FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

So Glad The Grown-Ups are Back in Charge in Argentina

Photo Source Agência Brasil Fotografias | CC BY 2.0

If you’ve followed Latin American politics at all in the mainstream press, I am sure you’ve heard and read about how the Kirchners (2003-2015) mismanaged the Argentine economy and how, with the election of Mauricio Macri,  the adults were back in the room and the economy was on its way to a more healthy and sustainable management.

There’s only one problem with the story: reality.

When Nestor Kirchner took over in 2003, things could not have been worse. The bank “corralito” had robbed millions of their life savings. The society lay prostrate before the world, a bargain basement for anyone with a few dollars in his or her pocket. I know, I visited the country in those dark days and saw the devastation all around me.

Over the next several years the economy was re-built and the middle and lower middle classes began to to re-acquire a sense of living in a functioning society. I was amazed at the transformation I witnessed over my visits in the ensuing decade.

Key to the Kirchners’ relative success was their repudiation of the IMF debts run up during the Menem years (1989-1999). With some help from Venezuela,  Nestor Kirchner faced down the financial vultures and basically  told them to go to hell. And it worked for the great majority of the country’s population.

This, of course gained him the  enmity of the country’s ever-rancid elites who put their “right” to do as they pleased with “their” dollars above any sense of the common good. Led by the powerful Clarín media group (in which, surprise, surprise, Goldman Sachs has a near 20% stake) they launched non-stop attacks on the still  very popular Cristina Kirchner (Nestor had died suddenly in 2010), tossing  any and every accusation they could at her non-stop for several years.

I have no doubt there was corruption in her government just as there is in every government in the world. I also have no doubt that its prevalence in relation to that which existed in previous governments was totally blown out of proportion.

After several years of informational bombardment the international elites and their internal fifth column  finally got what they wanted: a personal errand boy in the Casa  Rosada in the person of Mauricio Macri.

Macri quickly showed that here was no demand of international finance to which he would not bow. Hence, all the positive spin in the MSM about maturity and responsibility returning to Argentina.

Well, last week  right as  Macri  was finishing  his daily lip-lock on the behind of international capital a funny thing happened: the peso went into free fall, trading as high as 40 to the dollar.

What a surprise.

This is, of course, what the bankers wanted. Now, as the Argentine people suffer, they can rush in and buy up the countries productive industries for a song and saddle future generation with still more unplayable debt.

Victory achieved.

And what made this comeback victory possible? What makes all the victories of the thuggish elites possible in today’s world. Media control. If you can say black is white and white is black enough times on the TV, sadly,  most people will melt sooner or later.

The key to any chance of re-building democracy in our time  runs  directly through the reconstruction of critical reading capacities among those fortunate enough to study beyond the pursuit of mere literacy.

Until people take this challenge seriously, and do something about in day-to-day-terms, the oligarchs and their government errand boys will continue their scorched earth approach to the social and physical patrimony of our children and our grandchildren.

It really isn’t that hard to read each day with attention and discernment. Considering the consequences of not doing so, you’d think more people might give it a try.

But then again, cat videos are really cute and bring a lot of joy to those who watch them.

More articles by:

Thomas S. Harrington is a professor of Iberian Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and the author of the recently released  A Citizen’s Democracy in Authoritarian Times: An American View on the Catalan Drive for Independence  (University of Valencia Press, 2018).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
March 27, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Bailouts for the Rich, the Virus for the Rest of Us
Louis Proyect
Life and Death in the Epicenter
Paul Street
“I Will Not Kill My Mother for Your Stock Portfolio”
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The Scum Also Rises
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Stimulus Bill Allows Federal Reserve to Conduct Meetings in Secret; Gives Fed $454 Billion Slush Fund for Wall Street Bailouts
Jefferson Morley
Could the Death of the National Security State be a Silver Lining of COVID-19?
Ruth Hopkins
A Message For America from Brazil’s First Indigenous Congresswoman
Kathleen Wallace
The End of the Parasite Paradigm
Anthony DiMaggio
Misinformation and the Coronavirus: On the Dangers of Depoliticization and Social Media
Andrew Levine
Neither Biden Nor Trump: Imagine Cuomo
David Rosen
God’s Vengeance: the Christian Right and the Coronavirus
David Schultz
The Covid-19 Bailout: Another Failed Opportunity at Structural Change
Evaggelos Vallianatos
In the Grip of Disease
Edward Leer
Somebody Else’s World: An Interview with Kelly Reichardt
Robert Fisk
What Trump is Doing in the Middle East While You are Distracted by COVID-19
Daniel Warner
COVID-19: Health or Wealth?
Thomas Klikauer – Norman Simms
Corona in Germany: Hording and Authoritarianism
Ramzy Baroud
BJP and Israel: Hindu Nationalism is Ravaging India’s Democracy
Richard Moser
Russia-gate: the Dead But Undead
Ron Jacobs
Politics, Pandemics and Trumpism
Chris Gilbert
Letter From Catalonia: Alarming Measures
Richard Eskow
Seven Rules for the Boeing Bailout
Jonathan Carp
Coronavirus and the Collapse of Our Imaginations
Andrew Bacevich
The Coronavirus and the Real Threats to American Safety and Freedom
Peter Cohen
COVID-19, the Exponential Function and Human the Survival
César Chelala - Alberto Luis Zuppi
The Pope is Wrong on Argentina
James Preston Allen
Alexander Cockburn Meets Charles Bukowski at a Sushi Bar in San Pedro
Jérôme Duval
The Only Oxygen Cylinder Factory in Europe is Shut down and Macron Refuses to Nationalize It
Neve Gordon
Gaza Has Been Under Siege for Years. Covid-19 Could Be Catastrophic
Alvaro Huerta
To Survive the Coronavirus, Americans Should Learn From Mexicans
Prabir Purkayastha
Why the Coronavirus Pandemic Poses Fundamental Challenges to All Societies
Raouf Halaby
Fireside Chatterer Andrew Cuomo for President
Thomas Drake
The Sobering Realities of the American Dystopia
Negin Owliaei
Wash Your Hands…If You Have Water
Felice Pace
A New Threat to California’s Rivers:  Will the Rush to Develop Our Newest Water Source Destroy More Streams?
Ray Brescia
What 9/11 Can Teach Us About Responding to COVID-19
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
The Covid-19 Opportunity
John Kendall Hawkins
An Age of Intoxication: Pick Your Poison
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Propaganda Virus: Is Anyone Immune?
Nicky Reid
Fear and Loathing in Coronaville Volume 1: Dispatches From a Terrified Heartland
Nolan Higdon – Mickey Huff
Don’t Just Blame Trump for the COVID-19 Crisis: the U.S. Has Been Becoming a Failed State for Some Time
Susan Block
Coronavirus Spring
David Yearsley
Lutz Alone
CounterPunch News Service
Letter from Truthdig’s Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer to the Publisher Zuade Kaufman
CounterPunch News Service
Statement From Striking Truthdig Workers
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail