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The Need for a New Internationalism, with Jorge Rocha and David Adler

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Hegemonicon - An Investigation Into the Workings of Power
Hegemonicon - An Investigation Into the Workings of Power
The Need for a New Internationalism, with Jorge Rocha and David Adler

The US Left is having an “internationalist moment” stemming from horror at the ongoing Israeli bombardment and ethnic cleansing in Gaza. While it’s encouraging to see Americans showing solidarity with people beyond our own borders, it doesn’t change the fact that bombs continue to fall on Gaza while the Biden administration continues to fund and arm Israel’s genocide in the Gaza Strip. However, solidarity and ideological shift should not overshadow the reality of leftists’ utter inability to restrain US militarism or its clients.

In this episode, host William Lawrence delves into the history, meaning, and importance of internationalism on the US Left. He is joined by David Adler, General Coordinator of the Progressive International, and Jorge Rocha, Co-chair of the Democratic Socialists of America International Committee.

Together they explore the landscape of US foreign policy, the influence of both military and economic policies, and their impact globally. Placing a spotlight on Latin American politics, they highlight left political parties in this region and what the US Left can learn from their experiences.

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[00:00:00] Sound on Tape: This podcast is presented by Convergence, a magazine for radical insights. 

[00:00:07] David Adler: So often in the U S we define foreign policy as war and peace. Basically, we only think about the military industrial complex, and we think about foreign policy as the decision to bomb or not to bomb, division to invade or not to invade, but when you know, when Jorge and I think about foreign policy, we think about questions of financial infrastructure, the dollar system, sanctions, economic embargoes, we think about trade policy.

[00:00:33] And, as Jorge, as you both noted these were things that the US left behind. was thinking about in the nineties around the battle for Seattle. And of course, the emergence of the world social forum, but they’ve fallen off the table.

[00:00:48] William Lawrence: Hello, and welcome to the hedge of Monica, a podcast from convergence magazine. This is a show about social movements and politics strategy and ideology, the immediate present and the rapidly [00:01:00] onrushing future. I’m your host, William Lawrence. I spent my 20s as a member of grassroots social movements, most prominently as a co founder and national leader of Sunrise Movement, the youth organization that put the Green New Deal on the political map.

[00:01:15] Now I’m in my early 30s, trying to make sense of what we’ve collectively learned in this last decade plus of social movements and heightening social crises. I talk with activists and researchers on the left. Exploring the guiding theme of power, what it is, how it’s exercised and how it’s distributed.

[00:01:37] This episode is about internationalism on the U. S. left, and it’s one of a loose ongoing series on what we’re building. Which is just what it sounds like, what we’re building on the U S left today. And one of the things that we’re building, I think is a lot more consciousness around the rest of the world beyond the United States borders and institutions and organizations that can be [00:02:00] building relationships across those borders in solidarity and collaboration with other people’s movements around the globe.

[00:02:07] So I’m thrilled to be joined by two esteemed guests. David Adler, who is the general coordinator of the Progressive International and Jorge Rocha, co chair of the Democratic Socialists of America International Committee. David and Jorge, thank you so much for being here. Why don’t you just begin by introducing yourselves for our listeners?

[00:02:26] We can start with Jorge. 

[00:02:28] Jorge Rocha: Yeah, sure. Thank you for having me, William. My name is Jorge Rocha, as you mentioned my pronouns are they, he, I’m a organizer that lives in New York city, and I’ve mentioned, I am the co chair of the, DSA, the international committee for those that don’t know that the international committee for DSA is essentially the international relations body for the largest social organization in the U S DSA.

[00:02:49] And we act as a kind of diplomatic arm, some basically the equivalent of what many foreign ministries or, in the U S the state department for a political party would be because we [00:03:00] interface with leftist and progressive political parties around the world. And internally, because DSA is a. Big tent, multi tenancy organization.

[00:03:09] There are a lot of different perspectives within the international committee. The name international committee can seem like a misnomer in a sense that, Oh, there’s only like a few people on this committee. There’s a steering committee that have 11 people that have that are appointed by the national political committee, which is the largest, what’s the highest leadership body in DSA.

[00:03:26] And from there, there’s also a bunch of leadership for a variety of different issues, whether it’s America’s Asia, Oceania, so on and so on, that are also appointed by the national political committee. But outside of that, there’s a rank and file membership of the international committee, of which there are hundreds of members.

[00:03:38] I think we’re over at least 800 members right now. And internally, there’s a lot of debate, a lot of disagreement, but the most important aspect that we do is to try to build consensus. So anything that you see the international committee come out with, for the most part is driven through a consensus process driving consensus inside the international committee to be able to reflect all the different [00:04:00] perspectives in DSA, so that we’re.

[00:04:01] Unified around difficult questions. 

[00:04:05] David Adler: Thanks so much for having me as well. My name is David Adler. I’m the co general coordinator of the Progressive International alongside my newly appointed general coordinator who is on her way to The Hague to work with the South African legal team in their genocide case against Israel.

[00:04:21] I’m sure we’ll get into a bit of the politics around Palestine and the U. S. left. I’m calling in now from Mexico City, where I call home when I’m not living in my suitcase. And it’s great to see you. Be with you. I’ve known Will for a long time, and Jorge and I have the chance to work together more recently because we recently welcomed the DSA as a member of our Progressive International, which is a global network of trade unions, political parties, and social movements around the world, a kind of self styled 21st century international that can DSA on the promise of international solidarity, which I think many people who are listening to this program will agree has atrophied as both a conceptual framework, but certainly as a [00:05:00] political practice, and we try to revive this rich centuries old tradition of of worker and peasant and citizen solidarity that I think is to be the foundation of an internationalism in a century defined by high degrees of interdependence and integration and existential threats to, to humanity.

[00:05:19] William Lawrence: Thanks to both of you. Maybe I’ll just offer a few introductory remarks for what’s bringing me to this conversation. I feel like this is. One of the most important conversations we could be having right now, I think it’s safe to say that the U S left is having a, an internationalist moment of sorts especially stemming from horror at the ongoing Israeli bombardment and ethnic cleansing in Gaza.

[00:05:42] However, while it’s encouraging to see us Americans showing solidarity with the people beyond our own borders, because we often haven’t seen that it really doesn’t change the fact that bombs continue to fall on Gaza daily. And the Biden administration continues to fund and arm the [00:06:00] people doing the killing and a leftist utter inability to restrain us militarism or its clients around the world has never been more obvious.

