Category Archives: Honduras

Why Trump Is a Disaster: Latin American Foreign Policy

Zamfir: I’m surprised you have a strong preference for Democrats over Republicans. To me it seems like a hopeless choice. If you vote Republican you’re voting for one set of evil elite interests, but not explicitly against your biology and cultural heritage; if you vote Republican you’re voting for another set of evil elite interests, and explicitly against your biology and cultural heritage.

Hard to pick between those two! What is the real advantage in voting Democrat in your opinion? (I guess I’d vote for Bernie, but then again I’d vote for Trump for similar reasons… Not that I expect either one would ever do much on anything I care about.)

He rolled back our open policy on Cuba, another example of his hatred of the Left. He said Cuba did sonic attacks on our diplomats. It’s a lie. They don’t even understand the technology needed to do something like that.

Trump supported an obviously stolen election in Honduras and the next day directed a lot of foreign aid their way. It’s a death squad dictatorship where the murder the people all the time so the rich can stay in power.

Trump supports Colombia and he has just made Colombia, the most right-wing country on Earth, a member of NATO! It is a death squad dictatorship, the worst one on Earth, that kills the people almost every other day. The rebels disarmed but now the government comes out and murders the people all the time and there’s no way for the people to fight back.

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The Rich Only Support Democracy when the Elected State Serves their Class Interests, Otherwise They Try to Overthrow It

Zamfir: Thanks Robert. I appreciate the site, and it’s nice to feel welcome.

Obviously one problem in discussing this is that terms like ‘left’ and ‘right’ or ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ have been given all kinds of different meanings. If economic conservatism is identified with free market ideology then I’m pretty ambivalent about that, at best. And if it’s identified with support for whatever this internationalist economic system is that we have now, I’m against it.

I find it very weird that people who are conservative about social and cultural issues often support “economic conservatism” of that kind. It’s so clear that these things are incompatible! Anyway I certainly have no problem with socialism per se. I would only disagree with certain versions, or cases where I believe socialism ends up being destructive of healthy families and cultures (in much the same way that capitalism can be).

As for democracy I’m not sure what I think about it. I think I’m a reactionary to the extent that I don’t believe that democracy, or any other specific system or procedure, is always good or always essential to a good society. My sense is that some democracies or kinds of democracy are fine, while others are really bad. It all depends on some many factors aside from the system or procedure itself.

I do want a society where the interests of most people, including the poor, are taken into account fairly. But I don’t see any reason why that could never happen in a non-democratic state. Or, more precisely, for anything that’s good about some democracies, I don’t see why certain non-democratic regimes couldn’t also have those good things; it would all depend on other factors such as the culture and history of the people, their typical behavior and beliefs, etc.

So I guess I’d support coups against democratic regimes in some cases–though things would have to be pretty bad–and also against non-democratic regimes in some cases. I don’t think coups are always bad. (In fact, that’s one thing that seems silly about a lot of rigid ‘conservative’ ideology–the wish to preserve order and the status quo no matter how terrible it’s become…)

You say the rich don’t support democracy. I wonder if that’s true. Maybe they don’t support the ideal of democracy, for the reasons you mentioned. But, again, bearing in mind the looseness of terminology here, they sure do seem to support systems that we normally call “democratic”. Is the US a democracy in your view?

Are England or Ireland or Canada democracies? If so, then I don’t agree that the rich never want democracy. My sense is that they long ago figured out how to manipulate these kinds of systems to get the results they want. They manage the perceptions and values of the masses so that they always end up “freely choosing” the same garbage that the elites wanted all along.

A good question is whether this is an inevitable feature of democracy. (I don’t know the answer.) It could be that in any feasible form of democracy, no matter how close it gets to the ideal, you end up with powerful interests rigging the process to maximize their own wealth and power. And I don’t like that, because I want the interests of ordinary people to be taken into account. Ironically, then, I’m skeptical about many forms of democracy because I think the masses deserve to have a say.

So I’d be against democracy in cases where ‘democratic’ systems are hijacked by elites and used against the people. That’s what’s happening in most of the western world, I’d say. Not to say I’d support a coup in this situation–and certainly not if the point of the coup was to install an even more extreme form of exploitation. But I’m not entirely sure what to say about democracy. I think the reactionary critique has merit. (But then, don’t communists also criticize democracy for roughly similar reasons?)

The Communist view is that seeking power peacefully would be a great idea except the ruling classes will never allow it to happen. They say that power never gives up without a fight, and I believe that they are correct. Nevertheless, most Communists support Venezuela, Nicaragua and only leftwing democratic countries. But the Communists would say, “Look what happens why you try to take power peacefully. You get Nicaragua, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Honduras, Haiti, and even Argentina.”

