Negro, raised in a lower middle class neighborhood of Porto Alegre (RS), Nycollas Liberato got used to seeing his military police father and his nursing technician mother squeeze the family budget to meet the basic needs of the house.
“We always had food on the table, but it was always the currency counted. I remember that when I was a child I sometimes went to buy bread and milk and the card didn’t pass, ”he says.
At the age of 27, he is now executive director of Students For Liberty Brasil (SFLB), one of the main training organizations for young liberals in the country, and part of a global network.
His trajectory does not at all resemble that of a Faria Limer who defends the minimum state and the primacy of the market, and is representative of a change in the profile of the liberalists in the country.
“The more you can reduce the state, the better. If one day he disappears, better, but I don’t see it happening during my life ”, he says.
Nycollas’ young biography has other peculiarities. He maintained his belief in liberal ideas unshaken even though he was influenced by the military environment, a universe permeated by the belief in the role of the State as an inducer of development and guarantor of national sovereignty.
As a teenager, he studied at the Military College of Porto Alegre and began to pursue a career within the Armed Forces teaching gear.
From the college he went to the Army Cadets Preparatory School, in Campinas, and from there to the Military Academy of Agulhas Negras (Aman), in Resende, where he stayed until 2015. Both institutions that were attended by President Jair Bolsonaro.
But, unlike the captain who now holds the Presidency, he never had a military vocation. The option for the career was just a search for social ascension, as it happens every year with thousands of needy young people all over Brazil.
In the case of Aman, what attracted him was the possibility of graduating as a lieutenant with an initial salary of around R $ 5,000, something that would represent an enormous relief for the family’s finances.
But a family problem forced him to drop out of school in the last year and return to the South. Still, he says he has some valuable lessons from his military experience that helped him in the years that followed.
“It was a very remarkable experience. In the military academy, you learn the rules of discipline, how to deal with subordinates and superiors, how to be able to command and be effective in decisions ”, he says.
All of this helps him, he says, at the head of the SFLB, which he has held since December 2020, for a two-year term.
The discovery as a liberal also came at the Military College, which had an agreement with the Ling Institute, a center for disseminating these ideas based in the capital of Rio Grande do Sul.
The student who liked to read anarchists, like Pierre Proudhon and Mikhail Bakunin, went on to dive into classic liberals like Adam Smith, Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell. “It has always bothered me in anarchist texts that part of the revolution, of having to kill people”, he justifies.
At the moment, Nycollas is studying administration at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), and intends to specialize in the area of management and leadership development.
He started benefiting from racial quotas, a model that, despite this, he criticizes, in line with liberal postulates. “Quotas were created to solve a problem on a temporary basis and do not attack the real problem. It is no use for some blacks to enter university and most of them are not even able to attend public schools ”, he says.
A less bad solution, he believes, would be to establish a system of social quotas, which benefits underprivileged students regardless of their skin color.
He believes that the real way to eliminate poverty and promote people’s rise is far from compensatory or redistributive policies propagated by the left. The solution, for Nycollas, is less bureaucracy and more encouragement for economic freedom.
“I saw my parents struggling to pay the bills, then there was the Income Tax. Opening a company in Brazil is difficult, it comes with a lot of taxes at once. We have a state structure that needs to be reformed and reduced ”, he believes.
When evaluating the Bolsonaro government, he, like most liberals, says he is frustrated, especially with the timid results presented so far by the agenda of Minister Paulo Guedes (Economy).
“Paulo Guedes did not have the ability to put into practice the guidelines he wanted, due to a lack of ability to lead in times of crisis. It is a characteristic of him and of Bolsonaro himself ”.
He is also concerned about watching the president’s authoritarian raptures. Former aspiring military man, Nycollas does not welcome the fact that Bolsonaro populates his government with graduates from the barracks. “The moment the Armed Forces start to get involved with politics, it starts to be a problem.”
At the head of the SFLB, Nycollas has the challenge of commanding an entity that brings together more than 1,000 young people across the country in times of pandemic. Covid-19 forced the entity to cancel its main annual event, LibertyCon.
While the sanitary situation is not resolved, the entity promotes smaller events online, always with the purpose of giving a more inclusive image of liberalism.
“Liberalism will help more people who were born like me than the Faria Limers. I don’t want to become a totem pole, I don’t think I’m a representation of something. What I can say is that the liberal movement was the first in which my race or socioeconomic position never got in the way, ”he says.