This week, we learned about the uncertain future of many Latin American countries, and their transition. Personally, I didn’t find this weeks material overly interesting. I believe it is due to the fact that we are reaching an increasingly modern Latin America as the semester progresses and I’m learning about the more recent traumas experienced in these countries. Though this is crucial for a better understanding of Latin America as whole, I’m simply not finding it as intriguing. Anyways, here are my thoughts on the reading and documents:
Despite my dislike for more recent history, I did find it quite captivating how Latin America is “ahead of the curve” in terms of crisis. As unemployment rises in European countries as well as the United States, people began to give up on this crisis generation. It became a fact that this generation would not recover in order to attain middle-class jobs, an education, and a retirement plan. However, these factors had been longtime components of middle and working class of Latin America. Hence, these countries were already familiar with these crises, and had their own ways of dealing with these particular situations. Even when power was remote, Latin Americans proved it could still be immediate. When I first read this, I was admittedly confused. However, it made more sense as I continued reading. In other words, Latin Americans knew how to seize power, whenever and wherever they possibly could. For example, they would work systems in order for them to best fit their needs. In addition, they would use “unruly” forms of politics, such as riots and protests, in order to get their point across. I find it insane how hard life could be in Latin America, and how people fight every day for seemingly basic rights. It made me reflect on how privileged I am to live in a country like Canada.
The readings also touched on the economy for these countries as well. For instance, when the economy suffered in 2008, Latin America saw growth in exporting minerals, agricultural products, and hydrocarbons. However, this growth did not bring stability. I found Hirschmans notion that when states fall into crisis, people tend to engage depending on their best interest, quite interesting. The entire break down of how his book, “Exit, Voice, and Loyalty,” applied to regions of Latin America.
My question for the class next week is as follows:
As we have learned, Latin America seems to serve as opposites to some countries: when economy fails, Latin America experiences growth. When the world fears the crisis of a generation, Latin America have for a longtime experienced these things. What are the main factors that cause this recurring theme?