The ruling class will just overthrow the democratic Left state any way they can, always using anti-democratic means to do so. That’s why Lenin called people who supported the peaceful road to socialism “parliamentary cretins.” He thought it was a great idea but it would never work because the rich would never allow the Left to take power peacefully.

The Communist view is also that you never have democracy under capitalism anyway, as the capitalists and the rich always ending ruling the state one way or another through all sorts of means. And yes, the rich and the capitalists always take over all the media in any capitalist country as you said, they use it to shape the view of the people to support the class politics of the rich. Such support being called false consciousness.

Gramsci said that the ruling class took over the entire culture in capitalist countries and brainwashed the masses into supporting the project of the rich. They did this via cultural hegemony. Marx said that the culture of the rich is always the popular culture in any capitalist country. So the ruling class turns all of us into “little rich people” or “little capitalists” to support their project. They brainwash us into thinking we are the same class as the rich and that we are all capitalists ourselves, so we should support Capital. These are lies, but most Americans are easily fooled.

Ralph Nader called this “going corporate” or “thinking corporate.” He says that in the US, most people adopt the mindset of the corporations and think of themselves are part of the corporate structure whether they are or not. If everyone is part of the corporate structure, then what’s good for corporations is good for all of us, which is the project of the Republican Party, neoliberalism everywhere, the Latin American rich, etc. It’s a big fat lie, but people want to be rich and a lot of workers want to think of themselves are busy little capitalist money-making, go-getter, can-do, Bossterist entrepreneurs because it seems to cool to own your own business.

And the Communists would call this false consciousness and their argument would be that under capitalism, most people adopt false consciousness.

I think in the US, the rich see the tide coming and the rule of the rich is going to end so they want to lock in as much of the state as possible by stacking the courts, gutting the safety net, massive tax cuts that will be impossible to get rid of, and that Constitutional Convention they are two states away from getting where they want to rewrite the whole US Constitution to lock in rule by the rich for as long as possible. The rich see the writing on the wall. That’s why they came up with the computerized elections scam, so they could steal elections as long as people kept voting against the rich.

The gerrymandering of districts now makes it almost impossible to get rid of Republican majorities on state representatives in the House and in Senators and Assemblymen in the states. It’s all locked in.

So as the rich saw the tide turning and demographics moving against them, they instituted a full court press to do all sorts of extremely anti-democratic stuff to stay in power. If the people would just vote for them anyway, they would not have to do that, but apparently most Americans have now turned away from the politics of the rich, so the rich will have to lie, cheat, and steal to stay in power from now on.

Also they elected Donald Trump, by far the most corrupt, authoritarian and even outright fascist leader this country has ever had. And this follows too. Whenever there is a popular movement against the rich and the capitalists, the rich and the capitalists always, always, always resort of fascism to stay in power. This has been proven endlessly over time, even in Europe. Trotsky had some great things to say about this. Check out “Thermidor.” Trotsky truly understood what fascism was all about. It is a desperate last ditch move by the ruling class to seize power in the face of an uprising from the Left.

The rich and the capitalists are determined to stay in power, by hook or by crook, by any means necessary, and they will lie, cheat, steal and kill as many people as they have to just to keep the Left out of power. They simply will not allow the Left to rule. They must rule and if they are out of  power, they will use any antidemocratic means to get power back.

Which is the story of the CIA, the Pentagon and 100% of US foreign policy since 1945 and even before then. Read Samuel Butler.

I mean, we on the Left generally allow the Right to take power if they do so democratically. Sure they destroy everything like they always do, but most of us are committed to the democratic means of seeking power. Even most Communist parties will not take up arms against any rightwing government, saying they prefer to seek power by peaceful means. Typically, the CP will issue a statement that the nation is not in a revolutionary situation right now. There are objective conditions under which a nation is said to be in a revolutionary situation. I’m sure you can recall a few. It is then and only then that most CP’s will go underground and issue a call to take up arms.

Frankly, almost all Left insurgencies postwar were defensive. The Left allowed the Right to take power and then the Right started running around killing people. Usually the Left sat there for a while and let themselves get killed before taking up power. I know the Viet Cong just sat there from 1954-1960 while the rightwing Vietnamese government ran amok in the countryside, murdering 80,000 Communists in six years. They kept asking the North Vietnamese for permission to take up arms, but the North kept denying it.

The Colombian, Salvadoran and Guatemalan guerrillas only took up guns after the state had been running about murdering them unarmed for years. The Salvadoran guerrillas said they got tired of sitting in their homes waiting for the rightwing state to come kill them, and they decided that if the state was going to come kill them anyway, they might as well pick up a gun and defend themselves. They also took up arms because the Right kept stealing elections by fraud.

