FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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  Livin’ la Vida Barroca: American Culture in a Time of Imperial Orthodoxies.

Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
Ted Rall
Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From
Lauren Regan
The Day the Valves Turned: Defending the Pipeline Protesters
Ralph Nader
Questions, Questions Where are the Answers?
Binoy Kampmark
Deplatforming Germaine Greer
Raouf Halaby
It Should Not Be A He Said She Said Verdict
Justin Anderson
Don’t Count the Left Out Just Yet
Robert Koehler
The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Making Workers Tweet About How Great It is to Work There
Robby Sherwin
Rabbi, Rabbi, Where For Art Thou Rabbi?
Vern Loomis
Has Something Evil This Way Come?
Steve Baggarly
Disarm Trident Walk Ends in Georgia
Graham Peebles
Priorities of the Time: Peace
Michael Doliner
The Department of Demonization
September 20, 2018
Michael Hudson
Wasting the Lehman Crisis: What Was Not Saved Was the Economy
John Pilger
Hold the Front Page, the Reporters are Missing
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail