In this week’s final chapter, Dawson focuses heavily on the economic priority that is continually held when considering the future development of a country or region. Stressing that the rate of economic growth and demand far outpaces the majority’s desire to ameliorate poverty and inequality, as well as to address environmental concerns. Its this tension that creates a hardship for many countries that aim to develop further in an increasingly globalized market. Yet with this discussions Dawson once again brings it back to the notion of power and the way that power is accumulated and distributed in Latin America.
For the majority of this course it has felt like this notion has been the driving force for many aspects such as creating political and social change, maintaining the status quo, protesting, violence, race, religion, and the war on drugs. Yet for once it feels as thought the modern Latin America may be close to the cusp of overcoming this power dynamic, and realizing the potential for social and economic growth that the region has. If only the drug war epidemic and the continuous failure of political regimes (such as in Brazil) wouldn’t let them down, I believe that there is a new theme approaching the future of Latin America.
This course has been a really eye-opening one for me to be a part of, and I’ve learnt so much about this region that I never thought I would. I’ve been pleasantly surprised on numerous occasions covering Latin America’s deep history, with different aspects of religion, art, violence, and social activity reminding me a lot of my studies in modern European history as well as the colonial empires. At the beginning of the class we opened with a discussion on what Latin America was exactly. Was it an idea, or a spirit, or a political ideology, a racial entity? So many different ideas were thrown around, but after several months I believe that I can now express my opinion with some confidence that Latin America is a spiritually orientated ideology, shared by the people who inhabit the regions in South and Central America. I believe that their specific history of their people and that region has ingrained within them a spiritual idea of what it means to belong to Latin America. Being a European myself, I can only equate this to what I feel as a strong connection to the region of Europe and the political and social ideology that comes with that.
My final observation would be that I do not think I have read or learnt about a group of people that have been through so much in the way of lies, manipulation, political monstrosity, external pressure, and violence, as the people of Latin America. And I would say that this says something that many across the world always consider the region to have the identity and capacity to become one of the leading global influences both politically and economically.
Thanks for reading,