The USA must stop trying to dominate the world and instead form stronger, healthier ties with its southern neighbour
by Phil Hall
After the fall of the perfect dictatorship of the PRI in 2000, a progressive conservative came to power in Mexico called Vicente Fox. His rise to power was closely observed by the then governor of Texas, George Bush. George Bush understood the importance of Mexico to the United States.
Bush was less interested in preserving US global hegemony and in building US bases overseas in places like the Philippines and more interested in a strengthening regional cooperation and in imitating the European Union.
NAFTA heralded an economic union with Mexico and the countries to the south of the USA. George Bush wanted to take it further. He was interested in closer ties and integration and in recognising the contribution Mexico made and makes to life in the USA.
Vicente Fox, former Vice President of Coca Cola Latin America, while extremely proud of his Mexican roots, right down to his cowboy boots, was happy to embrace the good he saw – and many Mexicans still see – in the USA: the bonhomie of its people and its entrepreneurial culture and diversity. Bush used Fox’s campaign slogan when running for President: Yes, we can! And he also wore cowboy boots in admiring imitation of Vicente Fox.
This was the great opportunity for the USA to consolidate itself in the western hemisphere. To promote regional development throughout the whole of the Americas. In doing so, George Bush would have avoided the rise of the left-wing populist dictators, rancid with anger about the USA’s imperial past. He would have spiked their guns. There would have been no Chavez, no Lula, no Morales. Now Latin America is not so well disposed. 20 years more of oppression, interference and coup attempts mean much of Latin America is no longer willing to let bygones be bygones.
The terrorist attacks of September 2001 marked the end of that dream of hemispheric prosperity, peace and isolationism
The terrorist attacks of September 2001 marked the end of that dream of hemispheric prosperity, peace and isolationism, as George Bush senior, the former director of the CIA and his toxic cabal of globalists reoriented George Bush Junior towards the task of ensuring US economic, political hegemony in the world. We see clearly now that maintaining US hegemony has always been an unlikely and unsustainable long-term objective.
The historical opportunity passed. However, soon the war in the Ukraine will be over and Russia will win. It will impose a new security framework on Europe. Chinese and Russian relations will improve and expand and gradually the whole of the eastern hemisphere of the world, including the Middle East, will recede from the view of the US foreign policy establishment.
The USA will have to pull its head back in or perish in a global thermonuclear war. As Eddie Izzard’s joke goes: What do you want USA? Cake or death? In the case of such a war, the global south will inherit the future. Israel’s days as an exclusively Zionist state are numbered. The bad conscience of Europe will not be enough to protect it from having to negotiate with Palestinians when the USA withdraws.
Time for the USA to reorient its foreign policy strategies towards the western hemisphere again and forget about the rest of the world. Gore Vidal would approve. The USA must start by building up Mexico, by becoming a real friend. Mexico is the most important relationship the USA has with any country in the world. Certainly, the US relationship with Mexico is the most important political, social, economic and cultural relationship for the USA.
Billions of dollars cross the border each day. Mexico is the USA’s top trading partner. Most Mexican migrants to the USA, the ones who work in US factories and on US farms, the ones who clean buildings and do the hard graft and difficult work in many cities and regions of the USA, help build up that country.
Because 50% of Mexican territory was taken from it using a variety of different stratagems, the border with Mexico has been called Amexica. People there follow Mexican traditions; they speak Spanish and they are all experts in authentic Mexican regional cuisines: the cuisines of the border states, and the state’s of Michoacan Guerrero and Jalisco, above all.
The names of the towns are given an Anglo spin, but they are Mexican names, many of them owing more to the autochthonous languages than to Spanish etymology. In fact, the wine industry of California was founded by Mexican families and pockets of Mexican people remained in the United States even after the land was stolen from the United States of Mexico. Remember Bonanza? Much of the cowboy culture of the United States is derived and evolved from the cowboy culture of Mexico.
The Apache and other tribes crossed the border easily. The racial characteristics of the aboriginal people of northern America are shared by the majority of people in Mexico and further afield. If you want to meet a native American in Mexico, go to Mexico City. There is no need to go to a village in Tabasco, Chiapas, Yucatan or Vera Cruz. Your taxi driver is nut brown and from a village in Oaxaca.
