The extreme right wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro was recently declared as Brazil’s president – he’s anti-gay, anti-immigrant, and anti-environment, and yet the public voted him in to take office from January 2019.
He’s also strong on law and order: he’s praised former Brazilian dictatorships which used torture, among other tactics as a means of social control, and he’s promised to outlaw protest and op positional social movements.
Given that Brazil is the fourth largest democracy in the world, and one of the BRIC nations, this is quite significant in terms of global politics – it probably means that Brazil will be opened up for even more deregulated trade, while the poor who suffer the consequences of this will be disciplined more harshly by the state’s security forces.
In short, this is the most significant global shift towards more repressive neoliberal politics since Trump’s election. It’s something worth keeping an eye on!
This comment piece by Simon Jenkins in The Guardian is worth a read (it’s short) – it blames this shift to the right on the failure of a corrupt left-wing government in Brazil to effectively maintain social order, and he also blames social media – which becomes an echo chamber for far right scapegoating and polarises public opinion.
With this shift to the right, it seems that global consensus politics has become even less likely!