What Is With The Massive Protests In Brazil?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:
    • Images of massive protests in Brazil have been flooding social media since the win of newly elected president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva over Jair Bolsonaro at the end of October.

    • Protestors believe the election was rigged.

    • Bolsonaro protestors have been labelled as racist conspiracy theorists.

  • Reflect On:
    • It's not uncommon for both left and right to accuse the other side of electron fraud, we've seen it with both Biden, Trump and Clinton in the U.S.

    • Both "left" and "right" political parties seem to rely on massive propaganda campaigns to win over the masses, while their real actions are unethical and corrupt.

    • Do our modern day political systems incentivize bad behaviour?

    • Why do people continue voting these corrupt parties into power when nothing ever seems to change?

    • Are our political systems even capable of service to others?

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Scrolling through my social media feeds, there are plenty of images of massive protests in Brazil. These protests have apparently been sparked by the newly elected president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva. He won after the rein of Jair Bolsonaro for four years, who has still not conceded defeat.

The reaction of Bolsonaro voters quickly escaped the control of the authorities. Truck drivers began to occupy the country’s key highways, preventing the supply of large cities. Then, the main capitals had their streets filled with crowds wearing shirts with the colours of the Brazilian flag. People were seen singing the national anthem and making patriotic salutes, demanding that Lula’s election be revoked.

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The situation began to get even more tense. The focus became the concentration of masses in front of the main military units of the country. Protesters are calling for intervention by the armed forces to reverse the election result or take control over the government. The images spreading across social media paint a picture of what could be tens and thousands of people filling the streets.

In short, these protestors believed the election was rigged, similar to the way Trump supporters believe the last U.S. election was rigged in Biden’s favour. It’s even similar to how Clinton supporters believed Trump’s win in the 2016 election was rigged with the help of “Russian hacking.”

One thing seems to be quite common in recent years, the losing party always seems to accuse the winning party of fraud, and to be quite honest, both sides are probably guilty. It’s hard to determine what the truth really is. Our political systems have become too compromised and corrupt for any type of transparency. These systems themselves incentivize bad behaviour for those who are entrenched within them.

If we look at mainstream media, they paint these current protestors in Brazil as violent extreme racist conspiracy theorists, the same way Trump supporters in the US were painted. Or the same way those who supported the “Freedom Convoy” in Canada, were painted. Being labelled as “far right” extremist seems to come with the territory of questioning mainstream narratives, unfortunately.

Sure, some people in these groups might have extreme views, but many are not extremist, nor are they conspiracy theorists, yet they are still labelled as such as nuance seems gone, and overly simplistic framing of large groups of people through media is what we have culturally resorted to.

Bolsonaro opposed COVID-19 restrictions, mandatory vaccinations and mask mandates, so anybody who supported him through the pandemic is framed as “ignoring the science” and feeding the flame of “conspiracy theories” by media outlets. We saw this around the globe with those who opposed restrictions, including various renowned academics.

The point is, it’s hard to trust media these days, especially legacy media. They, along with their political affiliations will continue to misrepresent the truth regarding certain movements and phenomenon, making it nearly impossible to determine what is actually happening.

They will label one political side as dangerous, spreaders of misinformation and authoritarian dictators, and the other side as the bringers of goodwill, peace and reason. Each side will see themselves in this manner. Meanwhile, almost every time both sides don’t seem to represent the interests of the people and have massive elements of corruption guiding them.

What we are seeing in Brazil is something we see around the world. It’s not something new. It’s political polarization, with a large amount of supporters on each side, with the more ‘powerful’ side usually using their influence and relationship with legacy media to influence the perception of the public in their favour while simultaneously demonizing the other side.

Both sides in some way shape or form are guilty of such actions.

“The problem of political polarization in Brazil is not something new. Experts have commented on this topic for a long time and warned of serious consequences if social pacification is not achieved quickly. During the electoral campaign there were several episodes of explicit violence, including murders, on both sides. This type of scenario intensifies the ideological tendencies of the population and prevents any kind of rational analysis of the country’s political status quo.

Both sides serve external interests and do not present concrete proposals for Brazil. Polarization, in this sense, serves precisely to keep the people ideologically inflamed and prevent candidates with projects focused on national development, and not on external alignment, from gaining popularity.”

Lucas Leiroz, researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant

It seems that so many governments, both left wing and right wing, including Brazil’s, are dominated by some combination of corruption, foreign interests, and powerful international organizations.

Reason is completely thrown out the window, transparency is rarely found, and a balanced, clear, truthful and honest perspective of major global issues is never had. Big politics clearly no longer serves the interests of the citizenry, and perhaps hasn’t for many, many decades.

Instead it serves the interests of a powerful ‘elite class,’ who seem to use various tactics to persuade the masses that they are moral, ethical, and in service to others. Despite these revealing facts, massive amounts of citizens continue to rush to the voting polls as if it will have any kind of impact or influence regarding the major changes that need to occur on our planet.

There have been many journalists, commentators and everyday citizens pointing this out about political parties and providing examples for decades, all while being gas lit and called extremists or conspiracy theorists by pop culture and media. Yet as time goes on, more and more ‘respected’ and popular figures are coming to these realizations, signalling a wider collective awakening of sorts.

Former Democrat and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, for example, recently announced that she is quitting the Democratic party in the US. She posted a video on her YouTube channel explaining her decision.

When two parties are seemingly controlled by the same unelected individuals every year, not much changes when you vote for one or the other at the Federal level. In this sense the United States and many other nations now function as an oligarchy, not a democracy. The elite few at ‘the top’ are in charge of all the decision making, and the dance between ‘Republican and Democrat’ seems more like theatre than anything else.

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