not just stabilise it but actually fix it. And that might be too politically painful at this point.

  79. My theory, is that Brazil is Latin America’s Russia.

    Sao Paulo, I guess, is economic equivalent of central economic area.

    Rio would be their Saint Petersburg.

    Amazon rainforest is like Russian Far East and Siberia. And native Indians of Brazilian Amazon region, are mapping onto Yakuts, Buryats, etc.

    My question- what would be the Brazilian equivalent of the North Caucasus?

  80. Macron, although originally socialist, was becoming much more attractive for bourgeois people, and promised to reduce wealth tax and to reduce public sector.

    Macron was briefly a member of PS, but he was certainly not socialist and helped to bury PS.
    Reducing wealth tax and public sector was the goal all along.

  81. Reg Cæsar says

    Supported by the whiter, richer Brazilians (all the expats voted for him)

    If they can vote, doesn’t that mean they’re no longer “ex-pats”, and are immigrants, i.e., citizens?

  82. Bolsonaro is supported by farmers, ranchers, agribusiness, miners, developers in the Amazon, etc., who make much of their money trading with China.

  83. I think he means Brazilian expats living in e.g. Miami.

  84. Well his policies would probably be good for white people in Brazil. Does a Brazilian politician supporting Israel really matter? It’s not like Brazil is going to invade Iran.

  85. There’s a fairly strong Evangelical movement in Brazil that is supporting him. That’s the main reason for his pro-Israel.

  86. American Evangelicals are supporting him for the same reason .


  87. Brazil’s farmers are big supporters of Bolsonaro:


    They’re benefiting greatly from the US-China trade war. It seems unlikely that Bolsonaro is going to change much. China is Brazil’s largest trading partner, and unlike the US, Brazil has a trade surplus with China. About a third of its overall trade surplus comes from its surplus with China.


  88. Macron does not seem to improve the situation yet, according to what I hear. It seem the situation in France is still very bad (this year, despite Macron), with “inheritance tax”, even effecting foreigners who are not rich.

    My parents know a friend with this situation this year. Their father bought an apartment in France and father has died in the summer, and now they have to sell their father’s apartment, because they cannot afford to pay incredibly high inheritance tax to the French government without selling the apartment (this situation did not change with Macron), and applies for any foreigners stupid enough to invest in France. Something like a 1/3 of the total value of an apartment will be paid to the French government after the death (requiring selling the apartment).

  89. Bolsonaro can take advantage of China’s weakened position during the trade war to demand better deals.

  90. He has the “wrong kind” of wealth.

    From 1 January, the wealth tax was abolished and replaced by a new tax on property holdings. Other kinds of assets are exempt from the new tax, which retains both the old eligibility threshold of 1.3m euros, and the charging schedule: rates start at 0.5% of the assets’ value, and climb to reach 1.5% when portfolios top 10m euros. It also retains the discount on taxpayers’ primary residence, which is assessed at 70% of market value.

    Macron hopes to invigorate growth by pushing cash away from property and into more productive forms of investment, and to attract businesses and high-net worth individuals considering relocating from the UK in the light of the Brexit vote.

    According to Paris tax attorney Stéphanie Ernould, the reforms are also designed to align the French system with other European countries where taxes on capital are lower, such as Belgium and Portugal; and, ultimately, to reduce the unemployment rate by triggering investment into innovation and research.

    Macron’s economy minister, Bruno Le Maire, points out that far fewer people will pay the tax in its new guise: numbers will fall about 40% to just 150,000, he says, with receipts tumbling by some 3.2b euros to just 850m euros


  91. Thorfinnsson says

    My question- what would be the Brazilian equivalent of the North Caucasus?


  92. I’m from Chile and can tell conclusively that no, Chile has not escaped the dynamic you mentioned. Leaving aside the social aspects (where the country’s mainstream looks up to any globohomo fad coming from “developed countries”), left wing economics have gained an important foothold in the national discourse and the hard left gets over 25% of the vote. Our “right wing” government is basically the center-left of 10 years ago and for the most part is unable or unwilling to challenge the left, conforming itself with slowing the tide.

    The economic “miracle” is long gone, with economic growth barely above the population growth the last 4 years.

    Issue apart is the massive immigration we have received during the last 5 or 6 years, with Haitians comprising a large fraction of those immigrants.

  93. you mean for bolsonaro? His ancestry is Italian actually

  94. Not similar to Macri at all, in my view. Macri is only very slightly to the right, opening the country slightly to the market in a traditionally very close economy.. Domestically, Macri has supported gay rights, he’s against gun rights. etc. He only seems right wing because Cristina Kirchner (the previous president) was so far to the left.

  95. Well Bolsonaro has just gone on the record as saying that democratic norms and the constitution will be respected, so maybe this is all just posturing?

  96. Also promises to not raise taxes and to close down or privatize 50 SOEs within the first year.

  97. Maybe all the anti LGBT statements were just red meat for his voters?

  98. Yes, the connection really was that tenuous.

  99. Hyperborean says

    No, Haddad.

    Look at the political and business side of prominent Arab Latin Americans at Wikipedia and you’ll see. Lots of important people.

  100. Yes. The assumption that because some Westerner maybe makes a small but clumsy intervention in a POC country and therefore is a hundred percent responsible when said POC start slaughtering each other with abandon is unmoored.

  101. Hyperborean says

    Nonetheless, as I said, Assad was doubtless pleased to get rid of as much of his domestic opposition as possible; and I have no doubt he encouraged it.

    Whatever he personally thinks, Assad’s rhetoric is reasonable.



  102. Tax cuts are good, but Trumps cuts were clearly targeted to the rich corporate class.

    I find it outrageous that the income tax is larger than the corporate tax. Income tax should be abolished with a reasonable 10% corporate tax. But income tax should never be higher than some corporation.

  103. The real measure of economic freedom is shrinking the size of government so the private sector can take its place.

    Trump is pro big government and his tax cuts were just hand out no different than Obama giving gibs to the dindus.

  104. I don’t think it will matter much.

    Who else will Brazil sell its commodities to?

  105. My question- what would be the Brazilian equivalent of the North Caucasus?

    i may have it mixed up with another country but IIRC there’s a province in Brazil which is heavily tribal and the men all walk round with machetes and use them over petty arguments.

