Brazil: The Future of America?

As we watch the Brazilian impeachment proceedings -- if you missed it, the lower house voted for impeachment by a larger-than-expected margin -- it's interesting to note how similar the South American nation looks to the evolving United States model. The Washington Post has decided to name the sides "pro-government" and "pro-impeachment," although the impeachment is being voted by a part of the government. In a way, their naming convention makes sense. On the one side, there are those for whom government is something they want more of in their lives. They are, as here, mostly ethnic and racial minorities -- plus women, who are disproportionately likely to think of the government as an engine for voting themselves benefits that will ease their lives.

On the other side are people for whom the real issue is that the government is totally corrupt. For them, and they like here are mostly white, the real issue with the government is trying to get it to stop engaging in a benefits-and-patronage racket. They think that impeachment is important as part of a reform process, with the hope of crafting a new government that does less but more lawfully. Of course they are the ones, their opponents would point out, for whom the system tends to work.

I was left thinking of the interview Bernie Sanders recently gave in which the journalists asked him if he wasn't making Donald Trump's argument by pointing out that Hillary Clinton has accepted all this oil money. No, he said, he is complaining that the system is corrupt. If that makes Clinton corrupt, then almost every politician in America is corrupt.

Just as in Brazil. And just as in Brazil, for many -- Clinton's faithful legions of voters -- that fact is wholly beside the point. Corruption is just another way of transferring benefits and graft to supporters. Who cares if it's done through legal means or shady ones? What matters is that the benefits flow.

How depressing.


DLSly said...

"The spice must flow."

raven said...

The only way to shrink the Government is to limit it's money supply.
The problem with the approach is that many of the producers have got themselves in a debt bind, so the option to take off time from work and reduce their tax burden is not viable. Nevertheless if people got serious they could probably do with less and take some time off.

I would like to see a national strike of the working class and producers in this country. Say for a day to dart. Then maybe a week.

Tom said...

Politicians will just borrow more, raven. It would have to be a broad and sustained strike to have any real impact on the size of government.

Ymar Sakar said...

America will go the same way as Inca, Mayans, and Aztecs did. For about the same reason. Looks like the Entire Continent will be joining in on that Fallen War, however. Goody.

The world is not far behind that one.

Eric Blair said...

What, conquered by the Spanish? You seldom make much sense, but that historical comparison is just wrong. Wrong like "The Germans bombed Pearl Harbor" wrong.

Grim said...

Heh. It's true, they don't speak Spanish in Brazil.

Ymar Sakar said...

What, conquered by the Spanish?

Where did you get that line from EB?

Personal bias I would think.

No, sacrificing women and children to idol gods tends to generate certain consequences for a civilization. In modern culture, that would be Planned Profit's game.

In this context, it would be the Gentiles, since Spain wasn't the only one that sent conquistadors.

Your assumptions are wrong, EB, as usual. That's before you can get in on the historical argument, of course.

Eric Blair said...

Gentiles? What, you're a Christian now?

Cortez overthrew the Inca with help from like, a quarter million Tlaxcalans, who hated the Aztecs so badly that they used any weapon at hand against them. That and small pox.

Like wise the Inca, where Pizarro got lucky and walked in on the aftermath of an Incan civil war, and was able to play one side against the other to point that he went and made himself the Incan Emperor, and made it stick, at least until the Council of the Indies got wind of it, because, well, subjects of the King of Spain don't get to make over throw sovereigns like that. That and small pox.

The Mayans, or at least the classical Mayans, (as current thinking goes), declined due to climate change, which they couldn't deal with. The Mayans that the Spainish ran into were still fighting guerilla actions in the 1640's.

Human sacrifice had nothing to do with it.