Politics and Social Change in Latin America: Still a Distinct Tradition? Fourth Edition, Revised and Updated

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Politics and Social Change in Latin America: Still a Distinct Tradition? Fourth Edition, Revised and Updated

Politics and Social Change in Latin America: STILL A DISTINCT TRADITION? Howard J. Wiarda Margaret MacLeish Mott Editor

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Politics and Social Change in Latin America: STILL A DISTINCT TRADITION?

Howard J. Wiarda Margaret MacLeish Mott Editors

PRAEGER

Politics and Social Change in Latin America

Politics and Social Change in Latin America STILL A DISTINCT TRADITION? Fourth Edition, Revised and Updated

Edited by Howard J. Wiarda and Margaret MacLeish Mott

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Politics and social change in Latin America : still a distinct tradition? / edited by Howard J. Wiarda and Margaret MacLeish Mott.—4th ed., rev. and updated p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0–275–97032–9 (alk. paper)—ISBN 0–275–97033–7 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Latin America—Politics and government. 2. Latin America—Social conditions. I. Wiarda, Howard J., 1939– II. Mott, Margaret MacLeish, 1956– JL966.P635 2003 320.98—dc21 2003048239 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data is available. Copyright 䉷 2003 by Howard J. Wiarda All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, by any process or technique, without the express written consent of the publisher. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2003048239 ISBN: 0–275–97032–9 0–275–97033–7 (pbk) First published in 2003 Praeger Publishers, 88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881 An imprint of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc. www.praeger.com Printed in the United States of America

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Copyright Acknowledgments Chapter 2: The author and publisher gratefully acknowledge permission to reprint the following: “Patterns of Continuity in Latin American Society: Political and Historical Perspectives” by Roland H. Ebel and James Henderson, as presented at The Southeast Conference on Latin American Studies, March 1976. Copyright 䉷 1976 by Roland H. Ebel. Reproduced with permission of the author. Chapter 3: “Dualistic Society Reconsidered” from Part I and “Latin America’s ‘Two Morality’ Paradigm” from Part II in The Latin Americans, Spirit and Ethos (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992), 3–15, 33–38. Copyright 䉷 1992 by Glenn Caudill Dealy. Reproduced with permission of the author. Chapter 4: An earlier version appeared as pages 191–206 from “The Latin American Tradition” by Roland H. Ebel and Raymond Taras as published in Culture and International Relations, Jongsuk Chay, editor. Copyright 䉷 1990 by Praeger Publishers. Reproduced with the permission of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., Westport, CT. Chapter 5: Pages 31–39 from “The Spanish American Past: Enemy of Change” by Donald E. Worcester as published in The Journal of Inter-American Studies, 11(1) ( January 1969): 66–75. Reproduced with the permission of The Journal of InterAmerican Studies. Chapter 6: Pages 237–245 from “Science, Technology, and Hispanic America” by Irving A. Leonard as published in the Michigan Quarterly Review, 1963. Copyright 䉷 1963 by Michigan Quarterly Review. Reproduced with the permission of the Michigan Quarterly Review. Chapter 7: Morse, Richard M. New World Soundings: Culture and Ideology in the Americas pp. 70–107. Copyright 䉷 1989 by the Johns Hopkins University Press. Reprinted with permission of the Johns Hopkins University Press. Chapter 8: Published in Menno Vellinga (ed.), The Changing Role of the State in Latin America (Utrecht, The Netherlands: University of Utrecht, 1995). Reproduced with the permission of the author.

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Chapter 10: From “Latin America and Democracy” by Octavio Paz as published in Democracy and Dictatorship in Latin America, special issue of Dissent magazine, published by the Foundation for the Study of Independent Social Ideas, 1982. Copyright 䉷 by Dissent magazine. Reproduced with the permission of Dissent magazine. Chapter 11: “From El Cid to El Che: The Hero and the Mystique of Liberation in Latin America” by Dolores Moyano Martin. Reproduced with the permission of World and I. Chapter 12: Pages 58–74 from “Latin America’s Magical Liberalism” by Tina Rosenberg as published in Washington Quarterly, Autumn 1992. Copyright 䉷 1992 by Tina Rosenberg. Reproduced with the permission of the author. Chapter 13: Pages 120–137 from “The News about Religion in Latin America” by Daniel H. Levine, 2000. Copyright 䉷 by the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, Trinity College, Hartford, CT. Reproduced with permission of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. Chapter 14: “On Democracy and Democratization” by Peter H. Smith, as presented at the Centennial Symposium on “Restructuring Political Regimes” at the University of Pittsburg, March 1987; parts of the argument have appeared in “Sobre la democracia y la democratizacion en la America Latina: especulaciones y perspectivas.” Foro Internacional, 29, no. 1 (July–September 1989): 5–29, and in “Crisis and Democracy in Latin America,” World Politics, 43, no. 4 (July 1991): 608–634. Reproduced with permission of the author. Chapter 15: Presented at the 50th Anniversary convocation of the International Conference of Americanists, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland, July, 2000. An earlier version of this chapter appeared in the Journal of Inter-American Studies and World Affairs. Reproduced with permission of the author.

Contents

Preface Chapter 1

Part I Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Part II

ix Introduction: Interpreting Latin America’s Politics on its Own Terms Howard J. Wiarda and Margaret MacLeish Mott

The Political Culture Framework Patterns of Continuity in Latin American Society: Political and Historical Perspectives Roland H. Ebel Two Cultures and Political Behavior in Latin America Glen Caudill Dealy

Historical Factors

1 15 17 37 53

Chapter 4

The Latin American Tradition Roland H. Ebel and Raymond Taras

55

Chapter 5

The Spanish American Past: Enemy of Change Donald E. Worcester

69

Chapter 6

Science, Technology, and Hispanic America Irving A. Leonard

79

Chapter 7

Claims of Political Tradition Richard M. Morse

91

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Contents

Chapter 8

Historical Determinants of the Latin American State: The Tradition of Bureaucratic-Patrimonialism, Corporatism, Centralism, and Authoritarianism Howard J. Wiarda

129

Part III

Politics and Social Change

151

Chapter 9

The Tradition of Higher Laws in Latin America Margaret MacLeish Mott

153

Chapter 10

Latin America and Democracy Octavio Paz

167

Chapter 11

From El Cid to El Che: The Hero and the Mystique of Liberation in Latin America Dolores Moyano Martin

185

Chapter 12

Latin America’s Magical Liberalism Tina Rosenberg

209

Chapter 13

The News about Religion in Latin America Daniel H. Levine

227

Part IV

Foreign Policy Implications

245

Chapter 14

On Democracy and Democratization Peter H. Smith

247

Chapter 15

Consensus Found, Consensus Lost: Disjunctures in U.S. Policy Toward Latin America in the New Millennium Howard J. Wiarda

Chapter 16

Conclusion Howard J. Wiarda and Margaret MacLeish Mott

267 283

Suggested Readings

293

Index

301

About the Contributors

307

Preface

This volume is different from the usual texts and collections dealing with Latin America: It has a central theme and focus. It is aimed at challenging our easy, often biased and ethnocentric ideas about Latin America, at stimulating our thinking, and at forcing us to reconsider our usual—and usually misconceived—interpretations of social change and political development in the Latin American context. No claim is made in these pages to having discovered that elusive, evolving concept called final truth; instead the book will have served its purpose if it stimulates, provokes, sometimes angers, and raises important questions and controversy for serious consideration. The chapters in this book explore the distinct tradition of social change and political development in Latin America. Their unifying, integrating theme is the distinctive sociopolitical framework within which Latin American development takes place. The Latin American experience of development (and in parallel fashion that of Spain, Portugal, perhaps Italy, and some other countries as well) is subject to special imperatives of analysis and interpretation that the general, Western (that is, Northwest European and North American) literature on development and social change fails to provide. The main thrust of the book is toward an explanation of how and why Latin America fails to conform very well to our commonly known models of socioeconomic and political change; why policies and development strategies based on such ethnocentric models so often fail or produce unanticipated consequences; and what it is that makes the Latin American development experience so different. If you’re interested in understanding such Latin American leaders and movements as, for example, Alberto Fujimori in Peru, Hugo Cha´vez in Venezuela,

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Fidel Castro in Cuba, or the recent changes in Mexico, then this is the book for you. Essentially the book wrestles with the issue of whether there is a distinct Latin American/Southern European sociology and politics of development, one that serves as an Iberic-Latin counterpart to the great sociological paradigms formulated by Marx, Durkheim, or Weber; and, if there is such a unique Latin American model, what its precise dimensions and components might be. For the fact is that Latin America fails to conform very well to the processes of historical change outlined in mainstream sociology and political science, which is one key reason why the policies and developmental strategies based on the Western formulations have so often missed the mark. The distinctive features of Latin America provide one important set of reasons why, in Chilean sociologist Claudio Velı´z’s words, the efforts to “reform,” “modernize,” “democratize,” or “revolutionize” Latin America have so often produced failure, disillusionment, and perplexity.1 The recent and heartening transitions to various forms of democracy, or at least to half-way houses between democracy and authoritarianism, place an added obligation on the argument of this book and provide the justification for this fourth edition. Latin America appears not only to have developed a great deal in the Western sense in the past thirty years but, as a correlate of that development, appears to have democratized as well. However, many scholars are unsure whether Latin America can remain democratic; the present may be just another cycle in the long history of periodic cycles, and after a time, the region will return to authoritarianism. Moreover, even if Latin America remains democratic, it will most likely be in its own distinctive Rousseauean forms (top-down, authoritative, corporatist, and organic) rather than as an imitation of the U.S.-style Lockean liberalism. Even in the new democratic era, there are many continuities with Latin America’s past; it behooves us, in order to understand the area, to know what these are and how they work. Democracy and neoliberalism are not working out very well in Latin America. We may lament that fact but it is a fact nevertheless. Public support for democracy is in decline, political parties and other institutions of democracy have not developed as expected, and democracy and economic liberalism are widely seen as not adequately delivering on their promises. For while it is one thing and relatively easy to change the institutions of Latin America to democracy, it is quite another—and far harder—to change the underlying values, practices, and overall political culture. And that is what this book wrestles with: what is the underlying political culture of Latin America, how and why is it unique, how does it impede democratization or development or both, and what can or should be done about it. The interpretations included here examine what the special requirements of Latin American development are, provide the historical and background materials for a better comprehension of the area, and explore the political

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xi

theory, sociological processes, and institutional structures by which development in Latin America takes place (or fails to take place). The book both criticizes the often inappropriate models of development and modernization based on the U.S. or Northwest European experiences and begins to formulate a framework for understanding that is more attuned to the distinct traditions and processes of Latin American development. These traditions of Latin American political theory, sociology, and political change have been almost entirely ignored in our general studies, our liberal arts education, and our understandings of modern, Western development; but they are critical for a proper comprehension of Latin America. We ignore them at the cost not only of continuing to misunderstand the region but also of missing an important comparative perspective on our own contemporary malaise as well. It is clear that as the faults and crises in the United States and in other industrial societies become more apparent, as the United States proves unable to resolve pressing social problems, as society-wide conflict and divisiveness increase, and as the United States has also become something of a banana republic, we must call into question the happy, facile assumption that the United States is more developed than other nations. Economically the United States is (though a dozen other nations have by now equaled or surpassed the United States in per-capita income), but it is sometimes hard to make the argument that the United States is sociologically, politically, or morally somehow superior. Hence, rather than viewing them as less-developed countries, or LDCs, this book suggests the heretical notion that the Latin American nations are following an alternative route to modernization that is quite distinct from that of the United States but perhaps—on their terms—no less functional or viable. Furthermore, as the tendencies toward bureaucracy, statism, and concentration grow in the United States and other industrialized nations, it may be that profit can be derived from studying a group of nations—those of Latin America—that have long been organized on the basis of bureaucracy, statism, and concentration. The question must therefore be seriously raised: Could it be that the United States can learn from the way Latin America has sought to cope with the great sociopolitical crises of the modern world—industrialization, rapid urbanization, accelerated social change, the rise of mass society, and a conflict-prone polity—instead of assuming that it must always learn from the United States? These are meaty, important questions, and their implications go beyond the immediate subject matter of Latin America. They deal also with the presumed universality of the social sciences, with the feasibility or desirability of a distinct Latin American (or Islamic? or sub-Saharan African?) sociology and politics of development, and with the quest of many Third World nations to fashion an indigenous model of national development rather than one derived exclusively and ethnocentrically from the Western experience. The essays included in this volume deal with these themes in a serious and scholarly way, exploring different and not always exactly complementary facets of the issues,

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but united in their quest for explanations of Latin America’s development and its distinctiveness, addressing themselves to contemporary and universal questions regarding the human condition, with clear relevance to our own time and place. There are many other suggestive interpretations of the Latin American tradition that, space permitting, could have been included in this book; many of these are listed in the notes and Suggested Readings. Nor should it be thought that the interpretations offered here are the final word on the subject; they offer a beginning point for analysis, not an end point, and their use should be supplemented through such interpretations as class analysis, dependency analysis, political economy, and others. The argument needs to be further fleshed out through detailed country case studies and comparative analysis, and with an appreciation of where the comments offered apply to a greater or lesser extent. The chapters included in the book are generally considered to be classics in the field. Several of them were written two or three decades ago, but their perspectives are still so fresh and their interpretations so interesting that they remain well worth reading. Other essays are more recent but also speak to the large theme of the nature of Latin American development. All the essays are united in searching for the special character of Latin American social and political change, analyzing the dynamics of that process, and understanding how and why Latin American development differs from that of the United States. The essays collected here outline in broad terms the sociocultural and political-institutional bases of the Latin American systems. We focus on these themes because they are critical to understanding Latin America and because they have been woefully neglected in the literature. But while we concentrate on the political culture of Latin America, our intention is not to elevate that into the sole or even most important explanation of Latin America’s current condition or to argue that other explanatory factors are not important. In other writings we have focused on the class structure, the socioeconomic conditions, the political-institutional constraints, and the international dependency variables that also help determine Latin American development. However, the focus here is on political culture as an important but neglected variable. Those who say that they can understand Latin America without regard to the political culture—the value system of the area, the history, the role of religion and the Church, the legal system and tradition, the educational system, the system of interpersonal relations and behavior—simply cannot know or understand the area. To genuinely and thoroughly understand Latin America one has to be steeped in the history and culture of the area, the origins in medieval Spain and Portugal, and the distinctive institutions and development patterns; only then will Latin America’s contemporary class relations and institutional arrangements begin to make sense. It is hoped that these essays will help stimulate the more rigorous compar-

