Gaslighting – A Tática de Bolsonaro e Trump


Is Bolsonaro the Trump of the Tropics? With the arrival to power of the extreme right in Brasil The U.S. believes that this is the perfect time to move against anti-imperialist governments Voting won’t change anything in this country Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Things will only change, unfortunately, when we start a civil war My salute to the U.S. flag Yes and no. No, because both Trump and Bolsonaro have very different life trajectories. Trump, is a spoiled rich kid racist, xenophobic, and corrupt Trump’s main focus has always revolved around expanding his own brand and increasing his personal success which he prioritizes ahead of the interests of the country Bolsonaro is a politician that came out of the military dictatorship Since the beginning of his career, the thing that has most shaped Bolsonaro’s politics has been violence “In memory of Coronel Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra and to the horror of Dilma Rousseff” The torturer, Coronel Brilhante Ustra was the head of DOI-CODI (an intelligence and repression agency within the government) in São Paulo from 1970-74 During this time, at least 50 people were murdered. In his efforts to praise the dictatorship, Bolsonaro stresses the most violent aspects The torturers and murderers I think that the characterization of Bolsonaro as the “Trump of the Tropics” does not adequately describe the complexity of either administration or the atrocious things already implemented. But, again I ask: can we characterize Bolsonaro as the “Trump of the Tropics?” Yes; despite having such different political trajectories, they do have things in common. They are part of a new wave of nationalism that is extremely dangerous additionally, they both use the same political strategy This is one way to interpret the question. There are many other ways to respond that are valid and important. All are welcome in the comments section of the video 🙂 What happens when you ask someone who voted for Bolsonaro about social security reform? But, in response, the person swears up and down that during the campaign Bolsonaro promised that he would not touch social security Then you respond: are you crazy? He put Paulo Guedes in charge of the economy≥ Paulo Guedes, the Chicago Boy Are you following what is happening in Chile [ in regards to the protests against austerity/neoliberalism] Many of the issues being protested are attributed to Chicago Boys Since the beginning of Bolsonaro’s campaign for the presidency, he proposed reforming social security. But still, our imaginary Bolsonaro supporter insists: “No, Bolsonaro won’t mess with social security” There are 2 ways we can understand this type of response. First, the person voted for Bolsonaro but does not want to admit they were deceived Second, it is possible that the person truly believes that Bolsonaro never proposed reforming social security Despite, very clear evidence to the contrary For this second group, it is very possible that the person suffered gaslighting Trump has effectively used this strategy to maintain power despite committing numerous crimes Bolsonaro is an apologist for the military dictatorship and for torturers so when he uses this strategy there are 2 big dangers The end of democracy in Brazil and, the implementation of an extremely violent and authoritarian regime commanded by paramilitary militias. Let’s take it part by part: first, we have to understand what is “Gaslighting” Then, we’ll look at how Trump uses this in his approach to immigration and Bolsonaro in regards to the Amazon By the end, we’ll explain how Bolsonaro has used this tactic to impose his own brand of authoritarianism as if it too part of the democratic experiment. We will also explore how resolving who ordered the assassination of Marielle Franco is fundamental so that Bolsonaro does not redefine Brazil in the coming years What is Gaslighting? Gaslighting is a type of manipulation that comes from psychological abuse in which the victim comes to question their own sanity This person starts to question everything that once seemed obvious or true before Eventually, they start to question their own perception of reality and they so think that they are crazy Origins of the term The first time this term was used was in a play written by Patrick Hamilton in 1938 Within a couple of years, the play was adapted to the cinema, and it was a success. The play tells the story of a husband who commits a homicide and, so that his wife not to find out what he did, the husband applies several forms of psychological abuse Eventually, the wife starts to doubt her own memory and starts to think she might be going crazy All of this, because the husband does not want his wife to put the obvious together, and see discover the murder After the success of the film, the term ‘gaslighting’ started to become part of the U.S. lexicon By the 1960s, the term was commonly used to describe this type of psychological abuse In the 1970s, the term became commonplace within psychoanalysis And, in the 1990s, it began to be used in the U.S. as a political metaphor Gaslighting describes an abusive relationship between two people and between governments and their citizens George Orwell’s book, 1984, exemplifies the later One of the most powerful moments in the book occurs when the protagonist is psychologically manipulated via torture into