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Author Topic:   Another Socialist Victory in South America
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19890
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 1 of 83 (279593)
01-17-2006 1:30 AM


A victim of Chile's past becomes its future

Michelle Bachelet, who was just elected president of this male-dominated, prosperous and deeply religious country of 16 million, is a woman and an agnostic, a guitar-strumming child of the 1960s, a former exile who spent part of her childhood in the United States, and a physician who had never before held elective office.

Running as a Socialist on a platform that promised "change with continuity" and showcased her warmth and longstanding concern for ordinary people, Bachelet, a fair-haired, vibrant 54-year-old, won more than 53 percent of the vote on Sunday, according to the official tally. She made few promises beyond "social inclusion" - vowing to better meet the needs of women and the poor - and preserving Chile's close ties with the United States as well as the country's dynamic economy when she takes office March 11.

But Bachelet has other qualities that explain how, in barely a decade, she has gone from being a pediatrician at a humble, underfinanced clinic here to the first woman to be her country's chief of state, and one of only a handful of women elected to lead any country in the Americas.

Seems all the news I see is more concerned with her being a woman than being a socialist. Perhaps it is because the previous leader was also socialist, perhaps it is because of latent sexism.

Enjoy.

This message has been edited by RAZD, 01*17*2006 01:31 AM

{typo in title}

This message has been edited by RAZD, 01*23*2006 07:21 AM


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Replies to this message:
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Funkaloyd
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 83 (279598)
01-17-2006 2:53 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
01-17-2006 1:30 AM


Damnit, where's Kissinger when you need him?!
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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5393
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 3 of 83 (279630)
01-17-2006 8:30 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by Funkaloyd
01-17-2006 2:53 AM


Damnit, where's Kissinger when you need him?!

Isn't Chile one of the places he's wanted as a war criminal?


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jar
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Posts: 30997
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 4 of 83 (279650)
01-17-2006 10:41 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
01-17-2006 1:30 AM


Well, it is unusual to have a woman as head of state. Why, I can count the number of woman Presidents of the US on no hands.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19890
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 5 of 83 (279765)
01-17-2006 9:22 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by jar
01-17-2006 10:41 AM


It struck me because the first article I read didn't mention her politics at all.

It seems to me that the politics is more important to judge what the leader will do, but that would just be my lil ol humble opinion eh?


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Funkaloyd
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 83 (279962)
01-19-2006 3:26 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Coragyps
01-17-2006 8:30 AM


Coragyps writes:

Isn't Chile one of the places he's wanted as a war criminal?

That would make sense; good deeds rarely go appreciated. Why, if it wasn't for him, Chile would have been where it is now 30 years ago!


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Thugpreacha
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Posts: 12445
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 7 of 83 (280030)
01-19-2006 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
01-17-2006 1:30 AM


It will be interesting to see how the ties between the U.S. and Chile turn out. Bachelet seems to be a good candidate for the people of Chile to rely on. The U.S. needs to get a bit more liberal soas to go into a coalition with Canada and South America. We as a Bloc would then have the labor, the resources, and the clout to take on the emergence of China in the future. Of course, exploitation is always an issue.

Again, the group that will have to sacrifice and suck it up will be the disenfranchised middle class people who always have a struggle. The wealthy will always be wealthy while the poor all want to be middle class as well!!

I suppose that there will simply be more people who make less yet who are no longer in poverty.


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mick
Member (Idle past 3159 days)
Posts: 913
Joined: 02-17-2005


Message 8 of 83 (280044)
01-19-2006 3:44 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
01-17-2006 1:30 AM


So what is it now:

Lula in Brazil
Chavez in Venezuela
Morales in Bolivia
Bachelet in Chile

I wonder if something big is happening or if it's just a coincidence similar to the one where supposedly social democratic governments swept into power in Europe a few years back. The new wave of the left didn't last long in Europe but these leaders from the Americas look like they have a little more conviction.

Mick

This message has been edited by mick, 01-19-2006 05:40 PM


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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6649
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 9 of 83 (280051)
01-19-2006 4:11 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by mick
01-19-2006 3:44 PM


quote:
The new wave of the left didn't last long in Europe but these leaders from the Americas look like they have a little more conviction.

Maybe the "new wave of left" in Europe couldn't figure out how to maintain the high material standard of living within Europe without continued exploitation of the Third World (as well as unfavored groups within the European countries, usually imported from the Third World or Eastern Europe). Meanwhile, it is the people of Latin America that are among the ones being exploited.


"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
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mick
Member (Idle past 3159 days)
Posts: 913
Joined: 02-17-2005


Message 10 of 83 (280052)
01-19-2006 4:16 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Chiroptera
01-19-2006 4:11 PM


chiroptera writes:

Maybe the "new wave of left" in Europe couldn't figure out how to maintain the high material standard of living within Europe without continued exploitation of the Third World (as well as unfavored groups within the European countries, usually imported from the Third World or Eastern Europe). Meanwhile, it is the people of Latin America that are among the ones being exploited.

