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.
Repost from the old site.