Bolsonaro

pattycakes_

Active member
well it has a federal structure Brazil right (i just read this in the Economist), so the different regional governments could obstruct to some extent. bit like with the USA where California and Oregon are holding fast against some of the Trumpian depredations.

the rhetoric is terrifying though isn't... and the encouragement given to the police (or mobs of vigilantees) to crack down harshly is ruddy alarming

that's why when you said about come start a commune in Brazil i thought 'hmmm perhaps not the most opportune moment in the country's history' to give that a go!

and business is going to be unleashed on the Amazon to exploit right?

what a nightmare
all true plus so much more. a girl i know here told me people are already voting to have american style gun laws for protection. it's going to get messy. this in a country which has 100s of murders a day already.


Sao Paolo is great - been there twice, never been to any other bit of Brazil

it's so huge, though, i tried to go to a record store in what looked like a not that far away neighbourhood, and 46 mins later got there to find it was closed down
it's a great city. was instantly charmed by the warmth of the people (who i've been told are cold by brazilian standards *shrug*), the architecture and all the cultural action. this is one of the safer cities in Brazil so maybe things won't get as hairy as say Rio. the commune plans are on the back burner for now. atmos is weird, people seem so unsure of their future. a lot of people want to leave.

how is the world going in this direction all at the same time?


@version are you in Brazil?
 
Last edited:

version

Who loves ya, baby?
My simplified view is that it's the result of arrogance, complacency and greed on the part of the liberal ruling class.

They had it made, all they had to do was keep people relatively comfortable and offer a very narrow choice of candidate come election time and they'd have continued to make a lot of money whilst presiding over a relatively stable society. Instead they tried to squeeze more and more out of people, making them less and less and less comfortable, whilst continuing to offer the same narrow choice of candidate. If the choice you offer doesn't solve the issues then eventually people will look elsewhere hence Trump, Brexit and the rest.

It's like that bit in The Dark Knight when he's trying to work out the Joker and Michael Caine has to explain the situation to him:

You crossed the line first, sir. You squeezed them, you hammered them to the point of desperation. And in their desperation, they turned to a man they didn't fully understand.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I think what's happening now is a perfect storm of problems and dissatisfaction arising from the handling of the '08 financial crisis, social media and various other online platforms offering a voice to extremists who would normally be isolated from each other and the public and the stuff I said above.

I imagine there's also a domino effect of people seeing that these extreme figures and ideas can actually win and being carried along by the wave. Online it's a lot of the same people getting behind them and they have a lot of momentum, the same people are behind Putin, Le Pen, Trump, Bolsonaro, Orban, Duterte and so on. There's this huge propaganda network that just jumps behind any far right candidate and bombards social media with misinformation, memes and so on.
 

pattycakes_

Active member
Good shout. On top of that, I'd add that the global trauma of 9/11 has never been resolved. Not that it could have ofc. It was the beginnings of the new breed of psychological terror which has now been totally normalized and interwoven into the fabric of our reality. It also coincided with the Internet going mainstream which obviously plays a megalithic role. The aftermath giving us this sense of paralysing uncertainty. The thought that at any minute we could be killed by a crazed fanatic is an actual reality now. Even though we know how slim the chances. I believe that no matter how resilient we think we are, this style of trauma has an automatic instinctual reaction in us, and whoever is tending the strings knows this all too well. Putty in their hands. Maybe I'm being dramatic, but I believe that this stuff is lurking in the depths of our collective subconscious and bleeding out into our daily interactions. We got dark.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I recently read an essay on Bleeding Edge (Pynchon) which covered this stuff - https://www.berfrois.com/2014/09/bleeding-edgers/

For Pynchon, the terrible irony of Germany’s newest technology of destruction is that if you hear the sound of the V-2, you have not been killed by it. Because it flies at supersonic speed, it comes unannounced. Silence, soundless, then sudden death. Only after that silent destruction, there is, for the survivors, the crying of its approach that bleeds, acoustically, into the sound of its detonation.

The logic of 9/11 could be described in a similar way, and, had it been written after 2001, “a screaming comes across the sky” could well be a description of the approach of the two planes flying into the towers of the WTC on the 11th of September. Two horrible, terrifying angels, made of shiny aluminum, appear in a sky that has mostly been described as steel-blue or azure.