The Right had cut off all methods of seeking power peacefully, so the Left picked up guns. The message is if you elect a leftwing government, sooner or later the Right will overthrow it and then there will be a reign of terror where many Leftists will be murdered. Knowing that, if you were a Leftist in some country, would you not be afraid to put the Left in power knowing you stood a good chance of being murdered once the inevitable rightwing coup took place?

The Colombian and Honduran governments only stay in power by killing people. Lots of people. The Greek Communists only took up arms after the government had been killing them for some time.

Also once a Left government is overthrown by the rich and the capitalists, the new Rightist government institutes a reign of terror where they slaughter the defeated Left for many years. This went on for decades after 1954 in Guatemala, and it goes on still today. After Aristide was overthrown, the rightwing government murdered 3,000 of his supporters.

After Allende was overthrown, Pinochet murdered 15,000 people over a decade and a half. A threat from the Left prompted the Indonesian government to fake a Left coup and murder 1 million Communists in a couple of months. Even before the Korean War broke out, from 1948-1950, the South Korean government killed hundreds of thousands of Communists in the South.

As they withdrew when the North attacked, the South Koreans killed South Korean Communists everywhere they went. After the fascist coup in Argentina, the government decimated the Left, murdering 30,000 mostly unarmed supporters of the Left. The same thing happened in Bolivia with the Banzer Plan when Hugo Banzer took power after the tin miners briefly sought power. The new rightwing government in Brazil is already starting to murder members of the former Left ruling party. They’re not going to stop.

After the fascist coup in Ukraine, the Communist Party was outlawed and many of its members were murdered. War was declared on labor unions. Workers in one union were chained to a heater inside the building and the building was set on fire.

The party supported by half the population (the Russian speakers and their supporters) the Party of Regions, was outlawed, a number of its deputies were murdered and there were attempts to murder the leader of the party, lastly by setting his house on fire which set his neighbor’s house on fire instead. He fled to Russia. Now half the population and all of the Russian speakers had not party to represent them, which is why they took up arms. They were locked out of power.

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Should the Rich and the Reactionaries Be Given Rights?

Sisera: So what does that mean then? You believe rich people are inherently oppressors who don’t deserve rights but then White men are okay?

Most of them are oppressors, of course. Don’t you even understand class politics or the nature of capitalism at all. Those rich people who are pursuing their economic self interests in the class war, well of course they are our oppressors. The oppressors of me and mine anyway. I suppose they see us as oppressors.

Marxist theory doesn’t say that anyway. It just says that when the rich pursue their self interests in the class war, everyone who’s not rich gets fucked. You want to call that oppression? You are welcome to. If you side with the rich, you are an idiot. Why would you side with your class enemies. Most of them are oppressors, of course. Don’t you even understand class politics or the nature of capitalism at all.

Those rich people who are pursuing their economic self interests in the class war, well of course they are our oppressors. The oppressors of me and mine anyway. I suppose they see us as oppressors. Marxist theory doesn’t say that anyway. It just says that when the rich pursue their self interests in the class war, everyone who’s not rich gets fucked. You want to call that oppression? You are welcome to. If you side with the rich, you are an idiot. Why would you side with your class enemies?

The rich are our class enemies. Does that mean they oppress us? I dunno. When they’re in power, they screw us over. All of the rich hate democracy, lie like rugs, and support violence, murder, terror, genocide, coups, and dictatorships anywhere the people take power.

Personally, I think all conservatives and reactionaries are pure filth. I wish they would all drop dead tomorrow. That way they would be where they belong: in graves. They’re nothing but pure garbage. Show me a reactionary or conservative anywhere on Earth that’s actually a human and not a lying, sadistic, murderous piece of scum. There aren’t any!

In a democratic society, of course the rich get their rights, but they abuse the fuck out of them, and anytime they people take power, the rich start using violence, coups, death squads, rioting, judicial and legislative coups, etc. to get their way. We let the rich take power all the time. They won’t let us take power at all. I’m glad the Chinese Communists took away the rights of the reactionaries.

Look what would happen if they had rights? See Venezuela, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Honduras, Haiti, Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Philippines? That’s what happens when you give the rich and the reactionaries any rights at all. Right now they would be burning China to the ground like they are doing to Venezuela and Nicaragua because they are furious that a people’s government got put in.

If that’s the way they are always, always, always going to act, why give them rights? So they can destroy your country and take down any democratically elected government they don’t believe in?

They try to destroy by antidemocratic means any people’s or popular government any time it gets in.

And when they take power themselves, they usually put in a dictatorship.