Preface

xiii

ative and theoretical examinations that are clearly still needed and the gathering of greater country-specific information on which such interpretations can alone be based. The chief criterion of selection has been to bring together a set of intriguing, stimulating, and provocative essays by some of the foremost scholars in the field emphasizing the distinctiveness of the Latin American tradition but in a way that relates that experience to more universal themes of development, modernization, and social change. The book may be read with profit by both general readers and specialists in the field. It could appropriately serve as a text or as required supplemental reading in undergraduate and graduate courses and seminars dealing with Latin America or with the more general topics of comparative history, social change, and Third World development studies. The Introduction was written to introduce the nonspecialist to the area, to bring up some of the basic issues, and to encourage consideration of them. The chapters that follow raise some more complex themes and ideas, but they, too, are highly readable and readily comprehensible. The book thus reaches toward a number of audiences in the hope of providing a perspective that has been ignored too often in the past and of serving to correct the bias and ethnocentrism that previously have pervaded our thinking, teaching, and policy. There can be no doubt that we only weakly and often mistakenly understand the Latin American tradition and its sociopolitical processes; yet it is equally clear that the processes and crises of development in these and other modernizing nations, as well as our response to them, are among the most critical issues with which we shall have to cope in the coming century. The appearance of the first, second, and third editions of this book provoked a vigorous, on-going controversy, a major debate within the field, and varied efforts on the part of some to distort its content and misrepresent the arguments presented. Even those who disagreed with some of the points of view, however, recognized the important arguments involved, the need to deal with the issues raised, and the challenging nature of the theses presented for all students of the area. That perspective, the sense of controversy, and the provocative nature of the arguments have been retained in this new edition. At the same time, the Introduction and Conclusion have been revised in order to refine the analysis, deal with the objections raised, and bring the analysis up-to-date. Each main substantive section of the book has been thoroughly reorganized and new readings included; a new section has been added dealing with the foreign policy implications of the analysis presented; and, with the explosion of new literature, the Suggested Readings section has been expanded and updated. But the main arguments remain; if anything, I would now express them even more forcefully than I did when the first edition was published. For the concepts advanced here of corporatism, organic-statism, patrimonialism, and bureaucratic-authoritarianism, all of critical importance in understanding the Iberic-Latin tradition, have by now become widely used in the literature; we are today even more cognizant than we were then of the

xiv

Preface

ethnocentrism of our major social-science models of development; and the experiences of many developing nations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, as well as in Latin America, have taught us that there are alternative styles of national sociopolitical organization out there besides our own preferred one. This volume is dedicated to the students with whom we have worked in precisely those courses on Latin America, comparative politics, and developing areas mentioned above. Though the fact is often doubted, education is a two-way process; and though it does not always show immediately, teachers do learn from the questions, perspectives, and viewpoints of their students. That has certainly been true in our case and in terms of the differences between this and the first three editions of this book. It is no more than fair, therefore, that this volume, which represents a part of our own learning process, should be dedicated to those who assisted in that education. Many others have stimulated us with their ideas and research findings; that debt is acknowledged here and in the notes and Suggested Readings. Leone Stein, former director of the University of Massachusetts Press, was exceedingly generous in her encouragement and sound advice on the first two editions of the book; for the third edition, published by Westview Press, Barbara Ellington and Frederick Praeger have been very helpful. Jorge Domı´nguez at Harvard, Roland Ebel at Tulane, Larman Wilson at American University, Richard Nuccio of the Inter-American Dialogue, and Michael J. Kryzanek of Bridgewater State University (the latter two were among our best Ph.D. students) have provided valuable suggestions concerning the readings to be included. Howard J. Wiarda Margaret MacLeish Mott Amherst, Massachusetts

NOTE 1. Velı´z, The Centralist Tradition in Latin America (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1980).

CHAPTER 1

Introduction: Interpreting Latin America’s Politics on Its Own Terms Howard J. Wiarda and Margaret MacLeish Mott

INTRODUCTI ON : A P O L I T I C A L C U LT U R E APPROACH In an effort to rid the discipline of ethnocentric tendencies, political scientists, in the business of comparing political systems, have struggled to put together a model of political development that explains Latin America’s experience as something distinct from, but parallel to, that of Western Europe and the United States. Eager to avoid the criticisms best articulated by Roy Macridis in his 1955 polemic, The Study of Comparative Government,1 comparativists moved away from prescriptive policies and formalist models and toward analytic frameworks and explanatory models. Out of that shift in thinking, three main models emerged: developmentalism, dependency, and the “Latin American Tradition.”2 Instead of imposing formal structures of democracy as had been the case in the early part of the twentieth century, these models considered informal structures and external forces as a way of explaining, as well as effecting, political change in Latin America. This volume presents readings in the Latin American Tradition. Rather than follow the guidelines developed by U.S. foreign aid programs, in which social and economic changes are facilitated in order to further democratic values, or subscribe to a basically Marxist model, in which third-world development is understood to be retarded by first-world needs, we are asking the reader to consider Latin American political development within an indigenous, or home-grown, framework. Unlike development and dependency theories, which were externally imposed on Latin America, the model we propose comes out of the historic political culture of Latin America itself; the organic,

2

Politics and Social Change in Latin America

Thomist, corporatist, Catholic, authoritarian tradition that the missionaries and conquistadors brought over from Spain and Portugal. This is not to say that development theory is not useful in understanding Latin American political development. Social and economic changes coupled with existing democratic institutions, such as elections and representative government, indicate that democracy in Latin America is now bone deep. In the first half of the twentieth century; comparativists argued that Latin America was democratic in name alone: democracy was the duplicitous pose assumed by dictators to gain acceptance in international circles. In the intervening years, that posture took on an authenticity as economic development, coupled with an enhanced sense of civil rights, made the old dictatorship both an embarrassment and an affront to national dignity. By paying attention to civil society and economic indicators, development theory helped us to see beyond the formalities of government. Neither do we deny the usefulness of dependency theory. This model explains why countries rich in natural resources are nevertheless unable to move into powerful positions in a world economy. Whereas development theory might argue that the world marketplace is a level playing field in which all are free to participate, dependency theory demands that we pay attention to the structural forces that keep the playing field at a decided tilt biased against the less developed nations. For instance, when we begin to recognize how international lending practices operate to the advantage of developed countries and to the disadvantage of those in the process of development, then we are thinking within a dependency framework. This framework has gained legitimacy beyond Marxist and left-wing intellectual circles. Recent calls to forgive third-world debt are examples of positions that reflect the basic assumptions of dependency theory. Rather than see Latin America through the eyes of the U.S. model or purely as an example of class struggle, we want to present Latin America’s political tradition and political culture on its own terms. Indeed, the purpose behind this volume is to deepen the Englishspeaking world’s appreciation of Latin America’s political tradition as something older and deeper than dependency theories and development models might indicate. We argue that much of the Latin American tradition has been ignored because it does not fit U.S. models of development. Whereas the United States has understood government as responsive to and separate from society, Latin America has understood government as directive and integral to society. Whereas the United States understands democracy in terms of separated powers, competing interest groups, and adversarial political parties, Latin America understands democracy in terms of a strong leader, coordinated interests, and patronage politics. These substantive differences in the experience of democracy create problems when Latin American political behavior is forced into definitions formulated from the U.S. model. Rather than consider Latin American political development in terms of U.S. standards, we ground our

Introduction

3

analysis of Latin American politics in a culture that stretches back to the Holy Roman Empire and that didn’t follow Luther or Calvin when they broke from the Catholic past. HISTORICAL DE T E R M I N A N T S When the Spanish and Portuguese explorers arrived in the New World, they not only brought with them the trappings of the Hapsburg empire— priests and prayer books, soldiers fresh from fighting the Moors, and the official seal of the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella—but they also brought sensibilities firmly rooted in the medieval world. They looked at the people and institutions of the Mayan, Aztec, and Incan civilizations with an imagination shaped by medieval Catholicism; whatever they saw was given a religious interpretation. Conquistadors saw a natural slave class (the Indians) that could be incorporated into the new hierarchy. Priests looked at the practice of human sacrifice and concluded that the devil had arrived before them. Missionaries compared the plight of subjugated Indian tribes living under the Aztec Emperor to the persecution of early Christians living under the terror of pagan Roman rulers. In the eyes of the Spanish and Portuguese interlopers, the civilizations of the New World desperately needed the Roman Catholic Church. Only the Church could rid the New World of idolatry and tyranny and bring this new meek of the earth to the blessings of Christian salvation. Although greedy Conquistadors, eager to capture gold and silver, may not have consistently aided in this effort, the early theologians involved in the incorporation of the New World into the Old did not see that effort as conquest but as poblacio´n and civilizacio´n, that is, the making of Indians into Christian citizens. Although the material conditions of colonization were similar, the nature of the citizens’ relationship to the central government in North and Latin America was entirely different. The former was born out of Protestant nonconformity and rebellion, the latter an extension of medieval Catholic conceptions of power. The extension of Protestantism brought into existence in the United States a nation even more resistant to centralized power than the English mother country. The early settlers in New England intended to live outside the reach of the Anglican Church. Many of them had left England in search of religious freedom. Instead of extending the official church’s power, they were hoping to avoid it. Nor was there any concerted effort to incorporate the indigenous population into the blessings of Puritanism. The founding families’ imaginations in North America were not Catholic but nascently liberal. Rather than building an organic government that extended its reach into the human soul, the founders of the thirteen colonies wanted what the political theorist John Locke had promised: a government that protected the rights and property of the hard-working individual, one of those protected rights being the right to be left alone. In contrast, the Catholic reach into the

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Politics and Social Change in Latin America

Indian civilizations of Meso-America created a smattering of nations often even more enamored of authoritarian and patrimonial forms of government than their Spanish and Portuguese ancestors. The form of government was not the only matter of disagreement between the Protestant North and Catholic South. The very purpose of government was a hotly contested issue. When sixteenth-century Protestant kings refused to recognize the authority of the Pope, a major division occurred in the Western political tradition. No longer would the state be the decision-maker for a person’s spiritual life. According to the terms of Protestantism, civil society entailed the liberty to worship God as one deemed best. Freedom of religion, and hence freedom of individual thought, became the defining feature of liberalism. According to the Roman Catholic Church, such freedoms were the very essence of heresy. Indeed, by granting religious freedom to the individual, the liberal state had fallen down on its moral obligation to bring its citizens in line with God’s will. The diminished status of the Church in the North opened up opportunities for modernization and industrialization. There was no institution in place to filter new ideas through the tight weave of a feudal or medieval tradition. A product or a service was successful insofar as the market would support it. The invisible hand that Adam Smith perceived in the marketplace replaced the guiding hand of God. In the South, in contrast, the Church continued to act as a moral antibody fighting off dangerous and pernicious outside influences. Of particular concern to the Latin American Church was the dangerous influence of ideas: particularly liberalism, communism, and capitalism. All three of these modern theories failed to meet the fundamental principles of Catholicism: liberalism did not recognize the state’s responsibility to lead its people to salvation (whether religious, economic and/or political); communism did not recognize the sanctity of private property or the dignity of the individual; and capitalism did not recognize the rights of people to enjoy their natural rights. It wasn’t just the Roman Catholic Church that was intolerant of heretical thinking; liberalism had its own standards by which to judge correct thinking, and Catholicism never met that standard. According to many Anglo-American accounts, Catholicism and democracy were mutually exclusive belief systems. Democracy required independence of thought, Catholicism demanded obedience to the Pope; democracy assumed that all men were equal, Catholicism accepted a social hierarchy; democracies allowed for a written law open to individual interpretation, Catholicism maintained a tight control over the interpretation of sacred texts. For much of the modern era, democracy was defined using the terms of a Protestant belief system in explicit opposition to the so-called anti-democratic practices of neighboring Catholic countries. Because democracy came to be associated with expressions of Protestant nationhood, Catholic versions of democracy have been largely overlooked. Democratic practices in Latin America were only recognized insofar as they

Introduction

5

conformed to Protestant orthodoxy. If a Latin American politician invoked John Locke, one of the chief architects of liberal government, that was significant. But if Spanish or Latin American lawmakers cited Thomas Aquinas or Francisco Sua´rez, few Protestant observers understood or took note. Regardless of the existence of constitutions, representative parliaments, or popular elections, countries of the South, inasmuch as they were Catholic, were often regarded as incapable of being democratic. The capacity of these traditionally Catholic countries to be democratic is the subject of many of the essays in this volume. That many of these authors use terms such as “organic” and “corporatist” suggests that, in Latin America, democracy may mean something different than it does in the United States. Whereas Americans champion the right to be left alone, Latin Americans triumph membership in a collective whole. The average U.S. voter understands democracy to be a responsive form of government in which elected officials are held accountable for their actions. The average Latin American voter, on the other hand, understands democracy to be a strong government in which leaders take responsibility for improving both the moral and social life of their people. In the United States, government has been conceived as a black box that mechanically responds to parties and interest groups and then spits out appropriate policies. In Latin America, government takes a much more directive role, negotiating agreements between the various interested parties and incorporating all of them into the greater needs of the state. Pluralism in the United States suggests a civil society in which individuals pick and choose among many free and voluntary associations, in the manner of John Locke. Pluralism, in Latin America, is understood in terms of corporate groups, of belonging by birth or occupation to a particular group that has its own special relationship to the central authority. The words may translate easily between English, Spanish and Portuguese, but the interpretation of these political terms is substantially different in each language. Understanding political culture requires an understanding of founding practices, behaviors, and beliefs of the colonial governments. It is not surprising, therefore, that so many of the authors in this volume ground their research in colonial activities, in the imaginations of missionaries and conquistadors, and in the political institutions and values brought over from Spain and Portugal. For those trained in the discipline of history, in which accuracy and precision are paramount and attention is trained to the particular, some of this research may seem ungrounded. Making a political culture argument is more of an art than a science; there will always be instances and examples that do not support a political culture argument. Just as there are many examples in U.S. history that contradict our liberal ideology, such as the highly regulated social life in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century America,3 so there are countless examples in Latin American history that run counter to an organic, authoritarian, corporatist framework. Yet taken as a whole, these historical events and their enduring narrations can help us to understand political

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Politics and Social Change in Latin America

behavior in a larger cultural context. The actions of a General Pinochet or a Fidel Castro, for instance, may make more sense once understood against the background of a political culture that values order over participation, and natural law over a mere constitution. The earliest historical event to shape Spain’s and Portugal’s political development was the Reconquest, the seven-hundred-year battle that replaced Islamic rule in Iberia with Christendom. That the battle took seven hundred years speaks to the ability of Spaniards and Portuguese (whether Christian, Jew, or Muslim) to be both tolerant and intolerant. From time to time throughout the Reconquest, some Christian king would be motivated to wipe out the infidels. Eventually, the zealous period would abate, a treaty would be signed, and Christian and infidel would live side by side until the next period of zealousness disturbed the social order. This ability to be both devout and pragmatic may explain some of the pendulum swings that characterize Latin American politics; the periods of tolerance would be experiments in a republican form of government, and the periods of intolerance would be the periodic episodes of dictatorships. A second event particular to Latin American political development was the Hapsburg Model developed by the Catholic Kings, Ferdinand and Isabella. Through a particularly intolerant brand of Catholicism, Ferdinand and Isabella expelled the Jews, conquered the last Moorish city, Granada, and consolidated the many Iberian kingdoms under one throne. Through skillful bargaining and the clever use of ceremonial titles, Ferdinand and Isabella incorporated the autonomous orders, the Church, the Army, and the elites, under their central government. By giving the Inquisition strong political backing, they effectively neutralized any political enemies. The form of government that they institutionalized—authoritarian, corporate, organic, and devout—became the blueprint for future administrations in both the Iberian peninsula and its many colonies. For three centuries of colonial rule, the Hapsburg Model remained unchallenged. Whereas in Spain and Portugal social movements from below eventually brought moments of real, albeit brief, democracy, colonial government in Latin America became more absolute, more hierarchical, and more authoritarian as they struggled to maintain order over a very diverse population. The highly stratified society of creole elite, mixed-blood progeny (mestizos), African slaves, Incan elites, stone-age Amazonians was held in place through an authority that was absolute. When the winds of independence reached Latin America they stirred up not liberal reforms but conservative efforts to maintain the status quo. In the minds of the nineteenth-century colonial elite, the mother countries had become too liberal, too secular, and too chaotic. Independence from Spain and Portugal was not an exercise in political experimentation, as was the case to the North, but a rush to revive the tried and true. Throughout the centuries, the standards for good government in Latin

