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Deterring Democracy


By Noam Chomsky

VII. The Victors

1. The Fruits of Victory: Central America

2. The Fruits of Victory: Latin America

3. The Fruits of Victory: the Caribbean

4. The Fruits of Victory: Asia

5. The Fruits of Victory: Africa

6. The "Unrelenting Nightmare"

7. Comparisons and their Pitfalls

 

From Z Magazine, November 1990, January 1991.

According to the conventional picture, the U.S. has won the Cold War. Righteousness has triumphed over evil with the victory of democracy, free market capitalism, justice and human rights. As standard bearer of the cause, the United States now leads the way to a New World Order of peace, economic development, and cooperation among those who have seen the light, virtually everyone except for some holdouts like Cuba which still complains that the Third World isn't getting its due -- or Saddam Hussein, despite our dedicated efforts to improve his behavior by the carrot rather than the stick, an error of judgment to be rectified by the sword of the righteous avenger.

We have inquired into the validity of this picture from several points of view. Another natural approach is to have a look at the traditional domains of Western power and ask how their people fare at this historic moment, as they contemplate the victory of their side in the Cold War conflict. We may ask how they are celebrating the triumph of liberal capitalism and democracy, as they evidently should be, if the standard version is to be taken seriously.

  1. The Fruits of Victory: Central America

Few regions of the world have been so dominated by a great power as Central America, which emerged from its usual oblivion in the 1980s, moving to center stage as the traditional order faced an unexpected challenge with the growth of popular movements, inspired in part by the new orientation of the Church towards "a preferential option for the poor." After decades of brutal repression and the destructive impact of the U.S. aid programs of the 1960s the ground was prepared for meaningful social change. The mood in Washington darkened further with the overthrow of the Somoza dictatorship.

The reaction was vigorous and swift: violent repression, which decimated popular organizations. The ranks of the small guerrilla organizations swelled as state terror mounted. "The guerrilla groups, the revolutionary groups, almost without exception began as associations of teachers, associations of labor unions, campesino unions, or parish organizations..." with practical and reformist goals, ex-Ambassador Robert White testified before Congress in 1982. The same point was made by the assassinated Salvadoran Jesuit intellectual Father Ignacio Mart¡n-Baró, among many others. 1

A decade later, the United States and its local allies could claim substantial success. The challenge to the traditional order was effectively contained. The misery of the vast majority had deepened while the power of the military and the privileged sectors was enhanced behind a façade of democratic forms. Some 200,000 people had been killed. Countless others were maimed, tortured, "disappeared," driven from their homes. The people, the communities, the environment were devastated, possibly beyond repair. It was truly a grand victory.

Elite reaction is one of gratification and relief. "For the first time, all five of the countries are led by presidents who were elected in contests widely considered free and fair," Washington Post Central America correspondent Lee Hockstader reports from Guatemala City, expressing the general satisfaction over the victory of "conservative politicians" in elections which, we are to understand, took place on a level playing field with no use of force and no foreign influence. It is true, he continues, that "conservative politicians in Central America traditionally represented the established order," defending the wealthy "despite their countries' grossly distorted income patterns." "But the wave of democracy that has swept the region in recent years appears to be shifting politicians' priorities," so the bad old days are gone forever. 2

The student of American history and culture will recognize the familiar moves. Once again, we witness the miraculous change of course that occurs whenever some particularly brutal excesses of the state have been exposed. Hence all of history, and the reasons for its persistent character, may be dismissed as irrelevant, while we march forward, leading our flock to a new and better world.

The Post news report does not merely assert that the new conservatives are dedicated populists, unlike those whom the U.S. used to support in the days of its naiveté and inadvertent error, now thankfully behind us. It goes on to provide evidence for this central claim. The shift of priorities to a welcome populism is demonstrated by the outcome of the conference of the five presidents in Antigua, Guatemala, just completed. The presidents, all "committed to free-market economics," have abandoned worthless goals of social reform, Hockstader explains. "Neither in the plan nor in the lengthier and more general `Declaration of Antigua' was there any mention of land reform or suggestion of new government social welfare programs to help the poor." Rather, they are adopting "a trickle-down approach to aid the poor." "The idea is to help the poor without threatening the basic power structure," a regional economist observes, contemplating these imaginative new ideas on how to pursue our vocation of serving the suffering masses.

The headline reads "Central Americans to use Trickle-down Strategy in War on Poverty," capturing the basic thrust of the news story and the assumptions that frame it: aiding the poor is the highest priority of this new breed of populist conservatives, as it always has been for Washington and the political culture generally. What is newsworthy, and so promising, is the populism of the conservatives we support, and their ingenious and startlingly innovative approach to our traditional commitment to help the poor and suffering, a trickle-down strategy of enriching the wealthy -- a "preferential option for the rich," overcoming the errors of the Latin American Bishops.

One participant in the meeting is quoted as saying that "These past 10 years have been gruesome for poor people, they've taken a beating." Putting aside the conventions, one might observe that the political outcomes hailed as a triumph of democracy are in no small measure a tribute to the salutary efficacy of U.S. terror, and that the presidents who hold formal power, and their sponsors, might have had something other than a war on poverty in mind. There is also a history of trickle-down approaches to relieving poverty that might be explored. Such an inquiry might lead us to expect that the next 10 years will be no less gruesome for the poor. But that path is not pursued, here or elsewhere in the mainstream.

While the three-day conference of populist conservatives was taking place in Antigua, 33 tortured, bullet-riddled bodies were discovered in Guatemala. They did not disturb the celebration over the triumph of freedom and democracy, or even make the news. Nor did the rest of the 125 bodies, half with signs of torture, found throughout the country that month, according to the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission. The Commission identified 79 as victims of "extrajudicial execution" by the security forces. Another 29 were kidnapped and 49 injured in kidnap attempts. The report comes to us from Mexico, where the Commission is based, so that human rights workers can survive now that the U.S. has succeeded in establishing democracy in their homeland. 3

The U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) reports that the percentage of the Guatemalan population living in extreme poverty increased rapidly after the establishment of democracy in 1985, from 45% in that year to 76% in 1988. A study by the Nutritional Institute of Central America and Panama (INCAP) estimates that half the population live under conditions of extreme poverty, and that in rural areas, where the situation is worse, 13 out of every 100 children under five die of illnesses related to malnutrition. Other studies estimate that 20,000 Guatemalans die of hunger every year, that more than 1000 children died of measles alone in the first four months of 1990, and that "the majority of Guatemala's four million children receive no protection at all, not even for the most elemental rights." The Communiqué of the January 1990 Conference of Guatemalan Bishops reviews the steady deterioration of the critical situation of the mass of the population as "the economic crisis has degenerated into a social crisis" and human rights, even "the right to dignity," "do not exist." 4

Throughout the region, the desperate situation of the poor majority has become still more grave with the grand triumph of our values. Three weeks before the Antigua conference, in his homily marking the completion of President Alfredo Cristiani's first year in office, Archbishop Rivera y Damas of San Salvador deplored the policies of his administration, which have worsened the already desperate plight of the poor; the new conservative populist so admired in Washington and New York "is working to maintain the system," the Archbishop said, "favoring a market economy which is making the poor yet poorer." 5

In the neighboring countries, the situation is much the same. A few days after the encouraging Washington Post report on the Antigua meeting, an editorial in a leading Honduran journal appeared under the headline "Misery is increasing in Honduras because of the economic adjustment," referring to the new trickle-down strategy that the Post found so promising -- actually the traditional strategy, its lethal features now more firmly entrenched. The main victims are "the usual neglected groups: children, women, and the aged," according to the conclusions of an academic seminar on "Social Policy in the Context of Crisis," confirmed by "the Catholic Church, the unions, several political parties, and noted economists and statisticians of the country." Two-thirds of the population live below the poverty line, over half of these below the level of "dire need." Unemployment, undernourishment, and severe malnutrition are increasing. 6

The Pan American Health Organization estimates that of 850,000 children born every year in Central America, 100,000 will die before the age of five and two-thirds of those who survive will suffer from malnutrition, with attendant physical or mental development problems. The Inter-American Development Bank reports that per capita income has fallen to the level of 1971 in Guatemala, 1961 in El Salvador, 1973 in Honduras, 1960 in Nicaragua, 1974 in Costa Rica, and 1982 in Panama. 7

Nicaragua was an exception to this trend of increasing misery, but the U.S. terrorist attack and economic warfare succeeded in reversing earlier gains. Nevertheless, infant mortality halved over the decade, from 128 to 62 deaths per thousand births; "Such a reduction is exceptional on the international level," a UNICEF official said, "especially when the country's war-ravaged economy is taken into account." 8

Studies by CEPAL, the World Health Organization, and others "cast dramatic light on the situation," Mexico's leading daily reports. They reveal that 15 million Central Americans, almost 60% of the population, live in poverty, of whom 9.7 million live in "extreme poverty." Severe malnutrition is rampant among children. 75% of the peasants in Guatemala, 60% in El Salvador, 40% in Nicaragua, and 35% in Honduras lack health care. To make matters worse, Washington has applied "stunning quotas on sugar, beef, cocoa, cheese, textiles, and limestone, as well as compensation laws and `antidumping' policies in cement, flowers, and operations of cellulose and glass." The European Community and Japan have followed suit, also imposing harmful protectionist measures. 9

The environment shares the fate of those who people it. Deforestation, soil erosion, pesticide poisoning, and other forms of environmental destruction, increasing through the victorious 1980s, are traceable in large measure to the development model imposed upon the region and U.S. militarization of it in recent years. Intense exploitation of resources by agribusiness and export-oriented production have enriched wealthy sectors and their foreign sponsors, and led to statistical growth, with a devastating impact on the land and the people. In El Salvador, large areas have become virtual wastelands as the military has sought to undermine the peasant base of the guerrillas by extensive bombardment, and by forest and crop destruction. There have been occasional efforts to stem the ongoing catastrophe. Like the Arbenz government overthrown in the CIA-run coup that restored the military regime in Guatemala, the Sandinistas initiated environmental reforms and protections. These were desperately needed, both in the countryside and near Managua, where industrial plants had been permitted to dump waste freely. The most notorious case was the U.S. Penwalt corporation, which poured mercury into Lake Managua until 1981. 10

The foreign-imposed development model has emphasized "nontraditional exports" in recent years. Under the free market conditions approved for defenseless Third World countries, the search for survival and gain will naturally lead to products that maximize profit, whatever the consequences. Coca production has soared in the Andes and elsewhere for this reason, but there are other examples as well. After the discovery of clandestine "human farms" and "fattening houses" for children in Honduras and Guatemala, Dr. Lu¡s Genaro Morales, president of the Guatemalan Pediatric Association, said that child trafficking "is becoming one of the principal nontraditional export products," generating $20 million of business a year. The International Human Rights Federation, after an inquiry in Guatemala, gave a more conservative estimate, reporting that about 300 children are kidnapped every year, taken to secret nurseries, then sold for adoption at about $10,000 per child.

The IHRF investigators could not confirm reports that organs of babies were being sold to foreign buyers. This macabre belief is widely held in the region, however, indicative of the general mood though hardly credible. The Honduran journal El Tiempo reported that the Paraguayan police rescued 7 Brazilian babies from a gang that "intended to sacrifice them to organ banks in the United States, according to a charge in the courts." Brazil's Justice Ministry ordered federal police to investigate allegations that adopted children are being used for organ transplants in Europe, a practice "known to exist in Mexico and Thailand," the London Guardian reports, adding that "handicapped children are said to be preferred for transplant operations" and reviewing the process by which children are allegedly kidnapped, "disappeared," or given up by impoverished mothers, then adopted or used for transplants. Tiempo reported shortly after that an Appeals Judge in Honduras ordered "a meticulous investigation into the sale of Honduran children for the purpose of using their organs for transplant operations." A year earlier, the Secretary General of the National Council of Social Services, which is in charge of adoptions, had reported that Honduran children "were being sold to the body traffic industry" for organ transplant. 11

A Resolution of the European Parliament on the Trafficking of Central American Children alleged that near a "human farm" in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, infant corpses were found that "had been stripped of one or a number of organs." At another "human farm" in Guatemala, babies ranging from 11 days old to four months old had been found. The director of the farm, at the time of his arrest, declared that the children "were sold to American or Israeli families whose children needed organ transplants at the cost of $75,000 per child," the Resolution continues, expressing "its horror in the light of the facts" and calling for investigation and preventive measures. 12

As the region sinks into further misery, these reports continue to appear. In July 1990, a right-wing Honduran daily, under the headline "Loathsome Sale of Human Flesh," reported that police in El Salvador had discovered a group, headed by a lawyer, that was buying children to resell in the United States. An estimated 20,000 children disappear every year in Mexico, the report continues, destined for this end or for use in criminal activities such as transport of drugs "inside their bodies." "The most gory fact, however, is that many little ones are used for transplant of organs to children in the U.S.," which, it is suggested, may account for the fact that the highest rate of kidnapping of children from infants to 18-year-olds is in the Mexican regions bordering on the United States. 13

The one exception to the Central America horror story has been Costa Rica, set on a course of state-guided development by the José Figueres coup of 1948, with social democratic welfare measures combined with harsh repression of labor, and virtual elimination of the armed forces. The U.S. has always kept a wary eye on this deviation from the regional standards, despite the suppression of labor and the favorable conditions for foreign investors. In the 1980s, U.S. pressures to dismantle the social democratic features and restore the army elicited bitter complaints from Figueres and others who shared his commitments. While Costa Rica continues to stand apart from the region in political and economic development, the signs of what the Guatemalan Central America Report calls "The `Central Americanization' of Costa Rica" are unmistakeable. 14

Under the pressure of a huge debt, Costa Rica has been compelled to follow the IMF model of free market capitalism designed for the Third World, with austerity for the poor, cutback in social programs, and benefits for domestic and foreign investors. The results are coming in. By statistical measures, the economy is relatively strong. But more than 25% of the population -- 715,000 people -- live in poverty, 100,000 in extreme poverty, according to a study published by the ultra-right journal La Nación (one feature of Costa Rican democracy being a monopoly of the Spanish language media by extreme right sectors of the business community). A study by the Gallup office in Costa Rica published in Prensa Libre gives even higher figures, concluding that "approximately one million people cannot afford a minimum diet, nor pay for clothing, education or health care." 15

The neoliberal economic policies of the 1980s increased social discontent and labor tensions, Excelsior reports, evoking an "intense attack by unionists, popular organizations," and others against the Arias administration, which implemented these measures in conformity with U.S. demands and the priorities of privileged sectors. Church sources report that "the belt-tightening measures of the 1980s, which included the elimination of subsidies, low interest credit, price supports and government assistance programs, have driven many campesinos and small farmers off their land," leading to many protests. The Bishop of Limón issued a pastoral letter deploring the social deterioration and "worsening of the problems" to which "banana workers, in great majority immigrants from rural settings where they were property owners, have been subject." He also deplored the harsh labor code and government policies that enabled the growers to purge union leaders and otherwise undermine workers' rights, and the deforestation and pollution the companies have caused, with government support. 16

Environmental degradation is serious here as well, including rapid deforestation and sedimentation that has severely effected virtually every major hydroelectric project. Environmental studies reveal that 42% of Costa Rica's soil shows signs of severe erosion. "Top soil is Costa Rica's largest export," the Vice-Minister of Natural Resources commented. Expanding production for export and logging have destroyed forests, particularly the cattle boom of the 1960s and 1970s promoted by the government, international banks and corporations, and the U.S. aid program, which also undermined food production for domestic needs, as elsewhere in Central America. Environmentalists blame government and business for "ecological illiteracy" -- more accurately, pursuit of profit without regard for externalities, as prescribed in the capitalist model. 17

Submissiveness to these demands has yet to meet the exacting standards of the international guardians of business rights. The IMF suspended assistance to Costa Rica in February 1990, cancelling credits. U.S. aid is also falling, now that there is no longer any need to buy Costa Rica's cooperation in the anti-Sandinista jihad. 18

Economic constraints and foreign pressures have narrowed the political system in the approved manner. In the 1990 elections, the two candidates had virtually identical (pro-business) programs, and were highly supportive of U.S. policies in the region. The Central Americanization of Costa Rica is also revealed by the increasing repression through the 1980s. From 1985, the Costa Rican Human Rights Commission (CODEHU) reported torture, arbitrary arrest, harassment of campesinos and workers, and other abuses by the security forces, including a dramatic rise in illegal detentions and arrests. It links the growing wave of abuses to the militarization of the police and security forces, some of whom have been trained in U.S. and Taiwanese military schools. These charges were supported further when an underground torture chamber was found in the building of the Costa Rican Special Police (OIJ), where prisoners were beaten and subjected to electric shock treatment, including torture of a pregnant woman who aborted and electric shock administered to a 13-year-old child to elicit a false confession. CODEHU alleges that 13 people have died in similar incidents since 1988. "Battered by charges of corruption and drug trafficking, the Arias administration receives another blow to its diminishing reputation as a bulwark of democracy" from these revelations, the Central America Report observed. 19

Arias's image "is about to be tarnished" further, according to reports from San José that investigators of the Legislative Drug Commission discovered that he had received a check for $50,000 for his campaign fund from Ocean Hunter Seafood, but had put it in his personal bank account. This Miami-based company and its Costa Rican affiliate, Frigarificos de Puntarenas, were identified by U.S. Congressional investigators as a drug trafficking operation. 20 I leave it to the reader to imagine the sardonic story in the New York Times if something similar were hinted about a minor Sandinista official, however flimsy the evidence.

According to official government figures, the security budget increased 15% in 1988 and 13% in 1989. The press has reported training of security officers in Fort Benning, Georgia, in U.S. bases in Panama, and in a Taiwanese military academy, as well as by Israeli secret police, the army of El Salvador, the Guatemalan army special forces, and others. Fifteen private paramilitary, vigilante, and security organizations have been identified, with extreme nationalist and right-wing agendas. A member of the special commission of the legislature set up to investigate these matters described the police as an "army in disguise...out of control." The executive secretary of Costa Rica's Human Rights Commission, Sylvia Porras, noted that "the psychological profile of the police has changed as a result of military training," adding that "we cannot talk any longer of a civilian police force. What we have now is a hidden army." 21

Annual U.S. military aid in the 1980s shot up to about 18 times what it had been from 1946 through 1979. U.S. pressures to rebuild the security forces, reversing the Figueres reforms, have been widely regarded as a factor in the drift towards the Central American mode. The role of Oscar Arias has evoked a good deal of annoyance South of the border. After an Arias article in the New York Times piously calling on Panama to follow the Costa Rican model and abolish the army, the well-known Mexican writer Gregorio Selser published a review of some Costa Rican realities, beginning with the violent repression of a peaceful demonstration of landless campesinos in September 1986 by Arias's Civil Guard, with many serious injuries. The absence of an army in Costa Rica, he alleges, has become largely a matter of semantics; different words for the same things. He cites an Arias decree of August 5, 1987 -- just at the moment of the signing of the Esquipulas accords that brought Arias a Nobel Peace prize -- establishing a professional army in all but name, with the full array of ranks and structure; and a 1989 CODEHU report on the training of hundreds of men in military academies of the U.S. and its client states. 22

Little of this has ever reached the United States, except far from the mainstream. In the context of the Drug War, however, some notice has been taken. An editorial in the Miami Herald on "Costa Rica's anguish" cites the comments by Sylvia Porras quoted above on the effects of U.S. military training, which has changed the "psychological profile" of the civilian police, turning them to "a camouflaged army." The judgment is not "hyperbole," the editorial concludes, attributing the rapid growth of the army and the recent killing of civilians by the security forces to the Nicaraguan conflict and the drug war -- but with no mention of U.S. pressures, following the norms of the Free Press. 23