This is what happens if they don’t get their way and the people elect a democratically elected people’s government:

Attempted coups by street violence: Nicaragua, Ukraine, Syria, and Thailand.

Attempted coups by economic warfare: Venezuela, North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Nicaragua.

Coups by legislative means: Paraguay and Brazil.

Attempted legislative coup: Venezuela.

Coups by judicial means: Brazil.

Coups by direct overthrow of the state: Honduras, Haiti, Venezuela, and Egypt.

Attempted coups by direct overthrow of the state: Ecuador and Bolivia.

Coup by insurgency: Haiti.

Attempted coup by insurgency: Syria.

Coups by direct invasion: Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Panama, Libya, and Grenada.

This is what happens every time they get into power, especially if they take over a people’s government: 

Right-wing death squad authoritarian regime installed: Honduras*, El Salvador, Argentina, Brazil*, Guatemala*, Chile, Philippines*, Uruguay, Bolivia, Indonesia*, and Ukraine*.

No I don’t have a problem taking away rights from reactionary fucks! Why should we give them rights? Give me one reason! One! One reason!

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Why the US Working Class Is Not Radicalized

Radicalized meaning having any sort of working class or class consciousness at all. Radicalized meaning pro-worker. Yes, believe it or not, the US working class is not even pro-worker. The US working class is actually anti-worker!

The problem is that we do not have a tradition of working class radicalism here as in Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. Working class people in all of those countries are radicalized and pro-worker with a high state of class consciousness and they usually vote for pro-worker political parties.

Mexicans, however, are profoundly depoliticized.

Nevertheless, you can argue as my mother does when I asked her why the Central American revolutions were not spreading to Mexico, to which she responded that “The Mexicans already had their revolution.” And though the Left neglects to see it this way, the Mexican Revolution was definitely one of the great leftwing revolutions of the 20th Century, at least as good as the Russian Revolution and without many of the problems. Most people don’t realize how horrible feudal life was in Mexico before the Mexican Revolution. If I told you what it was like, you would quit reading and call me a liar. It was that bad.

In Latin America, your average proletarian, working class person, who, let’s face it, is not real smart, is often ideologically Leftist, as they have been politicized by powerful leftwing movements. There are no powerful leftwing movements in the US to do this, so the non-White working classes are not radicalized. They are liberalized but not radicalized.

The White working classes are actually ideologically Rightist, which makes no sense at all of course.

However, I have met many Salvadorans here. I tell them that I used to support the FMLN revolutionaries down there and that I even used to contribute to their weapons fund. It’s actually true. I would meet a guy in a sleazy Salvadoran bar in Lafayette Park and give him a check to some weird cryptic organization. They are hesitant at first but then they break into wide smiles. Even those who did not support the FMLN don’t really care that I did. That movement was radical Left but had huge support across society because Salvadoran society is very unfair.

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Hillary Clinton Staged a Coup Against the President of Honduras for Raising the Minimum Wage

The President of Honduras was recently removed by a coup sponsored by “liberal Democrat” Hillary Clinton. His crime? He raised the minimum wage. After the coup, the US and the Honduran government set up death squads that rampaged through the country murdering leftwingers. They should have named these killers Hillary’s Gang because that’s what they were. The recent election in Honduras was a completely fraudulent stolen election, obvious to anyone with open eyes. Trump promptly declared it free and fair and pledged support to the new government. Meanwhile, the reincarnated rightwing death squads of Central America continue to rage across the land and the murders of leftwingers continue unabated.

You would not believe how many governments the US has staged coups because they dared to raise the minimum wage.

How many Americans know this? Name one US media outlet anywhere at any time that has reported this clear fact. There is not one. Conclusion: the US has a completely controlled media run by the corporate-wealthy-state apparatus called the Deep State, otherwise known as The Foreign Policy Establishment of the United States.

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Why Would Anyone Like America?

Good question!

Answered on Quora. I got a comment on this article from a woman that I think is very interesting. First she said, when I think of America as a person, I feel very uncomfortable. And well you should! Narcissists and sociopaths make a lot of people shiver. Then she tried to answer the question of how in heck did this country end up this way. She traces Radical Individualism, the true and only religion that America has ever had, to the type of immigrants who came to our shores. She may be onto something.

If you are conservative to reactionary, it’s a great place to live, as the US is clearly one of the most rightwing places on Earth and has been for a long time. Do you believe in radical individualism or “let em die” Libertarianism. America is the home for such things. America is one of the most callous countries on Earth and its foreign policy has always been vicious and wicked. It believes that there one set of rules for it and another set for its enemies.

