You can’t make this shit up.
Some South American countries are at a crossroads because they falsely believe their only choice is between socialism or the American style of capitalism, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday.
Speaking at the Canada-Chile Chamber of Commerce in Santiago, Chile, Harper said Canada will play a bigger role in Latin America and the Caribbean, but one that is different from what the United States plays.
“Too often some in the hemisphere are led to believe that their only choices are — if I can be so bold to say — to return to the syndrome of economic nationalism, political authoritarianism and class warfare, or to become, quote, just like the United States,” Harper said, in what appeared to be a reference to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. “This is, of course, utter nonsense.”
“Canada’s very existence demonstrates that the choice is a false one. Canada’s political structures differ substantially from those in the United States,” said Harper, who is on a six-day, four-country tour of South America and the Caribbean.
“Our cultural and social models have been shaped by unique forces, and we’ve made our own policy choices to meet our own needs.”
He said Canada and Chile are both models of free market economies that retain the independence of their social and political lives.
Bullshit, bullshit, and once again BULLSHIT!
Let’s tackle the ass end of his argument first. Canada is NOT a “free market economy”, it is a MIXED economy socialist state. And the so-called free markets are NOT free; anyone who’s seen how tiny the oligarchy at the top of the food chain is, knows how unfree they are. It’s not socialism that made them so, however; it’s predator capitalism, which is now trying for an unprecedented level of control over the world that bids fair to make all government irrelevant.
Secondly, the unmentioned elephant in the room is what Harpo secretly fears as much as Dubya does, namely that other mixed-economy socialist work-in-progress, the ALBA. When those countries are done reforming their respective systems, they might end up with something a lot like Canada–single-payer healthcare, universal public education, and a social safety net that actually catches people before they hit the ground and go splat. But as in Canada, their tiny, whiny oligarchies will remain happily untouched. All they’ll have to do is actually pay income taxes for a change, and be just as subject to the laws of the land as every common peon. Oh, the horror. The HORROR!
Thirdly, Harpo really should shut his pie-hole about the false dichotomy the Latin American countries face. It’s not between “economic nationalism, political authoritarianism and class warfare, or to become, quote, just like the United States”. Because when it comes to economic nationalism, political authoritarianism and class warfare, baby, the United States leads them all. They are nationalistic towards their own economy but “free-traders” when it comes to everyone else’s, and to prop up this system they’ve been more than happy to install and support dictators wherever there is some resource for one of their corporations to vacuum up. Just ask any banana republic. If those countries wanted to become “just like the United States”, the United States would declare war on them and squash them like so many cucarachas. That’s why so many of those countries, like Chile for example, are still cowering in fear of another CIA-backed coup today. It is no sign of freedom to have an open-veins economy; it is a sign of oppression. It takes solid steel cojones (fuck brass) to stand up for one’s country, and in solidarity with one’s neighbors, as Chavecito, Evo and Rafael Correa are doing.
But then again, I’m not surprised by this. Harpo is engaging in a classic right-wing sleight of hand: it’s patriotism for me, nationalism for thee. And of course, the former is always good, the latter always evil. It’s never nationalism when “we” do it!
As for Canada playing a bigger role in Latin America but one different from the United States–well, I would hope to shout! The last thing they need down there is imperialism from us in addition to them. And make no mistake–“free trade” is just imperialism by another name.
What I don’t hear a peep about from Harpo is the importance of setting a good example. Canada could so easily do that; our system is, after all, an early model of how a working socialist government could look. Tommy Douglas was the first elected socialist leader in North America. He is the father of everything from medicare to our unemployment-insurance system. He is also, by popular vote, our Greatest Canadian. What the ALBA leaders are all doing is essentially what Tommy Douglas did fifty years ago; to say they are following in his footsteps is both an accurate assessment and a major compliment. Yet Harpo snubs them and won’t even breathe their names or that of Tommy Douglas; what a coward. Whom does he praise as models of democracy? The very countries who are still lagging behind because their politicos are not clear on the concept.
It seems that Harpo is not terribly good with concepts either, or else he’d recognize what a strawman argument he has constructed. Wouldn’t be the first time he’s done so, either. He has quite a habit of building them in his ongoing attempts to tear down everything that’s good about Canada.
Grab your torches, folks, it’s time to burn the scarecrow.