Be watching the goings on in Brazil? What a fascinating glimpse at our future, or is it really our future since we will be 40% Mexican and few will love the identity of being American? Regardless, Brazil has impeachment trials over some Petrobras money shenanigans involving the last president (Lula) and their current president has been caught up in the web (Dilma). This is perfectly timed for the 2016 summer Olympics.
An impeachment, thousands protesting in the streets and possible street-fighting of a political nature is perfect timing you might ask? Perfect. The 2016 Olympics going to Rio was deliberate. The Brazilian Olympics were intended to be a showcase for the southern hemisphere. I wrote on this way back in 2009 when it was awarded the games. The IOC chair deliberately stated he wanted a southern hemisphere nation to host a game as his tenure ended, but Anglo Australia does not count. Shhh. This was to be Brazil's coming out party just as the 2014 World Cup was a little extra special.
This is perfect timing because it shows how messed up the southern hemisphere still is. The Economist had a cover story on Africa as new, improved and functional. If so, why are so many Africans streaming into Europe right now? If so, how much growth is thanks to the Chinese pouring billions of dollars into Africa for raw materials. Zimbabwe and South Africa continue their descent into hell from being civil former colonies and republics.
Back to Brazil, the impeachment centers around shenanigans with Petrobras. The supposed right wing politicians monkeying around are not all that right wing; they just are not former Marxist guerrillas. That is the comedy of American Jewish reporters Glen Greenwald and Nomi Prins providing on the ground reporting that is pro-Dilma. They want the Marxists to remain in power. No one is asking how a former Marxist guerrilla leader could go legit and become a leader of a rising power while former supporting cronies of juntas all over South America are locked out.
Brazil itself benefited from the commodity boom, global debt boom and a central banker who kept rates high because of the legacy of hyperinflations a generation ago. Some areas were being developed for the rich and inequality came down a bit, but this did not build a healthy middle class. The murder rate is still 27 per 100,000, which is five times that of the American rate. No real education gains. Anytime their educated come into money, they buy real estate in America for hiding out and consolidating their earnings. If you doubt me, take a look around Miami now.
The sarcastic remark by DeGaulle that Brazil is always the country of the future hide a feature of its past. It was a functioning and competent monarchy until it replaced that with a republic. It might be better to study Brazil not as a what may come or what will be but an historical what if. The monarchy died, the republic was born, and both writers left and right can agree, corruption has been an issue ever since. Maybe the blood on the streets this summer will not be the favela violence, as the police have been cleaning out in the run up to the games, but of political battles. The Olympics will show us the wonder of the southern hemisphere in all its glory.