Just Shocking!!

Memory, both individual and collective, turns out to be the greatest shock absorber of all.  These words were written by Neomi Klein.  The sad fact is that we don’t know our history of the last 60 years.  In Spain, where the memory of Franco is still very much alive, they voted out the government of Jose Maria Asnar because he reminded them of fascism.  Knowing history is the antidote to the economic shock therapy of the disaster capitalists. 

The brutal regimes that implemented the Chicago School ideas in the seventies understood that, for their idealized new nations to be born in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, whole categories of people and their cultures would need to be pulled up “from the root.”  In the countries that suffered the political cleansings, there have been collective efforts to come to terms with this violent history — truth commissions, excavations of unmarked graves and the beginnings of war crimes trials for the perpetrators.  But the Latin American juntas did not act alone; they were propped up before and after the coups by Washington, as has been amply documented.

On a side note, economic hitman John Perkins, tells the story in his new book about a boyfriend and girlfriend who just graduated from college and went to work for an NGO providing “aid” to Africa.  They were assinged the task of going into a village and teaching the inhabitants how to grow genitically modied corn.  They wrote him that they had never done anything that felt so patronizing in their life.  The village they were assigned to had an agricultural history going back thousands of years.  As it turned out, the farmers there knew more about planting seeds then even they did.  Now these two people are working against imperalism and for a sustainable and subsistive economy.


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