Brazil is one of the epicenters of worldchanging innovation. It's huge, sprawling and mired in deep poverty and injustice, but Brazil also has, by all accounts, a willingness to engage in rethinking the approaches we're using to solve big problems that may be unique in the world. Zaid went there last year, and filed this report from the field:
I just got back from a trip to Lula's Brazil. The sheer magnitude and sweep of what's unfolding there is staggering. In order to grasp it, we need to understand that the Lula revolution is in effect asking one of the most important questions of our times:
Can the 21st Century State be a vehicle for radical social change?
Another question would be: Can democracy be a vehicle for making the world a better place to live?
Or: Can democracy be a vehicle for freedom?
Don't know if you're aware of it, but there's an ongoing corruption scandal involving Lula and key ministers of the government (also from Lula's Labor Party). Recent polls in Brazil show that Lula would lose the presidential election to José Serra today, and he's *seriously* threatened by a possible impeachment process. While Lula is still seen as some kind of hero for outsiders, he has significantly lost his credibility to the Brazilian people, and I seriously doubt he will ever make it to office again.
By the way, Brazzilmag.com has some articles in English about it.
I don't see Lula's approach to Brazil's problems as anything revolutionary or untried in the past. And as the former comments have affirmed, his administration has been tainted by corruption as bad as or worse than previous ones.
What bothers me about this post is that it seems to hold up Lula as a model because he is left of center and not necessarily because any specific thing he has done has improved the situation in his country. He has merely presided over changes that others besides himself have fought to accomplish, and deserves little credit for any of it.
Well, the Lula's administration could achieve a thing that its oposition had not done so far: destroy the left in Brazil.