  106. The real measure of economic freedom is shrinking the size of government so the private sector can take its place.

    that is probably true in the context of a restricted labor supply but in the context of a massive over supply of labor the private sector taking over doesn’t lead to economic freedom – it leads to poverty and stagnation

  107. Well if you look at Bolsonaro’s latest policy announcements, it looks like he will follow standard neoliberalism principles.

  108. Brás Cubas says

    The economy policy of a Bolsonaro administration is unpredictable. Political campaigns in Brazil have that characteristic: no one is held accountable for the promises he makes. This time it is worse, because the promises themselves, by both sides, are shifting, or contradictory, or vague, or a combination thereof. Bolsonaro promises to be tough on crime; he also wants homosexuals to stop being conspicuous. This accounts for at least 50% of his success, and is the ‘sincere’ part of his campaign, I think. Bolsonaro’s economic guru, Paulo Guedes, is an ultra-free-market, Mises Institute guy. He says if Bolsonaro does not follow his script he will walk off from his administration. Brazilian debt is 75% of the GDP, and growing too fast for comfort. It is mostly in domestic currency. Pensions take most of the State budget. The military eat a considerable fraction of that cake, and Bolsonaro is being elected with support of almost 100% of the military, whose privileges he always protected as a Congressman. Judges are also heavily privileged, and Bolsonaro is being elected with a lot of support from them, mainly because his rival, who is, along with many of his party colleagues, being investigated for corruption, is talking about curbing the judicial system’s freedom of action.
    Leftist Haddad’s economy policy is equally unpredictable. He is acting as a puppet of Lula da Silva, who is doing time for corruption. Many people refuse to vote for a guy who take his orders from a convicted criminal, no matter how repulsive they think Bolsonaro is. Homosexuals, on the other hand, are scared for their lives and will vote for Haddad. Although both Lula and Bolsonaro are homophobic, Bolsonaro is the only one of the two who makes curbing the homosexual power a government policy, and that seems to be having the effect of liberating the homophobic impulses of his more violent supporters. Intolerance in general is on the rise, but only time will tell if that is just a thing of the moment, caused the heated campaign period.
    Immigration is not really a campaign topic in Brazil. The country is not in such a good economic shape as to be an attractive destination for refugees and immigrants. There is a marginal problem coming from Venezuela. That country has apparently stopped vaccinating their citizens, and, as Brazil is prevented from sending doctors to Venezuela because of the less than amicable relations between the two countries, it is obliged to take in infected people. Measles, malaria, and AIDS are some of the diseases that are becoming increasingly prevalent in Brazil, and the Venezuelans bring their share of them; measles, which was eradicated, is back due to the influx of Venezuelans.

  109. Unless you are arguing that there is a massive black budget that I do not know about, defense spending is only about 1.5 percent of GDP, which must be only about 3 percent of the budget or so, barely a rounding error. Considering the considerable bad externalities caused by male homosexuals and bis, and the DV committed by butch lesbians, one can argue keeping at least them in the closet.

  110. Brás Cubas says

    I never mentioned defense spending. Where did you read that in what I wrote? I said that PENSIONS (though I should add social security in general) take up most of the budget, and military pensions account for a sizeable portion of social security and pensions spending. If you read Portuguese, here is an account of that problem:


    The title of the above piece says it all: “The military answer for almost half of the social security deficit”

    Here is a more recent one:


  111. What’s the point of Brazil’s massive military?

  112. Brás Cubas says

    Belated addition and apology:

    I have reread my comment. My text was ambiguous and I apologize for that. Read my other reply for clarification.

  113. This time it is worse, because the promises themselves, by both sides, are shifting, or contradictory, or vague, or a combination thereof

    What is not in doubt is that this Bolsonaro is a total shill for Israel and the international jew. I am wondering if he is some kind of Merrano.

  114. What’s the point of Brazil’s massive military?

    Similar to countries such as Egypt, Thailand, Nigeria, etc, it has less to do with defending the country from foreigners and more to do with keeping the local population in check.

  115. Brás Cubas says

    Bolsonaro is, to all accounts, of entirely Northern European descent — Italians from Veneto and possibly other Northern Italian regions, and Germans.

    But yes, he is strongly pro-Israel and reportedly has strong ties with the Jewish community in Brazil. That didn’t stop some Jews from uniting against him in online groups and such.

  116. Thorfinnsson says

    Why is it outrageous?

    Whatever profits a corporation makes are ultimately taxed again when distributed to stockholders.

  117. Thorfinnsson says

    Government can do lots of things the private sector can’t or won’t.

    National defense is an obvious example.

    So is reasonably priced healthcare for elderly people.

    Most people value these things more than economic freedom, which is why libertarians never win elections.

  118. That’s the wrong analogy. I would blame the leftists in media and politics who promote black violence and inhibit defense against such violence. Likewise, the neocons who funded and armed the Syrian conflict and then supported refugees into Europe would be responsible for the violence in Europe. I would fully support Europeans or European regimes identifying, targeting, and terminating those neocons in extrajudicial killings for their crimes. And I would certainly vote to acquit in any jury trial for charges of murder brought against Europeans for targeting those neocons.

  119. Thorfinnsson says

    These comms aren’t secure bro.

    And it’s entirely possible this entire website is a counterintelligence honeypot.

    Stay safe.

  120. yes, i assumed he would – anyone who tries to break free of the banks gets their currency attacked by the banking mafia (e.g. Italy)

  121. Yes, I know. Even though we joke about it, it’s certainly possible. But regardless, I’m talking about moral support, not material support. And I’m free to vote my conscience if I’m on a jury.

  122. It’s only outrageous because the personal income taxes are so high. A lot of people actually saw their income tax go up while corporate taxes were slashed.

    If Trump wants to cut taxes on corporate taxes, cut income taxes first and have them below the corporate tax rate. And cut spending too.

  123. No one will doubt national defense. That is a straw man argument.

    Healthcare should not be run by government period.

  124. Well that’s the place, they have to “burn it with fire”.

  125. gabriel alberton says

    I’ve not paid much attention to the subject, so I don’t know much about it, but here, in Brazil, it seems to be mostly (Christian?) Lebanese (in politics, Haddad, Skaf, Kassab, Maluf… Alckmin and Murad may be non-Lebanese Arabs? I dunno) and pretty much only in São Paulo and Minas Gerais. They have the well-regarded Syrian-Lebanese Hospital here, so they must be important.

