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Introduction: China and the United States are moving in polar opposite directions: Beijing is rapidly becoming the center of overseas investments in high tech industries, including robotics, nuclear energy and advanced machinery with collaboration from centers of technological excellence, like Germany. In contrast, Washington is pursuing a predatory military pivot to the least productive regions... Read More
Introduction: Pundits and commentators on the Left and Right are pronouncing ‘the end of the progressive cycle in Latin America’. They cite the recent presidential elections: 1. Argentina, where hard-right Mauricio Macri was elected; 2. Brazil, where President Dilma Rousseff has appointed a neo-liberal ‘Chicago Boy’ economist, Joaquin Levy, as Finance Minister and launched an... Read More
Introduction:The post neo-liberal regimes which flourished in five Latin American countries in the first decade of the 21st century were a product of three inter-related historical processes. The breakdown of the neo-liberal development model, which in turn ignited mass popular movements for radical political-economic transformations; the incapacity of the mass movements to produce a viable... Read More
Introduction: Class conflict is always present, endemic, in Latin America. What changes, over time, is the character of the class struggle. By ‘character’ we mean, the principal classes and leaders, who direct in the struggle, set the political agenda and define the parameters of socio-economic changes. What is striking about the class struggle in Latin... Read More
More at The Real News PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay. The U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to review a case in which vulture funds sued to make the Argentinian government pay them 100 percent of the value of bonds, which they purchased for a fraction of the... Read More
This book “O Canto da Sereia” is a major contribution to the clarification of several important political and scholarly issues. In the first instance the essays critically analyze the new ideological, political and social instruments utilized by ruling classes to undermine the class struggle. Specifically the contributors focus on the ruling classes’ engagement in the... Read More
[Podcast] Professor James Petras of Binghamton University joins us to discuss the prospects for the Latin American economy in a global economy that is increasingly dominated by developing markets and emerging powers like China. We talk about the region’s links to the emerging Asian markets, internal trade, and deepening regional ties in bodies like MERCOSUR... Read More
Introduction: The leading agro-mineral exporting countries, including those engaged with the world’s leading mining and energy multi-national corporations(MNC) are also those characterized as having the most independent and progressive foreign policies. Apparently the primacy of “extractive capitalism” and commodity-export based economies are no longer correlated with ‘neo-colonial’ regimes. It can be argued that the concessions... Read More
Lessons for the US and EU
Introduction: Images of the Past The image of Latin America portrayed by the mass media and held by the educated public is a region of frequent coups, periodical revolutions, perpetual military dictatorships, alternating boom and bust economies and an ever-present International Monetary Fund (IMF) dictating economic policy. In contrast the same opinion makers plus their... Read More
In this paper we criticize contemporary theorizing about imperialism for its economic reductionism and a lack of class analysis and institutional specificity regarding the imperial state. Abstract: In this paper we criticize contemporary theorizing about imperialism for its economic reductionism and a lack of class analysis and institutional specificity regarding the imperial state. In the... Read More
Recent decades have witnessed a worldwide change in social and economic relations, accompanied by a multi- dimensional global crisis and major popular uprisings led by sociopolitical movements. While many critics see in these developments the agency of imperialist exploitation, mainstream development thinking and practice attribute them to the irresistible forces of progressive free market policies.... Read More
Political Power and the World Market :: The twin nemesis of Latin America’s quest for more equitable and dynamic development, US imperial and local oligarchic power have been subject to profound changes over the past decade. New capitalist classes both at home and abroad have redefined Latin America’s relation to world markets, seized opportunities to... Read More
Over the better part of the present decade, Latin American stock markets have boomed. Overseas investors have reaped and repatriated billions in dividends, profits and interest payments. Multi-national corporations have piled into mining, agro-business and related sectors, unimpeded and with virtually no demands by local regions for ‘technological transfers’ and environmental constraints. Latin American regimes,... Read More
Stabilization, Growth and Inequality
Latin America’s current relations with the US as well as its present political and economic configuration can best be understood in the context of large scale changes over the past twenty years and the relative stability of the past five years. We will proceed by schematically highlighting the salient features leading to the rise and... Read More
An analysis of the dynamics of capitalist development over the last two decades has been overshadowed by an all too prevalent “globalization” discourse. It appears that much of the Left has bought into this discourse, tacitly accepting globalization as an irresistible fact and that in many ways it is progressive, needing only for the corporate... Read More
The electoral victory of center left regimes in at least three Latin American countries, and the search for a new ideological identity to justify their rule, led ideologues and the incumbent presidents to embrace the notion that they represent a new 21st century version of socialism (21cs). Prominent writers, academics and regime spokespeople celebrated a... Read More
