I will be leaving World War 2, where many such regimes were created in Europe, out of this discussion because I don’t understand it well.
A discussion of fascism is very important because the Republican Party is already a fascist political party in the sense of a rightwing authoritarian party along Latin American oligarchy lines.
The Type of State the Republicans Are Aiming At
Similar regimes were installed in Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Iran, Turkey (a Mussolinist + Nazi extrerminationist model), Greece, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Zaire, Kenya, Liberia, Indonesia (a classic Mussolinist model), Philippines, South Korea, Brunei, Taiwan, South Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal, Gabon, Angola, and South Africa, not to mention the many such regimes installed in Latin America, where the rightwing authoritarian or dictatorship regime has become a classic model. Many of these had a fake democratic facade over what was basically a dictatorship.
Nazi extreminationism with an ethnic component has been installed in Turkey and possibly Azerbaijan. Those models are governing to this day in the fake Croatian and Serbian states inside Bosnia. The present Croatian and Serbian regimes have overtones of WW2 like fascism, as does Hungary under Orban. Nazi-style exterminationist regimes, albeit with Communists and leftwingers substituted for Jews, have been installed in Iran, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan in the past.
One could argue that Israel is now a Mussolinist style fascist government, albeit with a facade of democracy in which various fascist parties compete to rule the fascist state.
Rightwing Authoritarian Models in Latin America in the Last Century
It’s not so much the Nazi, National Socialist or classic fascist models of World War 2, although Trump and Berlusconi do resemble Mussolini, and Berlusconi created a classic Mussolinist fascist state in Brazil along the lines of the previous years of Operation Condor in Pinochet’s Chile, Velasco’s Argentina, the generals’ Brazil, Salazar’s Paraguay, the Uruguayan dictatorship, and Banzer’s Bolivia.
Somewhat different but similar “kill the Communists” regimes were created in Ecuador in the 1980’s, Fujimora and Belaunde’s Peru, Venezuela in the late 80’s, Uribe and many others’ Colombia (where it has become the only form of the state and Uribismo is almost a classic fascist Mussolinist model), Somoza’s Nicaragua, Bautista’s Cuba, Trujillo’s Dominican Republican, Rios Montt’s Guatemala, and ARENA, D’Aubisson, and Duarte’s El Salvador, Haiti under the Duvaliers, where it became a model followed to this day, and the present government of the generals in Honduras.
The model has not yet been installed in much of the Caribbean, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, and the Guyanas, but it’s been generalized as the classic model in Latin America in general for over a century now. There are rumblings now to create another rightwing authoritarian regime in Peru and Mexico.
Counterrevolution is ongoing in Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela and has succeeded recently in Ecuador, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, and Haiti. There were recent rumblings in Argentina, where the large landowners (who were never broken up as there was no land reform) were making threats of a coup if their riches were touched. There were failed attempts recently in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Bolivia. Another attempt is ongoing in Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Transformer: I saw this on Facebook with a discussion about Communism and this is a statement from a Libertarian:
The Marxist delusion of no government always leads to absolute tyranny. The anarcho-communists sweep away tolerably governments and pave the way for the Stalins, Maos, Pol Pots, Castros, Mugabes, Chavezes, etc. It’s not that they justify Stalinism, but that they justify measures that always result in Stalinism, and they still don’t have a clue as to why that keeps happening.
I disagree with his statement that the governments before these revolutions were tolerable.
Yes, the US supported Pol Pot the whole time they were in and for many years afterwards as guerrillas.
You are certainly free as a liberal to Leftist to oppose Marxism. A lot of people on the Left, especially liberals, are against Marxist dictatorships. There’s a good argument against them. They’re not exactly democratic.
Chavez was not a dictator at all. Venezuela under Chavez was one of the most democratic countries on Earth. Mugabe wasn’t really a dictator. The opposition always ran in every election, and Mugabe always got the most votes not counting fraud. Same thing in Russia. Putin always gets the most votes whether he steals a few or not. Same thing in Belarus. The opposition runs every time and Lukashenko always gets 75-80% of the actual counted votes. There was no fraud in the last election.
There’s never been any serious electoral fraud in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Haiti, Iran, Syria, or Peru or most places the US has alleged that massive electoral fraud allowed the Left to win. I can’t recall the last time the Left anywhere on Earth had to steal an election to win. It’s usually the Right who does that.
Anarcoms have never completed a successful revolution. The no government thing is supposed to be way off in the future and it’s never happened anywhere. The “Stalinism” is just the dictatorship of the proletariat. It’s part of Marxist theory. It’s not an aberration or anything. Look at Honduras, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, Bolivia, Guyana, Peru, Mexico, Italy, Ecuador, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Iran, etc.
There’s no peaceful way to put the Left in power. Anytime a Left government comes in, there’s this nonstop war to overthrow it, usually culminating in a rightwing fascist coup. They always ruin the economy, first and foremost. This is why orthodox Marxists regard the peaceful road to socialism as either a sick joke or a great idea that is not possible in the real world. Lenin called advocates of the peaceful road to socialism “parliamentary cretins.”
What’s odd is that imperialism went along with land reforms in a lot of other places such as Europe and the Middle East. All of the Middle East has done a land reform.
That was one thing the wave of Arab nationalist leaders who came to power in 1950-1970 did right away, including the Baath in Iraq and Syria, Yemen, Nasser in Egypt, the FLN in Algeria, Tunisia, and Qaddafi in Libya.
I believe there was some type of land reform done in Palestine too. If you read Ghassan Kanafani, the Palestinian Leftist, in the 1930’s, he talked about how terribly exploited the Arab fellahin or peasants were in Palestine.
If you went to Yemen in the 1960’s, there was a portrait of Nasser in every house.
I’m not sure if a land reform was ever done in Morocco. It’s been ruled by a fairly rightwing king for a long time.
A land reform was probably done in Lebanon, but I don’t have details. Likewise with Jordan.
Nothing grows in the Gulf anyway, so there’s no need for a reform.
I’m not sure about Sudan or Mauritania, but I doubt much grows in Mauritania except date palms.
In all of these places, land reform was a very easy sell for whatever reason, probably because neoliberal capitalism seems to be antithetical to Islam itself. The feudal lords of the former Ottoman Empire had tried to justify feudalism on the basis that in the Koran it says something like, “Some are rich and some are poor, and this is a natural thing” but that never went over too well.
The idea that in an Islamic country, the rich Muslims were viciously exploit the poor Muslims is nearly haram on its face. You just can’t do that. All Muslims are part of the ummah. All the Muslim men are your brothers and all the Muslim women are your sisters. Also individualism never made it to any part of the Muslim World other than the Hindu variety in Pakistan and Bangladesh, but that’s not really the same radical individualism that we have in the West. It’s just an ancient caste based system.
The first thing the Communists did in Eastern Europe was to do a land reform. You will never hear it here in the West, but until 1960, the Communist regimes in the East were very popular with industrial workers and also with the peasants.
In most of the world, peasants and rural dwellers are leftwingers. This is even the case in Western Europe in France.
The US is odd in that it’s farmers are so reactionary. That goes against the usual trend.
Yes, farmers are said to be conservatives, but that usually just means social conservatism. In most of the world, peasants are literally Alt Left: left on economics and right on social and cultural issues.
A land reform was definitely done in Iran.
Obviously one was done in the USSR, and the large landowners have not yet consolidated themselves in the former USSR, mostly because everybody hates them. Large landowners have taken over some of the state farms in Russia, but for whatever reason, they are not very productive. In fact, many of the state farms are still in existence. I am not sure what sort of arrangement they have now.
50% of the food in the Russia comes from small farms, typically grown on dachas. Dachas were vacation homes that were given to all Soviet workers. They were also given a bit of land, enough to grow some crops on. After 1991, all workers were allowed to keep their dachas and small plots. This was a great idea because most of the produce in Russia is coming right off of these farms.
After World War 2, the US supported land reforms in some places as a way of heading off a Communist threat. This is one great thing about the Communists. So many great steps of social progress were only done out of fear or terror that if these were not done, the Communists would take over. Now that that threat is gone, one wonders what motivation the oligarchs have to give up anything.
In particular, land reforms were done in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. They went over very easily. And in fact, the subsequent economic growth occurred right on the back of these reforms. There is a good argument that you can never develop a proper economy without first doing a land reform.
First of all, you need to get rid of the problem of rural poverty.
Second of all, you need to feed your own people. Large landowners in these countries typically grow food for export or simply fallow the land and keep it as an income base or a source of wealth.
When crops are grown for export, there is a problem in that the nation does not grow enough food to feed its people. This is a problem in Cuba and Venezuela right now, and it should not be. These are very fertile countries and there is no need to import food, but they have gotten hooked on some sort of “crack” of importing their food for whatever reason, possibly because most of their farmland was being used to grow crops for export.
When a nation can feed itself, this means it can feed its urban workers. This is extremely important and it is part of the reason that Stalin went at such breakneck speed in his collectivization. He had to feed his urban workers so he could industrialize because even back then, he was looking into the future and seeing that he was going to have to fight Hitler.
I’m not quite sure why, but no country seems to be able to properly industrialize and develop as long as the problem of rural poverty exists.
And once you are feeding your own people, you have solved a lot of other problems. Money that would be wasted importing inferior food from the West, especially the US, can now be spent on actual development of a national economy. The elimination of rural poverty gets rid of a constant revolutionary bur in the side of the state.
The US has always opposed land reform in Latin America because large US corporations are usually involved in growing foods for export down there. See Dole Pineapple in Guatemala. We want all of their agricultural land to go for export crops so US corporations can grow those crops or make money importing them. And we do not want them to grow their own food. That way there won’t be so much land for export crops which we need to make money off of.
Also, we want them to spend all of their food money importing lousy processed food from the US. So we make money on food both ways – importing food from crops grown for export to the US and in exporting processed food to the Latin America. This processed food is not very good for you and it is implicated in a lot of health problems in these places.
This is why the US opposes most efforts at land reform in the Americas.
An exception was made in El Salvador. After 200,000 people died, the US and the Salvadoran oligarchs were forced to the negotiating table and a land reform was one of the first things they pushed. I recall a piece written soon afterwards where the reporter went out to the rural areas and interviewed recipients of the land reform. They basically said, “Well, at least we can eat now. It wasn’t like that before.”
In semi-feudal countries, there is debt bondage whereby large landowners rent out their land to sharecroppers or peasants who never seem to get out of debt. This is a very primitive form of development.
The Philippines is notable that there has never been a land reform. And of course they have a vicious Communist insurgency.
Nor has there been one in Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, Honduras, or Argentina. The first five countries are horribly screwed up. Colombia and Paraguay have active armed leftwing guerrillas, and Guatemala did for many years. Haiti is a disaster. Honduras has a vicious rightwing dictatorship that has murdered over 1,000 people.
Argentina is mostly urbanized, but the landed rural elite still runs the country. Any talk at all of land reform or even taxation of large estates as was done recently under Christine Fernandez, and the ruling class starts making ominous threats of a coup. I assume something similar is going on in Uruguay. Those countries are urbanized though, so large landownership is not such a problem.
I’m not sure if there has ever been a land reform in Brazil, but there is no dearth of large landowners.
The fact that Colombia, Guatemala, and Haiti are so backwards is largely because there has never been a land reform.
The land reform was incomplete in Venezuela.
It is interesting that every country that fails to do a land reform seems to end up with a Communist or Leftist insurgency at some point or another. It’s almost without fail. This goes to show you that most Communist insurgencies in the Third World are over the most basic things dating all the way back to French Revolution: land and bread (food).
As far as land reforms go, they were done in Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Peru.
I’m not sure about Uruguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, Panama, Jamaica, Belize, the Guyanas, Chile, and most of the Caribbean.
And I’m not sure if one ever got done in the Dominican Republic after Bosch.
In El Salvador, 200,000 had to die in order for a land reform to take place. Roberto D’Aubission, the godfather of the Salvadoran death squads and the most favored visitor at the US Embassy, once said that “We will have to kill 200,000 people in order to prevent socialism in El Salvador.” What he meant by socialism was land reform.
It is notable that no land reform was ever done in India, nor in Pakistan or even Bangladesh. I had a friend whose parents were large feudal landowners in Pakistan who rented out land to farmers who ended up in debt peonage. In 1986, 14 million people a year were dying of starvation related diseases in the capitalist world. Most of that was in South Asia in Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. Most of these deaths were attributed to the problem of the private ownership of land.
There is a problem with the private ownership of land. In the US, we think this is sacrosanct, but on a worldwide basis, it doesn’t work very well. What do you need all that land for? What do you need more than, say, an acre and a house? Nothing, unless you are a farmer.
In China, all land is owned by the state. All homeowners lease the land, often on 100 year leases. I’m not sure how it works in the countryside.
In Mexico, much of the land is owned by the state also, a product of the land reform that occurred after the Revolution. One of the major demands of the Revolution was land reform. Pre-revolution, most peasants usually lived like serfs. The state land in Mexico is called ejidos.
If you ever can’t make it in the city, if you become unemployed or homeless, you can always go out to the countryside and take up residence in an ejido, which are something like communal lands that are formed by the group that makes up the ejido. You join this group, work the land, and get a share of the crop. At least you have enough food to eat. So in Mexico the ejidos are a stopgap measure.
In China too, if you can’t make it in the city, you can always go back to the rural areas, take up residence, and work the land. At least you will have enough to food to eat. It is illegal to be homeless in China. If you are homeless, the police pick you up and put you in shelters, which are something like college dorms. They also encourage you to go back to the countryside if you have relatives back there. In recent years, many people have moved from the countryside to the cities to make more money. Those that don’t make it can always move back to the farm.
There was debate a while back about privatizing state land, but it ran aground on the idea that the state ownership of land was necessary as a stopgap measure in the event of urban poverty. In addition, state ownership of land has prevented the development of a national oligarchy or plutocracy.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been adamant that the development of a national oligarchy or plutocracy must be prevented at all costs. Once they develop, they are sort of like an infection in that they soon spread and take over society. The CCP has billionaire party members who are members of the People’s Assembly.
Guess what these “Communists” are advocating for? Reduction or elimination of taxes on the rich, massive reductions in social spending, state repression of labor, and the privatization of land along with most of the rest of the economy. I think this goes to show you that billionaires are the same everywhere. Whether in a Communist or capitalist country, a rightwing or leftwing country, billionaires always have precisely the same class interests that barely vary at all. It’s usually something like this:
Reduction or elimination of taxes on the rich, massive reductions in social spending, state repression of labor, and the privatization of land along with most of the rest of the economy.
This goes to show that class interests of various classes are nearly a law in a mathematical sense and not even a theory of social science. This was what Marx was getting at when he spoke of the laws of economics. They are so predictable that we can almost class them with the laws, theorems, and corollaries of mathematics instead of the typical “true for now” theories of most of the sciences.
I have a feeling that a Hell of a lot more things are laws, too, especially in terms of basic human behavior. So many of these things seem almost unchangeable. Of course they would never apply to everyone, but it’s pretty obvious that they are general tendencies.
DiscoCat: The Far Left has an explicit goal of ending capitalism. The Far Right does not. This is why when forced to choose between the Far Right and the Far Left, liberals, capitalists, industrialists, and plutocrats will always choose the Far Right.
It is precisely for this reason that the wealthy industrialists and plutocrats in Germany supported Hitler’s chancellorship campaign in 1931. They didn’t give a flying fuck about his nationalism, bigotry, warmongering, and antisemitism. Most of the plutocrats probably thought Hitler’s ravings were just harmless antics to galvanize his base. Whatever it takes to rile up the mindless cattle and garner their support. All they cared about is that he would let them keep their ownership of the factories and protect their interests from socialists and communists.
The plutocrats will always support fascism as a bulwark against socialism if they feel the latter’s gaining popularity among the masses. They usually don’t like fascism but they’re driven to support it by pure self-interest and pragmatism.
Thank you very much for this comment! And by the way, welcome to the site if you are new here!
I have felt this way a long time myself. I think it goes deeper than this though. Many of the leftwingers that got overthrown by fascists were just liberals who did some tinkering around the edges. Arbenz in Guatemala and many others such as Juan Bosch in the Dominican Republic were overthrown for trying to do a land reform. The leader of Honduras and Aristide in Haiti were overthrown by fascists for literally raising the minimum wage! That’s all they did. And Bill Clinton helped overthrow Aristide and Hitlery Clinton herself literally overthrew the leader of Honduras and installed a fascist coup that very quickly murdered 1,000 social activists.
This has happened many times. The new Peruvian leader has promised to do only very mild reforms and he’s already being called a Communist. The mild reformer of the PT, Lula, was overthrown in a judicial coup that was assisted by the FBI! I told you Feds are crap. Feds are the worst pigs of them all.
So I disagree where the poster says all of these people go fascist for fear that the Left will end capitalism. It appears that any threat to their profits at all is enough to cause the capitalists to put in a fascist regime. So I think the comment should be amended from fear of the overthrow of capitalism to the fear of any loss of profits and income at all.
A while back, I told my mother that down in Latin America, it is routine for the Right to murder trade unionists and union leaders. She shook her head and said, “That’s because down there, if you’re in a union, they think that means you’re a Communist.” I would point out that that was all done with the help of the US, especially the CIA.
The US has been murdering union members in Latin America for 60 years now, and probably even longer if you consider the Banana Revolt in the Uraba of Colombia in 1921. And every one of our Latin American interventions from 1910-1950 was done on the basis more or less of “kill the trade unionists,” among other things. The Sandinistas of Nicaragua are named after Augusto Sandino, the leader of Nicaraguan guerrillas who fought the US Marines in Nicaragua for many years.
That’s exactly correct. I’d like to add that not one thing has changed. Social activists including union members and leaders, are murdered every day in Colombia for years now.
I didn’t actually read the book, but James Schipper did. Below I will quote from an article from NACLA that critiques the book well.
James Schipper: Perón came back from exile, and then won the election with a landslide. Unless the Argentines are complete political idiots, this demonstrates that he tried to accomplish something for the masses. Ordinary voters may not understand much about economics, but they usually sense who is on their side and who is not.
The US, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia are three Anglosphere countries that keep voting for rightwing economics despite themselves. The masses have been harmed by neoliberalism in all of these countries, but every four years, they march off and vote for it again. I think part of the problem is that ordinary people are voting against mass immigration and other leftwing stupidities in all of these countries. They don’t realize that neoliberalism comes as an add-on to anti-immigrant policies in the Anglosphere. Voters in the Anglosphere are political idiots.
You can see why people keep voting for the Chavistas in Venezuela. Sure, the economy is a mess, but no one blames the government. 70% of the population openly state that they are Chavistas. Things may be bad now but they know that the opposition is not their friend! This is why they keep voting for Ortega in Nicaragua, Lukashenko in Belarus, and Putin in Russia. These guys are on their side, and the voters can figure that out.
James Schipper: Many years ago, I read a book called The Macroeconomics of Populism in Latin America, in which it is explained how leftist populists in LA, despite their unquestioned commitment to improving the economic lot of the poorest segment of the population, often fail because they overreach.
Wikipedia has an article called Macroeconomic Populism, which explains briefly how overambitious economic populism can backfire.
I would agree that acting too fast too soon isn’t a great idea and a slower approach might work better. But we don’t see a lot of cases of economic stupidity like this nowadays in Latin America.
Yes, I think that book is not good. One man worked for the World Bank. Their basic attitude is “Don’t rely on government to try to fix economic problems and help the poor. It fails every time.” In other words, it’s hopeless. Massive inequality a problem? Sure. What to do? Nothing! Because everything you do is going to fail. I dunno.
The book is referred to in this book review of another book as “an outdated, far-right, academically dishonest book.”
From the article.
Rudiger Dornbush, and Sebastian Edwards, two University of Chicago-trained economists.
See? They were both trained at the University of Chicago. That’s the home of Milton Friedman, neoliberalism, the Chicago Boyz, the neoliberal whiz kids who caused so much destruction all over the world, especially in Latin America. UoC/Friedmanite economics doesn’t work. Period. It causes massive inequality, significant gains for the top 20% and a serious drop in income for the bottom 80%. This is exactly what happened from 1980-1992 under Reagan-Bush. Sure, if you are in the top 20%, I would say neoliberal economics is the way to go. But if you’re not, it’s economic suicide.
They complain about D and E’s portrayal of Chile:
The most astonishing example of the book’s studied ignorance happens to be one of the most indisputable and well-documented examples of U.S. intervention: Chile.
According to Chapter 7 of Dornbush and Edwards’ book, written by Felipe Larraín (currently Chile’s Finance Minister) and Patricio Meller, the “decline and full collapse of the [Allende coalition government] experiment during the years 1972-73 is a clear consequence of the ‘successful’ overexpansive policies implemented in 1971.”
Never mind that Nixon reacted to the 1970 elections determined to “smash Allende,” telling then-CIA director Richard Helms to “make the economy scream.” Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh details the earliest destabilization campaigns, carried out even before Allende took office:
Approval was granted for a last-minute increase of the propaganda activities designed to convince the Chilean Congress that an Allende election would mean financial chaos. Within two weeks, twenty-three journalists from at least ten countries were brought into Chile by the CIA, and they combined with CIA propaganda “assets” already in place to produce more than 700 articles and broadcasts both in and out of Chile before the congressional election – a staggering total whose ultimate influence cannot be measured.
By late September, a full-fledged bank panic had broken out in Santiago, and vast amounts of funds were being transferred abroad. Sales of durable goods, such as automobiles and household goods, fell precipitously; industrial production also dropped. Black-market activities soared as citizens sought to sell their valuables at discounted prices.
Ok that’s a case of capital flight. Venezuela had the same problem. All I can say is that it upholds Lenin’s idea that the peaceful road to socialism, while a great idea in theory, simply never works in real life because the capitalists simply sabotage the economy.
Larraín and Meller mention Nixon, Kissinger, Richard Helms, I.T.T., and/or Pepsi precisely zero times in their scholarly analysis. Whereas U.S. Ambassador to Chile Edward Korry threatened that “not a nut or bolt will be allowed to reach Chile under Allende,” doing “all within our power to condemn Chile and the Chileans to utmost deprivation and poverty.”
Like I said, they failed badly to include the US massive economic war it waged against Chile. The same exact program was used against Venezuela, with the same results. The sanctions on Zimbabwe and Nicaragua also caused hyperinflation.
The only hyperinflation I’ve seen lately was caused by capitalists waging economic war against the state or by US sanctions. Usually both are going on at the same time. In Venezuela, the capitalists won’t stop raising prices. They love the hyperinflation because they’ve used it to play the currency black market to make a bundle. And they deliberately created it by shutting down production and hoarding goods.
At one point, Maduro put the army in charge of enforcing price controls, and the inflation stabilized for a while, but then they were withdrawn and they went back up again. However, after floating the currency along with a drop in the value of real wages and a reduction of most people’s savings, inflation was subdued. I’d hate to see these guys’ analysis of Venezuela. In fact, Krugman is already saying that Venezuela and Argentina are modern cases of this macroeconomic populism.
The authors argue instead that all state efforts to create a decent economy will fail and the only thing that will work is neoliberalism.
The authors explain that “the message emerging from the papers in this book is clear: the use of macroeconomic policy to achieve distributive goals has historically led to failure, sorrow, and frustration.” That’s why they helpfully disabuse Latin America of its “naive confidence in the ability of governments to cure all social and economic ills.”
However, neoliberalism doesn’t work either:
Second, it is worth noting that Cambridge development economist Ha-Joon Chang has analyzed the effects of these supposedly self-defeating macro policies. He finds on the contrary that “developing countries did not do badly at all during the ‘bad old days’ of protectionism and state intervention in the 1960s and 70s. In fact, their economic growth performance during the period was far superior [3.1% in per capita GDP a year for Latin America] to that achieved since the 1980s under greater opening and deregulation [1.1% a year from 1980-2009].
…And even that rate was partly due to the rapid growth of countries in the region that had explicitly rejected neoliberal policies sometime earlier in the 2000s – Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela.” In fact, when Dornbush and Edwards published their book in 1991 denouncing “overly expansive” macro policies, Latin America and the Caribbean – largely compliant to IMF diktats at that point – had already averaged an entire decade of negative 0.3% growth rate per capita (1980-1990).
If you are going to read books about economics, I recommend Ha-Joon Chang. As you can see, neoliberalism in Latin America failed completely. Even its proponents admitted that it failed, but their attitude was the usual, “We didn’t give it time enough. Give it some more time and it will start working.” Yeah, right.
Larraín and Meller focus their attention exclusively on the macroeconomic policy errors of Allende’s Unidad Popular (UP) government. Its efforts to “increase real wages and to improve Chilean income distribution failed completely,” they contend, dryly adding that it “took eight years, up to 1981 (during the ‘peak of the boom’), for real wages to recover the level they had held in 1970 before the UP government.”
