Talking with my Brazilian roommates and get some knowledge about Brazil and South America
First all, he is Brazilian. But he doesn’t play soccer/football. 🙂 He said even girls in Brazil plays soccer better than him. That is for sure. I’ve watched Brazilian girls play soccer on the beach. They are really good.
Below is the essence of our conversation.
He said he couldn’t understand why Brazil cannot become another America. His father told him that Brazil was quite strong at the beginning of colonization. (My roommate is only 20 years old. But you will see what he will say about America.). He said the biggest problem of Brazil is debt. It is the debt to IMF and the World Bank. According to him, what Brazil has paid on interest of loan is 3 times of what Brazil has borrowed on loan. The loan Brazil borrowed was used to build some luxury projects that didn’t help the poor people at all. The government borrowed money from IMF and the World Bank in the name of the project. Then the government officials pocketed part of the loan. They don’t care whether the projects are really helping Brazilian economy or not. One example of such projects is a high way running through Amazon forest. No one used that road. So that road is now covered with plants. He said most Brazilians hate America. America took out democratically elected governments and replaced with corrupt governments across South America.
I learned from him that Brazil is a democratic society, and everyone is required by law to vote. Then I wondered why they cannot elect someone who can really take care of economy. I guessed the answer immediately: Brazilian politics is very polarized. The candidates are either backed by American government and are very corrupt, or stand up to American government and are hostile to business and corporations. My roommate doesn’t like the current Brazilian president (he also doesn’t like the president of Venezuela). He thinks he taxes corporation too much. There are a lot of tax on foreign corporations opening branches in Brazil. And the import tariff is very high. So Brazilians cannot buy foreign cars. Computers are also very expensive there. There isn’t much industry in Brazil. Their exports are mostly agriculture produce, like soy bean. Now I can understand a little Brazil cannot have a strong economy although it is also a big country.
So this is another democracy goes wrong under the pressure of external force: American government. Another example is Taiwan, which I have talked in a post earlier. Taiwan’s democracy experiments are also under a lot of American pressure. American government constantly interferes with Taiwan’s affairs, such as forcing Taiwan to buy weapons from US. So Taiwan’s politics is also very polarized. Ideology takes control of social life, and a lot of economic decisions are made due to political reasons.
It looks instead of spreading democracy, American government is the biggest obstacle of democracy around the world. The failure of those democratic countries to develop their economies again makes Chinese government and the Chinese people think that democracy isn’t really useful for developing economy.
Again, I have to say I don’t have all the hard cold facts about the whole thing. I am just trying to understand the world. To me, if something is possible, it will happen. I cannot think of anything that will constrain American government from doing those things. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. When it comes to American foreign policy, who can oversee it. Don’t mention that most Americans don’t really know what their government is doing overseas. If you talk with people coming from other countries, you will get a sense how they really think about American government.
Because of American government’s greedy pursuit of so called national interests (which are in hands of a small group of people), other countries have to rely on their government to protect their national interests since other countries are much weaker, thus making national interests riding above the need of domestic democracy. So it becomes very much needed for people in other countries to support their governments in defending their national interests even though those governments are repressive ones. Simply put, American government is screwing up democracy all over the world. If American government can set up a good example and get rid of its hidden and open nationalism pursuit, it will be much easier for people in other countries to follow and pursue their freedom and democracy.
Again, I have to say that given that kind of superpower in the world, maybe no other country can handle that power better than US. Domestically, American people have been able to stand up and correct many wrongdoings of their government. For what American government does oversea to people of other countries, we need to wait and see.
BTW, learned something about Portuguese, Spanish and other European languages. 🙂