Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Vegeratians and Carnivorous

Alvaro Vargas Llosa writes:

"In Latin America, one can speak of a “vegetarian left” and a “carnivorous left.” The vegetarian left is represented by leaders such as Brazilian President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez, and Costa Rican President Oscar Arias. Despite the occasional meaty rhetoric, these leaders have avoided the mistakes of the old left, such as raucous confrontations with the developed world and monetary and fiscal profligacy. They have settled into social-democratic conformity and are proving unwilling to engage in major reform—which is why Brazil’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth is not expected to top 3.6 percent this year—but they signify a positive development in the struggle for modernizing the left.
By contrast, the “carnivorous” left is represented by Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales, and Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa. They cling to a Marxist view of society and a Cold War mentality that separates North from South, and they seek to exploit ethnic tensions, particularly in the Andean region. The oil windfall obtained by Hugo Chávez is funding a great deal of this efforts."
Read the whole article here. My view: in broad terms, I do agree with Vargas Llosa Jr. However he forgets that there is a Carnivorous and Vegetarian Right in Latin America as well. The choice in Latin America is usually between a ridiculous left-wing authoritarian populist and an elegant corrupt right-wing plutocrat . Good government is rarely a feasible alternative. Therefore, the cost of opportunity of having a Evo or a Chávez in government is not as high as it seems at first. This is the long nightmare of Latin America.

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