Larraín and Meller omit from this account Pinochet’s post-1973 reign of terror in which tens of thousands were imprisoned and killed and an economic policy during the dictatorship that led to virtually no growth in per capita income by 1986, 13 years after the coup.
See? Neoliberalism didn’t work either. It took until 11 years after Allende for real wages to reach the level they were under Allende. Then there was an economic crash. I believe it took until 1989 for wages to reach the level they were under Allende again. That’s just a complete failure of neoliberalism over 20 years.
Perhaps the paper’s most artful flourish is the cynical use of the impersonal, passive voice. Nixon directed a comprehensive program of economic sabotage literally bearing Secretary of State Kissinger’s signature. The U.S. funded all major anti-government strikes, the CIA penetrated all of Chile’s political parties, and it courted the military to foment a putsch.
From D and E:
Real wages dropped spectacularly, by -11.3% in 1972 and -38.6% in 1973. This last figure includes a 30% cut induced in the fourth quarter of 1973, after the military coup…[B]y the end of 1971 the signals of disequilibrium were clear for a dispassionate observer. Bottlenecks appeared in strength during 1972, and 1973 witnessed the collapse of the whole experiment. Political instability mounted, and a coup ultimately replaced the UP Government with a military junta [emphases mine].
It was all Allende’s fault. All of the economic sabotage and the economic war the US waged to make the economy scream? That did nothing at all! Seems like a very bad analysis.
Guys like D and E are still writing today:
Today, U.S. scholars carry on the dubious tradition of lambasting Latin American populism, whatever its prevailing definition. Due to South America’s general drift to the left in recent years, academics make increasingly strained attempts to “recognize” and discredit it. In an October 2011 paper entitled Decreasing Inequality Under Latin America’s ‘Social Democratic’ and ‘Populist’ Governments: Is the Difference Real?,”Juan Montecino of the Center for Economic and Policy Research highlights the “arbitrary and ill-defined nature” of this endeavor.
Montecino politely dismantles the findings of economists Darryl McLeod and Nora Lustig, who purport to show that “social democratic” regimes did better than “left-populist” ones in reducing inequality in recent years. He shows that their empirical results are reversed when one runs the same regressions using data from the Economic Commission for Latin America. The paper raises questions as to whether their categories capture “anything more than a general antipathy toward one group of governments.”
In other words, they faked the data.
Unsurprisingly, this antipathy is directed toward three of the four countries Ha-Joon Chang highlights for experiencing growth after rejecting neoliberal policies: Argentina, Ecuador, and Venezuela.
Their enemies now are those three countries. Simon Johnson attacks Latin American populism in the case of Argentina:
Johnson has referred to Argentina as “a country that struggles over many decades (and whose leaders frequently rail against the world) and for which episodes of reasonable prosperity and new economic models are punctuated by gut-wrenching crises.”
In the case of Argentina’s last gut-wrenching crisis in 2001, however, the “IMF’s fingerprints” were all over it, wrote macroeconomist Mark Weisbrot, CEPR’s co-director and Argentina expert, in late 2001. “It arranged massive amounts of loans – including $40 billion [in 2000] – to support the [overvalued] Argentine peso,” writes Weisbrot. Then it “made its loans conditional on a ‘zero-deficit’ policy for Argentine government.”
By doing so, the IMF was able to “convince most of the press that Argentina’s ‘profligate’ spending habits [were] the source of its troubles.” Finally, the IMF – an organization Tim Geithner recently considered essential for promoting U.S. foreign policy – implausibly claimed it had always been against the overvalued peso and that the loans were made in order to placate the Argentine government.
The IMF caused the problem with orthodox neoliberalism and then blamed the government for “profligate spending” because they ordered it to read zero-deficit, a goal which itself caused the crisis.
See? They’re making it up.
Second, Johnson seems to portray the country as wracked by serious, ongoing difficulties. But Weisbrot et al. demonstrate that since defaulting and devaluing, Argentina – widely considered ‘populist’ – expanded 94% from 2002–11 (the fastest growth in the hemisphere), reaching its pre-recession level of GDP in three years, tripling real social spending over seven years, reducing poverty and extreme poverty by two-thirds (using independent estimates of inflation), and achieving record levels of employment.
Their paper also demolishes the myth repeated by many economists – including McLeod and Lustig – that Argentina’s success was largely the effect of a serendipitous commodities boom.
See? Populism worked great in Argentina. It also worked great in Venezuela (before the economic war combined with the collapse in oil prices killed the economy), Ecuador, and Bolivia.
The devastating policies of the past in Latin America, as well as the more successful policies of vastly more independent governments over the past decade, are intimately tied up with Washington’s control over the hemisphere and the recent collapse of its influence – especially in South America. Roger Morris, a staffer at the National Security Council until mid-1970, clarified such considerations for Seymour Hersh:
“I don’t think anybody ever fully grasped that Henry [Kissinger] saw Allende as being a far more serious threat than Castro. If Latin America ever became unraveled, it never would happen with a Castro. Allende was a living example of democratic social reform in Latin America…Chile scared him.”
The devastating economics of the past in Latin America were caused by the US waging economic war on countries that practiced populist economics. This same populism has worked much better now because the influence of the US has greatly fallen in the continent.
The U.S. government has long imposed double standards on the permissibility of social reforms. While instrumental to Allende’s overthrow abroad, the Nixon administration could boast progressive domestic achievements, including the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Earned Income Tax Credit, widely considered one of the most important anti-poverty programs in U.S. history.
Similarly, Lyndon Johnson enacted Great Society programs at home but sent thousands of troops to the Dominican Republic in 1965 to quell an uprising demanding the restitution of the deposed social democratic president, Juan Bosch. A liberal wishing to implement land reforms, Bosch was the subject of an FBI espionage and interception operation authorized by J. Edgar Hoover in the months preceding the rebellion, as Bosch sat exiled in Puerto Rico.
See? Liberalism at home. Fascism abroad. That’s the policy prescription of the US under Democrats and liberal Republicans. Also note the FBI overthrew him. The FBI was deeply involved in the lawfare against Brazil that resulted in the false charges being filed against Lula that put him in prison. See? The FBI literally overthrew Lula in Brazil. The FBI are not just pigs; they’re the worst pigs of them all – feds. And it is a deeply political and always reactionary organization. Fuck the FBI.
Perhaps unknowingly, Johnson is simply keeping within the permissible framework of an intellectual culture that has always accommodated and justified Washington’s hypocrisy. To my knowledge, Johnson has yet to apply his support for “standing up to the banks…proposing a more responsible course of action than that preferred by the banking elite,” and “greater transparency in financial transactions” to the IMF, which has conducted most of its deliberations, meetings, and consultations in secret.
Simon Johnson is pro-IMF, like the authors of that book.
On the The New York Times website, he offhandedly dismisses Latin American populism with a reference to an outdated, far-right, academically dishonest book – all in an article that challenges the U.S. elite by praising populism. This is a compelling example of the imperial double standard that keeps “pro-populist” commentators from seeing what is going on in developing countries.
The book you are praising is referred to an “outdated, far-right, academically dishonest book.” I believe that is correct.
But even if the Times’ readers never learn of Latin America’s protracted struggle for self-determination against U.S. power, the region is now a breeding ground for the most constructive values associated with populism. More than a decade of successful revolts has allowed for the elections of independent left governments in most of South America and has brought enormous gains to the poor majority through greater economic sovereignty and democratic social reform. Or as Kissinger might put it, Latin America has unraveled.
See? For the last 20 years, excellent populist economic policies in Latin America have brought enormous gains for the poor majority. According to E and D, it should have been catastrophic.
After World War, the Cold War was started and the murderous Dulles Brothers Installed the Policy known as Containment. This was implemented between 1946-48. As part of this policy, the US overthrew nationalist, social democratic, and even liberal democratically elected governments all over the world as part of the “War on Communism.” We replaced them with rightwing dictatorships. Although it is arguable, in general all rightwing authoritarian regimes or dictatorships are probably fascist. Rightwing dictatorship = fascism.
These regimes were found most of Central America in Guatemala after 1954, in El Salvador and Honduras since forever, and in Nicaragua under the Somozas.
They were found in all of South America at one time or another. We can see them in the generals after 1964 in Brazil, the democratic facade duopoly regimes in Venezuela in Colombia (especially after 1947 and again in 1964, Ecuador, Peru until the generals’ revolt in 1968, Bolivia under Banzer after 1953, Paraguay under Strausser, Argentina and Uruguay under the generals in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and Pinochet in Chile.
They were also seen in the Caribbean in Cuba under Bautista, the Dominican Republic under Trujillo, and Haiti under the Duvaliers.
In Southeast Asia, they were found in Thieu in South Vietnam, Sihanouk in Cambodia, the monarchy in Laos, the military regimes in Thailand, Suharto in Indonesia, the Sultan in Brunei, Marcos in the Philippines, and Taiwan under Chiang Kai Chek.
In Northeast Asia, a regime of this type was found in South Korea from 1947-on.
They were found South Asia with Pakistan under Generals like Zia, in Central Asia in the Shah of Iran, and in a sense, the Arab World with Saddam (Saddam was installed by the CIA), King Hassan in Morocco, the Gulf monarchies, and Jordan. Earlier, they were found in the monarchies in Libya and Egypt that were overthrown by Arab nationalists. Also, Israel played this sort of role with a democratic facade.
We also found them in the Near East in the military regimes in Turkey (especially Turgut Ozul) and for a while in Greece under the colonels in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.
NATO formed the backbone of a “rightwing dictatorship” in the background of Western Europe (especially Italy), where Operation Gladio NATO intelligence essentially ran most of those countries as a Deep State behind the scenes. These regimes were found in Spain under Franco and in Portugal under Salazar along with its colonies.
These regimes were not so much in evidence in Africa except in South Africa and Rhodesia and most prominently, Mobutu in Zaire and Samuel Doe in Liberia.
The fascist forms of these rightwing dictatorships varied, most being nonracist fascism but a few being racist fascists (Turkey), and others being Mussolinists (Suharto in Indonesia with his “pangesila”)
All of these liberal Democrats signing on to this media war on Venezuela need to recognize that the corporate media is using the Venezuelan example as part of a “war on socialism” to discredit the very word socialism and everything associated with it.
Remember when Trump said before Congress that the US will never be a socialist country? Here, socialism refers to social democracy in either in name/action, which exists in 95% of the countries in the world in the form of ruling parties, strong opposition parties and governmental structure/programs/ideology either in writing or action.
Remember how the entire Congress, including the vast majority of Democratic Congressmen, gave that fascist a standing ovation when he said that? And liberal Democrats dare to claim that they are on the left! They’re not on the left of anything, except maybe the left wing of Republican Party.
The corporate media and the US money/government elite (The Deep State, basically) despises anything that even smacks of socialism, especially social democracy which they truly hate because it is most likely to be implemented. This started during the Cold War but it was already going on in the Depression, when US fascists nearly staged a military coup against FDR, who they said was a Communist.
But during the Cold War the demonization of anything smacking of socialism, no matter how mild, really got under way with two bloodthirsty killers, the Dulles Brothers, who initiated the policy of Containment and created the CIA out of the wartime US intelligence agency, effectively turning the US into a militarized, national security state.
In other words, they initiated what boils down to the US Deep State or the foreign policy establishment of the United States. Note that the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned about is absolutely part of this Deep State too, as it and the national security state are each part of each other.
It was during this era when the US overthrew countries all the time for the tiniest movements towards social democracy and a lot of times simply for implementing social liberalism, the ideology of the US Democratic Party!
For instance, Aristide in Haiti was overthrown for the simple reason that he raised the minimum wage.
The US Democratic Party gave complete support to both of these coups, without a single dissenting member. My “liberal Democrat” father, actually a “Cold War liberal,” a truly awful group of people, gave his complete support to the fascist coup that overthrew Aristide. Why? Because Time Magazine told him it needed to be done. My father foolishly believed that Time Magazine was a liberal or at least Centrist project though it’s never been either.
So the Democratic Party supports raising the minimum wage, sure, but overseas, if you do it, the Democratic Party will call you a Communist and overthrow you in a fascist coup! Disgusting or what?
Nationalist, Social Democratic, and even Liberal Governments Overthrown by the CIA in the Last 70 years
Arbenz in Guatemala was overthrown in 1954 simply for implementing a mild social democracy. About 3% of his administration was made up of Communists, and this was the stated reason for overthrowing him. United Fruit also played a huge role because he nationalized their banana plantations.
Juan Bosch came to power in the Dominican Republic in 1965 and started to implement a mild social democracy. The US media demonized him as a Communist, and soon LBJ staged a fascist coup to overthrow him.
The Mossadegh government in Iran was elected in 1953 for electing a nationalist who nationalized British Petroleum’s oil and set about to implement a mild social democracy with nationalist overtones. He was overthrown by the US and UK and a fascist monarch called Reza Shah was installed and held power for the next 26 years.
A leftwing government was elected in Guyana around 1970, and the Western media went into hysterics. In reality, he was just a social democrat. The “liberal” UK soon overthrew him in a fascist coup.
The US waged economic war against Manley’s government in Jamaica in the late 80’s and early 90’s. He was never anything but a social democrat.
The Left took power in Brazil in 1964 after they won an election. In truth they were just social democrats. They were quickly overthrown in a fascist coup by generals in the military a year later.
A social democratic government that contained a few Communists was elected in 1960 in Iraq. The CIA overthrew that government in a bloody coup and installed Saddam Hussein with specific instructions to get rid of and crack down on the Communists.
Patrice Lumumba in the Congo came to power in 1964. I believe he was never anything more than a social democrat. Nevertheless, the Western media went insane, calling him a Communist. A year later he was overthrown with the help of US intelligence. It is a proven fact that Donald Rumsfeld, then working for the Defense Intelligence Agency, helped set up his arrest and subsequent execution by being tied to a tree and shot.
The following Latin American countries have recently had attempted or successful fascist coups and most are at the moment by rightwing authoritarian states or dictatorships.
Brazil: legal or judicial coup (lawfare) to remove a Leftist president on false legal grounds. Immediately started killing Leftists in the streets as soon as they got in. These are actual, real deal, Mussolini-style fascists in the European tradition. Most Latin American fascists are quite different from that.
Paraguay: Parliamentary coup to remove a Leftist president on a completely false basis by the rightwing Legislature.
Bolivia: Armed coup with rioting to remove a Leftist president over fake election fraud – the military and police were heavily involved.
Ecuador: Coup by devious lying – the conservative ran as a Leftist allied with the Leftist president who could not run anymore. As soon as he got in, the first he did was turn to the Right, say he had never been a Leftist, and attack the Left, harassing, arresting, and issuing arrest warrants for most of the Left he claimed to be a part of. False criminal charges were filed against the former President, so he can’t come back.
Colombia: The Left is kept out of power permanently by a death squad rightwing dictatorship with a democratic facade that stays in power simply by committing mass murder against the unarmed Left. Why do you think the Left in Colombia took up arms? All legal avenues for change were blocked and the army (with US Special Forces help) was running around the country looking for Leftists so they could murder them. The Left said we can either sit here in our villages and wait for the army to come out and kill us or we can pick up a gun so at least we have a hand when they come to kill us so we can shoot back.
Nicaragua: Armed coup of Venezuela/Bolivia type (mass rioting) attempted. Smashed by the Sandinistas.
Venezuela: Ongoing coup attempt for 22 years now ever since Chavez and the Bolivarians took power. So far all attempts of coups of all sorts – including economic, lawfare, parliamentary, rioting, assassination, military revolt, currency manipulation – have failed.
Haiti: Permanent fascist regime installed by the US. The very popular Lavalas Party, which won 92% of the vote in the last election, was overthrown by the CIA and a CIA-recruited army from the Dominican Republic. The President was arrested by US Special Forces in the middle of the night and ordered to leave the country. He is still banned from coming back even though everyone loves him. The Lavalas Party is permanently banned and the new police have murdered thousands of Leftists in order to keep the Left down and stay in power. The UN “peacekeepers” actually helped the death squads arrest and kill the Left. It was sickening!
Honduras: Democratically elected Leftist president overthrown by a military coup greenlighted by Hitlery Clinton and led by the rightwing army. After they seized power, 1,000 unarmed Leftists were murdered by quickly formed death squads.
Mexico: A Leftist President won the election, and already the light-skinned wealthy elite is making a lot of noises about taking him via a coup, and in fact a vague coup attempt seems to be forming. Many of the upper middle class and middle class Mexicans support this effort.
Now I will look at the US and show how the Republican Party, a fascist party since 2002 at least, is modeling its fascism or rightwing authoritarianism on the model implemented by the Latin American elites.
US: The fascist US Republican Party seems to be modeling its fascism or rightwing authoritarian politics on the reactionary and fascist Latin American elite. I urge everyone to watch Latin American politics very closely because whatever you see down there, you’re going to see here sooner or later.
That means the appearance of death squads. That sounds insane, but that is always a feature of these states the Republicans are modeling themselves on. And did you notice that the US capitalists and conservatives quickly went fascist in the face of a serious threat from the Left (Sanders, the Squad, Occupy Wall Street, BLM/antifa riots this summer)? Remember what I said in the previous post – when the capitalists face a serious threat to their money and power from the Left, they most always go fascist in a last ditch attempt to keep their money and stuff.
The UN has been an American province for a long time. Let’s take after World War 2 for example. Sure, there was a UN. But from 1945-1960, the UN and the US were pretty much synonymous. Hence the pussilanimous and disgustingly murderous behavior of the US proxy called the “UN” in the Korean War. After World War 2, we had not only defeated all of our adversaries but most of our allies lay in ruins too. We weren’t running the world before the war – Germany and Pax Brittanica were vying for that honor – but we sure were after the war.
Some people think we allowed our allies to get destroyed on purpose so we could, in our usual slimy way, end up sidelining our allies and running the world, the World Dictatorship Ruled by the US being the main US project since 1945. I don’t know why Americans think it is groovy for the US to be this swaggering, belligerent, out of control outlaw organized crime gang that rules the world.
Do Americans really think that’s cool or something? Because that’s exactly what we are. We aren’t even a country. We’re an Outlaw Empire ruled by an Organized Geopolitical Crime Gang that happens to be the top gang in the world right now?
Anyway from 1945-60, the world was our oyster. Of course, we fucked it up like we fucked up everything. Even the Marshall Plan and the rebuilding of Japan reportedly had sleazy Mafia-like subplots going on. After that, we finally started getting some good hard pushback from China and the USSR (Thank God and it was about time!), first in Cuba, next with the Missile Crisis and the Gary Powers affair, and especially in Vietnam.
The cycle of anti-imperialist revolutions followed in Algeria, the Philippines, Indonesia, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, India, Guatemala, Peru, Chile, Palestine, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Dominican Republic, South Africa, Ireland, and Guyana. Argentina, El Salvador, Honduras, Mozambique, Angola, Rhodesia the Basques followed suit. Arab nationalist revolutions took Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq by storm.
The Shah fell in Iran in what was actually very much an anti-imperialist revolution. A revolution rocked Afghanistan.
Commenter: Like I said, those are exceptions. White men still largely go after White women even if given the choice between White and other races. The White guys who go after Asian girls, for example, are basically the ones that either can’t get a White woman, or they want a traditional and more loyal partner, as White women are a bunch of egotistical, feminist, unfaithful whores these days.
In all of the New World, there was massive interbreeding between the Whites who invaded and conquered the continent and the Indians still there. Interbreeding was massive all over the continent with the exception of Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. White men were quite willing to breed with Indian women and vice versa. No problem at all.
An early visitor to Brazil found a White man with 13 Indian brides. Such sights were not uncommon. In fact, Whites had bred so deeply into Brazil’s population that a project called Blanqamiento or Whitening was initiated to bring a lot of Whites over to make Brazil White. It didn’t work very well. Your average Brazilian is 54% White, but the rest is mixed with Black and Indian. Pure Whites are ~20%. There were vast numbers of Black slaves in Brazil. They are almost gone now as only 6% of Brazilians are Black. The rest all bred in, mostly to White men.
Guyana is hugely mixed. Your average person is a mulatto, half-White and half Black.
Suriname is very similar.
All of the Caribbean is mostly Black due to the slave trade. However, there is White admixture.
The White invaders of Jamaica are nearly gone and Jamaican Blacks are 9% White.
Similar things have occurred elsewhere.
In the Dominican Republic, 20% are Whites, but the Whites have some Black admixture. The rest are mulattos, Black-White mixes.
The Bahamas is 12% White and the original Whites are almost gone.
On some islands there is nothing left of the Whites, but some people called redbones, a Black word for a light-skinned Black.
There are almost no Whites on Haiti, however there are a tiny few, mostly Arabs, and they form part of the elite. Of course the Whites were massacred. However, a mulatto elite with substantial White admixture has traditionally ruled the place.
Cuba had many Whites and still does. However, there are also many Blacks and a vast number of mulattos. The Cuban genome is 37% Black. This was a society that went straight from slavery to Jim Crow, and look at how Whitened the Blacks become anyway.
There are reports of vanishing Blacks all over the continent. There were quite a few Blacks in Mexico at Liberation, especially on the East Coast. 200 years later, there are almost none. The Black population disappeared. What happened was that they bred into the White and mestizo population such that most Mexicans have 3-5% Black in them now.
There were many Blacks in Argentina in the late 1800’s. They seem to have vanished. What happened was they were bred out, and now the average Argentine has 3% Black in them. And the average Argentine White is 18% Indian, so they are actually mestizos.
Chile is similar. Pure Whites are not common. The upper class is Whites who are 20% Indian. The middle and lower classes are mestizos who are 40% Indian.
Peru has a tiny White population and a huge mestizo population.
Upon Liberation, Mexico was 40% White. 200 years later, it is 11% White. There has been almost no net non-White immigration. The Whites just gradually bred into the Indians and the mestizos, mostly the latter. Even today Whites try to preserve their White ancestry, but White Mexican men keep marrying mestizos, especially light-skinned mestizos. White women have been much more loyal to their race than men in the US and Latin America.
El Salvador was 100% Indian. Now it is 2% Indian and almost all the rest are mestizos.
Guatemala is 2% White with a huge mestizo population.
Ecuador is 2% White with a huge mestizo population.
In Venezuela and Colombia, Whites are only 20-25%. All the rest are mixed, mostly White, Indian, and Black.
Nicaragua is ~5% White. Most of the rest are mestizos.
Honduras has few Whites and almost everyone is a mestizo.
Panama is heavily mixed with White, Black and Indian.
In the US, almost all Blacks were pure when imported. Now your average Black American is 25% White. Pure Blacks are nearly nonexistent. A team went out to study a group of rural Black loggers in Alabama because they were only 5% White, and this is so unusual. If you can trace your White ancestry back to Colonial America, you may well have Indian in you. If you go back to 1600’s America as I do, the chance is even greater. The American White genome is even 3% Black overall. Not sure of how much Indian we have in us.
Of course in a number of places like Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Honduras, Ecuador the revolution was overthrown by mostly illegal means, but the Left is still very powerful in all of these places and no one likes the new rulers. Everywhere in Latin America where the Right is in power, the people are wretched if not up in literal arms. Nobody wants rightwing governments down there anymore. As we have seen in recent years pace Milton Friedman, rightwing regimes in Latin America can only be imposed by force anymore. The people have been lied to too many times and no one believes the rightwingers anymore.
The places that didn’t have one like Colombia, Peru, and Chile either have an armed Left or mass riots.
They almost had one in the UK. They had one in Greece, but the Left sold out.
They had one recently in Indonesia, and there may be one in the process in the Philippines.
Thailand had an aborted revolution via the Red Shirts, but it was thwarted.
They had a revolution in Nepal, but it was thwarted by the state putting in fake Communists.
The rest of the world is already more or less socialist so there’s no need for a revolution!
The Arab World, Central Asia, Africa, and most of Europe are already socialist, so there’s nothing to change.
The “rightwing populist” leaders coming to power in Russia, Poland, and Hungary are all socialists! Over there even the Right are socialist.
Neoliberal rightwing economics is dead all over the world, though its corpse is stirring violently.
Rightwing economics is only in power in the Baltics, parts of Latin America (Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Peru), the Caribbean (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), and the Philippines. It is unpopular in Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, and Honduras. Peru is more stable, but there are constant labor riots led by unions, and there remains an armed Left in the mountains. It is unpopular in Haiti and I don’t understand DR politics. Where the Left remains in power as in Venezuela and Nicaragua, it has 70-80% support.
Hong Kong and Singapore are the Libertarian showcases, but neither is sustainable because they cannot be replicated worldwide, as all of their wealth is dependent on massive exploitation of the poorer countries and even surrounding areas. Housing is completely unaffordable for workers in both places as in all Libertarian countries. And Hong Kong is undergoing a revolution from the Left, as it is going Communist.
