Atilio Borón suffered through last week’s rightwing orgy at Rosario hosted by Mr. Busy, José Ma. Aznar and reported on it for Rebelión. Machetera translates.
“Men who wrote suggestive novels and wise essays in the past, in other words, people who were thinkers, limit themselves now to being dull spokesmen for the White House’s official discourse about the populist virus, without even the appearance or brilliance of parrots to whom they are sometimes wrongly and unfairly compared.”
An Intellectually Exhausted Rightwing
Atilio Borón – Rebelión
The ritual which took place recently in Rosario and was reported on for Rebelión by Miguel Bonasso, brought together the celebrities of rightwing theory and practice in the Americas. In reality, it was one more appearance for this type of Stone Age traveling circus which circulates throughout diverse Latin American countries preaching the empire’s neoliberal gospel, and had its baptism of fire in Madrid on the 4th of July, 2007, in the so-called “Fourth Atlantic Forum: A Meeting for Democracy and Freedom in Europe and America.” The same people, the same sponsors, the same rhetoric, the same babble spread throughout the region. They fell into line behind their house intellectual, the ineffable Mario Vargas Llosa with his son Álvaro, Jorge Castañeda, Carlos Montaner, Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza, Enrique Krauze, Marcos Aguinis, Jorge Edwards, Arturo Fontaine and a plethora of “lesser right-thinkers,” as the ever lucid Alfonso Sastre would put it. In the political sphere the list started with José M. Aznar and went all the way to Vicente Fox, passing Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga, Bolivia’s ex-president, Francisco Flores, El Salvador’s ex, Osvaldo Hurtador from Ecuador, and Luis A. Lacalle of Uruguay, along the way. All of them deserving more than pleasant memories in their respective countries for their patriotic contributions to the general well-being of their people, especially the poor. From the United States came Roger Noriega, the sinister character with links to the Cuban-American mafia and the “strongman” in charge of the empire’s hemispheric affairs for a period of time under the presidency of George W. Bush.
The master of ceremonies for the meeting was Aznar, in his position as FAES President (Foundation for Analysis and Social Studies), a “think tank” connected organically with the Popular Party. Others, such as the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute and the Atlas Economic Research Institute, representing the most recalcitrant part of the U.S. rightwing, were also highly visible at the event and sent their most illustrious representatives. A previous article, also published at Rebelión (see Marcos Roitman, “Aznar and the FAES in Latin America,” Feb. 20, 2008.) described and analyzed with great clarity the nature of this conservative project. Faced with this we can hardly resist adding that just listing the names of these people and their institutions brings to mind an extraordinary Italian film from the seventies, directed by Francesco Rosi: Cadáveres excelentes (Excellent Corpses), which revealed the close ties between the political leadership, the ruling class and the Italian mafia at the time. The analogy couldn’t have been more on point as a reference to the ghostly attendees at this meeting, gathered under the theme: “The Challenges of Latin America.”
What was sought with this conclave? Three things. Let’s start with the most cyclical: an attempt to eclipse the great celebrations being prepared for mid-June in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of Che Guevara’s birth, in Rosario itself. As one might have expected, one thing that was not in evidence at the FAES meeting was dazzling brilliance. As such, the organizers of the June festivities can rest easy.