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Ear to the Ground

Free-Market Anarchy and Nihilism in Mexico

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Posted on Jun 21, 2011
Flickr / Esparta

Mexico’s long-running drug war has claimed nearly 40,000 lives, The Guardian reports.

For the future of unchecked global capitalism, look to the savagery of the drug war in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, says The Guardian’s Ed Vulliamy.

The chaos wrought by the drug cartels of the U.S.-Mexico border—motivated solely by profit and having taken torture and murder to new levels of brutality—and the officials who craft the legal and economic policy that enables them signals a new, nihilistic social order characterized by unceasing national and international conflicts fought for little more than money, rather than the glory of one’s country or control of territory and resources, Vulliamy writes.  —ARK

Ed Vulliamy in The Guardian:

On the surface, the combatants have the veneer of a cause: control of smuggling routes into the US. But even if this were the full explanation, the cause of drugs places Mexico’s war firmly in our new postideological, postmoral, postpolitical world. The only causes are profits from the chemicals that get America and Europe high.

... But this is not just a war between narco-cartels. Juarez has imploded into a state of criminal anarchy—the cartels, acting like any corporation, have outsourced violence to gangs affiliated or unaffiliated with them, who compete for tenders with corrupt police officers. The army plays its own mercurial role. “Cartel war” does not explain the story my friend, and Juarez journalist, Sandra Rodriguez told me over dinner last month: about two children who killed their parents “because”, they explained to her, “they could”. The culture of impunity, she said, “goes from boys like that right to the top – the whole city is a criminal enterprise”.

Not by coincidence, Juarez is also a model for the capitalist economy. Recruits for the drug war come from the vast, sprawling maquiladora – bonded assembly plants where, for rock-bottom wages, workers make the goods that fill America’s supermarket shelves or become America’s automobiles, imported duty-free. Now, the corporations can do it cheaper in Asia, casually shedding their Mexican workers, and Juarez has become a teeming recruitment pool for the cartels and killers. It is a city that follows religiously the philosophy of a free market.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 23, 2011 at 3:38 am Link to this comment

If cocaine were legal, would truthdiggers be heaping as much opprobrium on the obscene greed of the Escobars of the world as they do on Goldman Sachs?
******

You mean like on the tobacco companies?

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By TAO Walker, June 22, 2011 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

This Indian doesn’t do drugs.  The allamerican “rico, suave” seems to stay perpetually drunk hisown"self,” however, huffing the toxic fumes of theallamericanfeverdream.

“It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.”

HokaHey!

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By Anarcissie, June 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment

rico, suave, June 22 at 3:25 pm

Anarcissie:
Ah yes, “state power”. You realize of course that “state power” is what truthdiggers generally prefer over personal liberty. NO, that is NOT a false choice. ...

Joining the ranks of the anarchists, rico?

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By rico, suave, June 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

TAO:

Whew! Quite a riff! Is it the ‘shrooms?

Anarcissie:

Ah yes, “state power”. You realize of course that “state power” is what truthdiggers generally prefer over personal liberty. NO, that is NOT a false choice. And so, be careful what you wish for. Unless you really do want to forfeit your liberty to state power (via the “social safety nets” truthdig so tirelessly promotes).

It’s a shame that this article uses the violence created by an illegal activity as an indictment of “capitalism”. To be sure, drug cartels are capitalistic, but in a properly regulated and legal market, violence would be unnecessary and properly punished in any case. After all, look at all the filthy lucre racing around Wall Street with nary a shot being fired.

If cocaine were legal, would truthdiggers be heaping as much opprobrium on the obscene greed of the Escobars of the world as they do on Goldman Sachs?

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By TAO Walker, June 22, 2011 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment

With a GreatGrandDaughter and her family living in El Paso, and having been “over-the-border” there recently, as well, this Indian has also observed the “nobody-here-but-us-lab-rats-in-dire-straits” miasma so much on-display there and, as yet, orders-of-magnitude more intensely in Ciudad Juarez.  Lurking somewhere within and behind the mass-media-produced toxic smokescreen is a critical part of the “rationale” that the-“powers”-that-wannabe mean to put-forth as justification for their planned “reduction” of “non-performing,” and thus “redundant” “CONsumer-units,” as the shrinking “global” eCONomy squeezes-out all who don’t provide enough “return-on-investment” to be kept-on as “individual”-zed mini-“profit-centers,” by the damned thing’s “SELF”-CONtrolled owner/operators.

