Pancho Villa, Presente!

Repost from the old site.
In the comments section, Uncle Milton comments that Mexican history shows that Mexican revolutions have quickly turned into kleptocracies. He also says that the Mexican electorate has more sense than we think they do. He also makes a lot of good points about Mexico and decides that it is neither a capitalist nor socialist state, but some sort of a kleptocratic oligarchic state.
I argue, first, that the Mexican electorate is ignorant and does not vote in its best interests. Second, that we Americans owe the Mexican revolution a tremendous debt and that the achievements of the revolution are deliberately ignored and downplayed by the US ruling class.
Third, that while the revolution did degenerate into a corrupt, fat, lazy, greedy and fake-revolutionary PRI mess, it did make very real and substantial achievements. Fourth, that no socialist on Earth would claim Mexico, one of the most unequal states on Earth. Fifth, that Mexico is actually a fairly wealthy country.
If you’re a poor Mexican, like most of them are, you have to vote for the Left and against the oligarchy. It’s the only rational thing to do. Mexicans haven’t voted for the Left and won since Cardenas in the 1930’s. The Rightwing parties, including the fake revolutionary PRI, haven’t done fuck-all for the poor Mexicans since 1920.
The PRI was originally a revolutionary party that went corrupt and bad with time, stasis, greed and inertia. It’s true that the Mexicans voted for Cardenas and the Left in 1988 and had the votes stolen from them. In the last election, they voted Left again, for AMLO, and it was stolen again.
I think you have to agree that the Left is the party that is going to benefit poor Mexicans the most. They may well be bad to neutral for middle class and rich Mexicans, but they will be good for the poor. As for the rightwing parties, what have they done for Mexicans in the last 80 years?
US conservative apologists need to explain why conservative politics has failed the Mexican poor so horribly for most of the last century and all of this one. When is rightwing politics going to start working down there, anyway? I say they had their chance.
Milton: Historically rebellions and revolution in Mexico have led to the same old kleptocrats running the show.
This is not really completely true if you are arguing that all Mexican revolutions have failed.
The Mexican revolution was a great thing. 10-20 million people died, but it had to be done, just like World War 2. You must understand that prior to Pancho Villa, Mexicans lived in a state of feudalism. I am not kidding. Read descriptions of Mexicans in 1910.
The revolution broke up the big feudal estates and destroyed the power of the Catholic Church who supported the feudal lords. The reason Americans don’t know this is because we were not taught this.
At the time, our government hated the Mexican revolution and supported the feudal lords, and it probably still hates the Mexican revolution, because the American government hates all populist rebellions.
They don’t want us to know about a successful populist revolution in Mexico, or anywhere.
One thing the revolution did was give land to the average Mexican. It is the case to this day. Most Mexicans have access to land if they wish to farm it, often collectively. These collective farms have been very successful for the last 90 years, at least in terms of warding off starvation and putting food in stomachs.
Our government never teaches us this either because they don’t want us to know about a successful experiment in collective agriculture.
At least the average Mexican can eat; he need not go hungry. To this day, Mexico has one of the lowest rates of malnutrition in Latin America.
The revolution also created public schools and public health care. Most Mexicans do have access to free and public health care. The health care is not the greatest, and you may have to wait ages, but it’s there. In the rural areas, many kids are pulled out of schools to work on farms, but the schools do exist.
The US should be indebted to the Mexican revolution. When Central America was in flames in the 1980’s, did you notice that Mexico was quiet? At the time, I asked my Mother why Mexico was not in flames and she shrugged her shoulders and said, “They already had their revolution.”
We should throw a shout out to Pancho Villa that he kept Tijuana from becoming San Salvador in 1989.
It’s clear that this venal Mexican elite uses the US border as a safety valve to send their poor to the US so the rich don’t have to share with them. I think that rightwingers in the US ought to admit that conservatism in Mexico has failed in that it has caused the illegal immigrant crisis in the US.
To call Mexico a socialist country is an insult to socialists everywhere. If it were a decent social democracy, I do not think we would be having all these Mexicans flooding up here. Mexico is not a poor country. It has a PCI of almost $13,000/yr, and that is not bad. Mexico has near the same PCI as Argentina, Uruguay, Turkey and Lebanon. It’s much higher than Costa Rica, the middle class jewel of Latin America.
Yet I believe that over 50% of the population of Mexico lives in poverty. No socialist on Earth would wish to claim such an unequal state, one of the most unequal countries on Earth.
Milton is probably correct that a kleptocracy is going to make a working social democracy difficult. But Chavez is doing well in a Venezuela burdened with massive corruption. Not that this is optimal. Perhaps windfall oil profits enable Chavez to make this suboptimal state of affairs functional.