  2. The Fruits of Victory: Latin America

Turning to the rest of "our little region over here which has never bothered anybody" (see p. 52), a World Bank study in 1982 estimated that "40 percent of households in Latin America live in poverty, meaning that they cannot purchase the minimum basket of goods required for the satisfaction of their basic needs, and... 20 percent of all households live in destitution, meaning that they lack the means of buying even the food that would provide them with a minimally adequate diet." The situation worsened in the 1980s, largely because of the huge export of capital to the West (see chapter 3, p. 98). Speaking in Washington in preparation for the 1989 General Assembly of the OAS, Secretary General Soares described the 1980s as a "lost decade" for Latin America, with falling personal income and general economic stagnation or decline. He said that in the past year (1988), in the worst crisis since the depression of the 1930s, average income had fallen to the level of 1978. In 1989, average per capita product declined again, and the export of capital continued in a flood, CEPAL reported. According to World Bank figures, average per capita income in Argentina fell from $1,990 in 1980 to $1,630 in 1988. Mexico's GNP declined for seven straight years. Real wages in Venezuela fell by a third since 1981, to the 1964 level. Argentina allotted 20% of its budget to education in 1972, 6% in 1986. David Felix, a specialist on Latin American economics, writes that per capita output for the region declined almost 10% from 1980; real investment per worker, which declined sharply in the 1980s, fell to below 1970 levels in most of the heavily indebted countries, where urban real wages are in many cases 20-40% below 1980 levels, even below 1970 levels; the brain drain quickened and physical and human capital per head shrank because of the decline of public and private investment and collapse of infrastructure. Much of the sharp deterioration of the 1980s, Felix and others conclude, can be traced to the free-market restructuring imposed by the industrial powers, a matter to which we return. 24

Mexicans continue to flee to the United States for survival, and here too macabre tales abound. The Mexican press reports drownings, disappearances, and "the disappearance or theft of women for the extraction of organs for use in transplants in the U.S." (quoting a regional Human Rights Committee representative). Others report torture, high rates of cancer from chemicals used in the maquiladora industries (assembly plants near the border, for shipment to U.S. factories), secret prisons, kidnapping, and other horror stories. Excelsior reports a study by environmental groups, presented to President Salinas, claiming that 100,000 children die every year as a result of pollution in the Mexico City area, along with millions suffering from pollution-induced disease, which has reduced life expectancy by an estimated 10 years. The "main culprit" is the emissions of lead and sulfur from operations of the national petrochemical company Pemex, which is free from the controls imposed elsewhere -- one of the advantages of Third World production that is not lost on investors. 25

The Mexican Secretariat of Urban Development and the Environment described the situation as "truly catastrophic," Excelsior reports further, estimating that less than 10% of Mexican territory is able to support "minimally productive agriculture" because of environmental degradation while water resources are hazardously low. Many areas are turning into "a real museum of horrors" from pollution because of the blind pursuit of profits. The Secretariat estimates further that more than 90% of industry in the Valley of Mexico, where there are more than 30,000 plants, violate global standards, and in the chemical industry, more than half the labor force suffers irreversible damage to the respiratory system. 26

Maude Barlow, chairperson of a Canadian study group, reports the results of their inquiry into maquiladoras "built by Fortune 500 to take advantage of a desperate people," for profits hard to match elsewhere. They found factories full of teenage girls, some 14 years old, "working at eye-damaging, numbingly repetitive work" for wages "well below what is required for even a minimum standard of living." Corporations commonly send the most dangerous jobs here because standards on chemicals are "lax or nonexistent." "In one plant," she writes, "we all experienced headaches and nausea from spending an hour on the assembly line" and "we saw young girls working beside open vats of toxic waste, with no protective face covering." Unions are barred, and there is no lack of desperate people to take the place of any who "are not happy, or fall behind in quotas, or become ill or pregnant." The delegation "took pictures of a lagoon of black, bubbling toxic waste dumped by plants in an industrial park," following it to "where it met untreated raw sewage and turned into a small river running past squatters' camps (where children covered in sores drank Pepsi Cola from baby bottles) to empty into the Tijuana River." 27

We have already noted the economic and political conditions in Colombia, another success story of capitalist democracy flawed only by the drug cartels. A study by Evan Vallianatos of the U.S. government Office of Technology Assessment amplifies the dimensions of the victory here. "Colombia's twentieth century history is above all stained in the blood of the peasant poor," he writes, reviewing the gruesome record of atrocities and massacre to keep the mass of the population in its place. The U.S. Aid program, the Ford Foundation, and others have sought to deal with the plight of the rural population "by refining the largely discredited trickle-down technology and knowledge transfer process," investing in the elite and trusting in "competition, private property, and the mechanism of the free market" -- a system in which "the big fish eats the small one," as one poor farmer observes. These policies have made the dreadful conditions still worse, creating "the most gross inequalities that the beast in man has made possible." It is not only the rural poor who have suffered beyond endurance. To illustrate the kind of development fostered by the transnational corporations and the technocrats, Vallianatos offers the example of the small industrial city of Yumbo, "rapidly becoming unfit for human habitation" because of uncontrolled pollution, decay, and "corrosive slums" in which "the town's spent humanity has all but given up." 28

Brazil is another country with rich resources and potential, long subject to European influence, then U.S. intervention primarily since the Kennedy years. We cannot, however, simply speak of "Brazil." There are two very different Brazils. In a scholarly study of the Brazilian economy, Peter Evans writes that "the fundamental conflict in Brazil is between the 1, or perhaps 5, percent of the population that comprises the elite and the 80 percent that has been left out of the `Brazilian model' of development." The Brazilian journal Veja reports on these two Brazils, the first modern and westernized, the second sunk in the deepest misery. Seventy percent of the population consume fewer calories than Iranians, Mexicans, or Paraguayans. Over half the population have family incomes below the minimum wage. For 40 percent of the population, the median annual salary is $287, while inflation skyrockets and even minimal necessities are beyond reach. A World Bank report on the Brazilian educational system compares it unfavorably to Ethiopia and Pakistan, with a dropout rate of 80 percent in primary school, growing illiteracy, and falling budgets. The Ministry of Education reports that the government spends over a third of the education budget on school meals, because most of the students will either eat at school or not at all. 29

The journal South, which describes itself as "The Business Magazine of the Developing World," reports on Brazil under the heading "The Underside of Paradise." A country with enormous wealth, no security concerns, a relatively homogenous population, and a favorable climate, Brazil nevertheless has problems:

The problem is that this cornucopia is inhabited by a population enduring social conditions among the worst in the world. Two-thirds do not get enough to eat. Brazil has a higher infant mortality rate than Sri Lanka, a higher illiteracy rate than Paraguay, and worse social indicators than many far poorer African countries. Fewer children finish first-grade school than in Ethiopia, fewer are vaccinated than in Tanzania and Botswana. Thirty-two percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Seven million abandoned children beg, steal and sniff glue on the streets. For scores of millions, home is a shack in a slum, a room in the inner city, or increasingly, a patch of ground under a bridge.

The share of the poorer classes in the national income is "steadily falling, giving Brazil probably the highest concentration of income in the world." It has no progressive income tax or capital gains tax, but it does have galloping inflation and a huge foreign debt, while participating in a "Marshall Plan in reverse," in the words of former President José Sarney, referring to debt payments.

It would only be fair to add that the authorities are concerned with the mounting problem of homeless and starving children, and are trying to reduce their numbers. Amnesty International reports that death squads, often run by the police, are killing street children at a rate of about one a day, while "many more children, forced onto the streets to support their families, are being beaten and tortured by the police" (Reuters, citing AI). "Poor children in Brazil are treated with contempt by the authorities, risking their lives simply by being on the streets," AI alleged. Most of the torture takes place under police custody or in state institutions. There are few complaints by victims or witnesses because of fear of the police, and the few cases that are investigated judicially result in light sentences. 30

For three-quarters of the population of this cornucopia, the conditions of Eastern Europe are dreams beyond reach, another triumph of the Free World.

A U.N. "Report on Human Development" ranks Brazil, with the world's eighth largest economy, in 80th place in general welfare (as measured by education, health, hygiene), near Albania, Paraguay and Thailand. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced on October 18 that more than 40% of the population (almost 53 million people) are hungry. The Brazilian Health Ministry estimates that hundreds of thousands of children die of hunger every year. 31

Recall that these are the conditions that hold on the 25th anniversary of "the single most decisive victory of freedom in the mid-twentieth century" (Lincoln Gordon, U.S. Ambassador to Brazil at the time), that is, the overthrow of parliamentary democracy by Brazilian generals backed by the United States, which then praised the "economic miracle" produced by the neo-Nazi National Security State they established. In the months before the generals' coup, Washington assured its traditional military allies of its support and provided them with aid, because the military was essential to "the strategy for restraining left-wing excesses" of the elected Goulart government, Ambassador Gordon cabled the State Department. The U.S. actively supported the coup, preparing to intervene directly if its help was needed for what Gordon described as the "democratic rebellion" of the generals. This "de facto ouster" of the elected president was "a great victory for free world," Gordon reported, adding that it should "create a greatly improved climate for private investment." U.S. labor leaders demanded their proper share of the credit for the overthrow of the parliamentary regime, while the new government proceeded to crush the labor movement and subordinate poor and working people to the overriding needs of business interests, primarily foreign. Secretary of State Dean Rusk justified U.S. recognition for the regime on the grounds that "the succession there occurred as foreseen by the Constitution," which had just been blatantly violated. The U.S. proceeded to provide ample aid as torture and repression mounted, the relics of constitutional government faded away, and the climate for investors improved under the rule of what Washington hailed as the "democratic forces." 32

The circumstances of the poor in Brazil continue to regress as austerity measures are imposed on the standard IMF formula in an effort to deal somehow with this catastrophe of capitalism. The same is true in Argentina, where the Christian Democratic Party called on its members to resign from the cabinet in March 1990 "in order not to validate, by their presence in the government, the anti-popular [economic] measures of the regime." In a further protest over these measures, the Party expelled the current Minister of the Economy. Experts say that the socioeconomic situation has become "unbearable," and that a third of the population lives in extreme poverty. 33

The fate of Argentina is addressed in a report in the Washington Post by Eugene Robinson. One of the ten richest countries in the world at the turn of the century, with rich resources and great advantages, Argentina is becoming a Third World country, Robinson observes. About one-third of its 31 million inhabitants live below the poverty line. 18,000 children die each year before their first birthday, most from malnutrition and preventable disease. The capital, once considered "the most elegant and European city this side of the Atlantic," is "ringed by a widening belt of shantytowns, called villas miserias, or `miseryvilles,' where the homes are cobbled-together huts and the sewers are open ditches." Here too the IMF-style reforms "have made life even more precarious for the poor."

Robinson's article is paired with another entitled "A Glimpse Into the Lower Depths," devoted to a mining town in the Soviet Union. Subtitled "A mining town on the steppes reveals `the whole sick system'," the article stresses the comparison to capitalist success. The article on Argentina, however, says nothing about any "sick system." The catastrophe in Argentina and the general "economic malaise" in Latin America are attributed vaguely to "economic mismanagement." Again the usual pattern: their crimes reveal their evil nature, ours are the result of personal failings and the poor human material with which we are forced to work. 34

David Felix concludes that Argentina's decline results from "political factors such as prolonged class warfare and a lack of national commitment on the part of Argentina's elite," which took advantage of the free-market policies of the murderous military dictatorship. These led to massive redistribution of income towards the wealthy and a sharp fall of per capita income, along with a huge increase in debt as a result of capital flight, tax evasion, and consumption by the rich beneficiaries of the system; Reaganomics, in essence. 35

In oil-rich Venezuela, over 40% live in extreme poverty according to official figures, and the food situation is considered "hyper-critical," the Chamber of Food Industries reported in 1989. Malnutrition is so common that it is often not noted in medical histories, according to hospital officials, who warn that "the future is horrible." Prostitution has also increased, reaching the level of about 170,000 women or more according to the Ministry of Health. The Ministry also reports an innovation, beyond the classic prostitution of women of low income. Many "executive secretaries and housewives and college students accompany tourists and executives during a weekend, earning at times up to [about $150] per contact." Child prostitution is also increasing and is now "extremely widespread," along with child abuse. 36

Brutal exploitation of women is a standard feature of the "economic miracles" in the realms of capitalist democracy. The huge flow of women from impoverished rural areas in Thailand to service the prostitution industry -- one of the success stories of the economic takeoff sparked by the Indochina wars -- is one of the many features of the Free World triumph that escape notice. 37 The savage conditions of work for young women largely from the rural areas are notorious; young women, because few others are capable of enduring the conditions of labor, or survive to continue with it.

Chile under the Pinochet dictatorship is another famous success story. Antonio Garza Morales reports in Excelsior that "the social cost which has been paid by the Chilean people is the highest in Latin America," with the number of poor rising from 1 million after Allende to 7 million today, while the population remained stable at 12 million. Christian Democratic Party leader Senator Anselmo Sule, returned from exile, says that economic growth that benefits 10% of the population has been achieved (Pinochet's official institutions agree), but development has not. Unless the economic disaster for the majority is remedied, "we are finished," he adds. According to David Felix, "Chile, hit especially hard in the 1982-84 period, is now growing faster than during the preceding decade of the Chicago Boys," enthralled by the free market ideology that is, indeed, highly beneficial for some: the wealthy, crucially including foreign investors. Chile's recovery, Felix argues, can be traced to "a combination of severe wage repression by the Pinochet regime, an astutely managed bailout of the bankrupt private sector by the economic team that replaced the discredited Chicago Boys, and access to unusually generous lending by the international financial institutions," much impressed by the favorable climate for business operations. 38

Environmental degradation is also a severe problem in Chile. The Chilean journal Apsi devoted a recent issue to the environmental crisis accelerated by the "radical neoliberalism" of the period following the U.S.-backed coup that overthrew the parliamentary democracy. Recent studies show that about half the country is becoming a desert, a problem that "seems much farther away than the daily poisoning of those who live in Santiago," the capital city, which competes with Sao Paolo (Brazil) and Mexico City for the pollution prize for the hemisphere (for the world, the journal alleges). "The liquid that emerges from the millions of faucets in the homes and alleys of Santiago have levels of copper, iron, magnesium and lead which exceed by many times the maximum tolerable norms." The lands that "supply the fruits and vegetables of the Metropolitan Region are irrigated with waters that exceed by 1000 times the maximum quantity of coliforms acceptable," which is why Santiago "has levels of hepatitis, typhoid, and parasites which are not seen in any other part of the continent" (one of every three children in the capital has parasites). Economists and environmentalists attribute the problem to the "development model," crucially, its "transnational style," "in which the most important decisions tend to be adopted outside the ambit of the countries themselves," consistent with the assigned "function" of the Third World: to serve the needs of the industrial West. 39

The fashion is to attribute the problems of Eastern Europe to the "sick system" (quite accurately), while ignoring the catastrophes of capitalism or, on the rare occasions when some problem is noticed, attributing them to any cause other than the system that consistently brings them about. Latin American economists are generally ignored, but some of them have been useful for ideological warfare and therefore have attained respectability in the U.S. political culture. One example is Francisco Mayorga, a Yale Phd in economics and the leading economist of the U.S.-backed UNO coalition, who became one of the most respected commentators on Nicaragua because he could be quoted on the economic debacle caused by Sandinista mismanagement. He remained a favorite as he became the economic Czar after the UNO victory in the February 1990 election, though he disappeared when he was removed after the failure of his highly-touted recovery policies (which failed, in large part, because of U.S. foot-dragging, the UNO government being nowhere near harsh and brutal enough for Washington's tastes).

But Mayorga was never quoted on what he actually wrote about the Nicaraguan economy, which is not without interest. His 1986 Yale doctoral dissertation is a study of the consequences of the development model of the U.S.-backed Somoza regime, and of the likely consequences of alternative policy choices for the 1980s. He concludes that "by 1978 the economy was on the verge of collapse" because of the "exhaustion of the agroindustrial model" and the "monetarist paradigm" that the U.S. favored. This model had led to huge debt and insolvency, and "the drastic downturn of the terms of trade that was around the corner was clearly going to deal a crucial blow to the agroindustrial model developed in the previous three decades," leading "inexorably" to an "economic slump in the 1980s." The immense costs of the U.S.-backed Somoza repression of 1978-9 and the contra war made the "inexorable" even more destructive. Mayorga estimates capital flight from 1977 to 1979 at $.5 billion, and calculates the "direct economic burden" of war from 1978 to 1984 at more than $3.3 billion. That figure, he points out, is one and a half times the "record GDP level of the country in 1977," a year of "exceptional affluence" because of the destruction of the Brazilian coffee crop, hence regularly used by U.S. propagandists (including some who masquerade as scholars) as a base line to prove Sandinista failures. The course of the economy from 1980, Mayorga concludes, was the result of the collapse of the agroindustrial export model, the severe downturn in the terms of trade, and the unbearable burden of the 1978-9 war and then the contra war (his study ends before the U.S. embargo exacerbated the crisis further). Sandinista policies, he concludes, were ineffective in dealing with the "inexorable" collapse: they "had a favorable impact on output and a negative effect on rural wages and farming profits," favoring industrial profits and redistributing income "from the rural to the urban sector." Had there been "no war and no change in economic regime," his studies show, "the Nicaraguan economy would have entered a sharp slump." 40

These conclusions being useless or worse, Mayorga's work on the Nicaraguan economy passes into the same oblivion as all other inquiries into the catastrophes of capitalism. The example is noteworthy because of Mayorga's prominence at the very same time, insofar as he could serve a propaganda function.

  3. The Fruits of Victory: the Caribbean

Brazil and Chile are not the only countries to have basked in praise for their achievements after U.S. intervention set them on the right course. Another is the Dominican Republic. After the latest U.S. invasion under Lyndon Johnson in 1965, and a dose of death squads and torture, democratic forms were established, and Western commentators have expressed much pride in the peaceful transfer of power -- or better, governmental authority, power lying elsewhere. The economy is stagnant and near bankrupt, public services function only intermittently, poverty is endemic, malnutrition is increasing and the standard of living of the poor continues its downward slide. In the capital city, electricity supply is down to 4 hours a day; water is available for only an hour a day in many areas. Unemployment is rising, the foreign debt has reached $4 billion, the 1989 trade deficit was $1 billion, up from $700 million the year before. Estimates of the number who have fled illegally to the U.S. range up to a million. Without the remittances of Dominicans working in Puerto Rico and on the U.S. mainland -- illegally for the most part -- "the country could not survive," the London Economist reports. U.S. investors, assisted by Woodrow Wilson's invasion and later Johnson's, had long controlled most of the economy. Now foreign investment in 17 free trade zones is attracted by 15-year tax holidays and average wages of 65 cents an hour. Some "remain upbeat about the Dominican Republic's situation," South reports, citing U.S. ambassador Paul Taylor and offering some objective grounds for his cheerful view of the prospects:

Optimists point to the political and labour harmony in the Dominican Republic, the substantial pool of cheap workers and the transport, banking and communications services as continuing strong incentives to investors. Indeed, as a Dominican factory manager notes: "Anyone who gets involved in unions here knows that they'll lose their job and won't work in the free trade zone any more."

As in Brazil and elsewhere, the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD), the AFL-CIO foreign affairs arm supported by the government and major corporations, "has been instrumental in discouraging hostile [sic] union activity in order to help US companies maximise their profits," South reports. 41

Elsewhere in the Caribbean basin, we find much the same picture, including Grenada, also liberated by U.S. benevolence, then restored to its proper status (see chapter 5, pp. 162). The U.S. pursued a somewhat different path to ensure virtuous behavior in the case of Jamaica. Upstarts led by the social democrat Michael Manley and his People's National Party (PNP) sought to explore the forbidden path of independent development and social reform in the 1970s, eliciting the usual hostility from the United States and sufficient pressures to achieve an electoral victory for U.S. favorite Edward Seaga, who had pledged to put an end to such nonsense. Seaga's pursuit of free market principles was lauded by the Reagan administration, which announced grandly that it would use this opportunity to create a showcase for democracy and capitalism in the Caribbean. 42 Massive aid flowed. USAID spent more on Jamaica than on any other Caribbean program. The World Bank also joined in to oversee and expedite this estimable project. Seaga followed all the rules of the much-admired (and not so new) "trickle-down approach to aid the poor," introducing austerity measures, establishing Free Trade Zones where non-union labor, mostly women, work in sweatshops for miserable wages in foreign-run plants subsidized by the Jamaican government, and generally keeping to the IMF prescriptions.

