So it looks like someone finally noticed what I have been crying about for years: the total and complete lack of a ‘liberal’ (aka American conservative) political option in Brazil.
However, I think that this goes beyond economic policy. I think that in Brazil we have a leftist culture that is totally ingrained and absorbed by the public in general. This culture is what ultimately makes a free-market/conservative option utterly impossible to appear and much less succeed in any way.
For instance: Fatalism rules in Brazil. You ask anyone on the streets or a politician or a computer programmer why they think Brazil is not a developed country they will definitely blame someone else. It is either Portugal’s fault (a very popular option when I was a kid in school), the IMF (also a very popular choice in the 80s – Brazil’s left used to say that the country’s inflation was directly connected to the IMF’s debt!), America, ‘politicians’ (as if the people who elected them had nothing to do with it), etc, etc.
Furthermore, the entrepreneurial spirit in Brazil is dwarfed by the power of government. It is not just that taxes are too high… The whole system is so convoluted and corrupt that in order to have a business people have to choose between operating outside of the law (at some level at least) or to buy out their way into the government’s arena (i.e., bribes and illicit favors). There is no incentive, neither from the people in power nor from people in the private sector, to completely dismantle this leviathan. It has become part of the system and it feeds from it.
So how can you expect the country to truly embrace capitalism with this frame of mind? Honestly, I am always truly surprised on how much Brazil has advanced despite all of this.