Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Populism, One More Current / Fernando Dámaso

Populism, One More Current / Fernando Dámaso
Fernando Dámaso, Translator: Unstated

Latin America, historically, has moved like a raft floating in the
ocean: forward or backward depending on the ebb and flow of the tide. In
the early twentieth century it was carried away by the rising
nationalism, believing that isolating itself from the world and closing
in on itself, it would be able to better solve its problems. That
failing, it opted for strong and autocratic governments: the
dictatorships with messianic leaders. Each country exalted a dictator,
some for decades, establishing a right of inheritance.

Then, that too failing and tired of patriarchs, it was the turn of the
guerrillas, and an epidemic of beards and olive green uniforms covered
the continent and the pages of newspapers and magazines. Guerrilla
commanders organized in all countries, and commanders and others
appeared, by one method or another, aspiring to the violent seizure of

Failing en masse, many annihilated, those that survived decided to try
legality, converting themselves into political parties or totally
immersing themselves in the drug trade. Then came the time of democratic
presidents and neoliberalism and the Chicago School, at which the
governments of Latin American map with some stability and periods of
civic peace.

Then populist current burst on the scene, which has tried to spread like
bird flu, but populism has no future, gripped in his own verbiage and
contradictions, unable to really solve the economic problems of nations
where it has been tried. What will the new wave be which will move the
ailing American raft? We do not know. But it would not be wrong to say
that until they decide to find land and settle in it, devoting their
crew to serious and responsible work, the only proven long-lasting
wealth creator, and leave off being carried by the movement of the
waves, they will not find the progress or happiness.

April 5 2011

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