Trompsky #4

Welcome back professor Trompsky, how was your month, I think it has been a month since we have seen each other?
– How was yours? [chuckles and murmurs]
To be honest with you, sir, it has been terrible. I was terrified by all the suspicious packages addressed to the president’s opponents, the horrendous rhetoric of Bolsonaro in Brazil, the shooting in Pittsburgh?
– What we experience is the continuation of a process that has been set in motion, really, by the election of this current president. As a scholar I think the Bolsonaro election could be something of a final blow to global democracy, at least to the spirit of global democracy. That spirit is now in decline and, uhm, against ultra-nationalism we will have to fight an uphill battle.
Do you think the world will see more terror in 2019?
– I prefer not to engage in that kind of speculation, hope you understand. What I do see is a general shift in administration. From the nineties to the early 2010s the world has been governed by comparably capable people (remember how almost everybody currently sees George W. Bush in a favorable light), and now we are shifting to, uhm, the type of rulers that appear to be the lesser hypocrites. Yes, it is a politics of appearance, what we see in Brazil for example. Bolsonaro knows, using fake news, how to appear a tough crime fighter, how to appear the equal of the ‘normal man on the street’, how to appear an outsider of the elite, which clearly he is not. Appearance trumps political expertise and experience, we have seen this in 2016 in the US [chuckles].
Do you think leaders with a similar media strategy, a similar strongman style, will come to power in Europe and the rest of the world?
– Oh yes. This is to some extent a trial-and-error process. The few mistakes Bolsanaro has made, will not be repeated by the next Orbán or Duterte.
What is the proper leftist answer to this? Should they engage in, and could they win the battle of appearances?
– I don’t know. [shakes his head]. I think it will be very hard. Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or also Andrew Yang are very authentic politicians. But the left is divided and for proper idealists it is, and I think this is an important point, it is much harder to appear the lesser hypocrite. Wasn’t the media reporting about Sanders’ tax report? It is the absurd paradox of the politics of appearance that Donald Trump, with all his blatant lies, appears as the lesser hypocrite.
And the same goes for Bolsonaro?
– Yes. Brazil is in a way what awaits the US in ten, twenty years. The people are looking for an alternative and this man is filling the empty space on the right. In the case of Bolsanoara, he doesn’t lie directly but his supporters claim that what he says about gays, blacks, activists, women, minorities, it shouldn’t be taken seriously. And the riddle is why that makes him appear to the electorate as the lesser hypocrite.
We thank you for your time, Mr. Trompsky.
– My pleasure. Please do come back.
If democracy hasn’t died in darkness.
– Yes, ahum [chuckles]

Trompsky #4 was originally published on Meandering home

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Brazil kaputt

In a radio interview with a Dutch correspondent living in Rio, she expressed horror. The most likely president elect of Brazil this coming Sunday, the army captain Jair Bolsonaro, is worse than Duterte, Putin, Erdogan, Orbán and Trump combined. He will usher in a whole new level of autoritarianism. This piece of garbage is against minority rights, more specifically indigenous rights, and is lying all he can to ascend to power. His rule will also amount to a death sentence for the Amazon rain forest. He has applauded corrupt police officers shooting hundreds of people in the favelas. He says more people should be shot. He called African immigrants to Brazil the “scum of the earth”.

The popularity of this despicable thug, especially among black and mixed-race voters, is an enigma. Yes, it could partly be explained by the fact that Brazil is in its worst recession ever, partly by the escalating gang violence (black men are 9 times more likely to be killed than white men in Brazil) and partly by the sickening corruption of the ruling political elite. After he was recently attacked with a knife, many people began viewing him as a savior. Perhaps people are getting so sick and tired of the morally bankrupt political elite that they long for a de facto dictator.
But still. Shame on the Brazilian people, at least on the majority who will vote for this man out of fear or desperation or anger or all of those.

Fuck.

A dear Brazilian friend has already contacted me saying he will leave the country. I will offer him asylum in my appartment.

To be fair, the media is paying some attention, but it is not nearly enough. This is the largest country in South America, one of the 4 economies called the BRIC-countries and two of them (Russian and China) are already clearly not democracies. The world cannot afford to lose Brazil too.

Brazil kaputt was originally published on Meandering home