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SkinnedWolf
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28 Aug 2022, 10:02 am

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/latin-american-left-wing-activism-helps-right-wing-populists-by-andres-velasco-2022-08

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The shortcomings of "wokeism" – ideological rigidity, a penchant for intolerance, and disregard for the practicalities of government – become even more jarring and dangerous when transposed to Latin America. Even more than in the Global North, right-wing populists are the most likely to benefit.

LONDON – Some people call it left-wing identity politics. Others call it “wokeism.” It helped elect Donald Trump president of the United States and provided convenient controversies to distract British voters from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s weak record in office. Woke politics is now traveling south, with equally dismal consequences.

For example, it is helping Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a Trump wannabe, to recover in the polls ahead of the country’s presidential election in October, making the race tighter than it was two months ago. In Chile, woke activists recently produced a draft constitution that The Economist has described as “ridiculously broad” and a “confusing mess.” Polls suggest voters are likely to reject it in a September 4 referendum.

Before I condemn myself to being “canceled,” let me state three obvious facts. Yes, countries like Brazil, Chile, and Colombia – where the right-wing populist Rodolfo Hernández received 47% of the vote in the recent presidential election runoff – after long histories of social injustice, income inequality, and racial and gender discrimination, need serious reform.

Yes, the left in Latin America has managed some striking achievements, like the election of Francia Márquez, an environmental activist, as the first Afro-Colombian vice president. And yes, the likes of Bolsonaro, Hernández, and Chile’s José Antonio Kast – another far-right presidential candidate who did unexpectedly well – have relied on fake news and armies of bots to discredit progressive candidates and causes.

But those facts tell only part of the story. The other part is that the shortcomings of woke politics – ideological rigidity, a penchant for intolerance, and disregard for the practicalities of governing – become even more jarring and dangerous when transposed to Latin America, Africa, or Asia. Populists and radicals – especially on the far right – are the likely beneficiaries.

Recent developments in Chile illustrate this political dynamic. Following widespread social unrest, Chileans voted overwhelmingly in October 2020 to have a new constitution written by an elected constitutional convention. The process generated much hope, and the convention’s 155 members – young, socially and ethnically diverse, and with few connections to the country’s traditional political establishment – initially seemed to embody it.

But the rosy expectations soon came crashing down. At the inaugural ceremony, conventioneers heckled the national anthem, which (unlike the overwhelming majority of Chileans) they apparently viewed as a symbol of oppression. When socialists voted against environmental provisions that would have halted private investment, a group of so-called “eco-conventioneers” chased them down the hallways yelling “Traitors!” By June 2022, nearly 60% of voters were telling pollsters that they had little or no trust in the convention.

In Brazil, meanwhile, Bolsonaro is running as the candidate of Christian values, depicting the opposition Workers’ Party (PT) and its presidential candidate, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, as out of step with voters. Bolsonaro has cemented an alliance with evangelical Christian churches – a political bombshell in a country where evangelicals comprise as much as one-third of the electorate – thanks largely to PT campaign blunders. One can strongly support artistic freedom and LGBT+ rights, as Brian Winter recently argued in Americas Quarterly, and still understand why it is politically unwise for the PT to tweet a picture of a half-naked Pabllo Vittar, a popular Brazilian singer and drag queen, holding aloft a Lula campaign flag.

There are fundamental reasons why wokeism is turning off Latin American voters and paving the way for right-wing populists and authoritarians. One is the disconnect between the woke agenda and the concerns of middle-class voters.

For example, the Chilean draft constitution supports “community management of the habitat” and guarantees the right of “peasants and indigenous peoples to the free use and exchange of traditional seeds.” But, in a country whose population is 90% urban and suffers from a chronic housing shortage, the document fails to clarify whether residents could ever own their government-built units. And despite Chile’s rapidly aging population and national fixation with pensions, the text is fuzzy as to whether old-age savings would be inheritable.

After denying for months that these were valid concerns, and accusing critics of spreading fake news, the governing parties admitted in mid-August that on these points the proposed constitution requires amendment and clarification. But by that point, a good chunk of the middle class had decided to vote thumbs-down in the forthcoming referendum.

