By Vijay Prashad – Jan 19, 2023
On 8 January, large crowds of people dressed in colours of the Brazilian flagdescendedon the country’s capital, Brasília. They invaded federal buildings, including the Congress, Supreme Court, and presidential palace, andvandalisedpublic property. The attack, carried out by supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro, came as no surprise, since the rioters had beenplanning‘weekend demonstrations’ on social media for days. When Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (known as Lula) was formallysworn inas Brazil’s new president one week prior, on 1 January, there was no such melee; it appears that the vandals were waiting until the city was quiet and Lula was out of town. For all its bluster, the attack was an act of extreme cowardice.
Meanwhile, the defeated Bolsonaro was nowhere near Brasília. HefledBrazil prior to the inauguration – presumably to escape prosecution – and sought haven in Orlando, Florida (in the United States). Even though Bolsonaro was not in Brasília, the Bolsonaristas, as his supporters are known, left their mark throughout the city. Even before Bolsonaro lost the election to Lula this past October,Le Monde Diplomatique Brasilsuggestedthat Brazil was going to experience ‘Bolsonarism without Bolsonaro’. This prediction is supported by the fact that the far-right Liberal Party, which served as Bolsonaro’s political vehicle during his presidency, holds the largest bloc in the country’s Chamber of Deputies and Senate, while the toxic influence of the right wing persists both in Brazil’s elected bodies and political climate, especially on social media.
Mayo (Egypt),Un soir à Cannes(‘An Evening in Cannes’), 1948.
The two men responsible for public safety in Brasília – Anderson Torres (the secretary of public security of the Federal District) and Ibaneis Rocha (the governor of the Federal District) – are close to Bolsonaro. Torresservedas the minister of justice and public security in Bolsonaro’s government, while Rocha formallysupportedBolsonaro during the election. As the Bolsonaristas prepared their assault on the capital, both men appeared to have abdicated their responsibilities: Torres was onholidayin Orlando, while Rochatooktheafternoon off on the last working day before the coup attempt. For thiscomplicityin the violence, Torres has been dismissed from his post and faces charges, and Rocha has been suspended. The federal government has taken charge of security andarrested over athousandof these ‘fanatic Nazis’, as Lulacalledthem. There is a goodcaseto be made that these ‘fanatic Nazis’ do not deserve amnesty.
Lula’s Robust Reassertion of Democracy, Social Progress and the Rule of Law in Brazil
The slogans and signs that pervaded Brasília on 8 January were less about Bolsonaro and more about the rioters’ hatred for Lula and the potential of his pro-people government. This sentiment is shared by big business sectors – mainly agribusiness – which are furious about the reforms proposed by Lula. The attack was partly the result of the built-up frustration felt by people who have beenled, by intentional misinformation campaigns and the use of the judicial system to unseat the Lula’s party, the Workers’ Party (PT), through ‘lawfare’, to believe that Lula is a criminal – even though the courts haveruledthis to be false. It was also a warning from Brazil’s elites. The unruly nature of the attack on Brasília resembles the 6 January 2021 attack on the US Capitol by supporters of former US President Donald Trump. In both cases, far-right illusions, whether about the dangers of the ‘socialism’ of US President Brain-Dead Biden or the ‘communism’ of Lula, symbolise the hostile opposition of the elites to even themildestrollback of neoliberal austerity.
The attacks on government offices in the United States (2021) and Brazil (2023), as well as the recentcoupin Peru (2022), are not random events; beneath them is a pattern that requires examination. At Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, we have been engaged in this study since our founding five years ago. In our first publication,In the Ruins of the Present(March 2018), we offered a preliminary analysis of this pattern, which I will develop further below.
