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MOST WESTERN NEWS CONSUMERS are aware that, in Brazil, a far-right presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, came close in Sunday’s national election to winning the 50% of the vote needed to win without a run-off (he received 46.2%), and is now highly likely to prevail on October 28 against his opponent, the liberal Workers’ Party’s Fernando Haddad, who finished a distant second with 29%. That result, by itself, is stunning, given that Bolsonaro is an undiluted, explicit authoritarian in the model of Duterte and Sisi — one could easily say “fascist” even using the narrowest and most most rigorous sense of that term — who had been a fringe figure in politics for decades but is now poised to assume the presidency. But the consequences of Sunday’s election extend far beyond Bolsonaro’s likely victory. Bolsonaro’s extremist party, and others aligned with his ideology, took over Brazilian politics, winning at all levels, and in most regions, with a wave that was as engulfing as it was unexpected. And what makes all of this particularly remarkable is that it happened in a country that prior to this year – in four consecutive national elections beginning with 2002 — had elected the Workers’ Party led first by a firebrand labor leader (Lula) and then by a former Marxist guerilla who was imprisoned and tortured for taking up arms against the country’s military dictatorship (Dilma). It’s hard to put into words what a profound shift this is for the planet’s fifth most-populous country. What is happening in Brazil matters not just because it’s a huge country with one of the world’s largest economies and oil reserves, but because the dynamics driving this extremism are similar and linked to the dynamics driving fundamental changes in other western democracies, including the disappearance of the “center” in lieu of a far right (as well as a more progressive but out-of-power left). What is happening in Brazil and, more importantly, why is all of this happening? How serious of a threat is Bolsonaro’s rise to basic democratic institutions and human rights? And what does all of this tell us about what is happening throughout the democratic world? To explore those questions, Glenn Greenwald spoke (in English) with two Brazilian journalists with The Intercept Brasil, Bruna de Lara and Victor Pougy, and examined all of these issues. The 35-minute discussion provides a clear and illuminating picture of these trends sweeping not just Brazil but all of the democratic world. Subscribe to our page: https://interc.pt/subscribe
A discussion of the context of the 2018 Brazilian Presidential Election Benito Schmidt, Professor of History, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul Leila Lehnen, Associate Professor of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, Brown University André Pagliarini, Visiting Assistant Professor of History, Brown University
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