Temas de política mundial en el 2018

Los motores comienzan a calentarse y el mundo está lleno de expectativas respecto al 2018. Este año será un “año nervioso” como explicaron con cierta preocupación en uno de los más recientes números en la revista The Economist. Y esto es desde ya cierto para nuestra región; en Centroamérica no salimos de un conflicto y ya nos estamos metiendo en otro más de los ya usuales temblores económicos y políticos que afectan las esperanzas de crecimiento sostenible de la economía.

Economía global:

Para aquellos de nosotros en los negocios, la economía mundial continuará moviéndose a un ritmo moderado. Solo deberíamos preocuparnos de que los banqueros centrales de las economías desarrolladas no continúen jugando con las tasas de interés. Además, hay que leer con atención las decisiones que tome el gobierno británico respecto al acuerdo comercial que establecerá con la Unión Europea luego de su salida (las recientes votaciones fueron un revés para el gobierno conservador y esto es una amenaza para la estabilidad económica y comercial).

Medio Oriente:

El próximo año será particularmente difícil en Medio Oriente debido a la derrota territorial del Estado Islámico. El impacto de esta derrota se verá con más ataques y des-estabilización en Siria, Iraq y Turquía que rápidamente pueden convertirse en líos globales. A esto, debemos sumar la amenaza presentada por el gobierno de Donald Trump y sus pequeños aliados al reconocer la ciudad de Jerusalén como la capital de Israel en un conflicto que tiene más de 50 años de estarse desarrollando.

Corea del Norte – USA:

Asia y el mundo entero se unirán en contra de la proliferación nuclear y deberemos de seguir con mucha atención el abismo de aislamiento económico y político en el que se está sumiendo Corea del Norte; las recientes plásticas entre Corea del Norte y Corea del Sur pueden ser solamente una excusa de Pyongyang por retrasar un ataque directo de Estados Unidos.

 

 

Elecciones en Latino América:

Para nuestra región, las principales noticias serán de las elecciones en el año 2018. Brasil y México, las dos economías más grandes de la región tendrán dos controvertidas elecciones y los votantes habrán de decidir entre uno de los peores males en cada candidatura.

Las elecciones en Brasil y México serán decisivas en cuanto al crecimiento o no de América Latina. En Brasil, el gobierno tiene como prioridad estabilizar el aumento de la relación deuda pública versus PIB. La baja en la inflación y las tasas de interés están facilitando una recuperación económica gradual liderada por el aumento del consumo. El resultado de las elecciones presidenciales de octubre de 2018 es incierto. En México, continuará la incertidumbre sobre la revisión del TLC con Estados Unidos y el resultado de las elecciones presidenciales de julio de 2018 ya se hace escuchar. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, del partido de centro-izquierda, sigue siendo el favorito para la presidencia, pero la carrera la decidirá contra Jose Antonio Meade Kuribreña del PRI. Ante esta situación, el crecimiento del PIB promediará 2.1% para México en los períodos 2018-22 según el Banco Mundial.

Centroamérica:

Para Centroamérica, el pesimismo está a la vuelta de la esquina, y la ilegalidad del gobierno hondureño al reelegirse seguirá siendo una controversia durante el primer semestre del 2018.  La decisión de los líderes de nuestros país vecino durante las primeras semanas de enero y febrero serán muy importante para determinar el pronóstico económico del país y también el nuestro.  Recordemos que más del 40% de las exportaciones guatemaltecas se envían a importadores del Mercado Común Centroamericano (El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica) y cualquier problema político de larga escala en ese país nos impactará seriamente.  Es importante recalcar que, en los últimos años, Honduras tuvo el mejor pronóstico económico de crecimiento en la región para los próximos años y el caos creado por la reelección inconstitucional de Hernández puede poner las cosas patas arriba.