“Those people,” the propaganda-line will be, “just dodn’t appreciate being allowed to live in the best of all possible gulags (Well, it won’t be THAT ‘honest.’).  Look at how they kill each other and destroy valuable property.  It is an act of mercy to put them out of our and their own misery.  Besides, the ecosystem just can’t afford them anymore.”

So mass-murder/suicide will be ‘packaged’ as just one more “green” initiative.  Chances are, too, that it’ll be ‘bought’ eagerly by those poor saps still CONvinced the culling will never get-around, one fine Day, to rendering them and theirs “surplus-to-requirements,” too….which, of-course, it is dead-certain to do, if everything goes according-to-plan.

What if “everything” doesn’t, though?  What if, instead, the muddled masses of homo domesticus recover, somehow, enough of The Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity to render “the plan” itself “inoperative”?

Sure it’s one helluva long-shot, Sisters and Brothers…. but, take it from an Old Savage who’s been down this “road” before (several times), its the only ‘shot’ we’ve got.

HokaHey!

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By IcanDealwithHippiesbutThisGuy?, June 22, 2011 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

http://www.npr.org/2011/01/02/132583031/Mexicos-Intensifying-Drug-War-Spills-Into-2011
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laplaza/2011/06/mexico-war-dead-update-figures-40000.html

Mr. Ambriz - please enlighten us with the hard facts you’ve collected. It’s obviously very difficult to find FULLY independent journalism in America, let alone any international reporting. This has nothing to do with a capitalist boogeyman, which does in fact exist, he was at the bank today. This has to do with the tens of thousands of innocents subjected to hell in their homes, and serving hopefully some justice to the tens of thousands departed. All we hear in the “mainstream” is quick blurbs. Much like many of the other wars fought right now, this topic is treated as an aside for Casey Anthony, sports or the weather. So please sir - I would love the facts stating that violence has in fact gone down - that’s a blessing and not something to throw in Truthdig or anyone’s face.

By the way check out USA Today - coordinating with the Obama decision tonite they’ve run a piece stating that most civilian deaths can be linked to the Taliban - I think the statistic is 75% or so.

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By bogi666, June 22, 2011 at 5:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The current Mexico President was fraudulently elected because he was Bush’s favorite and the Repubican Party transferred its tactics to Mexico. That’s why Mexico started its “war on drugs” using the USG model, a failed model by any and all standards. So the reason for Mexico to adopt the USG failed strategy is bogus. It was to benefit the USA arms manufacturing which arms the Mexican government and the Mexican drug cartel simultaneously. Just like WW1 was the bankers war, the same bankers funding all opposing side, the American arms manufacturers arm the opposing sides.

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By Nancy, June 21, 2011 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hockey. Marijuana is an HERB. A gift from GOD to us. They have money reasons why they don’t legalize it there or HERE!

Genesis 1:11-31

11And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

12And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

What are you getting paid to write this and how come you didn’t put your name on it??

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By IcanDealwithHippiesbutThisGuy?, June 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Well, this freakishly seems like an experiment in full
blown chaos, and in turn establishing a pathetic excuse
of some type of order. Order of consumption or supply
and demand - safeguarded by gunrunners, volume dealers,
every addict(drugs or money), and a War on Drugs which
replaced Vietnam in our own backyard. This hasn’t been
some sort of overnight development - this has been in
the works for decades.

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By Marco Gonzalez Ambriz, June 21, 2011 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Violence in Ciudad Juarez has gone down at least 40% since the federal government stepped in and no, that’s not according to the Mexican government. Instead, that figure comes from independent journalists and NGOs. I know Vulliamy and Truthdig don’t really care about Mexico and that they are just using the perception of violence in Juarez as a stick to batter the capitalist boogeyman but it would be nice if they got their facts straight.

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By NolaAnarcha, June 21, 2011 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

Can you please not use “anarchy” to describe the chaos caused by capitalism???
I mean, there is Chris Hedges articles on this site where he praises the histories of past U.S. anarchists in the labor movement and IWW, etc… who advocated anarchism! Use the word correctly!
Anarchy does not mean chaos, it means libertarian socialism!
http://nolaanarcha.blogspot.com

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By Anarcissie, June 21, 2011 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

The Drug Wars—these have now become plural—are anything but an exercise of anarchy.  They were produced by state power and are competitions for state power.  The shallowness of these articles in the realm of political philosophy and analysis is breath-taking.

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