Le site Bellaciao: coloré, multiple, ou le meilleur cotoie fort heureusement le pire, mélangé, bizarre, picabien et dadaîste, explorant toutes sortes de registres et de régimes rhétoriques, drole et polémiqueur, surréaliste: rencontre d'un parapluie et d'une machine à coudre sur une table de dissection, têtes de Lénine sur le clavier d'un piano Steinway ou Bosendorfer...
FR
ES
Senal en Vivo
VIDEO
RADIO
FRIENDS SITES
with Bellaciao
Bellaciao hosted by
To rebel is right, to disobey is a duty, to act is necessary !
Bellaciao  mobile version   |   Home  |   About us   |   Donation  |   Links  |   Contact  |   Search
Bolivia: Agrarian Elite Foments Coup (Rise of Food Fascism)


Friday July 4, 2008 - 05:35

countercurrents.org Bolivia Rising 1 July, 2008

By Roger Burbach

JPEG - 8 kb

Source: www.cubaencuentro.com

Like many third world countries Bolivia is experiencing food shortages and rising food prices attributable to a global food marketing system driven by multinational agribusiness corporations. With sixty percent of the Bolivian population living in poverty and thirty-three percent in extreme poverty, the price of the basic food canasta—including wheat, rice, corn, soy oil and potatoes, as well as meat—has risen twenty-five percent over the past year with prices gyrating wildly in the local markets.

As in most other countries affected by the food crisis, the overall rise in food prices is attributable to the workings of the free market—when the price of one or several commodities goes up, the consumers turn to other food stuffs, thereby driving up these prices as well. In an effort to halt the effects of this unregulated market, the government has enacted price controls and even prohibited the export of beef, most of which is produced on haciendas. But these measures have been largely ineffective: A black market flourishes as agrarian commercial interests openly flaunt the central government’s price controls, even directly exporting commodities like beef and cooking oil at higher prices to the neighboring countries of Chile and Peru.

This is taking place as Bolivia’s first Indian president, Evo Morales, is facing a sustained challenge by a right wing movement for autonomy that is integrally linked to the very agribusiness corporations that are profiting from the upsurge in food prices. Based in the eastern province of Santa Cruz, a powerful agrarian bourgeoisie is determined to upend the government’s agrarian reform program and to halt Morales’ efforts to more equitably distribute the wealth that flows from Bolivia’s oil and gas fields. Its ultimate goal is to topple Morales and the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) that backs him.

The corporate dominated agro-industrial complex in Santa Cruz is centered on the growing, processing and export of soy beans. Two of the world’s largest agribusiness multinationals, ADM and Cargill, play a major role in the regional economy. They are primarily exporters of Bolivian soybeans and sunflower seeds while ADM co-owns with a Bolivian firm the largest vegetable oil processing plant, Sociedad Aceitera del Oriente. (1) Giant agribusiness corporations like John Deere have commercial outlets in Santa Cruz as Bolivia manufactures no heavy agricultural machinery. Multinational companies supply most of Bolivia’s agrichemicals, while Monsanto and Calgene are promoting genetically modified seeds. Peruvian and Colombian agribusiness interests have also set up processing plants in Santa Cruz, including the Romero Company from Peru which has joint international operations with Cargill, while large soy growers from the neighboring Brazilian state of Mato Grosso have settled on Bolivian lands.

The agrarian bourgeoisie of Santa Cruz is orchestrating the movement for provincial autonomy in order to seize control of the region’s extensive resources from the national government. The referendum on autonomy that was unconstitutionally voted on and approved in Santa Cruz on May 4, 2008 would allow the provincial administration to write its own contracts with multinationals and to exercise direct control over the police and law enforcement agencies. Autonomy would also enable the province to override national legislation promoted by Morales and MAS on agrarian reform and the control of public forests and subsoil rights, including natural gas and oil.

