Max Weber would say that “institutions are things that send Bolsonaro to jail when he is caught in the act trying to coup”. Also according to the author of “Economia e Sociedade”, “the rest are those old whorehouses in Copacabana where a corrupt policeman negotiated bribes with the drug trade”.
Douglass North, founder of the institutionalist paradigm in economics, famously said, in his acceptance speech for the 1993 Nobel, that “if you don’t arrest Jair in the act, it’s not an institution, it’s a cuckold”.
By late Tuesday night, all of Brazil had seen Bolsonaro attempting the coup. No one in the press referred to the coup as anything else. The left, the center and the right, the financial market and the PSTU, the majority that supported against and the minority that supported it, all easily recognized what they saw with their own eyes. The bereft truckers openly said that they were called there to strike a coup and the coup did not come.
The coup went wrong. The idea of the demonstration was to convince the military and PMs that a coup would be popular even if it came from a government with 60% rejection. Not convinced. With no military daddy or PM mommy to fight for them, the pocketnaristas went home swearing at a female journalist on Twitter.
On the 8th and 9th, the discussion about impeachment progressed apace, despite the collaborationist Arthur Lira. Kassab’s PSD set up a commission to discuss the impeachment. The PSDB declared its opposition to Bolsonaro. The financial market stood against the coup turmoil. Fux and Barroso made scathing statements making it clear that Jair was screwed. It really was. His rule was over.
It was them, the functioning institutions, back after a long absence and almost 600 thousand dead Brazilians.
And, at that moment, who stepped in to ensure that the aforementioned operation did not threaten the aforementioned whorehouse? Michel Temer, of course, who else? The guy who started the crisis in 2016 and brought the military back to Brazilian politics in 2018, the head of the House PMDB to whom the liberals tied their 2016 program at the height of the Lava Jato, which earned them 4% in the elections of 2018 and the loss of the spot in the second round to Jair Bolsonaro.
The letter “it was bad, I was stoned” offered Bolsonaro an escape route, and, to Arthur Lira’s schemes, a chance of survival.
On the 10th, Kassab gave an interview to journalist Malu Gaspar’s podcast saying that the letter had postponed the impeachment debate. The mayor of Salvador, ACM Neto, told Folha that the DEM is not discussing impeachment and that the letter brought “a feeling of comfort and security”. The stock market went up.
Temer’s agreement did not stop the coup, which was already defeated. But it may have tarnished the impeachment. Temer interrupted the game when it was democracy’s turn to play. The turmoil that Temer spared the market was not the turmoil of the end of democracy, it was the turmoil of democracy’s reaction.
Don’t get me wrong, the news is good. Brazilian democracy has survived the most frontal attack it has suffered since the end of military rule. But if the impeachment agreement prospers, we won’t get back our healthy democracy from a few years ago. We will only be back until the 6th of September 2021.
LINK PRESENT: Did you like this text? Subscriber can release five free hits of any link per day. Just click on the blue F below.