• Categories
  • Archives

The Only Thing Neoliberalism Brought to Brazil Was Economic and Social Inequality

Sign painted on asphalt: Out, Temer In “Brazil’s Temer Has Been Warned: Threaten the Golden Goose and You Will Be the Next to Fall,” professor Sean Burges declares the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff “completely legal”, defends the neoliberal “reformist” agenda of Temer and even places Temer somewhat above the fray of the “structural political crisis”.

All of these claims fit neatly together, but they arguably distort the real politics of the soft coup and the popular resistance to the drive towards a neoliberal restoration in this South American country.

According to Burges, the impeachment followed due process, yet on more than one occasion Rousseff’s right to defense was denied.[1] Moreover, her accusers were unable to prove that she committed any impeachable offense.

This lack of evidence supports the position (referred to by Burges as the emotional Left!) that there was no legal basis to start the impeachment in the first place.[2]

Sign painted on asphalt: Out, Temer

The Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) has published several articles providing detailed accounts of how the impeachment process was used not only to avoid prosecution of some of the very senators implementing the impeachment proceedings, but also to advance a neoliberal agenda without winning constituent support for this at the ballot box.[3]

Burges goes on to defend the reform agenda of Temer, arguing that the economic problems facing the country “can neatly be wrapped up and ‘tackled’ in the standard language of pro-market, liberal economic policy, which is precisely what Temer has done.”

What stands in the way of Temer’s reforms, says Burges, is the “structural crisis of politics.” Burges fails to mention the popular resistance to Temer and his political agenda as manifested in the mass demonstrations taking place almost daily in Brazil and other countries.[4]

There are good reasons for such push back: the only thing that has been “neatly wrapped up” by neoliberalism where it has reaped its bitter harvest in the region is economic and social inequality, subordination to empire, and the privatization of the commons.

As for the “structural crisis of politics” that stands in Temer’s way, Burges appears to separate Temer somewhat from such politics while acknowledging that Temer has “skeletons in his own closet”. For Burges, “the problems of congressional corruption that brought us down the Lava Jato and impeachment path will continue to threaten to derail any reforms brought in by Temer.”

However, Temer himself has been allegedly involved in the “congressional corruption”, though now as interim President, he is immune to prosecution, and he has been found guilty of electoral fraud, and as a result cannot run for office for eight years.[5]

Temer has not stood above the fray, and those “skeletons” are not in the closet, but on full display. Temer was, in fact, a key player in taking us down the “impeachment path,” a path that “threatens to derail any reforms brought in by Temer” because it is a path that lacks democratic legitimacy.

NOTES:

[1] “Julgamento De Impeachment No Senado é Nulo Por Negar Direito De Defesa à Dilma – Justificando.” Justificando. 2016. Accessed September 16, 2016. http://justificando.com/2016/06/06/julgamento-de-impeachment-no-senado-e-nulo-por-negar-direito-de-defesa-a-dilma/.

[2] “Impeachment: Alargar a Acusação Inicial Fere Frontalmente O Devido Processo Legal – Justificando.” Justificando. 2016. Accessed September 16, 2016. http://justificando.com/2016/04/29/impeachment-alargar-a-acusacao-inicial-fere-frontalmente-o-devido-processo-legal/.

[3] Coha, “Waiting in the Wings: The Vice President and Impeachment,” COHA, 2016, accessed September 16, 2016, http://www.coha.org/waiting-in-the-wings-the-vice-president-and-impeachment/.

Coha. “Leaked Audios Reveal Plot to Oust Dilma Rousseff.” COHA. 2016. Accessed September 16, 2016. http://www.coha.org/leaked-audios-reveal-plot-to-oust-dilma-rousseff/.

Coha. “Brazilian Senate Votes to Proceed with the Impeachment Process despite New Allegations of Corruption in the Interim Cabinet.” COHA. 2016. Accessed September 16, 2016. http://www.coha.org/brazilian-senate-votes-to-proceed-with-the-impeachment-process-despite-new-allegations-of-corruption-in-the-interim-cabinet/.

Coha. “Death of Democracy: Brazilian President Impeached by Majority of Senate Votes.” COHA. 2016. Accessed September 16, 2016. http://www.coha.org/death-of-democracy-brazilian-president-impeached-by-majority-of-senate-votes/.

[4] Redação. “Caros Amigos – Manifestações Pelo Fora Temer Crescem Em Todo País.” Caros Amigos. Accessed September 16, 2016. http://www.carosamigos.com.br/index.php/cotidiano/7860-manifestacoes-pelo-fora-temer-crescem-em-todo-pais.

[5] “Citado Na Lava Jato, Temer Coleciona Acusações E Não Pode Se Candidatar Por Oito Anos.” – Notícias. Accessed September 16, 2016. http://noticias.r7.com/brasil/citado-na-lava-jato-temer-coleciona-acusacoes-e-nao-pode-se-candidatar-por-oito-anos-10052016.

Aline Piva is a research fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs and Dr. Frederick B. Mills, Professor of Philosophy, Bowie State University

This article is a response to Dr. Sean Burges’s “Brazil’s Temer Has Been Warned: Threaten the Golden Goose and You Will Be the Next to Fall.” Article was published originally as “Brazil’s House of Cards in a Hurricane.” The article can be found here: http://www.coha.org/brazils-house-of-cards-in-a-hurricane/

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Inter-American Court Rules Against Slave Work in Brazil

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has welcomed a call from the International Labor ...

Brazil Ratifies Paris Agreement and Vows to Cut Its Emissions by About 40%

Brazilian President Michel Temer ratified Brazil’s adoption of the Paris Agreement, which sets targets ...

An Autopsy of the Corruption That Sapped Brazil’s Ruling Party

“Hear me, citizens of Brazil, senators, and deputies…” Thus commenced the televised coverage of ...

Call It Coup or Not, Stage Is Set for Brazil President’s Ouster

With the Rio Olympics over, Brazil’s attention returns to its long-running political drama as ...

Little Secret Is Brazil’s Choice for the Oscar. Politics Discarded Aquarius

Film critics in Brazil say that the critically acclaimed film Aquarius with actress Sônia ...

Pelourinho plaza in Salvador, Bahia state, Brazil - Photo by André Urel/Wikipedia

Brazil to End Reciprocity Rule and Allow Americans to Enter Country Without a Visa

Brazil plans to eliminate visitor visas for Americans, the country’s tourism minister informed, as ...

Brazil’s Latest Fraud Case Involves US$ 2.5 billion and World’s Largest Beef Exporter

Brazilian police launched the so-called Greenfield Operation, an investigation of fraud at state-run companies’ ...

Expo should have extended till October 8, 2017 - Photo: Fredy Vieira/Publicity

The Moral Crusade of the Right Is Now Investing Against the Arts in Brazil

An art show has become Brazil’s latest political battleground. For those who didn’t get ...

Political and Economic Instability Are History, New Brazil President Tells Chinese

Brazil’s new president Michel Temer received strong support from Beijing when Chinese president Xi ...