Shellenberger: Brazil’s Spiral into CCP-Like Tyranny Should Scare Americans

AP Photo/Leo Correa

As Brazil rapidly descends into authoritarianism, courting the favor of the world’s worst dictatorship (Chinese Communists), meanwhile, journalist Michael Shellenberger warns Americans that we, too, are heading down Brazil’s path.


From allegedly aiming to criminalize “lying” to threatening to arrest those who exposed the country’s increasingly tyrannical judiciary, Brazil’s government under President Lula is trying to turn itself into a perfect Orwellian dystopia. That’s exactly why Shellenberger, who wrote the Twitter Files that exposed the corruption, is so concerned. Brazil might be more rapid in crushing rights and freedoms, but the US government is also blatantly violating rights while pandering to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Regarding Brazil, we Americans can say only, “There, but for the grace of God and an upcoming election, go I.”

Shellenberger posted on Twitter/X April 13, “Yesterday, Brazil’s President Lula da Silva called for criminalizing lying. Given that everybody lies, Lula is proposing to give the government the power to arrest anyone he wants.” I would personally modify his statement slightly by saying that, if Shellenberger’s accusation is correct, Lula, who is not the least interested in the truth, has only to label any fact or opinion he dislikes as a lie to weaponize government.

“Thousands of Workers Party activists took to X yesterday to demand that I be arrested for things I said during my testimony before the Brazilian Senate. And today, the head of X in Brazil announced they have quit out of fear for their safety,” Shellenberger continued. He wrote “I fear neither the devil nor de Moraes, the Supreme Court justice rapidly turning himself into Brazil’s dictator,” but he is afraid for Brazil. Since Brazil is such an important South American country, too, and partnered with such major global powers as China, its Orwellian slide affects more than just its own citizens.


During the rise of Communism and fascism in Europe, many Jews and other persecuted people could flee to the United States. Where will we flee if the United States continues down the road to totalitarianism? Not Europe. Not Brazil. Is any country safe in a world where every movement, transaction, and thought is being monitored?

Shellenberger has an excellent, though terrifying, point. One could escape the Old World by fleeing to the New World in previous ages. That will soon no longer be true. Just ask the Jan. 6 political prisoners, tortured and denied not only rights but basic necessities in jail. Ask the pro-lifers and Trump allies prosecuted by the Biden administration.

“A significant share of the Left wants to incarcerate their political enemies,” Shellenberger mourned. “The Brazilian government appears to view ‘1984’ not as a dystopia to avoid but rather as a guide to a better future.” He added, “Just this week, top Brazilian government representatives were in China talking about how China, one of the most totalitarian nations in the world, is a model for Brazil.” Both Brazil and China are key members of BRICS, which has set itself up as an ambitious anti-American coalition.

It is rather ironic that X owner Elon Musk has also expended so much time and effort in pandering to the CCP; he and Brazil’s Lula have that in common, but it isn’t helping Musk’s platform.


According to Shellenberger, “The most terrifying part of all of this is the marriage of psychopathic government leaders like Lula and de Moraes with totalitarian activists and voters… Young adults raised on social media are today more intolerant than the students in China’s Cultural Revolution in China who denounced their teachers and sent them off to work camps to be tortured.” The majority of citizens might still be sane, but an insane minority supported by the government can be disastrous.

“At the same time, people with a mentality no different from the people who ran the Stasi and the Gestapo are in charge of intelligence agencies in Europe and the United States,” Shellenberger accused, explaining why Brazil’s crisis is personally relevant to Americans. 

Shellenberger brought up warrantless FISA surveillance by U.S. intelligence. “Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives renewed legislation that gives the US government the right to spy on Americans suspected of collaborating with foreign governments. The result will be McCarthyism on steroids.”

Shellenberger’s label of McCarthyism is unfair since the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy was right; in fact, he was more right than he knew. Marxists have indeed infiltrated and taken over the U.S. government and institutions as McCarthy warned so many decades ago. That is precisely why we are facing the current anti-constitutional crisis. Like in China or the Soviet Union, the modern American Marxist believes any breach of rights, any loss of freedom, any lie is justifiable in service of his own ideology.


As Shellenberger urged, “We must act.” This election is one of the most important in our history, and everyone needs to be involved in telling the truth and getting out the vote. We also need lots of people to take positions and run organizations on the local levels, in order to renew our politics and society from the ground up. You can also support and subscribe to honest journalism like PJ Media. Do we want Brazil and China to be our future? Or will we defy the odds as Americans have done so many times before?


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