Brazil is one of the few countries that could be a world leader in pretty much any category – tourism, natural resources, human capital – you name it. Given its several centuries connection with Portugal, I’ve been following with a lot of worry its political and social path as of late.
Bolsonaro, Brazil’s President, was elected with a huge support from the evangelical communities. These communities now account for more than 30% of Brazil’s population, and are on track to surpass Catholicism believers in the next 10 years. They also control 91 senators already.
It’s very early to really understand why this is happening, but there’s a quote from Frank Hebert’s Magnum Opus, Dune, that struck a chord with me recently:
It’s well known that repression makes a religion flourish.
Also, in the same book, there’s another interesting quote:
When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Their movement becomes headlong – faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thoughts of obstacles and forget that a precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until it’s too late.’
A lot of people feared that the US could became Atwood’s “A Handmaid’s Tale” dystopia. Fortunately, its institutions are much more resilient that people realized (It is, though, still early for any victory laps).
In Brazil’s case, the institutions were already shattering, with cracks showing, but I fear the worst is yet to come.