Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Amero, and other musings

There is a part of me that has always loved political, and I would even hazard to say, international political discourse. Political in the sense of 'polis' and not in the sense of cheap dirty tricks. In other words, discourse on matters concerning the rights of the citizens of the large 'polis' which is the world village or city. Today we are facing dire problems, but they are probably no more dire than the problems faced since we came out of the primordial slime and started walking on two legs. I suppose every new generation believes its own problems are new and unparalleled, but that sells newspapers and gets people watching headlines on television; it does not in fact resolve any of the problems.

So one of the ongoing issues is that of a "New World Order" which is used by both sides in dark and menacing ways. For example, in our 'individualist' world, our "American" world, things must never change. It is what GW told everyone after September 11th; go out and shop! Let's not let anyone change the way we live and shop!

It is as if our right to be and to exist, and to make everything else secondary to our own needs and whims, is written in stone... or some modern-day material that is stronger than stone. So if it some small child is suffering in a silk factory overseas, that is secondary to our need to wear beautiful silk outfits at a 'reasonable' price. Reasonable always means how cheaply we can buy, and cheap never includes the 'real price' of our goods and services, so that if Wal-Mart is exploiting this one and that one to make its bottom line stronger, there is never a comparison of the cost of the 'cheap' or the very dear cost, indeed, of the increased bottom line.

Now I have to wonder about the so-called North American Union, said to be a supranational organization, modeled on the European Union, that would merge Canada, the United States, and Mexico into some sort of economic and political unit. South of the border, Chávez is working on some similar multinational entity, and if Venezuela is admitted to the Mercosur, it may finally happen that Simón Bolívar and José Martí's dream of a real 'panamerican' union will come to be. The first one was railroaded by the US, and became a 'commercial' union rather than a union which (from the OAS website: En el Espíritu del Panamericanismo, las naciones de América podrían “reafirmar los ideales de paz y solidaridad continental que todos profesan, fortalecer sus lazos naturales e históricos y recordar los intereses comunes y aspiraciones que hacen a los países del hemisferio un centro de influencia positiva en el movimiento universal a favor de la paz, la justicia y la ley entre las naciones”). In other words, it was to be a union through which, in the spirit of Pan Americanism, the nations of the Americas would: “reaffirm the ideals of peace and continental solidarity which one and all profess, strengthen their natural and historic bonds and recall the common interests and aspirations which make the countries of this hemisphere a center of positive influence in the universal movement in favor of peace, justice and law among nations”.

My socialist and 'Star Trekkie' tendencies are at war with my civil libertarian training or bent... but I have seen how much better the members of the European Communities seem to have been doing in these economic times. They have medical insurance, they are guaranteed vacations and a much higher minimum wage and even pensions... they have severance packages, not as a sometime thing but as a guarantee of any employment.

It always seemed to me, reading the fiction of Le Guin and the Hainish cycles in the Dispossessed and the Left Hand of Darkness, that if we were ever to conquer the global problems of poverty and exploitation, we must indeed do it within a global constituency... and someday we might indeed have a United Federation of Planets, if you will. So what would be so wrong with an amero? Or, if Chávez can organize the nations south of the border, including Bolivia and Ecuador, Brazil and Chile, Argentina and others, with a Pan American Union where the voices of the voiceless, those that Arzobispo Romero said we were to be spokespeople for, would finally be heard and taken into account.

I am not interested in the screams of 'the end of life as we know it' because that life has only been good to a very minimal percentage of the population, but neither am I interested in yet another vehicle to be taken over by the powerful and mighty to the exclusion of everyone else...

So, comments, anyone?

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