India is going neoliberal but they are doing via religion, so the foolish Hindus have had the blinders put over their eyes and are supporting it like the superstitious pinheads they are. Meanwhile India remains a socialist country as stated in its own Constitution, and where that lie has become too obvious, there is a Maoist revolution in the hinterlands to set things right.
Singapore is not as Libertarian as it seems. The state owns all land and almost all of the housing is public housing. National health care exists but it is a very poor model. A pro-Chinese Communist Party leftwing opposition party with Marxist roots is very popular. So as we can see, even the showcases are undergoing revolutionary reactions. There’s really no way around this. As rightwing reaction grows extreme, and equal and opposite leftwing reaction forms in opposition to it. For every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction. It’s social science, but it may as well be physics, n’est pas?
Can the whole world become Singapore and Hong Kong? Well, of course not. Singapore and Hong Kong are only rich because so much of the rest of the world is poor.The Third World makes $1/hour so the Singaporeans and Hong Kongers can drive BMW’s. Is this really so hard to figure out.
We can’t all be rich, you know? It would be like Lake Wobegon, where everyone is above average. It’s like saying the whole world could become the British Empire. It’s not even possible. Or it would be like having footraces where everyone comes in tied and there are no winners or losers. How likely is that to happen? 0% likely. It’s not even statistically possible, so it fails even as a mathematical proof. Physics envy? Not so fast, now. The social sciences are not as soft as people think. Laws and theorems can exist outside of a math classroom.
Communism appeals to all sorts of people on a basic level. Look at what Communism promises. It’s pretty clear that that’s something that a lot of humans would want, not any particular ethnicity or culture.
Polar Bear: NS Germany surely had a German spirit. Was Communism based on Russian farm culture or anything native? I often think it contrasts with warring Celtic tribes on the British Isles and Ireland. Maybe some of it is Slavic in nature.
I’m not sure. You know it took off in Mozambique, Grenada, Angola, Cuba, Afghanistan, China, Vietnam, Laos, Chile, Congo, Cambodia, Mongolia, and Yemen too, right?
And they almost won in Peru, El Salvador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Greece, Turkey, and Colombia.
The CP was huge in Iraq – the base of Moqtada Sadr’s movement is actually the old Iraqi CP! Most of Sadr’s followers and soldiers were former members of the Iraqi CP. It had huge memberships in Sadr City. Eurocoms were huge in France and Italy. The CP is in the ANC government in South Africa.
In addition, Communism was very popular in Kazakhstan (Turkics), Tajikistan (Iranics), Uzbekistan (Turkics), Turkmenistan (Turkics), Kyrgyzstan (Turkics), Karelia, Mari-El and Udmurtia (Finno-Urigics), the Caucasus, Azerbaijan (Turkics), Armenia, among Siberian Turkics, Buryats (Mongolics), Tungusics, the Nivkhi (Japanese types), and the Chukchi (Inuit types).
I’m afraid there’s a little more to it than Slavicism. I do not believe it was ever very popular in Poland, the Baltics, Finland or Georgia though. Stalin once said that forcing Communism on the Poles was like putting a saddle on a cow.
Anyway, Marx was German and Engels was British. Rosa Luxembourg was German. Antonio Gramschi was Italian. Carlos Luis Mariategui and Edith Lagos were Peruvian. Manuel Marulanda Gabriel Garcia Marquez were Colombians. Gabriel Mistral was Chilean. Farbundo Marti and Roque Dalton were Salvadorans.
Augustino Sandino was Nicaraguan. Pablo Picasso was a Spaniard. Ho Chi Minh was Vietnamese. Mao Zedong was Chinese. Patrice Lumumba was Congolese. Samora Machel was Mozambican. Those are all very famous Communists who were non-Slavic.
We and our pals overthrew non-Commie Leftist nationalists in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Mexico, Colombia, Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Portugal, Iraq, Iran, and Libya. We and our pals tried unsuccessfully to overthrow them in a number of other places.
Communism has universal appeal. It is nothing less than the dream of a better world. That is why in a way I was sad when the Eastern bloc collapsed because what collapsed with it was that most beautiful dream.
The Latin American Left believed in the dream of a better world. And in Latin America, that is a dangerous thing.
It’s disgusting how the minute you say the phrase false flag, people grab their foreheads and start groaning. All false flags are automatically conspiracy theories and they’re all pathetic nonsense made up by the tinfoil hat crowd. Granted a lot of so-called false flags never happened and instead were actual attacks carried out by whoever claimed responsibility for them. This is particularly true with Islamist terrorist groups.
Their attacks often terribly brutal and aimed directly at civilians. Many of their attacks in the West have been called false flags, but none of them were. It has also been common for a long time to ascribe most of the worst Palestinian terrorist attacks to Israeli false flags.
The truth is that the Palestinians, like the Islamists, are quite depraved enough to do their own horrific terrorist attacks. Their attacks are depraved enough that Israel has no need to fake depraved attacks to frame the Palestinians.
But as you can see, false flags definitely occur. I never thought that the US government did these attacks very much, but we and the rest of the West (NATO) have been going on a wild false flag spree ever since NATO’s war on Russia started heating up.
It’s been one false flag after another and one attempt to blame Russia and pro-Russians for atrocities willfully committed by the other side. This is different from a false flag. In this case, Party A attacks the enemy, typically enemy civilians, or a shell goes astray and there’s an atrocity.
Instead of admitting that they did it, they blame the enemy who they are fighting, usually for committing an atrocity against their own supporters, which of course makes no sense.
There were many such attacks like this in the Syrian Civil War when the Free Syrian Army committed massacre after massacre of villagers who supported Assad and then turned around and blamed Assad for each and every one of these crimes.
As it turns out, Assad did not commit any of these civilian massacres because that’s just not his style. His forces don’t rampage into villages, even of rebel supporters, and slaughter civilians in brutal fashion one by one.
If they think a civilian needs to be dealt with, Assad’s forces simply arrest them and may well put them in a military prison, where they could well be tortured and mistreated until death or executed. I’m not saying Assad is a nice guy; it’s more that his style simply does not include savage massacres of entire villages or chemical weapons attacks for that matter. When it comes to depravity, Assad has his own style.
I can’t believe that number of attacks falsely blamed on the enemy and out and out false flag and fake attacks that the US did in Ukraine and Syria. We seem to be entering into a new era of warfare where false flags are the normal ways to fight wars.
It’s appalling and terrifying because foolish Americans insist that these attacks never happen. By believing that they give their own government carte blanche to do as many false flags and false blaming of the enemy of allied attacks as they wish. And the government knows that in any fake blames or false flags the US or its allies pull off, they know that they can count on the support of every corporate media outlet in the US to go right along.
In fact, every mainstream media outlet in the West period is on board with any false blaming or false flags the West wishes to pull off. In that sense the entire media of the West is completely controlled by the states of the West, their militaries, state departments and intelligence services. It’s downright terrifying.
Relevant article selected from the GR archive, first published in February 2015.
Not Theory … Admitted Fact
There are many documented false flag attacks where a government carries out a terror attack … and then falsely blames its enemy for political purposes.
In the following 53 instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admitted to it, either orally or in writing:
(1) Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931 and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria. This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident.”
The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found: “Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasions admitted their part in the plot and have stated that the object of the ‘Incident’ was to afford an excuse for the occupation of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army ….” And see this.
(2) A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that under orders from the chief of the Gestapo, he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles to justify the invasion of Poland.
(3) Nazi General Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building in 1933 and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson.
(4) Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 while blaming the attack on Finland as a basis for launching the “Winter War” against Finland. Russian president Boris Yeltsin agreed that Russia had been the aggressor in the Winter War.
(5) The Russian Parliament, current Russian President Putin, and former Soviet leader Gorbachev all admit that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered his secret police to execute 22,000 Polish army officers and civilians in 1940 and falsely blame it on the Nazis.
(6) The British government admits that between 1946 and 1948 it bombed five ships carrying Jews attempting to flee the Holocaust to seek safety in Palestine, set up a fake group called “Defenders of Arab Palestine”, and then had the pseudo-group falsely claim responsibility for the bombings (and see this, this and this).
(7) Israel admits that in 1954, an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this).
(8) The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister.
(9) The Turkish Prime Minister admitted that the Turkish government carried out the 1955 bombing on a Turkish consulate in Greece, also damaging the nearby birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey, and blamed it on Greece, for the purpose of inciting and justifying anti-Greek violence.
(10) The British Prime Minister admitted to his defense secretary that he and American president Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan in 1957 to carry out attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government as a way to effect regime change.
(22) In 1960, American Senator George Smathers suggested that the U.S. launch “a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro].”
(23) Official State Department documents show that in 1961, the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals.
(24) As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in 1962, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes) and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba.
(25) In 1963, the U.S. Department of Defense wrote a paper promoting attacks on nations within the Organization of American States such as Trinidad-Tobago or Jamaica and then falsely blaming them on Cuba.
(26) The U.S. Department of Defense even suggested covertly paying a person in the Castro government to attack the United States: “The only area remaining for consideration then would be to bribe one of Castro’s subordinate commanders to initiate an attack on Guantanamo.”
(27) The NSA admits that it lied about what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964… manipulating data to make it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so as to create a false justification for the Vietnam war.
(28) A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that as part of its “Cointelpro” campaign, the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists.
(29) A top Turkish general admitted that Turkish forces burned down a mosque on Cyprus in the 1970s and blamed it on their enemy. He explained: “In Special War, certain acts of sabotage are staged and blamed on the enemy to increase public resistance. We did this on Cyprus; we even burnt down a mosque.” In response to the surprised correspondent’s incredulous look, the general said, “I am giving an example.”
(30) The German government admitted (and see this) that in 1978, the German secret service detonated a bomb in the outer wall of a prison and planted “escape tools” on a prisoner – a member of the Red Army Faction – which the secret service wished to frame the bombing on.
(31) A Mossad agent admits that in 1984, Mossad planted a radio transmitter in Gaddaffi’s compound in Tripoli, Libya, which broadcast fake terrorist trasmissions recorded by Mossad in order to frame Gaddaffi as a terrorist supporter. Ronald Reagan bombed Libya immediately thereafter.
(32) The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force), approached an explosives expert and asked him “to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident,” thus framing the ANC for the bombing.
(33) An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, “French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit against Author”).
(34) The United States Army’s 1994 publication Special Forces Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces updated in 2004 recommends employing terrorists and using false flag operations to destabilize leftist regimes in Latin America. False flag terrorist attacks were carried out in Latin America and other regions as part of the CIA’s “Dirty Wars.” And see this.
(36) Senior Russian military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings in 1999 and falsely blamed it on Chechens in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion).
(37) According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.
(38) The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings.
(39) As reported byBBC, the New York Times, and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that the government murdered seven innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police in order to join the “War on Terror.”
(40) Senior police officials in Genoa, Italy admitted that in July 2001 at the G8 summit in Genoa they planted two Molotov cocktails and faked the stabbing of a police officer in order to justify a violent crackdown against protesters.
Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime, that Cheney “probably” had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not ‘doing their homework’ in reporting such ties.
Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq War was really launched for oil…not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction. Despite previous “lone wolf” claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers. Many U.S. officials have alleged that 9/11 was a false flag operation by rogue elements of the U.S. government.
(43) Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”
(44) United Press Internationalreported in June 2005:
U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers.
Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.
(45) Undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians.
(46) Quebec police admitted that in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this).
(47) At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plainclothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence.
(48) Egyptian politicians admitted (and see this) that government employees looted priceless museum artifacts in 2011 to try to discredit the protesters.
(49) A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat.
(50) The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, says that the head of Saudi intelligence Prince Bandar recently admitted that the Saudi government controls “Chechen” terrorists.
(51) High-level American sources admitted that the Turkish government – a fellow NATO country – carried out the chemical weapons attacks blamed on the Syrian government, and high-ranking Turkish government admitted on tape plans to carry out attacks and blame it on the Syrian government.
(52) The former Ukrainian security chief admits that the sniper attacks which started the Ukrainian coup were carried out in order to frame others.
(53) Britain’s spy agency has admitted (and see this) that it carries out “digital false flag” attacks on targets, framing people by writing offensive or unlawful material … and blaming it on the target.
So Common…There’s a Name for It
“False flag terrorism” is defined as a government attacking its own people, then blaming others in order to justify going to war against the people it blames. Or as Wikipediadefines it:
False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities.
The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy’s Strategy of Tension.
The use of the bully’s trick is so common that it was given a name hundreds of years ago. The term comes from the old days of wooden ships, when one ship would hang the flag of its enemy before attacking another ship. Because the enemy’s flag, instead of the flag of the real country of the attacking ship, was hung, it was called a “false flag” attack.
Indeed, this concept is so well-accepted that rules of engagement for naval, air and land warfare all prohibit false flag attacks.
Leaders Throughout History Have Acknowledged False Flags
Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the danger of false flags:
“A history of false flag attacks used to manipulate the minds of the people! In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death.” – Adolph Hitler
“Why of course the people don’t want war… But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship…
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” – Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.
“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened.” – Josef Stalin
Tulio: It seems the Latin America right is mostly dominated by whites. I yet to see many dark brown Amerindian leaders of right wing movements in Latin America. They seem to be all people of European descent.
Yep. White people act pretty horrific down there.
I know you don’t like Chavez, but he is the hero of the Blacks and Browns down there. The opposition is mostly White and light-skinned. During the recent rioting, the opposition attacked some Black Venezuelans on the assumption that they were Chavez supporters and set them on fire in the streets.
The Opposition habitually called Chavez a mono or a monkey. He was a zambo, a mixture of Black, White, Indian. This mixture is pretty common in Venezuela, Colombia and Panama. I have read interviews with members of the opposition. One was an unmarried White upper class man in his late 20’s who lived at home. He said he felt so insulted every time he saw Chavez because it was like his people (upper middle class Whites) were being ruled by their maids and gardeners. The idea that this proud White man should be ruled by his inferiors was infuriating.
Peru is an extremely racist society. Now it’s mostly against the Indians, it’s true. They hardly have any Blacks. There was recently a case of a beautiful Black woman who tried to get into an exclusive nightclub in the wealthy Miramar District of Lima and she was turned away at the door. I guess they had a “No Blacks” policy.
Chile is incredibly racist against Indians, and they are supposedly one of the most progressive countries down there. I had a friend whose father had worked in Allende’s administration. He was a sociology major and he was doing some work with the Mapuche Indians who live in the South. But his racism against those Indians was off the charts. Chileans are extremely racist Peruvians, and most of it is wrapped around the idea that Peruvians have much more Indian blood than the Chileans do, though the average White Chilean is ~25% Indian.
I’m not sure how racist things are in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia or Brazil. Some people say that Colombian Whites are extremely racist against Blacks, but others said it’s not the case.
Actually in Latin America there is the phenomenon of social race. A wealthy Latin American told me that even Black Latin Americans can be completely accepted in wealthy White circles if they only have enough money.
This phenomenon is called social race. It is especially prominent in places like Brazil. So a wealthy Black Brazilian can be effectively “White” and a poor White in a favela (there are many Whites in favelas) is effectively Black or mixed race (a wigger).
Racism is forbidden by law in Brazil but it still exists. I think there was a case recently where a White woman was in an elevator and she would not let a Black person in the elevator with her. It generated a lot of controversy. Nevertheless, there is a racial hierarchy. White women are regarded as wives and mothers but not so much as sex objects. In fact, they are too pure for that. Black women are regarded as unattractive. Their only use is maybe to be your maid. However, mixed race mulatta women are the most highly prized of all, and even White men see them as the sexiest women of all. They are sexualized as sex objects.
I had a White Brazilian woman who was my friend for a while. She mostly spoke Portuguese so it was hard to talk to her. I told her, “You try not to be racist against Blacks here, but it’s hard.” She agreed with me, and said, “Yes, I agree, we try not to be racist too, but it’s hard. We Whites have a saying here in Brazil, ‘If a Black doesn’t steal from you when he’s coming, he steals from you when he’s going.” In other words, if he doesn’t steal from you when he’s walking in the door, he will definitely steal from you when he is walking out the door. So even down there Blacks are regarded as thieves.
There’s not a lot of racism in the Caribbean because there are almost no Whites. However, the mulattos in Dominican Republic are extremely racist against the Blacks in Haiti. They still enslave them, for Chrissake.
Mexico, I am not sure, but in barrio culture here, low class Hispanics are much more racist against “mayate” Blacks than Whites are. The mestizos are openly racist, much more so than the Whites who probably think open racism is uncouth as Mexican Whites are very into being proper, mannered people. In there is open racism against Blacks in Mexico at least in the media. Further, the Mexican media is ~100% White. I have told Mexican-Americans that they are 4% Black and they don’t believe me. They also act a bit insulted. But it’s true. Every regular mestizo Mexican you meet is ~4% Black. The population just bred in with the Blacks and practically wiped them out except for a few around Veracruz. They simply bred them out of existence and everyone ended up with a bit of Black in them.
Socialism, the very concept, especially in its social democratic and democratic socialist varieties, is the ho-hum status quo on most of the planet.
The war on the very concept of socialism has probably been worse in the US than anywhere else in the West. It has a 3rd World death squad tinpot dictatorship feel about it. I keep wondering when the rightwing death squads are going to show up in the US. They show up everywhere else in states with a US-style reactionary and Left-hating culture.
The difference between the US war on socialism and the war on socialism waged in various death squad democracies is that the war on socialism has been more successful in the US than anywhere else on Earth other than Colombia, but the Left is armed to the teeth there. The war on socialism was just as bad if not worse due to the death squads and all of the imprisonments, beatings, tortures, murders and genocides all over Latin America and in the Philippines and Indonesia.
These countries differ from the US however in that all those Latin American countries and SE Asian countries have gone Left in recent years.
Even in the Philippines, Duterte calls himself a socialist and had friendly relations with the Maoist NPA guerrillas when he held office in Mindanao.
In Indonesia, the female elected President recently ran on a socialist ticket.
To the south, Mexico has been officially socialist since the Revolution. The Left in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Peru, and Argentina was armed to teeth and fought vicious wars against reactionary regimes. That has to count for something.
In El Salvador, the former Left guerrillas are now running the country.
In Honduras, a leftwinger was recently elected President only to be ousted in a coup sponsored by the CIA and Hillary Clinton.
Nicaragua of course had a successful Leftist revolution, and those revolutionaries have been holding office now there for quite some time.
Haiti elected a Leftist in Jean Bertrande Aristide, only to be ousted by Bush Administration officials via a contra death squad army from the Dominican Republic. Aristide himself was arrested at gunpoint in his mansion by armed Blackwater mercenaries acting under the command of the Pentagon.
A number of the island states in the Caribbean have gone Left in recent years and most were members of the Chavista Bolivarian Movement. Most political parties in the Caribbean have words like Left, Socialist, Workers, Progressive, etc. in their party names regardless of their ideology because any party that wants to get anywhere in the Caribbean has to at least dress itself up in Left garb.
Grenada had a successful Leftist revolution that was subsequently overthrown on illegal grounds by Reagan.
Venezuela of course has been voting Leftist since 1999 when the Chavistas took power. They have never left.
In Ecuador, a Leftist, Rafael Correa, ruled for many years. Recently a man named Lenin Moreno ran on a Leftist ticket of continuing Correa’s Left reforms, but as soon as he got into office, he immediately shifted gears and went hard Right.
Right-wing parties run as fake Leftists all the time in Latin America because generally rightwingers running on a rightwing agenda cannot get elected down there because most Latin Americans hate rightwingers and don’t want them in power. Hence the Right obtains power by contra wars and fascist mob violence in the streets, waging wars on economies and currencies, judicial, legislative, and military coups, and even open fraud. The definition of conservatism is aristocratic rule. It is the antithesis of rule by the people or democratic rule. The definition of liberalism is democratic rule by the people, not the aristocrats.
Not many Latin Americans want to be ruled by aristocrats, so the Right down there has to seize power by extra-democratic means.
The Opposition in Venezuela recently ran on an openly social democratic platform, but most people thought it was fake they would turn Right as soon as they got in.
In Brazil, the Left has been running the country for some time under the PT or Worker’s Party until it was removed by a rightwing legislature in an outrageous legislative coup. They even imprisoned a former president, Lula, on fake corruption charges. A female president was recently elected who was an armed urban guerrilla in the 1960’s.
In Paraguay, a Leftist former priest was elected President, only to be removed in an outrageous legislative coup.
In Chile, not only was Leftist Allende elected in the 70’s, the Left was not only armed all through Pinochet’s rule and once came close to assassinating him. In recent years, a socialist named Michele Bachelet has won a number of elections.
In Bolivia, Leftist Evo Morales has been in power for a long time.
Uruguay recently elected a Leftist, a former armed urban guerrilla in the 1970’s.
Argentina recently elected two Leftist presidents, the Kirchner, a husband and wife. A rightwiger was recently elected after a rightwing Jewish billionaire named Singer obtained a court judgement against Argentina in a US court. That judgement bankrupted the economy, so you could say that the Right destroyed the economy in order to get elected.
So with the exception of Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Guyanas, all other countries have since gone full Left at one time or another recently. Costa Rica’s already a social democracy, and Peru had an ultra-radical murderous Left for a very long time. Panama’s been reactionary since the CIA murdered Omar Torrijos by sabotaging his helicopter and killing him via a fake copter crash. The Dominican Republic and Jamaica have not gone Left since the 60’s and 70’s.
But the war on socialism has been so much more successful here in the US than even in the above named backwards countries because even the world norm of social democracy was so demonized here in the US that it never even got off the ground.
In some ways, the US is one of the most rightwing countries on Earth at least in terms of political economy.
Certain families are in the USA, not East Indian but regular Americans, are divided into uppity and so, so and poorer groups. The poorer groups might live in a trailer, are more likely to smoke cigarettes and do drugs.
So the question is, “Why criticize India, when people in the USA divide themselves harshly by caste, simply cause those who don’t do illegal drugs, smoke cigarettes, or are involved in a rough culture, cannot mesh well health worshipping Yuppie types? Conflict in inevitable.
Have you ever been around real Yuppies or whatever they’re called? Well, for one thing, they’re incredibly bossy and preachy. They try to parent even other adults like they’re not of sound mind when they are. They’re into overkill on parenting, not even letting kids drink soda or play video games, also controlling all their time so that the kids cannot even breathe. 😆
I haven’t met too many yuppies who were as insular and uppity as those Gujaratis. I mean they will not even talk to a non-Gujarati as far as I can tell. How many yuppies are like that.
There is no casteism in the US. In fact, all racial discrimination is illegal and the US has a department that goes after job discrimination and if your business is big enough, believe me they do go after this. Also housing discrimation is illegal in the US, however, the funds have been gutted for this.
The US is one of the least racist multicultural countries on Earth. Name some other multicultural countries that have less racism than the US. I am waiting.
You cannot compare casteism to much of anything else on the face of the Earth. It is quite different. The only comparison might be the Jim Crow South or Apartheid South Africa or maybe Israel. I want you people on here to tell me about some other countries where any sort of racial or ethnic discrimination is anything close to casteism. I cannot think of any right off the bat. The situation of Koreans and Burakamin in Japan is not good, and the Buraku situation is basically a caste one, but is it anything like caste in India?
PS. You cannot use caste in Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh to compare to caste in India as it is all the same thing.
The Shia are not treated well in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, but is it close to the casteism of India?
Yes there is discrimination against Whites in South Africa, but does the situation of Whites resemble that of Dalits?
There is severe discrimination against Haitians in Dominican Republic, but is it as bad as Indian caste?
There is some pretty serious discrimination against Muslims in Myanmar right now that is on the level of casteism perhaps.
The Pygmies and Albinos are treated horribly in Africa. Perhaps that is on the level of caste in India.
Yes there is discrimination and racism against Indians in Chile, but is it on the level of Indian caste? I think not. There is similar but much worse discrimination against Indians in Peru, but it’s mostly the Whites who do it, and it’s not as bad as Indian caste. Also the new President is an Indian and he doesn’t support this discrimination at all.
I would agree that the slaves in Mauritania and other parts of Africa is a very similar situation to casteism in India. In fact, Dalits may have it better than African slaves.
This whole Indian line of saying that “all nations have caste” is just insane. The Indian caste system goes far beyond whatever sort of racism and discrimination exists in most parts of the world. There’s just no comparison.
I would also like to point out that Jason Y here, a liberal, is running interference for and whitewashing one of the most vicious and evil systems of discrimination on Earth. That’s not very liberal of him.