[00:06:10] And. I need to have my vulnerability moment here and admit that I think in my political practice, internationalism has not often been at the forefront. I marched against the Iraq war as a young teenager, and I remember in college feeling really sick when I learned about the U. S. history of coups and anti democratic interventions abroad.

[00:06:30] And I knew from my research on climate change, that the people of the global South were the least responsible and the most at risk. So intellectually, I was aware to some extent of global justice and injustice. But in practice, when I started to really get serious about organizing, and this was around the time of Occupy Wall Street.

[00:06:48] I found it really difficult just to find an internationalist basis for organizing and building power. U. S. foreign policy seemed super untouchable. Everything suggested that we had no [00:07:00] hope of changing it. And as an organizer, I was taught that You don’t organize around an issue where you have no leverage and no chance of winning because nobody’s going to get involved.

[00:07:10] The whole point of organizing as I learned it is to learn how to win because people want, and they need material change. Working class people in the U. S. need something to believe in and fight for now. And how are you going to materially change the U. S. military industrial complex? Good luck. So just perfectly candidly, I think me and my comrades found it easier a lot of the time to ignore foreign policy.

[00:07:35] And we told ourselves that this was also the principled and strategic thing to do. Maybe at some point in the future, we could take over the U. S. government and implement a more humane foreign policy. But the way to take over the U. S. government would be by focusing, perhaps exclusively, on domestic issues.

[00:07:54] And, I think this was really the mainstream left progressive orientation in the [00:08:00] 2010s. Bernie Sanders, to his credit spoke out against U. S. interventionism during his campaigns, and his line on Henry Kissinger in the 2016 primary debate was like, I think, a legendary moment. But I don’t think anybody really Was confused and thought that anti imperialism was the main thrust of the Bernie movement.

[00:08:20] The Bernie movement really stood for New Deal style social democracy. And most of us didn’t want to face the ways that this could continue to be entirely compatible with U. S. American economic and military violence abroad. And I think one could even argue that As I think you suggested that the U. S.

[00:08:40] Left went backwards on internationalism in the 2010s. The left of the nineties was really oriented around trade and global justice. 9 11 was a challenging moment. But even the anti war movement regrouped and became one of the largest U. S. Left movements of the 2000s, especially against the [00:09:00] Iraq war.

[00:09:00] And it seems in hindsight that the anti war movement then lost steam after Obama’s election, and then following the financial crisis, movement energy, grassroots energy in the country really reconstituted around domestic matters. And, this was good. So I don’t want to say that nothing good was happening here.

[00:09:17] Of course, this was where I was shaped and grew, came up as an organizer and we saw new constituencies entering on the left through Occupy, through Black Lives Matter and a revived labor movement. It seems clear that the internationalist lens really did take a backseat. So in sum I would propose that the 2010s social democratic left really had a blind spot around internationalism that we chose not to face.

[00:09:41] For some, this was out of ignorance, but for some it was also out of expedience. Let’s start here. Would you agree with this general assessment of internationalism on the U. S. left in the 2010s? And what were you doing at this time, and what was your view, maybe at that time of some of these questions?[00:10:00] 

[00:10:00] Let’s begin again with Jorge. 

[00:10:02] Jorge Rocha: Yeah, thank you so much for that introductory remarks, William. I think I would agree. Generally, with that assessment for myself in the 2010s, I, so that’s when I was in school. I was both in high school and college. So I think for a lot of people on the left now, particularly if they’re a part of the general millennial thrust into more progressive politics through the Bernie movement there.

[00:10:28] The president that they grew up under was George W. Bush. And obviously everything was with Iraq war and nine 11 and the fallout from Afghanistan really played in the front of people’s minds. Since I’m slightly younger on like in that generation, the president that kind of is on the front of my mind with Barack Obama and my, the entry point for my politics is since my parents were Mexican immigrants and moved to the U S I grew up in Texas, the idea of The U S being this internationalist hub has always been part of me growing up.

[00:10:57] I grew up speaking Spanish. I still speak Spanish [00:11:00] exclusively with my parents. I guess there’s a different perspective that I have that maybe a lot of people in the US left, unfortunately, or fortunately, whatever you want to say, it’s like there is like a overwhelmingly white majority in the US left, which I think there’s a lot of reasons historically, but I think for me, that was always an aspect of my politics in terms of interacting Obama came into office, and I think you astutely pointed out that the anti war movement that occurred post 9 11 and had George W.

[00:11:29] Bush. Lost momentum after Obama got into office. And I don’t think that’s an accident because he ran as Oh, I’m, I was against the Iraq war. I was against I’m against the continual militarism that the U. S. has been doing. And once he was in power, I think it’s very clear that this is not what he was doing.

[00:11:49] And he very much persisted that through other means. And particularly with this current moment. What’s going on in Gaza and then also what’s happened everywhere else in the world, Ukraine’s another [00:12:00] example, a lot of what’s happened in the past few years in terms of general instability, it’s really come like really came to this understanding revelation for myself that really Obama set the stage for a lot of the current situation.

[00:12:16] If you look at say what happened since the instability in Africa, Obama was the one that really set up AFRICOM the military command for the U. S. military abroad. If you look at say what happened in Ukraine, a lot of what happened in terms of the past few years in terms of NATO expansion, what have you, and which, we can get into, but point is like that happened under Obama, same thing with the quote, pivot to China, pivot to Asia regarding everything going on in China.

[00:12:42] And the geopolitical tensions with respect to that, everything with respect to what’s going on in Israel and Palestine right now, like Obama really set the tone for that. And especially given like the back and forth with Iran again, I think the Iran deal was good, but nonetheless, it’s like, it’s still, we have to, we do have [00:13:00] to keep that in mind.

[00:13:00] And in fact, like most people don’t know, for example, say Venezuela, the first sanctions against Venezuela did not happen under Trump, but actually had started under Obama. So I do think it’s like important to reckon with that, that the background stage of that, of what our current moment happened in Obama.

[00:13:14] So when I, going back to say what I was doing, like the reason I really emphasize that is like my first kind of like awareness of my internationalist and anti war anti imperialist politics really had to do with the revelation that came about under Obama. So for instance, there’s like the Chelsea Manning revelations with wiki leaks, there’s the Edward Snowden revelations, which I think is with quite profound.

[00:13:37] In my thinking, and I know for a lot of people, because there is a line of thinking among the U. S. left that existed for a long time, I think it’s less and less but the idea that, oh all governments are bad, so on and so on, and there’s, we can all have our critiques of power, and I think that’s very reasonable, but nonetheless, the revelation that there’s very sophisticated, international, global surveillance [00:14:00] apparatus that surveils the entire world, Is a, we will joke about, oh, the FBI agent, it’s look, reading this message or what have you.

