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, September 20, 2015

Brazil-US Accords: Back to the Backyard?

Click here to access article by Raúl Zibechi from Upside Down World.

Zibechi, who is a leading activist and political theorist from Uruguay, reviews the visit by Obama with the Brazilian head of state at the White House. He sees the visit as an attempt at mending ties between the two countries following numerous military, technological, and economic deals recently agreed to by both governments, to propose new agreements, and to strengthen the older ties of the OAS which ignores the independent role of new organizations established in South America.

Together with the renewed relations with Cuba, this visit seems to reflect a new policy that the US has devised to strengthen their ties with Latin America following strained relations that resulted from many decades of neocolonial policies ("Washington Consensus") and CIA interference in their domestic affairs. Could it be that the US imperial center is trying to mend ties with Latin American countries as a ploy to gather old subjects, excuse me, old allies together to prepare for a major confrontation with Russia and China for world dominance? So what are the implications, which many analysts like Zibechi see simply as a new US imperial strategy, for a much heralded multi-polar capitalist world (with the BRICS as the other pole) that so many liberal political analysts are longing for and prematurely celebrating? Can we expect anything like a harmonious relationship between these capitalist blocs when capitalist history is filled with fierce competition and devastating wars? Of course not! 

With the looming prospect of climate destabilization caused by the capitalist requirement of growth forever together with the prospect of nuclear wars between the two blocs, we humans can either forget about a future or we can take action to end this scourge of capitalism and create an economic system that can create conditions in which we can live in harmony with each other and with nature. I fear with our passivity and inaction that our future is one of extinction. Some people might see this as a sort of natural justice, or nature's justice, for causing the extinction of so many other species.