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June 02, 1989 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1989-06-02

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PERSPECTIVES

The Michigan Daily
Argentina:
An aftermath
By Mike Fischer R H
TH EOLE?
"Outsiders may find it odd," wrote and dependence upon world prices for
The New York Times Wednesday, products like beef and grain-both of (4 -'t
May 31, "that food riots are convuls- which collapsed in the early fifties.
ing Argentina, a leading producer of Thirty years and numerous mili- a ,
grains and beef." But, the Times tary dictatorships later, Argentina is i
complacently continues, everything on the verge of an economic catas-
has its explanation: Argentina's un- trophe that makes Peron's problems
willingness to privatize its state sec- in the fifties look like a picnic. Once
tor and discipline its unions explains again, it is the international domi-
inflation, food shortages, a declining nance of the Argentine economy that
tax base, and riots. has spawned the country's troubles.
As is often the case with the Confronting the third largest debt in
Times, the only thing odd is its own Latin America-most of it owed to
skewered vision of reality. It is true private U.S. banks-Argentina finds
that the legacy of Peronism-the itself unable to pay, a "sin" for
mass of social subsidies, entrenched which benevolent lending institu-
unions, state industries, and deficit tions like the International Monetary
spending instituted by Juan Peron in Fund (I.M.F.) are duly "punishing"
the decade after World War II-con- it.
tributed to the current economic cri- The fact that Argentina's current
sis (70% inflation in May alone, not money troubles are an outgrowth of L.,h ers to u
to mention a whopping 90% decline longstanding U.S. resistance to the
in the average real income in the last country's audacious aspirations to
three months). live and produce for itself never
But what such an account ignores seems to get mentioned. The U.S. Mz
is the legacy of neo-colonial domina- was busily transferring accounts
tion of the Argentine economy that away from Argentina as early as r eSpo ds
gave rise to Peronism in the first 1946, only relenting when faced To the Daily:
place, and which goes a long way with the more congenial military Pick a page, any page, and be in-
toward explaining its ongoing ap- dictatorships it steadfastly supported. suited When I thought it couldn't be
peal. Peron began his tenure as a na- So instead of concluding with the donthe Dail ou-did ielf this
tionalist. Nationalism-however re- Times that Argentina not receive aid week in insulting my critical intelli-
actionary and distorted the forms it until it embark upon "privatization," gence Its editors seem to believe
has taken in Argentina-has been until, that is, it ceases "to bleed it- that racism, sexism and homophobia
powerful there because of the legacy self," perhaps we should at least en- are evyhere.
of British and American control over tertain the possibility that privatiza- In large part, I agree. I would
Argentina's railroads and export in- tion itself was part of the initial merel gest that if they continue
frastructure, oil and steel. problem. This is not to excuse the their ksegerk attacks on every "-
It was Peron who nationalized country's many mistakes-or cor- ism" (every one, that is, but leftism)
these industries-paying the British rupt unions. It is, rather, to suggest which they imagine rears its ugly
in particular far more for them than that if Argentina is indeed "bleeding head, they will continue to alienate
they were actually worth-and then itself," it is doing so as a distorted, those who might otherwise wish to
proceeded to pay their workers far albeit understandable, response to the change this rotten society.
more than they made before, dramat- many cuts and bruises administered Yet I have long suspected that the
ically expanding the working by the U.S. and its allies throughout Daily editorial staff is composed of
classes' share of the Argentine pie. If the last century. bored upper middle-class students-
this structure eventually collapsed, it guilty erstwhile conservatives-not
was not so much under its "own Mike Fischer is a member of l, really interested in changing any part
weight" as a consequence of Solidarity, an independent Socia st of society. Were the Gargoyle to read
Argentina's continued subjugation to organization. like Barbaric Yawp, were all us hu-
T\.O. WANTS Tlly 61Vtt AS REASONS on rr1w, mans to pretend that we respect each
1o ouST M WI gAp SUSvRStON of other, then this world (or at least
pftyocpscy Ann Arbor) would become the best
of all possible worlds (or campuses).
Reality is "clearly" not for them:
rather, they want us all to participate
in a vast utopian drama, where the
world is eternally as it should be, in-
stead of the debased spectacle which
we in fact inhabit. They are con-
cerned with changes of content, not
Tgo5 AF * AWe t\Att INMT PY ME FOR of form.
I personally would like to escape
t from everybody's fixed conception of
the world; I wish to form and control
" my own ideas, not to mention my
reality. And I believe that in some
sense the Daily recognizes itself as a
group of (knee-jerk) reactionaries-
thus its constant white middle-class

guilt and self-criticism. As some- praise you because of your genitalia
body once said, those who feel or pigmentation-or more precisely,
guilty usually are. the new roles these imply.
In your reply, dear Editors, please Why can't I love or hate you for
do not concentrate overmuch on the yourself? And-to return to the de-
specific verbiage of those last two fense of the Gargoyle-why do the
sentences. I am referring to a domi- Daily Editors see specific "Others"
nant attitude of your publication. I in these pictures? And because of
could point to the racial/sexual mix this, are they themselves not guilty
of the Gargoyle staff as easily, I am of perpetuating stereotypes? Why
sure, as you could point to that of can't I see society as a totality-all
the Daily editorial staff. taking part in the sickness-and at-
We at the Gargoyle are not con- tack it as such?
cerned with quotas; we deal with This is the job we try to do-
each other as human beings, not as however poorly-at the Gargoyle.
ideologies come to life. Is this We use offensive, corrosive humor,
racist? I hardly know and care even in the hopes that you might look
less. I have never been less than de- twice at all the things and ideologies
cent to those persons whom I have around you, and insult them by
respected-and this respect has not laughing at them.
been based onsex, sexual orienta- We don't tellyou what to think,
tion, or skin color. :as does our Big Brother Daily
Dear Reader: ifa group of self-in- (whose editorials increasingly appear
terested ideologues wishes to label to be written by a machine): rather,
me, should I accept that label any we try to make you think in the first
more seriously than I accept other place. If we jolt you, then we have
roles? done our job well. You may choose
To elaborate: society at large to take this jolt in the brain-as we
wishes that I accept the dominant hope-or in the knee. But that
stereotypes automatically, uncriti- choice is up to you: your anatomy is
cally; demagogues like those at the of no interest to us. Nor your skin
Daily merely want me to exchange color. Nor your sexual preference.
all these stereotypes for a new set. I "Listen to the fool's reproach! it is
must see you as victim and victor, a kingly title" - Blake
passive-aggressive; I must continue
to deal with you through the media- - Rob Romanchuk
tion of sex and race, to denigrate or Gargoyle Magazine

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