[00:14:08] But that’s actually a very profound shift in people’s understanding of the world, that there’s like a, it’s basically the contours that there is. One empire that’s like surveilling everybody, and I think it’s hard to escape that. 

[00:14:24] David Adler: Yeah, I think it’s important to just start off, Will, by emphasizing that your feeling, your impulse, your perception is a well established academic.

[00:14:34] Fact that if you look at the different arenas of policymaking in the United States, if you think about domestic issues, education, health they are much more responsive to public opinion than than foreign policy is. We have this impenetrable fortress that is foreign policy and I think we’ll get into a bit of that why, specifically in the U.

[00:14:54] S. And so I want to start also by noting that. Discrepancy between foreign [00:15:00] domestic response, democratic responsiveness is a global phenomenon. Foreign policy is the last arena around the world to be democratized, whether we’re talking about Brazil or Chile, India, Pakistan, it doesn’t matter. This is the last arena of policymaking that’s dominated by men in suits, where speaking French in dark corridors that most citizens will never see.

[00:15:23] If you take the case of Brazil, for example, Brazil still has this deeply intensive some would say racist classist training to enter into Itamarachi, the foreign ministry, where you have to speak English and French to qualify. So it’s always skewed in this direction. And I think it’s helpful not to digress into an even longer historical trajectory, but to remember what foreign ministries do, what the world of diplomacy is.

[00:15:46] This comes out of a world in which. international relations, or the relations between empires, and therefore are about the circuitry of extraction, imports and exports. And when we think about the [00:16:00] what a foreign ministry does, and has done for centuries, the primary goal of foreign ministry is to facilitate commercial relations between countries.

[00:16:10] It’s not to facilitate mutual understanding cooperation between peoples. And so it’s always a challenge. It’s always storming the castle when we talk about foreign ministry. And it’s not a coincidence that even when we look at friendly governments with which, Jorge and I work they’re often the first to give away the foreign ministry to the right, to conservative forces, to establishment forces, because they didn’t want to fight all those fights.

[00:16:34] And because the deeply entrenched. Broadly obscured, difficult to access establishment. And so when we think about the barriers to international in the United States, certainly one of them is cultural, I’ve experiences going to Washington and saying, there’s a Outright fascist is running for president in Chile.

[00:16:53] Can you tweet something and then saying where’s Chile again? Just like there is a deep educational [00:17:00] problem. I don’t think we should understate the crisis of ignorance about world affairs, which is written into our textbooks and written into the DNA of our kind of exceptionalists.

[00:17:10] Narrative that we don’t have to think about the rest of the world, which is a privilege that’s highly structured. And we can talk about that a bit later that, Jorge’s mentioned. So part of it’s cultural, part of it’s political. So how many times have I worked with friendly MPs or members of Congress like Rashida Tlaib, for example, and her foreign policy person will say, look we’ve used up all of our foreign policy political capital.

[00:17:33] this month. If we tweet one more thing about Columbia, we’ll get hit with a ratio. Why don’t you care about what’s happening in your own constituency? So there’s a political idea that there’s a zero sum relationship between how much our politics can attend to foreign issues and how much they can tend to domestically, which of course strikes at the very core of the issue.

[00:17:53] Concept the very definition of solidarity, which is not charity. It’s not an afterthought. It’s the [00:18:00] notion that because of the deep interdependent nature of our global economy and politics, the things that we do here affect the things that happened there and vice versa. It’s the notion that doing well, this comes out of the old workers idea of international solidarity that you know, if we can set up an eight hour workday In this country, if they’re still working 16 hours a day over there, that’s going to erode our bargaining power in our own country because now we’re locked in a zero sum battle between more easily exploited workers and less easily exploited workers.

[00:18:31] And so we have to raise worker protections together. So that’s the idea of solidarity. It’s just not popular in the U. S. And there’s a political addiction To the zero sum idea of U. S. Empire, where we only win by them losing the idea of mutually beneficial growth is really tough to resolve or accommodate within a certain global economic paradigm in which The [00:19:00] price of our consumer goods depends on the exploitation of those workers.

[00:19:03] So there’s also a political idea that every word I give to my constituency is a word I don’t give abroad, and every word abroad I give is a word I don’t give at home. But the most challenging one, which now you both have alluded to, is the institutional barriers to internationalism, which is the, Hyper trophy of our security state, it’s a shame that the trumpets have made the concept of a deep state somewhat partisan in nature because that is exactly what we have.

[00:19:30] And as I was saying before, that’s something that other countries also have a deep state. But if you look at how our, it’s not just from an activist perspective, right? Also from a congressional one, people are shit scared of yeah. The security apparatus, they do not want to fight those fights, not because they can’t be one, but because they’re deeply scared.

[00:19:49] And because the vengeful nature, the independent mind, the independent logic of that, it’s just not going to respond to domestic violence. Priorities and then when I talk about the [00:20:00] institutional nature, I’m also talking about simple things. This summer in August, I organized this delegation for a few members of Congress.

[00:20:06] AOC, Greg Casar, Native of Alaska is among them. And, the amount of. Ethics paperwork, the amount of confrontation with these institutions that basically serve to constrain and to strike fear into the hearts and minds of our representatives. It’s just huge. Now I can call a Congress person from Spain.

[00:20:28] I’m doing it now, right? Because we’re talking on the precipice or on the eve of this ICJ case. And so I’m trying to bring some people to come support the South African case in the Hague. I can call a member of Congress in Britain. In Belgium, in Colombia, in Spain, and I could say, Hey, hop on a plane and go to the Hague and stand up for what you believe in.

[00:20:50] And they can just do that. They don’t have to, work through these institutional processes that have the presentation of due diligence and [00:21:00] legitimacy. And in some ways, sure, you can argue that a lot of this legislation, like the Foreign Agents Registration Act, FARA, which is a tremendous unprecedented legislation that basically says basically criminalizes solidarity work, says if you are working too closely or too deeply with foreign governments you are, accused of whatever, not just double loyalties, but you’re actually breaking the law.

[00:21:20] We have these institutional barriers, and that’s without even going into questions of, economic sanctions and embargoes that literally criminalize any kind of friendships or solidarity. And so these, the cultural political institutional barriers to internationalism in the U S are very closely related, right?

[00:21:38] Why is there an embargo against Cuba? One of my personal opinions is even forgetting the Florida calculation that’s, electoral is that people just don’t know. They’ve never been there. They don’t know enough Cubans. They don’t know what the consequences of U. S. actions are, and that’s because we don’t let them go there.

