Bolsonaro and the presidential election in Brazil: an interview with Olavo de Carvalho
Olavo de Carvalho is one of the primary voices of Brazil’s conservative revival. He is a writer, teacher, and critic of the political left in Brazil.
(Editor’s note: Jair Bolsonaro was elected president of Brazil 4 days after the publication of this interview in The Epoch Times, with more than 55% of the valid votes.)
J.R. Nyquist: It is a pleasure to speak with you, Olavo. Maybe you could tell us what is happening in Brazil.
Olavo de Carvalho: You know, the communists and Marxists always condemned the bourgeoisie, saying they defined democracy only by legal and formal traits, without taking into account the substance of the relations of power. They always said this. But now in Brazil, the communists are using the formal system of power and legality. They hide behind formalism to turn invisible the relations of power.
All the opinion research shows that most of the Brazilian population—around 70 to 80 percent—are extremely conservative, especially on the moral and religious points of view. In a country where the majority of the population is conservative, there is no conservative party (until recently), there is no conservative newspaper, there is no conservative TV channel, there is no conservative university, there is no conservative anything! So, most people have no way to express their opinion. This is a real relation of power. But formally, legally, we are a democracy—so the communists adopted the “bourgeois scheme” of hiding behind formalities to make the real relations of power invisible.
Mr. Nyquist: Are you saying the Workers’ Party is a front for the communists?
Mr. Carvalho: No, they are the Communist Party. We cannot hide it anymore. Recently, I read a book by the present Workers’ Party candidate, Fernando Haddad, called “In Defense of Socialism.” In 1998, he wrote a kind of update of “The Communist Manifesto.” He used some stuff from the Frankfurt School, and he proposed a new strategy for the Workers’ Party. It is not new. It is the same strategy proposed decades before by Herbert Marcuse and others. But he says it is new, and all he says is that the real practice of the Workers’ Party is following “The Communist Manifesto.” It is Haddad himself who says this, not me.
Mr. Nyquist: So Brazil is struggling against a communist power that has gotten inside the government.
Mr. Carvalho: But they don’t control only the government. They control all the media, with one or two small exceptions. They control all the universities. They control all the cultural institutions. They control practically everything. The people have no channel to express their opinion. The reason so many people went to the streets to scream and to protest is because it’s their only recourse.
Mr. Nyquist: And now Jair Bolsonaro is the candidate of a new political party, which is conservative, and he is threatening to overturn the communist control of the executive branch of Brazil’s federal government. Is that right?
Mr. Carvalho: Yes, that’s right. Of course, the communists are reacting violently, accusing Bolsonaro of being a fascist, a Nazi, and so on. They are even creating some false Nazi crimes in order to accuse him. These accusations are ridiculous and childish.
Mr. Nyquist: Are these accusations fronted by the Brazilian media?
Mr. Carvalho: All the media gives space to them. It is not only Haddad who is saying this. It is all the big newspapers, the big TV channels, and so on. They say there have been more than 50 Nazi crimes in recent days. But nothing like this has happened.
Mr. Nyquist: It is a campaign of slander, then?
Mr. Carvalho: A campaign of slander, not only in Brazil, but they have support everywhere—in the United States and Europe. There is a global slander campaign underway. Someone posted on my Facebook a list of more than 200 media organizations that have slandered Bolsonaro from around the world. It is a very serious matter. On the other side, Bolsonaro suffered an attempt on his life and the investigation does not appear in any media. Total silence.
Mr. Nyquist: Media reports here in the United States did not offer much detail. They said Bolsonaro was stabbed. That was all we heard.
Mr. Carvalho: The guy who attempted the murder, Adelio Bispo de Oliveira, was a member of the PSOL, which is the Socialism and Freedom Party. It is a kind of communist party.
Mr. Nyquist: First the socialists slander Bolsonaro, then they try to murder him.
Mr. Carvalho: Yes, yes, yes.
Mr. Nyquist: What are they so afraid of?
Mr. Carvalho: They have committed so many crimes while holding power that they cannot permit another party to take power now—because they know they’ll be punished.
Mr. Nyquist: Is there a threat of civil war in Brazil?
Mr. Carvalho: No, because the people have no weapons. They will be sitting ducks. This is not a civil war.
Mr. Nyquist: The army won’t protect the people?
Mr. Carvalho: I really don’t believe they will follow orders to shoot the people. But neither will they mobilize to defend the people. All the generals of the army have been very inactive during these years. In the ’90s, I made several lectures in military institutions in Brazil. I explained everything that was happening and everything that would happen. All my warnings came true. The Workers’ Party did everything I predicted. It was useless. The military remained inactive because they were so criticized in the media that they became inhibited. They are timid now.
Mr. Nyquist: Given the situation you describe, Bolsonaro and those supporting him must be very brave.
Mr. Carvalho: Very, very brave. And another thing, they have no money! The other side has lots of money. They are financed by Brazilian banks, by international banks, and so on. There is no limit to the amount of money they can use. And Bolsonaro has no money at all! Most of his campaign was made via the internet—by blogs and by Facebook.
Mr. Nyquist: And he’s ahead in the polls?
