Advice Goddess Amy Alkon demolishes an article in Salon by Mike Davis that tut-tuts American investment in Mexico. Amy writes:
American money pouring into Mexico? How tragic! This must be stopped, so Mexico can be maintained as a giant slum teeming with poor brown people! (Oh, the romance!) Hint, Mike: Maybe if they had infusions of dollars at home, they…wouldn’t be endangering their lives crawling across the border?
Last year, Matt Welch described a similar sentiment amongst equally leftwing and reactionary tourists to Cuba:
this common sentiment has always irritated the hell out of me. Oh, the crumbling, no-longer-beautiful houses! Ah, the lovely two-feet-deep potholes, and rickety Chinese bicycles (because the 50-year-old Chevys and 30-year-old Ladas don’t work, and at any rate there’s no gas). How people can derive pleasure from evidence of the suffering of innocents is beyond me, and few sights are more unseemly to my eyes than seeing a Lonely Planet-waving travel snob whine about how some current or formerly misgoverned hellhole has been “ruined” by all that yucky reconstruction, material success, and (worst of all!) tourism. Oh how pretty! The baseball players make $20 a month, and they live on a prison, but at least there’s no annoying electronic scoreboard!
Val Prieto, who frequently blogs on Cuban issues at his own Babalu Blog dubs it “Omnipotent Tourist Syndrome“.
Sort of like the propagation of SARS, it appears to be spreading beyond travelers to one nation, into a global meme. And it’s worth noting that a variation of it was the dominant theme of the 2002 U.N. Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, where numerous Gulfstream Transnationalists such as California’s own Jerry Brown urged–for the sake of the global environment, if not local civilizational ruins–that the Third World remain as backward and shackled as possible.