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Tariq Ali has been one of my favorite political writers.  His prose and eloquence make for a great read while at the same time getting his message across.  This is from the first chapter called the age of disinformation from his book ‘Pirates of the Caribbean – Axis of Hope’ (29-30)  This is a particularly incisive passage based on Harold Pinter’s Nobel Prize Lecture

[…]  Illusions about the civilizing function of a bloody Empire and the rancid rhetoric of Washington Consensus politicians were being destroyed on the battlefields of Iraq and in the mountains of Afghanistan and subsequently in Lebanon.  The glimmer of an actual political alternative, however, was only visible in Latin America.  There, new social movements had thrown up new political leaders.  They were insisting that, despite the fall of the Soviet Union, the world was still confronted with old choices.  Either a revamped global capitalism with new wars and new impoverishment, chaos, anarchy or a rethought and revived socialism, democratic in character and capable of serving the needs of the poor.

These leaders were determined to rescue the stranded ship ‘utopia’, to initiate more egalitarian, redistributive policies and to involve the poor in the political life of their countries.  For proclaiming these modest goals they were traduced and vilified.  Their real crime is to challenge the certainties of the New Order, to disregard the ‘Forbidden’ signs of the Washington Consensus.

An ally of that consensus can crush its opponents, torture and kill political prisoners, ban all rival parties, sell half a country’s assests for private gain and still obtain the ‘international community’s’ seal of approval.  But if a government challenges the priorities of the global system in the name of an invigorated democracy and a ultra-democratic constitution [Venezuela] and, worst of all, continues to be re-elected by its stubborn citizenry it will be vilified and attacked.

For refusing to concur with the Washington Consensus it is accused of ‘totalitarianism’ and orders go out that it must be crushed politically, ideologically and, if neccessary, by force of arms.

This is the world we live in today…

Go Tariq!  – His books are so very informative, but at the same time very troubling as one reads about the atrocities carried out preserve ‘our way of life’.

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