After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and the Third World Project withered as a result of the debt crisis, the US-driven agenda of neoliberal globalisation prevailed. This programme was characterised by the state’s withdrawal from the regulation of capital and by the erosion of social welfare policies. The neoliberal framework had two major consequences: first, a rapid increase in social inequality, with the growth of billionaires at one pole and the growth of poverty at the other, along with an exacerbation of inequality along North-South lines; and second, the consolidation of a ‘centrist’ political force that pretended that history, and therefore politics, had ended, leaving only administration (which in Brazil is well-named ascentrão, or the ‘centre’) remaining. Most countries around the world fell victim to both the neoliberal austerity agenda and this ‘end of politics’ ideology, which became increasingly anti-democratic, making the case for technocrats to be in charge. However, these austerity policies, cutting close to the bone of humanity, created their own new politics on the streets, a trend that was foreshadowed by the International Monetary Fund riots and bread riots of the 1980s and later coalesced into the ‘anti-globalisation’ protests. The US-driven globalisation agenda produced new contradictions that belied the argument that politics had ended.
Leonora Carrington (Mexico),Figuras fantásticas a caballo(‘Fantastical Figures on Horseback’), 2011.
The Great Recession that set in with the global financial crisis of 2007–08 increasingly invalidated the political credentials of the ‘centrists’ who had managed the austerity regime. TheWorld Inequality Report 2022is an indictment of neoliberalism’s legacy. Today, wealth inequality is as bad as it was in the early years of the twentieth century: on average, the poorest half of the world’s population owns just $4,100 per adult (in purchasing power parity), while the richest 10 percent owns $771,300 – roughly 190 times as much wealth. Income inequality is equally harsh, with the richest 10 percent absorbing 52 percent of world income, leaving the poorest 50 percent with merely 8.5 percent of world income. It gets worse if you look at the ultra-rich. Between 1995 and 2021, the wealth of the top one percent grew astronomically, capturing 38 percent of global wealth while the bottom 50 percent only ‘captured a frightening two percent’, the authors of the report write. During the same period, the share of global wealth owned by the top 0.1 percent rose from 7 percent to 11 percent. This obscene wealth – largely untaxed – provides this tiny fraction of the world’s population with a disproportionate amount of power over political life and information and increasingly squeezes the ability of the poor to survive.
The World Bank’sGlobal Economic Prospectsreport(January 2023) forecasts that, at the end of 2024, gross domestic product (GDP) in 92 of the world’s poorer countries will be 6 percent below the level expected on the eve of the pandemic. Between 2020 and 2024, these countries are projected to suffer a cumulative loss in GDP equal to roughly 30 percent of their 2019 GDP. As central banks in the richest countries tighten their monetary policies, capital for investment in the poorer nations is drying up and the cost of debts already held has increased. Total debt in these poorer countries, the World Bank notes, ‘is at a 50-year high’. Roughly one in five of these countries are ‘effectively locked out of global debt markets’, up from one in fifteen in 2019. All of these countries – excluding Communist China – ‘suffered an especially sharp investment contraction of more than 8 percent’ during the pandemic, ‘a deeper decline than in 2009’, in the throes of the Great Recession. The report estimates that aggregate investment in these countries will be 8 percent lower in 2024 than had been expected in 2020. Faced with this reality, the World Bank offers the following prognosis: ‘Sluggish investment weakens the rate of growth of potential output, reducing the capacity of economies to increase median incomes, promote shared prosperity, and repay debts’. In other words, the poorer nations will slide deeper into a debt crisis and into a permanent condition of social distress.
Roberto Matta (Chile),Invasion of the Night, 1942.
The World Bank has sounded the alarm, but the forces of ‘centrism’ – beholden to the billionaire class and the politics of austerity – simply refuse to pivot away from the neoliberal catastrophe. If a leader of the centre-left or left tries to wrench their country out of persistent social inequality and polarised wealth distribution, they face the wrath of not merely the ‘centrists’, but the wealthy bondholders in the North, the International Monetary Fund, and the Western states. When Pedro Castillo won the presidency in Peru in July 2021, he was not permitted to pursue even a Scandinavian form of social democracy; the coup machinations against him began before he was inaugurated. The civilised politics that would end hunger and illiteracy are simply not permitted by the billionaire class, who spend vast amounts of money on think tanks and media to undermine any project of decency and fund the dangerous forces of the far right, who shift the blame for social chaos away from the tax-free ultra-rich and the capitalist system and onto the poor and marginalised.
Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s Orlando Vacation – Comparing the January Riots in the Brazilian and US Capitols
The hallucinatory insurrection in Brasília emerged from the same dynamic that produced the coup in Peru: a process in which ‘centrist’ political forces are funded and brought to power in the Global South to ensure that their own citizens remain at the rear of the queue, while the wealthy tax-free bondholders of the Global North remain at the front.
Ivan Sagita (Indonesia),A Dish for Life, 2014.
On the barricades of Paris on 14 October 1793, Pierre Gaspard Chaumette, the president of the Paris Commune who himself fell to the guillotine to which he sent many others, quoted these fine words from Jean-Jacques Rousseau: ‘When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich’.
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Who said when the people shall have nothing more to eat they will eat the rich? ›
The widespread starvation and executions popularized a saying attributed to philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau: "When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich."When the people shall have nothing more to eat they will eat the rich meaning? ›
People were starving in the streets, and he used to quote to state that the people will rise up and take over the ruling class one they are fed up with living with no food while the upper class lives a life of luxury with little care for the lower class.What is the eat the rich philosophy? ›
"Eat the rich" is a political slogan associated with class conflict and anti-capitalism. The phrase is commonly attributed to political philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, from a quote first popularized during the French Revolution: "When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich".Why should we eat the rich? ›
The call to “eat the rich” stems from our belief that these millionaires and billionaires are responsible for our problems and should solve them. Most times, it comes from a place of entitlement, this expectation that the rich should solve all our problems because they have the ability to do so.What was Rousseau's famous quote? ›
“Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.” “Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” “The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.” “Only passions, great passions can elevate the soul to great things.” “Patience is bitter, but ...What did God say would be the people's food? ›
So Moses told them, “This is the food the LORD is giving you to eat. The LORD says, 'Each of you should gather what you need, a basket of manna for everyone in your family. '” So that is what the Israelites did. Some people gathered a large amount, some people gathered a little.What is the story about eating the rich? ›
“Eat the Rich” is commonly attributed to Jean Jacques Rousseau, a renowned political philosopher and leading figure in the French Revolution. The original quote goes like this: “When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich.” “The rich” that Rousseau was referring to was anyone in power.What does the Bible say about feeding the poor and hungry? ›
'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. ' No one is exempt from the call to feed the hungry, God calls us to meet the needs of even those we might call 'enemies'.
Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. Proverbs 22:9 The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. Proverbs 22:16 Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.What does it mean when you say food is rich? ›
According to one dictionary, rich as applied to food means fatty, oily or sweet, or being high in plant nutrients, or highly seasoned.
What are the principles of being rich? ›
- Never Spend More Than What You Earn. ...
- Understand Your Motivation For Wealth Creation. ...
- Make your Money Work Harder Than You. ...
- Give Your Investments Sufficient Time to Grow. ...
- Know How You Can Benefit From The Power of Compounding. ...
- Know How To Implement Leverage.
They focus on the virtues or vices of eating meat. Virtue theorist Rosalind Hursthouse argues that eating meat shows one to be “greedy,” “selfish,” “childish.” Other virtue theorists argue that the virtuous person would refrain from eating meat or too much meat out of compassion and caring for animals' welfare.Who eats healthier the rich or the poor? ›
Wealthier households tend to place a higher value on healthy foods and nutrients, while poorer households tend to value unhealthy ones.Why is rich food so filling? ›
Most foods that are high in fiber or protein are typically good for promoting satiety. Other characteristics of specific foods can also make them filling, such as having a high water density. Foods that are highly processed or high in sugars often only satisfy hunger for a relatively short time.What was Thomas Hobbes famous quote? ›
A man cannot lay down the right of resisting them that assault him by force, to take away his life.What is Thomas Jefferson's most famous quote? ›
"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal. . . ." "it is the great parent of science & of virtue: and that a nation will be great in both, always in proportion as it is free."What was Jean Paul Sartre's famous saying? ›
Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.What is God's purpose for food? ›
In other words, God wants us to enjoyour food, not feel guilty or frustrated with it (Matthew 6:25-27)! Food is not the enemy. It is meant for our enjoyment and fellowship. So today, lets purpose to look at food through eyes of thankfulness, rather than feelings of deprivation and discontentment.What does Jesus say about eating pork? ›
Christians may eat pork because God has declared it once more to be clean. “What God has declared clean you must not call common” (Acts 10:15). Pork is one of those “foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” (1Timothy 4:3).What is the forbidden food in the Bible? ›
Prohibited foods that may not be consumed in any form include all animals—and the products of animals—that do not chew the cud and do not have cloven hoofs (e.g., pigs and horses); fish without fins and scales; the blood of any animal; shellfish (e.g., clams, oysters, shrimp, crabs) and all other living creatures that ...
What is the moral lesson of the story of the rich man? ›
The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus
This parable sends the message that worldly and earthly possessions are of no benefit in the afterlife. Those who have suffered on Earth will receive their reward in Heaven.
Rich People Problems Synopsis
As her relatives fight over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by her ex-husband—a man hell bent on destroying Astrid's reputation and relationship.
Some people will do anything for money. The problem is that these people will literally do anything. They are willing to betray their friends, betray the company they work for and even betray their own country if the price is right.What does the Bible say about feeding a lazy man? ›
For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.What does God say about being money hungry? ›
Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions'” (Luke 12:15). Life is about more than money. Granted—money can make life a lot easier. Like health, finances are one of the things that are easy to take for granted until they are gone.What does God say about giving to beggars? ›
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you” (Matthew 7:12).Why does God care about the poor? ›
But Scripture tells us that God loves the poor. He is on their side simply because they are still persons worthy of respect. And in their helplessness, they put their trust in God.Does God want us to be poor? ›
“Absolutely not,” he replied. “The biblical perspective is for us to live in wholeness, which includes a generous sufficiency of things. Poverty is a bad thing; God wants us to have all we need for a joyous life. God wants no one to be poor.”Why is poverty a sin? ›
The Old Testament meaningfully portrays poverty as a sign of unfaithfulness to Yahweh or an evil caused by Israel's elite's class, while emphasising that God is the protector of the poor.Does the Bible say eat the rich? ›
1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire.
What does Peter say about food? ›
Peter is told, 'What God has made clean, do not call common. ' In other words, there is no kosher code for Christians. Christians are not concerned with eating kosher foods and avoiding all others. That part of the law is no longer binding, and Christians can enjoy shrimp and pork with no injury to conscience.Who said that the rich will become rich and the poor will become poorer? ›
"The rich get richer and the poor get poorer" is an aphorism due to Percy Bysshe Shelley.Where in the Bible does it say to feed the poor? ›
Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. Proverbs 22:9 The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. Proverbs 22:16 Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.Does God want us to be wealthy? ›
The Bible issues several warnings against the love of money and the snare of wealth (1 Timothy 3:3; 6:10), but in Proverbs 30:8–9, Agur, the gather of wise sayings, asks that he would have neither poverty nor wealth.Does God care about the food we eat? ›
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” This verse shows that God truly does care about every area of our lives; In fact, the whole human race was created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.What Jesus says about rich people? ›
Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven."What animals did God say not to eat? ›
Prohibited foods that may not be consumed in any form include all animals—and the products of animals—that do not chew the cud and do not have cloven hoofs (e.g., pigs and horses); fish without fins and scales; the blood of any animal; shellfish (e.g., clams, oysters, shrimp, crabs) and all other living creatures that ...What did Jesus say about eating food? ›
He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone.What animals are unclean in the Bible? ›
the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon. Of all those that move along the ground, these are unclean for you. Whoever touches them when they are dead will be unclean till evening.