The most striking aspect of the prolonged and deepening world recession/depression is the relative and absolute passivity of the working and middle class in the face of massive job losses, big cuts in wages, health care and pension payments and mounting housing foreclosures. Never in the history of the 20-21st Century has an economic crisis... Read More
The situation of the energy sector in Latin America is determined by both internal and external correlations of political forces, the level of class organization and power within the ruling and the working classes, the condition of the world economy and the strength and weakness of US imperialism. The ‘situation of the energy sector’ refers... Read More
A serious discussion of the perspectives for socialism in Latin America today requires several levels of analysis, moving from world economic conditions, to US-Latin American relations, to their specific impact on Latin America. The analysis must focus on how the economic recession/depression impacts on the changing political-economic systems and the class structures. Finally, within this... Read More
Latin America is entering a period of profound economic recession, financial crises, collapsing stock market quotations, prices, deep devaluation of its currencies, growing unemployment, declining revenues and the prospect of a prolonged socio-economic recession. The economic breakdown, which is still unfolding, affects the entire political spectrum, extending from the far-right Uribe regime in Colombia to... Read More
“Diversity with Inequality is Not Social Justice”
There are two opposing approaches to the analysis of ecological destruction and the emergence of Indian movements in Latin America: the liberal and the Marxist. Introduction The liberal approach emphasizes ‘universal responsibility” for the destruction of the environment – rich and poor, mining companies and miners, factory owners and factory workers, auto manufacturers and drivers,... Read More
Latin American development presents us with a rich array of paradoxes, which befuddle the predictions, prescriptions, and commentaries of writers and academics from the right and left. Abrupt changes and shifts in the political correlation of forces is matched by striking structural continuities. Political advances alternate with sharp reversals as popular movements compete for power... Read More
Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are passing through a deep process of devolution during the last quarter century of the 20th century. LAC experienced the restoration of pre-national forms of property ownership, the reversal of social relations of production (capital-labor). Introduction Forms of primitive accumulation, characterized by forcible seizure of urban and rural land... Read More
The political and social behavior of the middle class is determined by its class position and interests and the political-economic context, which it confronts. In the context of a right-wing regime, an expanding economy, cheap credits and imports of low-priced consumer goods, the middle class is attracted to the right. In the context of a... Read More
The sweeping and ill-informed rhetorical excesses about ?civilizational?, ?epochal?, ?global? changes and ?world-historical? century-long projections are at best based on anecdotal selective data, and at worst vacuous emotive ejaculations designed to give prominence to personal opinions. Introduction: An Analytical Framework The practitioners of this style of rhetoric are what I call ?ideological charlatans?. Most of... Read More
Recent history has witnessed mass popular uprisings that ousted right-wing neo-liberal politicians in Bolivia (October 2003), Argentina (2001), Ecuador (2000) and Peru (2001). However in subsequent elections several bourgeois politicians, including Da Silva in Brazil, Kirchner in Argentina, Mesa in Bolivia and Toledo in Peru have taken power. The Marxist left once again confront the... Read More
Worker self-management (WSM) has re-emerged as a major movement in Argentina, particularly this year with over 200 factories organized and controlled by their workers and a national co-coordinator of self-managed enterprises in the process of being organized. Historically, WSM has been the centerpiece of the socialist project, dating back to Karl Marx’s famous statement that... Read More
In the first setion of the paper we will discuss the relation between the peasantry and the state in Latin America, a relationship which has been complex and changing. The role of the state with regard to the peasantry is deeply influenced by the type of production unit which is dominant and its relation to... Read More
Bush, ALCA and Plan Colombia
The fundamental problem facing the Bush Administration is expanding and consolidating the U.S. empire at a time of intensifying competition from rivals, growing economic recession in Euro-America and crises in Asia and Latin America, and rising socio-political opposition especially in Latin America, Russia, China and on special occasions in Western Europe and the U.S. The... Read More
I was invited to give one of the inaugural speeches at the Second Latin American Congress of Rural Organizations (Congreso Latinoamericano de Organizaciones del Campo, CLOC) that took place in Brazil November 3-7, 1997. There were approximately 350 delegates from practically every country in Latin America (only Uruguay and El Salvador were absent). The Congress... Read More
By the early 1980s the more perceptive sectorsof the neoliberal ruling classes realized that their policies were polarizingthe society and provoking large-scale social discontent. Neoliberal politiciansbegan to finance and promote a parallel strategy "from below," thepromotion of "grassroots" organization with an"anti-statist" ideology to intervene among potentially conflictoryclasses, to create a "social cushion." These organizations werefinancially... Read More
Category Classics
Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?
The sources of America’s immigration problems—and a possible solution