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#4455: Goff replies to Burnham

From: Stan Goff <stangoff@all4democracy.org>

> just so you know, im in Oaxaca (southwest mexico) in an internet cafe,
> listening and watching mtv and listening to the young internet surfers
> spanish...interestingly enough, they surf in groups and interact and
> with one another...something i dont usually see...if you could see (many
> you have) how a little infrstructure can go a long way in attracting
> tourists....this is it...(sans resort, mind you...but it´s a great place
> nonetheless.) they go to the polls on sunday to choose the next president
> well....could get interesting.

What's interesting is that "pluralism" has become the new orthodoxy of
neoliberalism, now that "elections" have taken root in the dominat ideology
as a synonym for democracy.  The US ruling class and its press have been
lauding the virtues of pluralism in Mexico, since the challenge to PRI is an
extremely well-financed one from the right.  One must wonder how they would
feel if that pluralist impulse began a shift to the left.  This is very
interesting since the drumbeat against Fanmi now (And many of us who are
defending Fanmi from these outrageous and transparent attacks are very
critical of FL--but for quite different reasons.) is there is a "threat" of
"one-party rule." Suddenly pluralism and abstractions like checks and
balances have been privileged above popular will.  We support democracy,

> I´d like to say that no matter how pure Aristide is (and i am still a fan,
> although talk to me after his next term is over in 2006) his political
> apparatus and the hangers on may not be. The point is, power needs to be
> subject to checks and balances. if it is not, it is just too tempting for
> those who have it to abuse it. They are after all, human. and, i´m a firm
> believer in a nonpolitical police force. So to those of you are bending
> backwards to deflect all criticism away from lavalas...i´m sorry, but
> history, in particular haitian history, has demonstrated repeatedly what
> happens when people have unfettered power. it has nothing to do with them
> being haitian. it has everything to do with being human.

Here it comes.  Human nature.  An unsupportable, ahistorical fetish deployed
as always for reduction.  This time we are reducing "power" or "unfettered
power" to some morally equivalent universal--completely unconected to class
interests.  How utterly convenient this always is.  Papa Doc was not
motivated solely by power.  His power was rooted in a base--which were the
grandons.  Aristide's is rooted in the peasants.  To pretend that this makes
no difference is disingenuous at best, and to attempt to deflect this key
bit of analysis with appeals to "human nature" is demagogy with a
compassionate pose.