We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Extractive Capitalism and the Divisions in the Latin American Progressive Camp

Click here to access article by James Petras from Canadian Dimension. 

The author explores the more independent minded Latin American regime's and their unusual relationship with both their indigenous social movements and the multinational corporations (MNCs).
North American leftists may be mislead by the recent expropriation of Repsol, the Spanish oil corporation, by the Argentine government and get the wrong idea about all the regimes' relationships with the MNCs. 

Although the relationships vary by country among these progressive regimes, they share certain commonalities which he describes in some detail:
...the progressive regimes have pursued a multi-faceted double discourse: an anti-imperialist, nationalist and populist rhetoric for domestic consumption while putting into practice a policy of fomenting and expanding the role of foreign extractive capital in joint ventures with the state and a rising new national bourgeoisie. The progressive regimes articulate a narrative of socialism and participatory democracy but in practice pursue policies linking development with the concentration and centralization of capital and executive power.

The progressive regimes preach a doctrine of social justice and equity and a practice of co-optation of social leaders and clientalism via poverty programs for the poorest sectors of society.