It’s about time that Americans get over themselves and look to Latin America with a new eye. The changes that are happening to the nations of South America are astounding. Hugo Chavez is not the strongman dictator that the United States would want you to believe he is. Evo Morales is not the dictator that the U.S. State Department would like you to believe he is. The leaders of South America are a vibrant breath of fresh air and an example of what we here in the United States could become.
It is no accident that left-wing governments have appeared in South America. The leaders of the US can only blame themselves for the rise of socialism to our south. Years of American imperialism and of the heavy hand of the CIA and the DEA are prime examples of why the left has come to power. Even though the media of the left leaning Bolivarian States is controlled by the right (consisting of the corporatists and the wealthy landowners), the people of Latin America have managed to see through the veneer of their lies and have turned out and elected people with visionary foresight to share the resources of their respective natural resources with the people. They are taking the wealth that for centuries was in the hands of the few and sharing it with the many.
Years of government and media propaganda in America has given the people in America a false vision of what democracy should look like. At this particular point in U.S. history, most of the people in this country are not sharing the wealth of our immensely rich nation. Eighty percent of our population only shares seven percent of its wealth! At no time in our history has so much wealth been in the hands of so few. We are a nation that engages in predatory capitalism and the prey is not just foreign nations that we invade with impunity, but the very people that enable this country to thrive, working Americans.
Our government has told us repeatedly through their control of the mass media that socialism is a flawed system that enables dictatorships and deprivation. Who are the people that are telling us this? One only has to look at who owns the media. Why would media outlets that are owned by corporations such as General Electric and Westinghouse, huge defense contractors, tell us any different? Tyrants like Rupert Murdock and Roger Ailes have a vested interest in keeping the status quo in place. The corporate sponsors of the news channels such as Lockheed-Martin and Boeing will always present the capitalist view of world events.
Americans are starting to understand just where their government places their priorities. In 2008, the largest transfer of wealth in recorded history took place right in front of our eyes. Over 14 Trillion dollars went to the oligarchs of Wall Street in the form of taxpayer money. Did that transfer of wealth actually help American families? Not by a long shot, but last year, bonuses on Wall Street were up by 18%.
When the government stepped in and nationalized Chrysler and GM, did the workers at those automotive plants who helped fund the buyout get any ownership in the companies that they worked for. Not a chance, in actuality the workers are finding their wages are being cut in half and their Unions won’t even let them vote on it! Is this the America that our founding fathers envisioned? Do we want to exist in a nation where the rich continue to amass fortunes while the people that break their backs work themselves into poverty?
The median income of eighty percent of this nations workers has dropped every year for the past six years. We have unemployment that in actuality has exceeded 20% when you count those that have stopped looking for work. When do we call this a crisis? When does the government respond to the people’s needs? The example of South America should make every capitalist’s hair stand on end!
When are the American people going to wake up and see that the people that run this nation are playing a fixed game on them? When are the workers in this country going to realize that the Democrats and the Republicans are running the same game? Who is it that finances their elections and puts them into office? Most of the American people understand who runs the two capitalist political parties; the corporations. The same corporations that have outsourced their jobs and this nation’s manufacturing base overseas because it’s cheaper to hire someone in India or China or even Bangladesh. What do we manufacture in this country except automobiles that many of us can’t afford and military hardware? Is it any wonder that this country has been embroiled in some war or another for almost 50 years?
Just what are our objectives in Afghanistan besides running a huge Federal jobs program? There are more civilian contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan than there are military personnel! What are we fighting for and why are we losing a war against what is an admitted 27,000 Taliban against over 150,000 American and NATO troops? Is this some kind of game? Why is it that the majority of troops in our Armed Forces come from the economically disadvantaged? This is no accident. The poor people have always fought every empire’s wars. We are no exception. This model bankrupted Rome and almost every empire that followed it. Here too, we are no exception.
I would rather have a leader like Hugo Chavez or Evo Morales sitting in the Whitehouse than the corporate stooge we have now. I can smell the winds of change and it doesn’t smell good for the powers that be. The working poor of this country are losing their homes and businesses and can’t afford to send their children to colleges and universities. The rich are thriving on the backs of the working poor. When it gets to the point where people have nothing left to lose they will, as history has shown, rise up against those that would keep them down. Capitalism has not been good to the vast majority of Americans. It is almost incomprehensible that we are living in the biggest, richest economy on Earth. Something is definitely wrong in America.
Sooner than later, and its already happening in some quarters, Americans won’t be able to believe what they hear against what they see. These are not “good times” for most American families and they are going to demand that something be done. The misguided right will soon understand that their movement has been co-opted by the corporate world. The left has yet to mobilize. Economic crisis almost always brings a demand for change. Are Americans so different than those living in South America? Time will tell. The left has yet to come together as one voice but the rumbling is getting louder. Change will come, make no mistake about it. Change will come from the bottom up and it may very well look like the changes that have swept across Latin America.
Leonard Cohen – Democracy
LeonardCohen | March 09, 2009