The present paper draws on works that combine Marxist and Weberian traditions of social structure analysis to interpret the contemporary Brazilian political crisis as a distributive conflict involving four classes or strata (precariat, outsiders, established, millionaires), defined using five determinant vectors of social inequality: wealth, position, knowledge, selective association and existential rights. The four classes or strata considered saw their wealth, their existential rights, and their knowledge grow in the period between 2003 and 2013. However, in this period, the precariat and the outsiders ascended significantly in their social position, while the established lost social position to the extent that their power to exclude outsiders from social spaces formerly reserved for their own usage diminished. The same logic applies to selective associations with regard to gender and race, since during the Workers’ Party (PT) administrations there was a decrease in the power of men and whites to discriminate against women and blacks. This loss of position in the hierarchies of class, gender and race fed the resentment of the established against the PT government even in times when, in terms of wealth, they experienced an ascendant trajectory. Starting in 2014, the picture changed. The exacerbation of the economic crisis caused all of the strata, especially the outsiders, to lose wealth. The established, though less threatened by the outsiders (the most affected by the crisis), also experienced social decline as the recession advanced. Finally, the millionaires who had until then been gaining at all of the levels of inequality with the PT governments, lost at least part of their selective associations as the investigations into corruption advanced. It is precisely when the millionaires began to lose that effective changes in favor of the removal of the president began to occur.