believing that 2+2=5 solely because the party or state said it was as such. And, maybe somewhat ironically, it seems that Trump might be gaslighting Bolsonaro And not in terms of citizens and politicians much more in regards to a personal/romantic relationship It’s true Reporter: Regarding the question of steel [exports]. Will you have to call President Trump? Bolsonaro: if I’ve already called Trump or not, you won’t know We’re the poor side in this story People are going overboard I believe in Trump We have the type of friendship one could describe as…… I won’t say friendship, I don’t go over to his house and he doesn’t come over to mine, you know? But we have an understanding that’s really….. our contact has been very cordial. Reporter: Sir, were you disappointed with Trump’s [behavior toward you]? Bolsonaro: No, no I was not disappointed because nothing has been decided yet At least, this is how those of use outside of Brazil are understanding their relationship. Trump and the Wall To explain what gaslighting is let’s use one of Trump’s flagship positions as an example To do this we adopted the method posited by Amanda Carpenter in her book: Why We Love It When Trump Lies a repentant Republican This methodology is not the only way to explain gaslighting Also, other examples might not follow the order we choose to use in this video First, adopt a radical position that nobody else wants to assume This, in turn, will cause chaos among media. It is an especially radical approach Trump is very aware of the media’s adoration of sensational news and, in the end, both sides benefit Trump says something absurd, then media responds, in the end, Trump gains a ton of visibility Second, advance and deny Trump introduces a question into the public sphere with or without assuming any responsibility generally, this is done through surrogates this includes all forms of media and social networks At this point, lots of people are speaking about the issue and Trump does not have to assume a specific position Trump knows that in addition to sensationalism, people also have an affinity for exaggeration Then, with all the competing narratives, the issue takes on a life of its own It turns out that the population is in an abusive relationship And, we should not forget that in many cases when a victim is being abused, that person is not aware of the abuse itself or even deny it ever happened The absurd drains people Third, create suspense Tell people that evidence will soon be released and that the truth, in turn, will be revealed Trump shows us a tiny piece of the wall constructed and, in the end, everyone knows that Mexico won’t pay a penny for the wall It is just smoke and mirrors including many competing narratives as well as outright false information For some, the lies eventually come to be seen as evidence This is one of those moments when lies start to consolidate into “truths” Fox News reports news that it is impossible to scale the wall. As if the wall was a truth. Fourth, take away your opponent’s credibility and levy personal attacks so when people criticize the lies they’re attacked The site Americasvoice.org registers attacks against immigrants and minorities since Trump’s arrival on the political scene in 2015 something similar occurred in Brazil during Bolsonaro’s presidential campaign. And fifth, declare victory regardless of the results. At this point, it’s not important whether or not the wall is built Trump has already created concentration camps on the southern boarder and the people have accepted it Several Brazilians have been held at these detention centers and since have been deported If you want to learn more about the concentration camps on the southern border, we made a video on the subject, link in the description Let’s take a second to look at how Bolsonaro applies the same tactic in the Amazon What is the main point in regards to the Amazon? What is not up for discussion, regarding the Amazon? Preserve the Amazon, right? The recent fires in the Amazon were not normal São Paulo was plunged into darkness while at the same time people continued defending the fires as if they were part of a natural process So, how did we get to this point? Bolsonaro followed the method, step by step First, assume a position: Bolsonaro has said that he wants to develop the amazon together with foreigners [and foreign companies] I have shown and declared to the whole world that any country that wants, in partnership [with Brazil], to explore our biodiversity We are ready to speak to these countries. Today we want to legalize gold mining in Brazil Bolsonaro said this before the fires As you know, the Amazon greatly shapes the national identities of many Brazilians It is clear that the type of development Bolsonaro has proposed would destroy the Amazon Second: advance and deny The fires started due to the exploitative policies adopted by Bolsonaro So what exactly did Bolsonaro do? Denied his position in a way that made absolutely no sense The forest is not catching fire like people are saying The fires are occurring where people are cutting down the trees Third: create suspense To do this, Bolsonaro confuses the situation by blaming indigenous people and NGOs active in the region. You can see it, you can affirm it, a criminal act was committed by the NGOs, against me as a person and against Brazil In all this confusion, the truth, eventually, is forgotten Bolsonaro