Although the planes are not supersonic, the attack strikes America completely unannounced, and thus with the greatest possible traumatic force. The fact that there are fetishists who comb through the 9/11 footage for the sound of the impact, and who hear in the explosion secret messages in the same, desperate way that others have seen the face of Bin Laden or Satan in the smoke, is due to the long shadow of that traumatization.
 

vimothy

yurp
good answers, but not sure if they really get to why the response to those factors has such specific qualities
 

vimothy

yurp
i.e., you can explain the global nature of what's going on with a common cause, but why does it give rise to a common response? why this explosion of RW populism specifically?
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
keep people relatively comfortable...relatively stable society
undoubtedly the ruling class (assuming "liberal" in the sense of global neoliberal consensus) deserves a large share of the blame

asleep at the wheel, dreaming sweet dreams of an end of history Pax Davos

but there are forces here beyond even their hubris

it already wasn't possible - from a resources/policy standpoint, globally speaking - to keep most people "relatively comfortable"

and now the true bill for the last 250+ years of progress is only starting to come due, which is far beyond the scope of any policymaker

add to that total ongoing installments of the bill for the sins of the Cold War, and more broadly the age of colonialism as it shaped the modern world

not to reduce everything to climate-change exacerbated competition for resources but that fact and the resultant anxiety underlies everything

further narrowing capitalism's already narrow disaster margins, laying bare implicit social discontent, etc

in general - and this is also a response to vimothy's question - nearly all the bullshit that has been papering over the cracks in global order is unraveling

upheaval was inevitable at some point - from the system's inherent instabilities, and the simple fact that no global order lasts forever - and given underlying conditions I'd guess RW blut und boden populism was always a reasonably likely response, but the specific iteration of those conditions - financial crisis, refugee-migration crisis, ongoing mass shift to greater labor precarity - has ensured/intensified it. for the West/Global North (and outside allied entities, as Bolsonaro represents) it's comparable to the collective psychic trauma and disillusionment of the inter-war period, and we're getting a similar result. that's my basic .02 anyway.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
not to just handwave fake news, social media, etc

can't overstate their tactical, procedural, etc importance

but I do think the thing itself ultimately opportunism - symptom rather than cause - just as it was for Mussolini, Hitler, and so on

conditions need to pre-exist for this bullshit to flourish
 

pattycakes_

Active member
i.e., you can explain the global nature of what's going on with a common cause, but why does it give rise to a common response? why this explosion of RW populism specifically?
Just like the nazis, the current wave of rw are using the fear and desperation as fertile ground.

Edit: didn't see padraigs 2nd post saying the same thing
 
Last edited:

Leo

Active member
social media is certainly an accelerant for this fire. but it's curious how social media seems to get used much more effectively by far-right sources than liberal/far-left sources. it's a technology tool to which both sides have equal access, it's not like the far-right is the only group that can create and share inflammatory YouTube vids, Facebook posts and fake news.

I can't believe the far-left is somehow too principled to delve into generating/sharing fake news. They just don't seem to do it, or do it as effectively anyway.
 

Leo

Active member
true, but I'd imagine far-left groups can also play the fear card to promote their beliefs. fear of climate change, fear of deportation, fear of lost of pensions and health care, fear of losing freedom of speech, etc.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
i.e., you can explain the global nature of what's going on with a common cause, but why does it give rise to a common response? why this explosion of RW populism specifically?
My guess would be that people feel increasingly adrift in a world dominated by liberalism and RW populism offers very clear and simple answers to complex problems. Nobody wants to hear that things take time, that an issue is complicated and difficult or that they've played a part in anything negative that may be happening, they want to hear that it's someone else's fault, they want someone to step in sort it out on their behalf and they want someone to be punished for it. RW populism offers that.

It's also backed by some of the rich who see yet another opportunity to increase their share of the wealth, if the current order is dying then it's RW populism that will cement their position and give them more influence and control as LW populism would involve tearing them down so it follows that they'd throw their support behind the former as they did in Brazil rather than people like Corbyn and Sanders.

I also think that RW populism is well-suited to online distribution, it's aggressive, direct and immediate and speaks to fairly negative emotions which are easy to play to. It's also given a boost by the algorithms dictating what is and isn't seen on social media because anything that gets people fired up and arguing tends to generate the most engagement and the machine recognises that and prioritises similar content to drive clicks.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
@leo - of course

but they're usually appealing to the fears of people without much power - immigrants, low-income, etc

and their appeals while emotional are to material fears
 
Top