Introduction

7

America have been located not so much in a constitution as in the writings of Catholic theologians, particularly Saint Thomas Aquinas. Understanding the political culture of Latin America, therefore, requires going back to the scholastic philosophy of the Middle Ages, not because Latin America is trapped in an anachronistic reality, but because the political and social doctrines developed by Aquinas often continue to provide the model for justice and the duties of the state. Even when social changes and secularization reduced the role of the Church in political affairs—it has always held an important role in social affairs—the basic organic form of government remained intact. Nineteenth-century Latin American republicans may have cited Rousseau’s general will as the basis of their independence from Europe, but the mechanism for expressing that general will was as authoritarian, top-down, corporatist, and organic as anything Aquinas envisioned. With so much power located in the head of state, how could Latin America ever be democratic? Rousseau provides a clue. Rather than look for methods of constraining governmental power from within—that is, through a separation of powers, federalist structures, or other institutionalized checks and balances as in the United States—Latin America’s political tradition constrains governmental powers through an obligation to a greater whole. The political behavior of President Hugo Cha´vez of Venezuela may look excessive according to American liberal standards, but within a Latin American framework, his top-down methods are legitimate as long as he conforms to the general will. Should the chief executive fall out of line with the will of the people, then his authority is no longer legitimate. Because Rousseau’s formula contains few internal institutional safeguards, it often degenerated into tyranny. Both Pinochet and Castro invoked Rousseau’s notion of a pure democracy, all the while concentrating power in the executive branch. Throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Latin American governments ricocheted back and forth between absolute authority and political chaos. All of this instability contributed to Latin America’s separation from the rest of the industrialized world. Just as in the colonial period, when a dominant Roman Catholic Church retarded industrialization and other evils of modernity, in the post-colonial period political instability retarded foreign investment. Yet while the absolute aspect of the Latin American political tradition may have created political and social turmoil, another aspect of the tradition, organic corporatism, provided a much needed solution. By the early 1930s cooptation became a far more practical response to the heresies of the modern world, such as socialism and capitalism, than repression. Organizing a trade union was much healthier for the nation than executing Marxist peasants. Working with foreign investors was much better for the economy than nationalizing industries. Without disrupting the existing social hierarchy, the government was able to incorporate outside influences into the national fold. What made co-optation so successful in Latin America is that it built on the

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Politics and Social Change in Latin America

Thomistic tradition. Where Rousseau championed the general will, Aquinas spoke of the body of believers, the corpus mysticum. Corporatism was the institutional form by which Latin America adapted historic tradition to modern social change. The Hapsburg Model, now secularized under the banner of Rousseau, took on increasing importance in the Cold War era. In the polarized political landscape of the United States versus the Soviet Union, any effort to combat communism was understood as an effort in support of the Free World. The authoritarian governments in Latin American governments took on a legitimacy that would have looked absurd if John Locke’s treatise were the measuring rod of democracy. In the new terms of the Cold War, however, democracy was anything that fought communist insurgents no matter how brutal the methods. The dictatorships garnered international support inasmuch as they fought back the forces threatening the Free World. That legitimacy, however, soon eroded, in large part because of complaints from the Church. Fighting Marxist guerrillas was one thing, raping Maryknoll nuns was an entirely different matter. Human rights concerns, a subject rarely broached at the height of the Cold War, became increasingly important in the new era. Fighting communism was not enough of an indicator of democracy; protecting civil rights became part of the democratic agenda. Yet a strong government was still essential for maintaining democracy in Latin America for the simple reason that democracy was considered to be dependent on economic development. The economic successes of Brazil’s F. H. Cardozo, Peru’s Alberto Fujimori, and Venezuela’s Hugo Cha´vez mitigated some of the less democratic aspects of their regimes. All three of these elected Presidents overstayed their constitutionally prescribed terms in order to carry out highly orchestrated economic programs. The state in all three cases took on a large role in luring international investment, incorporating trade unions, and providing an orderly and hospitable environment for economic development. In Latin America, the marketplace’s invisible hand is largely controlled by the executive branch, which coordinates the various players involved—workers, bosses, environmentalists, teachers, mothers—so that the nation as a whole can move down the path of development. STILL A DI STI N C T T R A D I T I O N ? In the last twenty-five years, Latin American politics have gone through a dramatic change. No longer the land of annual coups and military dictatorship, most of the twenty governments in Latin America are functioning under real democratic institutions. With the exception of Cuba, elections are a regular part of the democratic ritual. Even Mexico, which for all intents and purposes was controlled by one party for more than seventy years, has moved from being nominally democratic to providing its voters with real choices. And in Peru, Fujimori, an elected president who suspended much of the Pe-

Introduction

9

ruvian constitution during his strong-arm rule, recently stepped down in the face of growing popular and international condemnation. All of these dramatic changes from nominal democracy to substantive democracy suggest that Latin America is becoming more and more democratic. The questions remains, Is Latin America just like the United States?” Yes, Latin America operates within the same structures as the industrialized world. Yes, it is participating fully in the global economy. Yes, it hosts the operations of the same international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that you may find in Singapore and New York. And yes, it is home to international financial and commercial enterprises. But participating in a one-world, neoliberal marketplace is not the same thing as duplicating U.S. understandings of democracy. The authors gathered here assume a difference between democratic culture and economic activities. It is the former that most concerns us. What does a Bolivian mean when she says she is pro-democracy? What does a Brazilian mean when he talks about good government? We suggest that the answers to those questions are not the answers you’ll find in a New England town meeting. We also suggest that studying Latin American understandings of democracy has relevance for U.S. readers outside of foreign policy concerns. First, because Latin America offers a different route to democracy, it provides an alternative solution to some of the problems that plague liberal democracies, such as excessive materialism, a longing for community, and the need for a directive government in social matters. For instance, as more advanced industrial democracies take on state-sponsored programs, Latin America offers a rich laboratory of experiments where the state has always been highly involved in social development. Minority groups in the United States who question the political effectiveness of individual rights would benefit from Latin America’s political development in which individual rights were always subsumed by group rights. And for those political scientists who see the limits of a strictly scientific approach to political behavior, Latin America offers a social science grounded in the arts and the humanities. A second reason for studying Latin American political development is that the United States is becoming more Latin American, a demographic and political detail that may be troubling for some to admit. Despite antiimmigration efforts in border states, the United States continues to be one of the easiest industrialized nations in which to gain legal citizenship. Illegal immigration and high birth rates are other factors that explain the increasing number of U.S. Hispanics. The recent U.S. presidential election points to the increase in political power that attends this demographic shift: both the Republican and Democratic candidates spent time on Spanish-speaking television courting the Hispanic vote. We suggest that understanding the goals and aspirations of the Hispanic vote requires paying attention to the details of what remains a distinctive Latin tradition.

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Politics and Social Change in Latin America

PART I: THE PO L I T I C A L C U LT U R E F R A M E WO R K We begin this volume with an emphasis on the political culture framework. Roland H. Ebel and James Henderson provide a concise introduction to what it means to study Latin America’s political culture. Rather than rely purely on economic data or opinion polls, the substance of some comparative research, political culture research focuses on the cultural meaning inherent in political symbols, rhetoric, behavior, and beliefs. Ebel and Henderson focus on colonial governance as a site of political analysis that continues to have relevance for today’s Latin American political behavior. In this article, the authors identify some of the underlying principles of Latin American governance: corporatism, legal idealism, authoritism, patrimonialism, and bargaining. The second article in this section, Glen Caudill Dealy’s article on Latin America’s two cultures, reminds us that political culture does not suggest a static, monolithic entity. Dealy explores two aspects of Latin America’s political culture: the one, public, and the other, private, and suggests that each of these orientations brings its own morality and acceptable code of behavior. As such, Latin America offers a much needed critique of nondualistic modernity, such as the totalitarian state or the liberal laissez-faire marketplace.

PART II : HISTOR I C A L FAC T O R S Having established some of the key terms of Latin America’s political culture—corporatism, natural law, authoritarianism, patrimonialism, and a dualistic society—we then present a series of articles that demonstrate how these principles play out in terms of political development. For Latin America, that political development goes back to the Middle Ages, to the ideas and controversies of medieval philosophers and the battles of Christian warriors. Roland H. Ebel and Raymond Taras focus on the role of the caudillo in Latin America’s political tradition: the Catholic warrior who rid Iberia of her infidels, protecting the less virile from certain perdition. The importance of the caudillo carried over from the Reconquest to the Conquest of the Americas where he subjugated the recalcitrant heathens and converted the lost souls to the blessings of Catholicism. The caudillo, or strong leader, remains an important figure in Latin American politics: immensely powerful, everprotective of the people under his care, and wedded to an ideal, whether it be the Roman Catholic Church or the fatherland. Ebel and Taras suggest that much of U.S.–Latin American relations have foundered because the United States did not live up to its role as beneficent caudillo. The problem wasn’t that the United States held power over Latin America but that Washington didn’t protect its southern neighbors from the uncertainties of international life. We include Donald E. Worcester’s brief and polemical chapter on the

Introduction

11

“Spanish American Past—Enemy of Change” knowing that it will provoke some lively discussions. This is not a generous reading of Latin America. Worcester begins his search for Hispanic political values with the Roman occupation and traces a history of fatalism and passivity up through the ages. Readers skeptical of the political culture argument will no doubt have their skepticism confirmed by Worcester’s stereotypes. On the other hand, Worcester’s generalizations do have a ring of truth. Like de Toqueville in antebellum America, Worcester’s broad strokes capture some of the cultural paradoxes in Latin American politics: a resistance to change coupled with a passionate hope for God to intervene and set things right. Irving A. Leonard looks at the role of science and technology in Hispanic America and suggests that while both Anglo-America and Hispanic America may have shared a similar potential to think scientifically, their respective aptitudes and conclusions differed due, in large part, to the distinct values of each culture. The inclusion of this science-focused article in a volume devoted to political activity illustrates the wide-angle lens employed in political culture research. The uneasy alliance between religious authority and scientific discoveries sheds some light on the place of social change in a Catholic, authoritarian political system. Rather than competing with existing systems of belief, the Hispanic tradition incorporated new understandings with old practices. Moreover, Leonard provides a broader model to understand the cultural, social, political, economic, and technical baggage carried over by Spain and Portugal to Latin America. Richard M. Morse’s piece on the Latin American tradition, like Leonard’s, remains a classic in the field. Whereas Leonard focuses on the relationship between scientific knowledge and religious authority, Morse focuses on the transfer of political institutions from Castille to Spain’s colonial holdings. The Hapsburg political structure, newly animated through Neo-Thomist political theory, contributed to a top-down, hierarchical, authoritarian form of government that brought with it the daunting responsibility of saving the empire’s souls. Morse weaves in Protestant and feudal responses to similar problems by way of comparison, making a strong case for cultural forces shaping political institutions. Our final selection in the historical section is Howard J. Wiarda’s article on the historical determinants of Latin American political development. Like Morse, Wiarda focuses on the enduring features of the Hapsburg political structure, the top-down, authoritarian form of government that coordinated the various organic, corporate groups. Wiarda’s article synthesizes the work of Ebel, Henderson, Morse, and Dealy, as well as other articles used in earlier versions of this volume, and ends with provocative questions about what the “Hapsburg Model” might suggest for Latin America’s transition to democracy. As such, this article provides a useful bridge to the next section that looks closely at Latin America as a different road to democracy.

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Politics and Social Change in Latin America

PART II I : POLIT I C S A N D S O C I A L C H A N G E We begin this section with Margaret MacLeish Mott’s article on higher law in Latin America. Rather than see the Roman Catholic Church as just one church among many, as is the case in countries with religious pluralism, Mott argues that the Church’s role in Latin American political development is as legal as it is religious. The founding principles of Latin America need not be articulated in a written constitution as many of those values and principles have been defined by Catholic writings on natural law. Whereas Worcester argues that Roman Catholic culture creates a fatalistic and apathetic society, Mott considers the role of the Church as both a useful check on political power and an instigator of social change. Her research indicates that social change in Latin America has more legitimacy the more it conforms to Catholic doctrine on natural law. Nobel Prize-winner, Octavio Paz wrote his article on democracy and dictatorships in Latin America just after the Somoza regime collapsed in Nicaragua and while El Salvador was engaged in a bloody civil war. Rather than see these political and social upheavals purely in terms of a Central American stage for Cold War battles, Paz considers the long-term cultural factors that impede the development of a healthy democracy. Never willing to disregard the dark side of the Hispanic tradition—repression, demagoguery, mythomania, machismo—Paz’s article ends with a call to stop the dictatorships, whether from the left or from the right, and to start taking civil liberties, such as freedom to assemble and the right to strike, seriously. Starting with El Cid, the potent and astute Christian soldier of the Reconquest, Dolores Moyano Martin considers the mystique of Spain and Latin America’s great liberators, reminding us that their legitimacy was not predicated on their effectiveness. Indeed, many of these heroes died for lost causes, as was the case with Che Guevara. Following in the Catholic tradition, in which the spiritual world holds supremacy over temporal concerns, political leadership in Latin America may even lose legitimacy if the leader seems overly concerned with affairs of this world. Tina Rosenberg’s chapter considers the place of liberalism in Latin American political development and suggests that liberal claims and constitutions would be best understood as an extension of magical realism, the literary genre that blends fantasy with reality and is best known in the works of Gabriel Ga´rcia Ma´rquez. The reality in this case is the strong authoritarian backbone of Latin American politics that goes back to the Hapsburgs and the Reconquest. That authoritarian tradition is then blended with the liberal rhetoric of Madison, Jefferson, and Locke to create what Rosenberg calls “magical liberalism:” a democratic form of government animated by the spirits of an idealized version of liberalism yet operating with an executive as powerful as any monarch or dictator of the past. Daniel H. Levine’s recent work on “The News about Religion in Latin

Introduction

13

America,” provides ethnographic research on the continued presence of religion, both Catholic and evangelical Protestant, in Latin America as well as religion’s important relationship to Latin American public life. Political activism, according to Levine, is strongly tied to religious fervor with some of the most active non-governmental organizations having a church affiliation. Levine’s work also highlights the continued importance of religious institutions in fulfilling social needs, particularly as economic neo-liberalism reduces the services offered by the state. Finally, Levine suggests that the grassroots communities established by the liberation theology movement, while politically unstable, did reverse a long-standing trend in the experience of political life. By questioning the established political order, in which authority came from above, and demanding transparency, accountability, and increased participation in government decisions, these grassroots communities developed a political practice strongly tied to democratic principles. That these democratic values were developed under the inspiration of divine law is particular to the Latin American tradition. PART IV: FORE I G N P O L I C Y I M P L I C AT I O N S The final section of the book returns us to the central question of what constitutes democracy in Latin America. Peter H. Smith’s article on democracy and democratization begins by considering some essential ingredients of democracy: competition, participation, accountability. Having defined these terms, Smith sets out to consider just how democratic Latin America’s socalled democracies have become. Smith utilizes a wide variety of approaches, dependency, development, and cultural, finding them all lacking. As such, Smith’s work exposes some of the difficulties that arise in formulating a model of democratization. Not only do these conceptual difficulties create problems for political scientists engaged in comparative research but they also make a muddle of U.S.–Latin American foreign relations. As with the other authors in this volume, Smith’s research confounds the neat polarities that inform most of the thinking of the U.S. State Department. Howard Wiarda’s article on U.S. foreign policy in Latin America extends Smith’s discussion into the post–Cold War era, providing a much-needed analysis on Latin America after the Mexican peso crisis as well as the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). While cognizant of the fact that U.S. discussions on Latin America have cooled considerably since the domestic wars of the eighties, when Americans were polarized over the situation in El Salvador and Nicaragua, Wiarda cautions against a false sense of security. Just because Americans have found consensus on U.S.–Latin American policies does not mean that Latin America is becoming more like the United States. According to Wiarda’s seasoned analysis, in Latin America, public understanding of democracy continues to follow the organic, corporatist, patrimonial, authoritarian experience of the past. Globalization and neo-

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Politics and Social Change in Latin America

liberal economic policies may require tipping the political hat toward elections and a reduction in state spending, but the actual practices are firmly grounded in cultural values of order, authority, efficiency, and taking care of one’s own. As this introduction implies, the authors in this volume do not pretend to offer any ready answers to the question of how democratic is Latin America. To do so would be to further the very assumption we are hoping to destabilize, that is, that democracy is something that can be neatly packaged, shipped off and reconstituted in any corner of the world. Instead, we hope that the very definition of democracy will be questioned and reconsidered. Not only might this help the United States clarify and refine its foreign policies in Latin America, but it will also help us to understand Latin America, particularly as we move into an increasingly interconnected and globalized world, a world that may use the same political vocabulary but whose experience of those words changes from culture to culture.

