Our guest writer, Siegried, is familiar to this site’s readers.
A regular commenter on Fellowship of the Minds, Siegfried is a fellow conservative and a lawyer by profession. Though she’s not American, Siegfried finds U.S. history and our founding principles at once fascinating and compelling.
Having lived in Brazil and Denmark, she knows more about them than most Americans. I therefore asked her to impart her knowledge and perspective on the shadow cast by the Left on the two countries. Siegfried graciously agreed!
Here’s her first op-ed for Fellowship of the Minds. Please give her your warm and enthusiastic welcome and appreciation.
THE LEFT’s impact on Brazil
To understand the left’s impact on Brazil, it is necessary to know a bit of its history.
After the 1964 coup d’êtat by the Armed Forces, Brazil became a military dictatorship. In 1961, the right wing opposition elected Jânio Quadros, whose electoral campaign had been critical of his predecessor and government corruption.
During his brief tenure as president, Quadros moved toward resuming relations with some communist countries. In the last days of August 1961, Quadros resigned, apparently hoping he would be reinstated by popular demand. His vice-president, João Goulart was outside the country at the time, visiting Communist China. Believing him to a communist, the Brazilian Armed Forces tried to prevent the nomination of Goulart as president. To placate the military, a parliamentary system was implemented to reduce Goulart’s powers as president.
As his support among the middle class plummeted, Goulart tried to mobilize the lower class. The military, with the middle class’ support, took control. That, in turn, radicalized the students. Not finding support among the populace, the students resorted to extra-procedural action modeled after the Red Army radicals in West Germany.
In 1968, the students undertook nation-wide protests and demonstrations. In response, the government declared a state of siege, issued AI-5, which suspended habeas corpus and concentrated power in the executive branch by shutting down the legislature and the judiciary. The protests were suppressed with violence.
That, in turn, further radicalized the students into an armed uprising. By the end of the decade, the urban guerrilla movement swelled to include some 20 organizations. The recruitment was carried out in schools and universities, initially with lectures in Marxist theory.
In 1985, the military returned power to civilian rule. A law pardoned both the military and the urban terrorists for their deeds. Leftist ideas proliferated — in music, books, journalism, and throughout academia. Even the most extreme and subversive leftist notions became common currency. Members of the urban guerrilla movement now moved openly into civil life. One of them was Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Lula da Silva
Lula, as he now is popularly called, was the president of the Steel Worker’s Union of São Bernardo do Campo and Diadema. Along with many of the guerrilla “intellectuals,” he had founded the Worker’s Party (Partido dos trabalhadores or PT). In 2002, after many attempts, he was elected President of Brazil and showered with international acclamation.
Lula’s presidency was marked by a successive series of scandals involving corruption in every single branch of government — the executive, legislative, and judicial. Although those scandals were investigated and culprits identified — among whom was Lula himself — almost no one was punished.
As president, Lula financed many projects for the poor by
redistributing taking wealth from rich families like the Fome Zero and the Bolsa familia. That boosted Lula’s popularity.
Hoping to secure a permanent seat for Brazil at the United Nations Security Council, Lula implemented educational reforms ostensibly to increase literacy. School curriculum was infused with his Worker’s Party’s socialist beliefs and ideals. Tests were eliminated in the name of equality, which only produced a generation of illiterates or functional illiterates with high school diplomas.
By the end of his eight years in power, Lula had increased Brazil’s national debt by 1 trillion US dollars. Sounds like someone else you know in a country north of Brazil? LOL
This is Lula’s legacy:
1. Lula claimed to have fixed the economy, but he only harvested the good work of President Itamar Franco that, with the help of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, created the economic success, the Plano Real (real plan).
2. In 2009, Lula signed into law a project that aimed to legalize abortion, censor the media and take away the right of land owners to protect their land against invasions. He later claimed he had signed the law without reading it and so was unaware of its contents.
3. In 2010, with the support of the Brazilian Supreme Court, Lula violated a bilateral agreement with Italy by refusing to extradict Cesare Battisti, a convicted murderer and terrorist.
Rousseff and Lula
4. Lula’s handpicked successor Dilma Roussef, Brazil’s new president is also the first woman to hold the office. Like Lula, Roussef is a socialist. She had participated in the militant activities of the Comando de Libertação Nacional — COLINA (National Liberation Command) and advocated Marxist politics among labor union members. Her role in COLINA is unclear, but it is presumed that she had handled weapons. Rousseff was also the main leader of VAR Palmares — an organization that was a self-avowed “political-military organization of Marxist-Leninist partisan orientation which aims to fulfill the tasks of the revolutionary war and the establishment of the working class party, in order to seize power and build socialism.” As one of the principal masterminds of Var Palmares, Roussef led strikes and advised bank robberies. Many people died as a result of her militant activities.
5. In his eight years as president, Lula worked to make homosexuality socially acceptable:
- In 2011, the Supreme Court changed the text of the Brazilian Constitution to allow gay marriage. But according to Brazil’s law, the Judiciary does not have the authority to change the Constitution; only the legislature, representing the people, has that power. In other words, gay marriage is still unconstitutional, as is the decision that allows it.
- Similar to California’s new law SB 48, the Brazilian government also plans changes in the country’s public school curriculum by teaching children as young as 6 that it is normal and acceptable to be a homosexual. Further, transgenders should not only be accepted but should have the right to use public restrooms according to their “real” sexual orientation, instead of their biological gender.
- Priests will only be allowed to preach about the biblical views on homosexuality inside a church and during Mass.
- Gay parades and slut walks are celebrated by the media while religious marches are ridiculed.
- The government also plans to pass a law against homophobia, which will criminalize any act that might offend or injure — physically, psychologically, philosophically or emotionally — homosexuals. The law is so vaguely worded that you might be arrested if a homosexual feels offended by the way you look at him/her. Worse still, even though the law hasn’t yet been passed, some people are already being prosecuted for the crime of homophobia. This violates the maxim of legal thinking: Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine praevia lege poenali (“No crime, no punishment without a previous penal law”).
It is very clear how the left ideology has damaged Brazil.
At first, the minimum wage was raised, social-engineering projects were created — all of which appeared to be first steps toward fighting poverty. The logical next step should be to educate the populace, thereby equipping them to work and become self-reliant.
But the social-engineering projects instead became an end in itself, creating a spoiled and entitled population. As more and more people grew aware that they could collect government welfare checks, they became lazy, to the point that many decided to stop working and just live off the government. Education lost its value as many young Brazilians started to believe it is not important or necessary to study.
Lula added to that anti-education mindset by repeatedly declaring he had solved Brazil’s economic problems despite not being educated. No wonder then that more and more young voices chanted: “If Lula, a man with very little education became the president of the nation, why is there a need to learn?” Those Brazilians who still respected education and wanted to learn are now subjected to a curriculum of Marxist indoctrination.
Not having learnt to think for themselves, and being manipulated by a complacent and politically-correct media that praises every move of the president, the population became mere pawns. When a man is unable to think for himself, he is unable to understand concepts of justice, moral, ethics and freedom.
Brazil is moving in direction of economic collapse. It is impossible to maintain all those social projects with so few Brazilians paying taxes to support them. Inflation is already on rise and I believe, very soon, the country will break. When that happens, the Left will seize the opportunity, blame all of Brazil’s problems on “the elite,” subvert the Constitution and the rule of law, and seize complete control of what remains of the country.
Brazil foreshadows what will become of the United States of America. As in Brazil, so it is happening in America today: A populist President with Marxist ideals, intent on wealth redistribution, aided by a complacent media and a popular culture of political correctness. I fear for you!