by Emilio Cafassi, Noam Chomsky, Jorge Majfud and Manuel Castells
How does a tiny minority of one percent manage, decade after decade, to continue accumulating more wealth than the remaining ninety-nine percent of a society? Those who have done it know quite well how it's done: (1) massive and ubiquitous propaganda, invisible yet real, like the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere and (2) political, economic and military harassment of any kind to distract the public from what's actually being done to them.
Another way is by linking up various arguments and axioms in a manner devoid of rhyme or reason, such as the religion of firearms and religious love, abortion and low taxes for the rich, denial of climate change and hate of immigrants, free-market capitalism and patriotism, etc.
In this way, the one percent continue plucking fruits from all of society and all of history, with the necessary support of a dominant creole elite or even (when there's an election) a significant number of those who don't belong to the one percent.
Thus, in Latin America, neoliberal options, when they have failed, have done so because of their own flaws and, above all, because of the criminal economic blockade imposed by the world's superpower. That is, this has occurred when leaders haven't resorted to the more traditional military coups for defending the capital of the creole minority (class-conscious and racist) allied with the most powerful transnational interests.
And so, on the other hand, neoliberal impositions in Latin America have failed in spite of repeated outpourings of capital in the form of millions of dollars in credit that result in neither progress nor development in countries where such loans are extended, but rather massive debts and more poverty.
For neoliberalism, only economic success counts as success. Nonetheless, this myth of economic success hasn't even been successful in the economies of countries colonized by means of the self-same myth of economic success. No, on the contrary, one insists upon the "proven failure" of other options by pointing out harassed, blockaded and ruined countries, which is a pattern of action and of political narrative.
Latin America forms a part of this wave that for lack of a better term tends to be called neoliberalism. It's a wave that flattens, burns and destroys any flimsy measures put in place for the defense of society and the environment until it puts at risk the survival of the planet itself. It's a wave whose economic and social consequences we witness time and again throughout the continent as a kind of repetitive cyclical history.
Even though our attention these days is mostly focused on the shameful martial law currently imposed in Ecuador and the consequent repression of the protests against the unpopular measures taken by the government of Lenin Moreno, a large majority of countries live in a permanent state of threat and uncertainty while investors pressure, threaten and increase their profits.
We must not sidestep the fact that as we write these lines, the Ecuadorian government continues to respond by killing, wounding and detaining people and by casting doubt upon their future through the imposition of censorship and curfews. But the protests that have begun to offer resistance to this humanitarian crisis, which is a byproduct of policies that worship global power and generate poverty, now stretch from north to south. Such as in Colombia (seat of the greatest number of United States military bases in the hemisphere and seat of worldwide drug trafficking and paramilitarism with complete impunity), where the only concrete proposal for peace in the last fifty years is opposed. Such as in Peru, where an identical and mutual ignorance between fundamental state powers (executive and legislative) is considered to be a debatable constitutional matter, while in Venezuela (this manifesto should not be interpreted as support for its government) the hegemonic mafia is calling for military intervention. Argentina is swarming with picketing protesters who are reacting to the exponential increase in poverty and sudden debt, while in Chile and Brazil there is a continuous deepening of social inequities, defenselessness, drug trafficking and civil and police violence, which because of their proximity are now even threatening countries like Uruguay.
Different electoral processes are still pending in Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay during the remainder of the current year. Others will take place in the coming years. The dilemma remains between the narrative of the one percent (the authoritarianism of the elites, reactionary militarism, racial, nationalistic and class-based hatreds, the acrimony of unyielding sexism, the enmity of neomedievalism, the hostility of environmental destruction carried out in exchange for a few dollars) and the construction of a progressive, supportive, non-consumerist democracy that prioritizes human beings rather than the wealth of a few at the expense of many. A society capable of constructing a world for everyone and not just for a minority chosen by a god that never chose them.