On matters of crime, violence, and public safety, woke leftists and mainstream voters inhabit different universes. As in the United States, police brutality, racial bias, and a heavy-handed approach to crowd control are common in Latin America. But if calls to defund the police seem questionable in Detroit or Los Angeles, they sound downright insane in a region with some of the world’s highest crime and murder rates. Yet, during recent social unrest in Colombia and Chile, protesters used the English-language acronym ACAB (all cops are bastards). In Chile, the rioters’ emblem was a black dog called Matapacos (cop-killer). In both countries, citizens report they feel increasingly insecure.

This feeds directly into electoral politics. In 2016, Colombian voters rejected a peace agreement that they regarded as too soft on the guerrillas who had committed violent crimes. In addition to wooing Christian voters, Bolsonaro has made law and order the centerpiece of his re-election bid. The media darling in the Chilean referendum campaign is a shopkeeper whose sandwich joint has been repeatedly vandalized by rioters. And in El Salvador, where tens of thousands of gang members are being imprisoned on increasingly flimsy legal grounds, President Nayib Bukele’s popularity is soaring.


Latin American woke campaigners miss other crucial points, too. Activists legitimately concerned with indigenous rights are pushing for political power to be devolved to small local communities. That sounds great, but it risks further fragmenting already weak states and hindering the delivery of urgently needed social services, which would harm the poor and vulnerable the most.

No wonder authoritarian populists are smiling. The international media are fixated on Latin America’s “pink tide” of recently elected left-leaning governments, but perhaps they should instead start preparing for a right-wing wave of Bolsonaro and Bukele clones. Will it be called the “brown shirt shakeup” or the “iron fist folly”? Headline writers should start searching for labels.


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DW_a_mom
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28 Aug 2022, 4:35 pm

Whatever side of the isle they sit on, extremists are a problem. Definitely parts of the left go too far.


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CockneyRebel
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28 Aug 2022, 10:58 pm

I agree that the left can go too far in some areas. If they don't get their way, watch out!


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naturalplastic
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28 Aug 2022, 11:34 pm

DW_a_mom wrote:
Whatever side of the isle they sit on, extremists are a problem. Definitely parts of the left go too far.


It's "aisle". Not "isle.

But yes...I think most of us agree that some of the "woke" are just TOO awake. And MAGAs ought to take a nap, and sleep it off as well.



cyberdad
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28 Aug 2022, 11:46 pm

DW_a_mom wrote:
Whatever side of the isle they sit on, extremists are a problem. Definitely parts of the left go too far.


Why even invoke the far left, They literally have had no power in the western world since they infiltrated workers unions in WW1. That's more than 100 years ago.

The far right, however, keep coming back with force. Your last POTUS and many current European leaders are flirting with the far right. Indeed Trump's chief strategist in 2016 was openly far right.



SkinnedWolf
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28 Aug 2022, 11:52 pm

I will describe that they are on the wrong path, choosing inappropriate strategies and priorities, and copying American issues to the third world, ignoring the theory of adapting measures to local conditions, rather than "too far".

The United States is a beacon and laboratory for the progress of cultural issues. Other countries, especially the left in the third world, should expect to learn from the cultural progress that has been stable and may adapt to their own reality, but should not Push all issues forward in order to please their left colleagues in the first world – this will only lead to the collapse of the unstable left-wing structure.

Or an election structure that binds different levels of issues together is fundamentally unwise.


Some liberal "left wing" deliberately promote their obsession with specific issues, as if they were merely diverting attention from more serious inequalities.
Some immature third world leftists have unfortunately been misled into the same trap – and they will pay more for it.

The problem with "cultural Marxists" is that they are not Marxists.


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cyberdad
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29 Aug 2022, 1:18 am

SkinnedWolf wrote:
The problem with "cultural Marxists" is that they are not Marxists.


Here in the west cultural marxists are like Marx himself. University educated, upper middle class and have some favourite pet social issue such as the amnesty international, global warming, conservation, animal rights, veganism or women's rights.