The economic policies favoring the rise and consolidation of the agrarian bourgeoisie allied to global agribusiness took shape in the mid-1980s when the International Monetary Fund stepped in with a structural adjustment program. Hyper-inflation had gripped the country from 1983-85 and in exchange for the refinancing of Bolivia’s public and international debt the government agreed to a series of "market reforms," including the reduction of tariffs and the slashing of state subsidies and assistance for the growing of basic food commodities. (2)

These measures overturned the strong role the state had come to play in the economy with the Bolivian revolution of 1952. Along with the nationalization of the tin mines, the worker and peasant backed revolution led to an agrarian reform that broke up the hacienda system in the Andean highlands which had bound much of the Indian population to the land in virtual servitude. With the takeover of the large estates by peasants, rural unions and Indian communities, the production and marketing of basic food stuffs increased, particularly in the 1950s and early 60s. (3)

But another agrarian dynamic began to take shape in the eastern part of the country during these years. Bolivia has three main geographical zones; the Andean highlands or plateau in the west where the agrarian reform was concentrated; the valleys located more in the center and to the south; and the plains or low lands that extend into the more humid and tropical regions in the east.

In the 1960s and 70s, a new landed class emerged in the low lands centered in the province of Santa Cruz. Seizing control of large swaths of the plains and rain forests, often illegally or through government concessions acquired through bribes, the new landed barons raised sugar cane and cotton while plundering the rain forests for lumber. The reactionary character of this region was manifested early on when General Hugo Banzer from Santa Cruz overthrew a leftist general backed by a popular assembly in 1971, ruling the country with an iron hand for seven years, much like the military regimes in other countries in the Southern cone that took power in the 1970s. (4)

The IMF reforms of 1985 privileged the role of Santa Cruz vis-à-vis other parts of the country. With the privatization and closure of many of the state tin mines in the Andean highlands, tens of thousands of miners were thrown out of work. Many migrated to the Chapare region in the south-central part of the country, becoming coca farmers, while others went to the east to squat on small patches of land and serve as an agrarian labor force for the large estates that were favored with credits and infrastructure loans backed by the World Bank. Then in the 1990s vast tracts of land were turned over to the cultivation of soybeans and by the turn of the century Bolivia’s export revenue from soy production was second in importance only to that of the natural gas and oil fields.

The rise of this agribusiness complex has plundered the natural resources of eastern Bolivia. As the frontier for soybeans advances further into the rainforests, the older depleted lands are either abandoned or turned into extensive cattle grazing pastures. Given the highly mechanized nature of soy farming, there are few employment opportunities in the countryside for either the local indigenous population or for those who migrate from the Andes searching for work. As Miguel Urioste, the director of the Land Foundation in La Paz explains: "This mono export model—promoted actively by the World Bank for 15 years—is a lamentable demonstration of how, those that decide public policies…in the third world, do not take into account the enormous environmental costs or the lamentable economic and political effects produced by this model. The monocultivation of soy has concentrated land in a few hands, it has transnationalized property rights, it has impeded new humanely planned settlements and concentrated thousands of poor peasants without lands to generate wealth, employment and well being." (5)

While Bolivia ranks among the world’s ten top soy exporters, the production of domestic food stuffs by the peasantry has stagnated or declined and the urban population has come to rely more and more on imported grains. Today Bolivia imports sixty-nine percent of its wheat, forty-five percent of its rice, and forty-two percent of its corn. (6) In 2004, even the World Bank was compelled to admit: ’the rural economy is increasingly polarised between the small peasant sector producing foodstuffs, on the one hand, and the agro-enterprise sector producing cash crops for export, on the other’. (7)

The Civic Committee of Santa Cruz, a business organization lead by agribusiness interests, is at the center of the drive for provincial autonomy. According to Bret Gustafson, an analyst of the Santa Cruz elite and its political and cultural institutions: "The Civic Committee is an unelected entity dominated by business and agro-industrial elites who have a long history of resisting control of, and demanding subsidization by, the central government. Typical business members include the private chamber of commerce, the cattlemen, the agro-livestock chamber, the industrialists, the forestry chamber, the soy-producers chamber, and professional organizations (doctors, lawyers, architects). Other "civic"members include representatives of provincial civic committees, of carnival comparsas, and of social clubs or "fraternities." (8)

Branko Marinkovic, the powerful head of the Civic Committee whose parents migrated to Bolivia from Croatia in the 1950s, is the largest landowner in the country with 300,000 hectares, much of it obtained for pennies or fraudulent maneuvers under past dictatorial and oligarchic governments. (9) He also has considerable business investments, including IOL S.A., one of Bolivia’s largest soy and sunflower processing plants. A political ideologue of the autonomy movement, Marinkovic funds and sits on the board of the think tank Fundacion Libertad y Democracia that has ties to the Heritage and Cato Foundations. (10)

The Cruceño Youth Union (UJC), a junior men’s organization affiliated with the Civic Committee, is the strong arm of the Civic Committee, often acting as shock troops for the autonomy movement. During the plebiscite in May its members, mainly in their teens and early twenties, roamed the streets of the city of Santa Cruz and surrounding towns violently attacking and repressing any opposition to the referendum by local indigenous movements and MAS-allied forces. Not wanting to provoke a violent confrontation, Evo Morales did not deploy the army or use the local police, leaving the urban areas under the effective control of the UJC when the voting took place.