[00:21:56] And that’s, again, before we get to questions of North Korea, right? Which is [00:22:00] another for most people, if you listen to the blowback season podcast about what happened in the Korean War. That blows people’s minds, because not Yeah, 

[00:22:09] William Lawrence: I thought that the Korean War was one of the good wars, honestly.

[00:22:11] I don’t know where I got that, but that was just the impression I grew up with. 

[00:22:15] David Adler: Yeah. And part of me resolves to this kind of very, psychedelic, freer mind view of the U. S. last relationship, international issues, which is just we’ve got to talk about these things more.

[00:22:25] They’re so scandalous and I can reach into my bag of issues as can Jorge of the most scandalous issues that relate to the U. S. and abroad, but my personal education wasn’t even in the U. S. I never wanted to really work in the U. S. I still hate working in the U. S. It’s just such a hostile and like I said, hypertrophic institution that bears down and prevents any kind of freedom of action and expression around what our own representatives can say.

[00:22:53] It’s a deeply anti democratic system when it comes to this arena of policymaking called foreign policy. But mine was mostly in Europe. [00:23:00] And Europe has many of its own problems, deep political pathologies, certainly today is a very different Europe than the one I was working in, which was Europe at the height of its kind of left populist moment, things felt very open, but also because the nature of European integration.

[00:23:15] Europe has become a kind of laboratory for thinking about these questions of international integration and cooperation. When do international institutions because they install a certain market logic, impede the expression of solidarity between peoples? When do they enable it? When does education exchange facilitate the formation of a consolidated transnational bourgeoisie that’s just going to basically rule over the continent of Europe?

[00:23:39] Or when does it facilitate intercultural understanding that can enable people to really think and talk together. That was one, that was a one major arena where I learned a lot. And then, of course, coming to Latin America which for people listening, I think is probably the best entryway to make sense for the U.

[00:23:53] S. left to grapple both with the legacy of U. S. influence. I don’t even hesitate to call it legacy with [00:24:00] the actuality, with the present nature of the U. S. architecture of influence, imperial influence, I won’t hesitate to say, but also for these questions of international integration. So how does a region looking to its northern neighbor, which is temporarily, for the moment at least, indispensable for its economic survival, We’ll get into that, whether that’s a sure thing in the long term, but grappling with questions of how you build a more resilient and autonomous region, and then how you confront a northern neighborhood that’s basically determined to divine and conquer, with a name that it proudly bestows to that doctrine, the Monroe Doctrine.

[00:24:36] And that’s also been a very powerful question. Powerful way from here in Mexico in Central America, which is an even more fraught, even more colonized to this day, kind of region where U. S. Influence is even more malign where we literally have, if you go to Honduras, the U.

[00:24:51] S. Southern command is just walking around as if they own the place. The U. S. Ambassadors giving instructions to these governments as if it’s, Yeah. Theodore [00:25:00] Roosevelt’s rough riders. So let’s stick here with Latin America for a second, David. 

[00:25:03] William Lawrence: Just because I agree that if you’re on the left and you’re looking for a positive vision from the U.

[00:25:08] S. of how socialist movements can contend for power and transform society, that is the place to be looking for a positive vision. It’s very uneven, very unfinished, very fraught. Very contingent. It would seem the right wing is very mobilized and powerful all across land America, but the left political parties also really are throwing punches and winning with deep roots and labor and indigenous communities in many of these countries, they’ve won victories that we in the U.

[00:25:37] S can really only dream of. And much of your work is also there. And you live there in Mexico City. So what would you say are like just what The, what should the U S left be paying attention to when it looks not just at U S foreign relations with Latin America, but also the Latin American left itself and what it’s done with its conditions.[00:26:00] 

[00:26:02] David Adler: So there’s a optimistic and a pessimistic view here, and I think it’s critical to toggle between them the pessimistic view. The pessimistic view is that if you really take stock of the full architecture of U. S. empire and Latin America, it is, it’s overwhelming. We have so many three letter agencies.

[00:26:23] We have a whole military command. We have military bases. We have our our embassies. They’re installed to influence and undermine allies. Government is very difficult to see how to dismantle all that in the short term, especially when we see how movements that have directly targeted that targeted those institutions.

[00:26:43] Take the Bolivarian Revolution or even Eva Morales, right? We, you’ll your listeners will remember when the Biden administration hosted the Summit for Democracy which was our great virtual convening to try to revive democracy from its deathbed to a more robust place. And we didn’t invite [00:27:00] Bolivia.

[00:27:00] As if as if they were not a real democracy in some way, even though we were the ones who orchestrated the coup against Amarillo, so even bracketing that. So the pessimistic way would just say this is so big and so much bigger than people realize, because so often in the U. S., we define foreign policy as war and peace.

[00:27:18] Basically, we only think about the military industrial complex, and we think about foreign policy as the decision to bomb or not to bomb, division to invade or not to invade, but when, when Jorge and I think about foreign policy, we think about questions of financial infrastructure, the dollar system, sanctions, economic embargoes, we think about trade policy.

[00:27:38] And, as Jorge, as you both noted these were things that the US left was thinking about in the 90s around the That’ll for Seattle and of course the emergence of the world social forum. But they’ve fallen off the table, and I think mostly through the Iraq war and the Afghanistan war, this experience of kind of really raw, hot war we’ve let these other issues slip away from our understanding of what foreign policy is and [00:28:00] I, I, this comes also out of my experience working on that Bernie campaign in 2020 on the foreign policy team where I was saying, guys, foreign policy is what are we doing with the World Bank and the IMF?

[00:28:08] What are we doing with special drawing rights? What are we doing with these questions that Will determine the future and the fate of the lives and livelihoods of billions of people around the world. No, but foreign policy is mostly about what we do in Israel, Palestine, foreign policies about whether we withdraw from Afghanistan, but it’s a much bigger view.

[00:28:22] So the pessimistic idea is if you really take account of U. S. Foreign policy in Latin America, it’s just so big. The more optimistic view is that the smallest changes can affect the largest outcomes. There’s so much there for us to unwind for us to unpick for us to reform. Even simple stuff, like I remember this summer after our delegation, we succeeded to, to declassify some of the basic really narrow documents, presidential briefings around the U.

[00:28:48] S. role in the 1973 coup against Salvador Allende in Chile. This was a huge gesture of international friendship solidarity outreach that meant, not just meant a [00:29:00] lot sentimentally, but really served to document and solidify historical record that indeed the U. S. Administration was, was involved in and knew very clearly about the timing of this coup.

