by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog
Why do we often forget how powerful Mexico is?
130 million people; undoubtedly the most powerful Spanish-speaking country (Brazil speaks Portuguese); a geographical location truly on top of the Latino world; access to both oceans; a historical cradle of civilisation with claims that can fairly said the be unrivaled; the world’s most developed economy accessible with the fewest shipping costs, and unparalleled expatriate influence in said economy.
On the international level, Mexico’s Augustin Carstens was narrowly edged by France’s Christine Lagarde for the head of the International Monetary Fund, which is the 2nd-most important global finance post. Carstens would have been the first non-Western IMF chief. Clearly, the neoliberal West’s version of their best and brightest mullahs/Chinese Communist Party members – central bankers – respect Mexican ideas for solutions in the 21st century.
And yet it feels like mighty Mexico is often an afterthought in geopolitics?
Conversely, no “Canadian Power” movement is needed: one can easily spot a Canadian abroad because they tattoo their luggage, clothing and even bodies with maple leaf flags. They say it is to differentiate themselves from hated Americans – fine… but it also shows that Canadians are vocal nationalists with a chip on their shoulder. The global banker elite aren’t likely to back a Canadian for a top post – such a nominee would either be a willing lapdog of the US, England, France or all three. But despite Canada’s comparatively reduced potential, importance and global impact, Western sociocultural perception undoubtedly values Canada higher than Mexico.
After Donald Trump was elected I wrote that a certain consequence would be the rise of a “Mexican Power” movement. There was certainly going to be a major backlash to “build the wall” and other anti-Latino rhetoric. Of course, the root of Trump’s Brownbaiting success was not hillbilly racism, but anti-capitalist discontent caused by unenforced worker rights, no wage guarantees and no protections on prices – the Western Mainstream Media can never discuss any of those things.
The arrival of Trump was, I reasoned, certain to lead a movement which would declare: The reality of Mexican Power can no longer be denied, because denying it would lead to massive imprisonment, violence, sociocultural shock, US economic and agricultural turmoil, etc.
My claim made total sense, because there is so very, VERY much to discuss about “Mexicans” in the US (for many in the US, all Latinos are “Mexicans”… just as all East Asians are “Chinos” to many in Mexico, according to Mexican commentators.) Latinos are 17% of the population, yet they are almost totally absent from US popular and political culture, like Kurds in Turkey. It is not 1919 anymore: go to an any small town in any part of the US – not just the southwest – and you can now find some Latinos… yet there is no “Mexican Power”.
It often takes a fascist/reactionary shock to galvanise the silent majority, and the US silent majority is undoubtedly talking to, working with, dating, marrying and being friendly with Latinos. In early 2017 I predicted that the US was going to out-leftist France with my hypothesised “Mexican Power” movement: if France chose another mainstream politician in their upcoming presidential election – which they did in Emmanuel Macron – France’s Muslims could not benefit from this very necessary type of “shock” to their similarly-delayed civil rights improvement. France remains ensconced in their velvety self-conceit – even as Yellow Vests are beaten weekly.
But are Mexicans in the US doing any better?
I was not overly optimistic nor overly militant two years ago – pro-Hillary mayors and voters boldly talked of creating “sanctuary cities”, and of defying any and all of Trump’s anti-Mexican proposals. They were going to defend their Mexican neighbors!
But 2.5 years into Trump’s presidency, it is clear that I have been largely disproved.
Eleven random reasons to explain why I was wrong
- Hispanics are often illegal aliens, who reflexively shrink from government and media sunshine. Conversely, US Blacks in the 1950s and 1960s had nowhere to go (like the Vietcong) and that made them more radical and more demanding for “Black Power”.
- Under Trump the MSM all of a sudden started doing major reporting on governmental abuses of Latino immigrants… not as a way to advance “Mexican Power”, but solely as a way to denigrate Trump. Disgustingly, they said nothing when Obama set records as the “deporter in chief”. The MSM would rather endlessly masticate sour grapes over Trump’s victory than reassess their totally class-devoid worldview. They are thus manipulating Mexicans for their own ends, and the focus on immigration abuses is actually taking potential column inches away from the larger issue of broad Latino empowerment.
- The post 9/11 militarisation of local US police forces makes resistance technologically daunting and militarily impossible. I’d rather face the dogs and water hoses of the 1960s instead of tanks.
- Just as Stalin robbed banks to fund the anti-monarchy & pro Socialist Democracy resistance, and just as Los Angeles gangs aided their Black Power brothers with a few shotguns and rifles, the emergence and dominance of an incredibly tragic drug trade has depoliticised Hispanic “criminal-radical” elements. Crystal meth is not conducive for serious political reflection (or so I have read). The difference between a facial-tattooed MS-13 member, as compared with a 1960s Nation of Islam member in Detroit or a bold soul brother in Oakland, appears to be rather vast.
- American anti-Roman Catholicism is a hugely underreported phenomenon. A Catholic friend of mine asked me to try and find a pro-Catholic story in The New York Times and I am still looking many years later (and now so will you). Conversely, US Blacks were overwhelmingly Protestant, which gave them a real cultural advantage over today’s Latinos. This advantage is as important as it was for the Christian Syrians who allied with the colonising French in the 19th century – the result is referred to as “Lebanon”. The MSM’s distaste for Catholics is also why the US can never promote a Catholic “Father” Martin Luther King” to arrive as the figurehead of a Mexican Power movement – only a “Reverend” is permitted.
- US anti-Catholicism notwithstanding, Western secularism – especially in Europe – has only grown more entrenched since the 1960s. Thus the Catholic Church (even in the increasingly rare instances when their also increasingly-secular clergy want to be involved) – has not been permitted to be as publicly involved in Mexican Power, where as the Protestant Church played a hugely vital role in maintaining the Black civil rights movement. Even with the rise of the US evangelical movement, the public face of political secularism has only increased – clergy must be quiet.
- Anglo-Saxon multiculturalism, which the US practices, is more culturally and personally agreeable than French assimilationism, but it effectively promotes a divided tribalism (as opposed to a conservative, backwards-looking nationalism in France); both of these Western approaches are total failures compared with leftist classism, which rejects identity politics. The Political Correctness movement, which did not exist for Blacks in the 1960s, may have given more superficial “respect” to Latinos, but Political Correctness has absolutely no ability to increase unity – only to increase awareness. Sadly, many US fake-leftists believe that “awareness” – and annoyingly pushing said “awareness” – is the absolute pinnacle of leftist political action. It is not – Mexican Power is far higher.
- Islamophobia has proven to be the best political retardant in centuries. A “Mexican Power movement” necessarily implies the existence of a parallel “anti-US imperialism movement”. This existed in the 1960s for Vietnam, and obviously fed righteous political criticism against Jim Crow policies. But because the US public is so overwhelmingly behind their Islamophobic-based “war on terrorism” in the 21st century, jingoism and unreflective racism in the US are at a historic peak; the intellectually pathetic Russophobia campaign is proof of this. Anti-Islam has been thus even more galavinizing for reactionaries than anti-socialism was in the 20th century: Islamist candidates do not exist in the West, whereas a socialist candidate once got millions of presidential votes in even the US. Islamophobia is nearly as politically stultifying as anti-Black slavery and the consensus that US Whites simply must wage an anti-American Indian genocide/segregation campaign. The success of the Islamophobia campaign has thus reduced any talk of a Mexican Power campaign.
- The arrival of Mexican President AMLO ignored: After the failed scaremongering campaign to keep him from getting elected, I never read anything about AMLO in English. The math is clear: because he is a leftist politician, he must be ignored. Similarly, we heard much less about the Yellow Vest in the Anglophone media after the initial burst: it was leftist, so it must be ignored. By ignoring AMLO’s presence and advances Mexican Power is certainly not aided.
- Language barrier: 1960s Blacks did not have this “safety valve” which all us immigrants do. Cursing at Trump in a foreign language feels rather good, but from a political-cultural standpoint it is a regression.
- This requires the least comment as it is the most obvious: US leftists are fake leftists, and the agenda of US leftism extends only to the rights and needs of Whites in the upper-middle class.
So when is Mexican Power going to take off? This column is long enough – you tell me.
Are Mexicans and Latino-Americans the same? No, but they all appear to be punching below their weight in the US-dominated world – this is why I may have been wrong, so far, about a “Mexican Power” movement, but I certainly haven’t given up on it.
Just look at the numbers, gabacho (specifically, #2 here to understand that word): Mexican Power is a historical inevitability which Trump cannot stop, and there are still 1.5 years left for him to spark the fuse.
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.