I am often asked why is it that I do not believe that radical Islamic terrorists can use México as a gateway to attack the United States. Contrary to popular belief there is no proof that terrorists have used the México-U.S. border to mount an attack against the United States. Popular thought believes that the porous border and the notion of drug traffickers and corruption would allow terrorists the ability to use México as a beachhead from where to launch an attack. But this notion ignores a very fundamental fact about México – nationalism.
Nationalism is engrained in the Mexican psyche because of numerous foreign interventions and civil wars. Mexicans don’t necessarily recognize it even though it is routinely manifested. Mexicans, regardless of political discord, will rally together the moment Mexican nationalism is threatened. Mexicans banning together behind nationalist rhetoric isn’t about beating the war drums or proclaiming superiority over others, but rather, it is about overcoming the sense of oppression from events beyond their control. As soon as Donald Trump started to berate Mexicans, Mexicans gathered together behind the banner of nationalism, although the Mexican economy was tanking and the Mexican president had the lowest approval ratings ever, even worse than those of Trump. In response to Trump, Mexicans embraced nationalism to deal with the onslaught of chaos.
There is historical evidence to explain how nationalism thwarts radicalism in México.
There is much debate about whether the Mexican Revolution accomplished the goals it purported to accomplish. The Mexican Revolution was the first peasant revolution in the world with the goal of equalizing the classes of people. While the Mexican Revolution was ongoing, the Russians were also fighting to establish their version of equality under the Marxist banner. Soon after the Bolshevik Russian Revolution, the Marxists organized brigades of operatives to spread the Marxist revolution across the globe.
Looking at México through the eyes of anarchism and social class warfare it looked like México was ripe for Marxist idealism for Mexicans to rally around. But México is unique among world revolutions in that the Mexican Revolution created the ideal of eradicating social classes and in the end created a unique system of equality behind the smoke-and-mirrors of reality. The Mexican Revolution created the illusion of success but many of the ideals of the Mexican Revolution remain unresolved.
But it did create one useful tool for both the populace and the resulting government – nationalism.
Mexican nationalism is not the idealized war beating drums to unity nor the chest-pumping ideal of nation worship, but rather of artificially uniting citizens behind the belief that the many years of revolution and deaths had to accomplish at least the illusion of a unified people. The many years of foreign intervention that created the defeatism psyche that many hold added to the need to unify over the ideal that today’s Mexicans are the result of the Revolution, whether true or not.
When Lenin took control of Russia he embraced the Marxist goal of spreading communism across the globe. Soviet Russia piggybacked on the brigades of Marxist ideologues spreading communism in individual countries through propaganda and organization. The notion of Marxism was equality for the working class.
As ripe as México was for social class equality among the masses, the spread of communism by the Soviets was unable to get a foothold in México. The Mexican government did not overly oppose communist activities nor did it impede it. The Mexican government was one of only two countries to openly oppose Adolf Hitler in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. The Soviet Union was the only other country to do so as well.
But the Mexican government was becoming adept at playing the smoke-and-mirrors game by working with Lenin while at the same time opposing him by allowing his archenemy, Leon Trotsky to live in México and continue his publications denouncing Lenin.
With the Soviets and the Trotsky Marxists both wanting to spread communism having access to the Mexican populace the question that is seldom asked is why did México not embrace communism?
The answer lies in that Mexicans wanted ownership of their version of governance however illusionary it was. This is Mexican nationalism.
Mexicans embrace the ideal that is the Mexican Revolution, whether it is real or not, rather than allow foreigners to tell them what the proper political ideology is that they must follow.
It is because of this that communism never established a significant foothold in México even though U.S. communist operatives were the ones driving the push to cement communism in México. As ripe as México was, and possibly is, for equalizing social classes around Marxism, Mexicans want nothing to do with foreign interlopers and ideals to tell them how to govern themselves.
It is for this reason that Islamic terrorists have found it difficult to establish themselves in México. Mexicans have no tolerance for outside interlopers establishing foreign ideals on México. Yes, the fact is that the Mexican government fully understands that its economy would be destroyed if a terrorist is proven to use México to launch an attack upon the U.S. is part of the reason, but ultimately it comes down to Mexican nationalism.
It is also the reason why the Mexican president can have the worst approval rating ever and still see Mexicans rally together to oppose Donald Trump.