NOTES 1. Roy C. Macridis, The Study of Comparative Government (New York: Random House, 1955). 2. Howard J. Wiarda, “Toward Consensus in Interpreting Latin American Politics: Developmentalism, Dependency, and ‘The Latin American Tradition,’ ” The Journal of Intercultural Studies (1999): 147–162. 3. See William J. Novak, The People’s Welfare: Law & Regulation in NineteenthCentury America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1996).

PART I

The Political Culture Framework

CHAPTER 2

Patterns of Continuity in Latin American Society: Political and Historical Perspectives Roland H. Ebel

CO LONI AL GOV E R N A N C E A N D MO D E R N POLI TICAL ANA LY S I S In recent years social scientists have come to the realization increasingly that intellectual work is largely conducted in terms of paradigms. An intellectual paradigm is a set of assumptions, propositions and concepts that constitute the agenda for research and discussion.1 An intellectual paradigm largely determines the problems to be studied, the methodologies to be employed, and the basic assumptions that are to underlie allowable conclusions. When a given paradigm becomes deeply embedded in the academic culture of a discipline or set of disciplines, it runs the danger of becoming what Peter Berger calls a “plausibility structure.”2 Since World War II, the study of Latin American social, economic and political life has been governed by what Suzanne Bodenheimer pejoratively has called the “American paradigm-surrogate for Latin American studies”:3 developmentalism. The developmentalist paradigm, first popularized by W.W. Rostow’s The Stages of Economic Growth, postulated a necessary and desirable trajectory for the newly independent or older but economically weak societies that involved a movement from tribalism or ethnic parochialism to an integrated nation-state; from a ritualistic to an instrumental political system; from an agrarian or primary economy to an industrial one; and from an authoritarian and/or limited participatory socio-political system to a democratic and participatory one. These developments were seen as proceeding along a number of predetermined stages which can be summarized as integration, industrialization, democratization and welfarization.4

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Politics and Social Change in Latin America

Since this process has been viewed as both natural and desirable, the failure of a nation to make adequate progress was explained in terms of certain “crises” of development such as the crisis of legitimacy, of participation, of penetration and of distribution.5 As the “Decade of Development” drew to a close and it became apparent that very few of the Third World countries were making the desired progress in industrialization and democratization, the developmentalist paradigm came under increasing attack. This attack has proceeded along three fronts. The first is the attack on the historical inevitability postulate by Samuel P. Huntington who argues that along with political development there can also occur “political decay.”6 A second attack, emerging from the revisionist school of political economy, is known as “dependency theory.” Here, failure to develop according to plan is not so much the result of self generated crises of development as it is the developing country’s position in the international stratification system.7 A third line of attack on the developmentalist paradigm, particularly as it has been applied to the Latin American scene, can be called the “traditionalist critique.” The proponents of this viewpoint question whether there is a single type of modern or developed politico-economic system, much less any single route to its achievement. One variant of the traditionalist critique, that of Philippe Schmitter, suggests a “lattice model” of political development in which three “modal developmental paths” connect “varying types of traditional oligarchic systems” with “varying types of modern polities.” The three paths available for developing nations to travel are the “collectivist-monocratic,” “pluralistdemocratic,” and “corporatist authoritarian.” At the time of writing (1972), Schmitter felt that most of the Latin American polities were “spaced out” along the corporatist-authoritarian path.8 A second variant, largely introduced into political science by Kahlman Silvert9 and more recently popularized by Howard J. Wiarda in an edited collection of essays on political and social change in Latin America bearing the subtitle, The Distinct Tradition,10 seeks to explain the failure of Latin America to develop along European and North American lines in terms of the persistence of certain cultural patterns from its Iberian (later, Mediterranean)11 heritage. This view, in Wiarda’s words, holds that: 1. . . . there is a distinctive Southern European and Latin American socio-political tradition, one which serves the Iberic-Latin counterpart to the great developmental paradigms formulated by Marx, Weber, and others. 2. . . . as a fragment of Catholic, corporative, Iberic, patrimonial semi-feudal Europe circa 1500, which never experienced until recently the great revolutionary transformations that we associate with the making of the modern world (the rise of capitalism and the industrial revolution, the emergence of science and empiricism, the Protestant Reformation and the growth of religious pluralism, the development of multi-class societies and of a more representative and democratic form of gov-

Patterns of Continuity in Latin American Society

19

ernment). Latin America was condemned to lag behind the ‘modernizing’ nations of Western Europe and North America. 3. . . . in the process of adapting to the modern world they have evolved a distinctive way of assimilating and absorbing the newer social forces and of managing the entire development process without the traditional structures themselves being destroyed or swept away.12

This is essentially the position of this chapter, i.e., that there are some enduring patterns of Iberic political organization and behavior that have become deeply embedded in the Latin American political culture, and that while modern political forms, governmental procedures and administrative techniques are adopted by the nations of the area, the traditional Iberic pattern of governance serves both to shape and to bind the nature and the extent of political innovation and change. This chapter begins by developing a model of the colonial pattern of governance and then attempts to determine the extent to which modern conceptualizations of Latin American politics conform to this model. THE COLONI AL M O D E L A model of the Spanish colonial pattern of governance can be constructed in terms of five general categories of analysis: (1) its political structure, (2) its theory of law, (3) its concept of legitimacy, (4) its power structure, and (5) its decision-making process. Each category is matched by a principle of Spanish governance, described below, namely, corporatism, legal idealism, authoritism, patrimonialism and bargaining (table 2.1). The Spanish Colonial Political Structure In political science the concept of political structure has to do with the way in which the social forces of a society are organized to carry on the political Table 2.1 Model of Spanish Colonial Governance

Category of Analysis

Principle of Spanish Colonial Governance

Political Structure

Corporativism

Law

Legal idealism

Legitimacy

Authoritism

Power Structure

Patrimonialism

Decision-making Process

Preemptive bargaining

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Politics and Social Change in Latin America

process. In the modern polity the political structure is made up of the political parties, interest groups and the politically relevant classes and sub-cultures which make demands on the political system. The concept also includes the behavioral and structural inter-relationships between them. Colonial Latin America’s political structure was essentially corporative. Although the term corporativism has many connotations, by a corporative political structure we simply mean a society in which the group, sanctioned by and defined in law, rather than the individual or, for that matter, the state, constitutes the basic unit of political life. These groups derived legal personality from their privileges (fueros) and responsibilities and, as such, exercised semi-autonomous control over the affairs and the individuals within their jurisdiction, often through a system of private courts or administrative agencies. The corporate principle, Phelon states, “ . . . was a basic principle of the whole system of government in the Indies, namely, . . . that the individual’s rights, privileges, and obligations were derivative from the particular estate and functional corporations to which that individual belongs, . . . whose privileges and responsibilities were usually spelled out in specific charters.”13 During the colonial period the most important corporate groups were the ecclesiastical corporations, the cabildos, the consulados, the gremios, the Pueblos de Indios, the militares, and the haciendas. Colonial Latin America’s corporate political structure was segmented by function and stratified by class, with those corporate groups which represented persons of a higher estate having greater political power than those composed of persons of lower prestige.14 During the sixteenth century and into the seventeenth the fissiparous tendencies of the colonies’ corporative political structures were held in check by the centralizing and legitimizing power of the Spanish patrimonial state but later political power went into the hands of the natural and strongly entrenched corporate groups. Although attempts were made to maintain the integration of the empire administratively, by the time independence was achieved the political structure was almost totally fragmented. With the collapse of the legitimizing function of the crown, neither the fledgling political parties, the revolutionary caudillos or the new democratic institutions were capable of successfully contending with the powerful and entrenched corporate groups. Whatever visions the liberators and their followers might have had of developing representative and aggregative political systems, they were forced to contend with the only kind of political structure that had survived the disintegration of the empire— a decentralized, corporative one. Thus, after a decade or two of experimentation with liberal institutions, the political leadership of most of the new Latin American states was forced to adapt its modus operandi to the realities imposed by the nature of the political structure. Thomism, as Richard Morse so perceptively suggests, had indeed become recessive and Machiavellianism had become dominant.15

Patterns of Continuity in Latin American Society

21

Spanish Colonial Legal Theory During the early middle ages two conceptions of law contended for preeminence in Spain: the Germanic tradition which stressed custom and the law of the folk, and the Roman tradition, mediated through Latin Christianity, which stressed the ideal and the universal. It was this latter tradition which became dominant in the reconquest and colonizing kingdom of Castile. Spanish legal theory stressed the abstract concept of justice rather than the preservation of custom or tradition; it sought to institutionalize abstract ethical goals rather than pragmatic possibilities. It sought to create “an earthly sumum bonum” rather than a “plurum bonum” intrinsic to the Protestant tradition.16 In this tradition, law, of necessity, flows from above. It is to reflect the correct principles of social and political organization as determined by philosophers and theologians. It is the duty of the monarch to determine, on the basis of these principles, the law of the land. The Crown (and later, the State) is the law-giver, not the people. This idealistic and universalistic legal tradition produced the peculiar ambivalence to law noted by most all interpreters of colonial Latin American life. On the one hand there was a slavish devotion to the letter of the law in the abstract, coupled with a totally cavalier attitude toward compliance with it when it violated local practice. The law was (and is today) viewed with mystical reverence as a definer of the common good, while obedience to its specific enactments were more often than not held to be beneath one’s dignity if they in any way posed a threat to personal interest. Law, thus, never became fully operative in Latin American society. That is, it never became an instrument for the expression of shared behavioral norms or social and political practice. Rather, during the colonial period law functioned to express the ideals and aspirations of the crown and the tiny governing elite that surrounded him. After independence law functioned very much the same way, except that it became an expression of the social ideals and political aspirations of whatever group was capable of controlling the instruments of power at any given time. In neither case has law, in the Hispanic tradition, been viewed as a reflection of the pragmatic adjustments of the society to its environment or as an expression of a consensus around social and political practice.

Legitimacy In political science the concept of legitimacy has to do with “the extent that those who are affected by political power judge its exercise to be right or appropriate.”17 In a very useful discussion of colonial Latin America, Francisco Jose Moreno introduces the term “authoritism” to describe its system of legitimacy.18 He argues that neither the term “authoritarianism” nor “authority” properly apply to the legal-political formula of Imperial Spain since the for-

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Politics and Social Change in Latin America

mer connotes the illegitimate exercise of power and the latter connotes the exercise of power under the law. In contrast to these two concepts, the Spanish “political formula”19 postulated a single center of political power, the exercise of which was sanctioned in the name of justice and the common good. The legitimacy of the Crown, therefore, was based on its role as the interpreter of the common good; the legitimacy of specific royal enactments was based on the fact that they were intended to implement that common good. If, of course, in specific instances they did not, they could be disregarded or disobeyed without losing their essential legitimacy. Authoritistic legitimacy, Moreno points out, was oriented more toward the institution of the monarchy than it was toward the monarch himself. However, the institution was presumed to be acting to secure justice whether an individual monarch or his subordinates were or not. The Spanish Colonial Power Structure Although the concept of “power” and its sister term, “power structure,” are central to all political analysis, they are variously defined. Thus, here, the term “power structure” is simply the distribution of decision-making authority within a polity. The Spanish colonial power structure was patrimonial. The concept of patrimonialism as a system of authority was brought into vogue by the German sociologist, Max Weber. For him, it was a system of “personal authority (the ruler) which appropriates in the same way as he would any ordinary object of possession” and which he is entitled to “exploit . . . like any economic advantage—to sell it, to pledge it as security, or divide it by inheritance.”20 Patrimonial systems are operated by personal administrative staffs that receive their positions as benefices, grants or prebends, or patronage.21 Pure patrimonialism, however, may quickly become decentralized patrimonialism when the administrative staff, either as individuals or as groups, are in a position to appropriate “particular powers or the corresponding economic advantages.”22 This happens if the realm becomes more extended or the ruler more dependent on revenues generated by subordinate units of the patrimonial bureaucracy.23 The power structure of colonial Latin America was characterized by a constant tension between pure and decentralized patterns of patrimonial authority and was evident in a number of ways. It manifested itself in the dichotomy between the formal principle of chain of command versus the right of lower officials to appeal over the heads of higher ones to the crown;24 it manifested itself in the fact that the Crown “explicitly acknowledged the right of the colonial subjects to disregard the written law when they thought the King lacked the necessary elements for arriving at a just and equitable decision”;25 and it manifested itself in the semi-autonomous power of the corporate bodies which “ . . . in clothing themselves in legal charters, fueros, and customary

Patterns of Continuity in Latin American Society

23

privilege . . . achieved, especially under weak monarchies, a near parity of de facto power with the Crown.”26 Spanish colonial patrimonialism, whether viewed in its pure or decentralized sense, was a gigantic network of individual and corporate patronage and clientage depending for its ultimate sanction and operability on the legitimacy and authority of the monarch. Thus, when the empire collapsed, so did the colonial power structure—both imperially and within the existing jurisdictions that became the geographic bases of the newly created states. The network of clientage and patronage that had provided a certain amount of social and political cement to the empire and that had been subject to at least minimal coordination and legitimation by a central authority, disintegrated into a collection of regional panalinhas and camarillas presided over by military or economic strong-men. It was for this reason that Richard Morse concluded that “. . . . for a newly erected Spanish American political system to achieve stability and continuity it had to reproduce the structure, the logic, and the vague, pragmatic safeguards against the tyranny of the Spanish patrimonial state.”27 The Spanish Colonial Decision-Making System Although the common image that one carries of Spanish imperial institutions is that they were centralized and authoritarian in character, in their actual operation just the opposite was, in fact, the case. Spanish colonial government was actually quite decentralized and decisions were often the end product of a process of bargaining, negotiation and compromise. The more salient features of the colonial governmental structure that produced this pattern can be noted. First is the fact that while the structure of government in the Indies was truly hierarchical, it was composed of a multiplicity of hierarchies—ecclesiastical, military, commercial, administrative and judicial. Functionally, these hierarchies were characterized by a confusing mixture of autonomy and overlapping jurisdiction. Haring argues that Spanish imperial government was one of checks and balances, not secured primarily by a rigid and clear cut separation of powers but by “a division of authority among different individuals and tribunals exercising the same powers.”28 The system was institutionalized this way, Phelan contends, to insure that the Crown would have multiple sources of information on the conditions and circumstances in the colonies.29 This system of multiple hierarchies was closely related to a second feature of colonial governmental practice, namely, the moderating role of the Crown—a principle rooted in Spanish political theory. The theory can be stated as follows: since the monarch was to legislate the common good on the basis of abstract principles of Christian justice, such justice required that he adjudicate between conflicting interests. Furthermore, if an abstract royal decision or its implementation by lesser officials grossly affected the legitimate

