Yearly Archives: 2010

December 26, 2010

Power vs. Process

The economic crisis of the last few years could hardly have arrived at a more ominous time for the old international order. The institutions, practices, and power relations that arose with the end of the Second World War and the agreements signed in Bretton Woods placed the U.S. at the center of the world and […]

December 19, 2010


In his 1990 Nobel Lecture, Octavio Paz affirmed that “History’s sun is the future and Progress is the name of this movement towards the future”. What is difficult is to determine precisely when it advances and when it recedes: what is progress, and how is it achieved. Although it is easy to observe the great […]

December 12, 2010

Form and Legality

Democracy, according to Schumpeter, is a “method for making decisions”. This definition is so broad and pragmatic that it permits many forms of implementation and entails a key principle: the crucial part of democracy does not reside in compliance with certain forms, but rather, in the legitimacy that it enjoys among the population. The question […]

December 5, 2010

A Country No Longer The Same

An old refrain says that the genius of democracy resides in alternation of parties in power, because it compels the opposition to take the situation seriously: as long as the possibility exists of arriving at power, it is condemned to worry about the future. We Mexicans are on the threshold of the possibility of experiencing […]

November 28, 2010

The System and I

The story recounts that Commodore Perry, hero of the War of 1812, coined the phrase “We have met the enemy and he is us”. Something similar could be said of the old PRIist system; it continues, alive and kicking, because it benefits us all or because we believe that it benefits us in some manner. […]

November 21, 2010


“The future, environmental activist Dana Meadows once said, is a choice, not a destiny.” This year, commemorating the centenary of the Revolution, is a good time to reflect on the future. In addition to concentrating power, the revolution of a hundred years ago caused a huge number of deaths and was accompanied by the physical […]

November 14, 2010

The Past

“Life, said Kierkegaard, can only be understood backward, but should be lived forward”. But, in our case, how can the past be understood if we are not willing to live forward, and how can we live forward if we do not resolve the past? Mexico has not known how to contend with its past, and […]

November 7, 2010

Betting and losing

One of my teachers, Roy Macridis, used to say that public policy, in particular that relative to foreign policy, should be evaluated not for its objectives, but for its consequences. The theme that especially grieved him was the war in Vietnam, concerning which his pithy affirmation was that the U.S. had achieved exactly the opposite […]

October 31, 2010

Regime Change

Mark Twain said that “the first part of life consists of the capacity to enjoy without the chance; the last half consists of the chance without the capacity”. The same is true of governments. In 2000, the first alternation of parties in the government took place, but there was no change in the country’s institutional […]

October 24, 2010


Seneca, the Roman philosopher, had long since anticipated it: “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable”. Tariff disputes, free trade agreements, and the future of the economy evidence the flagrant confusion that characterizes us. The positions of the government as well as those of the private sector […]