The other less densely inhabited provinces in the east that make up what is called the Media Luna—Pando, Beni and Tarija—have held referendums calling for autonomy under similar conditions. On the national level, the major political party of the right, Podemos (We Can) tied up the efforts of a popularly elected Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution for over a year and it is now maneuvering with other political forces in La Paz to block a national referendum to enact the constitution.

Simultaneously, the right wing lead by the Civic Committee is sewing economic instability, seeking to destabilize the Morales government much like the CIA-backed opposition did in Chile against Salvador Allende in the early 1970s. As in Chile the business elites and allied truckers engage in "strikes," withholding or refusing to ship produce to the urban markets while selling commodities in the black market at high prices that cause alarm among the poor. The national Confederation of Private Businesses of Bolivia is calling for a national producers’ shutdown if the government "does not change its economic policies." (11)

The social movements allied with the government are mobilizing against the right wing. In the Media Luna a union coalition of indigenous peoples and peasants has campaigned against voting in the autonomy referendums and taken on the bands of the UJC as they try to intimidate and terrorize people. In the Andean highlands, the social movements have descended on La Paz in demonstrations backing the government, including a large mobilization on June 10 that stormed the American embassy because of its support for the right wing, particularly over the US refusal to extradite a past president who ordered the shooting of demonstrators in the streets in 2003. Because of this growing unrest, the country is awash with rumors of a coup, and Morales went to a summit in Caracas in mid-June with Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Carlos Lage, vice president of Cuba, to discuss how to defend his government.

The ability of the agrarian interests of Bolivia to take the country to the brink of civil war is reflective of the powerful agrarian bourgeoisies that have arisen in many countries of the third world in tandem with global agribusiness. When national governments attempt to control the steep increase in food prices, or popular movements agitate for agrarian reform and food sovereignty, they encounter powerful internal agro-industrial interests, in effect a fifth column nurtured and developed by the multinational corporations in conjunction with the World Bank and the IMF.

This new configuration of power is particularly manifest in South America. In Argentina when President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner tried to levy an export tax on soybeans, the large growers orchestrated a rebellion that has tied up the country’s exports and food marketing system for over three months. In neighboring Brazil, the agrarian bourgeoisie is perhaps the strongest and most entrenched in the Global South. Over the years it has fought a running war with the Landless Movement, violently repressing the efforts of the poor to peacefully occupy and till idle lands. In October last year at the genetically modified seed experimental station of Syngenta (the world’s largest agrichemical corporation) five peaceful demonstrators were shot and one killed: The NT Security company that carried out the attack has close ties to the Rural Society, a right wing growers association known for repeated acts of violence against the Landless Movement. (12)

Some argue that that we are witnessing the rise of "petro-fascism" as multinational corporations and nation states struggle for control of the life-blood of the global economy. (13) Now with the efforts of the multinational agribusiness corporations and the agrarian bourgeoisies to control the very sustenance of human life we may be facing an even more violent period of repression, conflict and upheaval.

Roger Burbach is director of the Center for the Study of the Americas (CENSA) based in Berkeley, CA. He has written extensively on Latin America and US foreign policy. His first book, co-authored with Patricia Flynn, was "Agribusiness in the Americas." See www.globalalternatives.org for CENSA activities and publications.

Special thanks to Isabella Kenfield for her editorial assistance.

End Notes

1. Ximena Soruco (Coordinador) Wilfredo Plata and Gustavo Medeiros, Los Barones del Oriente: El Poder en Santa Cruz Ayer y Hoy, Fundacion Tierra, Observatorio de la Revolución Agraria en Bolivia, La Paz, Bolivia, pp. 206-12.
www.ftierra.org

2. For a description of how the IMF and the World Bank imposed these structural adjustment programs on other countries in the Global South, see Walden Bello, "Manufacturing a Food Crisis," The Nation, June 2, 2008.