There was some economic growth, "mainly as a result of laundered `ganja' dollars from the marijuana trade, increased tourism earnings, lower fuel import costs, and higher prices for bauxite and alumina," NACLA reports. The rest was the usual catastrophe of capitalism, including one of the highest per capita foreign debts in the world, collapse of infrastructure, and general impoverishment. According to USAID, by March 1988, along with its "crippling debt burden," Jamaica was a country where economic output was "far below the production level of 1972," "distribution of wealth and income is highly unequal," "shortages of key medical and technical personnel plague the health system," "physical decay and social violence deter investment," and there are "severe deficits in infrastructure and housing." This assessment was made before hurricane Gilbert dealt a further blow.

At this point, Michael Manley, now properly tamed, was granted the right to return to power to administer the ruins, all hope for constructive change having been lost. Manley "is making all the right noises" to reassure the Bank and foreign investors, Roger Robinson, World Bank senior economist for Jamaica, said in a June 1988 pre-election interview. He explained further that:

Five years ago, people were still thinking about "meeting local needs," but not any more. Now the lawyers and others with access to resources are interested in external export investment. Once you have that ingrained in a population, you can't go back easily, even if the PNP and Michael Manley come in again. Now there's an understanding among individuals who save, invest, and develop their careers that capital will start leaving again if the PNP, or even [Seaga's] JLP, intervenes too much.

Returned to office, Manley recognized the handwriting on the wall, outdoing Seaga as an enthusiast for free market capitalism. The journal of the Private Sector of Jamaica was much impressed with the new signs of maturity. "The old gospel that government should be operated in the interests of the poor is being modified, even if not expressly rejected, by the dawning realization that the only way to help the poor is to operate the government in the interest of the productive!," the journal exulted -- here the term "productive" does not refer to the people who produce, but to those who manage, control investment, and reap profits. The public sector is "on the verge of collapse," the Private Sector report continues, with schools, health care and other services rapidly declining. But with the "nonsensical rhetoric of the recent past" abandoned, and privatization of everything in sight on the way, there is hope -- for "the productive," in the special intended sense.

Manley has won new respect from the important people now that he has learned to play the role of "violin president," in Latin American terminology: "put up by the left but played by the right." 43 The conditions of capital flight and foreign pressures -- state, private, international economic institutions -- have regularly sufficed to bar any other course.

  4. The Fruits of Victory: Asia

Turning elsewhere in the domains of freedom, capitalism, and democracy, we naturally begin with the Philippines, which have been lucky enough to be under the wing of the leader of the Free World for almost a century. The desperate state of Filipinos in the post-Marcos democracy is reviewed in the Far Eastern Economic Review, firmly dedicated to economic liberalism and the priorities of the business community, under the heading "Power to the plutocrats." Its reports conclude that "Much of the country's problems now...seem to be rooted in the fact that the country has had in its entire history no form of social revolution." The consequences of this failure include "the jinxed land reform programme," a failure that "profoundly affects the prognosis for the incidence of poverty" among the 67% of poor Filipino families living in rural areas, condemning them to permanent misery, huge foreign debt, "massive capital flight," an increase in severe malnutrition among pre-school children since the Aquino government took power, widespread underemployment, and survival for many on incomes far below government-defined poverty thresholds, "the growth of a virtual society of beggars and criminals," and the rest of the familiar story. Government and academic experts expect things to get considerably worse. For the "rapidly expanding disadvantaged," the only way out is to seek work abroad: "legal and illegal workers from the Philippines now comprise the greatest annual labour exodus in Asia." With social programs abandoned, the only hope is if "the big-business elite, in a situation of little government interference, foregoes the Philippine elite traditional proclivity towards conspicuous consumption, and instead use profits both for their employee's welfare and to accumulate capital for industrial development." 44

These conditions can be traced in no small measure to the U.S. invasion at the turn of the century with its vast slaughter and destruction, the long colonial occupation, and the subsequent policies including the postwar counterinsurgency campaign and support for the Marcos dictatorship as long as it was viable. But the Philippines did gain the (intermittent) gift of democracy. In the same business journal, a columnist for the Manila Daily Globe, Conrado de Quiros, reflects on this matter under the heading "The wisdom of democracy." He compares the disaster of the Philippines to the economic success story of Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew, whose harsh tyranny is another of those famous triumphs of democracy and capitalism. De Quiros quotes the Singapore Minister of Trade and Industry, Lee's son, who condemns the U.S. model imposed on the Philippines for many flaws, the "worst crime" being that it granted the Filipinos a free press; in his own words, "An American-style free-wheeling press purveyed junk in the marketplace of ideas, which led to confusion and bewilderment, not to enlightenment and truth." With a better appreciation of the merits of fascism, his Singapore government is too wise to fall into this error. 45

The Americans did introduce a form of democracy, de Quiros continues. However, it "was not designed to make Filipinos free but to make them comfortable with their new chains." It may have given the Filipinos more newspapers, but "it has given them less money with which to buy them. It has made the rich richer," with "one of the world's worst cases of inequity in the distribution of wealth," according to the World Bank. Democracy "was an instrument of colonisation," and was not intended to have substantive content:

For most Filipinos, American-style democracy meant little more than elections every few years. Beyond this, the colonial authorities made sure that only the candidates who represented colonial interests first and last won. This practice did not die with colonialism. The ensuing political order, which persisted long after independence, was one where a handful of families effectively and ruthlessly ruled a society riven by inequality. It was democratic in form, borrowing as many American practices as it could, but autocratic in practice.

Under Philippine democracy, most of the population is not represented. The politicians are lawyers or wealthy businessmen or landowners. As the political structure bequeathed to the Philippines by the American occupation was reconstituted after the overthrow of the U.S.-backed dictator by "people power," Gary Hawes writes, "it is only those with money and muscle who can be elected." Candidates are mainly "former elected officials, relatives of powerful political families and/or members of the economic elite," unrepresentative of the rural majority or even "the citizens who had demonstrated to bring down Marcos and who had risked their lives to protect their ballots for Corazon Aquino." There did exist a party (PnB) based on the popular organizations that arose against the dictatorship, with broad support from the peasantry, the labor force, and large reformist sections of the middle class, but it was to have no political role. In the elections, PnB was outspent by the traditional conservative parties by a ratio of up to 20 to 1. Its supporters were subjected to intimidation and threats of loss of jobs, housing, and city licenses. The military presence also served to inhibit PnB campaigning. Interviews with poor farmers and workers revealed a preference for PnB candidates, but a recognition that since the military and the rural elite opposed them, "the next best choice was to take the money or the rewards and vote for the candidates endorsed by the Aquino government." 46

Under the reconstituted elite democracy, Hawes continues, "the voices of the rural dwellers" -- almost two-thirds of the population -- "have seldom been heard," and the same is true of the urban poor. The cure for agitation in the countryside is militarization and the rise of vigilantes, leading to a record of human rights violations "as bad as, if not worse than, during the time of Marcos," a 1988 human rights mission reported, with torture, summary executions, and forced evacuations. There is economic growth, but its fruits "have seldom trickled down to the most needy." Peasants continue to starve while paying 70% of their crop to the landlord. Agrarian reform is barely a joke. Support for the National Democratic Front (NDF) and its guerrillas is mounting after years of rural organizing.

De Quiros suggests that there has been "substantive democracy in the Philippines -- despite colonialism and elite politics." "This is so because democracy took a life of its own, expressing itself in peasant revolts and popular demand for reforms." It is just this substantive democracy that the United States and its allies are dedicated to repress and contain. Hence the absence of any social revolution of the kind that he and several other commentators in this most respectable business journal see as sorely lacking in the Philippines -- though if it can join the club of "capitalist democracies" of the Singapore variety, the tune will likely change.

Meanwhile, Survival International reports that tribal peoples in the Philippines are being attacked by the private army of a logging company, which, in a six-month campaign of terror, has killed and tortured villagers, burned down houses, destroyed rice stores, and driven thousands from their homes. They are also among the many victims of bombing of villages and other practices of the government counterinsurgency campaigns. Appeals to the Aquino government have been ignored. An appeal to the U.S. government, or Western circles generally, cannot be seriously proposed. The same is true in Thailand, where the government announced a plan to expel 6 million people from forests where it wants to establish softwood plantations. 47

Miracles of capitalism are also to be found elsewhere in Asia. Charles Gray, executive director of the AFL-CIO's Asian-American Free Labor Institute (noted for its pro-business stance), observes in the Far Eastern Economic Review that transnational corporations "generally insist the host government suppress the right of workers to organise and join unions, even when that right is guaranteed in the country's own constitution and laws." The organization that coordinates trade in the Free World (GATT) does not have a single rule that "covers the subsidies that transnational corporations get though pressures on Third World governments to permit 19th century-type exploitation of labour." In Malaysia, "US and other foreign corporations forced the Labour Ministry in 1988 to continue the government's long-standing prohibition of unions in the electronics industry by threatening to shift their jobs and investments to another country." In Bangladesh, contractors for the transnationals "discriminate against women and girls by paying them starvation wages as low as 9 US cents an hour." In China's Guangdong province, hailed as one of the miracles of capitalist success in a generally bleak Chinese scene, when the government found that "the factory of a leading toy manufacturer was engaged in labour law violations -- such as 14-hour workdays and seven-day workweeks -- it approached the managers to ask them to respect the law. The managers refused, and said that if they were unable to operate the way they wanted they would close their Chinese factories and move to Thailand," where there are no such unreasonable demands. 48

