Thanks for the observations about the Pacific Northwest. I have a hard time understanding the culture. Maybe it’s a bit like Canada?
Anyway here’s an interview with Gustavo Petro, who almost won the presidential election in Colombia.https://www.democracynow.org/2018/8/10/ ... r_guerilla
And here is an excerpt from the transcript of the interview, where he says that Left vs Right politics are outdated. He talks of the politics of life vs the politics of death IOW the nature people vs. the robot war people.Bolding mine
AMY GOODMAN: While you lost, Gustavo Petro, you also made history with eight million votes to Duque’s 10 million. You garnered more votes than any left politician in Colombian history. Can you talk about your vision for Colombia and why you think that vision did not succeed in ultimately winning?
GUSTAVO PETRO: [translated] I no longer divide politics into left and right. I think that was a relatively logical way and a relatively realistic way to describe politics in the 20th century, but today, politics is divided between the politics of life and the politics of death. Climate change worldwide separates us into two major sides. On the one hand, you have Trump, Maduro, Duque, and on the other side, you have those of us who want to respond and adapt as quickly as possible to climate change by bringing about changes in Colombian society and Colombian politics. It’s life or death.What we were preaching in Colombia is that; we need to build the movement of life from the standpoint of respect for nature, from the standpoint of moving from an extractive-based coal exporting economy. We are the fifth leading coal exporter in the world. That is to say we have a lot of responsibility for climate change, and we want to move to a productive economy in agriculture and industry based on knowledge, so as to be able to live together with nature. We want to move to a zero carbon economy. These are the kinds of proposals that we put forward as the main agenda in our election campaign. That is what we want.
AMY GOODMAN: It’s very interesting that you put together Trump, Duque, and Maduro. Maduro of Venezuela. I wanted to go back to this issue of the assassination attempt. On Sunday, Bolivian president Evo Morales tweeted, “Within the last 12 months, US Vicepresident Mike Pence made 3 trips to Latin America to meet at least 8 presidents from whom he demanded support for military intervention against our brother president of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro. Those are the Empire’s coup attempts.” Do you feel the U.S. was involved in some way in what looks like an assassination attempt on Maduro’s life?
GUSTAVO PETRO: [translated] I reject any type of violence for resolving social conflicts in Latin America. I believe that we have experienced 30 years of revolutionary wars in Central America, in Colombia. I myself was a protagonist of that effort as a member of the M-19 movement, which laid down its weapons in 1989, and then it became a majority through popular vote and played a very important role in the 1991 Constitution of Colombia, a profoundly democratic Constitution.
We experienced years of military dictatorships, exile. The word “democracy” practically vanished from Latin America. It was really just at the beginning of the 21st century that a sort of spring began with progressive, popular electoral victories, and we began to see new paths emerging. We cannot go back to the past—the dictatorships that exist, for example, in Brazil, as I believe exist in Venezuela and a threat thereof, in Nicaragua and Honduras, a threat of this in Colombia, nor can we go back to the revolutionary wars trying to resolve conflicts through violence.
I think we need to preserve and persevere along the nonviolent paths in order to work out our own conflicts. That does not mean that there’s not a violent attack against Maduro. That doesn’t mean that there are not interests who would like to see Venezuelan society collapse. But the same interests who brought about the collapse of the society of Libya, Iraq, Syria—behind that there is a dark and dirty game all around oil interests and the world oil market. I know that the collapse of Venezuela would immediately mean the collapse of Colombia because millions of Colombians who in years past went into economic exile in Venezuela would come back. And as Pope Francis says, these kinds of exoduses just create new situations of slavery and violence.
I know that there is also a tough, hard-line, racist, xenophobic, imperialistic sector in U.S. society who, with their allies in Europe, believe they can dominate the world and accommodate the different visions of hundreds of human cultures into their exclusive way of thinking and acting, but I am totally convinced that it’s the peoples themselves who transform society.
The issue that I have raised of climate change—well, I propose to the Colombians and to Colombia that this should be the fundamental line of our international policy, and based on that, we should determine who are our allies and who are on the other side. Together in a single political party, speaking in general, global terms, someone like Maduro and someone like Trump are together because the progressive wave in Latin America that began in the early 20th century consolidated its role by greater income distribution, the genuine desire to reduce inequality in the most unequal region of the world based on the rents that were generated by the rise in international oil prices as well as coal and gas prices. It is an unsustainable way forward which is being shown in Venezuela, and the governments of Ecuador and Bolivia and in part Brazil followed that same path. I think that this has brought about a crisis, violating their own democratic principles. We see this in Venezuela and we now see it in Nicaragua.
A new progressivism is emerging. Graphically speaking, we could say there is a new axis between Mexico, Bogotá and São Paulo. Now an important force has won the presidency of Mexico. We almost did the same thing in Colombia with eight million votes and it may happen in Brazil if the current dictatorship there allows it. That new axis should propose for Latin America a new role in the international order. Reject being assigned, being mere exporters of raw materials, of fossil fuel raw materials. That alone would bring an end to Colombia. And we need to have a new role. Production based on knowledge. Production without carbon. A decarbonized production, and therefore, a new democracy. This is what we propose to the world.
And this new progressive axis would have very powerful allies, humankind itself, and would display its moral and political superiority, its superiority of arguments based on science. That I believe is what we are now building in Colombia and in Latin America. That is the way forward that we are going to be trying to insist on in coming months and coming years.