is the person who proposed that the Amazon be destroyed in the name of development fourth: take away any credit your opponent might have At the UN, Bolsonaro attacked both international national opposition to his plan for the Amazon The sensationalist attacks we’ve suffered from a large part of the international media He uses nationalism as a justification to destroy the Amazon The perspective of an indigenous leader does not always represent the views of all indigenous people in Brazil Many times, one of these leaders, such as in the case with Casiqu Raoni are used and manipulated by foreign governments in their war of information aimed at advancing their interests in the Amazon Fifth, declare victory During his meeting with the Prince of Saudi Arabia, Bolsonaro admitted that the fires were a direct result of his domestic policy toward the Amazon In regard to questions about theAmazon, the Amazon has had problems for many years it is part of the culture of the native population to burn the forest This might slightly affect the survival of the planet the exploration and development of the Amazon has been empowered by me Specifically, because I do not believe in the approaches taken by previous administrations Here, Bolsonaro assumes a position in which he claims responsibility Crazyness And, in the end, the preservation of the Amazon and the many indigenous groups who reside there, was relativised And, all the destruction that has occurred in the Amazon is now accepted The fires in the Amazon have existed for a long time, ever since the existence of fire itself This tactic of gaslighting is being applied in various aspects of Bolsonaro’s governmen t Personally, I see a ton of examples, just as many for Bolsonaro as for Trump Because of this, I’m going to explore one more example and perhaps, one of the most important How is Bolsonaro using gaslighting to destroy democracy in Brazil through the implementation and legitimization of paramilitaries inside the government And, how the assassination of Marielle Franco and the resolution of the murder are both fundamental in whether or not Bolsonarismo succeeds or fails. Bolsonarismo and the destruction of democracy Bolsonaro is not as good as Trump is in using Gaslighting as a political tactic However, Bolsonaro does have an advantage given the Brazilian context Brazil is a young democracy and as a result, many of the government institutions don’t have the same type of “strength” when compared to the U.S. Additionally, the many horrors committed during the Military Dictatorship (1964-85) continue to haunt the population Given all of this, Bolsonaro is gaslighting his own people because he wants extra-juridical and extra-constitutional powers this process is actively eroding the institutions responsible for maintaining democracy in Brazil First step: Bolsonaro proposes absurdities in relations to any democratic system A government based in and inspired by the dictatorship We can see this in his choice for Vice President: General Mourão However, his flagship political position, what most highlights Bolsonaro’s admiration for the military dictatorship is violence So, how does this work? Through the recuperation and exaltation of Brazil’s most notorious torturous In addition, to publically honoring the torturer General Ustra on the floor of Congress during Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment vote (2016) Bolsonaro has also praised former Chilean dictator Pinochet If we read between the lines, it is clear that Bolsonaro’s approach to governance is profoundly shaped by violence Bolsonaro presents himself as the rightful heir of torturers What can we learn from Bolsonaro’s apologist discourse praising torturers? Since colonial times, the poor, black, and indigenous populations in Brazil have continued to suffer a great deal of violence During the military dictatorship (1964-85), the regime designated a specific group of individuals to be official torturers These professional state-authorized practitioners of violence were directed by a small group of military officers During the military dictatorship, the image of torture in Brazil becoming associated with the repression of the organized left Nonetheless, I want to stress that this does not mean that violence did not continue to occur against socially marginalized communities. And, as we know, the torture that occurred during the military dictatorship did not stop when generals relinquished their hold on power Rather, torture and violence were intensified against marginalized, poor, and black populations. The 1993 Candelária massacre in Rio de Janeiro is one example of the continuity of a type of politics espoused during the military dictatorship in regards to subaltern communities The paramilitary militia that murdered the homeless children while asleep next to the Candelária Church were tied to death squads active in Brazil in the 1960s As the tactical use of paramilitary militias as an extra-juridical arm of the state increases over time the militias start to be viewed as legitimate even if the militias are only semi-official, their use directly influences the culture of enforcement within the entire police force which, theoretically is supposed to guarantee the security of the population, but that is not what happens. Bolsonaro absolutely wants to revive the times of the military dictatorship, but not exactly reproduce it During the