In this week’s #Forum2000online Chat, Bernardo Sorj, director of the Edelstein Center for Social Research and Democratic Platform Project, joined Jessica Ludwig, Senior Program Officer of the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy (ned.org), to talk about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine from a Brazilian perspective. In the interview, Dr. Sorj explains what are the perceptions and positions of the government, politicians, public intellectuals and citizens. The war has provoked discussion and a political divide that can be seen in the media and in public debate. Dr. Sorj says that President Bolsonaro "has clearly, always, a fatal attraction for authoritarian leaders, authoritarian social movements" and does not take a clear position, but, at the same time, the minister in charge of foreign relations takes a position against Russian invasion. This makes the government look erratic and contradictory. In addition, he states that "both part of the left and the extreme right, the position is, I wouldn’t say pro-Russian but anti-American”.
In this interview, you will learn that:
- In general, there are views and a divide in the political and intellectual elite that may be different from the opinions of common people.
- In general, simple images from the media and social networks influence the general perception, but people do not necessarily know what lies behind them.
- Within the Latin American left there are deep-rooted feelings against the United States and the capitalist system. From this perspective, according to Dr. Sorj, everything that is against the United States is good.
- Some people try to explain the Russian invasion saying that the United States and Europe have forced Russia into an unbearable situation.
- According to Bernardo Sorj, large parts of the Brazilian foreign policy establishment hold the view that, from a political and economic perspective, not all countries can afford not to trade or have relations with authoritarian countries“
The interview was recorded on March 18, 2022, and moderated by Jessica Ludwig, Senior Program Officer of the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy (ned.org)