Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Go South, Young Man

In the mid-1990s, a Guatemalan songwriter released a song called Si el Norte Fuera El Sur. Ricardo Arjona takes a few jabs at North American mono-chromic – or money-chromic – culture and war-loving politics and plays with how things would be different if North was South. In the last line, Arjona concludes that if North was South, it would be the same shit. "Si el Norte fuera el Sur, sería la misma porquería."

I've been traveling in El Sur for the past 2+ months. I started in a country that is currently fighting off El Norte's imperial influence (Venezuela), and then moved on to countries that overthrew US-sponsored military dictatorships in the 1980's (Argentina and Brazil). It's quite amazing what people "left" to decide to their fates are capable of.

But the US learned a lesson in the 1980's and made sure that the alternatives to the dictatorships it sponsors in the oil-rich Middle East are created by them and scary enough to make people hang on to military tools – or bring them back to power in a "popular-coup".  That term sounded as a joke at first, but it's starting to sound like a popular joke.

The progress South American countries have made over the past 30 years puts them on track to bypass El Norte at some point in the future. At the pace the US keeps droning itself in its military-booted-foot, that future might be soon.

While the US war freak is juicing up on economic steroids, countries to its south are being built around self-sufficiency and sustainability.

When was the last time you heard the word sufficient in english? According to the google ngram tool, it's becoming extinct.

I know I'm oversimplifying and not really getting into the details and the problems of these countries. But in reality it's even much more basic than that. It's the societal mindset on which countries are built. Some countries decided to harvest human energy, while others are obsessed with fossils. 

Guess, who I'm betting on to have a better future? 

That's why I disagree with Arjona. It will not be la misma porquería.

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