The Attack on the Praça do Tres Poderes was a Craziness that Continues*


Now Jair Bolsonaro runs a much greater risk of going to prison himself.

Karl Marx’s saying that history repeats itself as a farce has never been so accurate. Two years ago, American extremists inspired by former President Donald Trump invaded the U.S. Capitol with the objective of stopping the transition of power to Joe Biden.

That attempted coup never had much chance of success, but one could say the craziness stopped there. Trump was still the president, and if an institutional mega-crisis had been put in place, it would have been possible, although it would have been extremely remote, that Trump could have consolidated his power.

Sunday’s attack at the Praça dos Três Poderes in Brasilia was a craziness which continues. The Brazilian coup plotters did everything wrong, starting with the choice of date. If they had acted while Jair Bolsonaro was still president, it might have been possible to imagine a state of siege evolving into an “old school” coup. As Bolsonaro was already in the position of being an ex-president and ensconced in Florida, all the plotters managed to do was rally the relevant political forces and institutions around Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and around lawfulness.

Beyond the scenes of destruction, one thing that is particularly impressive is the list of setbacks the coup leaders amassed. They didn’t just strengthen the president whom they despise, they also put themselves in enormous legal jeopardy. We can expect numerous arrests and prosecutions, including among those who organized and financed the attack. Bolsonaro himself now runs a greater risk of having to answer for inciting the coup and going to prison. The extremists also alienated the political right, who still viewed them sympathetically. Even the Bolsonarist governors don’t have the option of refraining from condemning or suppressing the movement.

There are two categories of extreme right leadership. There are the intelligent leaders, such as Viktor Orban of Hungary and Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, and there are the dummies. Brazil, fortunately, was graced with the second type of specimen, not the first.

*Editor’s note: The original Portuguese version of this article is available with a paid subscription.

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About Jane Dorwart 201 Articles
BA Anthroplogy. BS Musical Composition, Diploma in Computor Programming. and Portuguese Translator.

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