That the political crisis in Brazil has seen a stark polarisation is no longer news. The mutual mistrust finds expression in an information war as well as in political struggle over the institutions of democracy. But that does not mean Left and Right are mere mirror images of each other.
The Right now exemplifies the worst characteristics of the post-Cold War Left. The pro-impeachment crowds on the streets are increasingly characterized by an infantile attitude towards political practice and institutions, callous about legality, indifferent towards democracy and ignorant of ‘what happens tomorrow’. The Left has consequently, perhaps to its own surprise, found itself urging moderation, restraint and trust in institutions. How did we get to this situation, one that would seem alien to many Western European and North American observers?