24

Politics and Social Change in Latin America

rights of a colonial interest or was unrealistic in terms of local conditions, justice demanded that the injured party have the right to appeal to the Crown for redress. This right of appeal gave sanction to the administrative formula. “I act but do not comply” in that it permitted local officials to delay implementation in the name of justice, of locally offensive orders while at the same time paying lip-service to their legitimacy. A third feature of colonial administration was the fact that it was attempting to achieve conflicting goals. Phelan describes how the conflict between the crown’s Christianizing and colonizing objectives resulted in an interminable series of conflicting directives to colonial officials on Indian affairs. In fact, the major thrust of his argument is that Spanish colonial administration can best be understood in terms of “conflicting standards analysis,” which states that since a subordinate cannot enforce conflicting standards equally, he chooses those standards that are most in accord with his own incentives and the needs of the moment, thus giving him a voice in what will be enforced.30 The decentralization inherent in Spanish colonial decision-making was reinforced by features of the geo-social structure. The corporative structure of colonial society has already been mentioned. The church, the municipios, the corporate Indian communities, the military and the guilds all claimed the rights contained in feudal fueros. Colonial Latin America was, Beezley argues, a faction ridden society held together by only one common denominator— loyalty to the crown.31 Second, localism and jurisdictional rivalries that increased in intensity during the eighteenth century added to the general social fragmentation. Finally, the immense distances and geographical barriers separating both the mother country from the colonies and the colonies from one another accelerated the centrifugal forces already at work within the society. In summary, our model contends that the Spanish colonial political system can be understood as having the following characteristics: 1. Its political structure was corporative. That is, political organization was segmented and diffused throughout the empire to relatively self-contained political units, each of which claimed a set of legally sanctioned rights and privileges that afforded it a substantial measure of decision-making autonomy. Channels of articulation were predominantly vertical and, apart from a certain amount of administrative coordination, there were no aggregative institutions or processes. 2. Its approach to law was idealistic. Law was seen as the embodiment of the ultimate good rather than as the codification of community sanctioned practices. Compromise and practical solutions were seen as occurring outside the law where one “obeyed but did not comply.” 3. Its basis of legitimacy was authoristic. The right of a ruler to exercise almost unlimited authority was based on the belief that he, or the institution that he embodied, was acting on behalf of justice or some other set of acceptable political or ethical principles. 4. The power structure was patrimonial. Formal decision-making was the personal

Patterns of Continuity in Latin American Society

25

possession of the monarch that he, in turn, could dispense to subordinates. The politico-economic system was a gigantic network of individual and corporate patronage and clientage in which grants of power and privilege were exchanged for loyalty, service or revenue. 5. The decision-making process was one of preemptive bargaining. That is, in spite of the formal centralization of the Spanish colonial government, the existence of multiple administrative hierarchies, the power that lodged in the corporate groups, the clientalist relationships that existed at all levels of the system, and the remoteness of actual governmental operations created a situation in which the crown was constantly moderating conflicts between governmental units and adjusting general policies to local conditions. Let us now explore how patterns of Spanish governance persist in one form or another down to our own day.

The post-World War II concern of the United States was with the newly independent states of the “Third World” in the areas of modernization, political development and nation building. In Latin America since their independence in the early 1800s the concern was with political instability and the “pathology of democracy.”32 Out of these concerns emerged a sizeable literature attempting to develop theories of Latin American politics. This chapter will concentrate on four of the many major theories; two dealing with decentralization and two with centralization. THEORI ES OF D E C E N T R A L I Z AT I O N Anderson’s Theory of Power Contenders One of the most successful essays ever written on Latin American politics was Charles Anderson’s “Toward a Theory of Latin American Politics.”33 In his essay, Anderson argues that rather than viewing Latin American politics as unpredictable and unstable, analysis should attempt to identify the persistent, stable patterns in the game of Latin American politics. These patterns can be briefly summarized as follows: 1. Latin American political systems manifest a peculiar pattern of legitimacy. It is not that in Latin America certain modern or democratic political institutions or processes lack legitimacy, as Martin Needler has suggested, but rather that the area constitutes a “living museum” of a variety of techniques to mobilize power, all of which are considered legitimate. 2. Latin American political systems are composed of a variety of power contenders whose right to participate is based on their own peculiar power capability, i.e., military force, guerrilla attack, a strike, a demonstration, voter appeal, exportation of capital, etc. 3. The Latin American political process consists of a continuing series of negotiations and manipulations among power contenders, each of which has a power capability it can threaten to use against the others.

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Politics and Social Change in Latin America

4. All political decisions in Latin America are tentative. They remain in effect as long as the power contenders remain in agreement and no potential contenders outside the system have the power capability to threaten them. 5. Political change in Latin America comes about by admitting new power contenders to the system who demonstrate a significant power capability and agree not to jeopardize the ability of any existing power contender to similarly participate in political activity. Thus, new contenders are permitted to participate in the negotiations for a share of the resources and powers of the State if they do not jeopardize the rights of the established elites to do likewise. 6. In Latin America military regimes are the instruments most often used to preside over shifts of power to new power contenders.

Anderson concludes his discussion by contending that although Latin America has experienced a great number of coups and barracks revolts, it has not experienced many revolutions in the sense of their eliminating some power contenders from the political system and legitimizing a single power capability as exclusively appropriate in the mobilization of political power. The three exceptions to this generalization are Mexico, Bolivia (1952) and Cuba. In his very insightful and influential portrait of contemporary Latin American politics, Charles Anderson has, without intending to, described certain facets of the colonial political system in its twentieth century garb. What Anderson sees is a kind of informal political corporativism operating without the benefit of the authoristic legitimacy of a traditional monarch or a well established regime. Each power contender has its place in the system—not in a juridical sense as in traditional corporativism, but rather, a position guaranteed by the “rules of the game”. In Anderson’s model the military performs the moderating role formerly played by the monarch. This moderating function is not institutionalized, but is undertaken when the political forces get out of balance. However, even when not directly in power, groups are likely to appeal decisions over the heads of the political leaders to the military. Political decisions are tentative, just as they were in the Spanish colonial political system. Also in Anderson’s model, significant political change comes about when some of the power contenders are eliminated and a single road to power is institutionalized, generally through a revolution. However, in the three examples of revolutionary change he cites, all can be understood as having attempted to reconstitute some form of the historic patrimonial state very analogous to the colonial model discussed earlier. In the case of Cuba, there exists pure patrimonial power in the Weberian sense, lodged in the hands of the personalistic lider. In the case of Bolivia an attempt was made to lodge it in a political party, but the centrifugal forces of “decentralized patrimonialism” destroyed the system. In the case of Mexico, patrimonial authority was lodged in a revolutionary regime—or “revolutionary family” to use Frank Brandenburg’s term—which

Patterns of Continuity in Latin American Society

27

interacts with a formal corporative political structure. The president, or “family head”, performs the moderating role. As Anderson describes it. . . . . the eventual outcome of the revolutionary experience was the formation of a new set of elites, each recognizing, on the basis of demonstrated power capabilities, the right of the other to negotiate in the allocation of the resources available through the system. The interaction of the various sectors of the official party in Mexico— the campesino, popular, and labor sectors of the Party of the Institutionalized Revolution, or PRI—can only be described as manipulation and negotiation between mutually recognizing power contenders. The eventual inclusion of the new industrial and commercial elite of Mexico into the political system, though not into the official party, from which they are pointedly excluded, the reconciliation of the revolutionary regime with the Church, in contradiction to a basic theme of revolutionary ideology, reflects the capacity of the informal system to survive and reshape the formal structure of the Mexican revolutionary regime, just as the informal system survives and describes patterns of political interaction not anticipated in the formal, constitutional, democratic structures of other Latin American nations.34

The fact that Anderson does not describe the relationships between the patrimonial center and the corporative periphery in Mexico does not lessen the basic similarity between his power contenders model and the colonial model developed earlier in this chapter. Coalition Theory A second approach to developing a model of Latin American politics to be discussed in this chapter is that of Eldon Kenworthy in his essay, “Coalitions in the Political Development of Latin America”.35 In some of its particulars, the Kenworthy model is very similar to Anderson’s in that he sees the Latin American political structure as being composed of a multiplicity of particularistic interests (read “power contenders”) operating within a system where there is no single political currency (read “road to power”). He also ascribes a high degree of tentativeness to decision-making in his distinction between governments that “reign” and those that “rule.” He diverges from Anderson in the sense that he sees Latin American politics as operating with a dual rather than a multiple political currency, namely, coercion and popularity. Kenworthy argues that the political game in Latin America is more like Monopoly than like bridge in that the players, which he schematically identifies as the rural elite, the church, the military, entrepreneurs, the middle class, organized labor and the U.S. government. . . . do not set mutual objectives which, in contest with another team, they either meet or fail to meet. Instead, everyone seems to be playing the board, trying to build individual holdings and only coming into conflict with those who “land” on their interest.36

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Politics and Social Change in Latin America

Following Robert Scott, he contends that these groups either act independently as private governments or become subservient to the state as “protective associations”.37 When the groups are free to act quasi-independently in the policy making process and the government finds it difficult to make authoritative allocations, the government is said to reign. When the government is capable of imposing its will upon the major interests in the name of the public interest, it is said to rule. The goal of the player in Kenworthy’s version of the Latin American political game is to achieve favorable policy allocations in three issue areas as follows: 1. Protection of the existing economy of primary exports and light industry as opposed to stepped up industrialization. (“For short, call this ‘open’ versus ‘closed’.”) 2. Liberal democratic procedures in politics against rule from above. (Call this “liberal” versus “command”.) 3. Maintenance of existing distributions of wealth, prestige and opportunity instead of alterations in favor of lower status groups. (Call this “status quo” versus “distributive”.)38

He then makes an estimate of the policy preferences of the sectoral players in terms of the salience of each issue (table 2.2).39 From this estimate he concludes that three possible coalitions could be formed. The first three (rural elite, church and military) could form a traditional conservative coalition. Or, the church, the military and the entrepreneurs might create a conservative industrializing coalition. In each of these cases the coalition would possess the requisite amount of coercive power, but

Table 2.2 Policy Preference on Each Issue

Actor

Most Salient

Moderately Salient

Least Salient

1. Rural elite

status quo

open

command?

2. Church

status quo

command?

open?

3. Military

command

status quo

closed

4. Entrepreneurs

closed

status quo

liberal?

5. Middle class

distributive?

liberal

closed

6. Organized labor

distributive

closed

liberal?

7. United States government

open

liberal

distributive

Note: Question marks signify uncertainty in evaluation of policy preferences.

Patterns of Continuity in Latin American Society

29

lack a popular base. A third potential coalition, the middle class with organized labor, would monopolize electoral power (or the popularity currency) but have no coercive base. Kenworthy argues that none of these potential coalitions has the power to rule because each is based on only one political currency. The two currencies could be combined, however, if the third coalition had the support of a military with a redistributive orientation such as is the case now in Peru. Coalition theory leads Kenworthy to two basic conclusions about the Latin American political game: (1) To reign requires a preponderance of one of the two political resources—popularity or coercion. The most likely combinations would be electoral victory plus the neutrality of the military, or a military government with some civilian support; (2) To rule requires a preponderance of both resources, the most likely coalition being the military plus two or three other sectors. The difficulty with the game, however, is that dissatisfaction with it is growing. “Under civilian governments (the public) has clamored for efficiency, under military for representation, but increasingly it realizes that these are but two facets of the same unproductive game.”40 What light does this model of the Latin American political system shed upon the central question of the chapter, namely, the degree to which traditional political patterns still persist in Latin America? First of all, it is clear that the Kenworthy model does not speak to all of the facets of the traditional colonial model presented earlier in the chapter. However, it would appear that his view of the political structure is definitely corporative. He builds his game essentially on the work of Robert Scott who states in the article cited by Kenworthy that . . . the political style of many Latin American countries places a large share of public policy determination under the control of what might be called ‘private governments’—chambers of commerce and industry, bankers’ associations, commercial agriculturalists’ groups, even labor unions. Decisions concerning their particular interests may never reach the formal units of government or, if they do, may be presented as accomplished facts to be ratified rather than considered in terms of a general welfare.41

Second, it is clear that the problems of decision-making in what Kenworthy calls the “dual currency game” are very analogous to what was earlier called preemptive bargaining. Coups and strikes . . . like vetoes in the Security Council, remind actors that they had better ‘clear’ their proposals in advance if they hope to see them implemented. They also remind them that too blatant a defeat for anyone in the game will not be tolerated . . . Overstated, actors who would prefer to defeat their rivals rather than cooperate with them are often forced to choose between cooperation and civil war.42

Third, it appears to us that Kenworthy’s concept of a ruling government approaches, although is not identical with, what we have called a patrimonial

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Politics and Social Change in Latin America

power structure, namely, that such governments (e.g., Mexico) rest on a broad base of support built on an exchange of patronage and corporate privilege for loyalty. THEORI ES OF C E N T R A L I Z AT I O N Velı´z’s Theory of Vertebral Centralism A third, although not as elaborately developed, theory of Latin American politics is that presented by Claudio Velı´z in his article, “Centralism and Nationalism in Latin America”, in which he argues that the “vertebral centralism of the Latin American tradition” is reasserting itself and is the key to understanding the political future of the region.43 He states that the institutional structure of colonial Latin America was “fashioned wholesale in Madrid . . . on the Renaissance model of a centrally controlled polity;” that after three centuries, “when it finally collapsed, its legalistic, centralist and authoritarian tradition passed on undiminished to the republican regimes, which had the advantage of shorter lines of communication.”44 This tradition of centralism, Velı´z contends, not only went counter to the liberal and pluralistic trends in Europe and North America, it also persisted in the face of an ideological commitment in Latin America to foreign political models. The reason for this is that neither Spain nor Latin America experienced a fully developed feudalism, the Protestant Reformation or the Industrial Revolution, all of which tended both to disperse and to privatize power in Western Europe and the United States. Whether or not one would agree that “political centralism remained virtually unassailed during the nineteenth century”, and Velı´z contradicts himself somewhat on that score,45 it is useful to look at the model he develops. To begin with, Velı´z negates the pluralistic model that North American scholars have sought to impose on Latin American reality. There is no tradition of compromise, he contends, between alternative centers of power. Furthermore, the concept of there being a plethora of interest groups vying with each other for control of an inert state is also invalid. Rather, the Latin American state has always been an active interventionist state involving itself in all aspects of national life. The central government . . . extends its power and influence through a highly centralized civil service and through complex and all embracing systems of social security and patronage which have transformed most of the vast urban service sector into an institutionalized clientele; it controls the major centers of learning and is capable of exercising almost unrestricted control over economic life.46

All of these tendencies have gathered momentum as a result of a new nationalism engendered by “an awareness that the increasing cultural and economic dependence of the region is one of its principal problems.”47

Patterns of Continuity in Latin American Society

31

It might be argued that Velı´z’s concept of a centralized state has very little in common with either of the decentralization approaches of Anderson or Kenworthy. However, it is important to note that all three agree with Richard Morse in stressing the importance of the attempts in Mexico, Cuba and Bolivia to reconstitute a patrimonial state. Velı´z sees these experiments as a recrudescence of the vertebral centralism that had always existed whereas Anderson and Kenworthy see them as attempts to eliminate competing political currencies. Furthermore, Velı´z sees the modern centralized Latin American state as having recreated a vast patronage and clientalist system also characteristic of the colonial patrimonial state. The fact of the matter is, as Max Weber pointed out, that there can be pure and decentralized patrimonialism, and, there can also be “state” and “societal” corporativism, as Philippe Schmitter suggests.48 Thus Velı´z sees the patrimonial state from the top down, while Morse, Anderson and Kenworthy are looking at much the same phenomenon from the bottom up.