    There’s Slim in Mexico, but he’s the only non-Brazilian Latin American of Lebanese descent I can readily name (making me no better than most people. Again, I’m sorta ignorant).

  126. Hyperborean says

    There’s Slim in Mexico, but he’s the only non-Brazilian Latin American of Lebanese descent I can readily name (making me no better than most people. Again, I’m sorta ignorant).

    I’m not just thinking of Lebanese but Arabs in general.

    An incomplete list of dead or alive prominent people:


    Jorge Antonio (Syrian) – Oligarch, important advisor during the first Perón presidency.

    Alfredo Avelín (Lebanese) – Former politician, govenor of San Juan

    Juliana Awada (Syrian and Lebanese) – First Lady, wife of current President Macri

    Basilio Lami Dozo (Syrian and Lebanese) – Brigadier General, important figure in during the period of military dictatorship

    Daniel Hadad (Syrian) – Media businessman

    Carlos Menem (Syrian) – Former President

    Zulema Yoma (country not specified, probably Levantine) – First Lady, former wife of Carlos Menem

    Eduardo Menem – politician, brother of Carlos Menem

    Ramón Saadi (Syrian) – Politician, former governor of Catamarca, son of Vicente Saadi who held the same position

    Elías Sapag (Lebanese) – Politician, governor of Neuquén, founder of political dynasty

    Mohamed Seineldín – army colonel, participated in two failed military coups, despite his name he was apparently a faithful Catholic Argentinian nationalist


    José Antonio Meade Kuribreña (Lebanese and British) – economist, lawyer and diplomat and current Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs

    Pedro Joaquín Coldwell (Lebanese and English) –
    PRI politician

    Emilio Chuayffet (Lebanese) – lawyer and politician, the incumbent Secretary of Public Education of Mexico

    José Murat Casab (Iraqi) – former Governor of Oaxaca

    Alfredo Harp Helú (Lebanese) – Oligarch

    Isaac Saba Raffoul (Syrian) – Oligarch

    Kamel Nacif Borge (Lebanese) – Oligarch

    Jesús Murillo Karam (Lebanese) – Former governor of Hidalgo

    Omar Fayad (Lebanese) – Current governor of Hidalgo

    Arturo Elías Ayub (Lebanese) – Telecom oligarch

    The other Latin American countries are pretty similar, except perhaps with a few more Arab Presidents and Vice Presidents.



  127. Anti-Bolsonaro article by ‘Federico Finchelstein’

    This is what I would come up with you asked me to invent a caricatured Brazilian-Jewish name.


  128. Thorfinnsson says

    Corporations are more mobile than people. Particularly because not many high income countries have lower personal income taxes than America.

    It might be best to simply eliminate the corporate income tax. Any profits distributed to shareholders get taxed anyway, and one can hike those taxes if required.

  129. Thorfinnsson says

    Why not? I personally think healthcare is for losers and consider doctors to be white-robed terrorist quacks, but people in general are losers who get sick all the time and sincerely believe healthcare is a “human right”. I don’t see a viable way for the market to provide this to everyone, which as far as I can tell is what people want. This is not a hill worth dying on.

  130. Polish Perspective says

    Re-iterating on my theme that Bolso’s natural instincts are not nearly as free market as his boosters like to imagine, Bloomberg had Monica de Bolle, one of the better Brazilian analysts, as a guest to discuss this on their latest podcast:


    The segment is at 00:14:14 and covers his background and his economic preferences. If Bolso gets sufficiently strong politically, and with enough army backing, his need to use free market economics in order to appease domestic oligarchs will dissipate.

  131. Brazil’s creditors seem pretty sure that Bolsonaro will be good for them

  132. Brás Cubas says

    The Alckmin family has no Arab connections. Yes, the word itself is derived from the Arabic, but the Portuguese-descended persons who adopted it as a surname took it from the name of an estate they owned in Portugal. One of them, a politician, encouraged people’s confusion and sort of passed off as Arab, apparently because it gave him a certain aura of shrewdness. Read the whole story (in Portuguese) here:


  133. Polish Perspective says

    That wouldn’t be irrational. Everything I’ve said is conditional on his political backing.

    Brian Winter, an American in Brazil who I regard as the foremost English-speaking expert on the country – and unlike most tries hard to be nonpartisan – has just put out a big article on his expectations. In his article, he tackles the subject of economics.

    He basically concedes my point: Bolso’s 25 year record was consistently statist in nature. His recent “conversion” is totally without conviction. But he lays out a convincing argument why that may not matter: Bolso is not a free market guy, but he isn’t that interested in economics anyway. His main plank is law and order and social issues. So he is willing to ‘give away’ economics because it gives him ample political protection to pursue the stuff he’s really interested in, and which he knows will face scrutiny and exact a political cost.

    The neoliberal economics shields him not only from the wrath of the domestic oligarchs that got Lula in jail, but also from Washington. It’s why Yeltsin was so loved – apart from the convenient fact that he ruined a former Great Power – by the Washington establishment. Firesales in developing countries are when big fortunes are made, and US oligarchs certainly want their pound of flesh, too. D.C. will look the other way as long as Bolso pursues a pro-US foreign policy and puts the country up to sale to be looted. All the talk about ‘human rights’ will be shunted aside as the blood flows.

  134. What caused the flood of ‘refugees’ from Libya into the UK was the UK’s own organs of state.

    Including the Manchester Bombing ‘refugee’.

  135. John Gruskos says

    “The contemporary US belongs to all nations” said Ahmadinejad

    The ADL believes the exact same thing, and unlike Ahmadinejad they are taking effective action to turn their opinions into reality.

    I’ll believe Netanyahu is a friend of Western nationalists after he gives a speech denouncing the ADL.

  136. gabriel alberton says

    We have the actual Gilberto Dimenstein, who (while I’m really not a fan) seems to be more moderate in his opposition. Not sure Jews here are actually fine with Haddad, though as commenter Brás Cubas pointed out, at least some of our Jewry published a manifesto against Bolsonaro. Some of it may be legitimate, and some of it may be them thinking it’s still 1933.

  137. Hello Mr Karlin, Brazilian here. Some clarifications for the commenters:

    1- Bolsonaro = Macri?

    No. Macri is a standard vintage neoliberal, Bolsonaro is an actual conservative. Macri just tried (and failed) to legalize abortion in Argentina, something which even the leftists which ran Brazil the last 18 years didn’t try to do.

