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The return of the Latin America Idiot

Posted by fracardi on May 12, 2007

Fantastic post from Silvio Meira on “the return of the Latin America Idiot”. Especially enlightening is the following paragraph, from an Anthony Daniels’ article

Man is born rich, but almost everywhere is poor

It is to the elucidation of this paradox that many of the finest minds of Latin America have been devoted for nearly a century. And the best answer they have been able to give is that most men are poor because a few men are rich. And, by the same token, those few men are rich because most men are poor. On this view, wealth is a form of institutionalized plunder. Nothing had to be —or remains to be—discovered, invented, or developed. The wealth of the world has been the same since the beginning of time and will remain the same until the end of time. Hence your slice of the economic cake, both personal and international, necessarily decreases the size of mine, and thus poverty is always someone else’s fault. This means that the wealth of Europe and America was erected on a foundation of cheap bananas.

Echoes of Chavez, Lula, Kirchner (and his wife, my God) here, isn’t it?

The worst is that:

The Latin American Idiot has his counterpart outside the region. Indeed, the academic study of Latin America in both American and European universities is dominated by such counterparts. And most foreign journalists who are interested in Latin America share the Idiot’s world view.

In my circle here in Madrid I’m trying my best to explain that Lula is not the best Prime Minister for Brasil, but more simply a decent politician with a strong sense of survival, but lack of vision. The European press, especially from left circles, still tends to downplay the corruption and the inability to focus on the key issues (like heavily invest in education and information technology) of the Lula’s government.

I love Brasil, and I would like to see better political leaders. They are absolutely needed in a country with enormous potential, but unbereable differences among the layers of its population.


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