Free Minds & Free Markets

How Brazil’s Libertarian Movement Helped Bring Down a President

Can these millennial activists defeat the left and save Brazil?

A group of libertarian activists and filmmakers known as the Free Brazil Movement (Movimento Brasil Livre) were instrumental in the impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, a left-wing populist accused of fiscal impropriety. The group used its massive Facebook presence to help organize a series of pro-impeachment protests. Millions of protesters flooded the streets of Sao Paulo and other cities, holding signs like "Less Marx, More Mises."

Meanwhile, interest in libertarianism is surging among Brazilian college students. Students for Liberty, an international organization that brings together libertarians on campus, has a presence in 107 countries including the U.S. But based on the count of local coordinators who've signed up with the group, the Brazilian chapter (Estudantes Pela Liberdade) is bigger than Students for Liberty in every other country combined. And it's on track to be twice as big next year.

Why is libertarianism catching on so fast in Brazil? Can these young activists help remake Brazil's dysfunctional government (on display this week as the Olympic games kick off in Rio)? Reason TV traveled to Brazil for a look at the country's surging libertarian movement. Click above to watch the documentary.

15 minutes and 27 seconds.

Written, shot, edited, and narrated by Jim Epstein. Post production help from Ian Keyser. Translation services provided by Matheus Pacini and Vanan Services.

Fantastic Dim Bar by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license; Ghost Processional by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license; Ignosi by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license; Over Time by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license; Industrial Music Box by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license; "After The Week I've Had" by Dexter Britain ( Creative Commons.

Protest photos and videos provided by the Free Brazil Movement (Movimento Brasil Livre).

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Maybe Movimento Brasil Livre, when they're done in Brazil, can come to the United States and do their social media magic on American Millennials.

  • Free Society||

    How Brazil's Libertarian Movement Helped Bring Down a President (New at Reason)

    This is the Hilary Clinton of Brazil. I doubt her head will roll.

  • Rich||

    Indeed. No reasonable prosecutor would bring charges.

  • Rich||

    If you're not aware of how the Atlas Network plays into this kind of stuff, you should be.

  • ||

    That's awesome. Great to hear some good news every now and then.

  • colorblindkid||

    Is this the libertarian moment?!?!

  • Hank Phillips||

    The figureheads I've seen are Fujimori-style christianofascists manipulated by the US Ambassador just now transferred elsewhere. Shortly after her expulsion from Bolivia and destabilizing of Paraguay, Ms. Ayalde went to the Caribbean to work for USAID--sending prohibitionists with guns to exacerbate the frightening levels of "drug-fueled" crime and associated violence. Ayalde showed up in Brazil right before the lady prez beat the Christianofascist challenger in runoffs, and fake demonstrations ensued. The elected president is being impeached for signing into law a rape-victims assistance law providing DNA testing to ID perps and morning-after pills as prophylactic against pregnancy (contained in US laws). All other charges are fabrications and window-dressing for another US-backed statist coup.
    Brazilians are forced at gunpoint to subsidize and vote for 32 looter parties. The Libertarian Party and abortion are both banned, and the Partido Novo--a Fabian proto-LP--finally got its permit but is blacked out by the looter media. Jim needs to learn the language and read the laws before spouting off about these fake libertarians in Brazil.

  • Dennis, Constitutional Peasant||

    A group of libertarian activists and filmmakers known as the Free Brazil Movement ("Movimento Brasil Livre") were instrumental in the impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, a left-wing populist accused of fiscal impropriety.

    Surely there must have been a Brazilian Gary Johnson figure helping these people compromise with the status quo??

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Huh, NPR kept insinuating it was sexism that brought down the president.

  • Hank Phillips||

    For once, National Socialist Radio is telling at least a half-truth. Law 12845 signed August 1, 2013 instructs free clinics to arrange DNA tests and offer pregnancy prophylaxis in the form of Plan B pills provided by law in These States. I should have the translation of that law finished and posted in the next day or two. The choice here is between ordinary looters, much like the Democratic, Econazi and Bernie parties versus George Waffen Bush style Sharia Law Christianofascists bent on shooting people over hemp. Both sides favor massive intervention and government micromanagement, but the democratically elected ones had a pretty good economy going before George Bush asset forfeiture wrecked the US economy and spread outward.

  • np||

    Millions of protesters flooded the streets of Sao Paulo and other cities, holding signs like "Less Marx, More Mises."

    Much props to the Mises Institute there. Interview with the founder a year ago:
    Helio Beltrão: Will Brazil Choose Marx or Mises?

    When I saw a video of a very large auditorium filled there a few years ago, I pleasantly surprised. I have to say that the narrator's claim that it is "unaffilated" with the US institute is misleading. Management wise they are separate entities, but intellectually they are related. Helios, the founder featured in the Reason video, has brought over all the luminaries of the US branch and the source of the translated works also come from the US branch. I mean that girl interviewed who was inspired by Walter Block among others is thanks to that relationship.

    Now when I think about it, what Chile went through, what Argentina is transitioning to, and what hopefully Venezuela will be go through too, the acceptance of black markets there above ground, the alternative economies for trading using bitis that sometimes people really have to experience all the consequences of unfree policies and ideology they vote for, full and hard to turn around.

  • CE||

    First Somalia, now Brazil. Maybe we can save Venezuela next.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Wow. I was not even aware of this group. Very cool.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Unless it's changed radically, the group is a cover for Fujimori fascism complete with death squads. Same Story, Different Government at libertariantranslator blog gives details. Before 1992 the GOP press hailed Fujimori as the capitalist salvation of Peru. This is a replay of that. The "provisional" government expelled all women and brown people from upper echelons and is gung-ho for prohibitionism and keeping abortion back-alley and ilegal.
    There is a Libertarios movement here, forbidden to campaign, and a Partido Novo that is being watched for signs of life. But outside of Uruguay there are no discernible libertarian parties in South America.

  • Richard Grieco||

    Lived in Brazil in 2012. Walked down a street in Sao Paulo with my Ron Paul 2012 shirt. Some dude with a Ron Paul bumper sticker on his car pulled over, came out and shook my hand, and invited me to a libertarian get-together. I didn't end up going to the meeting.

    Other than that moment, I did not encounter a single person who I would not describe as super left wing. Even the right wing people I met for the most part seemed like super lefties.

    Libertarianism is dead on arrival as a viable political movement in Brazil due to mandatory voting for all citizens. Progressive taxation and voluntary voting is already a bad enough combination (poor people who contribute little in taxes get the same number of votes as rich people who pay all the taxes)...take that idea and crank it up to 1000 for mandatory voting (poor people who pay little taxes not only get the same vote as rich people, but every single poor person is obligated to vote and they vastly outnumber the rich in terms of population [but not tax payments]).

  • Hank Phillips||

    Brazil is what the Republicans pointed to to convince America to vote against "Whiskey Al" Smith and for Herbert Hoover in 1928. There are, however, genuine libertarian movements in Portugal and Uruguay. In fact, Portugal is the only European nation that has no drug criminalization laws. It therefore follows that Portuguese banks are not steel traps for asset-forfeiture looting. They have no snitch-your-customer policy. Result: Portugal is the only EU nation whose banks are so much in demand that they were able to RAISE their interest rates above what they were ten years back.

  • Ghetto Slovak Goatherder||

    Thank you for this video.

  • Eman|| excited about Lula! What happened to that?

  • Rizqirgi||

  • Rizqirgi||

  • Rizqirgi||

  • Rizqirgi||


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