Re: Latin America's Left-wing trend - p.s.

Date Mon, 19 Dec 2005 11:44:42 EST

I meant to comment too on the effect on China of the LA left movement.  I agree that in the short run the Chinese authorities will ignore it.  They have a lot of practice at this point in maintaining the hypocrisy of a "socialist" state and capitalist economy.  The primary pressure to resolve this contradiction is internal, and they are focused on keeping growth going, managing the expanding domestic revolt, and their global role.  Therefore, they can probably not pay much attention to LA at this point.  But in the longer run, I think that developments in LA--and elsewhere--will make it harder for them to keep all this up.  It is not only that they will be exposed more and more by the emergence of "real" socialism, however partial, in other regions, but that the "models" of those developments may begin to have an impact within China itself, especially among younger elements of the left.  In other words, the swing to the left of LA is not only an ideological challenge, but a practical one as well, insofar as it may serve as an inspiration for others around the globe, including in China, to do likewise, with examples of what this would mean.  The increasing integration of the Chinese and LA economies is likely to only further accelerate this interrelationship, and therefore exacerbate as well the inability of China to manage its contradictions.