military dictatorship, murder and torture were institutionalized so as to impose “social order” this is what Bolsonaro wants to reproduce But, to achieve this, Bolsonaro has chosen to place the paramilitary militias as the protagonists for Bolsonaro, violence is the link between the military dictatorship and the paramilitary militias active today This process has increasingly familiarized the population with these militias and in doing so advanced the idea that to maintain social order violence is necessary. This is the same principle espoused during the military dictatorship, but this time enforcement is taken care of by semi-offical paramilitary groups. I want to tell my comrades from Bahia that recently there was a politician who criticized the death squads As long as the government does not have the courage to adopt the death penalty These death squads, according to my understanding, are very welcome And if they don’t have space to work in Bahia, they can go to Rio de Janeiro If it was up to me, the paramilitary death squads would have the total support [of the government] The process of increasing familiarizing, legitimizing and institutionalizing the militias has not been as obvious as one might think By applying the tactic of gaslighting, Bolsonaro has managed to win over even the military generals An important component of the marketing campaign used by Bolsonaro during his presidential campaign was the use of nostalgia regarding the Military Dictatorship At this time, the impression was that the generals and supporters of the dictatorship would be part of the government But this is not exactly what happened After one year, look at the state of the relationship between Bolsonaro and military officiers What happened to the military wing of the government was that they thought they would be able to moderate Bolsonaro’s more radical impulses They thought that they would be able to stop Bolsonaro from going too far, but what has happened the past year is the opposite Many military men have since left the government, however, those that remain have become increasingly submissive to the worst authoritarian and rhetorical impulses of the government These military men just sit there and pretend that nothing is happening In the end, they are there to serve, to obey, and to legitimize the authority of the government in public opinion. Bolsonaro fooled all of them The truth the military officers that remained and the extreme right represented by Bolsonaro united together this year as one movement This is one of the ways Bolsonaro has managed to idolize violence in his attempts to create a social order based on a racial hierarchy that places white men at the top The main group representing this social mission are the paramilitary militias it is not in vain that Bolsonaro admires Pinochet In many ways, Bolsonaro’s attempts to expand state violence in Brazil follows the Chilean model A model that is heavily reliant on paramilitary militias for enforcement The event that has more than any other shed light on Bolsonaro’s relationship with the militias throughout the country is the assassination of Marielle Franco The individuals accused of assassinating the city councilwomen and her driver, Anderson Gomes, met in the condo according to the doorman’s testimony n Elcio (one of the accused) confirmed that he was going to condo# 58 where Bolsonarto lived So, what is Bolsonaro’s strategy so people won’t focus on his relationship with Marielle’s murder. He creates a mess, positing a ton of information into the public sphere. The first is denying involvement in the murder of Marielle To tie the death of Mariella (sic) to me. Those scoundrels at Rede Globo. Scoundrels! Crooks! It won’t stick. I didn’t do anything to anyone I did not have any motive to kill [her] nor was I even in Rio de Janeiro Bolsanaro attacks the governor of Rio de Janeiro He attacks Rede Globo, which published the accusations The doorman changes his testimony to cover for Bolsonaro Bolsonaro’s son, Carlos, Rio de Janeiro city councilman, had access to the doorman’s entrance logs and altered evidence Every hour it seems something new appears in this case The problem with excessive information is that the association between the paramilitary militias and the government becomes more and more natural within society, even if wrong. Marielle Present! Her assassin is friends with the president And, in the middle of all this commotion, Bolsonaro revives the controversy over the Amazon, this time blaming Leonardo DiCaprio for the fires The intention of this strategy to get people to forget the main question Which is to discover who ordered the assassination of Marielle Franco Resolve the entire crime Not resolving this crime causes two real social dangers First, the idea that paramilitary militias can take on certain responsibilities of the government increasingly becomes normalized Which is currently happening, just look at the record-setting number of military police that were elected in the last election Not to mention, the high frequency of news describing relationships between the Brazilian president and paramilitary leaders Reporter: Sir, did you loan money to Queiroz (long-time Bolsonaro family associate with ties to death squads) Bolsonaro: Yes, yes, it was not 24 thousand, it was 40 thousand, you are mistaken Second, that the assassination of Marielle is justified to maintain social order This was