Lost Sambista

A Brazil never seen.

The Economist’s B.S.


The change in mood reflected from an article written two or three years ago and in the Economist’s recent cover shown above as well as in the article that follows inside is a clear portrait of this magazine’s right-wing monetarist bias, bu in this case it borders dishonesty.

The criticism is launched from a perspective that is becoming more and more obsolete and that has proven to be disastrous both in Europe and in the United States; the ne0-liberal one. The focus of the article is Brazil’s “outdated” state intervention based economy which, in the opinion of the editors, is what is scaring foreign investments away.

This is comical. For one, throughout the world banks aren’t willing to invest, not in Brazil nor anywhere else, so it is a fallacy to state that it is Brazil’s economic model that is putting investors off. The fact is that the big banks are currently sitting on their trillions, mostly obtained from the western governments salvage packages that detonated serious recessions.  They are waiting for the “outside” world to be on its knees, and in this situation the money owners will be able to force the theories that the Economist represent down their populations throats.

But looking more specifically at the mood change in the Economist’s covers, the practices that they criticized in their latest publication were as true when the first picture of “promising” Brazil was issued, as they are now. So we have to ask what has changed? It surely hasn’t been the Brazilian ruling party, not has it been their economic policies. Indeed what has changed is the balance of world power where so-called peripheral countries, namely China and Russia, have been showing themselves stronger than the west in terms of economic power and in throwing their weight on geopolitical decisions, namely Iran and Syria.

It is crucial to note that these two countries have been achieving better economic results without using the recipes that the Economist suggests for Brazil. Actually it is fair to say that the Brazilian economic model is closer to the Chinese and to the Russian ones than to the western neo-liberalized ones. So why doesn’t the Economist launch a similar attack on them? It would be pathetic wouldn’t it? But yes, the Brazilian State has an enormous stake in the economy and this has been so since the 1930’s when it was put in place by Brazil’s dictator/caudillo Getulio Vargas who ruled Brazil for a great chunk of the twentieth century and who, by the way, was by no means a communist.

Putting things straight, the US and its European followers have consistently backed Brazil while using such an economic model as an anti-communist bastion in the “dangerous” continent of Latin America during this entire period. They strengthened Brazil when Fidel Castro became too popular, and more recently they did it again when Hugo Chavez gained too much appeal for their taste.

What the Economist’s sponsors would not like to see is an independent Brazil, and for that matter an independent Latin America. This may explain the phone tappings on its president and may very well also explain the “spontaneous” protests that erupted throughout the country during F.I.F.A.’s Confederations Cup with a level of organization and a spread that only professionals can achieve. It seems to us that it is no coincidence that such an article would appear right after the Brazilian government denounced the illegal actions of the American one in the United Nations, also announcing that it will be moving towards an independent route on the internet. It also seems no coincidence that this kind of bad press should appear when the ramp up for the next elections is coming up and the pro-American candidate lags in third place, far behind two left-wing candidates.

For one thing, all of this shows that Brazilians do not buy the neo-liberal vision that God has blessed America with the right answers and the moral upper hand. It also leaves the question that if the West has failed miserably in the Middle East could it be turning its eyes on Latin America?

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10 thoughts on “The Economist’s B.S.

  1. I love Brazil, but until its government take more care of its people and tackle the issue of political corruption, the country will never realise its true potential. Joaquim Barbosa as president may help to bring about the change that’s needed.

    • Alan, How can monetarists talk about morality when they bailed out banks who were putting the American and the British public’s money into financial casinos???? What is really needed is to take the discussion to more mature grounds and to get into the more serious topics of development models.

  2. li a matéria,não será com este tipo de cr´tica de baixa imprensa que a revista Economist,vai ganhar a credibilidade e o respeito dos brasileiros e muito menos do gverno,que foi legitimamente eleito,e referendado em reeleição,o Brasil parte para a expansão de sua potencialidade,e goza da simpatia mundial,por suas cracteristicas multi-cultural,e sua tradição de receber imigrantes de todo o mundo.A nossa economia,só prosperará ,na medida que os interesses do país sejam,respeitados em equilibrio do livre mercado mundial.Temos a matéria prima suficiente para nossa auto-suficiencia,o mundo precisa do Brasil,como o Brasil precisa do mundo.Mas não somos mais um país colonizado e também não queremos perder nossa auto determinação,assim com não queremos que a auto-determinação de nenhum povo seja vilipendiada.Somos um país com problemas e queremos e vamos solucionar,temos capacidade e riquezas sufcientes para desenvolver nossa economia,se o mundo quiser compartilhar uma parceria pacífica,será bemvindo,caso contrário,olharemos para quem com sabedoria saberá respeitar-nos ,e ninguem nos deterá…

    • Bacana Arlindo, grato pela participação.

    • Gostaria muito de acreditar nisso, mas na prática o que vemos é que quanto mais as coisas mudam no Brasil mais elas ficam na mesma, parafraseando o ditado em inglês. Falar em governo “legitimamente eleito e referendado em reeleição” no Brasil, um país onde grande parte do eleitorado ainda vota com a barriga, é complicado. O Brasil vai sim assumir papel de liderança a nível regional eventualmente. Mas isso provém de suas características geopolíticas, e não com a qualidade de seus governantes, que sem exceção parecem mais preocupados com sobrevivência política – ou com simples locupletação – do que com o progresso do país, o bem estar de sua população, ou com um estado de direito real. Uma pena, porque o Brasil está desperdiçando uma ótima oportunidade de mostrar ao mundo uma alternativa ao(s) modelo(s) vigente(s) ao redor do mundo.

      • Yes, o problema (ou a solução) do Brasil não eh o governo que esta ai mas sim uma mentalidade “estatizadora” que vem desde o tempo do Getulio Vargas. Entra administração sai administração o problema eh o mesmo. Existe roubalheira no Brasil, sempre existiu e sempre existira enquanto um partido no poder puder lotear a maquina estatal em troca de favores, eh assim que a maquina funciona, eh assim que a maquina sempre funcionou. Mas comparando o que acontece no Brasil com o que aconteceu no “primeiro” mundo onde estados de “livre mercado” injetaram trilhoes de dolares para salvar bancos onde a corrupcao no Brasil pareceria cafe pequeno; eh sacanagem num nivel muito alto do que acontece la. Sao regras assim que regem o mundo do the Economist: a economia de livre mercado para os sem poder e para os poderosos todos os favores possiveis. Sao estas regras que as pessoas por traz da oposicao querem que o Brasil engula a força. Eu acho que o que falta hoje em dia e o que sempre faltou no nosso pais (mesmo que seja de origem) eh uma cabeca fresca e aberta.

  3. Em tempos de Dilma acusando os yanks de espionagem…muito pertinente seu artigo.

  4. Pingback: How to Piss Off a Brazilian | The Head of the Heard

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