Have you tried correlating the IQ scores with local lead poisoning? The main gains from the Flynn effect ended by the late 1970s (birth years), suggesting that fuel lead didn’t play a role (as both whites and blacks would experience higher intelligence, thus raising the intelligence that 100 represents—rather, it was probably the elimination of malnutrition), and that some of the remaining gap should arise from differential lead paint.
The calculation might look as follows:
Deficit = sum(over n) Distribution of lead level(n) x IQ_deficit_from_lead(n)for each neighborhood.
Add the deficit to the mean IQ calculated from the composition of the neighborhood, then re-estimate the (before lead) IQ of each group, fitting to composition and reevaluated IQ; re-normalize the black IQ to the white (raised) IQ.
Elevated black blood lead (much more common than elevated white blood lead) suggests that at least another 3 IQ points can be gained for blacks on that count, using Detroit data.
I did a similar calculation for national IQ and malnutrition (using 1991 data), on the basis that malnutrition knocks off about a standard deviation of IQ (15 points, although I also found a source that claimed 11), multiplying by the malnourished proportion of the population. This pushes sub-Saharan African National IQ to the range upper 60’s to upper 70’s.
Black African skin bleaching tends to be between 30 and 70% among women historically, although men are also using such products; the products are notorious for mercury content, suggesting that childhood exposure via the mother should cost another 11 points on average (mercury ppm in mother’s hair on the order of 150, with 0.15 IQ loss per ppm—products sold to Africa typically have much higher mercury content). I couldn’t find much by way of statistics for US black women. For Asians, there has been much growth of the use of these products since the early National IQ estimates were made.
African leaded fuel use will also greatly harm urban populations (who will dominate National IQ estimates), although they were phased out by 2006; the time to affect primary schools is about nine years, although the IQ estimates are based on the the 90’s. South Africa should suffer 7 points, and Nigeria probably the same.
Thus the pre-environmental expected IQ of blacks is well within a standard deviation of whites.
East Asian cities are often near coasts, and historically held much smaller portions of their respective countries’ populations, as elsewhere. Thus their early (for the third world) industrialization would tend to have a lower impact on IQ.
Lead has been studied, and childhood lead is substantially lower than adult lead, which may account for much of the national IQ achievement of Chinese versus other societies; child rearing practices that avoid putting unknown objects in the mouth might play a role, but then again, given the relatively small family sizes and involvement of grandparents, more supervision might also play a role.
As to the topic of your post, another possible cause for the lack of black achievement considering IQ is racism.
The author makes a strong case that US Black IQ’s can increase 3 points and African Black IQ’s can increase 10 points due to environmental interventions. This is certainly plausible.
I have no problems with any of these environmental efforts. All the power to them. A gain of even 3 IQ points for Detroit Blacks would be a fantastic thing indeed. A 10-point IQ gain for African Blacks would be a great thing for them and for Africa as a whole. Many of Africa’s most serious problems would surely ameliorate with a 10-point IQ gain. An IQ in the upper 70’s would put Africa on a par with the IQ’s of some Gulf states such as Qatar that have created highly evolved civilizations. However, even US Blacks with IQ’s a full 9 points higher than the Qataris fail miserably at creating the highly evolved society that the Qataris created.
One argument is that Qatar only exists in its current form due to oil wealth. Give Black people oil wealth, and they will create a Qatar.
However, this has not happened in Africa. Nigeria has tremendous oil wealth, and it is one of the evil and diabolically failed states on Earth. Nearly all of the wealth has been stolen by a tiny elite and the rest of the population flounders in monstrous poverty. Gabon is a much better case, and oil wealth has allowed them to have a $20,000 per capita income. Gabon is basically a middle income country. However, almost all of the wealth has been stolen by a tiny elite, ~50% of the population is starving, and and the vast majority of the population live in horrifying poverty.
Give a Black society money, and the most cruel and sociopathic Blacks will steal almost all of it for a small elite group, leaving the vast majority of the population to suffer in terrible poverty (the African model).
Alternatively, give another Black society money, and income will be much better distributed, but the most cruel and sociopathic Blacks will create in monstrous violent crime rate, destabilizing a prosperous society.
The African wealth distribution style is also seen in Haiti and was seen until the 1960’s in the Dominican Republic. The rest of the Caribbean has a much more equitable distribution system. Trinidad and Tobago has a PCI or $20,000/yr due to oil wealth, but they have one of the highest violent crime and homicide rates on Earth. A Trinidadian woman I spoke to said it was because local young men had imported gang culture from the US, and it was now spread all through the country. Still, a country with a $20,000 PCI and that high of a homicide rate nearly qualifies as something like a failed state right there, at least on that one variable.
Although we have shown that Blacks can create wealthy societies (at least in the case of oil), those societies show significant problems either in democratization or extremely high violent crime.
In the African model, a tiny elite will steal all the oil wealth and leave most of the people scrounging for scraps.
In the Caribbean model, wealth will be distributed much better, but society will still be saddled with a horrific violent crime rate.
As the comparison with Qatar and the US shows, there is a lot more holding Black people back than just a low IQ. With an IQ of ~83, the Arabs can create Dubai, along with a highly civilized state with a shockingly low crime rate. With an IQ of 87, US Blacks still cannot create anything like Dubai even with an IQ advantage.
So obviously the problems of Black people extend beyond IQ, and a rising Black IQ is not a cure-all.
What these problems are is unknown, but there appear to be genetic factors predisposing Blacks to greater crime and antisociality. What these factors are is unknown, but I am convinced that they exist. Antisociality will create thieving elites in Africa and Caribbean societies with better income distribution but extremely high violent crime rates.
Getting a handle around Black problems involves not only raising Black IQ but dealing conclusively with whatever it is that is crimogenic or psychopathogenic in Black biology or Black genes.
Once IQ is high enough though, whatever Black criminogenic issues are involved tend to wash out. I have read that setting Black IQ at ~113, the Black and White crime rates are equal. High intelligence often washes out criminal tendencies due to greater forward thinking, possibly greater empathy, guilt and worry and lessened impulsiveness. As IQ rises in any race of humans, empathy, guilt and worry tend to rise and impulsiveness tends to decline.
I do not agree that racism affects Black IQ scores very much. Instead, moving from a non-racist country (Jamaica) to a racist country (the UK) results in a gain of up to 14 IQ points in the second generation. Blacks living in “highly racist” White societies typically have IQ’s ~13-18 points higher than Blacks living in non-racist societies such as the Caribbean and Africa.
Skin bleaching products sold in the US probably do not have much mercury in them.
The truth is that the US military has always been the army of the rich, the army of the imperialist thieves and mass murderers. Look at how many billions America stole from Iraq – estimates are that the US imperialists stole uncounted billions from the Iraqis in the course of running their government for them after the war. The US is now planning to steal Libya’s money to help bomb Libya – that money belongs to the Libyan people, but the Western imperialists have simply stolen the Libyan people’s money to drop bombs on their heads.
The cruel truth is that the US military is the army of the rich and the corporations. The US homeland needs very little defending, and no one ever tries to invade anyway. Instead, the purpose of the Pentagon is to go around the world killing workers and poor people in order to uphold the rule of the rich and the right of US corporations to exploit the Third World.
It is interesting to look at US wars and military engagements to see how many of them really benefited working class people of the US and other countries. The imperialist wars in Cuba and the Philippines? Are you kidding?
The endless list of interventions in Latin America? They were all to benefit the rich and to kill workers and the poor. Even the invasion of Panama was because Noriega would not play ball with the US on the Sandinistas anymore. The drug dealing thing was a joke. The US, the CIA and our buddies in the rightwing governments and militaries down there have been running dope forever. We look the other way or even help them run the drugs.
Grenada? Pull the other one. The various interventions in Haiti and the Dominican Republic? Give it up. The 7 new US bases in Colombia? They are there to help the Colombian state kill the poor and Left of Colombia.
The intervention in Lebanon? To help Israel. The war against Iraq? A Nazi-like war or aggression that resulted in the US colonization of Iraq. The bases scattered all over the Arab World? To control the oil supply, imperialist style, so no one else can get their mitts on it. This benefits US workers how?
The bases in Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus? An imperialist project to surround and threaten Russia. How does surrounding and threatening Russia benefit US workers? Someone?
Bases in South Korea? To threaten North Korea. How does threatening North Korea benefit US workers? Anyone?
I have a question for you. If you are a working class person, why would you join the army of the rich and go around the world killing poor people and workers so that the rich and the corporations can continue to rip them off and exploit them? Why join an anti-worker, anti-poor army? Why go fight for the rich? Why fight for the corporations? Because that’s what you are doing when you join the US military. Why would a working class person do that? For the money? For the adventure?
I know there’s probably a lot of info on the web about the various armed conflict/s in Latin America, but do you have any good websites (in English) that are specifically about the rhetoric of the Latin American Rich? And about their actual policies that lead to so many people trying to revolt against them?
I know you’ve mentioned them in your posts, but not all that much. It would be great if you had links to a detailed, extensive database of such information.
Hi, Upside Down World in the blogroll is an excellent resource, just off the top of my head. You know, 100 years ago, 50 years ago, 30 years ago, 10 years ago, yesterday, Latin America was mired in the most horrific poverty amid the most wild wealth. I’m not sure what the rich were saying then. Now here it is, up to 100 years later, and nothing much has changed.
I think in the past it was just “Kill the Commies!” The rich ran the show, had pro-rich military dictatorships for years to decades, when that didn’t work stole elections, and controlled all the media. The masses were utterly downtrodden, but what could you do?
Every now and then the peons would get restless, and the Marines would be sent down there to repress the overwhelming majority of the people and reinstate rich rule. In Haiti, the US stayed for decades. Cuba was nearly a US colony. We invaded the Dominican Republic. Sometimes people fought back. You had the anti-US Sandino rebellion against the Marines in Nicaragua.
Anytime the people got the least bit uppity, there would be a coup or a US invasion, followed by mass death squad terror. This happened in Guatemala in 1954, Brazil in 1964, Dominican Republic in 1965, Bolivia in 1970, Chile in 1973, Argentina in 1978, and Peru in 1992. This would often be followed by years to decades of state terror, the purpose of which apparently was to say, “Don’t even think of trying this again!”
In 1932 in El Salvador there was a peasant uprising led by Farabundo Marti. It was crushed, and 2% of the population, 30,000 people, were murdered in only about a month in something called the Matanza. Whole towns and villages were slaughtered. US warships patrolled off the coast the whole time to help things go smoothly. After that, people got rid of their Indian clothes, quit speaking Indian and turned into Ladinos, because the Indians were specifically targeted in the massacre. That was enough to keep the people down for about 40 years or so.
The Western provinces, where the Matanza took place, were still very conservative even during the Civil War 50 years later. Mass terror works.
But things have changed now. Now they say that neoliberal capitalism (the rule of the rich) is the way to prosperity for everyone. Socialism or rule of the poor is a dictatorship and leads to mass poverty.
Now the rich say that the way of the rich will “lift all the boats.” A rising tide lifts all boats and all of that. It’s supply side economics. Problem is that Latin America has been engaging in supply side economics and the politics and economics of the rich since Day One. Who is it lifting out of poverty, anyway?
Main thing is that they don’t want to spend one dime to help the poor the in any way whatsoever. Doing so will ruin the economy, and we can’t have that. You can’t raise taxes, tax the rich or the corporations, raise the minimum wage or engage in any state spending. All of this is Communism, and it will “ruin the economy.”
They also engage in a lot of capital strikes now. With the election of Humala in Peru the other day, the stock market lost 20% of its value. Most of those countries are under IMF austerity programs and are limited in what they can do. Also, they need foreign investment, and the foreigners (the West) demand a neoliberal, economics of the rich, climate in the country. If you put in pro-poor policies, the investors bail. It’s hard to get much progressive policy done. Even the new Left leaders down there have their hands tied.
But the economics of the rich isn’t working down there. They’ve been doing it for 200 years.
An excellent analysis of the current scene in Latin America by Marxist James Petras. We often wonder what exactly is going on here or there in the world. For the answer in Latin America, Petras answers a number of important questions. What’s amazing is I can’t find one single area in which he’s wrong in his analysis below. Hence, this analysis is immaculate. If any of you can find anywhere below where he is wrong, let us know. A good tutorial on the Latin American politico-economic scene. Warning: Runs 45 pages.
Political Power and the World Market
The twin nemesis of Latin America’s quest for more equitable and dynamic development, US imperial and local oligarchic power have been subject to profound changes over the past decade. New capitalist classes both at home and abroad have redefined Latin America’s relation to world markets, seized opportunities to stimulate growth and forged cross class coalitions linking overseas investors, agro-mineral exporters, national industrialists with a broad array of trade unions, and in some countries peasant and Indian social movements.
Parallel to these changes in Latin America, a new militarist and financial political configuration engaged in prolonged wars, colonial occupations and widespread speculation has weakened the structural economic links – dominance – between US imperial economic interests and Latin America’s dynamic socio-economic classes.
In the present conjuncture, these basic changes in the respective class structures – in the US and Latin America – define the contours, constraints and ‘reach’ of the imperial classes as well as the potential autonomy of action of Latin America’s leading socio-economic classes.
Notions which freeze Latin America in a time warp such as “500 years of exploitation” or which conflate earlier decades of US political-economic dominance with the present, have failed to take account of recent class dynamics, including popular insurrections, mass electoral mobilizations and failed imperial-centered economic models which have redefined the power equation between the US and Latin America.
Equally important, fundamental changes in market relations and market competition has lessened US influence in the world market and opened major growth opportunities for new and established sectors of Latin America’s capitalist class, especially its dynamic export sectors.
Understanding imperialism, especially the US variant, requires focusing on class relations, within and between countries and regions, the changing balance of power as well as the impact of fundamental changes in world market relations. Equally important the private economic institutions of imperialism (banks, multi-national corporations, investors) are contingent on the composition and policies of the imperial state.
Insofar as the state defines its priorities in military and ideological terms and acts accordingly, by channeling resources in prolonged wars, the imperial policymakers weakens their capacity to sustain, finance and promote overseas private economic interests.
As we shall analyze and discuss in the following sections, the US has suffered a relative loss of political and economic power over key Latin American regimes and markets as its military commitments have widened and deepened over time. The result is a Latin American political configuration which has changed dramatically over the past two decades.
Latin American Political-Economic Configurations and US Imperialism
The upsurge of social movements, the subsequent ascent of center-left political regimes,the dynamic economic growth of Asian economies and the consequent sharp increase in prices of commodities in the world market has changed the configuration of political power in Latin America and between the latter and the US between 2000-2010.
While the US exercised almost absolute hegemony during the period 1980-1999, the rise of a militarist caste promoting prolonged imperial wars in the Middle East and South Asia and the rise of relatively independent national-popular and social-liberal regimes in Latin America has produced a broad spectrum of governments with greater autonomy of action.
Depending on the criteria we use, Latin American countries have moved beyond the orbit of US hegemony. For example, if we examine trade and investment, all the major countries, independent of ideology, have to a greater or lesser degree diversified their markets, trading and investment partners. If we examine political alignments, we find that all the major countries have joined UNASUR, a regional political organization that excludes the US.
If we examine policy divergences from the US on major regional issues, such as the US embargo on Cuba, its efforts to isolate Venezuela, its proposed military bases in Colombia, Washington remains in splendid isolation, to the point that the new Colombian President Santos, chooses to “postpone” implementation in favor of maximizing billion dollar trade and diplomatic ties with Venezuela.
If we focus on ideological divergence between the US and Latin America, particularly on global issues of free trade, military coups and intervention, we find a variety of positions. For example, Brazil opposes US sanctions against Iran and supports the latter’s program of uranium enrichment for peaceful uses. If we focus on joint US-Latin American military exercises and support for the Haitian occupation, most Latin countries – with the exception of Venezuela – participate.
If we examine the issue of bilateral trade and regional trade agreements, the US proposals on the latter were voted down, while several countries pursue (so far with little success) the former. On a rather fluid measure of ‘affinity for neo-liberal’ ideology, in which a mixture of elements of statism, deregulated markets and social welfare co-exist in varying degrees, we can draw up a tentative 4 fold division between “left”, “center left”, “center right” and “right”.
On the “left” we can include Venezuela and Bolivia which have expanded the public sector, economic regulations and social spending.
On the “center-left” we can include Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador which have increased social spending, public investment and increased employment, wages and reduced poverty, while vastly increasing private national and foreign investment in agro-mineral export sectors.
On the center-right we can include Uruguay, Chile and Paraguay, which embrace free market doctrines, with mild poverty programs and an open door to foreign investment.
On the right we find Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Honduras, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, all of whom line up with Washington on most ideological issues, even as they may be diversifying trade ties with Asia and Venezuela.
Internal shifts in class power within Latin America and the US have spurred divergences. Latin America has witnessed greater policy influence by a more ‘globalist elite’ less tied to the US, and an emerging ‘nationalist bourgeoisie’, and greater pressure from reformist working class and public employees trade union. In contrast within the US industrial capital has lost influence to the financial sector and exerts little influence in shaping economic policy toward Latin America, beyond rearguard ‘protectionist’ measures and state subsidies.
The US ruling political elite, highly militarized and Zionized, shows little capacity to engage in launching any major new initiatives toward recapturing markets in Latin America, preferring massive military expenditures on wars and paying tribute to their Israeli mentors.
As a result of major socio-political shifts within the US and Latin America and the singular importance of dynamic changes in the world market, there are four axis of power operating in the Western Hemisphere.
The emerging economic power of Brazil and the growth of intra-regional trade within and between Latin American economies.
The dynamic expansion of Asian trade, investment and markets leading to a long term, large scale shift toward greater economic diversification.
The substantial financial flows from the US to Latin America in the form of “hot money” with destabilizing effects, as well as continued substantial investment, trade and military ties.
The European Union, Russia and the Middle East as real and potential influences in particular settings, depending on the countries and time frame.
Of these 4 ‘vectors of power’, the most significant in recent times in reshaping Latin America’s relation to the US and more importantly in opening up prospects for 21st century capitalist growth, is the boom in commodity prices and demand – the dynamic of the world market. On the ‘negative side’, the prolonged US-EU economic crises has limited trade and investment growth and encouraged greater Latin American integration and expansion of regional markets.
A serious threat to Latin America’s growth, autonomy and stability is found in the US currency devaluation and subsequent overvaluing of Latin currencies (especially Brazil) imposing constraints on industrial exports and prejudicing the manufacturing sector. Equally important US and EU manipulation of interest rates – downward – has driven speculative capital toward higher interest rates in Latin America, creating destabilizing “bubbles” which can derail the economies.
US Empire Strikes Back: Protectionism, Devaluation and Unilateralism
By the middle of 2010 it was clear that the US economy was losing the competitive battle for markets around the world and was unable to reduce its trade and fiscal deficit within the existing global free trade regime. The Obama regime, led by Federal Reserve head Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Geithner unilaterally launched a thinly disguised trade war, effectively devaluing the dollar and lowering interest rates on bonds in order to increase exports and in effect ‘overvalue’ the currency of their competitors.
In other words the Obama regime resorted to a virile “bugger your neighbor policies”, which outraged world economic leaders, provoking Brazilian economic leaders to speak of a “currency war”. Contrary to Washington’s rhetoric of “greater co-operation”, the Obama regime was resorting to protectionist policies designed to alienate the leading economic powers in the region.
No longer in a position to impose non-reciprocal trade agreements to US advantage, Washington is engaged in currency manipulation in order to increase market shares at the expense of the highly competitive emerging economies of Latin America and Asia, as well as Germany.
Equally prejudicial to Latin America, the Federal Reserve’s lowering of interest rates leads to heavy borrowing in the US in order to speculate in high interest countries like Brazil. The consequences are disastrous, as a flood of “hot money”, speculative funds flow into Latin America, especially Brazil, overvaluing the currency and provoking a speculative bubble in bonds and real estate, while encouraging excess liquidity and public and private consumer debt.
Equally damaging the overvalued currencies price industrial and manufacturing out of world market competition, threatening to “de-industrialize” the economies and further their dependency on agro-mineral exports. US resort to unilateral protectionism tells us that the decline in US economic power has reached a point where it struggles to compete with Latin America rather than to reassert its former dominant position.
Protectionism is a defense mechanism of an empire in decline. While Washington can pretend otherwise, the weapons it chooses to arrest its loss of competitiveness in the short run, sets in motion a process of growing Latin America integration and increased trade with Asian economies, which will deepen Latin America’s economic independence from US control.
Latin America’s Center-Left and the US: Economic Ties Trump Geopolitical Strategies
The consolidation of Latin America’s center-left regimes has had major consequences for US policy, namely a reconciliation between arch-adversary Venezuela and Washington’s foremost ally, Colombia. The power of the market, in this case over $4 billion in Colombian exports to Venezuela, has trumped the dubious advantage (if any) of being Washington’s military launching pad in Latin America.
The election of Lula’s chosen candidate Dilma Rousseff as President of Brazil, the likely re-election of Chavez in Venezuela and Cristina Fernandez in Argentina, means that Washington has little leverage to reverse the dynamic diversification and greater autonomy of Latin America’s leading economies.
Moreover, as the political rapprochement between Venezuela and Colombia, including the mutual extradition of Colombian guerrillas and drug traffickers demonstrates, closer economic relations are accompanied by warmer political relations, including a tacit pact in which Colombia abjures from supporting the rightwing opposition in Venezuela, while the latter does likewise toward the Left opposition to Santos.
The larger meaning of this obscuring of ideological boundaries is that Latin America’s economic integration advances at the expense of US prompted ideological divisions. The net result will be the further exclusion and diminution of the US as the dominant actor in the Southern Hemisphere. At the same time it should be remembered that we are writing about greater capitalist integration, which means the continued marginalization of class based trade unions and social movements from strategic economic policy making positions.
In other words, the decline of US hegemony is not matched by an increase in working class or popular power. As both decline, the big winner is the rising business class, mostly, but not exclusively the agro-mineral, financial and manufacturing elites linked to the Latin American and Asian markets.
The prime destabilization danger now includes US currency wars, the growing potentially volatile extractive exports and the high levels of dependence on China’s (and Asian) appetite for raw materials.
Imperial Wars, Free Trade and the Lumpen Legacy of 1990’s
One of the paradoxes leading to the current eclipse of US hegemony in Latin America is found in the very military and economic successes in the 1990’s. A broad swathe of North and Central American and the Andean countries has witnessed the rise of what we call “lumpen political-economic power” which has devastated the formal economy and legitimate political authority.
The concept of “lumpen” is derived from ‘lupus’ or Latin for ‘wolf’ a metaphor for a ‘predatory’ actor, or in our context, the rise of a political and economic class which preys upon the public and private resources and institutions of an economy and society. The lumpen power elites are based on the creation of a dual system of legitimate and illegitimate political authority backed by the instruments of coercion and violence.
The emergence and formation of a powerful lumpen class of predatory capitalists and their accompanying military entourage is what we refer to in writing of the “process of lumpenization”. Today “lumpenization” no longer merely entails the overt violent organizers of illicit production, processing and distribution of drugs but an entire array of ‘offspring’ economic activity (kidnapping, immigrant smugglers, etc.) as well as large scale long term interaction with ‘legitimate’ economic institutions and sectors, including banking, real estate, agriculture, retail shopping centers, tourist complexes, to name a few.
Money laundering of illicit funds is an important growth sector, especially providing important flows of capital to and from major US and Latin American financial institutions. Today over three-quarters of Mexico’s territory and governance is contested by over 30,000 organized armed lumpen led by centralized political-economic formations. Central America is a major transit point, production center and terrain for bloody lumpen struggles for power and revenue collection.
Colombia is the major center for ‘raw material production’of drugs, marketing,and import and export center under the leadership of powerful lumpen capitalists with long standing ties to the governing political, military and economic elite. The lumpen economy has supply chains further south in Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay and distribution networks through Venezuela and Brazil as well as multi-billion dollar money laundering and financial links in the Caribbean, the US, Uruguay and Argentina.
Several important issues to keep in mind in discussing the lumpen political economy.These include: (1)the growth in size, scope and significance over the past 20 years (2) the increasing economic importance as the ‘legitimate’ economy goes into crises (both cause and consequence) (3) the increasing public cynicism as previously thought of “legitimate” economic and political actors (capitalists) engage in multi-billion dollar financial swindles and are “bailed” out by political leaders.
The ‘boom’ in lumpen political-economic growth can be dated to the end of the 1980’s and early 1990’s, coinciding with several major historical events in the region.
These include: the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement; the US-oligarchy defeat of the revolutionary movements in Central America and the demobilization but not disarmament of the paramilitary and armed militia; the total militarization and paramilitarization of Colombia especially with the advent of Plan Colombia (2001) and the end of peace negotiations; the deregulation of the US financial system in the mid 1990’s and the growth of a financial bubble economy.
