Thursday, March 9, 2017

Contrasting Brazil


The BBC recently ran a story on the sorry economic state of Brazil. The country has been in recession for two years, calling it, “the deepest economic decline since records began”, which is quite an indictment. This comes not so long after all the economic “experts” were touting Brazil as one of the up-and-coming economic superpowers that would soon surpass the likes of North America, Western Europe and Japan. The article does mention that the Brazilian economy was recently labeled one of the “fastest-growing” in the world. One just might be inclined to think that these economic experts with their predictions are not to be believed when a country can go so quickly from racing toward the dizzying heights of prosperity to having the worst economic decline on record. It may just be that they do not actually know what they are talking about (shocking I know). Had they listened to the heir to the Brazilian imperial throne, they might have known better as he is a man who seems to have a very firm grasp on economics and the importance of private property in creating the conditions for countries to thrive.

In all likelihood though, the last thing the current Brazilian political class would want to do is remind anyone of their original independent form of government as the contrast between the Empire of Brazil and modern leftist-republican Brazil could not be more striking. The records show that under the stability that the monarchy provided, the Empire of Brazil was everything that modern economics claim republican Brazil was all set to be before it suddenly, and to them likely inexplicably, fell to ruin. The Empire of Brazil was an economic powerhouse, generating more wealth from selling goods to the rest of the world than all other Latin American countries by 1850. The Brazilian economy grew at an almost 4% rate from 1839 until the time the monarchy was abolished. From 1850 until the end of the monarchy, the same period in which the United States first surpassed Great Britain as the world’s largest economy, the Empire of Brazil had economic growth on roughly the same level as the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany. The Empire of Brazil was in the top ten of having the most productive populations in the world by 1858.

Due to the fact that Brazil had lagged behind in industrialization, originally it depended a great deal on imported manufactured goods. However, after independence, the Empire of Brazil modernized rapidly and within a very few years had raised its technological level to the point that exports increased to roughly the same level as imports. Agricultural goods were the traditional exports and would generally remain at the top though eventually rubber became a major export and business only improved with the expansion of railroads and steamships for river transport. Brazil industrialized at a dramatic speed, probably unknown anywhere other than, perhaps, Japan after the Meiji Restoration. By the time the Empire of Brazil came to an end it had the largest railroad network in all of Latin America and a rapidly growing number of factories. It was one of the first countries to have telephone service, was second only to America in establishing transatlantic telegraphic communication and was the first South American country to have public electric lighting.

The immense success of the Empire of Brazil can also be seen in the growth of its population. Many tend to think only of the United States as the “land of opportunity” where all immigrants flocked, however for a great many people it was Imperial Brazil that seemed to offer the best prospects. From 1872 to 1890 the White population in Brazil rose from 38.1% to 44% of the population. Originally, the White population of Brazil had been entirely Portuguese but the success and the promise recognized in the Empire of Brazil meant that soon there were large numbers of Germans, Spanish, Italians as well as others living in the country. The 1870’s saw a huge surge in immigration to Brazil, including many Eastern Europeans, all because so many so such great possibilities for success in Brazil. Much like the United States at the time, Brazil was a growing country where business was booming and new advancements were being made all the time, Brazil just did it as a Catholic empire rather than a secular republic. In fact, after the horrific civil war in the United States, many southern Americans moved to Brazil, transplanting a little bit of Dixie south of the equator.

It certainly would not do for the political class if the people of Brazil today fully understood the depth of the economic crisis they are in now, compared to the wealth and prosperity that prevailed in the days when Brazil had an emperor. Then again, perhaps something else is at work. Certainly, speaking for myself, it is hard for me to believe that anyone could be satisfied with the current state of most countries in the world if the people truly understood just how great they used to be, usually at a point in the past where traditional authority was firmly in place. I cannot help but think that the public must simply be ignorant of their own history, for if Brazilians today knew how magnificent the Empire of Brazil was, they would want nothing more than to return to that immediately and be done with the current ruling elite, a political class that is obviously hopelessly corrupt and which has stayed in power by manipulation, buying votes and selling people a totally illusory vision of pretended economic progress all the while they were emptying the state coffers and filling their own pockets.

Brazil desperately needs new leadership, a new direction and a new way of thinking about politics and economics. There are few royal pretenders in the world better fitted to saving their countries than HIH Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza. He has exactly the faith, the values and the grasp political and economic knowledge that Brazil is most in need of. He is exactly what the doctor ordered, so to speak, if only the people would turn to him for leadership. Were that to happen, I have no doubt that a revived Empire of Brazil would soon be rising to rival the record of the original.

11 comments:

  1. Hi.

    I knew very little about the Monarchy in Brazil until today. I just researched His Imperial Highness Prince Bertrand and while researching I came across two other people Prince Luiz who is said to be the head of the family and de jure emperor. I have also found Prince Antonio who also seems to be seeking the crown. Please explain what's going on and who legally has right to the throne?

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    1. Prince Luiz is head of the Imperial Family, Prince Bertrand and Prince Antonio are both his younger brothers. Prince Bertrand is second to Prince Luiz and is his heir. Prince Pedro Carlos is a nominal rival claimant but he is a republican. His claim comes from the fact that he is senior in the family but his grandfather renounced his claim to the throne, which is why most do not recognize him. Of course, there will always be some who insist that the renunciation was invalid, that you cannot renounce your rights to a throne, and so they insist that Prince Pedro is the rightful claimant. He doesn't have much of a following (he is not trying to have one really) and is not recognized by anyone I know as the real heir.

