Progressive panic over Brazil

Drowned out by the anti-Trump hysteria in the wake of the synagogue massacre was yet more handwringing over another election which has gone against the establishment both local and global, this time in Brazil. Here’s how the BBC reported things:

Far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro has won a sweeping victory in Brazil’s presidential election.

The former army captain won 55.2% of the vote against 44.8% for Fernando Haddad of the left-wing Workers’ Party.

So what is it that makes Bolsonaro “far right”?

Mr Bolsonaro’s pledge to fight crime and corruption following a string of scandals have won him mass support.

Is this a bad thing?

However critics are worried by his praise of Brazil’s former dictatorship, and by his comments on race, women and homosexuality.

Ah, now we get to the heart of the matter. Anyone whose views on race, women, and homosexuality differ from those found in the social studies departments of American academia is automatically “far right”. It’s interesting that race, women, and homosexuality weren’t even major political issues for the couple of decades before 2013, when Obama had won a second term and it was safe to ramp up the identity politics. Certainly they weren’t campaign issues, and with the exception of scrapping Section 28, weren’t even on the British political landscape in any election I can remember. Now all of a sudden these are supposedly key issues on which every politician across the globe is judged. The western ruling classes are prone to hubris and arrogance, and one way this manifests itself is in the belief that the entire world shares their opinions on social issues (see here for another example).

So what’s Mr Bolsonaro supposed to have said? For that we need another BBC article:

Mr Bolsonaro has portrayed himself as the defender of a Brazil of decades past, suggesting that the country should return to the hardline tactics of the 1964-1985 military dictatorship.

Suggesting? Do we have any context here? Of course not, it’s the BBC.

He has praised this era, in which thousands of people were imprisoned and tortured, as a “glorious period”.

Note the implication that Bolsonaro praised the era because of the imprisonment and torture; the BBC does this because it is in the business of peddling fake news rather than informing people. Some people may refer to Victorian Britain as a golden age in the country’s history, but they are not praising workhouses and the Boer War concentration camps. If you look at the timeline of most countries you’ll find rapid development and expanding influence were accompanied by unsavoury practices of some sort.

“I am in favour of torture – you know that,” he said during a television appearance in 1999. “And the people are in favour of it, too.”

Wait, he said this 19 years ago? Has he said anything on the subject since? Did any Brazilian journalists ask him to clarify this statement? We can safely assume that if the BBC is quoting a statement made in 1999 he hasn’t repeated it, so what’s his position now? We don’t know because the BBC isn’t telling us.

He has pledged to reduce crime and increase security by relaxing the country’s gun laws.

“Every honest citizen, man or woman, if they want to have a weapon in their homes – depending on certain criteria – should be able to have one,” he said of his plans on Rede TV on 11 October.

More controversially, he said last year that “a policeman who doesn’t kill isn’t a policeman”.

So is this what makes him far right? What about his economic and social policies (other than a pledge to reduce crime)? Or don’t they matter? Apparently not. What really matters is:

His statements on issues ranging from abortion to race, and from migration to homosexuality, have proved provocative and garnered much attention.

Meaning, he is out of whack with progressives in the west.

“I’d prefer [to see] a son of mine to die in an accident than [to be] a homosexual,” he told Playboy in a 2011 interview.

So what? Does this mean he’s going to round up gays and shoot them? Is not wanting your son to be gay an automatic disqualification to be president everywhere in the world now?

In 2016, he provoked outrage by remarking that a fellow lawmaker was not worth raping because he thought she was “very ugly” and not his “type”.

This is rather rude, but hardly disqualifying or even newsworthy outside of Brazil.

He has also described having a female child as a “weakness”, and said that he would not employ women equally because “[they] get more labour rights than men”.

Is this true? Do they get more labour rights than men? If they didn’t, I’m sure the BBC would tell us. Of course, the real issue is this:

For his supporters, Mr Bolsonaro is a politician who they say will bring much needed change to the country – a swing to the right after four elections won by the left.

For the past four years, Brazil has been consumed by a criminal investigation – known as Operation Car Wash – that has uncovered massive corruption.