What is striking about all the countries and regions experiencing ‘deep lumpenization’, is the profound disarticulation of their economies and smashing of their social fabric due to free trade agreements with the US (Mexico and Central America) and the large scale US military intervention during their civil wars (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia).
The US politico-military intervention left millions without work and worse, destroyed the possibility of reformist or revolutionary political alliances coming to power and carrying out meaningful structural changes.
The restoration of US backed neo-liberal-militarist collaborator regimes left the young unemployed peasants and workers with three choices: (1)submit to degradation and poverty (2) emigrate to North America or Europe (3) join one or another of the narco-trafficking organizations, as a risky but lucrative route out of poverty.
The timing of the rise and dynamic growth of lumpen power coincides with the imposition of US free trade and political victories in the aforementioned regions. From the early 1990’s forward lumpen power spreads across the region fueled by NAFTA decimating the Mexican small producers and the US imposed Central American “peace accords” which effectively destroyed the chances of socio-economic change and dismantled but did not disarm the militias and paramilitary gunmen.
Case Studies of Lumpen Dual Power: Mexico
Mexico, unlike the other major economies of Latin America did not experience any popular upheavals or center-left electoral outcomes during the late 1990’s or early 2000. Unlike Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Ecuador, in which new center-left regimes came to power imposing regulatory controls on financial speculation, Mexico witnessed electoral fraud and signed off on NAFTA, deepening its ties to Wall Street. As a result it experienced a series of financial shocks, undermining its capacity to launch a more diversified trading and investment model.
Unlike Argentina which launched state directed employment generating investment policies, Mexico, under US tutelage, relied on emigration and overseas remittances to compensate for the loss of millions of jobs in agriculture , small and medium manufacturing activity and retail sales.
While popular uprisings and mobilization in Latin America led to the rise of center-left regimes capable of securing greater independence in economic policy from the US and the IMF, the Mexican elite literally stole elections in 1988 and 2006, blocking the possibility of an alternative model. It successfully repressed alternative peasant movements in Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero unlike the successes in Bolivia and Ecuador.
While the center-left regimes captured the economic surplus from the agro-mineral sectors and increased public and private investment in production and social spending, Mexico witnessed massive illegal and legal outflows of investments into speculative ventures in the US: an outflow of over $55 billion between 2006-2010.
Regional migration within Latin America fueled by high growth, led to rising income; overseas immigration depleted Mexico of skilled and unskilled labor; in some cases ‘return migration’ from the US of deported gang members, with arms and drug networks fueled the growth of lumpen power . With the severe recession, US immigration policy led to the closing of the border, the massive deportation of Mexican immigrants and the decline of the major source of foreign earnings: remittances.
Pervasive and deep corruption throughout the cupula of the Mexican political and economic system, combined with the decline of the legitimate economy, the absence of channels for popular redress and Washington’s insistence that militarization and not social investments was the solution to rising crime, led to the huge influx of young recruits to the growing network of lumpen-capitalist directed narco enterprises.
With almost all US and Mexican financial institutions and arms vendors as willing partners and an unlimited pool of young recruits with a ‘lean and hungry look’, Mexico evolved into a fiercely contested terrain between a half dozen rival lumpen organizations,and the Mexican military, with nearly 30,000 deaths between 2006-2010.
Lumpenization: Central America
Drug gangs dominate the streets of the major cities and countryside of all the countries which were militarized during the US backed counter-revolutionary wars between the 1960’s to early 1990’s. US proxy military dictators and their civilian clients, in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras decimated civil society and particularly the mass popular organizations.
In El Salvador over 75,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands were uprooted, driven across borders or into urban shanty towns.
In Guatemala over 200,000 mostly Mayan Indians were murdered by the US trained “special forces” and over 450 villages were obliterated in the course of a scorched earth policy.
In Nicaragua, the Somoza dictatorship and the subsequent US financed and trained counter-revolutionary (“contra”) mercenary army killed and maimed close to 100,000 people and devastated the economy.
In Honduras, the US embassy promoted and financed in-country and cross-border counter-insurgency operations which killed, uprooted and forced thousands of Honduran peasants into exile.
Highly militarized Central American societies, in which US funded and armed death squads murdered with impunity, in which the economy of small producers was shattered and ‘normal’ market activity was subject to military assaults, led to the growth of illegal crops, drug and people smuggling. With the so-called “peace agreements”, the leaders of the insurgents became “institutionalized”in elite electoral politics,while large numbers of unemployed ex-guerrillas and demobilized death squad militia members found no place in the status quo.
The neo-liberal order imposed by the US client rulers with its free market ideology built “fortress neighborhoods”, hired an army of private “security” guards, while the productive bases of small scale agriculture was destroyed. Millions of Central Americans faced the familiar “routes out of poverty”: outmigration, forming or joining criminal gangs, or attempting to find an economic niche in an unpromising environment.
Outmigration for semi-educated former members of armed bands led to their early entrée into armed groups, deportation back to Central America, swelling the ranks of narco traffickers in their “home country”. Highly repressive immigration policies implemented in the new millennium closed the escape valve for most Central Americans fleeing violence and poverty.
Former guerrilla fighters and their families, abandoned by their former leaders embedded in electoral parties, turned their military experience toward carving a new living, as security guards for the rich, or as armed traffickers competing for ‘market shares’ with and against the discharged deathsquad militia members.
Between 2000-2010, the annual number of homicides exceeded the number of deaths suffered during the worst period of the civil wars of the 1980s. US imposed peace agreements and the neo-liberal order which resulted, led to the total lumpenization of the economy and polity throughout the region, the practice of electoral politics and even the election of “center-left” politicos in El Salvador and Nicaragua notwithstanding.
Lumpenization was a direct consequence of the ‘scorched earth’ and ‘mass uprooting’ counter-insurgency policies which were central to US re-establishing dominance in the region. Economic and personal insecurity and social misery were the price paid by imperial Washington to prevent a popular revolution.
Case Study: Colombia
The ties between the world centers of finance and the most degenerate and blood curdling ruler in the Western Hemisphere were most evident in the slavishly laudatory puff-pieces published in the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal in praise of President Alvaro Uribe, while over 3 million Colombians were driven off their lands, several thousands were murdered, over a thousand trade unionists, journalists and human rights activists were killed.
Two thirds of his Congressional backers were financed by narco-traffickers. Incarcerated deathsquad leaders identified top military officials as their primary supporters. All of Colombia’s Presidents collaborated closely with US military missions and all were financed and associated with the multi-billion dollar drug cartels, even as the Pentagon claimed to be engaged in a “war against drug trafficking”.
Landlords and their financial and real estate backers organized private militias, which terrorized, uprooted and killed hundreds of thousands of peasants, others fled to the urban slums, or across the border to neighboring countries. Others joined the guerrillas, and still others were recruited by the death squads and military.
With the advance of the guerrilla armies and then President Pastrana’s opening to peace negotiations, President Clinton launched a $5 billion dollar military scheme, “Plan Colombia” to quadruple Colombia’s air and ground forces and deathsquads.
With Washington’s backing, Alvaro Uribe, a notorious narco-deathsquad politico, so identified by US officials, took power and launched a massive scorched earth policy, murdering and displacing millions of peasants and urban slum dwellers in an effort to undermine the vast network of community organizations sympathetic to the agrarian reform, public investment and anti-military program of the guerrilla movements.
Mass terror and population flight emptied whole swathes of the countryside; livelihoods were destroyed and landlords in alliance with drug cartel bosses and Generals seized millions of acres of land. For the financial and respectable mass media, the massification of terror mattered not: the insurgents were ‘contained’, driven back, put on the defensive. They trumpeted the killing of key guerrilla leaders: foreign corporate property was secure.
Rule by Uribe, the military and the narco-death squads secured US power and influence and created an ideal “jumping off” location for destabilizing the democratically elected Venezuelan President Chavez. The latter was especially important by the mid 2000’s when Washington’s internal assets attempted coup and lockout were resoundingly defeated in 2002-03.
Having gained strategic territorial advantage over the guerrillas, Washington in collaboration with Uribe moved to shift the balance of power between the narco-deathsquads and the state: a disarmament and demobilization and amnesty was proclaimed. The result was detailed revelations of the deep structural links between narco-deathsquads and the Uribe police state regime, up to and including family members and cabinet ministers.
While ‘nominally’ the cartels are in retreat, in fact, they have become decentralized .Equally important top politicos and military officials continue to collaborate in the production, processing and shipping of billion dollar cocaine exports … with major US banks laundering illicit funds.
Rule of Lumpen-Capitalism in the Imperial System
Drug trafficking has deep roots in the economies of North and South America and has profound ramifications throughout their societies. One cannot understand the tremendous growth of US banking and financial centers if not for the $25 to $50 billion dollar yearly income and transfers from laundering drug funds and double that amount from illegal money transfers by business and political leaders directly and indirectly benefiting from the drug trade.
Lumpen capitalists, their collaborators, facilitators paramilitary mercenaries and military partners play a major political role in sustaining the imperial system. Washington’s major influence and principle area of dominance resides in those countries where lumpen power and deathsquad operations are most prevalent, namely Central America, Colombia and Mexico.
Both phenomena are derived from US designed ‘scorched earth’ counter-insurgency strategies that prevented alterations, modifications or reforms of the neo-liberal order and blocked the successful emergence of social movements and center-left regimes as took place in most of Latin America.
The contemporary imperial system relies on lumpen capitalists, their economic networks and military formations in practically every major area of conflict even as these collaborators are constant areas of friction.
As in Afghanistan and Iraq today and in Central America in the recent past and in Latin America under the military dictatorships, the US relies on drug traffickers, military gangsters engaged in extortion, kidnapping, property seizures and the pillage of public property and treasury to destroy popular movements, to divide and conquer communities and above all to terrorize the general public and civil society.
The singular growth of the financial sector especially in the US is in part the result of its being the massive recipient of large scale sustained flows of ‘plunder capital’ by lumpen rulers and their economic partners via ‘political crony’ privatizations, foreign loans which never entered the local economy and other such forms of pillage characteristic of ‘predator’ classes.
The deep structural affinities between Wall Street speculators and Latin lumpen-capitalists provided the backdrop for the ascendancy of a new class of lumpen financiers in the imperial financial centers: bogus bonds, mortgage swindles, falsified assessments by stock ratings agencies, trillion dollar raids on state treasuries define the heart and soul of contemporary imperialism.
If it is true that the promotion and financing of lumpen warlord capitalists was an essential defense mechanism at the periphery of the empire to contain popular insurgencies, it is also true that the growth of lumpen capitalism severely weakened the very core of the imperial economy, namely its productive and export sectors leading to uncontrollable deficits, out of control speculative bubbles and massive and sustained reductions of living standards and incomes.
Lumpen classes were both the agencies for consolidating the empire and its undoing: tactical gains at the periphery led to strategic losses in the imperial centers. Imperial policymakers resort to terrorist formations resulted from their incapacity to resolve internal contradictions within a legal, electoral framework.
The high domestic political cost of long term warfare led inevitably to the recruitment of mercenary lumpen armies who extracted an economic tribute for questionable loyalty. Lacking any popular constituency, mercenary armies rely on terror to secure circumstantial submission. Having secured control, local warlords preside over the rapid and massive growth of drugs and other lumpen economic practices.
The alliance of empire and lumpen capitalists against modern secular and traditional insurgencies, brings together high technology weaponry and primitive clan based religious-ethnic racists in Iraq and Afghanistan and deracinated psychopaths in the case of Colombia, Mexico and Central America.
For Washington military and political supremacy and territorial conquests take priority over economic gain. In the case of Colombia the scorched earth policy undermined production and lucrative trade with Venezuela. Imperial ascendancy had similar consequences in Asia, the Middle East and Central America.
When Lumpen Power becomes a Problem for the Imperial State
Lumpen capitalism develops a dynamic of its own, independent of its role as an imperial instrument for destroying popular insurgency. It challenges imperial collaborator regimes. It displaces, threatens, or cajoles foreign and domestic capitalists. In the extreme, it establishes a private army, seizes territorial control, recruits and trains networks of intelligence agents within the armed forces and police, undermining imperial influence.
In a word lumpen organized military capitalism threatens the security of imperial hegemony: newly emerging predators threaten the established collaborators. The imperial attempts to use and dispose of lumpen counterinsurgency forces has failed; the demobilized paras become the professional gunmen of a “third force” – neither imperial nor insurgent.
The decimation of the reformist center-left option, which took hold in Latin America, precludes a socio-economic alternative capable of integrating the young combative unemployed, stimulating the productive economy, diversifying markets and escaping the pitfalls of a US centered neo-liberal order.
The divergence of priorities and strategies between Latin America’s center-left and Washington has as much to do with economic and class interests as it has with ideological agendas. For the US security means defeating the rising power of lumpen military economic formations in their remaining ‘power bases’. For Latin America, security concerns are secondary to diversifying and boosting market shares within Latin America and overseas.
Lumpen power is currently under the political control of domestic rulers in Latin America; it is out of control in US clients. The US solution is military; the Latin approach is greater growth; social expenditures and police repression especially in Brazil. The Latin solution has greater attraction, evident in Colombia’s break with the US military base and encirclement strategy toward Venezuela. Colombia’s new President opted for $8 billion dollar trade deals with Venezuela’s Chavez over and against costly million dollar military base agreements with the US.
Clearly the US economic decline in Latin America as a direct result of its reliance on military and lumpen power, is in full force. The driving force of accelerated decline is not popular insurgency but the attraction and lucrative opportunities of the economic marketplace within Latin America and beyond for the local ruling classes. Insofar as militarism defines the policies and strategies of the US Empire there is no remedy for the challenges of lumpen power in its ‘backyard’. And Washington has nothing on offer to recapture a dominant presence in Latin America.
The world market is defeating the empire. Latin America’s twenty-first century capitalists are leading the way to further decline in imperial power.
As you can see, the overwhelming majority of US voters are White. It is US White voters and only US White voters who have sent America down the conservative and reactionary sewer pipe in the last 30 years. An operation that is yet ongoing, and that seems to be gaining quite a bit of steam. In the 2006 election, it was even worse. 79% of the voters were White.
The voter pool is also overwhelmingly White. So the argument that Blacks and Hispanics don’t turn out to vote is washed up. Even if they all turned out to vote, it wouldn’t matter much. It would only shift the electorate maybe -3% away from the reactionary Whites.
As long as America is overwhelmingly White, it will be a terrifyingly reactionary and backwards place, the laughingstock of the Western World. There is nothing inherently reactionary about White people. In Europe, they are reliably socialist. Someone show me a reactionary and non-socialist country in Europe please? In New Zealand and Australia, Whites are quite socialist, whatever their limitations in recent days with the horror specter of Mr. Howard.
In Latin America, it is true, Whites are reactionary, extremely so. Even in Uruguay and Argentina, they are reactionary. But these countries also have a revolutionary White Left that in the past has given the White elites the bullets and bombs they so richly deserve.
Argentina today, though a reactionary and Third World mess like the rest of the continent, at least has a Leftist President. A real Leftist, not an Obama rightwinger. The Argentine elite is alarmed about the Communist takeover of Argentina, Commies being coded as “fascists,” and are openly calling for the return of the fascist dictatorship. Fascist Argentines bashing Left opponents as fascists while calling for the return of Argentine fascism. Typical fascist obfuscation and mind-warping.
They claim that Kirchner had Commie “brownshirts” in the streets who have taken over entire zones. The Commie Kirchner is supposedly trying to “censor the media” by breaking up the reactionary media monopolies that own nearly the entire media of the land. But why should the Right own 90% of the media? By what rights? Capitalist rights? Hell with that.
Media should be delineated democratically according to predilection. If 30% of the population is Left, then 30% of the media should be Left. If that can’t be done, part of the Right media should be confiscated, at gunpoint if possible, and then turned over to folks representing 30% of the population. It’s only right and proper.
Uruguay elected a former Left wing guerrilla, but I’m not sure how much will change, as he is dedicated to following the neoliberal suicide model. Is Uruguay a more socialist state than the USA? An interesting question.
Costa Rica is a pretty socialist place, which is interesting since anti-Communist fools and liars always uphold Costa Rica on their social figures, comparing it to Cuba on the grounds that Cuba is not so hot. What these congenital liars don’t realize (Or maybe they do!) is that all of Costa Rica’s great figures are attributable to Costa Rican social democracy.
Those are the countries in which Whites are a majority.
In the rest of Latin America, Whites are a minority, and they are frighteningly conservative to reactionary. They have generally stayed in power through repression, fraud, imprisoning, assaulting, kidnapping, torturing and murdering the opposition. White elites have done this in most countries in the region: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico.
The implication is that Whites will only support any kind of socialism where they are a good, solid majority. They are only 65% of the US now, so this may be why they are headed this way.
The entire rightwing movement in the US for the last 30 years has been coming from Whites. Has it been coming from Hispanics? Of course not. Has it been coming from Blacks? Please. Has it been coming from Jews? Pull the other one. Has it been coming from Asians? Forget it.
So when you read that “the voters” are furious with Obama and support all sorts of reactionary monstrosities in opposition to him, it’s US Whites, and only US Whites, who are leading this Tea Party opposition wave to Obama. And much of it is undoubtedly racist, no matter how much they scream that it’s not.
US Whites, as a % of the population, are declining. Every 2-3 years, they decline another 1%. That’s a pretty shocking decline. Progressives ought to celebrate White decline, in spite of all the negative consequences that go along with it. If Whites were progressive people, we could reliably oppose White decline. But they aren’t, and they will never be.
The other day, my mother (smartest women on Earth) told me that in the lifetime of my brother and I, we will live to see the US become a more progressive country. If all goes according to plan, I will take off around 2035 or so. The reason for this, she said, is the decline of Whites.
White nationalists have told me that a declining White America will lead to a more progressive place. Their reasoning for this is curious, and doesn’t make much sense. One guy told me that as Whites decline further and further, they will get more and more radical. As they dip below 40%, they will take up arms against any progressive regime seen as non-White. What he’s saying is that Whites will grow more violent and militant as they decline. I find this dubious. He also said that a majority non-White American government would be too incompetent to install a reliable and functioning sort of socialism. I find that dubious as well.
Will Hispanics, Blacks, Jews and Asians continue to be reliably progressive into the future? It’s an interesting question. Majority-Indian, mulatto and mestizo places like Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Panama are quite backwards and rightwing. A White minority in all places continues to rule to the detriment of everyone else. Usually they enforce their rule at gunpoint and often with deadly force. But they get the votes of mestizos, Indians and mulattos to do this.
In the Caribbean, Black and mulatto elites have treated their own people horribly. This is particularly the case in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Most of the Black Caribbean is not very socialist, with the exception of Cuba. But Dominica is an equitable country, and Trinidad and Tobago has a decent amount of socialism. Socialism was arrested in Jamaica with the US assault on Manley, a White socialist.
The record in Black Africa is not good in terms of socialism. North African Arab states are much more socialist than Black Africa. True, there is not much to divide in the first place, but still. Even Black African countries that have fallen into some money are still horribly rightwing. Gabon, a wealthy African country, has nightmarish levels of poverty, malnutrition, maternal mortality, child and infant mortality. Apparently, as has always been the case in Africa, a tiny Black elite has grabbed control over the economy for themselves and possibly their tribe and is locking out everyone else.
Given that mestizos, mulattos and Blacks have a poor record of setting up socialist systems in their own lands, one wonders just how socialist they will be here in the US as they grow in numbers. So far, they have been realiably socialist, but what will the future bring.
The model in mulatto, mestizo and Black countries is typically astounding gaps between the rich and the poor, horrifying levels of poverty, and often an enraged, militant and sometimes armed but cash-starved Left minority battling the elite for power. In these countries, poverty is a big deal, the opposite of the US. So there, all parties, from Right to Left, run on reducing poverty and fighting for the poor, with a few overtly fascist exceptions in Guatemala, El Salvador, (Honduras?) and Colombia and a strange overtly rightwing government in Chile, increasingly a US model state in Latin America.
The Right has the entire media spectrum. In Honduras, a 99% mestizo country, a reactionary and murderous elite owns 99+% of the media. This is typical across the region. The assumption is that the non-White masses are simply badly brainwashed.
The ignorant mestizo, mulatto and Black electorate tends to vote for parties that often have progressive sounding names. In many cases, these parties are said to be overtly socialist parties. This is especially the case in the Caribbean, where almost every party has a socialist-sounding name. So down there, the Right calls themselves socialists, progressives and populists fighting for the poor while they implement reaction.
A similar dynamic is seen in Africa, where most parties have socialist-sounding names.
In other words, the US model of reactionary parties having open reactionary images, programs and politics is nonexistent in most of Latin America and Africa. No one would vote for it. In fact, it’s anathema in most of the world! It’s nearly nonexistent also in Arabia, South Asia, Europe, SE Asia and NE Asia. Turkey does have an overtly rightwing government.
Other than Turkey, show me one overtly reactionary party along the lines of the US Republican Party in power in any of these places.
One wonders if the model of the US reactionaries will change in the future with White decline. Will we see the rise of a backwards mestizo, mulatto or Black elite looking for votes possibly on an ethnic basis. Will we see the rise of fake populism and fake socialism, where the Right will operate rightwing parties with socialist and progressive sounding names campaigning on poverty reduction and helping the have-nots, to get the non-White vote? Will the Republican Party model of an openly and brazenly reactionary party become nonviable as non-Whites refuse to support it, according the model in the rest of the world?
I should point out that death squads are back in El Salvador. They are not killing many, but they are killing a few.
And they are back in a big way in Honduras ever since the US-sponsored and promoted coup that removed the democratically elected President for the crime of raising the minimum wage. Death squads are killing people just about every day in Honduras lately. I wonder how much longer this can last before the Left takes up guns again.
And Haiti has always been run by death squads. After the US-sponsored coup which removed President Aristide (US mercenaries and Marines appeared at his mansion and ordered him to leave the country), death squads have rampaged through Haiti. At least 3,000 people have been killed. Those targeted were the supporters of Aristide. The US supports the death squads in Haiti and Honduras to the hilt, and probably supports them in Guatemala and El Salvador too (they always did in the past).
On this question, Obama is no socialist or Communist. He’s just another far rightwing US imperialist running interference for the reactionary cliques down South. There’s barely any light between Obama and Bush on Latin American policy. Democrats or Republicans, it’s always the Monroe Doctrine down there.
Anti-Communists like to say that no one ever flees to a Communist regime, but the eastern part of Cuba is full of Haitians and Jamaicans who have fled their countries. Cuba took them in, and they like it a Hell of a lot better in Cuba. Everything is relative, you know.
This is an interesting map, though on first thought it seems unnecessary.
First of all, it makes quite clear how Brazil stands out as the Portuguese speaking state in Latin America. One could argue that this makes them odd man out, but if we look in terms of population, Latin America has a population of 570 million. 192 million of those are Brazilians. So 34%, or fully 1/3, of Latin Americans speak Portuguese. So what at first looks like Brazil’s linguistic isolation may not be so isolating as it appears.
All the Spanish-speaking countries can communicate well with each other, and there is a “neutral Spanish” that any educated person can use when conversing with any other educated person from Hispanophone Latin America. As long as you are doing this, you will both be understood.
Getting down to regional dialects, things do get complicated. I understand that Chilean soap operas, spoken in the rich dialect of the Chilean street, are dubbed in the rest of South America because other South Americans can’t understand Chilean street Spanish. But they are probably well understood in Argentina. There does seem to be a “Southern Cone Street Spanish” that is harder to pick up as the latitudes move northward.
Bolivian Spanish sounds strange, but it’s probably intelligible in South America. It heavily inflected with Indian languages.
There is a general Caribbean Spanish that can be hard to understand.
The language of the Colombian Caribbean coast can be hard for even other Colombians to understand.
Dominican Spanish is notorious for being hard to understand. First of all, it seems to be based on Canarian Spanish of the Canary Islands, which is a very strange form of Spanish. Into this base went a ton of African words, much more than in the rest of Latin America. Further, it is spoken very fast. Dominican Spanish is pretty baffling to other Spanish speakers, at least for a while. Nevertheless, there is a more neutral form of Dominican Spanish that is widely intelligible to other Hispanophones.
On the streets of Mexico City, a very hardcore slang has emerged, sort of a Mexico City Street Spanish, that is pretty hard to figure out outside of Mexico.
Latin America is interesting in that the rest of the world seems to be learning “English as the universal language,” while Latin America is lagging behind.
I know quite a few educated Latin Americans who barely speak a lick of English. Latin Americans live not so much in the society of the Western Hemisphere, but more particularly in the society of Latin America. And Latin America is extremely Hispanophone. Everywhere you go, most everyone speaks Spanish. Spanish is a very highly developed modern language with words for everything. Why bother to learn English? What for? To talk to gringos?
