RE: Latin America's Left-wing trend

From "Mobo Gao" <>
Date Mon, 19 Dec 2005 10:00:02 +1100
In-reply-to <>
Organization University of Tasmania
Thread-index AcYD0alLKzMvA+NDTDajhdGcw+nzlgAUsBqw

Dear Brian

For what is worth this is my immediate response which has not been reflected
and therefore very crude: the Chinese could not care less. The Chinese are
generally obsessed with the China question. In any case the discourse that
holds sway is still neoliberal in China (even Geremie Barme thinks free
lance journalists like Liu Xiaobo and Yu Jie are some worthy thinkers in
China). The majority of the elite want to look to the West for inspiration
and guidance, for style of life and for political economic model. Can you
blame them since the West has had it so good for so long? 

We still need few more years to see if the Latin American trend will last.
You may think I am a cynical, but I fear for the leftist politicians (if
there are any)in Latin America. I fear not only for their political lives
but also physical lives. They have had a few years of breathing space for
far because the so-called Muslim terrorism has extracted the energy and
attention of the people who master the world (at least they think they are).
My response at the roundtable discussion published on CAS was meant to be
provocative and a bit cynical, but probably not interpreted as such by some.


-----Original Message-----
From: []
On Behalf Of Brian Turner
Sent: Sunday, 18 December 2005 11:50 PM
Subject: Latin America's Left-wing trend

Many countries in Latin America are trending left or
center-left.  Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador have
center-left governments.  Mexico seems next up (the
left-populist mayor of Mexico City is leading polls
for next year's elections).  Venezuela has and Bolivia
soon will have (if Evo Morales is not upset in
Sunday's election) outright socialist governments. 
Cuba is still Cuba, shameful in some respects, but a
shining example in its farmer-run organic agricultural

Venezuela is implementing what I'd call authentic
socialist (in a 19th century sense) policies:  land
reform, democratic collective farms, worker-managed
factories, empowered local citizen councils,
nationalization of key resources, Maoist style welfare
programs, etc.  Bolivia seems ready to follow the same
model.  The Sandinistas keep drifting right, and keep
losing, one figures they'll cease going down the "me
too" WC road soon enough for the next elections.  

My question for the group is, will this have any
effect on China? With Venezuela being so attention
grabbing internationally, will it become harder for
China to refer to itself as a "socialist" country? 
Will the example of this model seep into discussions
about labor and agricultural policies?  Chavez is
calling the Washington Consenus the road to hell. 
Given China's sweatshop of the world reputation, is
this going to be the least bit embarassing?  I'm
guessing they could care less, right? (China seems
rather isolated from the discussions stimulated by the
world social movements).  

Can China still justify its rightist policies on the
grounds that it is the world trend, and TINA if the
Latin American examples are successful and spillover
to other regions? 


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