These are the people the MAGAs would have you believe are destroying western civilisation when infact they are often the children of wealthy conservative parents :roll:



ASPartOfMe
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29 Aug 2022, 4:47 am

cyberdad wrote:
These are the people the MAGAs would have you believe are destroying western civilisation when infact they are often the children of wealthy conservative parents :roll:

There are several explanations I have seen given for this phenomenon.

The companies are cowards giving in and enabling a small group of extremists.

The companies are doing this out of fear of not being able to attract and keep young college "indoctrinated" employees.

The heads of these companies especially younger ones are down with wokeness having been "indoctrinated" in woke institutions.

Ageism. Using as an excuse that older employees are out-of-touch racists to fire high-salaried employees or just people they don't like.


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cyberdad
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29 Aug 2022, 5:33 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
These are the people the MAGAs would have you believe are destroying western civilisation when infact they are often the children of wealthy conservative parents :roll:

There are several explanations I have seen given for this phenomenon.

The companies are cowards giving in and enabling a small group of extremists.

The companies are doing this out of fear of not being able to attract and keep young college "indoctrinated" employees.

The heads of these companies especially younger ones are down with wokeness having been "indoctrinated" in woke institutions.

Ageism. Using as an excuse that older employees are out-of-touch racists to fire high-salaried employees or just people they don't like.


So is Julian Assange, Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg woke? hardly...I think that theory doesn't hold water



ASPartOfMe
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29 Aug 2022, 6:14 am

cyberdad wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
These are the people the MAGAs would have you believe are destroying western civilisation when infact they are often the children of wealthy conservative parents :roll:

There are several explanations I have seen given for this phenomenon.

The companies are cowards giving in and enabling a small group of extremists.

The companies are doing this out of fear of not being able to attract and keep young college "indoctrinated" employees.

The heads of these companies especially younger ones are down with wokeness having been "indoctrinated" in woke institutions.

Ageism. Using as an excuse that older employees are out-of-touch racists to fire high-salaried employees or just people they don't like.


So is Julian Assange, Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg woke? hardly...I think that theory doesn't hold water

Only explanation three requires the person to be woke.


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29 Aug 2022, 7:16 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Only explanation three requires the person to be woke.


Explain it to him like he's an idiot. He still won't get it (his political views depend on him not getting it), but it will be clearer to others.


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29 Aug 2022, 8:00 pm

cyberdad wrote:
SkinnedWolf wrote:
The problem with "cultural Marxists" is that they are not Marxists.


Here in the west cultural marxists are like Marx himself. University educated, upper middle class and have some favourite pet social issue such as the amnesty international, global warming, conservation, animal rights, veganism or women's rights.

These are the people the MAGAs would have you believe are destroying western civilisation when infact they are often the children of wealthy conservative parents :roll:


Not many decades ago, racially mixed marriages and civil rights was called "cultural Marxism." It's a slur against anything progressive.


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cyberdad
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30 Aug 2022, 2:15 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
SkinnedWolf wrote:
The problem with "cultural Marxists" is that they are not Marxists.


Here in the west cultural marxists are like Marx himself. University educated, upper middle class and have some favourite pet social issue such as the amnesty international, global warming, conservation, animal rights, veganism or women's rights.

These are the people the MAGAs would have you believe are destroying western civilisation when infact they are often the children of wealthy conservative parents :roll:


Not many decades ago, racially mixed marriages and civil rights was called "cultural Marxism." It's a slur against anything progressive.


I'm pretty sure both these issues still are spoken behind closed doors.



cyberdad
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30 Aug 2022, 2:17 am

Dox47 wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Only explanation three requires the person to be woke.


Explain it to him like he's an idiot. He still won't get it (his political views depend on him not getting it), but it will be clearer to others.


nice...



aghogday
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30 Aug 2022, 9:37 am

Dox47 wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Only explanation three requires the person to be woke.


Explain it to him like he's an idiot. He still won't get it (his political views depend on him not getting it), but it will be clearer to others.




Pyramid of Civil Discourse:

(6 Levels)

"1. Refuting the Central Point: explicitly refutes the central point.
2. Refutation: finds the mistake explains why it's mistaken using quotes.
3. Counterargument: contradicts and then backs it up with reasoning and/or supporting evidence.
4. Responding to Tone: criticizes the tone of the writing without addressing the substance of the argument.
5. Ad Hominem: attacks the characteristics or authority of the writer without addressing the substance of the argument.
6. Name-calling: sounds something like, "You are an idiot.""