[00:29:10] And so there’s all these. There’s lots of low hanging fruit that comes to the application of certain promises. I’ll give another example just for the sake of it. Joe Biden, on the campaign trail, he promises to abolish and to put an end to this system of secretive arbitration courts that allow corporations to take states to punitive courts that are run by corporate judges and corporate arbitrators to pursue billions of dollars in compensation for any legislation that prohibits or impinges on their profit margins.

[00:29:44] So let’s say Through our free trade architecture, I’m Argentina, and I want to raise my minimum wage. If I’m a corporation that relies on the exploited labor of our design workers, I can then say you took away my profits. Now pay me back X billions of dollars. Now, Joe Biden promised to do away with this system, [00:30:00] which, you know, whatever we want to say about his record on labor.

[00:30:02] I guess he has some kind of heart for workers, but just hasn’t done it right. And so there’s all this room to basically say, Okay, we’re gonna do it. Pick these battles. That are going to make a difference in millions of people’s lives and think about how we can win those battles. I’ll turn to Horry to say a bit about, you know what he thinks we can also learn from some of the Latin American movements and parties and unions with which the DSA has been involved in recent years.

[00:30:26] Jorge Rocha: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And I think I agree with pretty much everything David said in terms of a different perspective on how do we approach international relations and foreign policy? To suggest that we as citizens of the United States are simply working with if we just focus on domestic issues and just focus on the militaristic elements of our government is simply short sighted because of and people don’t know.

[00:30:50] And I think really the question people should have to ask those who don’t know or aren’t familiar is just ask them why do you think? Say, for example, the city I live [00:31:00] in, New York City, why do you think that New York City has the most financial power in the world? And I think it’s not so much of our education is kind is, doesn’t teach people the historical process of how societies develop.

[00:31:16] And it’s not an accident that there is such a large concentration of financial. Power in the United States and also other countries like the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and it’s intimately tied with the development of those countries and also how they’ve interacted and frankly exploited many other countries and nations around the world.

[00:31:38] And so when you bring up, say the world bank or the IMF, all of that is intimately tied. Allegedly the world bank is the bank for the whole world and for international development. And, very organized very organizational nations are a part of it. And yeah, exactly. Who appoints the president every time.

[00:31:56] So I think that’s a really important [00:32:00] understanding people don’t have. And to move on, to move on to the question with Latin America, there are so many lessons to, to be, that needs to be learned from different parts in the Americas, because something I’ve started to say recently is people in the U S there’s a lot of reasons for this, look towards a Europe, for example, in terms of progressive changes, but and because a lot of the population that the U S has their origin in Europe, but the United States of America is in the Americas.

[00:32:27] So maybe. We should learn from the experiments that are happening in the Americas for the American context now it’s and I think there is way much more similarity with the U. S. to other countries like Brazil or Mexico than many people in the U. S. Realize because I know just ward has been used a lot recently, but the history of how the colonization of the Americas and the, the discovery quote unquote of the new world, how all these nations came about has to do with the process [00:33:00] of settler colonialism and all these countries have their roots in that process.

[00:33:05] And just because say countries like Brazil or Mexico tend to be, less. White in terms of the skin color of people, their origin. A lot of people, for example, myself, I’m like misty. It’s like basically means mixed. But the whole point there is that I’m mixed with the European descendants and indigenous and also African and other things.

[00:33:23] But if you look at a country like Brazil, it’s a really good example of this. And I think a lot of liberals in the U S kind of fall into this trap that I think is like, why I think a lot of the far right points to not entirely, but I think they do point to say this idea, this insane idea of the great replacement.

[00:33:41] But I think many liberals, frankly, I think argue a similar. Theory, but say that’s good that, Oh, it’s good that say Brown people are replacing white people because it means the more progressive, which I think is a little racist to be frank, because that, that, people of color are not monolithic like anyone else.

[00:33:58] And but if you look at say [00:34:00] Brazil, there are all these like really complex, like class relationship regarding race, because the majority of Brazil are not like what you would consider white. And yet there is racism. And yet there’s these caste systems by, by all this. And it’s it. It’s not going to simply be solved through just like the changing demographics.

[00:34:18] And in fact, like if you look at, say, people who put Bolsonaro into power, a lot of them are people who originally European descent, but a lot of it has to do with the economic relationship that they have with respect to what they would gain if Bolsonaro got into power. And also, social issues.

[00:34:34] So there’s I think lessons with respect to that. But also with respect to how to build power. We mentioned Bolivia the fact that there was a coup in Bolivia is very common in the history of Latin America with respect to us and involvement in intervention. But what is unusual is the fact that The Bolivian people reverse that.

[00:34:52] And I think there’s actually a quite big lesson there. If there’s an organic worker people movement [00:35:00] of changing the government through organization and activism and intentional movement building, that’s hard to dislodge because when you do that, you can also reverse that if it’s sophistically, sophist, sufficiently Organized and unified.

[00:35:17] William Lawrence: I think the question that we would need to ask then on another podcast is you, if we were to establish a baseline of greater awareness of some of these Latin American societies, the class relations, the relation, the race relations, how they’ve been interplaying with the sort of U S economic and some military domination over the years, and then reckon with the really high level development of Latin American left and progressive social movements so that they can accomplish something like what was accomplished in Bolivia, or they can, Lula can come back from prison and be able to then defeat Bolsonaro in an election, repel the coup actually the Bolsonaro January eight coup and then.

[00:35:59] [00:36:00] Actually go on the offensive in the legal terrain, which the Democrats have refused to do here. Having established some greater awareness about these kinds of questions, we would then need to ask okay, what is the same and what is different about the class composition, the racial composition, the power blocks in the U S what is different about being in, one might say the core rather than the periphery.

[00:36:20] And then what does that mean about what kind of movements and social formations are possible here are less possible here because a different composition, but we could untangle some of that. And maybe we’ll get back to some of that a little bit towards the end when we talk about the way forward for the U.

[00:36:34] S. left.

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[00:37:25] William Lawrence: I want to do a little tour around some other parts of the globe that have been at issue in U. S. politics over the last couple of years. And we want to Pick up the conversation about U S economic policy, which has been a hot topic under the Biden administration. And how it relates in particular to China.

[00:37:43] Biden’s build back better agenda. If we go back to 2021, when. Lots of people were very excited about this, myself included really did take up, I think in fairness, a lot of Sanders and Elizabeth Warren’s domestic policy and intended to pass it in this sort of [00:38:00] revival of U. S. social democracy.