    Also, the Brazilian economy is very different from Argentina’s, and not just in size and diversification. Brazil’s debt is high (and growing higher fast since 2014), but it is almost entirely denominated in the national currency and held by citizens, unlike Argentina’s. So Brazil is not exposed to the international financial markets to the same degree Argentina is, and does not need it to fund its deficit (for now).

    2 – China

    China is very important for Brazil, but not extravangantly so, like for some small Asian or African countries. Brazil’s foreign trade is actually quite geographically balanced and China does not take up a disproportionately large portion of it. Chinese investment has been growing, and it is this, specifically, that seems to concern Bolsonaro (i.e., fear of foreign control of key national assets) – a concern which seems common sense to me. But that’s very far from a trade war: I can imagine negotiations in which greater latitude for Chinese investment in Brazil is exchanged for more support for high-value Brazilian exports to China (Today, Brazil exports mainly soy, but you have seen that regional jets are also one of the main items).

    3 – Democracy

    This one is a no-brainer. Haddad is the candidate of the leftist Worker’s Party, in alliance with the Community Party of Brazil. Its official programme states that, in case of victory, the Executive will bypass parliament using “popular consultations with civil society groups” to enact legislation. There’s plenty more.

    Bolsonaro is a military officer and is on the record as a supporter of Brazil’s 1965-1985 military dictatorship. Since I imagine most readers here have no specific knowledge of Brazil and only a hazy idea of a general category of “Latin American dictatorships”, here are some quick facts about the Brazilian case. First, the military intervened only to forestall a Communist takeover, and only after pushed to it by the largest mass protests in the history of the country, and they always said that democracy would be restored when the threat had abated. Second, Congress remained open and so did the Supreme Court; regular elections were held for Congress and for regional and local elective positions. Third, even the presidents continued to be elected, just not by direct popular vote, but by Congress. Fourth, when the military took over Brazil was the world’s 40th economy and had only a small industrial sector, when they left Brazil was the world’s 8th largest economy with the largest industrial base of the Southern Hemisphere. Fifth, facing urban and rural guerrillas supported by the Soviet Union through Cuba, the military regime killed ~450 people – that is the official estimate of the leftist groups. This, in 25 years and in a country of 90-100 million people at the time. More people are killed in Brazilian street in a day today. All this to say that Bolsonaro’s support for the military regime in the past is not necessarily at odds with he’s supporting democracy today. Even more because he’s winning.

    4 – Race.

    I’ve seen some commenters mentioning a racial divide in Brazilian vote. On the face of it, the more mullato Northeast supported the left while the whiter South supported Bolsonaro, but that’s quite misleading. Contrary to Lee Kuan Yew’s generally accurate dictum, there’s no real racial divide in Brazilian politics and there has never been one. Racial classification is too fluid in Brazil for this to work (although the left’s introduction of affirmative action has begun to foster this in the last two decades). Bolsonaro also won in the mainly mixed-race North, Center, and among the large mixed-race population of the Southeast, and even in the Northeast, where he lost, he got the largest percentage of the vote a non-leftist has managed to get in the last thirty years.

    Also, some commenters mentioned lacking information about Brazil. Yes, the pictures of the slums next to the high-rises are real – but they are mostly from the large cities of the Southeast (São Paulo, c. 20 million people, and Rio de Janeiro, c. 12 million). The rest of the country – and Brazil has 200m people – can be very different. Google pictures of cities like Gramado, Canela, Nova Petrópolis, Blumenau and Joinville, or just go to Google Maps, toggle pictures on, and click at random on small cities in the interior of Southern Brazil. You’ll probably be surprised.

    5 – The Trump of Brazil?

    Bolsonaro is comparable to Trump in winning against the establishment, and in this he has actually surpassed Trump. After all, Trump was nationally known, a billionaire able to fund his campaign, and managed a hostile takeover of an established national party. Bolsonaro was very much unknown (and what was known from his, from the press, was a cartoon far-right villain). He has no money. His party existed only on paper (it has no offices throughout the country and fewer than 10 elected officials – but now it has become the second largest party in Congress). He only has seven seconds a day of television time. All the establishment was against him, as well as all the press and all the beautiful people. His only strength was popular revulsion at the establishment and skillful use of social media. So he managed to defeat the establishment with less resources that Trump had at his disposal.

    Ever since his victory became more probable, more and more sectors are scrambling to get into his good graces. He had early leads among evangelicals and farmers; now the main commercial and industrial federations of the country are getting behind him as well. But only now, when he already has all but won. More on this on the next point.

    6 – Bolsonaro’s economic policy

    Since his origin is as a military officer, Bolsonaro is obviously more used to command than to negotiations with the “market”. His naming Paulo Guedes as his main economic adviser, with public declarations that he (Bolsonaro) knows little about the economy and will give Guedes a free hand, obviously calmed the market. But people are unsure if this will hold, as some commenters said.

    However, the main point here is that this is not really dependent on Bolsonaro’s will. It’s a question of mathematics. Without major reforms, which he is (on paper) committed to doing, the Brazilian federal budget will, in a year between 2022 and 2024, be entirely consumed with the civil servants payroll and the old-age pensions. Nothing will be left for everything else. And since the net government tax intake is in the mid-40%s, there is no fiscal space left to raise taxes. So Bolsonaro has very little choice in his economic program. He has to deregulate (much to do here) and lower some specific taxes to get the economy going again.

    The outlook looks bleak on one side. The tail end of the leftist governments of 2003-2016 threw caution to the wind and blew a huge hole in the fiscal balance of the country, while mismanaging the economy to the point of causing the worst recession in Brazilian history (2014-2017 were worse even than the Great Depression). Not to mention all the loot they took in the largest corruption scheme ever discovered in the world.

    However, structurally Brazil ain’t so bad. Even through the worst of the recession, the agricultural sector continued to grow relatively fast. The industrial sector, though badly maimed, remains large and considerably modern, and its unused capacity can be quickly put to work. Brazil has been having record surpluses in foreign trade. Interest rates are now the lowest in the last decades. So the real problem is just one, the federal government deficit, which is large but not unmanageable, especially because it is in the national currency. If Bolsonaro follows through with just a few of his promised reforms – privatization of some state companies to pay off the debt, streamlining the tax code, some reform in social security and getting rid of leftist regulations which hamper investment in agriculture and mining – Brazil could start growing strong again in a couple of years.