Yep, I'd agree with that, Chiroptera. They weren't quite left enough (and certainly didn't have the popular support) to say "time to tighten our belts to help folks in the third world".

In fact its notable how the third world is still always discussed in terms of charity (debt relief, etc) rather than justice (voting rights in the UN, living wages, etc)

Perhaps the southern countries hope to change that.

Mick

This message has been edited by mick, 01-19-2006 05:40 PM


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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3072 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 11 of 83 (280062)
01-19-2006 5:02 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by mick
01-19-2006 3:44 PM


poverty
The US trended left as well during times of poverty (Great Depression). So it's not surprising that Latin America has elected more leftist politicians.

The question is whether they can help that much.

Imo, there are several things Latin America needs to get it's people out of the miserable poverty afficting them.

1. Less corruption at all levels of government.
2. Clear title and property rights, especially for land.
3. The US and Latin America to legalize, regulate, and tax the drug trade.

If these 3 things don't happen, I wouldn't expect a lot of improvement.


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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6649
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 12 of 83 (280069)
01-19-2006 5:45 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by mick
01-19-2006 4:16 PM


Hi, mick.

quote:
They weren't quite left enough (and certainly didn't have the popular support) to say "time to tighten our belts to help folks in the third world".

It may be too much to expect those who are very well-off materially to embrace a more equitable distribution of resources. Not that people are consciously greedy, but is seems to be too easy for individuals to sincerely believe in the justifications for policies that benefit them. While undoubtably exploited, I suspect that the working classes and poverty classes of the West probably understand that they are inconceivably wealthy by historical standards (and compared to most of the world's population).

Sort of like imperial power -- I can't think of any imperial power that voluntarily relinquished power in the interests of a more democratic and equitable world order.

If the West ever embraces socialism, it will be when the West is no longer so wealthy and the ruling elites feel they must renege on their unspoken agreement to share a small fraction of world's resources with the middle and working classes of their nations. This could happen, I suppose, when the over-extended US economy finally collapses, or due to the imminent ecological collapse.

A more positive scenario (and relevant to the topic to this thread) is if socialist leaders of the Third World do succeed in diverting increasing amounts of the resources of their countries to improving the lives of their peoples. This would drive the prices of commodities in the West upwards; I suppose that Western leaders could use the worsening living standards that would result to justify overt and covert war against the "tyrants and dictators" of the Third World; more optimistically, maybe as living standards decrease in the West, the Europeans and North Americans would come to realize that they actually share some interests with the impoverished of the world rather than their own rulers.


"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
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mick
Member (Idle past 3159 days)
Posts: 913
Joined: 02-17-2005


Message 13 of 83 (280414)
01-20-2006 9:21 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by randman
01-19-2006 5:02 PM


Re: poverty
fuck! i kind of agree with you!
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mick
Member (Idle past 3159 days)
Posts: 913
Joined: 02-17-2005


Message 14 of 83 (280415)
01-20-2006 9:27 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Chiroptera
01-19-2006 5:45 PM


Chiroptera writes:

A more positive scenario (and relevant to the topic to this thread) is if socialist leaders of the Third World do succeed in diverting increasing amounts of the resources of their countries to improving the lives of their peoples. This would drive the prices of commodities in the West upwards; I suppose that Western leaders could use the worsening living standards that would result to justify overt and covert war against the "tyrants and dictators" of the Third World; more optimistically, maybe as living standards decrease in the West, the Europeans and North Americans would come to realize that they actually share some interests with the impoverished of the world rather than their own rulers.

Yes, but I think that process could be helped considerably by people in the developed countries. Because it won't be easy for many people to sacrafice their lifestyles.

I have always found that people with little at stake in the current set-up are most open to the idea of third world emancipation. I mean people who do not own property, people who don't own shares, people with no savings. These people really don't have that much to lose by central american living standards rising. I mean I am a 27 year old who doesn't own a house, doesn't own a car, doesn't own shares, has 100 pounds in the bank, and debts of about 10,000 pounds. I doubt that my wellbeing would be affected very much by Venezuelans getting a wage increase! Perhaps we just need to wait for the US economy to screw up, so more people are in my position.

Mick

in edit:

and I'm starting to go bald!

This message has been edited by mick, 01-20-2006 09:32 PM

This message has been edited by mick, 01-20-2006 09:33 PM


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nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 15 of 83 (280422)
01-20-2006 9:56 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by mick
01-20-2006 9:27 PM


Perhaps we just need to wait for the US economy to screw up, so ...

That probably won't take long, the way Bush is heading.
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