Mr. Carvalho: Yes! He is ahead in the polls. And the first round of voting shows a larger turnout than expected.
Mr. Nyquist: Was there cheating in the first round of presidential voting?
Mr. Carvalho: There were 16,000 cases of irregularities in the voting. And all of these irregularities were against Bolsonaro. The voting machines have some prejudice against him.
Mr. Nyquist: Were those the voting machines from Venezuela?
Mr. Carvalho: Yes, yes, exactly—the Smartmatic machines. And the government has announced that whoever speaks of fraud will be punished. So you dare not speak of fraud. Election fraud itself is not a crime in Brazil. The crime is in exposing the fraud. So now they will have to arrest 16,000 people for reporting election fraud.
The Workers’ Party gives itself the right to commit fraud and remain unpunished. How can people believe we are in a democracy when the government threatens to send to jail anyone who discovers voting fraud?
Mr. Nyquist: Yet Brazil has witnessed the creation of a conservative political party when none existed, and the conservative candidate is leading in the polls. It seems, despite everything, that the Brazilian people have risen to the occasion.
Mr. Carvalho: For the first time, between 2013 and 2015, the people rose as if they were one man, against all these things. It was a very heroic moment. A very beautiful thing to see. And now Bolsonaro’s candidacy is a natural continuation of that movement—a second chapter of this movement. I call this the Brazilian Revolution.
Mr. Nyquist: How did the Brazilian elite come under Marxist control?
Mr. Carvalho: In the 1960s, the communists adopted Antonio Gramsci’s strategy: Occupy the [cultural] spaces. They worked bit by bit, very patiently, occupying all the [cultural] spaces and expelling all their enemies. It took them more than 50 years. For a long time, I was a lone voice. But not anymore. Many of my readers and students write books and blogs. Some of them are very good.
Mr. Nyquist: And the elite media will not recognize them.
Mr. Carvalho: Yes, because all the history of this leftist power in Brazil is also the history of the destruction of high culture in Brazil. They destroyed everything. In the ’60s, we had great thinkers and writers.
The Workers’ Party, when it was born, promised to destroy the elite—what they called “The Establishment.” They read a book by the great Brazilian sociologist Raymundo Faoro, “The Owners of Power.” He showed that Brazil is a country where the people have no chance. And the Workers’ Party appeared promising to destroy the elite.
But, at the same time, they adopted Gramsci’s strategy. This strategy consisted of the Party becoming the elite. They wanted to make Faoro’s revolution using Gramsci’s methods. This is impossible.
Mr. Nyquist: And what about communist Chinese influence in Brazil?
Mr. Carvalho: Yes, the Chinese are buying everything in Brazil. We cannot measure the extent of Chinese power in Brazil. It is something huge.
Mr. Nyquist: Are the Chinese supporting the Workers’ Party?
Mr. Carvalho: Sure, sure, and also the Iranians.
Mr. Nyquist: And if Bolsonaro wins the election, what changes will he bring?
Mr. Carvalho: First, he will have to repress the drug dealers. The drug dealers make a lot of money. They bribe everybody. They control a huge part of the country. This is the first problem. Brazil has 70,000 murders a year. This means three Iraqi wars in a year.
Mr. Nyquist: And that’s due to the [drug dealers]?
Mr. Carvalho: Yes, and the [drug dealers] are protected by the Workers’ Party and the government.
Mr. Nyquist: So the communists are using drug trafficking and organized crime?
Mr. Carvalho: Yes. Almost a monopoly on drug trafficking in Brazil belongs to the FARC, [which is] the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces. The Brazilian drug dealer Fernando Beira-Mar confessed that every year, he bought weapons for the FARC and exchanged them for 200 tons of cocaine to distribute in the Brazilian market. So you can conclude that the FARC has the monopoly of the drug market in Brazil.
Well, the FARC is a member of the São Paulo Forum, which is an organization of 200 parties that are all communist. It is the new Communist International in Latin America. It was founded and presided over by Lula da Silva, the Workers’ Party president. So they are all partners—the FARC, the Workers’ Party, and so on.
Mr. Nyquist: So their objective, as the new Communist International of Latin America, is to repeat what they did to Venezuela in Brazil, and in Colombia, and in Bolivia, and in Argentina …
Mr. Carvalho: In the whole of Latin America. And no other country, after Venezuela, is in so dangerous a position as Brazil.
Mr. Nyquist: If you could advise U.S. President Donald Trump, and tell him one thing about Brazil’s situation, what would you say?
Mr. Carvalho: I would tell him that you cannot permit the whole of Latin America to fall to the communists. This would be the death of the United States. It’s a very dangerous situation, even for Americans.
J.R. Nyquist has been a columnist for WorldNetDaily, SierraTimes, and Financial Sense Online. He is the author of the books “Origins of the Fourth World War” and “The Fool and His Enemy,” as well as co-author of “The New Tactics of Global War. He is a former fellow of The Interamerican Institute.
Olavo de Carvalho is the President of The Inter-American Institute and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Philosophy, Political Science, and the Humanities.
Originally published in The Epoch Times.