It commits Nazi-like wars of aggression against its enemies all the time. America is the worst bully on the planet and has been for a very long time. America has always been for the rich and the corporations and has always treated its workers, poor, low income, and minorities like complete garbage. It hasn’t even treated its middle classes very well, but it took them forever to figure it out.

The hatred of working people and unions in the US is off the charts. This one of the only countries on Earth that actually hates labor unions. America is one of the only countries on Earth that hates government. Any time the government tries to help the people, Americans react in rage and revolt. This is one of the only countries on Earth where people hate paying taxes because that means that they have to share with other Americans. Americans are the most aggressively selfish people on Earth.

This is one of the only countries on Earth that actually hates public education (because it helps the people), and it has been rolling it back and privatizing it ever since. Botswana is the only country besides the US that does not have a government health system. This is because Americans are so callous that they don’t care if other Americans get sick or die. The message is that if you are not rich, you don’t deserve healthcare and you need to die.

American foreign policy has only helped the top 20% of the people in the countries it engages. Anytime any country tries to help its workers or its ordinary people in any way, for example trying to help the 80% bottom instead of the 20% top, it gets attacked in one way or another by the US.

A prime example is the minimum wage. Many nations in Latin America have been attacked by the US for simply daring to wage the minimum wage! Aristide in Haiti raised the minimum wage and built more schools in eight years than in the previous 200. For these crimes, death squads were sent against its people, killing thousands of them, and kidnapping Aristide at gunpoint.

The President of Honduras raised the minimum wage. For this, he was ousted by a US coup, imprisoned in a foreign embassy and threatened with death, a new coup government was put in by the US, and the US set up death squads that have now murdered over 1,000 people.

Any time a country tries to do anything nationalist to keep from being a colony of the US and its allies, the US attacks it. The US wants to keep most of the Earth in bondage to the US, their resources plundered, their people immiserated, so all of the wealth in the land goes to the US. America is the new Roman Empire and most of the world is made up of our vassals.

The purpose of the US military is to threaten any nation that tries to help itself or its people with annihilation. That’s what you are signing up for when you join the military. Thing is that Americans love all of this. They cheer for it, for this is the essence of US patriotism or jingoism. Even US liberals support almost everything that I wrote above. I am always shocked when I speak to US liberal Democrats by how much they have bought into the patriotic reactionary swill.

The basis for all of this is something called radical individualism. US foreign policy is based on something called US imperialism that says that the US is dictator the world and most of the countries in it are slaves and colonies of the US. The American people love radical individualism and US imperialism. Even many liberal Democrats do. Almost all liberal Democrats support US imperialism to the hilt.

All of this is maintained by a completely controlled media controlled by very rich people and huge corporations. This media is viciously anti-people and only supports the rich and the corporations – the only two groups the US has ever represented and fought for.

We have never had a single day of democracy in this country. We started to finally head that way in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and the rich and the corporations founded think tanks and wrote many papers on how to shut down radical democracy in the US. The results of this are, among other things, mass voter disenfranchisement and Jim Crow style voting restrictions designed to keep Black people from voting.

Since 2000, the wealthy and corporate elite discovered voting machines and started stealing elections this way. They have been doing it ever since and it has only gotten worse with time. In 2000, the Supreme Court legalized an actual theft of an election. In 2016, many states went to court to stop recounts in states that were obviously stolen by Republicans with voting machines. Courts in all of these states ruled that recounting the stolen elections was illegal.

Almost every state in the US is radically gerrymandered so that democracy is shattered. For instance, a Democrat could win the popular vote and still lose 86% of the seats to Republicans. This is the case in Alabama, Wisconsin, Virginia, and many other places. The Republicans only need two more states, and then the rich and the corporations will write a constitutional convention to rewrite the constitution to take out everything democratic in it to perpetuate continuous rule by reactionary rich people and corporations. At that time, democracy will have surely died.

With the election of Donald Trump, we see an actual American fascism taking shape. Of course this fascism has always lurked in the background, and in fact I would say we have always been a fascist country or at least a radical rightwing authoritarian country in many ways. But this is the most overt fascism we have seen in the US in a very long time.
The hatred for democracy runs deep in the bones of Americans and right now, maybe 1/3 of the population is overtly fascist. I would say that America has always been a great country for rightwingers, as it has been a far rightwing country for most of its history. The jingoists, patriots, and flag wavers are almost all rightwingers and always have been. This is their paradise and it always has been.

That is why rightwingers, reactionaries, and fascists have been flooding to the US for many years now. This is considered to be the Rightwing Dreamland of the rich and corporate classes the world over. In fact, our immigration policy was deliberately set up for many years to favor rightwingers and reactionaries and to keep leftwing immigrants out. This only made the country more and more rightwing. Incredibly, the Democratic Party supported this favoring of rightwing immigrants and opposing of leftwing immigrants.

