Yearly Archives: 2011

July 31, 2011

Political Crisis

The true crisis of the U.S. Government is not fiscal, but political. The fiscal component is a mere symptom, a physical manifestation, of the dysfunctionality of what its political system has come to. The immediate trigger has been the legal requirement concerning the legislative power’s approval of the government’s debt limit, but the heart of […]

July 24, 2011

The Other Side

Images never fail to impact. The relationship with the U.S. is perhaps, says Sidney Weintraub, the most atypical in the world, and the variety of components is preeminent and much richer, and more complex, than would appear. In the district known as La Villita in Chicago’s lower west side, I came upon scenes that not […]

July 17, 2011


At the Guilin Tiger Zoo in China, one walks a few meters from the most fearsome animals in the world. Different from traditional zoos, in which the animals tend to be passive, at Guilin everything is designed for the animals to preserve, to the extent possible, their natural habitat. They are not fed, but rather, […]

July 10, 2011


Not long ago, a magazine published that the authorities of a German town were about to agree on performing DNA tests on all registered dogs to determine which of these canines’ owners were disregarding the regulation to pick up their pets’ feces that were deposited in the public way. The Germans have the certainty, and […]

July 3, 2011

Whither Control?

The scene says it all: a group of Chinese and Indians engaged in a discussion about the potential of their respective countries to procure and maintain high growth rates for long periods in order to transform their societies.Two nations that have for decades grown rapidly, comparing notes and defending their ways of being. The conference […]

June 26, 2011

The Lesson of Japan

In The Fifth Mountain, Paulo Coelho affirms that “all of life’s battles serve to teach us something, even those that we lose”. If there is a country from which the entire world could learn, it is Japan. After decades of growing in systematic fashion, developing extraordinary technologies, and demonstrating to the world new ways to […]

June 19, 2011

Pact and Democracy

In some philosophical circles, there is an old debate on the efficacy of a long-standing mode of Chinese execution denominated ling chi, death by thousands of little cuts. Whatever the effect of ling chi on Mexican politics might be, our democratic system suffers from innumerable problems. We went from a centralized and semi-authoritarian regime to […]

June 12, 2011

Our Neighbors

Carl Friedrich, one of the most important political theoreticians of the XX century, said that “to be an American is an ideal; while to be a Frenchman is a fact”. According to Friedrich, U.S. identity is defined in normative terms, while that of the French is in existential terms. These differences translate into very distinct […]

June 5, 2011

Costs and Reckonings

Myshkin, the hero of Dostoyevsky’s novel “The Idiot”, -erudite, coarse, naïve- arrives at an important party, obsessed with not breaking the Chinese vase in mid-salon. He attempts to maintain his distance from it, but, no matter how much he tries, ends up destroying it. The episode could be a photograph of the political transition that […]

May 29, 2011

The Public Interest

In Greek mythology, Pandora, the first woman on Earth, was introduced to Epimetheus in revenge for his brother Prometheus’s having purloined the secret of fire. In her new abode, Pandora found a two-handled amphora in which all the evils and disgraces of humankind had been concealed. Her curiosity piqued, Pandora opened the jar, inadvertently releasing […]