Mexican foreign policy, discourse & domestic benefits

"Far from a change, his driving continues to drift. While the Foreign Minister is still concerned about gaining prominence in the face of the 2024 presidential elections, the head of the executive seems careful to disrupt the domestic level—at the cost of an execution in the manner of Foreign Policy (FP)."
Por José Dimas Rodela
Jun 20, 2022

Previously, i have already stressed how serious it is that the president executes, without control or counterweight, Mexico’s foreign agenda. Far from a change, his driving continues to drift. While the Foreign Minister is still concerned about gaining prominence in the face of the 2024 presidential elections, the head of the executive seems careful to disrupt the domestic level—at the cost of an execution in the manner of Foreign Policy (PE).

There is something that should be quite clear. The president has no interest in taking on Mexico’s international goals. In previous years, López Obrador’s comments had been more or less mild. However, for several months, his speech abroad has worsened.The “official” reason for such a change may never be known. Still, some inferences can be made. For this reason, I decided to maintain that, like everything in his personal style of governing, the relationship between the president and the EP fully obeys the strategic use of him as part of the political discourse.

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The President of Mexico on an official visit to the United States

Discourse is an ideological fact.

His language used conveys the ideology of whoever pronounces it. The discursive aims to persuade and mobilize the masses behind some objective, hiding certain realities and social aspects. The sociologist Wilfried Pareto maintained that, beyond being rational beings, people behaved as rationalizers of their own behavior, using various linguistic resources to legitimize their own actions.

For his part, Raymond Aron considered that the greatest characteristic of human nature “is letting oneself be led by feeling, thus giving psychological justifications to certain sentimental attitudes.” While some actions lead to logical thinking and the rationalization of actions, other non-logical tools—such as speech—are motivated by feeling, attempting to give a logical appearance to behavior and events that are not.

In addition to the above, contemporary discourses also incorporate what George Orwell defined as newspeak or newspeak. This linguistic classification incorporates euphemisms, metaphors, new concepts created “by way” and the technique of doublethink, which allows the speaker to hold, believe and defend two opposing opinions simultaneously. Orwell insisted that Newspeak was intended to be imprecise, ambiguous, and allegorical, using indeterminate terms to refer to something real or nonexistent by any term.

For the president, it is of little importance if every day he has to attack a different foreign “enemy”.

He knows that the Foreign Ministry will repair the damage caused. His gain is—precisely—the effect that this hostile discursive line has on domestic sectors: both his electoral base and the opposition.

López Obrador knows that there is no better way to spread his “ideology” than broadcasting it every day from his morning conference. However, what is his ideology? Anyone could compare the attacks against Spain and its monarchy with those caused by personalities such as Hugo Chávez Frías or Evo Morales Ayma. It should be remembered that one of the constants in the governments linked to the so-called “21st century socialism” was “anti-colonialism” and “anti-Hispanism”.

However, when did the former presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia make state visits to Washington? The administrations headed by Chávez and Morales were openly “anti-capitalist” and “anti-imperialist”. By contrast, of the only four official visits abroad made by the Mexican president, three have been to the United States.

What Raymond Aron argued can be understood from the official government statement, written in response to the position of the European Parliament against the murder of journalists in Mexico. Outside of issuing a response within the parameters and diplomatic courtesies, the head of the executive wrote from feeling, subjectivity and inappropriateness. Although the president tried to give a logical appearance to his response, it was obfuscated by referring to MEPs as corrupt, liars, hypocrites, sheep and coup plotters.

In all this discursive scheme, the president makes abundant the resources of Orwell’s newspeak.

Neoliberalism, neo-Porfirism, transformation, welfare, conservatism, sovereignty… For the good of all, first the poor. In addition to explaining how he “ended” the debate between the Austrian school and the Freiburg school—about the meaning of neoliberalism, López Obrador should tell us what he understands by neo-Porfirism and sovereignty, how there is transformation and well-being in the worst social conditions and how you can not be conservative being against individual freedom. By the way, for the good of all, first the poor. First the poor in what? In being even poorer? It should be remembered that all official figures indicate that poverty, in any of its dimensions, is on the rise.

I stress again, the president has no interest in taking on Mexico’s intentional agenda.

It was quite clear from that occasion in which he commented that “the best foreign policy is domestic policy.” For the chief executive, Foreign Policy is one more tool with which to play in his political discourse.

Attached to the Orwellian style, the president pretends to have an imprecise, ambiguous and allegorical speech. He is not interested in reaching the decision makers. It is enough for him to have a place among the millions of people who defend—with tooth and nail—his political project. With full humility, all those people who surely will not read these lines.

Those of us who attend here have something in common: presidential displeasure and mistrust. On more than one occasion, President López Obrador has referred to internationalists as servile and submissive. It should be clear to the head of the executive that an objective, well-founded and respectful criticism is not based solely on his person or on his personal experience —but on the mismanagement of Foreign Policy and on the disrespect for constitutional principles, laws and treated.

Without a doubt, there is little time left before the president also calls us conservatives and neoliberals. Well, in the president’s words: “the internationalists, the diplomats, [if in and of themselves] question me because I’m from Tepetitán, a villager […]” It doesn’t matter. When that day comes, someone should remind López Obrador of the following phrase by George Orwell:

“If freedom means anything, it means the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear.”

José Dimas Rodela

José Dimas Rodela

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