Dealy’s Concept of Monistic Democracy A final theoretical formulation to be considered in this chapter is the concept of monistic democracy propounded by Glen Dealy.49 Dealy argues that down through history Latin Americans have consistently favored some form of political monism. Latin Americans, whether speaking about their tradition of democracy, statism, or of communism, are thinking about political monism or monistic democracy: that is, the centralization and control of potentially competing interests. In the broadest sense this implies support for the unification of groups at all levels of society: an attempt to eliminate competition among groups in their pursuit of wealth, power, prestige, or whatever men may aspire to within a country. It also means that power may be traded among a number of groups, but only with difficulty may power be shared.50

This political monism derives from and is rooted in the sociological teleology of medieval Catholicism, namely, that the goal or telos of society is the achievement of the common good. While the Calvinists of Geneva sought to erect a good society on the basis of private virtue and saw no inherent contradiction between private interest and public good, the Thomistic tradition views private interest as essentially sinful and disruptive to the common good. Thus, the Latin American tradition seeks unity at all costs. In comparing North and Latin America, he writes: The United States, in recognizing the utility of interest, set up procedures for the neutralization of interest: competing school systems, et cetera. Monistic democracies, by contrast, in looking for teleological unity cannot build a political system upon the

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Politics and Social Change in Latin America

competition of interest. It is consistent with their philosophy, then, that political parties should be monolithic, government should be centralized, school systems centrally controlled, religious diversity discouraged.51

Dealy contends that the concept of political monism provides us with an “acting model” for understanding Latin American political systems. Some of the elements of the model are explicit, namely, the Latin concept of constitutionalism, law, representation and civil rights; other elements are implicit, namely, the Latin concept of competition, centralization and corporativism.52 First, since monistic democrats are primarily concerned with the goals toward which society should move to produce the common good, constitutions are written to provide a written statement of such goals. A constitution, thus, seeks to give juridical definition to the summum bonum. This, of course, explains why Latin American constitutions are constantly having to be rewritten. Each new regime must redefine what it conceives to be the common good. Furthermore, Latin American constitutions focus upon substance—a definition of the common good—whereas liberal democratic constitutions stress process—the proper methods to achieve a (if not the) common good. Monistic democrats perpetuate a medieval/Renaissance conception of law that seeks to give juridical definition to the summum bonum. He cites St. Thomas to the effect that “law is nothing else than a rational ordering of things which concern the common good; promulgated by whoever is charged with the care of the community,” and states that it is this need to articulate the “teleological goals of the civitas terrera that has led to the proclamation of some of the most beautiful laws the world has ever seen.”53 Relative to their concept of representation, monistic democrats contend that a nation is best represented when its legislators represent the common good. Representation of constituency interests is looked down upon. Political parties, however, are a legitimate basis of representation since they postulate a pragmatic or ideological program for the nation as a whole. Political representation in Latin America, Dealy argues, is rooted in a “corporative conception of interest articulation”. Monistic democrats believe that the common good is best achieved by limiting the number of interest groups and specifying their rights and privileges. Social unity is best achieved by limiting competition. Furthermore, if the common good cannot be achieved as a result of bargaining among groups, in the modern state it must be attained through centralized state planning. Finally, in the area of civil rights, monistic democrats are much more likely than liberal democrats to restrict such rights. “Where the common good of the Earthly City takes precedence over the particular interest, individuals per se have no inalienable rights.” Individual rights, since they might conflict with the goals of the social order—the summum bonum—can rightly be qualified. Monistic democracy, which Dealy argues has been particularly evident in Peronist Argentina, Mexico and contemporary Cuba, reflects most of the ele-

Patterns of Continuity in Latin American Society

33

ments embodied in our Colonial model: a corporative political structure with limited competition and minimal constituency representation, a constitutional and legal system oriented toward codifying an abstract common good rather than actual practice based on precedent, a patrimonial government that formally, at least, substitutes planning for patronage and clientalism, and a system of legitimacy that legitimizes the political leader as long as he is perceived as embodying, in his person or regime, the common good. SUM MARY The extent of congruence between the Model of Spanish Colonial Governance (table 2.1) and the four models discussed in this chapter is summarized in table 2.3. With respect to each category of analysis a judgment is made as to whether the congruence is specifically stated (S) in terms similar to that of the Colonial Model, whether the congruence is described (D) although in terms different from the model, whether the congruence is only implied (I), denied (De) or simply not discussed (ND). The central concept embodying the congruence is also indicated.

Table 2.3 Congruence between Model of Colonial Governance and the Four Contemporary Models Principle of Spanish Colonial Governance

Anderson

Kenworthy

Veliz

Dealy

Corporativism

Power contenders (D)

Private governments (D)

Statist clientalism (I)

Corporativism (S)

Legal idealism

(ND)

(ND)

(ND)

Judicial summum bonum (S)

Authoritism

(ND)

(ND)

(ND)

Monistic representation (D)

Patrimonialism Elimination of power capabilities (I)

Ruling vs reigning (I)

Vertebral centralism (D)

Political monism (D)

Bargaining

Dual-currency game (D)

(De)

Corporate bargaining (S)

Tentativeness (D)

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Politics and Social Change in Latin America

In conclusion, it is clear that this is a preliminary statement and that there are numerous other models that need to be analyzed, particularly those developed by Chalmers, Powell, Kling, Needler, K. Johnson, Wiarda, Scott, and Silvert. Hopefully, such an analysis will help us more fully determine the extent of the continuity and discontinuity in Latin American political life.

NOTES 1. Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd. ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970). 2. Peter Berger, A Rumor of Angels (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1969). 3. The Ideology of Developmentalism: The American Paradigm Surrogate for Latin American Studies (Beverly Hills, Cal.: Sage Publishing, 1972). 4. See A. F. K. Organski, The Stages of Political Development (New York: Knopf, 1965), pp. 3–16. 5. See Lucian W. Pye, Aspects of Political Development (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1966), pp. 62–67 and L. Binder, et. al., Crises and Sequences in Political Development (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1972). 6. World Politics, Vol. VII (April, 1965), pp. 386–430. 7. See Andre Gunder Frank, “The Development of Underdevelopment,” in James D. Cockcroft, et al., Development and Underdevelopment (Garden City, N.J.: Anchor Books, 1972) and Dale L. Johnson, The Sociology of Change and Reaction in Latin America (1973). 8. “Paths to Political Development in Latin America,” in Douglas A. Chalmers, ed., Changing Latin America (New York, The Academy of Political Science, 1972), pp. 86–93. 9. “National Values, Development, and Leaders and Followers,” in International Social Science Journal No. 4 (1963), pp. 560–70 and “The Costs of Anti-Nationalism: Argentina,” in K. Silvert, ed., Expectant Peoples (New York: Random House, 1963). 10. Politics and Social Change in Latin America: The Distinct Tradition (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1974). 11. Silvert, Expectant Peoples, pp. 359–61. 12. Wiarda, . . . The Distinct Tradition, pp. 6–7. 13. John Leddy Phelan, The Kingdom of Quito in the Seventeenth Century: Bureaucratic Politics in the Spanish Empire (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967), p. 323. 14. William H. Beezley, “Caudillismo: An Interpretive Note,” Journal of InterAmerican Studies, XI, No. 3 (July, 1969), pp. 233–39 and 347–48. 15. “Toward a Theory of Spanish American Government,” in Wiarda, p. 112. 16. See Glenn Dealy, “The Tradition of Monistic Democracy in Latin America,” in Wiarda. 17. Joseph LaPalombara, Politics Within Nations (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: PrenticeHall, 1974), p. 48. 18. Legitimacy and Stability in Latin America: A Study of Chilean Political Culture (New York: New York University Press, 1969), pp. 23–27. 19. The term “political formula” is roughly equivalent to that of legitimacy and can be defined as the “Legal and moral basis, or principle, on which the power of the

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35

political class rests.” See Gaetano Mosca, The Ruling Class, 1939 as reprinted in Macridis and Brown, Comparative Politics: Notes and Readings. Third Edition, 1968, p. 117. 20. Ed. by Talcott Parsons, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, (New York: The Free Press, 1947), p. 347. 21. Morse, “The Heritage of Latin America,” in Wiarda, p. 52. 22. Weber, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, p. 347. 23. Reinhard Bendix, Max Weber: An Intellectual Portrait (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1962), p. 336. 24. Magli Sarfatti, Spanish Bureaucratic Patrimonialism in America (Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1966). 25. Moreno, p. 35. 26. Ronald C. Newton, “Natural Corporativism and the Passing of Populism in Spanish America,” in The Review of Politics, XXXVI, No. 1 (January, 1974), p. 46. 27. Morse, “The Heritage of Latin America,” in Wiarda, p. 57. 28. C.H. Haring, The Spanish Empire in America, cited in John Leddy Phelan, “Authority and Flexibility in the Spanish Imperial Bureaucracy,” Administrative Science Quarterly, V, No. 1 (June, 1960), p. 53. 29. Phelan. 30. Ibid., pp. 48–57. 31. Beezley, p. 347. 32. W.W. Pierson, ed., “Pathology of Democracy in Latin America: A Symposium,” The American Political Science Review, LXIV, No. 1 (March, 1950), pp. 100–49. 33. Land Tenure Center Reprint No. 10, University of Wisconsin (1964). This discussion is based on the version of the essay published as Chapter 4 in Politics and Economic Change in Latin America: The Governing of Restless Nations (Princeton, N.J.: Van Nostrand, 1967). 34. Ibid., p. 111. 35. In Sven Groennings, et. al., The Study of Coalition Behavior: Perspectives and Cases from Four Continents (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970). 36. He also adds, but does not include in the game he is describing: foreign firms, students and intellectuals, and rural labor. Potential new players are the rural peasantry and the urban “lumpen proletariat”. Ibid., pp. 126–27. 37. Ibid., pp. 115–16. 38. Ibid., p. 129. 39. Ibid., p. 128. 40. Ibid., p. 140. 41. “Political Parties and Policy Making in Latin America,” in Joseph LaPalombara and Myron Weiner, Political Parties and Political Development (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1966), p. 322. For a more complete statement of Scott’s implicitly corporative views, see “Political Elites and Political Modernization: The Crisis of Transition,” in S.M. Lipset and Aldo Solari, eds., Elites in Latin America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1967), particularly pp. 137–38. In fact, Scott’s model of Latin American politics would have been used in this paper if the emphasis were not an explicit rather than implicit attempt to formulate such models. 42. Kenworthy, p. 134. 43. Foreign Affairs, LXVII, No. 1 (October, 1968), p. 69. 44. Ibid., p. 70. 45. Ibid., pp. 71–77.

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46. Ibid., p. 76. 47. Ibid., p. 80. 48. “Still the Century of Corporativism?” in The Review of Politics, XXXVI, No. 1 (January, 1974), pp. 102–05. 49. “The Tradition of Monistic Democracy in Latin America,” in Howard J. Wiarda, ed., Politics and Social Change in Latin America: The Distinct Tradition (1974). 50. Ibid., p. 73. 51. Ibid., p. 82. 52. Ibid., pp. 82–90. 53. Ibid., p. 86.

CHAPTER 3

Two Cultures and Political Behavior in Latin America Glen Caudill Dealy

Scholars have sought to explain the evolution of Latin American political development since the early nineteenth century, often comparing and contrasting it to paths taken by Europe and the United States. Within academic circles, various explanations have been debated, including cultural variables, as playing a significant role. Although declining in importance in the 1970s and early 1980s, values, attitudes, and cultural behavior once again started to receive increasing attention in the late 1980s as the wave of democratization struck Latin America. Glen Dealy, who takes a philosopher’s approach to culture both in his earlier work, The Public Man: An Interpretation of Latin American and Other Catholic Countries (1977) and in his most recent effort, The Latin Americans: Spirit and Ethos (1992), attempts to demonstrate fundamental differences in values and attitudes that influence political behavior and to explain why there is a predilection for some models over others. The two essays in Chapter 3 form only a brief introduction to his larger argument that culture is the major determinant of political behavior.

DUA LISTI C SOC I E T Y R E C O N S I D E R E D Latin American civilization has a message of importance for a world increasingly prone to subordinate the individual to the goals and procedures of an administrative state. That message underscores the significant advantages attending a separation between private and public life. When integration of these two domains merges daily existence into one encompassing realm, individuals find neither freedom nor identity apart from that whole an option. From Leningrad [now St. Petersburg] to Peoria. Yokohama, and Chongqing, blended unities are an encroaching reality. But these are also places where concatenated values do not engender socially satisfying communities and where attempts at privatized living apart from the whole do not spell solidarity with family or friends.