However, at advanced university levels, such as Master’s Degree and particularly doctorate level, increasingly there are requirements to learn English.
One would think that Mexicans at least would be required to take some English in school, right? Forget it. First of all, Mexican schools are crap, and they are broke. The elite and upper middle class steal all the money in the country, and the Libertarian/Republican dream minimal state/free market economy hosts horribly defunded and decrepit schools. It’s not uncommon to meet 20 year old Mexicans who dropped out in the 2nd grade.
English is typically not offered in Mexican public schools. It’s only offered in private schools, which is of course where the moneyed class above sends their kids, which is why they won’t pay for public schools (They don’t use ’em), which is why the public schools are crap. I’m sure many more non-Hispanic Americans in the US are taking Spanish than Latin Americans are studying English.
Hispanophones also often do not bother to learn Portuguese. Some of the educated ones claim they can understand it without studying it, but I doubt it.
A lot of Brazilians say they can understand Spanish pretty well (I think they study Spanish more than Hispanophone Latins study Portuguese), but when you start talking to them in Spanish (which I do on a regular basis) it doesn’t seem to work very well. Want to talk to a Brazilian? Learn Portuguese!
As we can see on the map, both French Guyana and Haiti speak French.
I was talking about Haiti with my liberal Democrat Mom once. The general conversation was along the lines that Haiti was all screwed up. She said, “Well, they’re all Black, they’re dirt poor, and worst of all, they’re in the Western Hemisphere, but they all speak French!” Indeed. What do these funny Frencophones think they’re doing in our Anglophone, Hispanophone and Lusophone Hemisphere anyway?
Further, the language of Haiti is not really intelligible to French speakers. It makes about as much sense as hardcore Jamaican English does to us. However, the Haitian elite often speaks good French. They also say they understand Spanish, but I’ve tried to talk to them in Spanish, and it didn’t go anywhere. Often they don’t understand much English either. Want to talk a member of the Haitian upper class? Learn French!
So the Haitians are rather isolated in this Hemisphere, but I’m not sure if your average dirt poor Haitian cares. I suppose they could always talk to the Quebecois, but no one understands Quebecois either.
French Guyana is also a French speaking country. It’s still a colony, and it has a very nice standard of living. Nowadays, colonies don’t even want to go free anymore, as it means a standard of living crash.
As you can see, British Honduras speaks English. There are some other English speaking islands in the Caribbean and some French speaking islands too, but none are marked on the map.
Dutch has pretty much died out in the Western Hemisphere, but it used to be spoken widely in Suriname and the Dutch Caribbean.
The main language of Guyana is probably some English creole, but it’s not shown on the map.
Indian languages are still very widely spoken in Peru (Quechua), Bolivia (Aymara) and Paraguay (Guarani).
Updated June 25, 2014. This article is 64 pages long, so be warned.
I’ve been reading a lot about this issue because I find it fascinating. Of course the media is going to feed you a lot of crap, nonsense and lies about this situation, so where do we go to really learn about it? Maybe I should ask some Latin Americans? That isn’t going to work. Most of the Latin Americans I have met are from the middle and upper classes, and almost all of them insist that there is no racism in their particular country. That sounds dubious! So, where shall we go to get the straight-up ugly truth?
No better place than Stormfront, the home of Nazi White nationalist maniacs! True, they are not very nice people, but I figured that if there were any Latin Americans on there, they would definitely tell it like it is.
Indeed there is a Latin American forum on Stormfront, and it is populated by lots of Latin American Whites. I learned a lot there, reading probably over 1,200 pages over a few days, but I’m not going to link to any of the comments because why link to Stormfront?
The truth will be very depressing to White nationalists, and it surely destroys some of their cherished myths. One of them is that racial separatism is possible. Apparently it is not.
Another is that as a White population shrinks, separatism becomes more of an urgent reality for a larger number of Whites. The truth, as we see in Latin America, is quite the opposite. As the White population shrinks down below 50%, unbelievably, White ethnocentrism declines accordingly, and the impulse to separate becomes less and less.
First of all, many or probably most White nationalist types in the US are Nordicist idiots who think that Latin American Whites are not “pure Whites.” Regardless of the truth of this, Latin American Whites have a more lax view of Whiteness. To them, if you have White ancestry, and if you look White and you act White, you are White. This strikes me as very reasonable.
During colonial times, children of a criollo (pure Spaniard, or White) and a castizo (1/4 Indian, 3/4 White) was considered to be criollo, or White. This person would have been 12% Indian and would probably have a strong White phenotype. It is likely that this standard is still employed in Latin America today.
The Latin American system classes all European Meds as White: Portuguese, Spaniards, Italians, Romanians, Greeks and Yugoslavs. Also, White Arabs, especially Lebanese and Syrian Christians, are also considered White. Latin American Whites also consider Armenians and Georgians to be White.
How many Whites are there in Latin America? That’s a very interesting question. Many figures are tossed about. I figure the best figure is around 170 million+ Whites in Latin America.
What was interesting on the forum is the way that they described Latin American Whites. According to them, the average White down there is very, very racist in US terms.
In Argentina, the general belief is that they are White and not a part of the rest of Latin America as a result, and there is open contempt, at least in private, for mestizos and mulattos*, not to mention Indians. The general belief, contrary to the US, is that dark = ugly. Indians are ugly, Whites are beautiful.
Latin American Whites do not necessarily despise mestizos, though some certainly do, and this feeling is more pronounced in some countries than in others. In many cases, Whites do not dislike mestizos of the same social class. However, the contempt for Indians is a hallmark of the mindset of Latin American Whites pretty much across the board.
In the US, the feeling is quite the opposite. Indians are not regarded as ugly, and Indian women have long been fetishized by White men as sex objects. Indian men are not seen as ugly either. We pretty much like Indians here in the US.
Similarly, Whiteness is highly prized all over Latin America in both Whites and non-Whites, whereas in the US, many Hispanics, typically Chicanos, get angry if you suggest that they are White or part-White. This is seen as an insult to them.
In Latin America, Indians are widely despised by Whites, there is no way of getting around that obvious fact, and no amount of denial and lying will make it go away.
Let us look at Mexico. It is a common Mexican lie that there is no racism in Mexico. This lie is usually perpetrated by mestizos and Whites. I doubt many Indians would tell you that.
Among the Mexican upper class, with the males at least, there is once again a belief that Indian women are ugly.
Nevertheless, Mexican politics means that most Mexican Whites say they are mestizos, deny their Whiteness, and hate the US. These are traditions of Mexican society.
Mexico decided a while back to deal with the race issue by formulating a lie that said that every Mexican was a mestizo, and that’s that. That lie is called mestizaje, and it is said to be the essence of Mexicanness.
There is another lie about Mexican society, this one about Blacks. A friend went on a tour of Mexico and was informed that the large Black population had simply disappeared.
The truth is that they were “bred out.” They were bred into the population so heavily that the average mestizo now is 4% Black, and that percentage is fairly uniform across the mestizo population. There are few Blacks remaining in Mexico, but there are some down by Veracruz.
Denial of Whiteness goes along with mestizaje .
Hatred of the US (the gringos), is part of Mexican culture for a long time now.
These same Mexicans, who deny their Whiteness, insist they are mestizos and hate the gringos, the men anyway will have nothing to do with a woman that is pure Indian or maybe mostly Indian. On the other hand, they date, sleep with and gladly breed with mestizos, especially the lighter ones. They will often deny this by saying that the mestiza is White like they are, or not like the household help, or whatever.
These same Mexican Whites are also very happy to have mestizos and Indians moving into the Whiter parts of Mexico, as this means more low wage labor and more customers to buy their stuff. White consciousness in Mexico is essentially about zero. The same White Mexicans who will insist that they are mestizos and not White will get angry if you call them indio. Indio is a big insult to any White Mexican.
Nevertheless, there is little overt racism in Mexico between mestizos and Whites, perhaps due to the homogenizing effect of mestizaje. However, there is some discrimination in employment to the extent that lighter skin makes it easier to get a good job than darker skin.
Light skin, eyes and hair are valued traits, but they are not necessary to get along in society. However, there is considerable racism against Indians. In addition, most White and mestizo Mexicans have a deep and abiding hatred for Blacks, whom they call pinche mayates (fucking niggers).
In recent years, the number of White Mexicans marrying mestizos has been very high. In Mexico, mestizos often want to marry White according to the tradition of mejorando la raza, literally, “improving the race.” Mestizo men are said to have an extreme fetish for blonde White women.
It is true that if you watch Mexican TV, you might think Mexico is 90% White. However, this is mostly true for the largest two networks, and it is often not the case with local or regional networks, where you see many mestizos. Mexican mestizos have conflicted feelings towards White Mexicans, and some of them have extreme anti-Spanish and anti-European feelings. Typically, if they are males, they would also do anything to get their hands on a White woman.
The history of White Mexico is quite interesting. Forum posters say that Mexico was around 37% White as late as independence. That’s fascinating.
What’s happened since then is more and more breeding with mestizos and possibly even Indians, such that the percentage of White Mexicans is now about 8% and declining all the time. That percentage is controversial. Some Mexicans say the true number is as low as 5%. 61% of the population are mestizos of all sorts of varieties, and 30% are either Indian or mostly Indian.
There are up to 10 million Whites in Mexico. Areas of Mexico that were 90% White in the past are now maybe 30-40% White.
Historically and to this day, most of the Whites lived in the northeast, but they are also scattered throughout the country. Nuevo León in the northeast used to be overwhelmingly White until a vast migration of Indians and mestizos from the South swamped it. Afterward, very heavy mixing occurred, and Nuevo León is no longer a White state. Most of the Whites in Nuevo León live in the large city of San Pedro.
But there are still small towns in the mountains of Nuevo León which are, bizarrely enough, all-White towns. Many people in these towns have blond hair and blue eyes.
The original plan for Nuevo León was to create a separate Spanish colony, separate from New Spain, but it never came to fruition. This state is prosperous and plays a very important role in the Mexican economy.
According to posters, along with the claim that Mexico was 40% White in colonial times is the notion it was a very nice country back then (assuming you were White of course) and that it has subsequently declined into what posters called a cesspool as it grew darker in the next nearly two centuries. Posters felt the situation was hopeless for Mexican Whites, and it was projected they would become extinct or nearly so with a century.
With Mexican-Americans, things are a bit different. I have seen very White Hispanics who act angry if you tell them they look White. Many of them do not even realize that Hispanics are mixed with White and Indian. The levels of White-hatred among US Hispanics seems to be quite high, probably as a result of US culture. Within the Chicano community, some Whiter Chicanos complain of a lot of mistreatment, often due to envy. Costa Rica is a very interesting case, and the % of Whites in Costa Rica is very much in dispute. Costa Rica initially experienced a huge massacre of Indians in the context of conquest and enslavement, and the White population remained small at maybe 20,000 until independence. Costa Rica was always one of the poorest, if not the poorest, of the Spanish colonies.
Nevertheless, this population had become much less White during colonization, since the Spaniards brought few women with them. Most male Indians were either killed or exported to Peru. Hence, the colonists bred with Indian women. This continued all through the 1500’s and 1600’s. Later on there was an input of Black slaves from Jamaica. By independence, these people were about 55% White.
The Central Valley region, where Whites initially settled, is still as White as Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil and Antioquia in Colombia, two heavily-White enclaves in Latin America. This region may be 90% White.
After independence, the government had a policy of importing White workers from Europe, and this continued until about 1950 or so. This resulted in mass breeding with the original Costa Ricans, hence the original group became lighter over time. This is why Costa Rica traditionally has been such a White place.
As late as 1960, Costa Rica was probably 90% White.
However, in recent years, a large influx of mestizo illegal immigrants from Nicaragua, Colombia and other places has come into the country. There are 4 million native Costa Ricans in the country, but there are also 1.5 million Nicaraguans and 1.3 million Colombians. 99% of the Nicaraguans are mestizos.
The Colombians are regarded as “the Jews of Costa Rica” in that, once they go into a business sector, they tend to quickly dominate it. Hence, Colombians are somewhat resented in Costa Rica. Downtown San Jose now looks like Mexico City. Crime has risen along with the mass illegal immigration.
In addition, on the Caribbean Coast, there are now many Jamaican Blacks, possibly also illegal immigrants. In coastal cities, people tend to be mixed-race. In the inland cities, most people are White. In recent decades, many mestizos have appeared among native Costa Ricans, as the Whites there are starting to breed in with mestizos. In some places, a majority of Whites are now married to mestizos.
Nevertheless, the upper class is still overwhelmingly White, as this photo set of Costa Rican Presidents shows. And Costa Rica is still a mostly-White country. The population is 73% white, 17% Mestizo, 4% mulatto, 3% Black, 1% Chinese and 1% Indian. Officially, 85% of the population identifies as White, but that includes a certain number of light mestizos. There are 3 million Whites in Costa Rica.
Costa Rican Whites are quite racist and openly dislike Indians and Blacks, in keeping with the Latin American standard. They have fewer problems with mestizos, unless the person is a heavily-Indian mestizo.
A sort of Latin American version of PC nonsense along the lines of Mexico’s mestizaje has recently become de rigeour in Costa Rica. The notion is, “We are all White.” In addition, the usual anti-White nonsense history familiar to any American is now taught at all high schools. Most Whites are drinking the Nonsense Koolaid, and White consciousness is now very low. Honduras has the tiniest White population in Latin America; only 1% of the population is White. There was long a tiny White population on the Cays Islands off the Honduran coast, descendants of English and Dutch immigrants. They always spoke British English. The Cays have been owned by Honduras since 1850, but this colony never married Blacks or mulattos out of tradition.
At some point, this group become seriously inbred, and many of them migrated to the US in order to spread out and ameliorate their genetic issues.
The situation of Cuban Whites is also very interesting. Cuba was an 74% White country at the time of the Revolution in 1957. The reason was similar to that of Costa Rica. Cuba was originally quite Black (they were all slaves) but there was huge immigration from Spain in the 1800’s, mostly from Galicia (northwest Spain). Quite a few also came from Catalonia.
Hence, at the time of the Revolution, 85% of Cuban Whites were Spanish, 10% French and the next largest group was Italians. The remainder included Scottish, Irish, English, Germans and Hungarians.
The rest included 12% Blacks and 14% mixed race. Although Havana has always been darker, the rest of the country was heavily White, and some parts still are. Whites tend to be concentrated in Western Cuba, the tobacco-growing region. Since tobacco did not use slave labor, there were fewer slaves in this region.
There was little breeding between Whites and Blacks because Cuba was a very racist society, something the anti-Castro Cubans deny. Part of the reason for this was high White race consciousness in Cuban Whites. Another aspect was that breeding with Blacks would be like breeding with your former slaves, as many White Cubans were slaveholders. This was seen as insulting and degrading to Whites.
After Castro, most of the Whites took off, and they keep on leaving. Cuba is now 37% White by government statistics. Cuba has 3.4 million Whites. Many of the remaining Whites are older. Further, the Revolution resulted in mass interbreeding between Whites and Blacks for some reason, such that there is now a huge mulatto population in Cuba.
Cuban Whites go back to Cuba now and say that their beautiful White homes are now inhabited by Blacks and mulattos, and this infuriates them. They insist that after Castro, they are going to go back and take over all their White property from the Blacks and mulattos. This is probably a fantasy.
As you can see, there is a heavy racist element in the whole anti-Castro movement.
Cuban-Americans were described as still very racist, and most want nothing to do with Blacks or mulattos at all. In South Florida, you will rarely if ever see a White Cuban-American woman with a Black man. It is just not done. Further, there is a lot of housing discrimination in Miami as racist Cuban Whites refuse to rent to mestizos or mulattos.
The situation in the Dominican Republic was described as dire. Posters said that maybe 16% of the population was White and it was declining all the time. The D.R. has 1.6 million Whites.
The DR has always been a much darker place than Cuba or Puerto Rico. Dominicans have long looked down on Haitians as Blacks, and most Dominicans will tell you they are mulattos no matter how much Black they have in them. In part, this is a way of distinguishing themselves from Haitians.
Soon after the Haitian Revolution in 1804, Haitians invaded the Dominican Republic. The Haitians quickly turned this into a nonstop rape-athon of the Dominican women. Anyone who was lighter-skinned such as Whites and mulattos was quickly killed, and the Dominican Blacks were enslaved by the Haitians. That is why to this day, Dominicans hate Haitians so much, over 200 years later.
Most remaining DR Whites are in the areas of Santo Domingo, the capital, and Cibao and Bani. These were tobacco-growing regions, and tobacco did not need huge armies of slaves to work on it. Hence, tobacco growers were often small landowners. The lack of slaves meant that there was much less interbreeding between Whites and Blacks.
The situation in Puerto Rico was very confusing, although it seemed as if maybe the population is 62% mulatto, 18% White, 18% Black and 2% Asian. Nevertheless, 80.5% of the population identifies as White, but most of those are probably mulattos or light mulattos. Forum posters said that Puerto Rico was once much Whiter, and indeed, there was a movement around 60 years ago among White Puerto Ricans for independence, and after independence, reunion with Spain as a colony.
Some White Puerto Ricans in the US are race-conscious. Even in the US, it is not common for a White Puerto Rican woman to date a Black man. However, in Puerto Rico, things are different. A number of non-Whites try to marry White in a mejorando la raza gambit. Kinky African hair is devalued as pelo malo or “bad hair.” Many Puerto Rican Whites are quite racist by US standards. Slurs and jokes about Blacks are commonplace.
There was racial apartheid in Puerto Rico until 1898. Until that time, Blacks were not allowed to own businesses or be doctors, lawyers or engineers. Up until the 1960’s, banks would not hire Blacks, and Blacks were not allowed into some clubs.
Since the 1960’s, salsa music has been promoted. Most Whites dislike this “African” music and want nothing to do with it, but it is extremely popular with Blacks and mulattos. Upper middle class areas are 95% White, but they are right next to lower class areas such as housing projects. 99% of the people in the projects are Blacks and mulattos. The projects are full of problems, and theft is rampant. Upscale White areas are often gated to keep out non-White criminals.
There is a serious illegal immigration problem consisting of Blacks and darker mulattos from the Dominican Republic.
White Puerto Ricans have a very dim view of the US Puerto Rican community, whom they generally describe as “trash.” They say most of them are Blacks and mulattos and act worse than the non-Whites on the island. White Puerto Ricans usually do not live in Puerto Rican enclaves in the US and instead tend to be spread out.
Unbelievably, there is even a tiny number of Whites in Haiti of all places. Haiti is 96% Black, with the rest being a tiny number of mulattos and some Whites. The White population is only .015%. Port Au Prince is about 2.5% White. A number of the Whites are Christian Arabs from Syria and Lebanon.
The original Whites were massacred in 1804 during a rebellion led by a Black named Desallines. Almost all 25,000 of the White slaveholders and their families were killed in the uprising, which ended slavery in Haiti once and for all.
Considering the Whites were slaveowners, as a revolutionary I support Desallines’ Rebellion, but they should not have killed minors or mentally disabled Whites. There was one case where they killed a screaming crazy White woman who was well-known to be mentally ill. Some of the Blacks wanted to save her, but the mob had their way.
The rebellion also ended colonialism in Haiti. With 25,000 Frenchmen dead, France said goodbye and good luck to the colony. France has been furious at Haiti ever since.
After the Whites were either killed or left in 1804, the place quickly fell apart, and the Blacks begged the Whites to return. Some Whites did return, but in 1805, a Black leader ordered all of the Whites to be tortured to death.
It’s hard to believe, but one of the big vote-getters in one of the recent fake elections in Haiti was a White man named Charles Baker (photo).
The rest of the Caribbean has very few Whites left, and those that remain, posters on the forum report, have very much of a siege mentality. Barbados (4% White) is a good example. The Whites here are English, Scottish and Irish for the most part and have a high level of White consciousness.
There is also a group of very light-skinned mulattos in the Caribbean – especially in the Grenadines and St. Kitts – who see themselves as White or near-White. They refuse to marry Blacks and will only marry “high yellows”, “redbones” or “Portagees.” I assume that those are words for very light-skinned mulattos. Some even have White features like green eyes.
In Barbados, the Grenadines and St. Kitts, there also remain small White communities who seldom intermarry. They only marry White out of tradition. Along with this is a refusal to date or even socialize with Blacks and mulattos. For this, they have long been accused of racism.
The Bahamas has a 7% White population, mostly in certain areas. White consciousness is very high here, the highest in the region. Officially, the number is 12%, but that number is too high and includes many light mulattos. St. Barts, unbelievably, is a majority-White island in the Caribbean – the only one. Most are descendants of French from Normandy and Brittany. However, it is now being flooded with Black immigrants from neighboring French islands who are looking for work. Bermuda is 34% White. Whites keep to themselves here and don’t socialize much with Blacks. White consciousness is very high here also, second to the Bahamas. The Whites are British. Martinique is 5% White, almost all from France (it is a French colony). Jamaica is only .01% White, and there is a large mulatto population. However, Kingston is about 4.5% White. The White community has been steadily declining over the years, and many White males are breeding with mulattas. The White community here is said to be barely holding on. The remaining young Whites often present a “wigger” appearance with long dreadlocks, smoke ganja and the same Jamaican creole as the Blacks. Curiously, the remaining White females almost always marry Whites.
The Cayman Islands still have quite a few Whites (10%), especially on the western half of Cayman Brac. Officially, Whites are 20%, but once again that includes many light mulattos. 80% of the population is mulatto.
All through the Caribbean, the White birth rate is low, about the same as in the US. The birth rate for the Blacks and mulattos is much higher. Although White communities are hanging on in the Caribbean, posters acknowledge that they are “culturally Africanized” to some degree due to living near Blacks for so many years. Colombia has a large White population estimated at around 22%, which means there are 10 million Whites in Colombia, as many as in Mexico. However, the Whites here typically have some Indian and Black blood, so it is more of a social race concept. Further, a Colombian White often has brothers or sisters that are quite a bit darker than he is, relics of a long history of interbreeding here. The rest of the population is 54% mestizo, 14% mulatto, 6% Black, 3% zambo (defined below) and 2% Indian.
Antioquia Province is one of the Whitest places in Latin America along with Southern Brazil and Costa Rica’s Central Valley. This region is 80% White, and White Antioquians are known as paisas. Antioquia is 1% Indian, and the rest are Blacks and mulattos. There was little interbreeding with the Indians since the Indians were so violent that they did not accept newcomers.
The capital of Antioquia is Medellin, and this is also a very White city, but recently many Blacks, mulattos and Indians have been moving to the city from other parts of Colombia, so it is not as White as it used to be.
Manizales is another majority-White city. The Whites are mostly Spaniards, but curiously, in Barranquilla and Santander, there are many Germans. Colombia received a very large input of Black slaves.
There is a lot of racism in employment here, and the dumb blonde gets the job over the competent Black with a degree. Everything here is all about appearances both genetic and personal – your height, weight, clothing – and above all else, social class. Other than that, some say that race relations are generally pretty good, keeping with the trend in the most heavily mixed Latin American countries such as Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil.
However, others say that racism is still a very serious problem in Colombia. 30 years ago, it was not uncommon to see signs in Colombia saying saying, “House For Rent. No Blacks.” To this day, it is very common for Afro-Colombians to be turned away from upscale establishments on account of their color.
Whites are about 20% of the population of Venezuela (5.2 million Whites), but they have very low levels of race consciousness. Most of the population at all levels does not bother much with race, as class is much more important than race in this country. It is quite common to see mulatto or mestizo parents having a kid who looks quite White. That is the degree of the historical racial interbreeding in this nation. Venezuela, like Mexico, is one of more racially egalitarian states in the region.
There is a vast population of Blacks, mulattos and zambos. (Zambos are mixed Black-Indians) in the country, especially in certain areas. Venezuela also received a large number of Black slaves.
Ecuador is a profoundly racist society, as you often see in South American countries where the White % gets low. Although official figures put the White population at 10.4%, the actual number is around 5%. There are 650,000 Whites in Ecuador. They are about as racist as Peruvian Whites. They have utter contempt for Indians and Blacks, and they have nothing to do with other non-Whites.
Similar to how it was in the Jim Crow South, non-Whites are not allowed to eat in White restaurants, or if they are, they must use a separate set of dishes. Whites often wash their faces and hands after dealing with a non-White, as if they had been dirtied.
Official figures show that Ecuador is 65% mestizo and 25% Indian, but social race is amply on display here, and if we go by actual genetics instead, the figures are probably reversed – 66% Indian and 26% mestizo. 3% of the population is Black, all on the coast. As in Bolivia, Ecuadorian Whites said that the Indians in Ecuador hate everyone who is not Indian and want to throw them all out of the country.