Guatemala:

Por último, nos queda Guatemala. El año 2018 será un año clave para la continuidad de las investigaciones de la CICIG y el Ministerio Público. Al momento, se han anunciado que nuevos casos serán presentados a principios del 2018. La lucha entre el Pacto de Corruptos y nosotros, la gente honesta, seguirá siendo una batalla dura y larga. Con la reciente elección de la Junta Directiva del Congreso de Guatemala el Pacto de Corruptos se ha fortalecido. El publico deberá seguir con mucha atención la elección de:

  • Consulta Popular del diferendo territorial, insular y marítimo con Belice: 15 de abril.
  • Fiscal General: 17 de mayo.
  • Contralor General: 13 de octubre.
  • Corte Suprema de Justicia: 13 de octubre.

The gated community motto: Come and live in a lie while ignoring life!

The papers, books and studies related to the urban development of gated communities in the Global South have provided lots of information by problematizing the history and politics behind the imaginary of these projects. Urban developers all over Latin America, Africa and Asia are building hundreds of communities and apartment buildings that imitate European and Western Styles of construction, lifestyle, norms and regulations. This morning I got my hands in one more of these advertisements for a housing project located in a recently developed dormitory city near Guatemala City, Guatemala.

The community is called “Residenciales Pasaje Español” and the development aims at replicating the lifestyle of a Spaniard ideal of a community  (while, of course, ignoring reality about Spain’s complexities).  The advertisements are all directed at the appeals of the growing middle-class market in Guatemala which is backed by a search for: affordable housing, accesible parks, gated walls around the housing project, 24/7 private police service, white houses that offer access to parking spaces for family-sized cars.  All of this providing a “theme-park” feeling that enables you to transport yourself from the violent and insecure life outside of the gates.

plano del proyecto

Guatemala City and the dormitory cities around it are inhabited by aprox. 3.5 million people with more than 1 million cars and the figures are quickly rising. Many of the gated communities are 1 or 1.5 hours away from most of the office and industrial areas and traffic jam is a constant worry for this people. Alienated from crime and lack of rule of law, these gated-communities offer an escape from public worries to taxpayers and an excuse to ignore the country’s multiple problems.

torres de luz

But as any other theme-park there are many flaws and dangers in the aim to replicate the “ideal society”.  The complex is located straight next to a line of huge power towers that represent a health menace to the people that will live in the houses. Also, the gated-community is surrounded by hundreds of new houses and dozens of new gated-communities that once completed and sold will represent an increase in the traffic jam outside of the “housing dream”.

Perhaps it is still time to Rethink the future of our cities. We still have time to further problematize our development model and think about the contradictions behind these city-building dystopias. And bring to light more information regarding how these gated-communities further weaken collaboration, cooperation and citizenship in our societies…

The never-ending cycle of revolutions

via: http://www.activistpost.com

“A revolution is the climax of a long philosophical development and expresses a nation’s profound discontent; a Putsch is a minority’s seizure of power. The goal of a revolution is to overthrow tyranny; the goal of a Putsch is to establish it.” Ayn Rand

The day after Revolution the streets were in silence. Anarchy was the rule and a no man’s land emerged. The protests against the ruling party had started several weeks before. However, as my grandmother recalled, the problems that had ignited the most recent uprising had always existed: ” these were the very old unfulfilled promises long inherited from Colonial times.”  Indeed, these promises were the idea that Government was here to rule over Us, to give Us and to provide Us for our needs and to care for our frailties.  The Global South has known dozens of revolutionary movements, dozens of attempts of revolutions and a handful of sanguinary coup d’états. Unfortunately, not much if anything has changed after the uprisings.

Around the world today conflict  continues in many areas that were once colonized or controlled by Western European or Soviet powers. The source of many of these protracted conflicts, in large part, lies in past colonial  policies, and especially those “regarding territorial boundaries, the treatment of indigenous populations, the privileging of some groups over others, the uneven distribution of wealth, local governmental infrastructures, and the formation of non-democratic or non-participatory governmental systems.”

It is therefore essential, if one wants to understand current revolutionary movements, intractable conflict and its causes, to examine not only the issues and problems of the moment, but also influential historical factors and actors – most notably, past colonial policies and today’s ruling power of these metropolis over former colonies – and their lingering effects.

