Correa and Econofascism: a mere rant with grains of truth.

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The Econofascist writes, as compiled by Ecuador Rising:

With his enormous popularity rating of more than 70%, Mr Correa can be expected to vigorously pursue his radical reform plans. The referendum is likely to take place as planned, probably with the support of at least one opposition party, the Partido Social Patriótico (PSP, of former President Lucio Gutiérrez), the second-largest party in congress. Moreover, the public is apt to vote overwhelmingly in favour of the constituent assembly and reform of the constitution, in a clear victory for the president.

Yet Mr Correa now is likely to find it difficult to achieve consensus on the specific responsibilities of the constituent assembly and the finer details of the reforms. Moreover, even if the PSP backs the process, this support will be fragile, as its leader, Mr Gutiérrez, seeks concessions that will increase his own political influence. Absent these, he could withdraw his support.

Finally, the main features of Ecuadorean politics—social and regional tensions, weak and divided institutions, and frequent popular protest—will keep the risk of instability, and the threats to Mr Correa’s ability to govern, very high.”

Wishful thinking and self-fulfuelling (deliberate misspelling) propaganda: that’s what they do – and what they do best. There is a copy lying in a stack somewhere, been lavatory reading for the tropics, if you miss home and want to remember what the great democractic and free world, back home, thinks about things.

The Economist is not something I read, -otherwise. Reading the world from the top down like that is nothing other than a collective psychosis of capitalism in which the idea that we’re right on track, just a few minor adjustment are needed here and there (on both sides of the fence in this case), is presented as a God given truth by the chosen ones; but for what concerns the rest, the indigenous peoples and knowledge about other ways of doing things, for instance doing things without killing the forest, the Econofascists have no respect.

I might leaf through the Econofascist in a shop waiting for a train maybe and for flying to far away countries with little English (or whatever your language may be) The Economist can be like the tabloids at the hair dresser: mindless entertainment interspersed with information of varying degrees of usefulness, wrapped in pretend analysis of social relations. Glamour and cash – the celebrity-industrial complex. One lying through its teeth and “manufacturing consent”, and the other “distracting discontent”, well, hold on!??! They both belong in both categories, I guess. (This paragraph should really be rewritten, anyone can read that, but this is just a blog, init?)

Anyway, do you want references? Well, the source is The Economist from sometime last year, this particular one had the lovely face of Bitch Thatcher, the Tricolore and reads: “What France needs”, and any story will do for the keen reader to notice the pro-capitalist, pro-patriarchy….. even some eugenics style racism can be found, and of course there are evil muslims mentioned as well..

I must admit that I had not expected it to be so bad, so obviously so in its tone and so outright conservative in its fashion; but it is. I once enjoyed a speech by Frances Cairncross, some form or other of editor at the The Econofascist, in which she presented, expressively, a liberal position. Good ole Frances was all in favour of liberalisation, for, as she said, it was based on an article that she had written for the magazine, “and the magazine was liberal”. It was a good speech and a good brief chat afterwards, but the little colourful rag remains a scam : it is not political and economical scientific analysis: it is simply capitalist design.

Which conveniently brings us to Mr. Correa, for neither he is house broken. For he is no true socialist of the kind that we may dream off, or deduce from his great rhetoric.

Correa, although he recently in public (relations outreach) announced his “support” in the Chevron/Texaco case (30 years of genocide in North-West Ecuador), has as his right hand in matters of “the coordination of political economy and production” ministry Mr. Mauricio Davalos, who in an interview in El Comercio on March 6, 2007 (p. 9) confirmed that the Manta-Manaus corredor is central to the vision of the government of Correa. Likewise, Mr. Davalos states “that they are not against a TLC (“Free” Trade Agreement) with the USA”, just against an “agreement” that is not an agreement. In other words, if the US wants to share the capitalist marbles a bit better, a bit more equal, then they’re in business as usual.

Of course Mr. Davalos has a past in, which is “a pioneer” in the Ecuadorean cut flower business, that is, then, also, a pioneer on child labour and environmental destruction; so he is no stranger to ruthless trade.

The indigenous people know it – they know that business is coming to the Amazon pretty much as usual. In Napo –where it had previously been decided on regional political level that there should be a focus on eco-tourism as a means of socio-economic development– there is a contract being signed by a splinter group of some communities (pretty much) between Tena and Archidona with a Chinese company. Latin American “socialism” likes Chinese business for it is not the U.S. or whatever the business is. But people in Napo knows what oil exploration brings and protests are brewing. This Sunday Tena can expect the arrival of a contingent who oppose the other communities decision to take the money and thus bail out on the collective agreement that is needed for developing the Napo eco-tourism heaven they dream of, since noone would like to drive through petro-chemical wastelands on their way to a tropical paradise (it kind of detracts a little bit). Orellana and Sucumbio in North-West Ecuador has been described as a disaster zone with extreme growth of cancers and malformed babies and whatever else you can think of. This should also be easily googleable with terms like “health emergency”.

To add to the complexity of things we might take a look at the legend of “successfull indigenous political organising”in Ecuador. It is true that “the indigenous” peoples are strongly REepresented, certainly. But between the presented and their representation is a gap that sets apart the actual Kichwa and related peoples of the Ecuadorian Amazon from the elite that has emerged to skim the cream in their name? Sound familiar? Well, we are of course on anarchist territory: they came maybe even with good intentions, but in emulating the exact same patriarchal structures that their enemies have been suppressing them with for 500 years the indigenous political elite became the colonisers. Keep the emoney to themselves and their families get the scholarships that are granted “the community” and operate with opportunistic rhetoric and little respect for their own constitutions or moral codecs (if there is such a thing in politics).

Because the political elite is corrupt or rather corrupted by the Euro-Americans that they work with (or for) the people in the communities, ever more informed and disappointed with the emerged political umbrella that exploits often desperate realities for their own ends, because they have seen it all before, and because they know that communities within also are easily corruptible; for instance an elder sells it all off behind the back of everyone else since entitlements might be in his name – for these reasons some community leaders are making a claim for the money to be given directly to the communities and not be handled by the big actually non-representative representative organisations. Asked if they do not see that this will destroy, or cement the end of the eco-dream, they simply say: “It will happen anyway, at least this way all the money does not go to Jose Aviles and his family – we get it!”.

So, yea – it is dire times in Ecuador – eight presidents in a decade, non stayed out their term.

But Ecuador moves on through the revolution – reading Ecuador Rising , Latin American News Review and Upside Down World are useful ways to get going in English to see what is unfolding in Latin America. For socialist readers: get analysing and help preventing that the misguided and misguiding Correa and his fellow travellers turn the last bit of the Amazon rain forest into a motorway lined with factories.


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