Sareb took over more than 50 billion euros (45 billion pounds) in real estate and other such as in Britain and Ireland where property markets have rebounded.
As a Brazilian, where do you stand politically and why?
If you want to follow me in this rabbit hole, be prepared. We will travel from Einstein and Darwin to re-runs of TV series and Soup Operas.
My political positions actually all stem from one fact: I HATE, I simply HATE being manipulated. It’s easier for me to forgive the armed assailant who drove my car away than the (former) friend who convinced me to invest in a ‘safe’ scheme.
Until I was 25, I could declare myself a ‘normal’ Brazilian. Willfully(sic) dependent on Globo Network products both as news source and as drama / humor / entertainment. And even some products, such as the Sunday evening program (humbly called ‘Fantastic!’), who liberally blended all the strands. Okay, half of the 90’s, the internet was not even well known.
First ‘toad’ to be swallowed was to have believed in Globo’s institutionalized propaganda about former president Collor de Melo. So much to elect (a rumor of uncertain origin that the adversary intended to privatize the public universities was the pivot to direct my vote) as the campaign of the impeachment in 1992 (“spontaneous” manifestations from students, with huge media coverage), for reason, guess what, corruption. It later appeared that the REAL motive was a personalistic administration style, ESPECIALLY of not wanting to divide the corruption boutin within the more traditional political structures.
Suddenly, I realized that since a few years before I was displeased with Globo’s most elaborate product, soup operas. An aside here, brazilian soup opera is a high quality product, with good actors, some of the best writers available and a production just under cinematographic. Wikipedia lists 10 cases in which a chapter of a novel has conquered more than 50% of audience, prime time. Top one are 67%, 2 of 3 tvs.
In addition to the ‘pulp level’ dramaturgy, I began to dislike the complete unreality of the ‘people’ involved. Most were, if not rich, upper middle class. Poor people were an exception, around 10% of the characters, and often caricatures. Either obsequious, dedicated and proud servants (like Mammy from Gone with the Wind) or rogues, at the same time deceiving and helping the bosses.
This was the beginning of my social criticism … to see that art did not imitate life, but are used to shape a vision of society. Or at least trying to distract with an interesting ‘bread and circus’.
Making my own the words of the late Leonel de Moura Brizola:
“When you have doubts as to what position to take in the face of any situation, please note: If Rede Globo is in favor, we are against. If it is against, we are in favor.”
Second point in the shift from a pseudo-center-wing / neo-liberal government (trickle-down, Thatcher/Reagan devotees) to a center-left one. It was not some quick change in bosses-unions relationships, massive estatizations or a dictatorial interference in the economy that caught my attention. In fact, none of the above things happened.
What most attracted MY attention was the change of international stance, from yes-men to the United States of North America to a more nationalistic stance.
In the beginning small things, such as the law of bio-piracy, rejection of renting the Base of Alcantara (rocket launch base), with extra-territorial immunity or refusal to cede the Brazilian process of uranium refining (much cheaper). Then regional integration movements such as Mercosur and integration with BRICS.
Much coincidence that just after the coup d’état (disguised as impeachment) all these positions were dismantled in a year…
What, retroactively, drew attention to one of the political axes of the previous government: privatization. How badly-made, doubtfully driven, with mysterious resources left for managers of process, enough to buy an apartment in Paris. Things like a company sold for less than the previous year’s PROFIT.
Or the case of the privatization of the railway network, made very strangely, since each buyer can use AND integrate other branches with his own discretion. As a result, we have today a completely inoperative rail mesh, only used in some timely transports by a company. The owner of branch. Transportation of passengers? Only in metropolitan networks. Most of them still with state management.
Strangely … England, Spain, IMF, World Bank … several former defenders saying that neo-liberalism ‘did not deliver what it promised’.
As the ‘theme’, the piece of faith, the indisputable truth advertised in prose and verse in all media was that privatization would bring a more efficient administration and better prices to the consumer. If there was anything, they were rate increases. With one or another bright spot, such as the rapid and unsustainable expansion of cellular and cable networks, close to default until today.