The idea that the government should provide for our needs is more accepted in post-colonial governments that inherited institutions of dependency and granted privileges by the metropolis.  Imagine yourself traveling 200 years back in time to the period in which colonies were ruled by Western Capital. Interestingly, you will find yourself observing almost the same institutions and the same old problems that societies in the Global South still face today in Africa, the Middle East, South America, Eastern Europe and South Asia. The problems in these societies are the result of a long list of misguided decisions all centered in one fatal conceit: the conceit of revolution by force, not in defense, but in violation, of individual rights.

The colonial institutional heritage of the Global South is built around the abuse and violation of individual rights. Not a single revolutionary movement in the Global South has really aimed at restoring individual rights but to the granting of privileges for a minority.  The minority groups have taken many forms, received many names and have taken many slogans. They have been revolutions organized by and in contraposition of one minority group versus a majority: of the poor versus the rich, of the middle classes versus oligarch classes, of national interests of capital versus foreign interests, of enlightened groups versus conservative groups, of different ethnic groups against each other, of indigenous groups tired of being exploited, and many many more.

In order for a revolution that aims at restoring individual rights to take place it would be  necessary for all citizens to first redefine their code of values upon principles that allow them to pursue happiness without violating the rights of others.  This means that for a “revolution and not a putsch” to take place in the Global South we need first to understand that today’s revolutions have no moral justification and are all gang warfare.  As such, in order to change our immoral systems of government we require to first our own immoral code of values.  This means that we need to learn our history and fix all those immoral decisions taken in the past by our former enslavers.

I believe that the ideal way for starting to learn which is the code of values that provides for a consistent philosophy of life that protects individual rights and allows for humans to pursue happiness is the philosophy of Objectivism and the Objectivist Ethics.

If successful, most probably, the ongoing revolutionary movements in the Middle East, Ukraine and Venezuela will reflect to be nothing but immoral putsches of the very same old privileged groups that they were supposed to fight.  Corruption will take a new name, the citizens will be again defrauded by their leaders, immorality will again reign.  the power currently upheld by immoral leaders is not a simple system of domination of one specific group but it completely traverses the entire social body.  When social relations are not based upon a consistent and ethical code of values its result is “the immanence of force” that Foucault widely studied.    In this game of power, the incessant struggle and confrontation will be reinforced, transformed and reshaped without any meaningful outcome.  This never-ending cycle of revolutions will encrust and institutionalize itself if it hasn’t already. I truly believe that a Peaceful Philosophical revolution is Possible.  It is up to you reader, to chose wether to start it or not.

Global Education trends

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In the last few years I have found myself immersed traveling around different cultures.  A trend I have observed is that the more educated people has been, the more they are healthy and the more they are cooperative towards the rest.  Following Malow’s hierarchy of needs one can easily understand why is it that education is so important to help establishing a better society.  My favourite philosophers agree that in order for a human to act rationally he/she needs to know clearly which is his/her code of values and their aim in life.

Today’s reality whoever is discouraging to many in regard to the Global Educational trends.  The divergence between the Global North and South in terms of educational development is increasing:

globalliteracychallenges_0

Why is it that development has continued growing uneven in these regions is the field of study of global studies and it requires a long discussion.  One thing is certain: in order for ignorance to be cured there is only one medicine: cheap or free good access to all knowledge.  For this reason I support strongly projects like Google Books and many others in local areas.  I contribute to this global project by donating printed books and providing access to an online ebook collection of Humanities. Now, how are you contributing to this project?

Entendiendo el racismo en Guatemala ¿Qué opinas?

Hace algunas semanas estaba leyendo un cuadernillo de investigación de la USAC titulado “El Terrateniente guatemalteco: una aproximación a su concepción ecológica y a los efectos de su práctica productiva sobre el medio ambiente” y me parece prudente mencionarlo ahora que la gente ha empezado a hablar en demasía con términos abstractos como “guatemala” “guatemaltecos” “nosotros” “ellos” y a veces abusan de los términos vacíos con los que pretenden hacer representaciones de unidad. Continue reading “Entendiendo el racismo en Guatemala ¿Qué opinas?”