The inauguration of Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva on Jan. 1 was a moment of triumph and an opportunity to play regional leader and global statesman, a symbol that Brazil is back on the world stage. However, as this weekend’s riots in Brasilia make clear, it was just the opening of what will be a long four years.
For many, predictions are simply a fun exercise. But for pundits, they are more than that, as they offer a stress test for how well we truly understand our world. In order to predict, we must first understand. In that spirit, then, here’s my own stab at predicting what 2023 will have in store: a true “end of history” moment.
Nowhere is the challenge of recovering from the pandemic and the fallout from the war in Ukraine more pressing than in Latin America, the region that was arguably the world’s hardest-hit during the “polycrisis.” For governments hoping they will be able to retake the ground lost in the past three years, the task looks gargantuan.
When books are written and movies made about moments of extraordinary historical change, the narratives that take shape focus on acts of heroism. But not every citizen whose support a democracy needs to survive is a hero. There will also be quite a few people whose commitment to a cause—or moral compass—is shaky.