Capitalism: the Latin American Experiment

The War on Democracy by John Pilger

John Pilger is an award-winning independent journalist and a renowned documentary film-maker. “The War on Democracy” is his latest opus. A startling reminder of the ravages that capitalism has already caused in Latin America, considered for decades to be the American (USA) preserve. Based on an arrogant imperial vision of the world and on the so-called Washington Consensus which theorized and underpinned the neo-liberal policies for the last two or three decades, successive American administrations made sure that no genuine democracy springs in the southern half of the continent: putting absolute potentates at the head of States, overthrowing democratically elected governments and sponsoring a class of plutocrats monopolizing their country’s wealth at the expense of impoverished populations. Watch how America tries now to regain the political power it has lost by ways very incompatible with the portrait of an America spreading “democracy and freedom” throughout the world; an image ostentatiously exhibited to justify the unjustifiable.

Here’s a link to one of the earliest Pilger’s works: “The Year Zero,” which reveals a facet of the Vietnam war seldom exposed in western media.

And to further understand the pernicious nature of corporate capitalism, the fundamental motor behind American imperialism, this is Mark Achbar’sThe Corporation” which desecates the mechanisms of the boundless corporation greed:

(I must give credit to eatbees who inspired me on this one through his latest post)

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4 thoughts on “Capitalism: the Latin American Experiment

  1. I just finished the video, and I was amazed at how poverty looks the same all over the world, Venezuela or Morocco, though the political reality is very different.

    Maybe Mehdi Ben Berka could have been Morocco’s Chavez, but we know how that turned out. There doesn’t seem to be a Moroccan Chavez on the horizon today….

    Check out this quote! The subject is Chile, but it could refer to Morocco’s latest election. “A complicated voting system splits the vote and discourages real reform…. It’s Washington’s ideal democracy.”

  2. Thanks for posting. I am shocked at how similar the techniques used for Latin America are being applied throughout the world now.

  3. @eatbees: It’s amazing how the particular phrase you quoted in the film caught my attention too… I too automatically have been thrown back into the last election sham in Morocco. Ben Barka was ahead of his time isn’t it? Think of what would have become of Morocco if a man of such stature, integrity and intelligence hadn’t been silenced.

    @Wassim: you’re absolutely spot on my friend. I don’t wanna sound too much highbrow or philosophical, but I think that from the very beginning human beings have been swaying between two opposite sentiments: Egoism (hence greed and misanthropy) and Altruism (hence compassion and generosity). America has created after WWII an out-of-control political and economic system which is thirsty of resources, wars and blood: what is preposterously called “national security interest.” Did you see how disgusting the answer of this former CIA agent was (don’t remember his bloody name) when he was asked about Salvador Allende and the THOUSANDS of deaths in Chile. He said in substance that “as long as it is in my interest to destroy you” (you, my fellow human being) “I will surely do!” That’s the greedy, ferocious and blood thirsty monster they have created.

    @both eatbees and wassim: this quote from a ROBERT JENSEN’s enlightning piece on counterpunch:

    “There is a theory behind contemporary capitalism. We’re told that because we are greedy, self-interested animals, an economic system must reward greedy, self-interested behavior if we are to thrive economically.

    “Are we greedy and self-interested? Of course. At least I am, sometimes. But we also just as obviously are capable of compassion and selflessness. We certainly can act competitively and aggressively, but we also have the capacity for solidarity and cooperation. In short, human nature is wide-ranging. Our actions are certainly rooted in our nature, but all we really know about that nature is that it is widely variable. In situations where compassion and solidarity are the norm, we tend to act that way. In situations where competitiveness and aggression are rewarded, most people tend toward such behavior.

    “Why is it that we must choose an economic system that undermines the most decent aspects of our nature and strengthens the most inhuman? Because, we’re told, that’s just the way people are. What evidence is there of that? Look around, we’re told, at how people behave. Everywhere we look, we see greed and the pursuit of self-interest. So, the proof that these greedy, self-interested aspects of our nature are dominant is that, when forced into a system that rewards greed and self-interested behavior, people often act that way. Doesn’t that seem just a bit circular?…

    “…One of the common responses I hear when I critique capitalism is, “Well, that may all be true, but we have to be realistic and do what’s possible.” By that logic, to be realistic is to accept a system that is inhuman, anti-democratic, and unsustainable. To be realistic we are told we must capitulate to a system that steals our souls, enslaves us to concentrated power, and will someday destroy the planet.

    “But rejecting and resisting a predatory corporate capitalism is not crazy. It is an eminently sane position. Holding onto our humanity is not crazy. Defending democracy is not crazy. And struggling for a sustainable future is not crazy.

    “What is truly crazy is falling for the con that an inhuman, anti-democratic, and unsustainable system — one that leaves half the world’s people in abject poverty — is all that there is, all that there ever can be, all that there ever will be.

    “If that were true, then soon there will be nothing left, for anyone.

    “I do not believe it is realistic to accept such a fate.”

    Find the whole article here:
    http://www.counterpunch.org/jensen04302007.html
    And thanks for the comments

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