Im Netz entdeckt: Noam Chomsky zur Entwicklung Südamerikas

Bei Democracy Now! ist eine Rede von Noam Chomsky zu finden, die in vielerlei Hinsicht interessant ist. Chomsky beschreibt u. a. warum sich Südamerika nicht entwickelt hat und welche traurige Rolle, die USA als Staat und der Internationale Währungsfond dabei gespielt haben. Hier ein paar Ausschnitte:

„You go back to the 17th century, the commercial and industrial centers of the world were China and India. Life expectancy in Japan was greater than in Europe. Europe was kind of like a barbarian outpost, but it had advantages, mainly in savagery, conquered the world, imposed something like the neoliberal rules on the conquered regions, and itself, very high protectionism, a lot of state intervention and so on. So Europe developed.

The United States, as a typical case, had the highest tariffs in the world, most protectionist country in the world during the period of its great development. In fact, as late as 1950, when the United States literally had half the world’s wealth, its tariffs were higher than the Latin American countries today, which are being ordered to reduce them.

Massive state intervention in the economy. Economists don’t talk about it much, but the current economy in the United States relies very heavily on the state sector. That’s where you get your computers and the internet and your airplane traffic and transit of goods, container ships and so on, almost entirely comes out of the state sector, including pharmaceuticals, management techniques, and so on. I won’t go on into that, but it’s a strong correlation right through history. Those are the methods of development.

The neoliberal methods created a third world, and in the past 30 years, they have led to disasters in Latin America and southern Africa, the places that most rigorously adhered to them. But whereas there was growth and development in East Asia, which disregarded them, following the rules, following pretty much the model of the currently rich countries.

Well, there’s a chance that that will begin to change. There are finally efforts inside South America — unfortunately not in Central America, which has just been pretty much devastated by the terror of the last — of the ’80s particularly. But in South America, from Venezuela to Argentina, it’s, I think, the most exciting place in the world. There’s reactions to this. After 500 years, there’s a beginning of efforts to overcome these overwhelming problems. The integration that’s taking place, that I just read about, is one example.“

„One of the things that’s happened in Latin America in the past several decades is there has been a wave of authentic democratization. Despite US efforts to impede it, it’s taken place. However, an unfortunate side effect of it is that as the wave of democratization increased, while support for democracy remained strong in Latin America, support for the elected governments has been declining, steadily declining.

There’s a reasonable explanation for that that was given by an Argentine political scientist, Atilio Boron. He pointed out that the wave of democratization correlated with the neoliberal programs, which are designed to undermine democracy. I don’t have time to talk about it, but every element of them is specifically designed to undermine democracy, to restrict the public arena and participation and so on. So he concludes — I think plausibly — that it’s not surprising that while a desire to have democracies remains very high, support for the elected government declines, insofar as they follow the programs that are undermining democracy.“

„As you know, there was a coup in Venezuela in the year 2002, supported by the United States. The government was overthrown. It was taken over by Pedro Carmona, a rich businessman, who immediately dissolved parliament, destroyed the supreme court, got rid of the attorney general’s office, the public defender. Every vestige of democracy was instantly demolished.

US strongly supported it. The Venezuelan private press, the press, strongly supported it. One of the people who supported the coup was the opposition candidate in the last election. Just another — other supporters of the coup were a group called Sumate, the group that the US provides aid to for what’s called “democracy building.” So the coup was supported by a substantial part of the elite in the society that was backed by the United States, destroyed the democratic system.

It was quickly overthrown by a popular uprising. US had to back off. But what’s striking is that the newspapers continue to publish, still continue to attack the government. Rosales, who supported the coup, ran in the election. Sumate, which supported the coup, is functioning, the main recipient of US democracy promotion funds.“

„2002 was the last effort of the United States to overthrow a government. In earlier years, it was routine. And in fact, the governments that the US is now supporting — say, Lula — probably would have been overthrown 40 years ago. There’s not that much difference between Lula and Goulart, the Brazilian president who was overthrown by the Kennedy-instigated coup. There is a notable decline in the efficacy of violence for control.

And the same is true of economic controls. The main economic controls in recent years have been the IMF, which is virtually a branch of the US Treasury Department. But the countries are freeing themselves of its controls. Argentina basically told the — Argentina was the poster boy of the IMF. It was a great success story, except that it led to a total complete crash, a terrible crash. Argentina did recover, but by violating IMF rules, refusing to pay its debts, buying up what remained of the debt and “ridding ourselves of the IMF,” as the president put it. They were able to do that, partly with the help of Venezuela, which bought up about a third of the debt, another form of cooperation. Brazil, in its own way, moved in the same direction, freeing itself from the IMF.

Bolivia is now doing it. Bolivia had been, again, a rigorous obedient student of the IMF for about 25 years. It ended up with per capita income lower than when it started. Well, now they’re getting rid of the IMF, too, again with Venezuelan support. And as this proceeds through the — in fact, the IMF itself is in serious trouble. If you look at the business pages, you’ll notice that its viability is in question, because it’s not getting the kinds of funds it used to get from the role it played in what one — the US executive director of the IMF once called it the credit community’s enforcer. It’s like the Mafia. They’re the goons who were sent in to get the payments, the default, and so on. But they’re not getting it anymore, and their own funds are running low. They may not survive.“

Insgesamt ist die Rede sehr lesenswert. Denkwürdig ist auch ein Absatz über die amerikanische Demokratie:

„But they had a section on Barack Obama, the great new hope. And it was very exuberant: what a fantastic personality he is and a great candidate, thousands of people coming out. And it went on for about 15 minutes of excited rhetoric. There’s only one thing missing. They didn’t say a word about what his policies were on anything. It’s kind of not — doesn’t matter, you know. He’s a unifier. He looks at you when he talks to you. He’s a really decent guy.“


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