Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Latin America Left Self-Criticism

Bolivian VP Alvaro García Linera gave a talk where he focused on the left's need to recognize what it has not done well. He had five main points:

1. The left needs to pay more attention to economic issues.

2. Governments have not fostered a cultural revolution along with the political one, so there is no new "common sense."

3. The left needs to tackle corruption.

4. The left needs to deal with continuity of leadership.

5. Economic integration needs more attention.

It's notable, after so many years in power in many country, that #1 needs attention. But it's largely why Mauricio Macri is in power and why Nicolás Maduro is holding on by a thread. Bolivia, though, has paid much more careful attention to it, which is why we're not looking at crisis there (Bolivia's issue is much more #4, as the country looks ahead to a president other than Evo Morales).

I'm not so convinced about #2. As I've written about, there is ample evidence that Latin Americans are pragmatic. They want solutions to problems, but I'm not so sure how many are looking for a revolutionary cultural message. Part of the left's problem may well be over-estimating how many people want to be part of a revolution, as opposed to just having political leaders who identify and help resolve the problems they face.


shah8 10:01 PM  

My impression reading that article is that this is mostly about Brazil. Hence that No.2. There had been a lot of talk about how PT didn't maintain the loyalty of the people they pushed into the working class or address their further aspirations.

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