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0 thoughts on “Pancho Villa, Presente!”

  1. “It’s clear that this venal Mexican elite uses the US border as a safety valve to send their poor to the US so the rich don’t have to share with them. I think that rightwingers in the US ought to admit that conservatism in Mexico has failed in that it has caused the illegal immigrant crisis in the US.”
    I totally agree that this is part of the problem but not all of it. One cannot forget the violence and havoc caused by the drug trade in Mexico, whose largest market is the US. I may be conspiracy minded sometimes, but I often wonder if the US government doesn’t totally go after the drug trade because the want Mexico to be unstable. I think this because I read a book by neocon strategist George Friedman that he though mexico would be a power at the end of the 21st century and could take US land. If this is what is going through the governments heads, then keeping mexico unstable makes perfect sense and if it gets bad enough it may justify an invasion into resource rich Mexico.

    1. This George Friedman sounds like a real POS. That said, his views are simply those of the US foreign policy elite. In addition, US capitalism is deeply tied to imperialism. So getting rid of imperialism means getting rid of US capitalism.

      1. “So getting rid of imperialism means getting rid of US capitalism”
        Exactly.
        And yes, he is a total piece of shit. However, he’s also influential, which is scary.

    2. Friedman is an interesting propagandist who is not overt as the Neocons but puts out information in a pro-US context.
      He is essentially the Tom Clancy of the private intelligence analysis services.

  2. Neocons, gotta love them.
    “Invade the world, invite the world,” that’s their mantra.
    They support invading other countries, while simultaneously welcoming immigration from these countries, which of course goes to show the greatness of the U.S.
    (in their minds, the fact that so many want to move here demonstrates how wonderful we are!)
    So they invade and kill Muslims, while letting these same Muslims move throughout the West in order to plot their revenge, or harbor grievances against the U.S.
    And I’m sure the same logic applies to neocon views on Mexico.
    It should be the exact opposite. We should stop invading and harassing other countries, while simultaneously stopping them from immigrating here.
    But nooooo. The turds who comprise our elite will never allow that.

    1. The most blatant hypocrisy is that other than Palestine they support Islamic terrorism/separatist groups across the world who have links to Hamas and “Al Qaeda”.

  3. To Rob:
    I argue, first, that the Mexican electorate is ignorant and does not vote in its best interests.
    ????? Dude.. I think you know that for many decades the results did not reflect the will of the people. Talk about massive ballot stuffing… Mexican elections have become markedly cleaner but by no as clean as the US. (which has it own problems.. especially control and presentation of different ideologies…) Journalists who brave enough to report the corruption ended being threatened (if they were lucky..) and dead if they kept on reporting the truth. A close friend of my family’s was forced to sign over his land holdings and a house in the late 1940s at gun point. His crime…? Criticizing the government’s policies on managing the forests (they were over harvesting…)
    in a trade journal.
    From the 30s till … well .. even now.. the best way to make money in Mexico was to get into politics… the higher up you went the more you made.. of course you basically had to buy your way in first then negotiate up the latter. The richest man in Mexico (and purportedly the world..) Carlos Slim made his billions by being close friends with the high ranking (or his case the two highest ranking..) politicians. Mexico is basically still managed by the “1,000 families..” who will distribute crumbs as needed to keep the masses quiet. (and bitch about the US all the while encouraging the campesinos to head to El Norte…) Mexico’s politics is more similar to the mafia than a Democracy.

  4. 47% of Mexico’s population is poor. But I think that number is lower now due to massive migration of the poor to the USA. Also, Mexico is getting more equal than ever before, the thing that’s really slowing it down is the fact that the Mexican government has to be dealing with the cartels (which in and of itself is a result of corruption from the 70s). Mexico actually conducted a new census 2010 like the USA did, so new info should be in soon.

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