A new dealer, same game? – week 9

Posted by in Week 9

The twentieth century brought a new international culture, a new dynamic to which Latin American nations and peoples would have to adjust to and engage in. In the stead of traditional European domination, a new ‘exchange’ emerged with the United States of America – one that would be contrasted with the old imperialist European hegemony. The USA described itself as anti-imperial, and insisted on a new kind of relationship with the ‘outside world’ for Latin America.

However, as we have seen this week, this professed divergence between European and USA domination is different in appearance, but amounts to a continuity of much of the same subjection of Latin Americans to foreign powers. What then, are the differences between European and USA domination? To what extent are these changes attributable to an ‘American’ culture, rather than a change in technology – particularly in media, in military and industry/agriculture?

In particular interest to me is the ways in which large capitalist- and state-interests create narratives that support and legitimize their domination and use of force. The films for this week provide an insight onto this issue, in a retrospectively comical way. How do the narratives around nation-states and sovereignty manipulated by foreign dominators, as well as local ‘nationalists’ (such as Augusto Sandino)? How do these legitimating stories compare to what we read and are convinced by today?