The Democratic Party and Democratic Presidents have been part of the whole process above for most our history. They just push it forward less hard and sometimes they tinker around the edges to do something for the people. We had a large populist uprising from 1910–1920 in the US and then again in the Great Depression. For the first time in its history, the US government actually worked for the people and did many things to benefit the common man instead of just taking money from the bottom 80% and giving it to the top 20% or even 1%, which has been the American Way from Day One.

I would say that if you are a conservative or even a “liberal” who thinks all of the above is the greatest thing since sliced bread, you are correct. America is your paradise. A lot of people love this conservative – reactionary or even now fascist or Libertarian land. It’s their oyster. It’s the apple of their eye. I don’t blame them for feeling that way.

But it has always puzzled me how liberal or leftwing Americans could love this wildly reactionary country. I believe they have been brainwashed by patriotism and bullied into going along with the project. I have seen many liberals and even out and out Leftists shouting jingoistic tripe, screaming that America is the best country on Earth (83% of Americans believe this silliness), and ordering anyone who disagrees to leave the country. The enforced jingoism runs deep.

But really what is there to like here for a liberal to progressive person? Honestly not even one single thing. How could the most rightwing country on Earth be some leftwing paradise? It makes no sense.

So there you have it. America is great for rightwingers. This is their ultimate dream. For liberals and especially for progressive people, it has always been a dystopian Hell, one of Dante’s nine circles.

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Liberation Theology: Jesus Christ as Marxist Guerrilla in the Jungle with a Machine Gun

From the Sandinistas of Nicaragua to the URNG of Guatemala to the guerrilla column in Honduras led by the Irish Catholic priest in 1983 to Father Aristide’s Lavalas in Haiti to the ELN in Colombia to the Chavistas in Venezuela, all of these radical leftwing groups had one thing in common: they all came out of Liberation Theology, more or less a “Jesus Christ, Marxist guerrilla in the jungle with a machine gun” type of armed to the teeth Catholicism.

Liberation Theology came out a movement of Professors of Pedagogy in Brazil in 1964, especially an influential book written by a priest named Gutierrez. The argument was that teaching in Latin America was an overtly political act, and teachers should ideally by Leftist revolutionaries. Out of this flowed many documents laying out Liberation Theology or “the preferential option for the poor.” It was most powerful among lay workers, of which there are many in Latin America. In heavily Catholic areas, Catholic lay workers are nearly an army.

The French Communist Party in  France long had Catholic roots as did the PCI in Italy. Near the end of his life, Fidel Castro praised Catholicism and said he was a “cultural Catholic.” Hugo Chavez and the Chavistas were of course a ferocious part of the Catholic Left. Chavez Leftism was heavily infused with the social teachings of the Catholic Church.

Even the viciously anti-Christian Sendero Luminoso in Peru had many supporters in the Catholic Church, mostly at the lay and priest level but surprisingly all the way up to the bishop level. Sendero killed many reactionary Protestant missionaries in their war, but they left the priests alone.

The great Edith Lagos, a 19 year old year revolutionary woman who led one of the first Sendero columns, was killed in battle in 1982. Her funeral in Ayacucho at night a bit later attracted 30,000 visitors, nearly the entire population of the town. Everyone was in line for the funeral – the local police, the local government and of course the entire local  Catholic clergy. The line wormed all through the city for hours far into the night. She was treated to an actual Catholic funeral right there in the church led by the local priest. Her casket stood next to the priest as he delivered his sermon. It had a Sendero Communist flag on it.

A communist flag on a coffin in a Catholic church! The crowd then filed out through the town to the graveyard where she was buried in the middle of the night. Her tomb exists to this day, although it has been repeatedly bombed by reactionaries. Local Indians make patronages to the tomb on a regular basis, leaving flowers at it. Rumor has it that she has obtained informal sainthood and is now Saint Edith Lagos in the local Catholic Churches.

FARC called itself officially atheist, although they had the support of many priests in the countryside where the FARC held sway. Nevertheless, most FARC rank and file were Catholics.

In Paraguay, a former guerrilla was elected president. He was also a former Catholic priest.

The armed Marxist Left in Uruguay and Brazil also had deep links to the Catholic Church.

In the US, we have something called Cold War liberals. This is the pathetic Left of the United States,  people who would be rightwingers or center-right anywhere else on Earth.

 

 

 

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Where Have All the Catholics Gone?