[00:38:01] And he was mostly thwarted by Manchin and Sinema. However, Mansion and cinema do not bear full responsibility. Mansion really, it bears a lot. But Biden was also a party from the beginning in filtering the Bernie Warren agenda even further through the prism of U. S. American competitiveness and economic patriotism.

[00:38:25] And what resulted was that of the Bernie’s 17 trillion Green New Deal package, that was filtered down into Biden’s 4 trillion Build Back Better, and then we got, 400 billion or what have you with the Inflation Reduction Act, but the provisions that made it through the Biden filter and then the Manchin filter were the ones that really intended to benefit U.

[00:38:51] S. manufacturing. Especially at the expense of the Chinese, the entire green transition was steered in the direction [00:39:00] of great power competition, rather than as a mandate for a new global collaboration to decarbonize and halt climate change, which many people are calling for instead. And, from the accounts I’ve read, Biden’s advisors and the democratic policy elite really came to see pro USA, anti Chinese industrial policy as a necessary step after 2016, which scared the shit out of them, to reverse the U.

[00:39:31] S. manufacturing downturn caused by globalization, which they Believed contributed to the rise of Trump. Now regardless of whether it did contribute, which we probably did now is the solution to move into a new stance of geopolitical economic competitiveness, which also by the way, is military competitiveness.

[00:39:51] And they say all this stuff in the same sentence. And Biden, what we can say for sure is that Biden and Congress’s actions and rhetoric on this front have clearly [00:40:00] escalated, contributed to escalating tensions with China and empowered a lot of, hawkish personalities on the Chinese side as well, who were in dialogue in a maybe downward spiral with some of our, our hawkish elements in the Biden administration and the economic competitiveness crowd in Congress.

[00:40:18] So what’s your view of Biden’s green industrial policy and its international consequences over these last several years? 

[00:40:26] David Adler: So I think you point to a really important misunderstanding. Even naivete that I think pervaded the majority of the U. S. left for so many years, which was the idea that post neoliberalism, the thing that came, the paradigm that came after was going to be green, was going to be equitable, was going to be democratic, and was going to be peaceful.

[00:40:50] And these were the main delusions of the post neoliberal paradigm. And in the past few years we’ve seen the big foundations, Hewlett, Soros, invest [00:41:00] like tens of millions of dollars into research on this new paradigm, thinking very quixotically that it was going to be better than the last thing. But as you rightly point out, we’re seeing in post neoliberalism.

[00:41:14] It’s not a coincidence, by the way, it was Jake Sullivan who delivers the speech about post neoliberalism, right? It’s the National Security Advisor who’s articulating the new paradigm. This is one that’s geared towards great power conflict. It’s geared towards sustained domination, not just of our hemisphere but, towards a more global NATO.

[00:41:32] Approach. And it’s one about, friend shoring, basically driving more fragmentation. So obviously, those are disappointing. It’s disappointing for to see as many of our allies celebrating this green transition because of the long standing perception that green politics is always watermelon.

[00:41:49] In nature, it’s always going to have a red component there. But as we’re seeing now with the introduction of biodynamics, this is largely a program of subsidies and giveaways to a capitalist [00:42:00] class that doesn’t care at all about workers rights. And of course, we’re seeing that work. If I’m not mistaken you know much better than I do.

[00:42:05] Migrating to states that have, right to work legislation that’s not at all favorable to unionization. So that’s something that domestic I think what’s most frustrating and this goes to Jorge’s point about the sort of global imperial architecture that we often overlook for convenient reasons, is that this is not a paradigm shift that we are happy to see worldwide.

[00:42:29] So let’s just take the energy charter. So recently the energy charter, which is very constraining in terms of how much the state can intervene to provide. Subsidies were never for the green transition. We’ve seen European countries leave this wholesale to say, Okay, we’re not part of this energy charter because it has these ISDS provisions.

[00:42:45] Remember, I was mentioning this private arbitration courts were corporations and capitalists can sue countries, but we’re not letting the global South do that. We’re not letting the rest of the words rules for the and not for me. It’s one of the highest points of [00:43:00] exception that I’ve seen in my lifetime is the way in which we talk about the green transition.

[00:43:06] We talk about its urgency. We talk about the compatibility of the green transition and middle class prosperity, and we do everything in our power to prevent that from happening. Jennifer Granholm, who is the former 

[00:43:17] William Lawrence: governor here in Michigan, who’s the secretary of energy. She goes around the country and she talks about American energy.

[00:43:24] Dominance. American energy dominance. And she didn’t come up with that phrase, but this is what they say all the time. And what, how are people supposed to hear that when this is what our top policymakers are saying? What do you think? Dominance is totally. 

[00:43:38] David Adler: Yeah. And I guess look at our closest neighbors, right?

[00:43:40] So Mexico, Honduras, these are two countries that went to great lengths to nationalize the grid to take back some energy sovereignty, which is a precondition to basically any form of serious dealing with a green transition. You’re not going to bargain with Exxon and Chevron about how to make sure you have a just and equitable and rapid green transition.

[00:43:57] And we just went after them like crazy. We [00:44:00] called them petro populists for wanting to take back control of natural resources, which by the way, in this country, Mexico is a constitutional provision, longstanding, over a century old. The second that Honduras, the government of Xiomara Castro central left, progressive government, has said, we want to take back our grid.

[00:44:15] The U. S. Trade rep was like, absolutely not. You don’t do that. And that’s before we get to questions of, Laura Richardson, chief of the Southern Command, going around Latin America and basically it is also happening in Congress, threatening countries that dare to do exchanges of critical resources and minerals.

[00:44:31] With with China or with Russia, whom we accuse of malign influence while overlooking our own or what’s happening right now, which is a way too complex issue to get into. But, flying or doing military exercises with Guyana, which famously has discovered one of the largest reserves of light, sweet crude, as Laura Richardson wants us to know off the, of the South American coast.

[00:44:51] So yeah. What’s frustrating and what we need to break, I think, from the US left is to say we can’t be celebrating the arrival of a [00:45:00] new post liberal green friendly paradigm while doing everything in our power to prevent countries in the South from leveling up in their own way and in for investing their own resource, trying to, for example, keep more of the lithium production chain. Trying to. Make sure that the resources that are extracted domestically are not exported as raw materials, but that are upgraded. So that there’s higher revenues to be reinvested in a green transition. These are basic questions of development dependency that have been around for decades and decades and still are unresolved, even though they’re not so fashionable to talk about anymore.

[00:45:33] I think we’re seeing dependency theory reemerge in academic annals, but certainly less politically. We’re still convinced Oh, yeah, Tough shit. We have the structural power to do what we want with our resources. And you don’t. And sorry. So I think that’s, I think that’s the point that we have to grapple with is the is the hypocrisy of it 

[00:45:52] William Lawrence: or is there anything you’d like to add on that?

