Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mexico Shoots Itself in the Head

And by "Mexico" I mean the whole gamut of people, institutions, laws (including those who uphold them and who choose to not uphold them), culture, etc. In the same way that "Canada" is tolerating stephen harper's stolen majority.

Anyhow, Mexico's PRI candidate, the 45-year old airhead Peña Nieto, has, either by hook or crook, won the presidential election. He is promising an end to the violent "war on drugs" and the "liberalization" of Mexican labour laws.

The PRI ruled Mexico from 1912 to 2000 using violence, fraud and populism. The PRI collapsed after having succumbed to the austerity policies that were a result of the "Third World Debt Crisis" at the beginning of the 1980s and the subsequent total economic failure that was the result of NAFTA. (NAFTA had been signed in the hopes of getting renewed access to US-American capital markets following the "lost decade" of the 1980s.) Not even the PRI could have gotten away with yet another stolen election after two decades of massive economic dislocation like that. There would have to be some opportunity for Mexicans to vent their frustration while at the same time keeping things safely in the hands of the comprador ruling class and its US-American masters. In 1988, in what would have been a referendum against the savage austerity policies of that decade, the social-democratic PRD was set to win the elections until a "computer failure" at the Electoral Commission supposedly caused a crash. When the computers were back up and running, the PRI had mysteriously surged ahead. For what it's worth, the PRD was again robbed of a rightful victory in 2006. Considering that "conservatives" become violently enraged when people protest when they STEAL elections, the peaceful resignation of Mexican leftists appears almost saintly! But, going back to the year 2000, there needed to be a change of government to mollify the enraged populace. Right on cue, the former Coca-Cola executive Vicente Fox with a permissible political alternative, the even more right-wing, pro-business PAN. Of course, right-wing, pro-business policies are what put Mexico's economy in the toilet in the first place, which is why the PRD won the aforementioned 2006 election (which was subsequently stolen for the PAN).

Under the new PAN president, Felipe Calderon, the state launched a "war on drugs." As was stated above, this war has turned incredibly violent and is widely regarded as having been a massive failure. Peña Nieto has vowed to bring peace to the country but it's not clear that this will be possible. Mexican drug cartels had long made fortunes smuggling Mexican and South American drugs across the US-Mexican border. Participation in the drug trade tracked the demise of the rural economy that resulted from NAFTA. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the absence of legitimate economic survival caused by NAFTA and the subsequent militarization of the US border against the refugees it created, will cause people to find work in the only industry that is expanding in any big way, the drug trade. Calderon signed on to the US-Americans' drug war both to placate them and to obtain access to massive loans and military equipment to fight both the drug cartels and the growing numbers of dissidents against elite corruption and mass deprivation. (Obviously, a series of US-American governments recognized the dual benefits of these "anti-drug" programs.) Nieto might try to negotiate a truce with the cartels (despite his promises to the contrary) but the renewed flow of drugs over the US-American border will make Washington demand that he do something about this. He won't be able to do anything because the underlying causes of the cartel wars will not have changed.

Nieto's other promise, to "liberalize" Mexican labour is a sick, sick joke. Mexicans aren't unemployed because of strong unions and coddling labour laws. They're unemployed because peasant agriculture has been devastated and because Chinese factories produce things more cheaply than even Mexican factories. Full stop. While I believe that stupid clods like Nieto, Jim Flaherty and Mike Harris, genuinely believe this bullshit, the fact of the matter is that destroying working conditions doesn't produce national prosperity.

The PRD's leader, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador vows to challenge this election. The result of that will be the same as 2006. Mexico's institutions are corrupt and the fix is in. As well, the US media have all received their talking points and, as they did in 2006, they'll mock Obrador as a "sore loser." Barack "Hope & Change" Obama will probably have him assasinated if he doesn't shut the fuck up.

In the end, as with Europe, as with North America, our rulers are not dedicated to national prosperity. They're dedicated to self-enrichment. They got rich during the financial fraud days of 2001-2008 and now they're scrambling to preserve their wealth as things fall apart. That's why they plan on putting their working classes through the wringer even though such thinking is counter-productive. Things are going to get worse it seems, before there's even a chance that they'll get better.

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