The left have been in charge for years, leading to soaring crime rates and corruption on a scale impressive even by Latin American standards. The public, like their counterparts in Europe and the US, have got utterly fed up with ruling elites treating them with contempt so have finally voted for someone on the right. Cue hysterics from western progressives and media clowns about the return of fascism. Now I don’t know much about Brazilian politics and I can’t read Portuguese, so maybe this Bolsonaro chap really is Hitler and he’s about to start throwing women, gays, and minorities into concentration camps built on Copacabana Beach. But I doubt it, and we can be quite sure the BBC and their ilk know nothing about him either.

Note also the difference in reaction from western progresssives when a right wing government gets elected after years of socialist decay, and when a nasty, authoritarian left winger comes to power in Latin America. Left wing politicians and commentators cheered heartily when Hugo Chavez took over in Venezuela, and ignored the brutal suppression of the population which, carried on by his successor, has left them literally starving while the economy collapsed. And still they continue to ignore, make excuses, and justify what’s being done under the banner of socialism. But yeah, we’re supposed to worry about the rise of fascism in Brazil based on some comments made by the new president when the Nokia 8210 came out. Sorry, but I wish him the best of luck.


19 thoughts on “Progressive panic over Brazil

  1. I did enjoy the newspaper that illustrated the election of a “fascist” with a photo of him waving to some supporters. The photographer snapped it just right to get the right arm extended into the air.

  2. In 2016, he provoked outrage by remarking that a fellow lawmaker was not worth raping because he thought she was “very ugly” and not his “type”

    Top kek.

  3. “And still they continue to ignore, make excuses, and justify what’s being done under the banner of socialism. ”

    You forgot claiming it isn’t real socialism when the excuses get too thin.

    Photographed with his arm out waving? The left really are in Father Ted-land now.

    Rape remarks? Context-free as you say. Are we supposed to believe this leftist female was just sitting minding her own business and he runs up and says “You’re too ugly to rape” and runs off again? Or is it far more likely to be part of some heated exchange. And who is fondest of introducing “rape” into near everything ? Leftist females or non-leftist men?

  4. Mr Bolsonaro’s pledge to fight crime …

    The liberal left has a strange aversion to crime-fighting. Though they don’t outwardly support crime, you’ll rarely see a documentary on BBC or Channel 4 called “Why Prison Works”; and the Guardian has no shame in printing leader opinion pieces entitled “Prison Doesn’t Work”.

    I’m a bit more concerned about Bolsanaro’s views on gays. To paraphrase Henry II, it sounds like “Will no one rid me of these turbulent gays?”, which could be followed by police turning a blind eye to physical attacks on gays. That seems to be what happened in Russia (though I’m basing my information on the Guardian and on random bits I’ve seen on Facebook).

  5. Top kek.

    Indeed. This guy knows how to troll. Did anybody catch him being interviewed by Stephen Fry?

  6. Paul Joseph Watson had a video with a Brazilian Bolsonarist which helps (with the rape quote I believe she had just called him a rapist, for example). The problem I find is getting information – with #fakenews here, in English, I can read between the lines and filter the bias, and also go to non orthodox-legacy-media to get a rough approximation of what’s going on. All I see of Brazil in English is filtered via fake news media so all you can do is second guess them, as you do in this blogpost.
    There are Brazilians on social media (plenty on Gab before they took it down) so I am gradually getting a picture, and it’s what you’d expect. They know he isn’t the messiah, and they also know he isn’t Hitler. He’s a conservative in a country where 90% of people oppose abortion, and the minority long march intersectionalists control education and media.

  7. If it’s any guide, the Brasilians I have here seem pretty relaxed about their new president. And I’m guessing that reflects the opinions of their families & friends back home. But, of course, these aren’t the middle class intellectual Brasilians. Their daughters don’t come to Europe, except on holidays. And they don’t have their snouts in the corruption trough They’re the poor Brasilians most of the crime & corruption in Brazil happens to. .