Note: Donald J. Trump Usually Falls at Levels 5 and 6 of This Pyramid. It's Not a 'Good Look' For Civil Discourse;

Yet It's True, He is A 'Perfect' Poster-Boy To Illustrate This Issue with Social Discourse on 'the Net.'

Perhaps it Would Be Helpful to Have This As A 'Sticky Note' for the PPR Forum on the "Wrong Planet,"

Where We Explain it to Folks Like Mature And Civil Adults.

Pro Tip: Stay on Top oF "All the Pyramids."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem#/media/File:Graham's_Hierarchy_of_Disagreement-en.svg


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06 Sep 2022, 2:44 am

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/05/chile-votes-overwhelmingly-to-reject-new-progressive-constitution

Quote:
Chile votes overwhelmingly to reject new, progressive constitution

With 96% of the ballots counted, the rejection camp has 62% and the approve team accept defeat in bid to replace Pinochet-era settlement

Chileans have voted comprehensively against a new, progressive constitution that had been drafted to replace the 1980 document written under Gen Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship.

With 99.9% of the votes counted in Sunday’s plebiscite, the rejection camp had 61.9% support compared with 38.1% for approval amid what appeared to be a heavy turnout with long lines at polling states. Voting was mandatory.

Senator Ximena Rincón, one of the leaders of the reject campaign, described the victory as “clear and emphatic”, and called for a new constitutional convention to be convened.

The “approve” campaign has accepted defeat and the country’s 36-year-old president, Gabriel Boric, has already called a meeting of party leaders for Monday morning at La Moneda, the presidential palace.

“I commit to put my all into building a new constitutional itinerary alongside congress and civil society,” said Boric in a televised address to the nation, confirming that he would meet with the heads of political parties and both chambers of congresson Monday morning.

The 1980 document drawn up under Pinochet will now remain in force and Chile’s future looks decidedly uncertain.

In 2020, an initial plebiscite saw nearly 80% of voters opt to draft a new constitution, but after an arduous year of negotiations, people appear to have expressed their dissatisfaction with the end product.

As results trickled in and the reject camp’s lead grew, groups of jubilant reject supporters crowded street corners and filled squares up and down the country to celebrate their victory.

There were concerns that disgruntled approve supporters could stage a repeat of the 2019 demonstrations that started the constitutional reform process. But a crowd of no more than several hundred gathered in the main square in Santiago and they were quickly dispersed by police using water cannons and tear gas.

The proposed constitution included a long list of social rights and guarantees that had appeared to respond to the demands of that vast social movement.

It enshrined gender parity across government and other organs of the state – for the first time anywhere in the world – prioritised environmental protection and recognised Chile’s Indigenous peoples for the first time in the country’s history.

The decision to reject a constitution that guaranteed women’s rights and gender parity was made 70 years to the day since women were first given the vote in Chile.

“This is a badly written constitution,” said Carmen Fuentes, 61, who cast her vote in a wealthy north-eastern suburb of Santiago. “There’s been a division in this country for a long time, and this plebiscite won’t change that.”

Many criticised the document’s guarantees for Indigenous people, which they said would divide Chile. Others warned that the shakeup of the political system was unnecessary and experimental.

In the centre of the city, others were more optimistic that a change could be possible, citing the need to shed Chile of the Pinochet-era constitution and the model it enshrined, moving on to a more egalitarian, democratic future.

But that future now looks distant. Boric has expressed a willingness to repeat the constitutional process, but the basis for reform is still very much up for debate.

Some of the constitution’s most prominent critics have mooted allowing congress to reform the 1980 document or including experts in a new process, but details were light from both sides, with neither willing to commit to a possible way forward.


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Cover your eyes, if you like. It will serve no purpose.

You might expect to be able to crush them in your hand, into wolf-bone fragments.
Dance with me, funeralxempire. Into night's circle we fly, until the fire enjoys us.