      One thing you have to keep in mind, as just an unfortunate fact of life, is that if you look hard enough you can find someone disputing the succession of every monarchy and former monarchy in Europe. Spain, France, Britain, Italy, Germany, Russia, Romania, etc. At this point, you can always find someone somewhere who will dispute any monarch or would-be monarch in the western world. It's sad but that's just the way it is.

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  2. You understand the reality of Brazil more than any current elected politician or protester. The country is lost, tired of the morally bankrupt ruling class, seeking something different, but seem drawn only towards messianic leftist leaders, instead of our rightful De Jure Emperor.

    Changing the topic here: How do you feel about Anton Bakov's Imperial Throne Microstate, that has Prince Karl Emich as Emperor Nicholas III?

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    1. Anton Bakov seems to be an odd character to say the least

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  3. "



    It seems that I was having problems sending comments, if you get way too many, I ask that you only accept this one.
    --
    "I cannot help but think that the public must simply be ignorant of their own history, for if Brazilians today knew how magnificent the Empire of Brazil was, they would want nothing more than to return to that immediately and be done with the current ruling elite, a political class that is obviously hopelessly corrupt and which has stayed in power by manipulation, buying votes and selling people a totally illusory vision of pretended economic progress all the while they were emptying the state coffers and filling their own pockets."

    I don't think I could've said this any better. Sadly, it is the truth. Our history, in general, is either highly avoided by the school system or simply changed and manipulated to serve our socialist government. I have a flag of the Empire in my house and you would be amazed the amount of people (we're talking adults here, who have, for the most part, finished school) either mistake this flag for some other flag or outright have not idea where it's from.
    I wish I could blame our current socialist government for that, but I can't. Every government that came after the Empire, with no exceptions whatsoever tried, in one way or another, to simply erase the history of the Empire.

    But as with most things in life, there are, on the very least, two sides to the story and this is not different. We have to main problems: the Brazilian monarchists and the Brazilian Imperial Family. Starting with the monarchists, most that I have met are highly ignorant regarding the history of the monarchy (as an institution, not particularly the Brazilian monarchy), politics and history in general thus making them highly incompetent in both defending the monarchy and teaching about it. Which in turn leads to more misinformation about the monarchy and lack of popular support.

    Now, for the second problem, the Brazilian Imperial Family. Don't get me wrong, I love and admire our Princes and would serve them without thinking twice if they needed my services. However, they seem to lack the interest in the Crown which sadly makes the monarchist movement pointless, on the very least. What is the point of having a monarchist movement if the Princes themselves, who were supposed to rule the country, are barely interested in the Crown? I say this with sadness, but with each year I lose faith in our Empire (though I have not lost faith in the monarchy), both our elders Princes, His Imperial Majesty Luís Gastão de Orléans e Bragança and His brother His Imperial Majesty Bertrand Maria José de Orléans e Bragança are very old men and I fear that once they are gone the Imperial family will, indeed, be erased from the history of the Brazilian nation as most of the younger princes (and princesses, too) show little to no interest in official matters and have not been raised in royal fashion, or so that would appear. Once they are gone I feel that our Imperial Family will die with them as neither of them have children of their own.

    Now, changing the subject a little. MM, what do you think about our current Pope? I would love to hear your thoughts on Him. While I know that it is not for him to judge the Pontiff's decisions I should say that I find him quite anti-Catholic, to say the least. Many of His comments and positions seem quite similar to those of our enemies and while He instructs the European Catholics to "love" and "accept" the Muslims (and atheists), he seems to say awfully little about the Christians in the Middle-East that have been persecuted by either ISIS or Muslims in general.


    Kind regards,

    L

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    1. I would say that, for the moment, the Brazilian Imperial Family is more active than most in pressing their own case. It may not be as much as you or I would like but, compared to others, they are at least doing something. It is unfortunate if that is not being passed on to the next generation.

      As for the Pope, I would have thought my views obvious from past postings but suffice it to say that I am not terribly impressed. You can check the archives to verify this but, while somewhat skeptical, I tried my best to give him the benefit of the doubt and hope for the best, however, he seems to have his priorities completely backwards to me, scolding his most devout while embracing the most destructive. I'm also afraid his grand, public demonstrations of "humility" have ruined any chance of the papacy returning to its traditional, more monarchical grandeur and authority.

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  4. Could you tell me where did you found these informations about Brazil's industrialization at that time?
    Great article by the way

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    1. Most of the stats were from "Brasil e Argentina: Um ensaio de história comparada (1850–2002)" from, "Trade and Gunboats: The United States and Brazil in the Age of Empire" and from "História de Dom Pedro II (1825–1891): Fastígio (1870–1880)"

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  5. I'm a proud monarchist brazilian and, having studied the history of the monarchy, can only agree with you, during this period my nation's industrial sector saw a rapid increase in it's industrial sector, with the help of the Baron of Mauá and british foreign investments, and constant economic grow that would only decline and stop with the Proclamation of the Republic.

    Changing the subject, what's your opinion on agnostic, non-theist, atheist monarchists?

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    1. In the first place, I'm glad that any monarchist is a monarchist. As for being an atheist of some variety, I would be skeptical as I have yet to find any such person who was as truly atheistic as they claim but, if so, I would have to put them under a microscope and study them because I cannot comprehend the mentality.

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