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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #6)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 01:11 AM

7. Again the issue is context

Compared to what? Compared to Castro, Allende or Goulart--yes. Allende and Goulart, however, both were ousted by the military and killed. More than twenty years of right-wing authoritarian dictatorship following Goulart in Brazil. Lula was head of the steel workers union and helped to bring down the dictatorship. He twice unsuccessfully ran for president as a socialist against the right-wing and scandalously corrupt neoliberal Fernando Collor and the more moderate neo-liberal Fernado Henrique Cardoso (an intellectual who wrote about dependency theory). When Lula was elected in 2002, he moderated his approach and came to power with the backing of some of Brazil's financial elite, who had come to recognize that the existing model of economic development that targeted a small percentage of the population was not working for Brazil, not even for the elite. Lula did not challenge neoliberalism but he softened it. His administration widened the percentage of the population that benefited from economic growth and increased Brazil's middle class. Brazil's economy grew and the poor became less poor, rather than more poor as had always been the case in periods of economic development. Now the economy has begun to retract and the Brazilian middle class expects more. That Bahians are protesting tells me a lot has changed and that people now expect a better life.

As historian EP Thompson demonstrates, protests rarely take place at the depths of poverty, during periods of extreme hunger. They tend to occur when people expect more, when economic change invokes a sense of moral outrage, what Thompson calls a "moral economy" of the crowd. I believe this is what we are seeing in Brazil.

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FarCenter Jun 2013 OP
David__77 Jun 2013 #1
Recursion Jun 2013 #14
flamingdem Jun 2013 #2
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HiPointDem Jun 2013 #6
LineLineLineReply Again the issue is context
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