3. Cristóbal Kay and Miguel Urioste, "Bolivia’s Unfinished Agrarian Reform: Rural Poverty and Development Policies, ISS/UNDP Land, Poverty and Public Action, Policy Paper No. 3, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands and United Nations Development Program, New York, NY, October, 2005, p. 11-13.

4. Forrest Hylton and Sinclair Thomson, Revolutionary Horizons: Popular Struggle in Bolivia, Verso Press, London, 2007, pp. 85-6.

5. Miguel Urioste, "El Banco Mundial Promovio los Moncultivos en Bolivia Durante 15 Anos, Fundacion Tierra, May, 2008,
http://ftierra.org/sitio/index.php?...

6. Marcos Nordren Ballivian, "El Precio de los Alimientos," Foros del Banco Tematico, June 11, 2008.
http://www.bancotematico.org/smf/in...)

7. Kay and Urisote, p. 15.

8. Bret Gustafson, "Spectacles of Autonomy and Crisis: Or, What Bulls and Beauty Queens have to do with Regionalism in Eastern Bolivia," Journal of Latin American Anthropology, Vol. 11, No. 2, 2006, p. 363.

9. BolPress, "Movilización para Aplastar la Conspiración Oligárquico-Imperialista en Bolivia," Unidad de Promoción Indigena y Campesina, Boletin N. 45, 20 de Mayo, 2008,
http://www.bolpress.com/art.php?Cod...

10. Bret Gustafson, "By Means Legal and Otherwise: The Bolivian Right Regroups," NACLA Report on the Americas, January/February, 2008, p. 25.
http://nacla.org/naclareport

11. La Prensa, "La CEPB Amenaza con Paro y el Gobierno Percibe Complot," La Paz, June 21, 2008.

12. Isabella Kenfeld and Roger Burbach, "Corporate Murder in Brazil: Landless Rural Worker Shot by Security Company Hired by Multinational Syngenta," Strategic Studies, Global Alternatives, October, 2007.
http://globalalternatives.org/node/80

13. See Michael T. Klare, "Behold the Rise of Energy-Based Fascism," Tomdispatch.com, January 20, 2007,
http://www.alternet.org/story/46838

http://internationalnews.over-blog....



