Brazil’s Runoff Election Will Have Enormous Effects on the Global Climate Crisis

Noam Chomsky Interviewed by C.J. Polychroniou

October 13, 2022. Truthout.

Brazil is now headed toward a rocky presidential runoff vote on October 30, after its October 2 election produced no clear winner between far right populist president Jair Bolsonaro — an outspoken admirer of the brutal military dictatorship that came to power in 1964 by deposing a democratically elected president and lasted until 1985 — and Bolsonaro’s leftist challenger, Lula.

This is a tightly contested election, but polls are giving Lula a clear edge as he has received the endorsement of both the third and fourth finishers. Meanwhile Bolsonaro has indicated on numerous occasions in the past that he will not accept the election result if he loses.

The election will determine the future of Latin America’s powerhouse — a country with the 12th largest economy in the world that is rich in a variety of natural resources and home to the world’s biggest rainforest, the Amazon. Brazil is also a country of extreme inequality, awash in corruption and violence.

What is at stake in the runoff election, both for Brazil and the world at large, is brilliantly elucidated by Noam Chomsky in the exclusive interview for Truthout that follows. Chomsky is presently in Brazil and has been following very closely both the election campaigns as well as overall developments in the country.

Chomsky is internationally recognized as one of the greatest public intellectuals alive, the founder of modern linguistics and one of the most cited scholars in the history of the world. He is institute professor and professor of linguistics emeritus at MIT and laureate professor of linguistics at the University of Arizona. He has published more than 150 books in linguistics, politics and current affair, history and political economy, media studies, U.S. foreign policy and global affairs.