the same logic used to torture, disappear, and assassinate “subversives” during the military dictatorship As a result, we start to see the banalization of torture and extermination as a form of political expedience The targets of this violence are indigenous peoples, blacks, lower-income families, women, the LGBTQ community, and the left And, over time, anyone who does not fit into the Bolsonarista movement This has the potential to lead to a state solely based on maintaining “social order” For this to happen, the paramilitary militias have to assume a monopoly on violence and with the authority to kill anyone they see as a threat to that order Which is already happening The creation of Bolsonaro’s new party, which just so happens to incorporate images directly inspired by Nazism is just one more step closer to further empowering these paramilitary groups and increase their hold on violence It is crucial that we remain vigilant to what is happening Donald Trump started by speaking about building a wall and before we knew it there were concentration camps on the southern boarder with Mexico Bolsonaro said he wanted to develop the Amazon, and since, he has committed one of the greatest atrocities against Brazil’s indigenous population and the environment What will happen when people start to see the paramilitary groups as part of the government? It would not be a military dictatorship, it would not be a parallel state like with certain Cartels More than ever we should look to the history of our hermanos This situation makes me think a great deal about Nicaragua Where the Somoza family spent many years in power The Somoza family came to power in 1936 imposing a dictatorship for more than 40 years. To stay in power the Somozas wed the state with paramilitary militias After 1979, when the Somoza family was finally kicked out of power and democracy was restoured Paramilitary militias formed death squads, which in turn received financing and training from the CIA and U.S. military. The militias spread violence and chaos throughout the country with the goal of destabilizing democracy Father, and two sons. All dictators. The whole family. Don’t forget, Bolsonaro has sons The figure of Marielle has always represented a great deal and, in this context, we have to ask, how will her memory be presented today and carried into the future This is fundamentally important as it is an opportunity to declare that Brazil too will be reborn Context: Marielle was speaking on the floor of congress and someone shouted “Ustra” interrupting her Marielle responds to the heckler: Don’t interrupt me, it is not allowed interrupting congresspeople in this house is prohibited especially from a citizen who incapable of hearing the from an elected women Every day the case remains unresolved is another day that shows the world that the Bolsonaro family is above the law and that the presence of paramilitary militias in the government can is normal as we know, Brazil is not for amateurs Many things can still occur which is why we have to stay aware Two of Bolsonaro’s sons are being investigated for their involvement, in some way or form, with the murder of Marielle Carlos was investigated as one of the suspects and Flavio is directly tied to Brazil’s most notorious active death squad The same group who killed Marielle The problem is that these investigations are not concerned with preserving democracy but rather in perpetuating a media spectacle that just further confuses the general public For example, Flavio Bolsonario has been accused of having close ties to paramilitary groups and for financial corruption, in January 2019 Almost one year later, the same accusations are reported in the news, almost as if it was the first time It is absolutely imperative that Bolsonaro does not manage to redefine Brazil in the coming years one thing that is important. We have not yet come to the point in which Bolsonaro declares victory we are in the middle of the being gaslit Beyond the walls and boarders We should be thinking of humanity in a way that goes beyond borders as well as a plan of action There is a connection between events that occur in countries all over the world Especially throughout the American continent, which includes Brazil The arrival of Trump to the presidency facilitated the victory of Bolsonaro, of Boris Johnson in the UK the coup in Bolivia, which is presently under the control of a fundamentalist rightwing regime. Donald Trump, in part, is the product of an authoritarian wave that is sweeping the globe. When Trump came to power, he joined other authoritarians who were already in power Such as Orbán in Hungary, Modi in India, and Duterte in the Philippines People like Steve Bannon see this moment in time as a chance to spread chaos throughout the world in an effort to build an extreme right Led by authoritarian regimes that pretend to maintain democracy as a type of political theatre Now more than ever we need to form international networks of solidarity as a means of expanding our understanding of how to fight against authoritarian nationalism, beyond borders The first step is seeing that all this craziness, is not us, it lies with capitalism. I’m gonna tell you something, there are way more people workers in the world than any nation Thank you very much for watching our video. I hope that you are enjoying the content

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