  5. The Fruits of Victory: Africa

The scene in Africa is more awful still. To mention only one small element of a growing catastrophe, a study of the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa estimates that "South Africa's military aggression and destabilization of its neighbors cost the region $10 billion in 1988 and over $60 billion and 1.5 million lives in the first nine years of this decade." 49 Meanwhile, unlike the case of Iraq, the U.S. cautiously undertook "quiet diplomacy," recognizing the concerns of the racist regime and the domestic and foreign business interests it fostered. Congress imposed sanctions on South Africa in 1986 over Reagan's veto, but their impact has been limited. The American Committee on Africa reports that only 25 percent of U.S.-South African trade has been affected, and that iron, steel, and (until late 1989) half-finished uranium continued to be imported. After the sanctions were put in place, U.S. exports to South Africa increased from $1.28 billion in 1987 to $1.71 billion in 1989, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. This was an improvement over the reaction to the U.N. sanctions on Rhodesia, which impelled Congress to pass the Byrd amendment authorizing the import of Rhodesian chrome (in force from 1971 to 1977); "Many nations had covertly been violating the sanctions," Stephen Shalom observes, "but the U.S. became one of only three UN members -- the others were [fascist] Portugal and South Africa -- to officially violate the sanctions." 50

The disasters of much of Africa are commonly attributed to "socialism," a term used freely to apply to anything we don't like. But there is an exception, "an island of freewheeling capitalism in a sea of one-party socialist states," Africa correspondent Howard Witt of the conservative Chicago Tribune writes. He is referring to Liberia, which, like the Philippines, can attribute its happy state to the fact that it was "America's only toehold on the African continent" -- for a century and a half, in this case. Liberia took on special significance during the Cold War years, Witt continues, particularly after President Samuel Doe, a "brutish, nearly illiterate army sergeant...seized power in 1980 after disemboweling the previous president in his bed" and proceeded to elevate his fellow tribesmen -- 4 percent of the population -- to a new ruling elite, and to persecute and savagely oppress the rest of the population. The Reagan administration, much impressed, determined to turn Liberia, like Jamaica, into a showcase of capitalism and democracy. In the first six years of Doe's regime, the U.S. poured military and economic aid into "the backward country," "even as evidence mounted that Doe and his ministers were stealing much of the money," and after he "brazenly stole" the 1985 election with Washington's approval, in a replay of the Noriega story a year earlier. A "respected expatriate Liberian dissident and former government minister," Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, says: "At the time, an American official told me bluntly, `Our strategic interests are more important than democracy'." 51

The results of the aid are evident, Witt writes: "The soldiers of President Samuel Doe's army wear the uniforms of American GIs as they go about their business murdering Liberian civilians on the streets of the capital, Monrovia," named after President Monroe, and "the bodies of many of the civilian victims are dumped in the morgue at the American-built John F. Kennedy Hospital," where "combat-hardened doctors" say "they have never witnessed such brutality." Monrovia is a death trap, he writes. Those who are not struck down by starvation, cholera, or typhoid try to escape the army or the rebel forces under Charles Taylor, a former Doe aide -- or later, those under the command of a breakaway unit led by Prince Johnson.

The results of the U.S. aid became even clearer when reporters entered Monrovia with the African peacekeeing force after Doe was tortured and murdered by Johnson's guerrillas. They found "a bloody legacy" of the "10 years in power" of the U.S. favorite, UPI reporter Mark Huband writes: piles of bleached bones and skulls, many smashed; "half-clothed, decomposed heaps of flesh...littered with millions of maggots"; "contorted bodies...huddled beneath church pews" and "piled up in a dark corner beside the altar"; bodies "rotting into their mattresses"; "a large meeting hall for women and children [where] clothes clung to the skeletons of female and underaged victims." 52

Not everyone, of course, has suffered in this "island of freewheeling capitalism." For a century and a half, the oligarchy of freed American slaves and their descendants "oppressed and exploited the indigenous population" while "the U.S. looked the other way." And lately, the Reagan favorites did quite well for themselves until their turn came to be dispatched. Others merely benefitted, escaping any such unpleasant fate: "U.S. corporations like Firestone and B.F. Goodrich made healthy profits from the expansive Liberian operations," proving that freewheeling capitalism has its virtues. 53 The U.S. built a huge Voice of America transmitter in Liberia, perhaps to broadcast the happy message.

  6. The "Unrelenting Nightmare"

The World Health Organization estimates that eleven million children die every year in the world of the Cold War victors ("the developing world") because of the unwillingness of the rich to help them. The catastrophe could be brought to a quick end, the WHO study concludes, because the diseases from which the children suffer and die are easily treated. Four million die from diarrhea; about two-thirds of them could be saved from the lethal dehydration it causes by sugar and salt tablets that cost a few pennies. Three million die each year from infectious diseases that could be overcome by vaccination, at a cost of about $10 a head. Reporting in the London Observer on this "virtually unnoticed" study, Annabel Ferriman quotes WHO director-general Hiroshi Nakajima, who observes that this "silent genocide" is "a preventable tragedy because the developed world has the resources and technology to end common diseases worldwide," but lacks "the will to help the developing countries." 54

The basic story was summarized succinctly by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, chairman of the Organization of African Unity. Speaking at the U.N. conference of the world's 41 least-developed countries, he called the 1980s "an unrelenting nightmare" for the poorest countries. There was a plea to the industrial powers to more than double their aid to a munificent 2/10 of 1% of their GNP, but no agreement was reached, the New York Times reports, "principally because of opposition from the United States" -- as always, proudly defending the "universal values" at the core of "our traditions," which stand in such contrast to "theirs" (see p. 181). 55 The decade was scarcely less of a nightmare elsewhere in the traditional domains of the Free World, apart from "the rich men dwelling at peace within their habitations."

As capitalism and freedom won their Grand Victory, the World Bank reports, the share of the world's wealth controlled by poor and medium-income countries declined from 23% to 18% (1980 to 1988). The Bank's 1990 report adds that in 1989, resources transferred from the "developing countries" to the industrialized world reached a new record. Debt service payments are estimated to have exceeded new flows of funds by $42.9 billion, an increase of $5 billion from 1988, and new funds from the wealthy fell to the lowest level in the decade. 56 In short, Reaganomics and Thatcherism writ large.

These are some of the joys of capitalism that are somehow missing in the flood of self-praise and the encomia to the wonders of our system -- of which all of this is a noteworthy component -- as we celebrate its triumph. The media and journals are inundated with laments (with an admixture of barely concealed glee) over the sad state of the Soviet Union and its domains, where even a salary of $100 a month enjoyed by the luckier workers is "scandalously high by the niggardly standards of Communism." 57 One will search far, however, for derisive commentary on "the niggardly standards of capitalism" and the suffering endured by the huge mass of humanity who have been cast aside by the dominant powers, long the richest and most favored societies of the world, and not without a share of responsibility for the circumstances of most of the others.

The missing view also unveils a possible future that may await much of Eastern Europe, which has endured many horrors, but is still regarded with envy in large parts of the Third World domains of the West that had comparable levels of development in the past, and are no less endowed with resources and the material conditions for satisfying human needs. "Why have the leaders, the media, the citizens of the Great Western Democracies cared long and ardently for the people of Central Europe, but cared nothing for the people of Central America?," correspondent Martha Gellhorn asks:

Most of them are bone poor, and most of them do not have white skin. Their lives and their deaths have not touched the conscience of the world. I can testify that it was far better and safer to be a peasant in communist Poland than it is to be a peasant in capitalist El Salvador.

Her question is, unfortunately, all too easy to answer. It has been demonstrated beyond any lingering doubt that what sears the sensitive soul is the crimes of the enemy, not our own, for reasons that are all too obvious and much too uncomfortable to face. The comparison that Gellhorn draws is scarcely to be found in Western commentary, let alone the reasons for it. 58

As in Latin America, some sectors of Eastern European society should come to share the economic and cultural standards of privileged classes in the rich industrial world that they see across their borders, much of the former Communist Party bureaucracy quite possibly among them. Many others might look to the second Brazil, and its counterparts elsewhere, for a glimpse of a different future, which may come to pass if matters proceed on their present course.

  7. Comparisons and their Pitfalls

The chorus of acclaim for the triumph of capitalism delights in comparison of Western and Eastern Europe, deploring the deprivation, suffering, and environmental damage in the regions that have been subjected to Soviet rule. But many in the Third World seem reluctant to join the celebration of victory, even regarding the victims of Soviet tyranny as luckier than they in respects that are far from trivial (see chapter 12, section 1). One reason offered by priests, journalists and others is that the state terror faced on a daily basis by Latin Americans who dare to raise their heads has been qualitatively different from the repression in Eastern Europe in the post-Stalin period, terrible as that was in its own ways; and they do not share our reluctance to see the powerful and systematic influence of the states and corporations of the state capitalist world in establishing and maintaining the grim conditions of their lives. It takes some discipline to avoid seeing these facts.

Another comparison that might be addressed is suggested by the huge flow of capital from Latin America to the United States and the West generally (see pp. 98, p. 242). Again, the situation in the Soviet satellites was different. One commentator on their affairs, Lawrence Weschler, observes that

Poles, like most Eastern Europeans, have long lived under the delusion that the Soviets were simply bleeding them dry; in fact, the situation has been considerably more complex than that. (The Soviet dominion was in fact that unique historical perversity, an empire in which the center bled itself for the sake of its colonies, or rather, for the sake of tranquility in those colonies. Muscovites always lived poorer lives than Varsovians.)

Throughout the region, journalists and others report, shops are better stocked than in the Soviet Union and material conditions are often better. It is widely agreed that "Eastern Europe has a higher standard of living than the USSR," and that while "Latin-Americans claim mainly economic exploitation," "Soviet exploitation of Eastern Europe is principally political and security-oriented" (Jan Triska, summarizing the conclusions of a Stanford University symposium on the USSR in Eastern Europe and the U.S. in Latin America). 59

In the decade of the 1970s, according to U.S. government sources, the Soviet Union provided an $80 billion subsidy to its Eastern European satellites (while their indebtedness to the West increased from $9.3 billion in 1971 to $68.7 billion in 1979). A study done at the Institute of International Studies of the University of California (Berkeley) estimated the subsidy at $106 billion from 1974 to 1984. Using different criteria, another academic study reaches the estimate of $40 billion for the same period, omitting factors that might add several billion, they note. When Lithuania was faced with Soviet economic retaliation after its declaration of independence, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Soviet subsidy to that country alone might approach $6 billion annually. 60

Such comparisons cannot simply be taken at face value; complex issues arise, and they have never been properly addressed. The only extensive recent effort to compare the U.S. impact on Latin America with that of the USSR on Eastern Europe, to my knowledge, is the Stanford symposium just cited, but it does not reach very far. Among many striking gaps, the contributors entirely disregard repression and state terror in Latin America and the U.S. role in implementing it. Writing in May 1986, the editor states that "some left-wing forces in Latin America and all dissidents in Eastern Europe have little hope of bringing about substantive changes, either peacefully or through violence." One contributor even takes seriously (though rejecting) the astonishing statement by Mexican writer Octavio Paz in 1985 that it is "monstrous" even to raise the question of comparing U.S. policies with those of the Soviet Union. Most take it as obvious, hence needing no real evidence, that U.S. influence has been disinterested and benign. In fact, this 470 page study contains very little information altogether. 61

Many questions would arise if such comparisons were to be undertaken in a meaningful way. Contrary to standard conventions (generally followed in the Stanford symposium), it is hardly plausible to regard U.S. security concerns in Latin America as comparable to those of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe, or even to take seriously the conventional doctrine that security concerns are "probably the greatest factor in shaping U.S. policy toward Latin America" (Robert Wesson, presenting the "historical overview and analysis" for the Stanford symposium). In recent memory, the United States has not been repeatedly invaded and virtually destroyed by powerful enemies marching through Central America. In fact, its authentic security concerns are virtually nil, by international and historical standards. As one participant in the symposium finally concedes, "U.S. national security interests in the Caribbean [as elsewhere in the hemisphere, we may add] have rested on powerful economic investments" (Jiri Valenta) -- which is to say that they are termed "security interests" only for purposes of the delusional system. Furthermore, it makes little sense to attribute to the United States greater tolerance for "political-ideological deviations" on the grounds that it does not insist on "the U.S. brand of democracy" and tolerates "authoritarian dictatorships," while the USSR insists on Leninist regimes (Valenta). What the U.S. demands is an economic order geared to its interests; the political form it takes is largely an irrelevance, and it is surely not in question that the U.S. often regards murderous terrorist states quite favorably if they satisfy the operative criteria. 62

The matter of capital flow is also complex. In the first place, the regional hegemons are not remotely comparable in wealth and economic level, and never have been, so that their role in economic transactions will differ greatly. For another, investment has intricate effects. It can lead to economic growth, benefit certain sectors of the population while severely harming others, lay the basis for independent development or undermine such prospects. The numbers in themselves tell only a small part of the story, and have to be complemented by the kind of analysis that has yet to be undertaken in comparing Eastern Europe and Latin America.

It should be evident without further comment that the standard comparison of Eastern to Western Europe, or the Soviet Union to the United States, is virtually meaningless, designed for propaganda, not enlightenment.

Other subordinate and dependent systems have yet a different character. Discussing the rapid economic growth of South Korea and Taiwan after the powerful stimulus given by Vietnam war spending, Bruce Cumings observes that it resumes a process of development begun under Japanese colonialism. Unlike the West, he notes, Japan brought industry to the labor and raw materials rather than vice versa, leading to industrial development under state-corporate guidance, now renewed. Japan's colonial policies were extremely brutal, but they laid a basis for economic development. These economic successes, like those of Singapore and Hong Kong, are no tribute either to democracy or the wonders of the market; rather, to harsh labor conditions, efficient quasi-fascist political systems, and, much as in Japan, high levels of protectionism and planning by financial-industrial conglomerates in a state-coordinated economy. 63

Comparison of the former Japanese colonies to the regions under U.S. influence is not common here, but right-wing Japanese are not reluctant to pursue it. Shintaro Ishihara, a powerful figure in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which holds a virtual monopoly of political power, contrasts the domains of Japanese influence and control with the Philippines. The countries that were once under Japanese administration are "success stories" from the economic point of view, he writes, while the Philippines are an economic disaster and the "showcase of democracy" is largely an empty form. "Philippine landowners have accumulated incredible power and wealth, siphoning everything from the ordinary people," while "tradition is dismantled" in favor of a shallow and superficial veneer of American culture, "an atrocity -- a barbaric act." 64

This spokesman for right-wing nationalism is plainly not a trustworthy independent source. But there is more than a little truth to what he says.

Comparison of the Latin American economies with those of East Asia is another topic that has rarely been undertaken seriously. Editorials, news reporting, and other commentary commonly allege that the comparison reveals the superiority of economic liberalism, but without providing the basis for that conclusion. It is not easy to sustain, if only because of the radical departures from liberal capitalism in the success stories of Asia. The topic was addressed at a conference on global macroeconomics in Helsinki in 1986. 65 Several contributors observed that the situation is complex, and concluded that the disparities that developed in the 1980s (though not before) are attributable to a variety of other factors, among them, the deleterious effects of greater openness to international capital markets in large parts of Latin America, which permitted vast capital flight, as in the Philippines, but not in the East Asian economies with more rigid controls by government and central banks -- and in the free market miracle of South Korea, by punishment up to the death penalty. 66

The complexity of the issues that arise is shown in a revealing study of Indian development, in comparison to China and others, by Harvard economist Amartya Sen. He observes that "a comparative study of the experiences of different countries in the world shows quite clearly that countries tend to reap as they sow in the field of investment in health and quality of life." India followed very different policies from China in this regard. Beginning at a comparable level in the late 1940s, India has added about 15 years to life expectancy, while China added 10 or 15 years beyond that increase, approaching the standards of Europe. The reasons lie in social policy, primarily, the much greater focus on improving nutrition and health conditions for the general population in China, and providing widespread medical coverage. The same was true, Sen argues, in Sri Lanka and probably Vietnam, and in earlier years in Europe as well, where, for example, life expectancy rose rapidly in England and Wales after large-scale public intervention in the distribution of food and health care and expansion of public employment.

But this is not the whole story. In the late 1950s, life expectancy in China plunged for several years to far below that of India because of a huge famine, which took an estimated 30 million lives. Sen attributes the famine to the nature of the Chinese regime, which did not react for three years, and may not even have been aware of the scale of the famine because totalitarian conditions blocked information flow. Nothing similar has happened in India with its pluralist democracy. Nevertheless, Sen calculates, if China's lower mortality rates prevailed in India, there would have been close to 4 million fewer deaths a year in the mid-1980s. "This indicates that every eight years or so more people in addition die in India -- in comparison with Chinese mortality rates -- than the total number that died in the gigantic Chinese famine," the worst in the world in this century.

In further confirmation of his thesis, Sen observes that life expectancy in China has suffered a slow decline since 1979, when the new market-oriented reforms were undertaken. Another relevant example is the Indian state of Kerala, long under leftist rule and with "a long history of extensive public support in education, health care, and food distribution." Here, improvement in life expectancy is comparable to China, though it is one of India's poorer states. 67

These are all serious and difficult questions, with far-reaching human consequences. The development strategies imposed upon the Third World by Western power, implemented by the international economic institutions or the states and corporations themselves, have enormous effects on the lives of the targeted populations. The record shows plainly enough that the policies that are advocated or enforced by the Western powers, and the confident rhetoric that accompanies them, are guided by the self-interest of those who hold the reins, not by any solid understanding of the economics of development or any serious concern for the human impact of these decisions. Benefits that may accrue to others are largely incidental, as are the catastrophes that commonly ensue.

As the collapsing Soviet system resumes traditional quasi-colonial relations with the West, it is coming to be subjected to the same prescriptions -- in part by choice, given the intellectual vacuity that is one of the consequences of decades of totalitarian rule. One Polish critic writes that if the words of the popular Chicago School

become flesh, this government would be the first in the history of the world to adhere firmly to this doctrine. All developed countries, including those (such as the Federal Republic of Germany) whose governments pay obeisance to the liberal doctrine, apply a wide spectrum of government interventions, such as in resource allocation, in investments, in developing technology, income distribution, pricing, export and import. 68

If the result is Third World norms, popular resistance is likely to follow. And it is also likely to elicit the classic response by those who uphold our traditional values.

On a visit to Europe a few days before he was assassinated by elite government forces in San Salvador in November 1989, Father Ignacio Ellacur¡a, rector of the University of Central America, addressed the West on the underlying issues. You "have organized your lives around inhuman values," he said. These values

are inhuman because they cannot be universalized. The system rests on a few using the majority of the resources, while the majority can't even cover their basic necessities. It is crucial to define a system of values and a norm of living that takes into account every human being. 69

In our dependencies, such thoughts are subversive and can call forth the death squads. At home, they are sometimes piously voiced, then relegated to the ashcan in practice. Perhaps the last words of the murdered priests deserve a better fate.

 


1 White, cited in Schoultz, National Security and United States Policy, 91. Mart¡n-Baró, see chapter 12, pp. 386f.

2 Hockstader, WP, June 20, 1990.  

3 Mesoamerica (Costa Rica), July 1990. Detailed updates are circulated regularly from the Washington office of the Commission, 1359 Monroe St. NE, Washington DC 20017.

4 Central America Report (CAR), Guatemala, Nov. 10, 1989; July 27; April 6; March 2, 1990.

5 AP, Boston Globe, June 4, 1990, a 75-word item, which is more than elsewhere.

6 Editorial, Tiempo, July 2, 1990.

7 César Chelala, "Central America's Health Plight," Christian Science Monitor, March 22; CAR, March 2, 1990.

8 Latinamerica press (LP) (Peru), Nov. 16, 1989.  

9 Excelsior, Oct. 18, 1989 (Latin America News Update (LANU), Dec. 1989).

10 For a review, see Joshua Karliner, "Central America's Other War," World Policy Journal, Fall 1989.

11 Anne Chemin, Le Monde, Sept. 21, 1988; Manchester Guardian Weekly, Oct. 2. Ibid, Sept. 30, 1990. Tiempo, Aug. 10, 17, Sept. 19, 1988. Dr. Morales, cited by Robert Smith, Report on Guatemala, July/August/Sept. 1989 (Guatemala News and Information Bureau, POB 28594, Oakland CA 94604).