While the Europeans, lead by the British empire brought their families, and eventually their slaves over to the USA and they carried out a genocide of the native peoples, murdering them and giving them blankets infected with smallpox, the Spanish mixed with the people of Mexico, as did the French and everyone else who arrived. Together they all created a new race: the mestizo, with its roots firmly in Mexican-American soil, indigenous to the continent, its inheritor.
In the time of the Great Spain, when Spain was the most glorious European power of all, worlds collided and the Spanish empire smashed into the Aztec empire and into the empires of the Incas and created a new planet. The collision is not over yet. The collision continues to the north.
Mexico, Europeans are also now discovering, is a cultural powerhouse on a par with China or India, it is the former centre of a vast and developed set of peoples who created their own unique super civilisation developing plants and foods that have colonised the entire world: maize, beans, squash, chilli, tomato, vanilla, chocolate, sunflowers, avocados – all domesticated in central America. There were many other civilisational achievements.
The Mexican cultural powerhouse alone has the power to dissolve and absorb ‘the great white race’
In other words, Mexico is like a cultural blender. The power of its culture takes everything it encounters, all the random bits and pieces of Europe and the rest of the world and it blends them together to make a new mixture. Mexico and the rest of Latin America have the power to do this in the USA too. And they will! The Mexican cultural powerhouse alone has the power to dissolve and absorb ‘the great white race’ and truly make it a part of the continent, no longer an alien parasite, but an American hybrid.
You see it when you speak to US citizens about the shameful past of the genocide of the Native American peoples. Many of them, including Elizabeth Warren, quickly claim native American ancestry. It is a badge of belonging and entitlement.
Mexican culture is enjoyed and even owned by the USA. University department after university department specialise in the history of the Maya and the Aztecs and the Toltec. Articles are purchased and pillaged and looted from Mexican and Central American sites and fill US museums up to the rafters. But often the connection between Mexico itself and Mexican history is not made explicit. The Aztecs and the Mayas and the Toltecs are portrayed as different peoples, separate from the descendants of the Aztecs and Toltecs and Mayas who still live in the central Valley of Mexico and in Chiapas and Yucatan. The technical term for what these universities do is cultural appropriation.
And Mexico was connected strongly not only with Spain, but with old Europe through the Hapsburg Empire when France tried to set up a kingdom in Mexico with Maximillian. Maximillian was shot, but not before he had fashioned Mexico City into a reflection of Paris with its own Champs-Élysées, La Reforma, which leads up to Chapultepec Castle and park.
Mexico won its independence from Spain and much later it had its revolution and entered modernity, in 1910. It swirled with the ideas of communism, fascism and socialism. It became a nexus for progressive causes. Citizens from the United States trekked down there to witness the changes in Mexican society. After the revolution, there was a cultural revolution where the Spanish inheritance was downgraded and the native cultural inheritance upgraded. The socialists from fascist Europe escaped to Mexico. Mexico became a ferment of ideas. Mexico has never been an insular country, at least not at its great metropolitan heart.
Leave to one side its 64 different languages and other associated dialects and Mexico’s 20,000 (approx.) archaeological sites and the fact that the biggest pyramid in the world in Cholula was so big (and overgrown) that the Spanish mistook it for a hill and built a small church on top of it.
Leave aside the huge expanse of coastline to the West along the Pacific, and the long coastline of the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean and the jungles to the south that contrast with the deserts of the north, and the temperate volcanic lands of the centre and the fringe of coastal vegetation, and huge volcanos like Orizaba, Colima, Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl.
Forget for the moment that Mexico is the fourth most biodiverse country in the world, or that the meteorite that hit the word 65 million years ago bit into Yucatan, leaving big tooth marks called cenotes.
Forget the architecture and the art and the cathedrals and monasteries from the 16th-17th-18th-19th and 20th centuries. Forget the music of Mexico: Son, Huapango, Norteña, Baroque, Ranchero, pop, rock and all the other cultural richness. Forget Mexico’s rich history of cinema, its television, its vast literature, its painters and sculptors. Forget it all and remember this.
Remember that the blending of Mexico and the United States and Canada represents the future, and it will result in the peaceful rescue and redemption of the whole north American continent.
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