There is an expression that says that the Brazilian suffers from the ‘Underdog’ syndrome. That believes that no matter what is done, Brazil ‘does not go forward’ and ‘It is not a serious country’. My current mistrust is that the media that repeats and reinforces this ‘opinion’ is the same one it helped to create.
Hmm .. someone has already said that Globo was funded and supported by the Time-Life group, for 10 years. Unlawfully, by Brazilian legislation. They say it was a CIA operation. In the sixties, I don’t have a lot of doubts.
All this together in smells like a gigantic marketing campaign, which has managed to manipulate me for a long time.
Have I said before what I think about manipulators? Well, let’s repeat, I HATE being manipulated.
If I needed proof .. following the old advice … ‘Follow the money boys, follow the money’ and I see who are the Brazilian billionaires at Forbes.. Yeah, the media mongul guys and the “bidders” of state-owned companies sold at the end of fair prices.
So I am nationalist, anti-trickle-down clowns.
Third was about wealth, energy and work.
To start, I’ve never been a very conventional student. He always saw ‘cycles’ in history classes that other students did not see, nor did he very much believe that philosophers (e.g. Martin Luther), barbarian invaders, or new religions are initiators of social movements. For me they were consequences or excuses.
Even though I find the idea of a communism ‘where everyone is the same’ something utopian, because I have never found myself very much like others, I have always seen sense in theories about work, capital and surplus value.
Coupled with studies of nature, including some direct contacts with the fangs of various animals, I have come to a posture I call “Energy Darwinism“: no one, person or animal will spend an calorie of energy without good reason for it. And there are only two valid reasons: individual survival and survival of the species (preferably their descendants).
So a dog, a snake or a spider will NEVER attack you if you are not:
b) danger to him or her offspring
c) sorry, my mistake, I thought it was case a or b
If you pay attention enough, social relationships always end up being exchanges of energy, organized by the Asimov’s 3 Laws of Robotics, oops, by the double principle of survival.
- If you want to survive, you have to make money to have food, shelter
- You have to impress a partner (of the complementary gender) if you want offspring. It can be your beauty, your money, your network of contacts, your charm and ease of making friends. Resources that your ‘future’ descendants may need.
- If you want your children to be successful you have to spend time and effort teaching the moral rules and practical skills that propitiate the acquisition of resources. Or pay someone for it.
One definition says that if it does not have to do with survival / offspring, it can be called art. But it is a bit confusing concept .. sometimes art is done to get resources to survive..
Exactly what today is the ‘energy’ needed to survive in today’s society. Well, we can measure it in two units, kind of interchangeable: money and time.
If you are dumped on a desert island (‘Naked and Afraid’ / ‘Survivor’ style), your time and energy to collect resources, build shelter, defend yourself is your currency. Time X energy = work. His own sweat (work) accumulated a pile of coconuts. The surplus can be used as the exchange currency for other ‘services’. Yes, including those you are thinking about.
Do you think because you are a civilized person, who has never put your feet off the asphalt, are you free of this Darwinian logic? Wrong.
Your salary is primarily an expression of the
a) time spent in the process
b) time spent in training your skill
c) How rare is their ability, i.e. how long it will take to find someone similar
d) how much time you spent publicizing your professional brand
e) how much time and effort you spend to gather the materials to produce whatever you produce.
That is. In the end you are selling YOUR LIFE TIME. No more, no less. Unless… you’re Trust Fund Baby..
I remember in an old TV Series (E.R.) a character justifying why he could spend a significant amount even against the will of the person who was receiving the ‘charity’:
“In the time we are arguing here, I have made more money than you will receive in your lifetime”.
“Ah, but this came from the magical sources of interest from the capital market!”, say you.
We are talking here of time and energy, two things that are not created or destroyed, but only transformed. If someone is magically being rewarded, someone is paying. Somehow.
So time and energy are money. Who lives on interest, someone is stealing. “There ain’t such thing as a free lunch”.