[00:45:56] Jorge Rocha: Yeah, I think a lot of what David said resonates with [00:46:00] me and I definitely agree with it. What I would want to add on to what David just mentioned. Is you mentioned the inflation reduction act, and there is a very important component in terms of, and it’s going to be, if you, if your listeners would be fine with going on a little bit of a journey in terms of the development of how a lot of bills in, in, in like Congress can develop and play in together can actually really explain the context of the inflation reduction act in terms of say, this like this.

[00:46:28] I mentioned before, like energy dominance and how it’s all intimately connected with this larger project. People are aware of the inflation reduction act, but if you remember actually within hours of the inflation reduction act being like announced that there was a deal that had come about that it was like the secret negotiations.

[00:46:43] Maybe if you remember people who were following along shortly before that, there was the passing of the chips and science act. And the chips and science act is actually quite important with respect to if you’re talking about, say, a green industrial policy, energy sovereignty and things like that.

[00:46:59] You [00:47:00] do need a sophisticated semiconductors industry. The investment and research for that because a lot of like how energy, clean energy works in terms of batteries and things of that nature. Solar panels are require a resilient and sophisticated technology infrastructure. Now, it’s important here.

[00:47:19] It’s like the chips and science act is not, Seems very nice on its face in terms of Oh further development in terms of subsidies for chip manufacturing, investment tax credit for manufacturing equipment, more for semiconductor research and work phase workforce training, as well as supply chain resilience, but the origin of this act actually has an interesting history.

[00:47:37] Like in 2019, Chuck Schumer and Todd young introduced an app call in 2019, right before COVID an act called, I’m not kidding. The act was called endless frontier act. Now, if if you know anything about the history of the U S in terms of the way the frontier is played it’s a little not it doesn’t resonate well.

[00:47:54] And in fact, it was specifically made for high tech research infrastructure, high tech research. [00:48:00] Relevant to us national security. And at the same time, there was an other bill that basically the illness frontier act morphed into what became known as the United States innovation and competition act.

[00:48:11] And this was in 2021. And actually the international committee wrote a statement in 2021 condemning like this legislation, because we explicitly saying that this is fueling a new cold war against China. Explicitly what we said there was, like, for example, is this one of the main quote, I’m quoing from our statement.

[00:48:28] One of the most concerning aspects of this legislation is the creation of a permanent federal bureaucracy directed towards combating China. Throughout the bill, there are multiple calls for the establishment of 90 to 180 day reports to Congress and various federal agencies on the progress and planning of anti-Chinese efforts throughout industries and regions of the world.

[00:48:46] The creation of a permanent federal bureaucracy for anti-Chinese imperial’s activity. Create a permanent constituency within the federal government for opposing and antagonizing China. This is part of again, this is part of the [00:49:00] act of creating semiconductor research within it includes like this of Oh, we need basically the entire thrust of it is like basically trying to create infrastructure that is in contrast and opposed to say the semiconductor industry that exists in China and to try to.

[00:49:16] The U. S. Innovation and Competition Act, that was like the one that existed in the Senate. The House version was the America Compete Act in 2022. This morphed to be the Chips and Signs Act. And so that is what passed. And in fact, that is like the the, when people talk about the semiconductor research, that is this is the context of that happening now within hours of that announced that this passed, suddenly we have this announcement of the inflation reduction act or the IRA that we’re talking about now.

[00:49:45] And everything that David said in terms of that is completely correct. And so if you have this morphing of this kind of like development of industrial policy with respect to both technology, but that also with respect to say, green green infrastructure, then within that, you still are [00:50:00] very much within the same political economic bounds of what, 

[00:50:03] William Lawrence: you 

[00:50:04] Jorge Rocha: know David and I would argue it’s like an imperialist kind of model.

[00:50:07] The 

[00:50:07] William Lawrence: fact that they would talk about creating a permanent constituency for, what was it, antagonism of China or something within the federal government, it really speaks also to that deep establishment piece that David was talking about, that this is how they think about you’re creating a bureaucratic entity that is going to be permanently Entrenched and shielded in some sense that then is going to take on the task of pursuing this mission, which is antagonism.

[00:50:32] And I got to just admit that again, I think, my, my work was on the green new deal with sunrise and was doing a lot of work in these spaces that, then funneled into build back better and ultimately the IRA. And I want to be very clear that we were never fighting for the IRA.

[00:50:45] We were fighting for, something much more like Bernie’s build back, better bill. That’s the one that we helped write. And I wish we had gotten it. And that being said, I do think we just accepted a lot of this stuff. We swallowed a lot of this stuff, line and sinker around the [00:51:00] American competitiveness piece.

[00:51:01] And it, it got wrapped up in the whole we’re talking about workers again, we’re talking about us labor again, and that all like under a pro labor headline pro us labor we’re A lot of us, I think, accepted that oh, and there’s a little bit of like rhetoric about like how it’s yes, up, up to U.

[00:51:20] S. workers down to foreign adversaries taking our jobs. And we accepted that stuff. But now that it’s not just rhetoric and it’s become policy, it’s very frightening. And the consequences are obviously incredibly real. So I think that this just speaks to how serious this this is.

[00:51:34] This blind spot was and the real life consequences, not that we maybe could have prevented it, but it’s just, it’s been very sobering. And my own role in that has been one of the biggest things that has led me down this path of wanting to take this internationalism stuff seriously, especially where it just becomes a matter of economic and trade policy.

[00:51:51] Jorge Rocha: I do totally hear that. I will say there is a bit of a contradiction with the inflation reduction act, because I’m the everything, obviously I agree with this, but on the other hand, [00:52:00] there is this element that is because of passing, it actually allows for the development of inflation. Clean energy infrastructure in a way that had not existed before.

[00:52:10] And in fact, the bill here in New York, the bill public renewables act that was pushed by a DSA that got passed here in New York, the first place that we’re can actually be development of public energy infrastructure is possible because of the inflation reduction act. So it’s a bit of a interesting kind of contradiction.

[00:52:29] Cause on the one, yeah, we’re here today. saying it’s coached in the language of like us militarism and imperialist infrastructure. But on the other hand, we do need to do something with respect to climate change. So it is a contradictory position. 

[00:52:40] William Lawrence: That’s where I’ve said I think I feel very proud of what we’ve done with that.

[00:52:43] And the U S left had its fingerprints all over that bill. I did another episode with Adrian Salazar of grassroots global justice and temps a high, where we were talking about this and some of the more upsides of it, but the extent to which it’s been Celebrated in an unqualified manner.

