That so many Western, particularly American, right-wingers are fans of Bolsonaro illustrates why the Right remains as useless as the Left.
Elected president of Brazil last October, with more than 55% of the vote, Jair Bolsonaro just took office. The left, which multiplies the anathemas against him (homophobe, sexist, racist, etc.), speaks of a new upsurge of “populism” and says that his victory delights everyone that the world regards as “right wing and extreme right wing” people. Are you one of them?
Not at all. Bolsonaro certainly benefited from the current trend of populism and captured the vote of the popular classes who previously voted for the Workers’ Party, but populism, I remind you, doesn’t have a precise ideological content. It’s only a style, a manner of responding to political supply and demand, and this style can combine itself with very different ideologies (Luiz Inácio Lula, the former president, was also a “populist”). The right always wags in a Pavlovian manner when it hears they are are going to reestablish “law and order.” The problem is that the law can be unjust and order is often only an established disorder.
I will, of course, refrain from judging Bolsonaro’s intentions. I sincerely hope that he can put an end to corruption and restore some peace in a country where they record 64,000 homicides per year (more than a half million in ten years). What I observe at the same time, is that he was the candidate of the financial markets before all (the São Paulo Stock Exchange leaped 6% the day after his victory), multinationals, starting with Monsanto, and the lobby of large landowners (la bancada ruralista), and that it was the evangelical churches, controlled by North American televangelists and steeped in Zionist messianism, who gave him the most decisive support (formerly Catholic, he converted to evangelicalism by being symbolically baptized in the Jordan in 2016).
But what essentially do you criticize him for?
I’ve listened to Bolsonaro’s various speeches and I’ve attentively read his program, which I find appalling in many regards. After having decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on the climate, he announced the construction of a new highway through the Amazon, the opening of indigenous territories, whose inhabitants will be expelled, to oil and mineral exploitation, and the systematic promotion of industrial agriculture to the detriment of environmental protection. To make things clear, he also coldly suppressed the Ministry of the Environment, whose functions were transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture, and announced the elimination of the Ministry of Culture.