    7 – Arabs

    Arabs are very prominent in Brazil. We’re one of the few countries where the Arab lobby is stronger than the Jewish one, even though the Brazilian Jewish community is also quite influential. Bolsonaro’s overture to Israel has nothing to do with the Jews, it’s a sop to his evangelical voters. It’s hard to tell just how many Arabs are there here; of Lebanese alone there are some 10 million. Besides the leftist Haddad, the current president, Michel Temer, is also Arab – he is one of seven brothers, the only one born in Brazil, for the others were born in Lebanon.

    We also have the largest Japanese-descended community in the world. And Brazilians are the third largest immigrant group in Japan. And… we’ll, this is much too long already. Hope it was useful!

  138. AquariusAnon says

    Brazil is the country of the future, and always will be. Demographically its around 60% mulattos and mestizos, 25% white, and 15% black with an average IQ of 87.

    Under Bolsonaro, it will just be a stable, economically sound middle income country with a more manageable crime rate. I expect nothing more than that for the country as a whole. The rich whites of Brazil, however, do indeed live absolutely world class lifestyles albeit at the mercy of high crime, quite similar to South Africa.

  139. I have to correct this. The “domestic oligarchs” all support Lula against Bolsonaro – after all, they enriched themselves and the leftist politicians together, with the tab being picked up by the taxpayers.

    A part of them turned against Lula’s picked successor, Dilma, not because of any deep disagreements, but because the amazing incompetence she demonstrated in 2015. Having done this, they expected power to fall into the hands of the center-left PSDB party, which has been the nominal “opposition” within the establishment since the restoration of Brazilian democracy.

    Their miscalculation was that they thought the Judiciary was already fully controlled by what we call “the mechanism”, and a part of it proved to be still independent enough to investigate – and what the investigations proved was unimaginable corruption, and it came so quickly that the “mechanism” didn’t manage to stop the judges. When one leak was being plugged, three others were being uncovered by the investigations. The “mechanism” has been trying to stem the hemorrhage since 2014, and failing. The investigations brought about unprecedented popular mobilization in the streets, basically wanting to hang the establishment – so savvy politicians began to move towards the popular demand and back the independent judges, while the military offered them personal bodyguards, so targeting them directly (i.e., assassinating them) became unfeasible.

    In the end, it all ended up benefiting Bolsonaro – something unimaginable back in 2014 or even 2016.

    Finally, it is not Bolsonaro who might or will “put the country up to sale to be looted”. The leftists had already done this by 2014. Bolsonaro is the best chance we have of having the looting be controlled at least; Brazil is now too weak to forestall it altogether. But this can change in a few years.

  140. According to the census, and based on self-identification, Brazil is ~50% white, ~40% mixed-race, ~6% black, ~3% Asian (mainly Japanese) and ~1% Indian (feather).

    Of course, racial classification is famously fluid in Brazil, but on the other hand, the country is quite large. Even if we dismiss half the official whites as “not really white”, that would still leave around ~50 million “real whites” in Brazil. That makes Brazil one of the largest white nations in the world. If you dismiss two thirds of Brazilian whites as “not really white”, that would still leave ~33 million “real whites’ – not a small number. Not at all comparable with South Africa, which has ~4 million whites.

    Charles Murray, of Bell Curve fame, once made a back-of-the-envelope calculation of the likely size of the Brazilian smart fraction. In absolute numbers, he guesstimated it to be equal in size to Germany’s. He did this in a lecture he gave in Brazil a decade or so ago, but I can’t find the link to it right now. Anyway, if Brazil managed to find these people and put them in the proper positions within its society, it would do quite well even if you buy all the HDB orthodoxy about the uneraltably lower IQ of other groups (besides, the mixed-race in Brazil have high levels of white admixture, much higher than, say, African-Americans, and this, according to HBD orthodoxy, should help them somewhat). Brazil is the world’s 8th economy and was briefly the 5th in the mid-oughts. That’s not too bad,

    Maybe that’s asking too much of the “country of the future”. But if Brazil just stopped shooting itself in the foot with leftist policies, and, for example, started imprisoning its criminals, it would do much, much better than it is doing now. That’s the promise of Bolsonaro.

  141. The May-bot’s faintly sensible notions on immigration must arise from some defect in her programming.

    Mr Rees-Mogg and Boris are the only ones who seem to inspire genuine (devoted) passion. Mr Rees-Mogg makes a point of refusing the sceptre, and I am sure he is serious, but might it not one day be forced on him?

    It is tempting from certain angles to compare Boris to Churchill, but Churchill was a serious man who often behaved unseriously, while I sometimes think that Boris is an unserious man who often behaves seriously.

    Who does Mr Rees-Mogg resemble? Someone, surely.

  142. Polish Perspective says

    I strongly disagree. Lula is in jail as I write this. He was leading Bolso in the polls and even Bolso’s supporters conceded that Lula was the leading favourite to win until he got jailed. If Lula was favoured by the establishment, he wouldn’t have been thrown into jail. It’s self-evident. He isn’t even allowed to say anything to the media. He’s been effectively neutralised.

    I say this as someone who dislikes Lula, not least because of his anti-white rhetoric in the aftermath of the GFC, but as I pointed out to Marcus in the previous thread about Germanic achievements, one should always seperate your personal feelings from an objective assessment.

    As for PT and corruption, your argument does not hold water. Everyone knows that they looted and were corrupt. But so is everyone else in Brazil. That has nothing to do with being favoured with domestic oligarchs. There was a relentless campaign against PT by the business class and once the recession hit, with the spiralling violence, they saw their chance to push their favoured candidates and Bolso’s opportunistic instincts kicked in when he noticed this. Ergo, his sudden conversion to a free-marketeer in order to appease these business oligarchs and get himself political cover/protection. Remember that the media is owned by these same families. Unless he gets a dictatorship, he needs a domestic political base, including in the media. There’s a price for everything. Same dynamic in the US. Trump, for all his populist rhetoric, knows that he must keep the neoliberal/WSJ-reading oligarchs happy, otherwise he is left defenceless in the media.

    Bolso’s 5-minutes-to-midnight conversion to free market economics is not credible. His statist instincts remain intact. But as Winter pointed out, he isn’t that interested in economics in the first place so it doesn’t matter much as long as he gets to focus on the areas where he is more personally engaged.

