Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Libertarians in Latin America

Humberto Rotondo, a law student in Lima, wrote an op-ed for PanAm Post on libertarianism in Latin America, specifically arguing that libertarians in Latin America have screwed up by siding with conservatism.

In general, I don't think about Latin American libertarians at all precisely for that reason. It's like they barely exist because classical liberalism has been tied so closely to large, oppressive governments.

Instead of fighting one and siding with another, we must break these ideological ties and stop labeling ourselves as either “right” or “left.” It’s time we begin developing our own institutions and reclaim our political identity as liberals.

The question he does not ask is whether libertarianism can survive in Latin America without that large oppressive government. Every experiment in drastically reducing the size of government has led to massive discontent, in large part because doing so has benefited the elite so disproportionately, while hurting the poor. Latin America is the most unequal continent in the world, and classical liberalism exacerbates it. Experiments (like structural adjustment) that we could reasonably call libertarian have required sending police and/or the military into the streets.

Therefore what Latin American libertarians need to do is actually explain how they would be different from failed past economic models.


Mandramas 9:54 AM  

You have to read "oppresiva" as in "tax pressure", not as in "police state's pressure".

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