About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Evo Morales: Ending Capitalism by Ending Luxury?

From Democracy Now:
AMY GOODMAN: How would you do that? How would you end capitalism?

PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] It’s changing economic policies, ending luxury, consumerism. It’s ending the struggle to—or this searching for living better. Living better is to exploit human beings. It’s plundering natural resources. It’s egoism and individualism. Therefore, in those promises of capitalism, there is no solidarity or complementarity. There’s no reciprocity. So that’s why we’re trying to think about other ways of living lives and living well, not living better. Not living better. Living better is always at someone else’s expense. Living better is at the expense of destroying the environment.
I've generally been a supporter of the Morales movement - a much needed retaking of Bolivia by the majority of the citizenry. However, Morales' climate summit speech and DN interview have me rolling my eyes? End luxury? End luxury and you end the entire export future of Bolivia, especially lithium. Define luxury, buck-o. Is luxury flying all the way to Copenhagen to complain about luxury for a few minutes? Pretty much. Come on, Evo, learn to ride the market and even moderate it ... don't try to put a bullet in its brain.

The export economies of South America demand a luxury market, and their subsequent failure to diversify the economy with the profits from those sales is glaring (cough cough - Chavez's Venezuela - cough cough). Text book after text book gives us enough single-export ppopulists to float a battleship. Diversify, democratize, distribute - the three words of the day for the Latin American economy.

Bolivia has potential to profit from "luxury" and use those profits for good. And the environment? If the market demands "green" then let the entrepeneurs of Bolivia profit from that demand.

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