  143. Brás Cubas says

    Yours is a good summary of the situation, but I have to disagree on one point.

    Bolsonaro’s overture to Israel has nothing to do with the Jews, it’s a sop to his evangelical voters.

    That is probably not true. Bolsonaro, as I said in my other post, has strong ties with the Jewish community. It’s the rich Jews I am talking about here. Why do you think he chose to recover from his knife wound at the Albert Einstein hospital? Why do you think he was invited to make a speech at Hebraica (and, incidentally, said things about quilombolas that led to a lawsuit for racism…)? Young businessmen have rallied around his candidacy, a lot earlier than election day:


    Of course it has to do with evangelicals also. But the Right is a coherent entity, so there is no surprise here.

  144. Are Brazilian Jews mostly Ashkenazi or Sephardi/Mizrahi?

  145. The difference though is the intense violence in Brazil. This is not good for the smart fraction to thrive and Germany would never descend to that level of violence.

    What are your thoughts on his pro Americanism? Is he really pro American or is this more of a compromise to the powers that be?

  146. Thorfinnsson says

    High quality comment, thank you.

    For such a large country, there is very little information in English about Brazil.

  147. imo

    Brazil needs

    1) a one child policy for the dumbest 20%


    2) an anti-corruption version of the inquisition made up of the sort of people who have an instinctive visceral hatred of corruption*

    (*i’ve known people like this over the years so i know this type exists and even in a country the size of Brazil you’d only need a few thousand brought together in single organization to burn their way through the problem)

  148. Brás Cubas says

    To be honest, I did not have that information, but a google search produced some results.

    From the Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Brazil:

    “Brazil has the 9th largest Jewish community in the world, about 107,329 according to the IBGE 2010 Census.[1] The Jewish Confederation of Brazil (CONIB) estimates that there are more than 120,000 Jews in Brazil,[2] with the lower figure representing active practitioners. The current Jewish community is composed by 75% of Ashkenazi Jews of Polish and German descent and also of 25% Sephardic Jews of Spanish, Portuguese, and North African descent; among the North African Jews, a significant number are of Egyptian descent.”

    There is this research paper (in Portuguese) which is a bit older:


    I glanced through it, and apparently its figures are not broken down by types of Jews.

  149. rich whites of Brazil, however, do indeed live absolutely

    I’m guessing this is the original purpose of the country. So, in its own terms – it seems a pretty successful project.

  150. In Israel, a lot of those Brazilian Jews live (as well as ones from Argentina).

    And I’ve seen this year a lot of middle-age Brazilian Christians pilgrim groups walking around. When I was visiting ancient sites in Israel (earlier this year), we saw follow around one of these pilgrim groups.

    There’s also some vast numbers of mainly dark brown, Latin American illegal immigrants in Israel. I believe it’s more often Christians from countries like Colombia, which are undocumented there.

    Why so many Colombians illegally live in Israel seems a mystery (I guess it’s related to religion)? When I visited Haifa, we stayed in a house of a Colombian (native Indian) woman, and she told us there are thousands of Colombians living there, to do jobs like cleaning.

  151. an anti-corruption version of the inquisition made up of the sort of people who have an instinctive visceral hatred of corruption

    The result probably to scare away more of the rich people’s assets offshore, to places like Switzerland, while they continue to create more elaborate methods to continue their corruption.

  152. i’m a big fan of experimenting.

  153. Well, Polish Perspective, it seems we won’t agree. But let me just further explain my point of view in light of your last comment.

    You think that, since Lula is in jail, the establishment is against him. This looks reasonable on the surface of it. How did this com about if the establishment isn’t against him, as I said? The simplified story is this:

    (1) ever since the restoration of Brazilian democracy in 1985, the entire political spectrum has been divided up by the left, with the Lula’s Worker’s Party (PT) on the left of the left, and Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s PSDB on the centre-left. Other parties exist and are important, such as the PMDB, but they are not ideological at all, they are purely personalistic, profit-driven entities. There was no conservative party at all – together with no conservative press, be it newspaper of television.

    (2) This worked pretty well for the elite. PT and PSDB attacked each other despite the fact that their platforms are identical. The only difference is in presentation, for the PT is stronger with the labor unions and the PSDB with technocrats (so we in Brazil say that the PSDB is “the PT who took a shower”). The PSDB’s Cardoso ruled 1994-2002, followed by Lula 2003-2010, then Lula elected Dilma as his successor, 2011-2018. The cultural Marxist programme supported by both parties was being enacted step by step, while the economic establishment was bought off with favorable policies – and, we now know, with lots of loot from corruption. The taxpayer picked up the tab, but the positive external shock of depreciated dollar and the commodity boom lifted Brazil up, so little pain was felt.

    3) Dilma’s government represented “pedal to the metal” on the more leftist aspects of the PT’s role. Crucially, it dramatically increased direct government involvement in the economy, and mismanaged it badly. By 2014 Brazil was in a recession, and adjustment was needed. But the PT was split on the question and this left Brazil adrift. There was no government at all, because the government didn’t know what to do, because the PT couldn’t make up its mind.

    4) At that moment the establishment split. As I said in my original comment, there was no deep seated opposition to PT. It was driven purely by Dilma’s incompetence. Lula saw that, and tried a soft coup in which he would take up a ministerial post and all but rule, turning Dilma into a figurehead. She resisted it, but eventually relented. By then it was too late, because the people was in the streets by the millions protesting. The protests were not orchestrated from above; Dilma still had the support of most of the billionaires and all the industrial and commercial federations. But the protests made it even more difficult for a now-weak government to recover authority.

    5) So the establishment split and a part of it decided that Dilma had to go and, according to script, power would go back to the PSDB. Although the PT protested, of course, it wasn’t too unhappy with this prospect, since this meant the painful adjustment would be made by another party and they could return later on when the mess had been cleaned. This plan would have worked, if it weren’t for the corruption investigations.

    6) You say that “everyone else in Brazil” is corrupt and that to single the PT out is unjust. You’re right, but it seems you’re not noticing the implications. The entire PT-PSDB led system is corrupt, or has been corrupted, or what have you. So the entire system has to be destroyed. This has been the conclusion of the Brazilian people. Bolsonaro was the unlikely recipient of popular wrath against the system.