Fourth, IT has always been my profession. Almost 30 years between bit, byte and cybernetic hieroglyphics. But I work for a legal institution. And I came to a conclusion
“Law is like a snake. It only bites you if you’re barefoot”
Yes, there is one law for the rich, one for the poor. Speaking in the recent story of my country, poor man is arrested for porting toilet disinfectant. Rich guy .. when they find their helicopter with 200 kg of ‘white powder’ landing on their property .. the police almost apologized to the pilot for the inconvenience. Oh yes, and with ‘gag order’ not to have the popular name of ‘history’ quoted on the internet. But it was “helicopter, first 4 letters” plus “usual name of withe power drug, 4 letters”.
The detail .. already proven that is not the case that poor people are more criminals. Laws are tailored in ways that poor people can not stop breaking them.
And why this? Because it is so simpler to pay less a person if the person owes something to someone ..
For example .. prostitutes. Outlaw. If they are stolen, they have no one to complain to. If you have a pimp keeping almost in conditions of near slavery .. Tough luck, you asked for it. This becomes a way to keep the service more ‘cheap’ and stealthy for customers. Who will they complain about if they are mistreated?
Historical Examples (The time is the master of reason):
- Nixon criminalizing heroin and marijuana to criminalize social movements / hippies and black communities. With the words recorded on tape.
- A century ago in Rio de Janeiro, Samba was forbidden. The person of color could go to jail for having caluses from to play guitar.
- Decade of 20, religions of African origin in the state of Bahia were prohibited and fought by the police. So much so that a figure of the ‘temporal protector’ (Ogã), a person of political influence (usually white) appeared to prevent the police beating
For friends, everything. For the enemies, the rigors of the law
Highly disenchanted with the lack of spine of the judiciary. His task should be more than to oppress the poor and protect the rich.
Racism and others -ism
In my most naive time, I was against affirmative policies by race. Things like quotas in public (and free) federal universities. There were differences, but they were mostly economic, not racial. Preference for needy students, yes, but not by race. I thought it was unnecessary.
Until one magazine suggested doing the ‘neck test’. Go to a reputable teaching institution (free or not), in a course that is held as a medicine and put your head inside a classroom and count the black people. Go to a brand store in the mall and count the black vendors. The same among the cashier in your bank. Now look at your representatives at the congress and compare all this with the percentage of blacks (no politically correct African American here) in the country. Take the opportunity to check the proportion of women in relation to the population.
The difference is real. The absence is glaring.
Racism, discrimination and sexism are real things.
Fifth, Worried about the neo-facist wave.
This image has been circulating on the internet. The photo is real, the location is not so much, but the checklist is pretty advanced.
No, I do not think fascism, Nazism and authoritarianism are the solution.
On the contrary, it would only increase the concentration of power in the hands of those who already concentrate economic power.
“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.
Sixth, against the penalization of crimes without victims
Somebody counts almost a parabola.
A man left the ship, coming from a highly repressive country, and began to swing his arms as if he wanted to fly. Until he almost hit someone’s nose.
“Stop shaking your arms, you almost got my nose”
“No, I’m free, you do not boss me, I’m free to swing my arms the way I want”
“Your freedom to swing arms ends where my nose starts”
This, and only this should be the root of all laws.
“Because I have no right to send my children to a school of known pedophiles, if that is what my religion dictates.” Because of children’s rights, not yours rights.
“Why can not I try those guys in suits, beards and little round hats walking down the street. I feel offended.” Because it is their right. Or should they demand that all men wear beards because their religion requires them?
“I can not admit, my holy book says no one should do anything on Saturdays. I want all cars to stop walking on this day.” Sorry is not it very practical.
“I’m against gay marriage.” All right, if anyone asks you to marry, you do not have to accept it.
People will have different ways of living life. Not everyone likes to wake up at 6am in the morning. I would be highly offended and somewhat violent if you tried to make me rise at dawn because YOUR religion demands.
Do what you will, so long as it harms none