Re: Commie Nonsense

Date: Sun Jun 18 2000 - 08:00:44 MDT

In a message dated 6/16/00 10:25:34 AM Central Daylight Time, writes:

> I can't claim to have visited many 3rd world countries, but I've spent some
> time in Mexico. I've noticed 2 major causes of poverty there. One is the
> Catholic church which discourages the use of contraceptives and abortion.
> The second is the behavior of people who hold positions of power in various
> governmental and corporate entities.

I've spent quite a bit of time in Mexico, both on business and for fun. In a
general sense, Bonnie, you're very right about what's wrong there. As for
Catholicism, the irony with Mexico is that it is one of the most secular
countries in Latin America, the various waves of revolution that have swept
over the country having been largely inspired by the ideals of the 18th
century Enlightenment. "The Revolution" as it is thought of by most Mexicans
had a distinctly anti-clerical cast to its ideology (such as it was - the
truth is that the various stages of the revolution were primarily ad hoc
coups). In fact, one of the few reservations voiced by Mexican intellectuals
about the "conservative" candidate most likely to unseat the PRI in the next
presidential election is the fear that he may abandon the explicitly secular
ideology of the ruling party.

The reality about religion in Mexico is that the PRI and the Church have
declared a realpolitik truce, each respecting fairly complete domination in
the other's sphere. The Church turns a blind eye to the deep-seated
corruption of the PRI and its explicit patronal vote-buying at the local
level, and the PRI allows the Church a free hand in indoctrinating each
generation of Mexicans in a fundamentally conservative and pessimistic
world-view that suits the PRI just fine.

The second factor you mention is the cement that locks in this monolithic
ideological and political structure. Although the professed culture of
Mexico is premised on the Enlightenment ideal of the rule of law, the truth
is that law in Mexico is a shallow veneer that merely casts a mantle of
legitimacy onto what amounts to a feudal system of family-dominated
commercial and political fiefdoms. The big industrial combines in Mexico are
run by a handful of families who own and control most of the key economic
resources of the country. They do this under an implicit compact with the
PRI in which one key resource, oil, is ceded to PRI control through PEMEX,
the nationalized oil company. The industrial combines are run like mafia
familias, with markets being divided up among the dons in secret, unwritten
deals. Control of and meaningful competition in the economy is thus utterly
closed to outsiders and to real competition. Just as feudal Japan allowed
foreign traders to do business in tightly circumscribed ports before the
Meiji restoration, the maquiladora factories along the border are a carefully
controlled membrane for this closed economy that allows the family-controlled
industrial combines to deal with the outside world. Mike Lorrey described
this system in Mexico as mercantilist rather than capitalistic, and he was
exactly right. Mexico's economic and social system is basically like that of
the big European maritime powers circa 1600.

      Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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