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I love the smell of Fascism in the morning

15 March 2010

John Ackerman, of the Institute for Legal Research at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, agreed that the country is in a de facto state of emergency, which violates the Constitution.  That explains why the Calderon administration has proposed changing the law to to broaden the grounds on which the army can be in some places, thus legalizing the present state of siege in some places.

Emir Olivares Alonso in La Jornada, 14 March 2010 (my translation)

Ackerman’s remarks come on the heels of U.S. Ambassador to Mexico’s Carlos Pascual’s “demand” to the Mexican Senate that the nation change its laws to make the on-going “state of exception” unexceptional and a permanent feature of internal security.  This, in spite of calls from those Mexicans directly affected, and from presumably independent observers like Human Rights Watch, that military forces are worsening, not bettering, civil rights and security.

Militarizing public security does not, in itself, mean Mexico is descending into a totalitarian state and a rejection of all individualism and pluralism.  However, as Rodrigo Vera writes in the 7 March 2010 Proceso (Hacia un franquismo a la mexicana…) [my translation]:

For the greater glory of God, Felipe Calderón’s administration is subordinating state interests to those of the Catholic Hierarchy, to the extent that the government is taking on a “Neo-Cristero” tint outside the Constitution — undermining the secular state.

Along with the military, which currently enjoys great perks and is mobilized at national level, the church serving as a second pillar of the federal government. The “double trouble” of close ties between the Army and the Church has triggered an escalation of the violations of human rights and  individual freedoms.

(extract of full article here)

The Proceso article is mostly concerned with what in the United States would seem to be a minor issue — the introduction of military chaplains into the armed forces — this is indeed a serious matter here.

For 150 years, the Mexican State has been seen as not just a defense against clerical control, but — more importantly — as the protector of  individual and pluralistic thought.   One needs to emphasize that these chaplains — and chapels — are specifically (and ostentatiously) Roman Catholic.  Perhaps it is not by accident that military force was used against Santa Muerte shrines.  While some congregants of Santa Muerte may indeed have ties to narcotics exporters (something all foreign reporters latched onto), it has been the most visible and irritating of the “heretical sects” bothering the Hierarchy.

At the time, I wrote:

While religious persecution on a small scale has happened, and is troubling, what’s worrisome her is that the ARMY was used for the iconoclasm.  Which means the Federal Government is willing to bend the laws for the benefit (or to the detriment) of various sects (the Roman Catholic Church denies any involvement with the Nuevo Laredo actions, but requires we take that on faith, and faith alone)… and, even more troubling… that, as I have predicted in my more morose states, that the government would start using military forces to attack non-conformity, and excuse under the rubric of “drug gang” the oppression of the poor and dispossessed.

This is one of those times I really regret being prescient, but it’s not as if the signs of creeping “Francoism” (as Proceso labels it) haven’t been there. I took some ribbing for my concern with the attacks on the Emos back in early 2008, but caught the more serious undertones. There were indications that the attacks were orchestrated by right-wing groups — and defended by the right-wing politicians on the grounds that Emos were “social deviants”.

Add the backlash against abortion after Mexico City liberalized it’s laws, added to the standard neo-liberal economic response, and you have the usual lefty agenda for complaining that “creeping fascism” is underway.

But, it’s not creeping… and it’s not some lefty diatribe.  From the United States Department of Justice’s “National Criminal Justice Service” I found an abstract to E.V. Walter’s 1969 academic study of African dictatorships, “Terror and Resistance.”  According to the abstract (I haven’t read the book), Walter:

… holds that organized terror is not to be identified with totalitarianism, but that it emerges in other systems of power as well. The typical regime of terror, he explains, is one mode of dealing with political resistance, and of reacting to crises of social integration.

Add this to the “shock doctrine” — which Naomi Klein says is a specifically right-wing phenomenon, but which I don’t see MUST be implemented by the right — the use of state power to “punish” and destroy dissenters under the rubric of fighting a legitimate criminal threat as an attempt to legitimize a totalitarian state.

Add in the overtly “confessional” tone of the present administration (and remember that Calderón and much of his cabinet are from this wing of PAN, which also includes unrepentant Fascists) and there are reasons beyond political jockeying that well-read and intelligent Mexicans believe the state is falling into Fascism.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 16 March 2010 8:33 am

    This is the fact. I think we have the same views.

  2. vatistamyster permalink
    24 March 2010 1:05 pm

    It is indeed clear the way mexican government had based its actions on artificial intelligence, by using any single church on their country to prosecute people, just have a look at:
    zeitgeistmovie, the padrejose, and think about all of that people reached by this right arm to be fullished and corrupted with as minimum of US$50 million.

    Can you realize that they can jeopardize any government intention to trap someone?

    Is any one talkink about terrorism comming from elsewhere harid by the tops in order to make a conflict in the region?.

    have a look by yourself and be aware of, let mr BO what is going on.

    let others know about it

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