In recent years, the US Catholic Church is undergoing a crisis. Fully 1/3 of its members have left the Church, even with all the Hispanic immigration. For the Church, this is a looming catastrophe. This is happening at the same time as Evangelical Protestants are increasing somewhat (8% increase) and mainline Protestants are declining somewhat (4%). There has been collapse in the membership of the mainline churches and the Evangelical churches are not undergoing explosive growth. Both of these are common tropes believed by many people nowadays.

If fully 1/3 of Catholics have left the church, this begs the question of where have they gone? I thought, once a Catholic, always a Catholic and in the sense that they take a bite out of you and psychologically, you tend to remain Catholic for good and for bad is a common cliche. I believe that the Church considers lapsed Catholics to still be Catholics, but that is a formality. The Church believes lots of silly things, for instance that we are all naturally born Catholic no matter religion we grow up in. That is why conversion to Catholicism is always called “return” because you are said to be returning to the natural religion you were born into.

In the past, converting out of Catholicism was considered a grave error and even a serious sin. I believed that Catholics were still loathe to convert to Protestantism, other than in the Hispanic community, where a mass exodus of Catholics to Evangelical churches has been going on for a long time in both Hispanic communities in the US and in Latin America itself. The situation is especially grave in Central America. Countries like Honduras now are ~1/3 Evangelical. As lousy as the Catholic Church is (and it is lousy) I would much rather have those Hispanics being Catholic than converting to pie in the sky when you die we love the poor but don’t try to improve your station in life ultra-rightwing anti-Left and anti-progress Protestant Evangelicals, with its various heresies such as Christian Zionism and Wealth Doctrine and other atrocities.

But Evangelical Hispanics are stuck in the worst rut of reaction. One wonders how they c can get out.

I used to think the most Catholics were absolutely loath to convert out to Protestantism, but it’s more common than you think and the Church hardly cares anymore, as they have more pressing concerns. Let’s look at the figures:

Of the 1/3 of Catholics who have left the Church:

50% have simply gone from Catholic to ex-Catholic. They have converted to Protestantism or another religion. Apparently nowadays it is perfectly acceptable to be a former Catholic. That’s news to me.

18% have converted to Protestantism. That is not a large number, but it is not trivial either.

Of those, 12% of leaving Catholics convert to Evangelical Protestantism. I would argue that these are mostly Hispanic Catholics converting out to the exploding Evangelical churches in the Hispanic areas of the US. I’ve never met a White Catholic who converted out to Evangelicalism, but there are probably a few.

Only 6% of leaving Catholics convert to a mainline Protestant Church. That’s a small number, but it’s not trivial.

In fact, more Catholics convert to Buddhism (10%) than convert to mainline Protestant churches. That’s a pretty pathetic statement on how many Catholics leave for mainline P Protestantism.

There’s no good answer on why Catholics leave. Sure, liberals say that they leave because of reactionary Church doctrine on homosexuality, women priests marrying, priestly celibacy, birth control, and abortion. In contrast, conservatives say that Catholics are leaving because they Church has gone way too liberal, especially since Vatican II.

The truth that about equal numbers leave because the Church is too liberal as leave because it is too conservative. There’s no real trends either way. It’s all a wash.

Actually the main reason Catholics left (65%) was that they felt that the Catholic Church was no longer meeting their spiritual needs. This is a serious failure on the part of the Church. I am not sure what they can do about it, but ritual only goes so far. More New Testament Biblical homilies, especially about Jesus’ life, might be an avenue.

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Anatomy of a Lie: All Latin American Revolutions Came from Cuba and the USSR

Jason: Also, the left not only believes the other side will torture them like on Hostel, but they believe the US is aiding the right. I suppose at one time, the right thought the USSR was aiding the left, but I think the real facts were exaggerated.

They have good reasons to think that. Do you realize that hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have in fact been tortured like in Hostel? All with the approval, coaching, cheerleading and assistance of the US?

The USSR was aiding the Left only in a sense. In only a very few countries had an armed revolutions had sprung up and Cuba was aiding them. Russia gave the Cubans lots of arms and the Cubans smuggled them to Nicaragua and then to the rebels in El Salvador. That was it as far as I can tell.