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Latin America’s notable location outside the inclusive grip of this administrative state is placed in perspective by considering political philosopher Hannah Arendt’s superb critique of nondualistic modernity.1 Her unparalleled grasp of the problems afflicting contemporary life makes the choice easy. And by accepting Arendt’s interpretive concepts and vocabulary as authoritative, we are at liberty to focus upon Latin America’s place vis-a`-vis modernity. According to Arendt, Western ills are exhibited in the current rise of an overarching social domain. By this she means that matters and cares of economic necessity that formerly belonged to the household, and whose private resolution made public freedom feasible, have now unfortunately escalated into collective concerns. The resultant “one-dimensional” world, as Herbert Marcuse calls it, endangers liberty within both spheres. It is “against a constantly growing social realm that the private and intimate on the one hand, and the political . . . on the other, have proved incapable of defending themselves,”2 since “mass society not only destroys the public realm but the private as well.”3 Modern seamless totalities, maintains Arendt, threaten the two most cherished aspects of life on this planet: familialism and public action. She observes an arresting correlation between the rise of society, the decline of family, and a societally “conquered” political arena. As a consequence of these disasters, “behavior has replaced action,” since “society, on all its levels, excludes the possibility of action.”4 It follows that present-day states orient themselves around the impersonality of rules regulating private materialistic accumulation; it is a poor surrogate for the human fulfillment customary in ancient times when political freedom was exercised in viably sized public forums. Lacking “love of the world,” or at least a practicable means for expressing it, the modern individual’s legitimate pride and desire for an excellence worthy of historical remembrance are thereby sacrificed along with life’s aesthetic impulse.5 Wealth—its accumulation and distribution—has taken center stage, and the “withering away” of the public domain, whether preached by Lenin or laissez-faire Friedmanite capitalists,6 almost everywhere constitutes a self-deluding good. In short, Arendt bemoans the passing of noncommercial human aspiration through neglect of an adequate setting for that forsworn endeavor. Something vital has been lost when personal behavior and the bureaucratic rule of “no one” supplant former ideals of public freedom and heroic accomplishment. It is a striking fact that this critique of Western civilization rings false to anyone acquainted with Latin America. Neither the private familial nor the public political spheres have there disappeared, nor have they blended to create one inclusive social mass. Indeed, the historical debate over civilization and barbarism within the area turns upon this precise point: Vulgarity to the Latin American mind equals the privatized brutish existence of a people without public space or voice, the antithesis of ancient standards. Domingo Faustino Sarmiento’s seminal essay on the Argentine relates barbarity with country

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living and civility with urban life. He pursues an ideal commensurate with the classical model Arendt believes lost: “All civilization, whether native, Spanish, or European, centers in the cities,” and it was there that “the free citizens of Sparta or of Rome . . . lived in the forum or in the public place of assembly exclusively occupied with the interests of the State—peace, war, and party contests.” By contrast, the barbaric Argentine landowners, “having no city, no municipality, no intimate associations, lack the basis of all social development.” As they are not brought together, “they have no public wants to satisfy; in a word, there is no res publica.”7 Arendt was aware that one modern theorist, Niccolo` Machiavelli, comprehended the aged distinction between private household and public polis,8 the latter being a space where the civic virtue of courage (manliness) reigned supreme. However, Arendt did not realize that an entire Weltansicht glorifying that virile excellence had unfolded in this hemisphere; nor that this world view sustains an ethos intermittently competing and mixing with imported eighteenth-century nondualist premises. Arendt’s inadvertence, representative of less insightful liberal thinking and scholarship on this point9 is instructive in light of her searching criticism of more-familiar contemporary orders. But once we acknowledge that even a preeminent social commentator “followed the crowd” in failing to uncover Latin America’s dualistic uniqueness, fundamental questions arise: Is the United States, as so consistently assumed, an appropriate model for Latin American aspirations, or should it be the reverse? Is Latin America the last clinging representative of a traditionalist backward mentality, or is it, like Holy Island during the Dark Ages, the last sane outpost and beacon for nondualist Western civilization? Such questions and their implications will sound preposterous to outsiders accustomed to seeing Latin Americans as privately immoral (for example, they have mistresses) and as publicly immature (for example, they have dictators). Yet, almost everyone who studies the area even superficially concedes that the stormy and passionate extended Latin family exudes warmth and shelters its members from the outside world to a degree unmatchable by capitalist countries and, more ambiguously, that the public realm furnishes a sense of political efficacy among ruling classes that is equally remote from ordinary Western experience.10 Consider immortality. Arendt maintains modern man has lost his appetite for public remembrance; but that is not universally true. However exceptional his eloquence, G. Cabrera Infante states Latin American platitudes when he writes that man “is avaricious, vain, and lusting for power always, everywhere. . . . All that inner, innate perversity creates his thirst for posterity (and its instant form, success), for immortality and, in political terms, his hunger for history.”11 Or, as Octavio Paz declares, reminding one of Petrarch’s “Letter to Posterity,” outside history man is a barbarian.12 Since the Spanish conquest of the New World, Latin aspiration has been

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tuned to comparative place in epic time. This ideal is continuously restated: in Herna´n Corte´s’s declaration to his men that “far more will be said in future history books about our exploits than has ever been said about those of the past”; in Simo´n Bolı´var’s statement during the Wars of Independence that “history will say: ‘Bolı´var took command in order to free his fellow-citizens’”; in Fidel Castro’s singular speech “History Will Absolve Me”; and in Argentine president Carlos Menem’s assertion that “the people and history will judge.” How small the picture when that backdrop of history is removed! What is left is nonheroic “process man” living in the present.13 A personal telling may be instructive. For twenty years I have asked students of both Americas. “Which would you choose: a statue in Central Park/The Plaza or name entry in the empyreal ‘Lamb’s Book of Life’?14 Forced to make a decision, would you opt for immortality among men or eternity with God?” North Americans demonstrate Arendt’s insight. Almost all of them pick the eternity of heaven’s roll book over worldly renown—but then, manifesting Protestant-ethic “single morality” attitudes, they disavow any conflict in requisite behaviors geared toward attaining one over the other. (Isn’t it possible to be a good capitalist and a good Christian at the same time? Surely those virtues leading to worldly success and those required for Christian afterlife are compatible!) Latin American students almost automatically respond in favor of immortal worldly remembrance over eternal life—but then, exhibiting dualist premises, they hold that following one path does not necessarily exclude the other. Although fame secured by acting boldly on behalf of the common good may demand evil means, aren’t even these sinners open to salvation? Where is the contradiction in the political heroics or artifice necessary to get one’s statue in The Plaza, and the Church’s ritual absolution or reward for that community regarding chicanery? It is necessary constantly to keep in mind that the civic virtues cherished by Latin Americans—outlined in ensuing pages—are essentially those perfections prized by classical, especially Roman, civilization. Thus in the case of Latin America, Arendt inappropriately laments vanishment from the public domain of qualities such as manliness, dignity, generosity, and grandeur, just as she decries disappearance from the private realm of an entity remarkably like the stereotypical Latin American extended family attending to its own necessities. Here then, south of the border, are fully functional societies exhibiting earmarks of celebrated excellences Western civilization allegedly let slip away. One or two juxtapositions will suggest the fecundity of ancient values viewed in contemporary Latin American setting. For example, it will be shown that classical grandeur is frequently displayed in Latin oratory as a means of acquiring followers, a prerequisite for political endeavor. Contrary to that publicly silent and “behaving” nature of most present-day nondualist societies, speech and action as features of an admired Greco-Roman existence are ev-

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erywhere practiced in the area. If “disclosure” of the individual “is implicit in both his words and deeds,”15 as Arendt maintains, and if it is this that makes “a life without speech and without action . . . literally dead to the world,”16 then surely Latin Americans are more alive than North Americans. Among the latter, for example, it is common to pride oneself on being a “strong” and “silent” type, two characterizations that nowhere stand together in the Catholic world.17 By comparing the personalistic nature of Latin American life with a privatized, bourgeois, money-making impersonal society, one can place in perspective the rationality of this expansive individual disclosure. (Anyone acquainted with Latin Americans’ restrained autobiographies is aware that private revelations are quite another matter—further testament to a treasured public-familial separation practically unknown to U.S.-style “bare all” biographical detailing.18) Endless alliances, coups, and rigged elections leading to surface political instability and uncertainty should be interpreted as the logical outcome of a status-seeking order where each ambitious male consciously endeavors to impress himself upon a theatrically inspired world through the tangible media of words and deeds. This same effort underlay the normal pattern of ancient Roman society. And during the Italian Renaissance in the sixteenth century, an era to which Latin Americans still look for guidance to a degree largely unnoticed by pluralist-minded foreign model builders, that heroic ideal was resuscitated. Dualistic premises likewise leave Latin Americans outside that modern proclivity to follow authorless stories of time and meaning. They reject “process” society and rigid procedural government, insisting that all of life should display a human dimension. Not least of their antipathy toward faceless constitutionalism is fueled by a sophisticated understanding that inordinately structured countries like the United States, oriented almost exclusively toward economic allocations and benefits, are incapable of permitting or recording extraordinary feats of singular individuals.19 They know, as Thorstein Veblen observed, that nonindustrial occupations are inherently more honorable and more honored. “Who has ever seen a statue erected to a successful economic entrepreneur?” Latin students ask. And they are correct: Communities nowhere grant true deference and respect—as opposed to envy—to men who operate upon motives of private acquisitiveness rather than on behalf of the bien comun (common good). “If capitalists were genuinely convinced that private greed leads to public good,” these students reason, “wouldn’t one find monuments erected to robber barons?” Latin Americans maintain that the future, as was the past, will be forged by outstanding individuals, not by unseen forces. They find inadequate those abstractions by which Christian scholastics and modern philosophers “tried to solve the perplexing problem that although history owes its existence to men, it is still obviously not ‘made’ by them.”20 Even Latin American Marxists proclaiming “scientific” materialist constructions of prior times usually

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deny the proposition that noncorporeal deterministic factors such as an invisible hand, providence, nature, “world spirit,” or class interest govern their destinies.21 Indicative of Western civilization’s decline, says Arendt, is its dehumanization of the public realm. Yet in striving, like Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, to revitalize standards of worldly excellence in the face of a Judeo-Christian history of other-worldliness, she overlooked an extant culture where economic and political life are unabashedly human creations. For five hundred years Latin American peoples have been governed by a center-periphery philosophy resembling that which instructed the Roman Empire. First from Spain and then from national capitals, elites at the center, infused and guided by classical, Thomistic, and finally Enlightenment philosophies, have contested among themselves, often with the highest idealism, over the direction of public power.22 If masses far removed from that apex of power by virtue of class or geography have had little say in the disposition of their affairs, this follows from the understanding that, as in the Roman world, by right only those with education, leisure, or excellence in military command should participate. And further, since this elite was small and exclusive, it was possible to think that politics is legitimately stamped by heroic personality rather than abstract process. Thus, Arendt’s critique of present-day faceless societies when joined with her contempt for authorless interpretations of history would seem to favor the visible imperatives and rationalizations undergirding Latin American governance. These peoples do not share a proclivity for the unseen political and economic principles upon which both the United States and Communist polities stand. For example, Arendt writes: “Nothing in fact indicates more clearly the political nature of history—its being a story of action and deeds rather than of trends and forces or ideas—than the introduction of an invisible actor behind the scenes whom we find in all philosophies of history, which for this reason alone can be recognized as political philosophies in disguise. By the same token, the simple fact that Adam Smith needed an ‘invisible hand’ to guide economic dealings on the exchange market shows plainly that more than sheer economic activity is involved in exchange and that ‘economic man,’ when he makes his appearance on the market, is an acting being and neither exclusively a producer nor a trader and barterer.”23 One should note that Latin Americans have consistently been chastised for penning “action and deeds” political history to the neglect of social science expository accounts based upon “trends and forces or ideas.”24 Also, unlike North Americans, who tend to avoid responsibility for the plight of their fellow man by contending that the poor are victims of their own laziness (Calvinism) or of temporary marketplace “forces” (Adam Smith), few Latin intellectuals have been tempted to attribute the condition of their poor to some invisible source. For them poverty is not reducible to technical problems of supply and demand or to impersonal markets. On the contrary, most have

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been prepared to acknowledge human evil—individual avarice (Christian) and class oppression (Marxist)—as the cause for unjust allocations. The appeal of these mortal explanations is that both may be discussed in terms of concrete remedial actions by specific figures at the head of parties, movements, or factions. Only a small minority in the area would contend that new laws without the force of individual will could accomplish the goal of redressing injustice. Conservatives and revolutionaries each advocate profoundly human solutions. The swing between right- and left-wing ideological politics in Latin America is perennially redressed by the practicality of a solid center core: an eternal return to personalismo.25 Or consider the typically “surrounded” aspect of Latin America’s Homo politicus. In succeeding pages an ideal-typical publicly gregarious individual will be distinguished from the isolated, antisocial private man of the United States. When reflecting upon the diminution of words and deeds in our age, Arendt, like numerous others, takes no note of their utility in that coteriebuilding mode of life beyond our southern border. The Latin American world exemplifies the multiple ways in which a collectivity intent upon acting differs from our own society focused upon making. Implicit in theater-inclined living is a people-intensive ethos radically at odds with the thing-intensive ambience of a life aligned with production. Unintentionally, Arendt outlines a major disparity between the United States and Latin America: “Action, as distinguished from fabrication, is never possible in isolation; to be isolated is to be deprived of the capacity to act. Action and speech need the surrounding presence of others no less than fabrication needs the surrounding presence of nature for its material, and of a world in which to place the finished product. Fabrication is surrounded by and in constant contact with the world: action and speech are surrounded by and in constant contact with the web of the acts and words of other men.”26 Latin Americans, more interested in interwoven human relationships than in the surrounding presence of nature, are endlessly convivial. By extension, public power, not autonomous capital, attracts them since “power, like action, is boundless. . . . Its only limitation is the existence of other people.”27 Thus we will see that through constant networking Latins build not wealth but power conglomerates to shield themselves against contingency. Unlike private capitalists, who need to believe philosophically that the pursuit of power and the pursuit of riches are one and the same—that is, in the necessity to deny any more exalted form of life than that devoted to moneymaking—Arendt realizes the vast historical, theoretical, and behavioral chasm separating these two goals. Only power understood within the constancy of its collective dimension, she says, can keep the public realm alive: “The word itself . . . indicates its ‘potential’ character. Power is always, as we would say, a power potential and not an unchangeable, measurable, and reliable entity like force or strength. While strength is the natural quality of an individual seen in isolation, power springs up between men when they act together and

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vanishes the moment they disperse. Because of this peculiarity, which power shares with all potentialities that can only be actualized but never fully materialized, power is to an astonishing degree independent of material factors, either numbers or means.”28 To elaborate upon these sentences would be to describe Latin America’s unique public ethos and commensurate expectations outlined below. Indeed, it would lead us to explicate that confusion between power and authority so typical in the political realm south of the border, a confusion that conversely undermines private (family) life in the United States. One could easily expand the foregoing multifarious interconnected themes. Arendt’s brilliant observations, most of which seem beyond refutation when thinking about the United States, raise a plethora of questions, problems, and conundrums when considering other peoples in this hemisphere. A preliminary summary conjecture might run along the following lines. North Americans could learn much from Western pre-sixteenth-century dualist antecedents still viable in a Latin America that has patently managed to preserve both its familiar existence and its public space; correlatively, Latin Americans could gain a great deal by going back to that same past for lessons in how to divorce coercive force from legitimate authority, thereby utilizing their political forums for more worthy ends. LAT I N AM ERI CA ’ S “ T WO M O R A L I T Y ” PA R A D I G M It is impossible to make practical sense of Arendt’s critique without grasping the fact that Latin Americans live a two-track moral existence while U.S. citizens follow a single moral code. Looking at life south of the Rio Grande, one finds a noticeable lack of social conscience. Within the public realm, tolerance, honesty, humility, frugality with government funds, concern for others’ welfare, service to community, all seem to be largely missing—even as an ideal. Inside the home or between friends, however, one encounters qualities of rectitude and caring in abundance. In stark contrast to the rather normless jungle found beyond its walled (figuratively and literally) domicile, the Latin American extended family is characteristically knit together by bonds of love and fraternity to a degree unrealized, and unrealizable, within the prototypical Anglo-American nuclear family. What cultural meaning is explicit or implicit here? How, for example, should one interpret an ordinary Latin father’s outpouring of affection toward his own children as he leaves for work—to speed carelessly past a playground and through a crosswalk endangering other people’s children? Or more pointedly, how would one explain Argentine murderers during “the dirty war” waiting to kill ideologically incorrect pregnant young women—a death deferred until they had given birth to babies whom these murderers could adopt and cherish as their own? The answer is anathema to the nondualist Protestant-ethos conscience.