    7) You say that Bolsonaro’s conversion to economic liberalism has been in order to “appease these business oligarchs”. You seem to be under the impression that Brazilian billionaires support the free market, and that would be wrong. Brazil is a quite closed economy, and the billionaires made their fortunes with graft from the PT-PSDB governments. They very much don’t want any liberalization. Not that there is any political viability in a profound liberalization in Brazil. But some is needed, as I explained, it is required by mathematics even if undesired by Bolsonaro or whoever comes to lead the country.

  154. Thanks.

  155. I think our area of disagreement is quite small, actually.

    I agree that Bolsonaro has strong ties to the Jewish community – now. He didn’t have them during most of his career, when his role was that of a far-right bogeyman for the press. I think this is calculation on his part, driven originally from the fact that he did have support from the evangelicals. But this is a glass half-full or half-empty situation…

  156. Fully agree with what you said about violence.

    On Bolsonaro’s pro-Americanism, the issue is quite complex. Let me again type a loooong comment on this.

    (1) Brazil traditionally had excellent relations with the United States from independence to the mid-20th century. American historian Bradford Burns named his book about it “The Unwritten Alliance”. Just to exemplify, since I guess these are facts few people know: (a) Secretary of State Seward asked the Brazilian Emperor to offer his mediation between the federal government and the seceding states in 1861, just before Fort Sumter. Emperor Pedro II wisely declined [Brazil was an Empire under the House of Braganza-Hapsburg, 1822-1889]; (b) the first ever visit abroad of a sitting American Secretary of State was that of Elihu Root to Rio de Janeiro in 1903; (c) Brazil entered both world wars in support of the U.S. In WWII, we sent 30,000 men to the Italian front, and would have sent 150,000 if the war hadn’t ended too soon; (d) the original configuration of the United Nations Security Council, as prepared by President Roosevelt, had Brazil as a permanent member. It came to nought because of Soviet strong opposition to the idea, British milder opposition and, above all, Roosevelt’s death before the issue was decided.

    (2) All this meant that Brazil had very high expectations about how the relationship would be after victory in WWII. We imagined it would go on as before, with America as our friend and interested in our affairs, supporting our development plans. Of course, by now the U.S. was a world empire and Latin America just one region of the world, far from the stratetic hotspots, and home to no credible threat to America. When the Marshall Plan was implemented, Brazil expected to receive something like it as well – and, of course, didn’t.

    (3) During the Cold War, as expected, the Brazilian right was pro-American and the left pro-Soviet, so the net result was a tendency towards a neutralism slightly tilted towards the US. But the Brazilian right continued to pine after the “lost good years” of close relationship with America and hope it could be restored. Of course, it was disappointed every time. When the military took over in 1964, they turned Brazil strongly towards the U.S. Hopes dashed, they turned again toward neutralism after 1967, even more strongly after 1974. After democracy returned in 1985, again we hoped for stronger American support (those were the years of the Latin American external debt crisis), and again this didn’t come. When a mild programme of liberalization was implemented in the 1990s, new hopes, again dashed. When Brazil then suffered a currency crisis and needed an IMF bailout (January 1999), the US was unconcerned, just a few months after strongly intervening to bailout Yeltsin’s Russia. (I remember reading a newspaper account that the Brazilian negotiator asked his American counterpart why the US was being so unhelpful, and heard the answer “because unlike the Russians you don’t have nuclear warheads aimed at our cities”).

    So the track record of Brazilian right or rightish governments is to pin high hopes on the US, fail, and then correct course. I believe Bolsonaro will repeat this cycle once again. My guess is that he hopes/expects that his general anti-establishment stance will open doors for Brazil in Trump’s Washington and that he’ll have U.S. support for his agenda, especially on the economic front. So his pro-Americanism is really genuine, within the old tradition of the Brazilian right, particularly now that Trump is president. But since Latin America continues to barely register in Washington and since Brazil continues to have no nuclear warheads, Bolsonaro is sure – IMHO – to be disappointed. Then he’ll turn the country back towards a more neutral position, give a higher profile to the BRICS, etc. We’ll see.

  157. Brás Cubas says

    What you say makes sense.

  158. Polish Perspective says

    I was taking issue with your absurd claim that “all oligarchs are in favor of Lula” when the guy is in jail. In a deeply corrupt society like Brazil, those who get thrown into jail are often those out of favour of the powerful. So your statement was and is ridiculous.

    I think our core disagreement revolves around the nature of power.

    The fact that oligarchs are willing to be pragmatic should not be seen as them tipping their hands permanently to one side or one candidate. They are constantly scanning the horizon and making their calculated hedges.

    For example: think back to the Blair era in the UK. They certainly liked him, but they like an unrestrained small-state guy even more. Ruling elites are clever – that’s why they are where they are. They understand that you cannot get your preferred political alternative at all times, so sometimes it makes sense to work within an ostensibly hostile party and corrupt them from within. Blair and Lula are both examples of this. This can cause naïve observers to conclude that these powerful people intrinsically prefer one party or another, when in reality they are just playing their cards smartly.

    Once and when a better potential candidate is found, they promptly ditch the guy. That’s why Lula is in jail. Despite – or because of – the fact that he polled well above Bolsonaro before he was thrown in jail. Having scores to settle is also a factor working against him. All this adds up to the conclusion that the analysis that Lula is somehow the favourite of the oligarchs and that Bolsonaro is the brave fighter for justice and against corruption is patently absurd and nonsensical. It can only be espoused by a true believer of Bolsonaro, in the same vein that Trump supporters genuinely believe that he is an anti-establishment guy even after endless corporate tax cuts and virtually no movement on the border wall.

    Make no mistake: I prefer both Trump and Bolsonaro over their respective opponents, but I will continue to mock the fervent propaganda that their supporters push in the face of all evidence. Bolsonaro’s last-minute conversion to free market economics is also something you have not yet found strong counter to, perhaps because you know it is deeply suspicious and does make him look like an opportunist who took on economic positions in order to suit the preferences of powerful elites. I’m not making Bolso out to be worse than the others. I’m just saying this is how the game is played and Lula and Bolso are both playing it, though the supporters of them both will resist this analysis because it doesn’t ennoble either of them.

  159. Military jobs for restless young men keeps them in check

  160. In a deeply corrupt society like Brazil, those who get thrown into jail are often those out of favour of the powerful.

    Here you are presupposing your conclusion. We’re not a perfectly institutionalized democratic republic, but Brazil is too large, complex, and with too numerous a middle class for it to be considered a banana republic where a small number of families dominate everything. The establishment is powerful, very powerful, but they can’t control everything. Out of the gaps, and with lots of luck, Bolsonaro appeared.