Leave a comment
Print this article





Out of jail Eric Arnoux lands in Dubai
Friday 15 - 12:03
by Kerim
Trump uses Jews to get pedophile elected
Sunday 10 - 12:45
by Eaton
WHAT TRUMP IS DOING IN JERULSALEM AND WHY HE IS DOING IT
Wednesday 6 - 18:40
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
SUPPORT RACISM: WATCH THE NFL
Saturday 18 - 01:38
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON IN SAUDI ARABIA?
Friday 10 - 15:13
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Sorry, Ain’t got cash. God bless you, too.
Wednesday 8 - 09:22
by Bailey Anderson
REFLECTIONS ON HOW LITTLE IS REVEALED BY JUST-RELEASED JFK ASSASSINATION DOCUMEN
Monday 30 - 19:43
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
PEOPLE OF COLOR: THE NFL DOESN’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOU
Tuesday 17 - 23:07
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
TRUMP, JONES, THE NFL, AND THE NEW MCCARTHYISM
Tuesday 10 - 23:14
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
Catalonia referendum: 90% voted for independence, say officials (video)
Monday 2 - 09:55
Catalonia referendum: ’Spanish authorities are the criminals’ (video)
Monday 2 - 09:47
If I was truly evil
Tuesday 12 - 14:22
Yves Bouvier Faces Swiss Tax Investigation
Saturday 9 - 03:27
by lishk
The Polisario front suspected of double-play around humanitarian aid hijacking
Friday 8 - 21:44
by NathanT
The Polisario front suspected of double-play around humanitarian aid hijacking
Friday 8 - 21:37
by Nathan Taylor
AMERICA’S JUDASES
Sunday 27 - 20:02
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
What happend to Soraya and Hussein Khashoggi?
Friday 25 - 20:38
by Perseus
The falling Max Ehrich
Thursday 17 - 19:40
by celbbetty
DAMN THE NFL
Wednesday 16 - 01:44
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
Overplaying your hand
Thursday 10 - 12:36
Gujarat Flood 2017 Devastation- Inevitable or Orchestrated in Dhanera ?
Thursday 3 - 06:19
by Dwarika Nath Rath
Multiple citizenship & Zionist subversion of America, Australia, India, Humanity
Wednesday 2 - 03:10
by Dr Gideon Polya
I’M AN IDIOT AND I VOTE
Thursday 27 - 23:23
by David R. Hoffman
The Top Ten Art Scandals That Have Rocked the World
Tuesday 18 - 15:48
by Curtis Judge
John Pilger slams Mainstream silence re Apartheid Israel crimes: Free Palestine
Thursday 13 - 02:43
by Dr Gideon Polya
RUSSIAN MAFIA – NOW IN DUBAI?
Monday 3 - 14:52
by James Dolay
THE NFL IS RACIST
Saturday 1 - 00:31
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
Australian Finkel Review has dirty energy for 50 years & ignores 25 key issues
Monday 19 - 03:37
by Dr Gideon Polya
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: JUSTICE FOR PHILANDO CASTILE
Sunday 18 - 01:03
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
Find out what is true and false about climate change - Kenneth Pouchet
Friday 16 - 17:43
by Kenneth Pouchet
Freedom For Me, But Not You
Wednesday 31 - 02:17
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
Post-Apartheid, non-racist, One State, democratic Palestine can happen tomorrow
Tuesday 30 - 08:21
by Dr Gideon Polya
A Review of Gilad Atzmon’s new book, “Being In Time: The Post-Political Manifes
Wednesday 17 - 21:23
by June Terpstra
Avoiding Another War in North Korea
Sunday 14 - 18:27
by William John Cox
Judah Ben Hur for President 2020
Saturday 13 - 16:15
by William Morgan
ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT FOR DONALD J. TRUMP
Saturday 13 - 02:33
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
As War Party shadow boxes, its agenda surges unopposed
Friday 12 - 14:28
by Daniel Patrick Welch
Yves Bouvier caught in a real estate bankruptcy
Thursday 11 - 20:19
by Pierre Gove
Book: This Is How The State Fucks Your Mind
Tuesday 9 - 19:16
by OAF
ISRAEL’S 1967 ATTACK ON INTELLIGENCE SHIP U.S.S. LIBERTY - THE ONLY MYSTERY
Thursday 20 - 20:06
by JOHN CHUCKMAN

