For at least the past ten years, the political powers-that-be in Brazil (basically, the Partido dos Trabalhadores, or Workers’ Party) have been flirting with legal transgressions, outright contempt of judicial decisions, and illegal occupations and invasions of land—always in the name of an ill-defined vision of “social justice.” […]It’s little surprise, then, that Brazilians show no respect for public institutions—for the government, for the Presidency, for the Congress, for those responsible for public security in the major cities, or for the political parties. This, I think, is the main danger of the unrest sweeping through Brazil right now.
These protests don’t seem to be going away any time soon, and the underlying issues can’t be fixed by lowering bus fares. The country needs deep and lasting political reform to restore trust in its institutions, says Waack. It also needs to make sure it doesn’t return to its past misadventures in state planning and crippling inflation.