AMLO’s Victory, a Parting of the Waters in Latin America
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
There is no doubt that we are facing a wave of extreme right-wing movements. In order to understand what is happening, it is important to turn to a historical perspective. For that, we turn to the explnation given by John Bellamy Foster, Professor of Sociology at the University of Oregon and editor of the US left-wing magazine Monthly Review.
The political map on both sides of the Atlantic seemed to reveal a rise of the extreme right in the world. In most European economies, from the largest and strongest to the smallest and weakest, there was an increase in electoral support for right-wing forces. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, these forces of reaction achieved one success after another with impunity by resorting to various forms of disguised violence.
But the clean and resounding electoral triumph of Andres Manuel López (AMLO) in the race for Mexico’s presidency seems to have been a watershed towards a different reality.
It is known that, against this great victory by the Mexicans, there was put into practice a great clandestine Berlin operation. It’s named after the name of the street in the Mexican capital where the clandestine headquarters of the imperialist operation operated.
They used cyber techniques similar to those used shortly before, under the direction of the CIA. They targeted the electoral processes in Brazil, Ecuador and other points in Latin America and Africa that left distorting fruits of popular will, Operation Berlin was carried out in Mexico. Only this time, in Mexico, they failed. Marxist theorists, along with most historians, have explained that fascism has as its backbone a political alliance between monopoly capital and a certain stratum of the middle class (or petty bourgeoisie).
Historically, the extreme right, too, has gained followers from the countryside, from established religions and from sectors of the armed forces. Fascism is always marginally present in all capitalist societies. It never emerges with all its strength on its own. It is consolidated as a movement only in those cases in which the capitalist class offers its encouragement and support, mobilizing the most reactionary elements of the “middle class”, which acts as the rear of the system.
If, in a period of economic and political crisis, the liberal state becomes an impediment to capitalist government, the existing powers will seek to preserve, consolidate and expand their rule through a regressive change in the capitalist state using the political forms provided by the extreme right.
Neoliberalism de-legitimizes the state. It encourages the development of radical right-wing or neo-fascist movements that oppose neoliberal political elites in the exercise of power and influence impoverished sectors through bribery.
Emerging neo-fascism in the United States is rooted in the “white supremacism” that goes back to slavery and the predominant thinking of the first British settlers, mixed with all sorts of new ideological elements.
Trump’s militant political base is estimated to be between 25 and 30 percent of the electorate and is located in the lower-middle stratum, with family incomes of about $75,000 a year.
It is a very white sector of the population that finds itself in a position of extreme economic insecurity. Its ideology is national-imperialist, with militant racism. A large part of this demographic group is associated with right-wing evangelism. It is something similar to the mass in Brazil that supported Jair Bolsonaro.
Trump’s main value for the ruling class lies in the fact that the radical right has been able to deliver added value to the rich: it has removed obstacles to market dominance over the whole of society.
The notion that coheres its social base is the construction of a wall along the Mexican border and new detention centers. These symbolize a war against poor immigrants. But the economic policies of the Trump administration have little to do with the demands of its social base. Trump has increased the power of financial monopoly capital, given huge tax and subsidy exemptions to big business and the rich. He has promoted economic and environmental deregulation, undermined unions, privatized education, expanded the penal state, destroyed the little progress which had been made in health care, and waged a relentless war for U.S. hegemony. Hence, Mexicans can feel like they are on the cusp of a well-deserved future.
October 31, 2019.