habib-ramaphosaleader-option3-1600x800Perry Anderson’s piece on Bolsonaro’s Brazil in the February edition of the London Review of Books should be requisite reading for all those interested in building a better world. It not only lays bare the Italianate character of Brazilian politics, but it also demonstrates the dangers of developing political strategies from the perspective of a world one wishes existed, rather than the one that really exists. It chronicles the rise and fall of the Workers’ Party in Brazil through a review of the political administrations and strategies of Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff.

While it details the structural factors that underlay the success of Lula, it also argues that the latter’s brand of politics – a radical pragmatism – had as much to do with his navigation of the balance of power in the Brazilian political and social system, which created the space for both political stability and a socio-economic programme that halved poverty and uniquely addressed inequality…..more