The revolutionaries in the following countries never got one bullet or one nickel from Cuba or the USSR:

Guatemala: URNG and others 1954-1994
Colombia: ELN, FARC 1964-present
Peru: focos in the 1960’s, Sendero Luminoso 1980-present, MRTA 1984-1996
Ecuador: Sendero Luminoso 1990
Venezuela: small focos in the 1960’s and 1970’s
Brazil: urban guerrillas in the 1960’s
Uruguay: Tupamaros 1970-1983
Bolivia: Sendero Luminoso 1990, MIR 1960’s
Paraguay: recent guerrillas supported by the FARC 2012-present
Argentina: Tupamaros 1970-1983
Nicaragua: Sandinistas 1964-1979
Honduras: small guerrilla bands in the 1980’s
Chile: Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front 1970-1989, Lautaro Front 1990’s

As you can see, armed revolutions started up in all of those countries at one time or another usually for very good reasons. The Right tried to blame all this revolutionary activity on the USSR bogeyman. But the USSR never gave any of those groups one bullet or one dime. The Right also claimed and still does that everything was peachy clean and hunky dory in all of those countries except for the evil Soviets coming in and stirring things up by giving those university students all those funny ideas. This is complete nonsense. The truth is that if you have a decent country, you never get Left guerrillas, rural, urban or otherwise.

You only get an armed Left when your country is a complete Hellhole. The way to defeat an armed Left is to create at least a semblance of a decent society. If you do that, the Left will lay down its arms and even join the government.

The US always wants to say that rebels have no agency.

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Latin American Politics Finally Comes To America

I guess Chile has their version of the mighty keyboard warrior like the US. No shortage of white shit for brains running around say they’re going get rid of all the Jews and blacks.. then you have a fair number of blacks running around saying they’re going to get rid of their white oppressors.. etc. Totally delusional twats. Maybe rightists are a serious problem in Chile but I don’t consider YouTube comments a proper gauge of sentiment and support.

I have been engaged off and on in deep study of this region since 1989. 28 years.

You don’t understand Chile. You don’t understand Latin America.

Really the entire rightwing down there is exactly like this. The rich, elite Whites’ basic attitude in almost every country down there is “All Communists must be killed.” And Communist means anyone even slightly left of center. A huge % of the population in Chile is still pro-Pinochet, and this is precisely how they think.

The Left stages marches and protests all the time, often is support of Allende. Rightists, of whom there are many supporters still meet them and there is wild street fighting. Rightists then stage marches often in support of Pinochet. The Left shows up and there is wild street fighting.

Did some searches.. looks like the bigger demonstrations were over education and state (or lack of it) support. Seem to follow the US model – most of the protests are peaceful but then you have “the hooded ones” raising a ruckus. I couldn’t find anything that indicated there were large counter protests by rightists – not saying that didn’t happen but I just couldn’t find them If you have a link or links I’ll take a look.

Ok, well I think I may have read this some time ago. I do remember reading it, but it could have been a while back. It could well have been years ago, or a decade or more ago. But at one time in recent history, this is how it was.

Perhaps the Left vs. Right riots have quieted down in recent years, but that’s the way it was not long ago.

Protests in Chile have historically been far more riotous and violent than demos in the US. There’s not really any comparison. Anyway, violent riots on the US Left are a relatively new phenomenon. Trump is a corrupt, vicious, evil ultraright dictator ruling in a typical Latin American model. All of the Latin American Right is exactly like Donald Trump. That’s why the Left is so violent down there. Trump has succeeded in finally bringing Latin American ultraright fascism to America. So it follows that we are following the Latin American model in that the Left has grown militant, and Left demos now often turn riotous and violent just as they do in Latin America.

This sort of thing is so predictable that you can write near mathematical laws of political science predicting it. A nation can only go so far to the extreme right and it can only become unequal to a certain level. Once it passes that level, it has crossed some sort of Rubicon and now in most any nation you automatically get a militant, riotous and violent Left. It’s as close to a law as the sort you can get in mathematics and physics.

In Chile, the Indians are treated horribly and engage in continuous demonstrations which usually turn into riots.

I was following Latin American politics a lot on the Net a few years back, and most demos in Chile seemed to turn into the typical Latin American demonstration -> riot progression. Most demos in Latin America turn riotous from my observation, at least in Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, and even Mexico. The conditions are so insanely unequal down there that any working class demo quickly turns into a riot.

Violence, riots, coups, extremes of Left and Right politics, lack of democracy and extreme instability are typical of the entire region and now we are importing precisely this model to the US.

I am leaving out Argentina, but the Argentine Right was recently calling for a military coup against Kirchner.

In Paraguay, a legislative coup threw out the leftwinger.

A legislative coup just threw out Rouseff, the left president of Brazil.

There have been many coup and quasi-coup attempts in Venezuela. You could well say there has been a continuous coup since 2002.

In Colombia, yes, left demos usually turn violent or riotous. On the other hand, if you are on the Left down there, you can be murdered by the government at any time.

There was a military coup in Honduras, and now anyone on the Left can be killed at any time. Death squads have killed over 1,000 people.

A US coup removed Aristide in Haiti. The new US installed government quickly murdered 3,000 people.

Why the commenter is trying to polish this Latin American turd is beyond me.

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