12 Ibid.

13 La Prensa Dominical, Honduras, July 22, 1990.

14 CAR, April 28, 1989. For discussion of these matters, see references of chapter 12, note 58.

15 CAR, Dec. 1, 1989.  

16 Excelsior, March 24; LP, Feb. 15, 1990.

17 Karliner, op. cit.; CAR, March 16, 1990. See Douglas R. Shane, Hoofprints on the Forest: Cattle Ranching and the Destruction of Latin America's Tropical Forests (ISHI, 1986); Tom Barry and Deb Preusch, The Soft War (Grove, 1988); and for background, William H. Durham, Scarcity and Survival in Central America (Stanford, 1979).

18 CAR, March 16; Mesoamerica, March 1990.

19 Elections, CAR, Jan. 26, 1990. LP, Dec. 7; CAR, April 28, July 27; Excelsior, April 30; COHA Washington Report on the Hemisphere, Sept. 27, 1989. For several examples of repression in the late 1980s of the kind that aroused great fury when reported in Nicaragua, see Necessary Illusions, 249, 268; for a much worse case, see Culture of Terrorism, 243.

20 Mesoamerica, Sept. 1990.

21 "Costa Rica: Arming the country of peace," CAR, July 27, 1990.

22 Ibid. COHA, "News and Analysis," Aug. 18, 1988; Washington Report on the Hemisphere, Sept. 27, 1989. Selser, La Jornada (Mexico), Jan. 23, 1990, citing Arias's NYT Op-Ed on January 9.

23 Editorial, MH, July 31, 1990.  

24 Oscar Altimir, World Bank Staff Working Paper No. 522 (World Bank, 1982), cited by Schoultz, National Security and United States Policy, 75. Soares, Carl Hartman, AP, Nov. 7, 1989. CEPAL, Excelsior (Mexico), Dec. 27, 1989; LANU, Feb. 1990. World Bank, Ed McCullough, AP, Dec. 11, 1989. Felix, "Latin America's Debt Crisis," World Policy Journal, Fall 1990.

25 Excelsior, March 3, 1990; Nov. 11, 1989 (LANU, May, Jan., 1990).

26 Excelsior, Aug. 19, July 1, 1990; LANU, Oct., Sept. 1990.

27 Maude Barlow, chairperson of Council of Canadians, Toronto Globe & Mail, Nov. 5, 1990.

28 E.G. Vallianatos, Fear in the Countryside (Ballinger, 1976).

29 Evans, Dependent Development (Princeton, 1979), 4. Veja, Nov. 1; Excelsior, Nov. 3, 1989 (LANU, Dec. 1989).  

30 South, November 1989. Reuters, NYT, Sept. 6, 1990.

31 Mario de Carvalho Garnero, chairman of Brasilinvest Informations and Telecommunications, O Estado de Sao Paulo, Aug. 8 (LANU, Sept. 1990); Latin America Commentary, October, 1990.

32 See chapter 12, p. 00. Phyllis R. Parker, Brazil and the Quiet Intervention, 1964 (U. of Texas, 1979), 58ff., 80ff., 103ff. See also Jan Knippers Black, United States Penetration of Brazil, and Leacock, Requiem for Revolution. See Black, chapter 6, on the role of U.S. labor leaders in the demolition of the Brazilian labor movement, and their pride in bringing about "the revolution."

33 Excelsior, March 7 (LANU, May 1990).

34 WP weekly, Oct. 28, 1990. For a very similar example, see Avi Chomsky, Lies of Our Times, November 1990, commenting on a New York Times analogue: paired articles, one deploring the failures of the sick Communist system in Romania and heralding the new hopes with the transition to a free market, the other describing the plight of a middle-class Argentinian family, with no reasons given apart from alleged failure to follow free market policies.  

35 Felix, op. cit.; Guido Di Tella and Rudiger Dornbusch, The Political Economy of Argentina, 1946-1983 (Pittsburgh, 1989), cited by A. Chomsky, op. cit.

36 Excelsior, March 7; AFP, Excelsior, Feb. 26, 1990 (LANU, May 1990).

37 See Pasuk Phongpaichit, From peasant girls to Bangkok masseuses, International Labor Office (ILO), Geneva, 1982.

38 Excelsior, Dec. 17, 1989; LANU, Feb. 1990; Felix, op. cit.

39 Apsi, Chile, July 1990 (LANU, Sept. 1990).

40 Mayorga, The Nicaraguan Economic Experience, 1950-1984: Development and exhaustion of an agroindustrial model, Yale University Phd thesis, 1986. See Barricada Internacional, April 29, 1990, for relevant discussion.  

41 John Craney, The Times of the Americas, March 7; Economist, Aug. 25; Terry McCoy, CSM, May 15; South, April 1990. See chapter 5, pp. 162f. For more on the aftermath of Johnson's invasion, see Political Economy of Human Rights, vol. I, chapter 4, sec. 4.

42 See "Jamaica: Leveraged Sellout," NACLA Report on the Americas, Feb. 1990, from which the material that follows is drawn.

43 Martin Needler, The Problem of Democracy in Latin America (Lexington, 1987), 136.  

44 Rigoberto Tiglao, Margot Cohen, FEER, July 12, 1990.

45 De Quiros, FEER, Nov. 2, 1989.

46 Hawes, "Aquino and Her Administration: A View from the Countryside," Pacific Affairs, Spring 1989.

47 Survival International Urgent Action Bulletin, May 1990; News, Feb. 1990.

48 Charles Gray, executive director of the Asian-American Free Labor Institute, FEER, Sept. 13, 1990. See "The Guangdong Dynamo," South, Nov. 1990, reviewing Ezra Vogel, One Step Ahead in China: Guangdong under Reform (Harvard, 1989).  

49 UPI, BG, Oct. 14, 1989 (my emphasis).

50 Hans Schattle, "Loopholes cut impact of US sanctions law," BG, Jan. 26, 1990. On Reaganite support for South Africa under the guise of "constructive engagement," see Bernard Magubane, "Reagan and South Africa," Transafrica Forum, Spring-Summer 1989. Shalom, Z magazine, October 1990.

51 Witt, "U.S. fingerprints -- not heart -- are all over Liberia," Chicago Tribune, August 22, 1990.

52 BG, Oct. 11, 1990.

53 On the U.S. government role in Firestone's Liberian investments, motivated in part by concern over Britain's dominance of rubber production and restrictive practices, see Stephen Krasner, Defending the National Interest (Princeton, 1978), 98f.  

54 Ferriman, Observer, Oct. 1, 1989.

55 Reuters, BG, Sept. 5; Steven Greenhouse, NYT, 1990.

56 CAR, Oct. 5; Financial Times, Sept. 17, 1990.

57 Francis X. Clines, NYT, July 30, 1990.

58 Gellhorn, "Invasion of Panama." For extensive evidence on the reaction to comparable crimes of our enemies and our own, see Political Economy of Human Rights, Manufacturing Consent, Necessary Illusions, Edward Herman, The Real Terror Network (South End, 1982).  

59 Weschler, "Poland," Dissent, Spring 1990; Triska, "introduction," in Triska, ed., Dominant Powers and Subordinate States: The United States in Latin America and the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe (Duke, 1986).

60 Raymond Garthoff, Détente and Confrontation, 499. M. Marrese and J. Vanous, Soviet Subsidization of Trade with Eastern Europe (California, 1983); P. Marer and K. Poznanski, "Costs of Domination, Benefits of Subordination," in Triska, op. cit. Peter Gumbel, "Gorbachev Threat Would Cut Both Ways," WSJ, April 17, 1990.

61 Triska, op. cit., 11; Paz cited by Jeffrey Hughes, 29.

62 Wesson, Valenta, in Triska, op. cit., 63, 282.  

63 On these matters, see particularly Amsden, Asia's Next Giant; and for some recent reflections on Taiwan and Japan, Carl Goldstein, Bob Johnstone, Far Eastern Economic Review, May 3, May 31, 1990. Cumings, "The origins and development of the Northeast Asian political economy," International Organization 38.1, Winter 1984.

64 Akio Morita and Shintaro Ishihara, The Japan That Can Say No (Konbusha, Tokyo), translation distributed privately, taken from Congressional Record, Nov. 14, 1989, E3783-98.

65 Banuri, No Panacea (see chapter 1, note 19).

66 Amsden, "East Asia's Challenge" (chap. 1, note 19).  

67 Sen, "Indian Development: Lessons and Non-Lessons," Daedalus, Vol. 118 of the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1989. For further details on the Kerala exception, see Richard Franke and Barbara Chasin, Kerala: Radical Reform As Development in an Indian State (Institute for Food & Development Policy, Food First Development Report No. 6, October 1989).

68 Mieczyslaw Mieszczanowski, Polityka, Dec. 16, 1989, cited by Abraham Brumberg, Foreign Affairs, "America and the World," 1989-90.

69 Env¡o (Managua), May 1990.  


Table of Contents ] Introduction ] I. Cold War: Fact and Fancy ] II. The Home Front ] III. The Global System ] IV. Problems of Population Control ] V. The Post-Cold War Era ] VI. Nefarious Aggression ] [ VII. The Victors ] VIII. The Agenda of the Doves: 1988 ] IX. The Mortal Sin of Self-Defense ] X. The Decline of the Democratic Ideal ] XI. Democracy in the Industrial Societies ] XII. Force and Opinion ] Afterword ]


 ] Deterring Democracy ] Necessary Illusions ] The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many ] Keeping the Rabble in Line ] Rethinking Camelot ] Powers and Prospects ] Year 501 ] Secrets, Lies and Democracy ] What Uncle Sam Really Wants ] Interviews, Debates and Talks ] About Noam Chomsky ]


 
 
 

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