The racial history of Ecuador is pretty nasty. Slavery lasted in various odd forms all the way until 1930, and de facto White rule was ongoing until the 1970’s. Non-Whites were not allowed to have any significant government or military posts until that time. In the 1970’s, a progressive regime allowed non-Whites into the officer corps. The nation is very racially stratified, and Whites, Blacks, mulattos, mestizos and Indians all pretty much marry their own.
From 1809 to 1905, Chinese and Jews were banned from entering Ecuador, and there was something resembling an actual racial apartheid structure in place.
In the early 1900’s, a progressive mestizo president came aboard and initiated a series of major changes. At the time, the White population was 30%, but it has since dropped from 30% to 5% in a mere century. The progressive reforms involved a major land reform that broke up the White latifundias (vast estates) and distributed the lands to the Indians and mestizos. Many of the original stock of Spanish and British Whites returned to Europe in disgust due to these changes.
In the 1920’s, a significant wave of German immigration came to the country. Presently, Germans make up the largest % of Ecuadorian Whites, followed by Spaniards, British and a small number of Lebanese. Many of the Germans are Nazi supporters.
One would think that there would be hardly any Whites in a country like Peru, yet 12% of Peruvians are White. Official figures are 15% according to the CIA, but the last racial census in 1940 showed only 3.7% Whites. The true % of Whites in Peru is quite confused. I think the % of Whites is probably around 12% though, since I have met four Peruvians in the US (all in the LA area), and 3 of them were White. I’ve met five on the Internet, and two of those were White. So out of my limited encounters with Peruvians, 40% of those I encountered were White.
This gives us 3.5 million Whites in Peru.
The rest of the population is 45% Indian and 37% mestizo. The mestizos here seem to be more Indian than in places like Mexico and Chile.
Peru is an incredibly racist society, and Lima is regarded as the most racist city in Latin America. If a mestizo or Indian stops a White on the street of Lima and asks directions, the White will usually refuse to speak to them. The Whites there have the attitude, “We don’t even talk to these people”, who they refer to as cholos.
Even mestizos experience a lot of racial discrimination, and this experience was one of the reasons so many young Peruvian mestizos became cadres in Sendero Luminoso. My perception is that the average Peruvian mestizo has a lot of Indian blood, possibly even mostly or pure Indian.
Social race is rampant here, and if you take off your Indian clothes, move out of the village to a big city and quit speaking Quechua, you can automagically transform yourself into a mestizo.
Many light or upper class mestizos identify as White and desperately want to be White, and many are admitted into White social circles. A lot of these people have high levels of cognitive dissonance. You may hear an obviously mestizo upper middle class mestizo point to a lower class mestizo as dark as they are and curse the “cholo de mierda” (shitty cholo).
Posters said that the rest of the mestizos who are not trying to identify as Whites really hate Whites and don’t try to hide it at all. Race relations in Peru appear to be catastrophic.
Although official figures put the number of Whites in Bolivia at 15%, the actual number is smaller at 8%. 65% are Indians, and 27% are mestizos. There are 1 million Whites in Bolivia. The Whites tend to live in the Western part of country. Race relations there were described as horrible, and Whites were often targets of abuse and verbal and even physical aggression by Indians.
The Indians were said to have a grudge against the Whites going back centuries to the Conquest. Posters said that the Indians consider the whole country theirs, hate everyone who is not Indian and want to throw all non-Whites out of the country.
Whites have traditionally tried to marry only other Whites, but lately some young Whites are starting to date Indians and Blacks, much to the consternation of their more traditional relatives. Whites do not really hate mestizos, though out of tradition, they do not date or marry them. Furthermore, the mestizos often hate the Indians just as much as the Whites do.
Posters described White Bolivians as living in fear. Expressions of White ethnocentrism invite attacks, robberies and even homicides, so Whites tend to keep their heads down. The feeling among Bolivian Whites is that they are losing their country. Many White Bolivians are taking off, often migrating to Southern Brazil.
About 50% of Brazil is White, which leaves us with 80 million Whites, although this figure is extremely controversial since it gets into the “Who is White?” mess.
The official figures showing 54% White in Brazil are from government surveys and are a bit high. This means that 54% of the population identifies as White, but many of those might not be seen as White in the US.
The reason the government number is higher is because it relies in self-report, and many Brazilians who are light-skinned but not really White see themselves as White and identify as White.
The rest are Blacks, mulattos, Indians, caboclos (mestizos) and zambos. Something like 42% of the population is mixed race – this includes various forms of mulattos, mestizos and zambos – however, almost all of these are mixed with Black, and few Brazilians have obvious Indian admixture. The Indian admixture is most prevalent in the Northeast.
Census figures say only about 7% are Black, but those figures are based on self-report, so they are erroneous since many Blacks claim to be mulattos. The Blacks are mostly in the northeast. Anyway, about 29% of the population are actual mulattos.
This means that Brazil has a Black and part-Black population of 36%, or 70 million, making it the second largest Black population on Earth after Nigeria. If Black Brazil were a nation, it would be the second largest Black country on Earth.
About 13% of the population, or 25 million people, are caboclos or mestizos.
A tiny .5% are Indian.
There are possibly 96 million Whites in Brazil, meaning that Brazil has one of the largest White populations in the world. The stunning truth is that Brazil has more Whites than most European countries. If Brazil’s Whites were a country, it would be one of the largest White countries on Earth.
Southeastern Brazil is still very White, especially Rio Grande do Sul. The three southern states – Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná and Santa Catarina – are the Whitest ones; in addition, the state of São Paolo is still majority White, but it is much less White than the southern states.
São Paolo used to be overwhelmingly White, but lately it has been flooded with non-Whites from the northeast and other areas. The city of São Paolo now is heavily non-White (75%), but many of the smaller cities in São Paolo state are still very White. Other southeastern states like Rio de Janiero and Espirto Santo were 70-80% White in the 1940’s, but are now less than 50% White due to mass immigration of mulattos from the northeast.
A recent government survey found that the South is 85% White and that Rio Grande do Sul was 92% White, but that does not seem to be the case anymore with the heavy internal migration that has been moving to the area from the Northeast and Rio. The figure was already an overestimate due to the faulty nature of the poll, and the present figures are that the South is about 65% White.
In Rio Grande do Sul, Blacks and mulattos are concentrated in the southern part of the state near the Argentine border. In Parana, they live near the Paraguayan border.
The Whites are mostly Germans and Italians (71%). Brazil has the largest Italian community (27 million) outside of Italy, although the Argentines would argue with that and try to claim that title for themselves. Italians live in São Paolo, the South and parts of Minas Gerias. Most of the Italians are from Northern Italy. Portuguese (24%) make up another large group, and Spaniards (mostly Galicians) make up a somewhat smaller group.
French, Poles, Dutch, Ukrainians, Swedes, Belgians, Croatians, Lithuanians, Jews, Russians, Romanians, Lebanese and Syrians are a yet smaller sector.
West of Curitiba there are 100% Italian cities. There are also cities that are completely German. In these places, the newspapers, menus, schools – everything – is in Italian or German, and Portuguese is a second language.
The White South has its roots in history. There were few Indians in this part of Brazil for some reason, so they were easily overrun and routed. The main industry of the South has always been cattle ranching, and there is no need to import Black slaves for that. Further, there were few of the plantations that characterized the North.
This is also one of the wealthiest regions of the country. The separatist movement in the South claims that the majority of the taxes paid to the Central Government come from the three White states in the South.
The explicitly racial White Separatist movement in the South has little support, but the more general non-racial separatist movement that intends to split off the three White states from the rest of Brazil has varying levels of support in the South. A recent poll in Rio Grande do Sul found 60% support for secession in that state. However, secessionist movements are outlawed by the Constitution and in order to form a political party, the secessionist movement would have to be supported by X% of voters up in a large number of states, possibly nine states.
Nevertheless, whatever support there is does not translate into votes, and the secessionist candidate last time did not even win .1% of the vote. The secessionist movement looks like a joke from here.
I do not support this secessionist movement. It reminds me of Padanian separatists in Italy, Ahwaz separatists in Iran and Bolivian separatists in eastern Bolivia. There is no reason why a state should let the wealthiest region lop itself off, make off with all the loot, make a new state, and leave the old state broke and holding the bag.
Due to the wealth of the region, the white parts of Brazil were flooded with immigrants from other parts of Brazil, especially the impoverished and mostly Black northeast. This migration lasted only from the 1950’s to the 1980’s and affected only the state of Sao Paolo. In addition, many were flooding in from Rio, which is an extremely racially mixed city. Posters seemed to think this was a disaster, as the new migrants will soon start breeding with the Whites in the South.
Brazilian Whites were said to have a low level of White consciousness, and many think that a lot of mestizos and mulattos are actually White. Hence, many will willingly breed with non-Whites, probably especially with mestizos and mulattos. However, there are definitely some hardcore Nazi types in the South, though probably not very many.
Brazilian soaps are almost always about White families. Blacks play minor supporting roles, running a juice stand on the beach, practicing voodoo and giving practical advice to the Whites. The reason Brazilian TV is so White is because research has shown that mostly Black/mulatto Brazilian viewers do not want to see Blacks or mulattos on TV.
There is still racial discrimination in Brazil to the extent that if you are lighter it is easier to get a good job than if you are darker, but Brazilians like Mexicans labor under the lie that they have beaten racism. This is a problem in that it makes existing racism hard to deal with. If there is no racism and everyone gets along fine, anyone bringing up racism charges is a troublemaker and a liar who is trying to set the races against each other.
Furthermore, studies show that Blacks are bullied at school by Whites who call them the equivalent of “nigger.” Blacks are almost never hired by Brazilian firms for good white-collar jobs, and those few Blacks that have such jobs are almost always hired by foreign firms.
The truth is that privileged Brazilian Whites simply refuse to work for a Black boss or have Black superiors. That would be like your slaves lording it over you. The Whites have a very good privileged system there, and they don’t want to share with Blacks at all.
On the other hand, the discrimination is really more economic than genetic, and social race is all the rage. Black and mulatto cops will stop and search groups of Black and mulatto males (racial profiling) but will not stop groups of Whites. Why? The darker guys are often up to no good.
A wealthy Black is only respected if he dresses the part and has the proper wealthy adornments. Furthermore, he needs a White woman, preferably a blond. The first thing Black futbol stars do when they hit the big-time is grab a blond to marry.
Yet a White man, even if he dresses down, is considered to be automatically OK. But a rich Black man dressing down would be considered just another low-class Black up to no good. Much also is made of education and speech. Most Whites are well-educated and speak a refined Portuguese. Blacks are usually poorly-educated and speak a slangy, low-class dialect something like a Portuguese Ebonics.
But not all Whites are rich, and there are many poor Whites in the South. The favelas of the South are filled with Whites, and there are White beggars on the streets. Blacks in the South have been elected governors of states and mayors of large cities, and the South was the first place Blacks got civil rights. Studies show that the best place for a Black to live is in the White South due to the wealth of the region.
Nevertheless, the upper class Whites of the South are extremely racist by US standards. They dislike people with dark skin and regard them as inferior. There is not much anti-Semitism because there are only a few Jews (12,000) in the region
The racial history of Brazil is very interesting.
Originally, the Indian tribes were nearly bred out of existence. They sent over the dregs of Portuguese society. Due to the harsh nature of the region they were going to, the colonists were nearly all men. They few women on board the ships were generally prostitutes. Most decent women did not want to put up with the rigors of colonization. It meant a long sea voyage on a ship full of males in an environment of poor hygiene. When you stepped off the ship, the new land was all jungle, with unpleasant tropical weather, many jungle diseases and no hospitals. In addition, the new settlements were under continuous attack by hostile Indians.
One famous such colonist was named Diogo Álvares. The Tupinambá Indians referred to him as Caramurú, his Indian name. He singlehandedly fathered 200 children by many different Indian women. Essentially, most of the coastal Brazilian Indian tribes were simply fucked out of existence. Interbreeding with Indians continued even up until the late 1800’s, and it was not unusual for a White man to father up to 20 children with different Indian women.
Hence, the true settlement of the country occurred due to voluntary immigration from Europe or the importation of African slaves, mostly from the Portuguese colony of Angola.
White women were so heavily valued by Portugal that the law stipulated that they were not allowed to leave the country without the signed permission of their husbands or fathers, in shades of a practice that continues today in Arab lands. Unbelievably, this law remained on the books until 1975!
Since there was a shortage of women, many men brought their own wives from Europe, or arranged marriages in Europe, or tried their luck with the yearly importation of Crown’s Orphans, orphan girls gathered from all over Europe and imported to Brazil to become brides for male colonists. Yet there were still not enough women. So many men had sex with their female Black slaves, resulting in a large mulatto population.
In the late 1800’s after slavery was abolished (1888) the government undertook a “Whitening” or Branqueamento project that was shockingly called just that. The idea was that Brazil was a mostly Black country, and that mostly Black meant disaster for the future (Racial thinking was extremely common at the time).
Hence a huge effort was made to encourage Europeans to immigrate to Brazil. This effort went on for some time and attracted many immigrants from Italy, Germany, other parts of Europe, and even Japan.
In 1923, a Brazilian Congressman famously said, “The Black eclipse will have passed entirely in 70 years.” He was referring to the disappearance of Blacks in Brazil as an ethnic entity, presumably replaced with some sort of mulatto or zambo.
In 1945, the country’s official immigration policy openly stated the need to “develop within the country’s ethnic composition the most convenient characteristics of its European descent.”
As recently as 25 years ago (1988), an assistant to the governor of São Paolo actually suggested mass birth control for Blacks, Indians and mixed-race people as a eugenic measure.
This official explicitly racial thinking is pretty much a thing of the past. Posters said that Lula is a mulatto (though he looks White to me), and racism is now actually illegal in the country (whatever that means), though the law is hardly enforced and even those convicted get a slap on the wrist.
Furthermore, there is a very large amount of interbreeding going on in Brazil, even in the Far South. Down there, this mostly involves White women breeding with Black and mulatto men. In the rest of Brazil, all sorts of racial interbreeding is going on, described as epidemic.
In general, this is mostly going on with lower class Whites. The middle and upper class Whites still do not mix with non-Whites all that much.
White Brazilians felt that the situation for Whites in Brazil was dire, even in the South. Uruguay is easily the Whitest country in Latin America. A government survey taken 10 years ago came up with figures of 93% White, 6% Black, .4% Indian and .4% Asian. The Blacks, like in Brazil, are almost all mulattos. There were only a few Indians here, and they were mostly quickly massacred. There are 3 million Whites in Uruguay.
The economy has always revolved around cattle-raising, and there is no need for Black labor for that. However, the economy is now in terrible shape, and many of the middle classes are leaving. Whites have a low level of consciousness here, and this is probably the PC capital of Latin America. There are strong cultural connections to Argentina, stronger than between the US and Canada. Argentina is still the largest White country in Latin America. 97% of the population identifies as White, but as probably 80% of Argentine mestizos identify as White, that figure is confusing. The population is still about 80% White (though estimates vary from 75-85%), the rest being mestizo. This gives us 32 million Whites in Argentina.
However, this is a decline from 1970, when the country was 90% White. Further, there are millions of illegal immigrants who are not being counted and who will probably be legalized soon. There are 30 million Whites in Argentina.
The largest White group are Italians at 60%, followed by Spaniards (mostly Basques and Galicians) at 20% and then Germans at 10%. Argentina has the largest Basque, Galician and Catalan populations outside of Spain. The other 10% of the White population is made up of Swiss, French, Irish, English, Russians, Belgians and Dutch in that order.
German and Irish Argentines mostly segregate themselves from those of Spanish and Italian descent, but many Argentines are some mixture of German, Spanish and Italian anyway. There is a certain amount of German supremacist Nordicism in the German community along with very high levels of support for Nazism.
Only about 1% are Indians. They killed most of the Indians very quickly during colonization, so there were not many Indians to breed with. Argentina’s Indians live in the arid northwest up near Bolivia and Chile in their own communities and don’t bother anyone.
There was a large Black population in the 1800’s in Buenos Aires, but they seem to have vanished into thin air. Argentine legend says they fled the country due to persistent discrimination, but that seems a little dubious. They were probably just bred into the population, and the Argentine gene pool is now 3% Black. In the northwest (Jujuy and Salta), mestizos are the majority. This area is also being heavily flooded by illegals from Bolivia. The northeast near the border with Brazil is also heavily mestizo.
Since the 1990’s, there has been a huge illegal immigrant invasion of mestizos and Indians from Bolivia (by far the largest group), Peru, Paraguay and Chile. There are other immigrants coming in from Asia, mostly Korea but also some from China. Immigrants, almost all mestizos and Indians, are continuing to pour into Argentina at the rate of 200,000/yr. The government does nothing to stop it, and recently gave citizenship to millions of mestizos and Indians from Bolivia.
The illegals from Bolivia and Peru are regarded by White Argentines as troublesome people who commit a lot of crime, engage in street protests and riots, and have no interest in assimilating.
In addition, the heavily-Indian illegals from Peru and Bolivia have an extremely high birthrate in Argentina of 6+ children per woman. The girls start getting pregnant at age 14-15. On the other hand, White Argentine women are only having 1-2 kids at most.
The posters were complaining about this and saying that the non-White immigration situation in Argentina was far worse than in the US and that in 20-30 years from now, White Argentina may be just a memory.
Posters said that White Argentines were very racist at least in US terms. Most were said to be sympathetic to Nazism and fascism, and this is why so many Nazis fled to this area after World War 2.
However, the fascist military dictatorship, which flaunted Nazi imagery, nostalgia and anti-Semitism, pretty much ruined things in terms of overt White consciousness in the country. To be strongly pro-White now is to be a Nazi or pro-dictatorship, and this is not acceptable in polite society since the dictatorship was so unpopular.
There is also still an extremely high level of anti-Semitism in Argentina, at least as compared to the US. White Argentines complain privately about how Jews and non-Whites are wrecking the place, but have a “What can you do about it?” attitude.
The mestizos of Argentina are very light, and at some point it gets really hard to tell who is a light mestizo and who is White. The mestizos identify as Whites and say they are White.
The reason for this is that the huge immigration from Europe to Argentina lightened the Argentine mestizo population, similar to what occurred in Costa Rica. Also there has been a dramatic increase in White-mestizo breeding in the past few generations, something that was previously rare.
In addition, a correlative to US hip-hop culture called cumbia villera has recently showed up. It is based on the culture of Argentina’s mestizo and Indian ghettos, and the topics and mindset of the music resemble rap – songs about killing people, selling dope, treating women like crap, etc.
Most Argentine Whites are horrified by this trend, but a lot of young Whites are getting into because it’s “cool”, the same way a lot of young Whites are getting into Black rap music. Young Argentine Whites who are into villera music are also starting to date mestizos. As in the US, it’s White females going for the darker, thuggish types. There the young White women go for mestizo villera types, and here young White women go for Black rapper types.
At the same time, there is an increasing trend among Argentine Whites to say that they have a little bit of Argentine Indian in them, sort of like the way many White Americans say that they have a little bit of Cherokee. This is seen as progressive, liberal and hip.
I mentioned above that most Argentines are quite racist and are contemptuous, at least in private, of mestizos, Indians, mulattos and Blacks. It works the other way too. Argentines say that many Mexican, Caribbean and Colombian mestizos, mulattos and zambos really hate Argentines. Some hate Argentines and Chileans more than gringos. They call Argentines “Nazis” even though Argentines have never done anything to them. However, many of these same folks would love to get into Argentina.
The situation in Chile is very confusing. It’s not really a White country. It’s more of a light-Mestizo country. 60% of Chileans are (generally light) Mestizos, 33% are White (usually with some Indian admixture) and 7% are Indian. However, on appearance, half of Chileans appear White. Blacks are only 1%. This gives us 6 million Whites in Chile. The Whites tend to live in Santiago and in the south of the country.
Mixing occurred early in Chile, as it really took a long time to defeat the Indians; they really put up a hard fight here. They were not totally defeated until the 1880’s or so, and after that, they were not exterminated, but their population was seriously reduced. There were not many White colonists in Chile, and the few who were there were often soldiers. Mass breeding occurred between White soldiers and Indian females. This constituted the basic stock of the nation.
The initial White stock was mostly English and Spaniard. The Spaniards were mostly from Castille, Andalusia and the Basque region. Later, many immigrants arrived from Europe, and there are large German, Italian and Croatian colonies in the South. White Chileans are also Swiss, British (often Scots Irish) and French. Among the Germans, there is high support for Nazism.
The lower classes tend to be a bit darker shade of mestizo (25% Indian), but not much. The upper classes are somewhat lighter mestizos (15% Indian). All mestizos and Whites in Chile identify as White and say they are White. Whiteness is something that is highly valued by society, and Indianness and mestizaje is devalued. Chilean TV is like Mexican TV – just about everyone on it is White.
However, Chile is experiencing the same problem as Argentina, a mass invasion of darker mestizo illegal immigrants from Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, mostly the first two, beginning in 2000. Further, many of the White Argentines who settled there after the recent crisis are going home.
Along with the mass immigration of Peruvian and Bolivian Indians and mestizos has come a serious wave of street crime. The local Chilean Indians are not much of a problem. They live isolated in their own communities and leave other people alone. White Chileans will happily breed with mestizos and even Indians. Often it’s a White girl and a mestizo or Indian man. White consciousness is pretty low in Chile. Posters lament that the racial situation in Chile looks dire.
Many posters commented that mestizos and Indians in Latin America really hate Whites. Although this is a typical White nationalist claim everywhere (that all non-Whites hate Whites), there may be something to it in Latin America. One said he had heard Indians and mestizos saying that they were going to take power all over Latin America and throw all the Whites back to Europe.
All posters felt that Lula in Brazil, Chavez in Venezuela, Morales in Bolivia and Castro in Cuba were anti-White Leftist politicians.
Lula was seen as anti-White for initiating affirmative action for non-Whites for the first time in Brazil. Chavez was accused of “ethnically cleansing” Whites from the country, but that seems like nonsense. What’s going on actually is that wealthier Whites are leaving Venezuela due to Chavez’ socialist policies. Morales was accused of wanting to take over all the Whites’ property and give it to Indians and mestizos.
All over Latin America, the Indian, mestizo and anti-White cause was seen as being led by Communists for various reasons. Some of the reasons given were quite dubious. It’s probable that these Leftists are simply being driven to ameliorate the vastly inequitable situation in their countries.
One poster noted that in spite of the profound racism, at least in his part of Latin America (apparently Peru), Indians and mestizos of both sexes were constantly trying to marry White or at least have babies by Whites.
This went so far as males misleadingly impregnating White women, females misleadingly allowing themselves to be impregnated by White men, ingratiating themselves to and flattering Whites, etc.
The poster said they want to marry White to “wash themselves.” I find it dubious that mestizos and Indians have that much self-hatred, but it’s possible.
All of his aunts and uncles married mestizos, and none of the marriages turned out well.
He described Indians and mestizos as aggressive, abusive (usually verbally but sometimes physically), and unable to control their emotions well. None of the mixed race offspring of his relatives did well in school. All of his White relatives now have mixed feelings about their part-White kids, and to some extent, they are ashamed of their offspring due to their mixed blood, poor grades and mestizo values.
While most posters lamented the historical fact that the original White settlers to Latin America had bred in heavily with Indians and to some extent Blacks, others attempted to rationalize it. As one put it, it was either Indian and Black women or homosexuality/bestiality.
Some posters attempted to explain why White men had bred in so heavily with Indian women. One described it as a natural match. Indians being racially Mongoloid or Asian, Indian women are similar to Asian women. Indian women, similar to Asian women, were described as very submissive, and White men liked this quantity very much. The poster noted that in the US you see many White male/Asian female couples for the same reason. A Caucasian male and a Mongoloid female appears to be a natural mix. Each party gets what they want out of the relationship.
Another poster said that many White males continue to breed with Indians, Blacks, mulattas and mestizas because these women are not laboring under the same sexually repressive strictures that White women in the region are. The life of a moneyed White woman in the region is somewhat restricted sexually, as she feels bound by the Madonna/whore dichotomy characteristic of Hispanic culture.
However, in the White women in poorer classes and with non-White women are much freer sexually. As one poster put it, “Indian and Black women spread their legs very easily, and many White men are tempted by this.”
All posters felt that the future for Whites in Latin America was hopeless. Continued immigration of non-Whites, high birth rates of non-Whites combined with low birth rates of Whites, along with continuing and accelerating intermarriage of Whites with non-Whites, meant a slow darkening of the White population and its eventual diminishment to low numbers.
Various proposals were suggested to “take back our countries,” but all were rejected as hopeless.