    They understand that you cannot get your preferred political alternative at all times, so sometimes it makes sense to work within an ostensibly hostile party and corrupt them from within.

    My whole point is that there was no “ostensibly hostile party”. Both PT and PSDB were siamese brothers. Any of them would be OK to the elites.

    That’s why Lula is in jail. Despite – or because of – the fact that he polled well above Bolsonaro before he was thrown in jail.

    Lula is in jail because he and his party led the most astonishing corruption racket in the history of mankind. I can’t summarize four years of news in a blog post, so I’ll leave just the latest ones. Antonio Palocci, founder of the PT, the most important minister of both Lula and Dilma, confessed that, out of 1000 laws approved by Lula by executive decree, nine hundred of them were done in exchange for bribes. (Trying to make a comparison, imagine if Dick Cheney stated that, under oath, about the workings of the Bush Junior government). And that Khaddafi funded Lula’s first presidential campaign, which is enough to permanently ban the PT since receiving money from abroad is prohibited. And it’s not just his word: he delivered tons of documents and emails to the investigators. This is just the tip of the iceberg. We have similar revelations from the last three treasurers of the PT, from the party’s former leaders in Congress, and much, much more. Money that has been recovered in the investigations – not just discovered stolen, but actually returned to the state or state companies – numbers in the tens of billions of dollars. Things aren’t even worse for PT the Supreme Court – 9 of 11 judged were nominated by Lula or Dilma -does what it can to shield them, but they can’t flout the law to its face, although sometimes they try.

    Also, the polls are lies. Did I not just tell you that the powers that be are all against Bolsonaro? According to the first round results, Bolsonaro got 15% of the total vote just in the last week previous to the vote. Which is ridiculous: he already had most of these votes but the pollsters were lying to give aid to his opponents. A review shows that all Brazilian polling agencies systematically favored the PT against opposing parties by a minimum of 5% and an usual 10% of the vote in all elections since 2000. So no, Lula did not poll well above Bolsonaro, or at least we can’t know that. I would place Lula’s performance at about 33%, some 9 points above his substitute Haddad. Lula would still lose the second round against Bolsonaro.

    Once and when a better potential candidate is found

    Once again, the oligarchs didn’t and don’t support Bolsonaro. Some of them are going his way only now that his victory is all but assured. The media continues to lie shamelessly against him and covering for the PT. Remember that Bolsonaro was stabbed and almost died a month ago, but the press shows no interest in researching the would-be assassin… If it had happened to Lula, we’d know the name of the assassin’s dog when he was in third grade.

    Having scores to settle is also a factor working against him.

    Here you are correct. Indeed, this is the main factor working against him now. If the establishment had known, when they decided to ditch the PT (to get the PSDB back), that they would get Bolsonaro instead, they’d never do it. Not in a million years. So now we have a credibility problem, how Lula can meaningfully signal he won’t seek revenge. If there was a solution to that, Bolsonaro would be toast. Again, he was almost killed by a far-left activist a month ago.

    If only Lula could be convinced to relinquish real leadership to Haddad or someone else… but he won’t do that. For now at least. Or he’d have supported Ciro Gomes (candidate of another smaller leftist party, the PDT, and who was minister in both PT and PSDB governments – did I mention that they’re the same thing?). Gomes would not carry the PT’s stigma, while keeping to the same pact, and he had indicated he’d pardon Lula if elected. (Actually, before Lula was jailed, he said he’d storm the prison to free him. But that’s a promise he didn’t keep).

    Bolsonaro is the brave fighter for justice and against corruption is patently absurd and nonsensical.

    It isn’t, but not because Bolsonaro is such an angel. Of course not, he’s a politician seeking power. But in the incredible morass that is Brazilian politics, Bolsonaro, who has almost thirty years in Congress, has no corruption cases against him. If there had been anything, we’d know all about it, because the press is desperate. They’re running news that Bolsonaro failed to send his car to an obligatory recall by the carmaker! Again, that’s not because he’s sure a pure soul, but because he was too far outside the Overton window to be included in the “mechanism”.

    Because of this, Bolsonaro has a strong incentive to be a “brave fighter for justice and against corruption”: the fight won’t possibly get him (or it would have already), and neither will it get his supporters (who did not hold elected office until now, so they haven’t yet had the opportunity to loot). It will only harm his enemies, both of the PT and of the PSDB. So Bolsonaro has a built-in interest to help ensure, as far as the Executive goes, that the investigations continue unabated and that the Judiciary does its work. It’s not purity, it’s political interest.

    Of course it’s possible he’ll try to install a new corruption mechanism in his favor to replace the old one. Indeed, I would say he or anyone else would do that if it weren’t for the way the situation is today. The press, which hates Bolsonaro with a vengeance, will surely look for any and all evidence of corruption in the government, and will publish it immediately instead of waiting for five or ten years as was the case with the PT governments. The judges leading the corruption investigations would also love to get someone of the new Bolsonaro government, as this would help prove their independence and get unanimous support as the left goes their way (since the right will not tolerate another openly corrupt government). So Brazil has now the best chance at a somewhat clean government it has had in quite some time. We’ll see.

  161. To finish

    Bolsonaro’s last-minute conversion to free market economics is also something you have not yet found strong counter to, perhaps because you know it is deeply suspicious and does make him look like an opportunist who took on economic positions in order to suit the preferences of powerful elites.

    Well, I did state that it is demanded by simple mathematical reality.

    But your mistake is thinking that Bolsonaro’s liberal economic platform, sincere or otherwise, suits “the preferences of powerful elites”. It doesn’t. Brazilian elites abhor economic liberalism since they have thrived on a closed economy and in close connection with the state. That, and not insincerity on his part (even if it’s there) is why Bolsonaro or anyone else will never make any liberalizing revolution in Brazil. But he will be forced by mathematics to do some incremental reforms, and that will be a hell of an improvement over what he have now.

  162. Do non-white ever make a choice?

  163. Darth Pepe says

    Pleased to see the forthcoming uncuckening of Based Brazil by Based Bolsonaro. I have about a dozen Brazilian friends on FB, all of them voted Haddad. Now they are posting shit comparing Bolsonaro to Hitler (muh Godwin’s Law), making him the most pro-Israel Hitler ever.