Free Forward Into The Past Essay Sample
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: United States, America, Countries, Latin America, People, Latin American, Leadership, Sociology
The list of the main topics
Latin America and the Neoliberal Experience: The United States through financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank pressurized the countries of the Latin American region to follow the golden precepts of neoliberalism in order to develop their faltering, debt riddled economies. The experiment proved a failure dismally. The economies of Latin America had a love-hate relationship with neoliberalism. The leaders and the regimes in power followed the principles of free market with an alarming zeal, on the one hand. On the other hand, the people suffered and finally threw off the yoke of the oppressive neoliberal following governments. Through protests and polls they sent them packing replacing them with leaders and parties that resisted the neoliberal ideas and ideals (298).
Zapatistas and NAFTA: The Zapatistas began a movement in Mexico. Initially they began the resistance against nepotism, corruption, and the neoliberal philosophy. The ultimate aim of the Zapatista movement was to gain international recognition so that they could well claim the much needed autonomy to restructure the economy of Mexico. The restructuring was aimed at improving the lot of the poor and the oppressed. The nemesis of the Zapatista movement was the much touted United States backed North America Free Trade Agreement (302).
Latin America Courts New Socialism: The oppressed people of the Latin American countries after decades of enduring dictatorial juntas that promised a lot but delivered little looked up to the leftist leaders to end their social but more basically their economic misery. The swing towards the left by the people of the Latin American countries is more popularly referred to as “The Pink Tide (311-312).
The Colombian Anomaly: Whereas almost all of the Latin American countries marched towards democracy, Colombia still is being ruled by the military dictators. The military is heavily funded by the United States. During the era of the Cold War the United States backed the men in uniform to stem the Communist tide sand after the end of the Cold War era the American support the military dictators against guerillas who are responsible for turning Colombia into the drug mafia’s haven. War, disenfranchisement, and acute poverty, though, are the main reasons for Colombia falling deep into the drug malice (312-316).
Tradition and Post-modernity: At this crucial juncture in the history of South America many social scientists are promulgating a paradigm shift to make the countries of the region socially, economically, and politically stable and strong. Prominent among the social reformers and scientists are Argentinean thinker Nestor Cancilini (318).
Immanent Dangers: At this juncture in the history of Latin America and in these fluid post-modern times an eerie danger of the region lapsing into its inglorious past is a real possibility. The fragile economies and the even more fragile, newly formed democratic governments are in imminent danger of being routed, as they had been in the past. The struggle between the forces of the conservatism and the liberalism and between the have and the have not’s continues well into the new millennium (321).
The countries of the Latin America, especially the people of Latin America have had a dismal experience of neoliberalism. The poor have suffered at the hands of the United States sponsored neoliberalism. The basic principles of neoliberalism that have wrecked havoc with the economies of the countries of Latin America include are privatization of public assets, drastic cuts in public spending, and the unfettered capitalism. The mantra of privatization has robbed the countries of the region of some of the chief public assets. These assets, whether in the form of natural resources, industries or agricultural were in most cases the mainstay of most of the economies of the countries of Latin America. These prime assets passed into the hands of foreign based multi-national corporations and led to mass unemployment inevitably causing the increase in poverty and the loss of the standard of living of the people of the countries of Latin America. Neoliberalism was mostly forced upon the economies of the Latin American countries by the United States. The institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank forced the countries to take up restructuring of the economies to rid them of the spiraling debt. The restructuring the economies had the completely opposite effect to those they were initiated to stop. As the free market and unfettered capitalism was given a free run in the countries of Latin America those who were rich got more rich while the poor got poorer by the hour. The social sectors like the education, and healthcare suffered the most. The conditions got so bad that in many of the countries child labor became a norm rather than an exception. It was in direct reaction to these neoliberal precepts that the marginalized sections of the societies of the countries of Latin America took to the streets in wide ranging protests. The ultimate result of these protests was that the old regimes with defunct leaders were voted-out of power, as the marginalized segments of the Latin American societies, especially the indigenous Mayan people, asserted their power. In Bolivia, Evo Morales became the first ever president in the whole of the continent belonging to the indigenous Mayan people. Besides him in nearly all the countries people elected leaders with leftist leanings. Leaders like Hugo Chavez, in Venezuela set on an ambitious program to better the lot of the majority. A revolutionary movement by the name of EZLA began on the eve of the signing of the NAFTA by the United States. ELZA more commonly known as the Zapatista movement, though initiated by the indigenous Mayan people took the form of a national movement in Mexico as they demanded their fundamental rights of autonomy and of good governance. Latin America today under the new populist leaders is marching towards the cherished goals of the social, the economic, and the political stability. The new leadership is truly restructuring the economy according to the ideals and the aspirations of the people of the continent of Latin America. At this crucial and sensitive juncture in the history of Latin American continent the risks still remain that the newfound power by the people will once again be usurped by the conservative and corrupt rulers. For this very reason it is a must that the people of the Latin American countries must guard their newfound freedoms and liberties. Because these very parties, leaders and their people friendly policies are a must if Latin America is to move towards economic prosperity, and social equality and justice (302-312).
The Argentinean philosopher Nestor Cancilini has propounded the unique theory of “hybiridity” in these exciting times in the history of Latin America. His theory aims at a confluence or a convergence of the tradition with the post-modern. This convergence according to Cancilini can lead to the formation of new and unique social conditions and set precedent for new forms. According to Cancilini this interaction between the old and the new is already underway at the most important grass roots level of the Latin American culture and society. The hybrid society that he envisions is perhaps the only feasible way forward for the Latin American countries if these nations on the one hand want to maintain their valuable unique heritage while, on the other to compete with the rest of the world. Essentially hybiridity is a “pluralistic perspective” that accepts fragmentation and accompanies multiple combinations between the traditional and the modern, rather more importantly and more appropriately between the tradition ant the post-modern. Inspired by Cancilini, Oswaldo de Rivero has tried to put this philosophic notion into practice. Rivero transforms the philosophic goals of Cancilini and incorporates them into various modes of citizenship and consumerism. This he achieves by infusing, combining or mixing the traditional modes of work in various spheres, ranging from the small and medium sized enterprises to agriculture, with the principles of modern technology. In Cancilini’s theory and Rivero’s practical applications the Latin American of today shows to the world the marvels of the post-modern and the post-development world. The basic assumption at the core of hybiridity is that because the phase of modernity has reached a stage where it needs the assistance of the old and the traditional to move forward (318-321).