Monthly Archives: October 2017

Week 8

To begin I have to state that I fundamentally disagree with Dawson’s definition and view of revolution. In the video, Dawson states that, “Revolution is a claim of ownership on history” and is “an attempt to shape a view of the past that organizes power in the present.” I believe revolution is exactly the opposite of what he claims and is a movement by citizens to bring a change and improve their situation rather than fighting for something belonging to the past. Therefore, in my opinion, revolutions have a forward vision rather than looking into the past and trying to going back to something that a nation previously held. Furthermore, even though I am also interested in how people tell the story of a revolution, however, I think it is critical to realize the facts about a historic movement rather than just relying on people’s opinions and their versions of the story.

Regarding the components of a revolution Dawson mentions that the Old Guard as people who benefited from the previous government and as a result want to maintain their political and economical privileges and would mostly maintain their power. However, normally all the powerful men from a previous government would get wiped out and would be considered lucky if they get a chance to survive and live freely let alone maintaining their power. Therefore, I have quite different view of a revolution compared to Dawson.

Regarding the readings from this week, the poem “To Roosevelt” , the poet has strong opinions against the Unites States and believes that the U.S government is a source of chaos and war in the world and particularly in Latin America. I also think that U.S government played a destructive role¬† in the history of Latin America and took advantage of their resources which will be further discussed during the next week.

 

Week Seven

This week study discusses the term modernity and explains the progression of Latin America in order to become a modern society.

As discussed in the video, modernity has 4 key components:

  1. Innovation
  2. Liberation
  3. Secularism
  4. Universalism

In my opinion innovation is the first step towards modernity. Particularly, innovation in industry is an important factor in the advancement of a society. By introducing new and more efficient ways to do things we can expect to be in a better position. Furthermore, we can consider innovation in forms of arts since it could impact the way people think and better prepare them for a change and guide them towards modernity.

An important sign of modern societies advancement in the way that people in that society think. In the other words, growth in people’s way of thinking equals the growth in their society. We can witness a perfect example of this argument in Latin America where people started fighting for their independence against Europeans and freedom against slavery. As people of South America gained the intellectual freedom, their societies also became more modern. For instance, women or people from African descendants would not get treated as commodities and this is a sign towards modernity.

I believe secularism goes hand in hand with freedom. We are can call a society modern only if its people have intellectual freedom. In a modern society, people should be entitled to have their own way of thinking and therefore they should be able to choose weather they want to have a religion or not. Furthermore, politics should be divided from religion and I believe this is a fundamental step in modernity. I think religion is simply against modernity and involving it with politics would act like a venom for that society.

Regarding universalism, we can argue that in a modern society, people tend to be eager to advance themselves and one way to achieve this, is by learning from others. Therefore, we can claim that a sign of modernity is sharing ideas and achievements. Also, if we look at the whole world as one huge society, countries should learn from each others advancements.

Another interesting point in this week’s material for me was the point that in Latin America, modernity involved everything such as economy, freedom and rights, innovation and etc. but it lacked the political advancement which is a huge aspect of modernity. Even though people were free, however, they still were not treated equally and some people believed that they are more capable than others and therefore they should be the ones making rules which is exactly oppose to the idea of democracy. As a result, Latin Americans had a long way to overcome this idea and move away from dictatorship and towards democracy which is a necessity of modern societies.

Week Six

The concept of Citizenship and Rights and the path people of South America took to achieve their rights is an important one and helps us to understand their current situation better. During the lecture presentation video, we we asked to consider 3 main questions:

  1. How does a history of slavery shape the Americas today?
  2. Are there other examples of unresolved conflicts or tensions?
  3. How might we do justice to such histories?

In order to answer these questions, first we need to think about the struggles that “lower class” people and slaves went through. People who could not even have their own religion and were treated like goods or equipment. When we think about this, and the fact that these actions were still valid until late 1800’s, we realize the significant journey that these people went through. When we realize the history of the people in South America it brings a sense of sympathy to us and assists us better understand their way of thinking.

The interesting fact that I realized during this week’s materials, is that South America is also a victim of slavery as much as United States. However, slavery in these region was quite different. To be more particular, I think since there were more groups from various¬†ethnicities and backgrounds in South America compared to the United States therefore, their fight for freedom could be more challenging since different people from different backgrounds are more likely to have contradictory ideologies. However, in both cases, the “upper class” would treat the “lower class” rigidly and cruelly. Eventually these acts led to fights for freedom across the region and they became successful.

 

Week Five

All regions of the world have experienced dictatorship at some point through out their history and Latin America is no exception from this. However, the fact that differentiates Latin American version of dictatorship is that people weren’t too unhappy with their leader and In my opinion this a huge point. It would be interesting to realize what these dictators have done differently that gained them popularity. After watching the videos I realized that leaders’ popularity comes down to the way people feel about them. For instance, since one of these dictators knew the language and customs of the lower class people, they would support him. This is a significant point since it highlights the importance of propaganda and relation with people as a major aspect of politics. It was also quite interesting to realize that various political party’s would suggest things like security to people in order to gain their support.

The evolution of the Caudillos during post-independence era was a result of multiple factors. To be more particular, people who had military power, were charismatic, political and knew struggles of lower class society; would have a great chance to become a leader and eventually a dictator. When we observe the growth’s process of these dictators, we can see they all have many things in common and interestingly many of them have felt the struggle of ordinary people and yet when they become powerful they become dictators. However, it is also important to observe the role of previous governments and in the case of Latin America the role of Spain during pre-independence era. For instance, we can mention that if Spanish invaders did not classify people based on their skin color, then people would not feel as bad towards their social class and begin supporting Caudillos.

I think it is important to look for the roots of a problem and I believe the roots of Caudillos goes back to pre-independence era. Now the question is how can we prevent such incidents from happening in the future or is it even possible to do so?