View Full Version : José Mujica

11-17-2012, 09:24 PM
Came across this guy, found him interesting:

José Mujica is the President of Uruguay since 2010. A former guerrilla fighter and a member of the Broad Front (left-wing coalition).

In recent times he has expressed a desire for a more flexible political left that can think outside the box. He has been variously described as an "antipolitician" and a man who "speaks the language of the people" while also receiving criticism for untimely or inappropriate remarks.

In his first speech as president-elect before a crowd of supporters, Mujica acknowledged his political adversaries and called for unity, stating that there would be no winners or losers. He added that "it is a mistake to think that power comes from above, when it comes from within the hearts of the masses (...) it has taken me a lifetime to learn this", a statement that has been interpreted as an acknowledgment of the mistakes by the armed revolutionaries in the 1960s.

In June 2012, his government made a move to legalize state-controlled sales of marijuana in order to fight drug-related crimes and health issues, and stated that they would ask global leaders to do the same.

In 2005, Mujica married Lucía Topolansky, a fellow Tupamaro member and current senator, after many years of co-habitation. They have no children and live on an austere farm in the outskirts of Montevideo where they cultivate flowers as an economic activity. His humble lifestyle is reflected by his choice of an aging Volkswagen Beetle as transport, his only asset. His wife owns the farm they live on. The Economist describes him as "a roly-poly former guerrilla who grows flowers on a small farm and swears by vegetarianism". He also donates most of his state salary to charitable causes; in 2012 this amounted to 90%. He does not believe in a god.

Claimed to be the least wealthy president in the world by various sources.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/José_Mujica


Related thread: Moneyless Men (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?3258-Moneyless-Men)


11-18-2012, 12:53 AM
I assume he may look like a weird alien for people who lives in Europe... or people who doesn't live in South America (or, actually, people who isn't in touch with the day-to-day South American politics).

He isn't an isolated case, he isn't a saint either.

He's part of a bigger current that was started by another person: Lula da Silva in Brazil.
These people are not "antipoliticians" at all... nor they are the sign of South America going wild and voting "unusual" candidates.

I am talking about people like:
Evo Morales in Bolivia (who became the first president of Bolivia who comes from the context of the Coca farmers and who is clearly related to the Bolivian aboriginal ancestry).
Hugo Chavez in Venezuela
Rafael Correa in Ecuador
Nestor Kirchner and then Cristina Kirchner in Argentina

All of them came to politics from different non-orthodox paths.
All of them shown themselves as candidates who "speak the language of the people"...
All of them have populist strategies that involve bringing some new laws which are related to human rights:

These laws are often relate to legalizing marihuana (i.e, Argentina is moving in the same direction that Urugua has moved... it is still illegal to sell marihuana, but it's not illegal to own marihuana, nor it is illegal to smoke it); gay marriage, etc...

The problem with these "strange presidents" is that they are part of a current in South America that promotes in a VERY strong way the cult of personality.

They moved from "speaking the language of the people" to an "I am the people" attitude.
Just have an opinion against them and you become "an enemy of the people", because... of course, they are "the people".

A lot of them have strong ties to the Guerrillas that fought against the fascist Military Dictatorships that South America had from the mid 70's to the mid 80's.
This is cool. Nobody in South America is nostalgic about those Military Dictatorships (there are 2 big exceptions: Chile and Paraguay... in those 2 countries some "nostalgia" about the Dictatorships is "allowed"... in the other countries they are very much like Nazism in Germany -i.e, if you are German, you can't really pretend to be a politician and state something like "Hitler wasn't completely" wrong... you become a pariah).
The problem with all of them is that they have chosen an attitude that is identical to the Godwin Law: if you are against them, they instantly relate you to the ideology of the fascist Military Dictatorships... which is absurd. So they really promote a WEIRD paranoia.

All of them are governing just as if they were kings: they managed to destroy the "three branch system" of the republics... The congress of each country became extremely weak. The justice of each country became afraid of them when it comes to trials which are related to politics.
They are the Law, the Justice and the Only One who is in charge of the country.

And all of them managed to destroy the dialectics that politics involve... by using strategies which are very related to these South American way of using the "Godwin Law". If you are against any idea they have, then you suddenly become a fascist pig, an enemy of "the people", a pariah.

And all of them are very much like a weird messiah stating: "I am the way, I am the light, I am the Truth, I am the life and I am the ONLY true Freedom.... and if you don't follow my commandments, then you are against the people, you are the darkness, you are a tyrant, you are scum, you are fascist".

These ways of ruling a country also come in hand with statements that finally mean: "All you need is me". These "new" presidents are paranoid about any other person that can replace them... Even in their own parties!!!

So they promote the idea of "in this election you have to vote for ME.... and in the next election the ONLY reasonable candidate is ME... and in the election after the next election: vote for ME again".

11-18-2012, 12:56 AM
he isn't a saint either.

I don't doubt this, just thought it was interesting that he seemed so different.

I knew you'd give some interesting insights considering you are one of the few (only maybe) living in South America in these forums.