Brazil's Exit From the World Cup Means that its Political Unrest Can Resume

#Politics

Thu, Jul 10th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The real issue to Brazil's humiliating loss to Germany is that the Brazilian public lost the one thing distracting them from the political unrest boiling prior to the World Cup. And now they're twice as pissed.

Let's start with the soccer part, because it's a lot simpler. This particular Brazilian squad was constructed with a win-at-all-costs ethos. It's a team focused on positional discipline in the middle of the field, tough tackling, and tactical fouling. Flair is shunted out to the wings. There are no teenage players here to get experience or older veterans trotted out for one last sentimental showing. There are no ancillary benefits or secondary goals. For this group of players, the sole purpose is to win the 2014 World Cup. That's all that matters. And that's why, at 2-0 down to Germany, the house collapsed so astonishingly quickly.

[...] But Brazil the team is gone now, and the World Cup remains. So, too, does the specter of a summer Olympics in two years' time. The underlying causes of unrest, inequality, instability, and corruption still remain. The immediate question is whether Brazil's exit will serve as a flashpoint for an immediate revival of the previous protests, or in an even uglier scenario, like riots.

The overwhelming police presence makes this unlikely, at least for now. It may not be pretty, it may not be humanitarian, it may not even be legal -- but it has been brutally efficient. When the teams and the tourists and the cameras leave again, that's a different story. There's every reason to believe the lead-up to Rio 2016 will be similar to what Brazil experienced before the World Cup unless, of course, the government has a super-secret plan to boost the economy, increase employment, and more aggressively address persistent inequality.

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