Brazil’s president-elect, Jair Bolsonero, is a result of Brazilian’s disgust with their own institutions. Call it blowback. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:
In short, every major political institution has been increasingly discredited as Brazil has spiraled deeper and deeper into a dark void. And from the abyss emerged a former army captain and six-term congressman from Rio de Janeiro, Jair Bolsonaro, with the slogan “Brazil above everything, God above everyone,” and promises to fix everything with hardline tactics.
– From today’s Intercept article: Jair Bolsonaro Is Elected President of Brazil. Read His Extremist, Far-Right Positions in His Own Words.
It’s been only a little over two years since the people of Great Britain surprised the world by voting to leave the European Union. Just a few months later, this nascent trend of political shock continued with the election of Donald Trump.
This tectonic shift toward political upheaval has continued to spread throughout much of the world, with Italy and Brazil being two more recent examples. That something very major and very global is happening is undeniable at this point, yet everyone seems to have their own pet reasons for why it’s occurring. I continue to stick to the same thesis I’ve had for nearly a decade, which is that the dominant global economic/financial paradigm led and managed by the U.S. has failed and is experiencing a slow, painful and dangerous death.
This reality was temporarily papered over by the shady and extremely corrupt financial bailouts of a decade ago. An event that focused all government resources on rescuing the already rich and powerful, while keeping bank executives out of prison.
Ten years ago, all of America’s resources were irresponsibly and aggressively marshaled toward the sole purpose of resuscitating a dead system and keeping it on life support. Rather than jail those who committed egregious fraud and ask the difficult questions about the sustainability of the global financial system, those in charge pretended nothing was wrong and just threw money at the problem. This (coincidentally I’m sure) ended up making those who were rich and powerful before the crisis even more rich and powerful after it. Now it’s 2018 and the world’s staring straight into the face of a gigantic unpayable debt bubble, as well as an overextended and hyper-aggressive U.S. empire abroad.
Incredibly enough, many people still have no conception of what’s actually going on.
What’s been most shocking and disturbing to me — both following the financial crisis and in the aftermath of every new “surprise” election result — is the continued inability of so many people to face reality. The dominant reaction to Trump’s election in the U.S. has been a pathetic joke of a political movement based on fantasy and delusion known as “The Resistance.” A collection of mindless self-proclaimed liberals who actively resurrected George W. Bush’s reputation while running into the arms of opportunistic neocons simply because they couldn’t admit that Obama was a guardian of elitist interests, and Hillary an atrocious candidate.
So they’ve spent two years blaming Russia, blaming Facebook, blaming deplorables, blaming everything imaginable rather than accepting reality. Indeed, we seem to have a cultural addiction to denying reality. We did it after the financial crisis and we’re doing it again in the aftermath of Trump’s election. There’s a large group of people who just want to rewind history back to the way things were, but that world’s gone and it’s not coming back.
When I left Wall Street back in 2010, I naively thought by embracing a passion for liberty and sharing what I knew about the financial crisis I could make a difference to the debate. My efforts proved an abject failure, but the process taught me some painful yet valuable lessons. First, that the wheels of history are going to turn in the way they’re going to turn and there’s not much I can do about it. Second, that more often than not the societal response to system failure is a rejection of freedom and liberty in favor of easier, jingoistic and often darker solutions.
Although I’ve begrudgingly accepted this reality, I haven’t given up. I’ve increasingly turned my attention inward, toward my family and my own individual action. The only things I can impact with any degree of certainty are the things closest to me, so I’ve tried to focus on self-improvement in the small areas of everyday life. I can’t force people to look under the hood of our vast societal problems and focus on root issues versus symptoms. Unfortunately, it seems many people, and indeed entire societies, often have to learn lessons the hard way.
The time for liberty will come, but I fear we’ll see increased hardship first. This is why I remain short-term concerned, but long-term optimistic. We’re still in a very dark stage in this particular cycle of human progress and the longer we remain in denial about what’s happening, the longer this period will last.
My personal hope and challenge is that I do no harm while also adding some joy, knowledge and happiness to the world as we transition from one paradigm to the next. I wish everyone luck, peace and fortitude as we march, crazed, into the vast unknown.