home | webmaster



Follow-up of the site's activity
RSS Bellaciao En


rss FR / rss IT / rss ES



Bellaciao hosted by DRI

Organize, agitate, educate, must be our war cry. Susan B. Anthony
Facebook Twitter Google+
DAZIBAO
I, European citizen, won’t let refugees be rejected in my name
Thursday 10 March
©Olivier Jobard/Myop I, European citizen, won’t let refugees be rejected in my name THE RIGHT TO ASYLUM IS A RIGHT In the phrase « right to asylum », every word matters. Under the law, every person who is persecuted because of his or her political opinions or because of his or her identity, every person that is endangered by violence, war or misery has a RIGHT to seek asylum in another country The aim of this petition is to collect (...)
read more...
Neo-Nazis and far-right protesters in Ukraine 3 live-stream
Friday 24 January
2 comments
The far-right in Ukraine are acting as the vanguard of a protest movement that is being reported as pro-democracy. The situation on the ground is not as simple as pro-EU and trade versus pro-Putin and Russian hegemony in the region. When US Senator John McCain dined with Ukraine’s opposition leaders in December, he shared a table and later a stage with the leader of the extreme far-right Svoboda party Oleh Tyahnybok. This is Oleh Tyahnybok, he has claimed a "Moscow-Jewish mafia" (...)
read more...
Hugo Chavez is dead (video live)
Wednesday 6 March
by : Collective BELLACIAO
1 comment
President Hugo Chavez companeros venezueliano died after a long battle with cancer.
read more...
International initiative to stop the war in Syria Yes to democracy, no to foreign intervention!
Thursday 13 December
Your support here: http://www.peaceinsyria.org/support.php We, the undersigned, who are part of an international civil society increasingly worried about the awful bloodshed of the Syrian people, are supporting a political initiative based on the results of a fact-finding mission which some of our colleagues undertook to Beirut and Damascus in September 2012. This initiative consists in calling for a delegation of highranking personalities and public figures to go to Syria in order to (...)
read more...
THE KU KLUX KLAN ONCE AGAIN CONTROLS INDIANA
Monday 12 November
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
7 comments
At first glance, the results of America’s 2012 election appear to be a triumph for social, racial, and economic justice and progress in the United States: California voters passed a proposition requiring the rich to shoulder their fair share of the tax burden; Two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while Massachusetts approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes; Washington and two other states, Maine and Maryland, legalized same-sex (...)
read more...
I’VE DECIDED TO "WASTE" MY VOTE
Sunday 28 October
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
In a 2004 episode of Comedy Central’s animated series South Park, an election was held to determine whether the new mascot for the town’s elementary school would be a “giant douche” or a “turd sandwich.” Confronted with these two equally unpalatable choices, one child, Stan Marsh, refused to vote at all, which resulted in his ostracization and subsequent banishment from the town. Although this satirical vulgarity was intended as a commentary on the two (...)
read more...
HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART IV
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART III If there is one major inconsistency in life, it is that young people who know little more than family, friends and school are suddenly, at the age of eighteen, supposed to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, because of their limited life experiences, the illusions they have about certain occupations do not always comport to the realities. I discovered this the first time I went to college. About a year into my studies, I (...)
read more...
HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART III
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART IV Disillusioned with the machinations of so-called “traditional” colleges, I became an adjunct instructor at several “for-profit” colleges. Thanks largely to the power and pervasiveness of the Internet, “for-profit” colleges (hereinafter for-profits) have become a growing phenomenon in America. They have also been the subject of much political debate and the focus of a Frontline special entitled College Inc. Unlike traditional (...)
read more...
HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART II
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART III PART IV Several years ago, a young lady came into the college where I was teaching to inquire about a full-time instructor’s position in the sociology department. She was advised that only adjunct positions were available. Her response was, “No thanks. Once an adjunct, always an adjunct.” Her words still echo in my mind. Even as colleges and universities raise their tuition costs, they are relying more and more on adjunct instructors. Adjuncts are (...)
read more...
HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART I
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART II PART III PART IV When The Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution over two hundred years ago, Americans were blessed with many rights considered to be “fundamental.” One conspicuously missing, however, was the right to an education. This was not surprising given the tenor of the times. America was primarily an agrarian culture, and education, especially higher education, was viewed as a privilege reserved for the children of the rich and (...)
read more...
ONE SOLITARY LIFE, PART TWO
Monday 30 July
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
3 comments
If there is one universal question that haunts all human beings at some point in their lives, it is, “Why do we die?” Death, after all, is the great illogic. It ultimately claims all, the rich and the poor, the mighty and the small, the good and the evil. Death also has the capability to make most human pursuits—such as the quest for wealth, fame and power—vacuous and fleeting. Given this reality, I have often wondered why so many people are still willing to (...)
read more...
HOW MUCH CORRUPTION CAN DEMOCRACY ENDURE?
Thursday 28 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
6 comments
How much corruption can a “democracy” endure before it ceases to be a democracy? If five venal, mendacious, duplicitous, amoral, biased and (dare I say it) satanic Supreme Court “justices”—John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy—have their way, America will soon find out. In several previous articles for Pravda.Ru, I have consistently warned how the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision is one of the (...)
read more...
DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS, PART TWO
Tuesday 12 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
1 comment
Imagine, if you will, that the United States government passes a law banning advertisers from sponsoring commercials on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show or Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (Faux) “News” Network. On one hand, there would be two decided advantages to this ban: The National IQ would undoubtedly increase several percentage points, and manipulative pseudo-journalists would no longer be able to appeal to the basest instincts in human nature for ratings and profit while (...)
read more...
DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS
Thursday 7 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
4 comments
LIVE, from the State that brought you Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin voters now proudly present, fresh from his recall election victory, Governor Scott Walker! At first glance, it is almost unfathomable that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have voted to retain Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. This, after all, is a man who openly declared he is trying to destroy the rights of workers through a “divide and conquer” strategy; who received 61% of the (...)
read more...
PEOPLE WITHOUT SOULS
Tuesday 13 March
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
2 comments
A question I’ve frequently been asked since I began writing for Pravda.Ru in 2003 is, “Why did you become disillusioned with the practice of law?” This question is understandable, particularly since, in most people’s minds, being an attorney is synonymous with wealth and political power. I’ve always been reluctant to answer this question for fear it will discourage conscientious and ethical people from pursuing careers in the legal profession—a (...)
read more...