I find week thirteen’s homework to be interesting as it focuses contemporary times and what the future holds for different countries in Latin America. In particular, I liked Maxwell Cameron’s conversation, “The Left Turns.”
Early in the video, Cameron mentions that, in the past as countries would transition from neoliberalism to the rise of the left, “Democracy often relied on elite agreements that certain issues would be ‘off the table.'” I find this to be interesting as it contradicts the values of a true democracy: in essence, being that democracy is a government that is by the people.
Cameron also mentions US relations among Latin America in recent decades. With more distractions the US faces, such as conflict risen in the Middle East, the US has lost most of its focus in Latin America. Unlike decades ago in Guatemala, countries in Latin America have finally had the opportunity to experiment with democracy, therefore developing a system most fitting. I also find it interesting that the United States obtains more inequality than many Latin American countries and that there are countries, such as Bolivia, that are recognized as anti-democratic, although have become prosperous.
On another note, it is interesting to see how peoples’ minds work. Cameron briefly explains the current protesting in Brazil and what it entails. The redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor benefits the poor as the wealthy continue to prosper. This angers the middle class because they see no benefits. Sometimes, people feel a sense of entitlement to things: that they deserve certain things “just because.” Cameron refers to a recent travel to Brazil, and how taxi drivers (recognized as people of the middle class) felt that the redistribution of wealth was unfair. People of the middle class, people who work hard and pay taxes, find it unfair that “lazy” people are getting better off. The redistribution of wealth will always anger people, regardless of which direction it goes, as certain groups are not accommodated.
Lastly, I would like to bring up Maxwell Cameron’s last comment. He mentions that there are times when democracy can take part in global issues as people ignore the impacts of their choices on future generations. I find this to be very interesting. As people vote based off of their self-interests, they can sometimes become part of “the” problem rather than a part of “the” solution. This issue can become very controversial as, stated earlier, a true democracy is labeled as a government that is by its people.
It’s kind of contradictory that it’s only when the U.S -a country that claims to push democracy- steps out of Latin America, democracy prospers. Makes us wonder how pure our intensions are….
Also, I don’t think you can compare the U.S./Canada and Bolivia so cleanly. You have to look at the conditions of the countries and at least when you’re looking at inequality of race in the U.S. versus Bolivia, Bolivia really has two main races, whereas the U.S. is much more diverse. Also, Bolivia is the fastest growing economy in Latin America, but again, you have to look at where it started.