[00:52:57] And there are many people in the climate and energy space who are just [00:53:00] completely unwilling to even acknowledge that there are pernicious consequences happening here, I think is where we really need to draw the line and commit to examining this all further, we’re not going to get to nearly as.

[00:53:13] The number of topics that I would love to in the course of this podcast. So why don’t we just take this to, okay. So I think without getting into the details about about Gaza or about Ukraine, which I think both are very interesting topics. Both are very interesting for different reasons. Gaza, I think has shown a heartening level of unity among.

[00:53:34] The U S left, although with some caveats, while Ukraine was, I think, a much more confusing and confounding moment for many of us, even while the ruling class was totally unified in support of Ukraine. Let’s do that on on another show. And for now, just I’ll ask for Those who are going on this journey, we’re seeing, okay, it’s not just militarism, it’s economic policy and trade policy.

[00:53:59] It’s this history of [00:54:00] primacy. It’s the, don’t call it the deep state, but we could maybe say a deep establishment that is fully entrenched in, the quote unquote blob of American foreign policy. For those of us Who are really comprehending that and wanting to incorporate that into our politics.

[00:54:16] Where do we start and from the perspective also of, being organizers who want to build power. And we’ve got a lot that we need to fight for domestically when it comes to labor rights and racial justice and indigenous sovereignty and all of the movements. Be carbonization, all the movements that, we were already fighting for in the 2010s, needing to bring that internationalist lens much more deeply.

[00:54:39] Where do we start? Why don’t you could just take that in whichever direction you want, maybe starting with Jorge. 

[00:54:45] Jorge Rocha: Sure. Join DSA but sincerely, I think joining an organization is the best way to try to work through these ideas because people have different perspectives and you’re going back and forth.

[00:54:52] So if you wanted to join DSA, go to DSA USA dot org slash join in terms of having much more understanding. I’d [00:55:00] recommend like really in terms of a reading people should check out, especially for this moment right now in Gaza and everything I think can be very confusing if you don’t have a much stronger understanding in terms of why things have helped the way that it did.

[00:55:12] I think a good text would be Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon. In many ways, it’s the manifesto for decolonization movement everywhere and can perhaps make more sense in terms of like, why is it that so many times when there’s any kind of political Discussion about decolonization. It’s it leads to there’s confusion.

[00:55:32] There’s a lot of different tactics that are done, and I think people need to be more aware 

[00:55:37] David Adler: of that. Yeah, my advice, which is similar to Jorge’s, is just not to feel alone or intimidated by the global scale and the amount of education that needs to be done to be fluent in a lot of these issues because you have Friends and people who are dedicating their lives to this work, whether that’s the DSA.

[00:55:55] I see where that’s my organization. This summer we hope to host a kind of summer school on [00:56:00] making sense of the global economy, bringing together some of the great people in our network to walk through questions of sovereign debt of feminist economics. Some of the things that I think are really helpful into making sense of how the U.

[00:56:11] S. Fits as an empire. Into the architecture of the global economy, actually, I think I have a video coming out to two days with Jacob and about how we rigged the global economy. So there’s some explainers, but I think in general, trying to be a part of these organizations is the best way to really get an on ramp.

[00:56:31] Because people around the world are articulating their demands. They are rising up and making visible and making audible the things that, that need to change. There are so many brilliant organizers, activists, academics, scholars, diplomats, parliamentarians, presidents, and prime ministers who are.

[00:56:51] Coming to our country and literally knocking on the doors for representatives and saying, this needs to change now. And I think the task that we have as the U. S. [00:57:00] left is first and foremost to listen and to understand. Certainly for me, it’s been a huge journey of education just to understand how the smallest articles of a single resolution or bill end up affecting the lives of millions of farmers.

[00:57:14] Or millions of factory workers or the status and the fate and future of democratic systems around the world. And a lot of that legislation, as we know gets slipped in on the case streets of Washington DC, into legislation. And there’s no expectation that I think Jorge or I have that we’ll be able to build in a short order, a kind of infrastructure powerful enough to take on the security state.

[00:57:36] And the people who influence it in quiet ways, but I just think that, this is a, it’s a long process and a long journey, and, I’m very pessimistic. I would say I’m fatalistic about changing the nature of the U. S. Government of the U. S. State in the world. I just think this will not happen in our lifetimes because of how hard that fight is.

[00:57:58] What we can do is [00:58:00] focus our attention on these areas of policy making that get no attention, no resistance, no conflict. What we can do is make clear that. We’re not going to just roll over as, we steamroll our new trade policy paradigm, highly securitized trade policy paradigm, right? And there’s, there are these moments where we realize that this is such a cheesy thing to say, but it bears repeating, like it sucks, but the New York times article admitting that they fucked up.

[00:58:28] When it came to the claim of Eva Morales committing fraud in the 2019 election, that changed the course of Bolivian history. And as Jorge pointed out, changed the course of democratic history in the world as the only country in the history of the world to recover its democracy one year after a military coup, right?

[00:58:42] So these and that came out of one investigation by two researchers, one at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in D. C., one out of the MIT Elections Lab that changed the course of Latin America’s political history by revealing the ineptitude, if you want to call it that, [00:59:00] or the cretinousness of the organization of American states.

[00:59:03] These small heroic acts of resistance end up reverberating in the crazy butterfly effect around the world. And the best way to be a part of that. Butterfly effect of giving, seeing the butterfly flap its wings is to join a DSA is to be part of our progressive internationalists, to be close to organizations that are thinking internationally, because that’s how you get close to the action and see just how quickly things can change when the ball starts moving away from the more systemic injustice towards these momentary, yes, fleeting sparks of justice that can give rise to a more raging fires, we hope in the century ahead.

[00:59:39] William Lawrence: David and Jorge. Thank you so much. Appreciate your time and we’ll keep this going. 

[00:59:44] David Adler: Thanks so much. It’s really a pleasure to be here. And of course, it’s always a pleasure to hang with Jorge. 

[00:59:48] Jorge Rocha: Thank you for having us. Yeah. Love to be around with David.

[00:59:56] William Lawrence: This podcast is written and hosted by me, William Lawrence. [01:00:00] Our producer is Josh Elstro, and it is published by Convergence, a magazine for radical insights. You can help support this show and others like it by becoming a Patreon subscriber of Convergence for as low as 2 per month at patreon. com slash ConvergenceMag.

[01:00:15] You can find a direct link in the show notes. This has been the Hegemonicon. Let’s talk again soon.

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