  8. @Mr Ecks on October 30, 2018 at 11:25 am

    Too ugly to rape: may have been part of an argument (Fox? PJW?) showed where she approached screaming she was going to punch him. He said: don’t try that, I’ll hit you back.

    F1 is in Brazil in two weeks – bet there’s a campaign to boycott it soon.

  9. Wrt LGBT matters, Bolsonaro is not proposing to prohibit homosexuality or do much about it at all, only wanting to prohibit homosexual propagandising to minors, and not bend the knee to them (or other minorities) as we must do elsewhere in the West (similar to the legal situation in Russia, whom the West also now treats as an enemy—seems the old Cold War slogan of ‘Better Dead Than Red’ has been updated to ‘Better Late Than Straight’). He explains here.
    I think this is the altercation, Ecks (11.25am); as can be seen, as Pcar (8.29pm) observes, the journo or activist is being provocative, even in that truncated clip.

    Here is the Stephen Fry interview Matt referenced (2.04pm)—starts by ‘poisoning the well’ (‘…including some neo-Nazi groups’). He begins his interview with Bolsonaro talking about a young homosexual who was killed—another logical fallacy, the argumentum ad misericordiam or ‘appeal to pity’. Bolsonaro responds that the murder ‘might not even have anything to do with his homosexuality’ although it’s being exploited by activists as such—which is a point, see how the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard was exploited as a homophobic ‘hate’ crime, and it turned out to have been a dispute over drugs (“The truth behind America’s most famous gay-hate murder.” Guardian, 26 Oct 2014; “Matthew Shepard and the gatekeepers of gay orthodoxy.” spiked, 10 Feb 2015).

    Btw, talking about torture… a couple of great Brazilian films—great by any standard, but happen to be Brazilian—Tropa de Elite (2007) and its sequel, Tropa de Elite 2: O Inimigo Agora é Outro (2010) (‘Elite Squad’ and ‘Elite Squad: The Enemy Within’). A thinking man’s action film, you might say. Based on a BOPE member’s memoir, the film is about the Brazilian special police unit, the BOPE (Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais) cleaning up the favelas prior to the Pope’s 1997 visit. The sequel is also required watching just to make it clear that the message of the first film is more subtle than ‘Killing and torturing drugdealers is fun and easy’. Solid soundtrack, btw. And get the subtitled versions, not the dubbed—never the dubbed.
    Nascimento was right!

  10. Why don’t we see Ocasio-Cortez referred to as extreme left or far left in the media in the same way as the adjective far right is deployed for Bolsonaro? Some media call her this, but not the FT or CNN. Which reflects their bias.

  11. A starving nation is not worrying for the BBC. Heterosexuality understood as the healthy and natural view about sexuality is their nightmare.
    If you search Google for “Brazilian election” you get pages and pages of leftist papers, before you find anything different. I also see, that the stabbing he received is either not recalled or used as a proof of how dangerous HE is.
    Ok. I think I’m going to concede Bolsonaro the benefit of the doubt, and even more.

  12. “In 2016, he provoked outrage by remarking that a fellow lawmaker was not worth raping because he thought she was “very ugly” and not his “type”.”

    Looking at the 2003 video, as expected, he was sarcastically replaying to an accuse of being a rapist. The the lady get close in aggressive attitude and he keeps her away. Ooooooh.

  13. The Times , “Britain’s most trusted newspaper “ earlier this week;
    Bolsonaro ready to seize power.
    Objective and unbiased as always….

  14. “Though it may be a struggle, I’m determined to keep my cool with [Bolsonaro], so I can try to get to the bottom…” – Stephen Fry

  15. “That seems to be what happened in Russia”

    This leftist whining of “LGBT rights” is plain insane. In Kremlin-controlled territories, nobody has any rights, as a matter of principle, just capabilities. Oviously, the higher up in the ruling gang you are, the more capabilities you have, gay or otherwise.

  16. As Fay says, thank you ScotchedEarth for those links.

    Is it a mild irony that the US co-producer of Tropa de Elite was the Weinstein Company?

  17. Pingback: Quick Hits & Dangerous Reads (2 November 2018) | The Cercle Rouge

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