One suggestion was mass emigration to Uruguay, seen as one of the last holdouts for Whites in Latin America. This was rejected as impractical, mainly due to the small size of the country.
A while back, there was a “move to Argentina” movement, but that didn’t seem to catch on either since most White Latin Americans love their home countries and don’t want to leave. Another problem was that Argentina’s economy was very bad.
There were many threads about leaving Latin America and moving to Whiter places, especially Europe.
Some radicals offered militant proposals. One was to declare a White nationalist state in Southern Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, separate from Brazil, and presumably evict all the non-Whites.
From that base, the new state would expand across the rest of Brazil, pushing the Blacks and mulattos into Northeastern Brazil. Then the Blacks would be shipped to Central Africa and the mulattos would be shipped to Angola. This proposal seems unlikely to come to fruition.
The White State in the Southern Cone, expansionist or not, is a pipe dream for other reasons. Part of the problem is that Brazilians and Argentines, even the Whites, hate each other. I’m not sure what it’s all about, maybe soccer. Also they speak two different languages and have very different cultures. Further, even White Brazilians are very nationalistic and would probably never want to leave Brazil.
A union of Uruguay and Argentina would actually be possible due to deep cultural connections between the two, but it would not be good for the White state, since Uruguay is PC Central in Latin America. It would be like annexing a gigantic Spanish-speaking Massachusetts.
I saw in these threads the future of the US. America will become much more mixed and Spanish-speaking. The history of the continent is one of the marriage of the two great races, the White and the Indian, and the language of the marriage was Iberian. We missed out on it here, since so many Indians died, White immigration was so huge, and most colonists were from Britain. Also, White colonists here brought women along.
Soon the US will become just another Latin American country, that is, we will finally become part of the continent of the Americas. In other words, the unusual and continentally anomalous experiment of “America” will slowly end, and we will finally join the Americas.
*Although the word mulatto is offensive to Blacks and mixed race people, I am going to use this word because that is the way that Black-White mixed race folks are referred to in Latin America. Further, “mixed race” is a seriously idiotic way to describe Black-White mixes. If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a contribution to support the continuation of the site.
Repost from the old site. This article has produced a tremendous amount of controversy, angry comments, and even, oddly enough, virulent hate mail. I guess I hit some raw nerves. I stand by my comments that these cities are some of the worst in the world, and, in doing further research on the Net, have found only further support for my thesis. Some of these cities, such as Bogotá, for instance, have large wealthy districts that are apparently quite pleasant. If one is rich, one can make a nice life just about anywhere on the globe. But this is not important – what is important is how the majority live.
The title is a play on the line, “Nice place to visit, wouldn’t want to live there”, said about many less-than-desirable tourist locales. This post is about the worst places on Earth to visit, and probably to live too. The ratings were based on research done on the Internet in various places, including here and here.
I’m going to focus on the places that are dirty, smelly, crime-ridden, trashy, rip-off havens, unsanitary and dangerous (Third World), and avoid places that are merely depressing, unsightly, rude, etc. (First World). Why? Because I live in the US, and those Third World qualities are going to be the most disturbing to me. I’m also avoiding active war zones because everyone knows they are horrible.
To be fair to the “Third Worldists” out there, I noted that many people slammed various places in France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Finland, South Korea, Ireland Italy, the US, Great Britain and Australia for various reasons, mostly because they are said to be unfriendly, depressing, tacky, cheesy, boring, etc.
Detroit seemed to top the list as worst US city, along with Newark (though it had one fan), East St. Louis and New Haven (though some liked New Haven) were runners-up. Various small towns in the Rockies (especially Idaho) and Texas also were listed. For some reason, a lot of people hate Vancouver, BC in Canada.
To my thinking, many of the horrible cities below point out the catastrophe of Latin American, Indian, Indonesian and Philippine capitalism. In much of Africa, capitalism doesn’t seem to working very well.
For all its faults, impoverished Cuba certainly does not resemble any of these Latin American hellholes in any way, shape or form. I don’t think that capitalism in the First World is failing, but looking at many of the cities below, it’s hard to argue that capitalism is doing anything but failing in those places.
Some of the winners in the Loser Destination Contest: Colon, Panama: A dirty, crime-ridden disaster of a city. The most dangerous city in Latin America, full of residents who seem like they would just as soon knife you as say hello. Other than the free trade zone, the entire city seems to be sprawling slum. Colon has no redeeming qualities. This city topped many worst lists. Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador: Guayaquil is horrible. A stinking, steaming, downright dangerous heap of a city with miles of slums. With armies of glowering gang members, this place is dangerous even in mid-day. There are garbage dumps everywhere with corpses laying out in plain sight and guns going off all the time. Quito is similar. Guayaquil topped many worst city lists. Johannesburg, South Africa: How sad that this country now has one of the worst violent crime rates on Earth. Although popular with tourists, this city is downright dangerous. This city also topped many worst lists. This blog supports the Mandela government, but the problems of this tragic nation seem insurmountable.
***** Lagos, Nigeria, or the whole country: This city, and even the whole country, seems to top everyone’s list. Garbage is everywhere, the city stinks, the poverty is horrible, animals are slaughtered on the streets, and it seems that at least half the population wakes up every morning thinking, “Who can I rip off today?” Up to 90% of the economy may be “underground”, off the books, or crime-related in some way or another.
Nigeria has what must be the worst government on Earth and the country is rated the second most corrupt on Earth. The national airlines are dangerous and not recommended. The ripoff attempts often start as soon as you land at the airport and won’t let up until you leave.
It’s best to assume that most, if not all, Nigerians you meet in Lagos are out to rip you off in some way or another and then proceed from there. The city is full of impostors, and you really do not know if anyone is really who they say they are. The police and Customs officials are all crooks and so is 99% of the government.
Most bank and post office employees are also crooked. Imagine waiting in line at the post office, and a group of swaggering gangsters with fake ID’s strut in to pick up their stolen goods reshipped from overseas. They go straight to the front of the line ahead of everyone else, pick up their stolen property, and walk away laughing, having paid off the Post Office clerks. Welcome to Nigeria.
There are Internet cafes all over the city, where 150,000 full-time Internet scammers ply their trade in plain view of anyone to see, and the government doesn’t bat an eye or lift one finger to stop them. In many cafes, 80% or more of the patrons are Internet scammers. Nigeria is now world-famous for Internet scams. Even out-of-work TV newscasters scam away in the cafes, trying to steal from Americans.
The scammers started out with the famous 419 email scams but have now branched out into lottery, romance, auction, roommate, orphanage and check-cashing scams. The scams are continuously evolving, and Nigerian con artists are widely acknowledged to be some of the best in the world, as they have been practicing the art for decades now.
On highways outside of Lagos, you can see numerous vehicles wrecked on the side of the road, or even in the middle of the road, some with dead bodies still in them or beside them. Thieves pick through the wreckage and rifle the corpses looking for stuff to steal. All of the roads are dangerous, as armed robbers often set up roadblocks to shake down travelers.
Nigeria is now a world center for counterfeit pharmaceuticals, credit card fraud and drug dealing, and a district of Lagos, Oluwole, is now a world center for top-notch forgery.
The FBI and the US Merchant Risk Council recently came to Nigeria and inspected 40 packages coming into the country from the US to check for stolen goods. 39 of the 40 packages contained stolen property.
When the agents arrived at a Lagos neighborhood and tried to arrest an 18-year-old boy for reshipping scams that targeted US merchants, much of the neighborhood – up to 100 people – rushed out of their homes to defend the local punk from Big Bad Whitey.
Although the country is awash in oil, the power goes out all the time because the government power company is so crooked. The power company has either stolen all of its own budget money or the power comes in, but the crooked company resells it on the side.
As with elsewhere in Africa, Whitey is blamed for all the troubles here. Hatred of Whitey is higher in Nigeria than in much of the rest of Black Africa and the White visitor will definitely feel it.
The degeneration of Nigerian society is complete, and the culture appears near collapse. Mobs lynch thieves in the street and kill them in public for as meager a crime as stealing a cellphone, yet crime rages on anyway. Anyone can just up and say they own your house, put it on the market and sell it and you are out a house. Law enforcement, courts and anything resembling government seem to be nonexistent.
****** Lima, Peru: When they tell you to visit Peru, they don’t mean the nightmarish capital. There are teeming slums as far as the eye can see, horrible crime (although not a lot of violent crime), pickpockets everywhere, and on top of all that, the sun never comes out. The fog mixes with the smog and the filthy streets to make a toxic brew. Lima made many worst lists.
But it has its fans, and the upscale Miraflores district is said to be nice. The execrable Shining Path took up their nihilistic, deranged war in this country for a reason – because Peru is a rotten heap of a country.
****** Medan (Sumatra), Jakarta, Surabaya, Indonesia: Jakarta is a reeking city with terrible pollution, open sewers and wrenching poverty. Medan seemed to top many lists for worst city on Earth, though it has a few fans. It’s hot, dirty and polluted, with factories, thieves and leering, menacing men everywhere. There is also nowhere to stay, not that you would want to stay anyway. Besides Medan, the rest of Sumatra is much better.
The river running through Surabaya is so polluted you might vomit walking across the bridge. As you suppress your gag reflex, you will look down and notice that people are actually washing their clothes in this river.
***** Mumbai, Patna (Bihar), Calcutta, all large Indian cities, India: Indian cities are very dirty and teeming with some of the most miserably poor and wretched people you will ever see, but at least there is not a lot of crime. The Hindu religion keeps crime down because believers fear they will be punished by returning in the next life as something terrible, like one of the huge rats you see scurrying about. Mumbai has pollution that is so bad that people actually get lung cancer from breathing the air. Mumbai, a stinking and sometimes dangerous city, made many worst city lists. Patna is the sorry capital of Bihar, the poorest state in India. It’s dirty and miserable, and it’s almost impossible to even get a taxi to get you out of town, which means it’s hard to leave the place. Calcutta is generally agreed to be one of the worst cities in India.
***** Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang, China: Deadly pollution, mostly from coal. Bucharest, all of Romania: Stalinist pollution covers the whole country and everyone seems depressed. Bali (in particular Kuta Beach), Indonesia: Hopes so high, reality so low. It seems everyone is out to rip you off. Surly locals hungry for money. Dangerous roads, nightmarish traffic, rude, leering men. When it rains, the sewers flood into the streets. Very high crime rate, hustlers everywhere. Most of the rest of Indonesia is pretty nice. Kuta is a tourist trap gone to Hell.
**** Manila, Philippines: A crime-ridden hellhole. There are armed guards everywhere, especially in front of banks due to constant bank robberies. Their nemeses, criminal gangs armed to the teeth, roam streets filled with prostitutes and transvestites.
It’s a town where everyone seems like they are out to rip you off in one way or other, and the hotel workers and cab drivers are all crooked. The latest advice is to have your Filipino friend meet you at the airport and head straight to their place, thereby avoiding all the ripoffs and con artists that seem to descend on every tourist. Traffic is horrible, and pollution is so bad it kills people. But some people don’t mind it.
**** Gdansk, Poland: Combine a high crime rate and daylight robberies with totally crooked, thieving officials, and you get this Polish city. However, a number of others said it’s just fine.
**** Mexico City, Villahermosa, Mexico: Mexico City is a dirty, polluted city suffering an insane, surreal epidemic of street crime, especially violent crime. Add 20 million people, stir well, bring to a boil, cover with a lid of otherworldly smog, and simmer.
Reportedly, tons of human waste are blown into the air every day, and much of the population has constant respiratory infections. The sewer system is reportedly above ground and more or less runs through lots of neighborhoods where many people are residing. Villahermosa is a Mad Max-style, violent, crime-ridden disgrace of a city. There are stabbings and shootings galore here, even with a 10 PM curfew in place.
***** Tangier, Morocco: This is a dangerous place with lots of street crime. That’s unusual for a North African country, but Tangier is so close to Europe that it is almost a part of Europe.
***** Cairo, Egypt: Cairo has horrible pollution, smells terrible, there is trash everywhere, nothing works, there are armies of miserably poor people and it boasts some outrageously awful traffic. In the souks there are huge rats and wild, mangy scavenging dogs running about in plain sight. There seems no escape from aggressive, pestering hawkers. On top of all that, all the Customs officials are criminals.
The crime rate is fairly low, though. Thank President Hosni Mubarak. 25 years ago, Cairo was one of the great world cities.
***** Bangkok, Thailand: This gigantic city has pollution so bad you need to wear a mask over your face. However, some folks like this city and say it has many positive attributes.
***** Brindisi, Naples, Italy: No one seems to like Brindisi. It’s a sad, dirty, polluted and ugly city, with hostile, brawling, drunken locals, hungry stray dogs, belligerent drivers, horrible traffic, and miles of soul-killing tenements.
You would think that despite all of that, being genuine Italians, they could still manage to make a decent pizza. Forget it: even the pizza is terrible. Brindisi topped many worst lists, although it has a couple of fans.
I had never even heard of Brindisi and had to look it up on a map. It’s located in southern Italy on the East Coast, southeast of Naples. Naples has a great deal of crime, and many think this city is overrated as a tourist destination, although others say that, despite the drawbacks, it has its joys. All of southern Italy has a lot of crime, but it’s mostly property crime.
***** Athens, Piraeus, or the whole country, Greece: Greece, especially Athens, gets mixed reviews. A lot of people really hate Athens; others don’t. The detractors say the city is dirty, ugly, depressing, polluted, and covered with garbage and traffic. I was surprised that Athens made the list, as I had always thought it was a wonderful city.
The port city of Piraeus is a nasty place. The whole city smells like a giant sewage treatment plant, and the ocean offshore has a sickening color to it.
**** Suburbs of Paris, France: These tragic towns, full of hostile Arab immigrants angrily refusing to assimilate to French culture or join French society, are a sign that the French model is not working well, at least for some folks.
There is a terribly high crime rate here, and cops and firemen often won’t go there because they get attacked as soon as they show up. These mournful towns are packed with angry, unemployed young Arab men who like to seriously riot every year or so, or even more often if the mood strikes them. Lately, they have been staging mini-riots every night. If only 100 cars are burned, that’s a good night.
Otherwise, Paris, of course, is one of the world’s great cities. But that doesn’t mean you might not walk into a subway station reeking of urine and see junkies shooting up in plain sight. But still, Paris is a must on any serious travelers’ list.
****** Brussels, Belgium: As with Paris, the districts with many Arab immigrants are quite dangerous and unpleasant, but the rest of the city is as nice as any big city. Abidjan, Ivory Coast: With one of the worst crime rates in Africa (although it has plenty of competition), this city topped many worst lists.
***** Bangui, Central African Republic: One of the worst cities in Africa, as bad as Lagos. The crime rate is totally insane. The locals will try to steal everything you own and even a contingent of armed guards will not be enough to protect you.
Your hotel room will feel like a war zone. This fiendish city made a number of worst city lists. Lonely Planet’s guidebook more or less tells you to avoid this city altogether. Here is a harrowing report of a visit to Bangui.
***** Bamako, Mali: Mali has one of the worst governments in Africa, admittedly a race with a lot of competition. Bamako is a sick joke of a town, where the tourist surcharge is rigorously enforced, and the ridiculous, potholed streets are undriveable by any vehicle. Guatemala City, Guatemala: A totally dangerous, dirty, polluted, terminal patient of a city, full of scary, heavily armed teenage soldiers. The soldiers are there to keep the teeming, crime-ridden slums that stretch as far as the eye can see, from overrunning the place. But this city has a few fans. Belize City, Belize: This sweltering, miserable, impoverished, crime-ridden, very dangerous city is built on a swamp, with a jungle for a backyard. The beggars are aggressive and even menacing, and shady characters shadow you on the streets as you walk about. Cops are nowhere to be seen. This is one of the worst cities in the Americas. But the rest of the country is a great place to vacation.
***** Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:Sao Paulo is the industrial engine of Brazil. This major city is full of garbage and very dangerous. There are hustlers as far as the eye can see, chaotic streets that render maps useless, not enough cops and Godawful traffic. Rio de Janeiro, the popular tourist destination with the killer skyline perfect for any postcard, is a deceptive place. It’s a very dangerous city with lots of violent crime. Street gangs armed to the teeth regularly shoot it out in military-style wars with the cops.
Death squads of off-duty cops funded by local businessmen roam the streets at night, murdering homeless, drug-addicted street kids and petty criminals with impunity in a sickening “social cleanup” campaign.
There are pickpockets and muggers all about, often in menacing, youthful gangs (especially on the famous beach) and they frequently operate in broad daylight. A dystopian horrorshow of a city.
****** Nairobi, Kenya: Unfortunately, this city is seriously crime-ridden. Even locals admit that violent crime has reached catastrophic proportions. Caracas, Barquisimeto, or the whole country, Venezuela: The crime is very bad here, sadly, and there is garbage everywhere you look. This blog supports Hugo Chavez, but crime in Venezuela is a tragic, long-standing problem with no quick fixes. Guinea-Bissau: There is no water, no electricity, no place to stay, and the only hotel is half-demolished. San‘a’, Yemen: In a Dickensenian touch, children are actually chained up here in order to beg! Moynaq and Nukus, Uzbekistan: These two cities broiling in a merciless desert have been ruined and turned into ecological dead zones by Stalinist pollution.
***** San Pedro Sulu, Honduras: This sad town has a horrible amount of crime. Swarms of locals will attack you on the bus, trying to steal your luggage. You will have to fight them off if you wish to retain your suitcase.
Like the rest of this wreck of a country, it’s full of US gang members gone home to Honduras. People here are very poor and desperate. If you can make it to the nice part of town and afford to stay there, though, you can be quite safe.
***** Dakar, Senegal: According to some, this large West African city has horrible street crime – it is very dangerous. They say if you don’t have armed guards with you, don’t even go outside your hotel room.
However, others report that they spent a week there and found it to be safe, in fact safer than many American cities. Violent crime is reportedly rare, and the country is one of the most stable in Africa, and has been that way since independence.
***** Port Au Prince, Haiti: This filthy, degraded, extremely dangerous and desperately poor mess of a city is best avoided at all costs. It sports open sewers, enslaved children, riots, killings and lots of other fun things. This blog did support President Aristide’s efforts to improve the tragedy of a nation called Haiti. Lome, Togo: Criminals are as common as mosquitoes here, walking around fearlessly in broad daylight in this terrible city full of miserable people and crooked taxi drivers.
***** Istanbul, Turkey: The 200% tourist markup is fully in force in this dirty, ugly city full of harassing, hawking, hostile locals and crumbling buildings, and you can scarcely find a merchant who does not enforce it. There is also a lot of crime here, including some violent crime, unusual for a Muslim city. The weather is lousy, but there are some pretty mosques to visit. However, Istanbul does have a fan or two.
The rest of the country is a great place to visit, has many fans and is one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Best bet for Turkey is just to head to the tourist spots and blow off Istanbul altogether.
***** Phnom Penh, Kampuchea: This city has become a very dangerous, crime-ridden place. The gangs of little girl prostitutes add a particularly poignant touch.
***** Bogotá, Colombia or really the whole country: Bogotá is one of the most dangerous places in the Americas but there seems to be agreement that Colon, Lima and Guayaquil are worse. Really, all of Colombia is dangerous as Hell, to be honest.
This comment about Bogotá was recently rebutted by a Bogotán blogger, with more comments here. His post aggressively taking issue with this entry is in Spanish, but my Spanish is good enough to get the gist of it. Also I am getting a lot of comments coming in from Bogotáns on the Internet aggressively objecting to the content.
The sole issue that these Defenders of Bogotá are taking issue with is my contention that the city is a very dangerous place. To be honest, Bogotá used to have a truly horrible reputation for crime, but in recent years, there has been a huge effort put into cracking down on street crime. For some more agreement that Bogota is dangerous, see here, here, here and here.
I will now attempt to prove that. There are twice as many murders in Colombia as in the US, and the US has seven times as many people. That means that the murder rate in Colombia is an outrageous 14 times that of the US, and the US is considered to have a high murder rate for the developed world.
Colombia has the highest murder rate on Earth, with Washington, DC and Johannesburg not far behind, but in the case of Colombia, we are talking about a whole country, not some festering city. Out of every 100,000 people, 60-70 will be killed every year. Defenders may try to argue that this is due to a simmering civil war, but 75% of the 25,000 homicides are merely of the criminal variety.
On an average day in Colombia, there are 2 bank robberies, 8 highway robberies, 72 murders and 204 assaults or muggings. You have a greater chance of being murdered in Colombia than you do of dying of cancer! Death squads made up of soldiers and off-duty cops roam the streets, murdering drug-addicted, petty criminal street kids, transvestites, homosexuals and prostitutes.
In fact, probably more prostitutes and homosexuals are murdered per capita in Colombia than even in the most barbarian parts of the Muslim World. Want to fly a plane in Colombia? Don’t. There have been 138 plane crashes since World War 2, with 2,745 deaths.
One of the most popular things in Bogotá is scopolamine. This drug is used by crooks to disable their victims so they can rip them off. It is sprayed in the face, dumped in your drink or spiked into a cigarette. Bogotá hospitals receive an incredible 2,000 scopolamine victims every month, or an astounding 66 a day. The drug knocks you out and can cause medical problems.
Colombia has one of the world’s worst road systems. Many roads are not even marked. Drivers are reckless and many cars don’t have headlights at night. Cows have a tendency to wander into the road.
Taxis are totally dangerous and are best avoided, if possible. Women are advised to avoid all taxis at night. Anyone is advised to avoid any taxi that already has someone in it.
In many cases, this is a criminal accomplice of the thuggish driver. In addition to getting scopolamine sprayed in your face, another popular scam is the “jump-start”: you are told that the taxi has stalled and asked to get out and help push. As you do so, the taxi driver leaves with your luggage.
Buses are also best avoided. Thieves haunt the buses, waiting for you to fall asleep, at which point, they rip you off. Certain bus lines are frequented by thieves offering drugged gum, sweets, food and cigarettes. After the drug knocks you out, they rob you blind. In addition to theft and druggings, kidnapping and extortion are also rife on buses.
In view of all of the above, it is nothing short of amazing that all of these Colombians are angrily protesting my characterization of their country as dangerous. Or perhaps they doth protest too much?
***** Managua, Nicaragua: This dirty, crime-ridden, dangerous disaster of a city has a bombed-out look about it. This blog supports Daniel Ortega and his Sandinista Party and prays that they can ameliorate this mess.
***** San Salvador, El Salvador: See Managua. Full of dangerous former LA gang members. Death squads roam the streets, slaughtering gangsters by the dozen, but for every one you kill, it seems five more pop up in his place.
This blog supports the FMLN’s efforts to reform this ruined land, but the crime here has become so terrible, one wonders if anything short of an act of God could make things better. In fact, I used to make contributions too the FMLN’s weapons fund via an FMLN agent in Los Angeles during the 1980’s.
***** Detroit, New Haven, Newark, Gary (Indiana), Hammond (Indiana), USA: Detroit topped all lists as the worst city in the US. An ugly, dangerous, depressing and filthy city with a downtown that looks like a war zone – a despairing district surrounded by miles of crumbling, abandoned industrial buildings, torn-down fences and rusting cars. Newark is similar, with few to no redeeming qualities. It’s a frightening, polluted city with a postwar look of miles of weedy, trash-strewn vacant lots where crumbling apartment buildings have been torn down. It’s also a dangerous city with a high crime rate. New Haven, despite the presence of Yale University, is similar. There are legions of homeless, begging drug users clogging the streets, and the crime rate is very high due to hordes of crack-dealing gangs shooting it out on the streets. Congress and Columbus Avenues are notorious for drive-by shootings, drug dealing and muggings.
It is reportedly the HIV capital of the East Coast due to IV drug use. A lot of the more respectable people have been moving out for some time now. Although much of the city is quite ugly, New Haven does have its bright spots, thanks to Yale. There are nice parts of town, parks, trees, etc. Gary is yet another postindustrial Rust Belt train wreck of a town. A grimy town full of abandoned factories, overgrown lots, rusting fences, graffiti, barred windows and vomit. Go downtown and see tall buildings all boarded up, with no vehicles in sight and unhinged stoplights swaying in the wind – for all practical purposes, a ghost town. This was once a vibrant, working-class city, and now it looks like Road Warrior. Hammond is similar, a suicidally depressing city lined with shuttered factories on the shores of Lake Michigan. Yet another Rust Belt post-industrial ruin.
***** Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: A collapsing, dirty, crime-ridden hellhole. Osaka, Japan: I never would have thought that this city would make the list but according to my friend Tumerica, she says it is the worst city she has ever lived in. I tagged her with the title of this story. In blogging, tagging mean you are supposed to write on the topic – kind of like, “Tag, you’re it.” I will let her explain why Osaka is such a crappy place in her post here.