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Latin Americans freely, openly, and without noticeable inner qualms operate upon a double moral standard: one religious, the other political. Simo´n Bolı´var sharply delineated the two. Religion, he said, “is by nature indefinable in social organization; it lies in the moral and intellectual sphere. Religion governs man in his home, within his own walls, within himself. Laws . . . are applicable outside the home of a citizen.”29 In a speech to Cubans, Fidel Castro—who has always been more Catholic than Communist—furnishes a contemporary version. Priests, he said, ought to have in mind “that which Christ said: ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ (Applause.) What are those who are said to be the interpreters of Christian thought doing meddling in the problems of this world?”30 Catholic peoples may be identified by their choice of a binary life, and Protestant peoples by their choice of a unitary one. Within these pages a broad cultural ethos and spirit (social psychology) flowing from Catholic dualism has been designated by the term “caudillaje” and placed in juxtaposition to the spirit and ethos of Protestantism’s single morality capitalism. As citizens of Poland, Italy, French Canada, Spain, Portugal, and France live more or less within this caudillaje ethical ambience, their experiences have been combined herein to construct a model impregnated with this double moral code, which is the hallmark of Renaissance-affiliated societies. Hence we will turn to nonpareil statements and examples wherever found in this aggregate world. In description of its core aspect, none surpass astute Italian publicist Luigi Barzini. He synthesizes Catholicism’s dualistic referent as leading to, permitting, and encouraging piety near the hearth and expediency in the public domain: “There is one code valid within the family circle with relatives, intimate friends and close associates, and there is another code regulating life outside. Within, they assiduously demonstrate all the qualities which are not usually attributed to them by superficial observers: they are relatively reliable, honest, truthful, just, obedient, generous, disciplined, brave and capable of selfsacrifice. They practice what virtues other men usually dedicate to the welfare of their country at large: . . . family loyalty is their true patriotism. In the outside world, amidst the chaos and the disorder of society, they often feel compelled to employ the wiles of underground fighters in enemy-occupied territory. All official and legal authority is considered hostile by them until proved friendly or harmless: if it cannot be ignored, it should be neutralized or deceived if need be.”31 One can better appreciate that bifurcated norm by examining the habits of exemplary representatives. Members of mafia-like organizations, whether Peruvian druglords or Sicilian crime syndicatos, place in relief traditional Catholic moral dichotomy. Family lives of high-ranking mafioso generally appear spotless. “They are good fathers, good husbands, good sons: their word is sacred. . . . They never betray a friend. They are always devoted churchmen who give large sums to the local parish or to the deserving poor. Many have sisters in convents and brothers in holy orders.”32 This praiseworthy principle

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of “churchmanship,” of private moral concern, equally epitomizes ruthless murderers who contributed to la violencia of Colombia’s 1950s civil war, and it guides contemporary narcotic kings who piously build homes for the poor while slaughtering opponents without compunction. Churchmanship also applies to innumerable recent Argentine, Brazilian, and Chilean military officers, torturers responsible for thousands of desaparecidos (disappeareds) and to many members of Central American right- and left-wing death squads. The importance of this bilevel reality to an understanding of caudillaje culture could not be overstated. Here we witness an elemental feature of Latin American life, the separation of the ethical world into public and private domains. One follows an opportunistic ethos of politics and of the street:33 the other an empathic ethos of religion and of the home. Within that society the ideal father embodies virtues and practices inherent to the ancient public forum; the ideal mother represents values and customs of religiosity.34 The Virgin Mary, representative of both piety and motherhood, presides over the hearth; the collectivity beyond one’s door belongs to the god of power, symbolized by dominance and manliness. Small wonder then that men who cut themselves off from the street by the priesthood are considered effeminate, while women who move freely in the streets are considered prostitutes.35 The separation into public and private is revealed in a conceptualized scheme of being. In his novel El Sen˜or Presidente, Miguel Angel Asturias writes, “A house makes it possible to eat one’s bread in privacy—and bread eaten in privacy is sweet, it teaches wisdom—a house enjoys the safety of permanence and of being socially approved. . . . The street, on the other hand, is an unstable, dangerous, adventurous world, false as a looking-glass.”36 Reflective of dualistic designs for living, Latin Americans learn early to choose their words carefully and guard self-disclosure, to erect barriers around the private persona. For this they need a construction kit: Formality in speech, dress, and habit are their principal tools. North Americans, by contrast, seem to thrive on self-exposure and informality: They dress as they please and “tell all” even to strangers on buses and airplanes. Few U.S. citizens take kindly to being informed what fac¸ades (manners and dress) are appropriate or proper to an occasion. The 1960s expression “Let it all hang out” was quintessentially Protestant. Socially “deviant” behavior or foul language in a one-dimensional world knows no distinctions; a mentality that invented the picture window demands that the neighbors accept me, as the Protestant hymn goes, “just as I am.” (Taverns, of course, can have no windows in a Reformation culture accustomed to hiding or denying every historical form of immorality from drinking to poverty.) Consequently, in the United States, public life and private life are enhanced or debased together since nothing can be apart and still sacred.37 Within Latin America, conversely, torture may go on outside one’s window for years without undercutting the norms practiced by family and friends within. Rene´ de Visme Williamson underscores my theme: “The [Latin American]

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family is the only human institution in which human relations are fully personal, and a house is the physical structure whose protective walls cut off impersonal and therefore alien intrusions. The Spanish word for getting married, casarse, is highly significant: it means ‘to put oneself into a house,’ hence a married woman is casada [housed in].”38 Her husband will presumably spend much of his life on the street, “the public arena controlled by ‘the government’ or by destino [destiny].”39 As an aside, foreigners who pity the Latin American woman’s “plight” should realize the full implications of their critique. To insist that gender parity should occur is to argue that a historically Catholic two-morality people adopt the priorities and reforming ways of a Protestant one-morality society. While modern feminist movements of egalitarian one-morality countries like the United States plausibly demand that natural (equal) rights be extended to women as fulfillment of constitutional promise, the same call in natural law Latin America is necessarily to ask for the destruction of a culture. However meritorious in themselves, as exports to Latin America U.S. feminism and Protestantism alike are faces of cultural imperialism: Each is dependent upon higher law justifications that absolutely reject the validity of Catholic twomorality society.40 Correlatively, the Church of Rome, originator and proponent of significant positive aspects of this dualism—most critically, the inviolability of family and a political realm theoretically devoted to the common good—usually has little success in altering public habits since these are both in theory and by popular agreement beyond the purview of Christian moralizing. When, for example, the Vatican attempts to intervene in a country’s governmental affairs, local authorities normally refuse to back the Pope and prelates frequently support their parishioners in this regard. An apologetic note issued on one such occasion is illustrative of a general pattern of thinking: “While of course the Roman Pontiff had the right to speak with authority on faith and morals . . . [surely] he did not intend to interfere with politics nor to injure the national movement.”41 The words of independent Latin America’s sentinel of dualism, Simo´n Bolı´var, bear repeating here. Expounding that principle for newborn republics, he said, “The world is one thing, religion another. . . . The noble warrior, daring and fearless, stands out in sharpest contrast to the shepherd of souls.”42 Or, as that contemporary nationalist Fidel Castro allows, “Priests who do not carry out counter-revolutionary campaigns can teach religion, because religion is one thing and politics another.”43 (When Brazil’s Frei Betto asked Fidel how he felt about Marx’s belief that “religion is the opiate of the people,” his response was typical of dualistic Catholicism’s revolutionaries everywhere: “From a strictly political point of view—and I think that I know something about politics—I think one can be a Marxist without ceasing to be a Christian and to work with Communists in order to transform the world.”44 Compare countries settled by Anglo-Saxon Protestants. In these societies

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one observes minimal historical differentiation between public and private morality. Certainly private behavior is inconsistent with desired external image, yet one looks in vain for a double standard of moral conduct per se. If stealing and violence within the family are abhorred evils, so also is theft from the public trough or the use of military airplanes, ships, and tanks for individual political ends. Compromise, frugality, and tolerance constitute virtues equally eulogized in the interior and the exterior spheres of life, however much those qualities portray aspiration rather than fulfillment. In sum, applying the one-morality/two-morality construct to everyday attitudes and habits in this hemisphere is exceptionally illuminating. The caudillaje world demands a separation of private and public probity much as bourgeois capitalist culture necessitates a unified standard. Whether accounting for each civilization’s approach to human rights, constitutional government, work, love, or power, other current interpretations—including historical materialism and social science developmental paradigms—fall short in comparison with the force and implications of that distinction.

NOTES 1. Although Arendt is now deceased, the currency of her views has led me to continue to write of her in the present tense. 2. Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958), 47. 3. Ibid., 59. 4. Ibid., 40–41. 5. Ibid., 13, 54. 6. Ibid., 60. 7. Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Facundo: Recuerdos de provincia (Madrid, Spain: Aguilar, 1963), 70. 8. Arendt, Human Condition, 35. 9. Arendt, like Max Weber, believes that European Romanticism made publicprivate life an either/or matter culminating in a Rousseauian compromise: triumph of the social. In his influential “Science as a Vocation,” Weber states the position later adopted by Arendt: “The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the ‘disenchantment of the world.’ Precisely the ultimate and most sublime values have retreated from public life either into the transcendental realm of mystic life or into the brotherliness of direct and personal human relations. It is not accidental that our greatest art is intimate and not monumental.” From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology (New York: Oxford, 1946). 155. To read contemporary political science, including critical theory, from the Latin American perspective is to see how dependent upon time, space, and culture are these allegedly scientific paradigms. For example, Ju¨rgen Habermas criticizes Arendt: “The (strategic) acquisition and maintenance of political power must be distinguished both from domination or the employment of power and from the original generation or constitution of power; in the latter case, but only there, does the concept of praxis prove useful.” Had Habermas lived in caudillaje society he would not have written the

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following sentence: “The concept of the political must extend to the strategic competition for political power and to the employment of power within the political system: politics cannot, as with Arendt, be identified with the praxis of those who talk together for the purpose of joint action” (“Hannah Arendt’s Communications Concept of Power,” Social Research 44 [1977]). For views of Arendt’s power suppositions, see Fred R. Dallmayr, Polis and Praxis: Exercises in Contemporary Political Theory (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1984), chaps. 3–4. 10. Genealogical trees showing the ongoing influence of conquistador families throughout Central American political systems are fascinating. Samuel Z. Stone has done impressive work in his The Heritage of the Conquistadors (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990), appendixes. 11. G. Cabrera Infante, “Foreword,” in Carlos Franqui, Family Portrait with Fidel (New York: Vintage, 1985), xvii. 12. Octavio Paz., One Earth, Four or Five Worlds (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1985), 23. 13. Bernal Dı´az del Castillo, Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva Espan˜a. vol. 1 (Me´xico: Editorial Porrua, 1960), 206; Simo´n Bolı´var, Selected Writings of Bolı´var, ed. by Harold A. Bierck, Jr., vol. 2 (New York: Colonial Press, 1951), 284; Fidel Castro, History Will Absolve Me (London: Jonathan Cape, 1969); Carlos Menem, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Daily Report, June 13, 1989, 37. 14. The term “Book of Life,” occurring about six times in the New Testament, refers to a heavenly register of the elect. “Lamb” is a symbol of Christ. The Latin “Agnus Dei,” Lamb of God, is a formula recited by priests before Communion. Note especially Revelation 21:27. 15. Arendt, Human Condition, 178. 16. Ibid., 176. 17. “Silence” is the second of Benjamin Franklin’s famous thirteen virtues listed in his Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (New York: Modern Library, 1944). 18. Carren˜o’s popular behavior guide advises against self-disclosure: “It is a vulgarity to speak at length in the company of others about our family, our person, our illnesses, our quarrels, our business.” Take away these, particularly the latter, and Protestantethic man would be tongue-tied! Manuel Antonio Carren˜o. Manual de urbanidad y buenas maneras para uso de la juventud de ambos sexos, 38th ed. (Me´xico: Editorial Patria. 1983), 185. 19. Arendt, Human Condition, 42–43. 20. Ibid., 185. 21. Ibid. 22. Raa´l Prebisch’s famous thesis that trade relations between rich nations (the center) and poor nations (the periphery) impoverished the poor and enriched the rich came easily to an Argentine. However valid, Latin America was simply moving from Spain and national capitals to Washington as the source of its problems. Here is a classic example of a people maintaining historical attitudes in the face of a sea change in economic and political circumstances. Prebisch’s thesis was set forth in The Economic Development of Latin America and Its Principal Problems (New York: United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America, 1950). 23. Arendt, Human Condition, 185. 24. Ibid., 40. 25. Fidel Castro is well within the tradition we are describing with his axiom. “La

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jefatura es ba´sica” (Leadership is basic). Theodore Draper argues correctly that this motto is “far more related to ‘leadership-principle’ movements such as fascism and Peronism than to an ideology-and-party-conscious movement such as Communism” (Castroism: Theory and Practice [New York: Praeger, 1965], 9). 26. Arendt, Human Condition, 188. As Marcel Proust noted, “People in society are men and women of action on a minute, a microscopic scale, but are nevertheless men and women of action.” From “La prisonnie`re,” in A la recherche du temps perdu, vol. 3 (Paris: Librairie Gallimard, 1954), 38. 27. Arendt, Human Condition, 201. 28. Ibid., 200. 29. Bolı´var, Selected Writings, 2:604. Kenneth W. Underwood located similar dualism among Catholic politicos in a North American city: “Since the Roman Catholic leaders start their interpretation of politics from the most systematically and precisely developed metaphysical and ethical position of all the religious groups, they give the greatest attention to efforts to define the ‘religious and nonreligious issues’ and the ‘moral and technical aspects’ of problems faced by politicians. Even though the Roman Catholic leaders differ at times in their demarcation of the boundaries, they are diligent in their attempts to maintain and observe distinctions between the spiritual and political spheres” (Protestant and Catholic: Religious and Social Integration in an Industrial Community [Boston: Beacon Press, 1957], 304). A good example of the success of such dualism within the United States is the life of Chicago Irish Catholic Mayor Richard Daley (Mike Royko, Boss: Richard J. Daley of Chicago [New York: New American Library, 1971], 13, passim). 30. Alice L. Hageman and Philip E. Wheaton, eds., Religion in Cuba Today (New York: Association Press, 1971), 132. This scripture can as easily be used by the religious right as the political left. In Brazil, liberation theology ideas and programs of Dom Helder Camara, former Roman Catholic archbishop of Recife, are being dismantled by Archbishop Jose´ Cardoso Sobrinho. “Orlando C. Neves, a conservative law professor at the Catholic University here [Recife], said in an interview: ‘With the full approval of John Paul II. Dom Jose´ is trying to return the church to its primary goal: saving souls. Christ said: My kingdom is not of this world’” (New York Times, November 12, 1989, 4). During the Wars of Independence in Mexico, Spanish royalist troops adopted the Virgin of Los Reme´dios as their patroness and made her a full general of the army. Defeated by the Mexicans, “she was stripped of her uniform by a Mexican general, and ordered to be deported from Mexico. She was allowed to remain on, only when it was promised that she would stay out of politics.” Cited by Jon Manchip White, Corte´s and the Downfall of the Aztec Empire (New York: Carroll and Graf, 1971), 165. 31. Luigi Barzini, The Italians (New York: Bantam, 1965), 202. Nicholas Pileggi, writing about Frank Mari, the Cosa Nostra leader, points to the extreme public-private dichotomy of participants in this archetypal Catholic organization: “Like most mafiosi, Mari did not associate with anyone who was not either a member or related to a member of that exotic subculture. Outsiders—all outsiders—are considered prey who can be lied to, cheated, frightened, robbed and murdered. . . . Selling narcotics to strangers is business to the mafiosi, except when it threatens their homes” (“The Story of T,” New York Times Magazine, March 29, 1970, 13). Carlo Sforza, The Real Italians: A Study in European Psychology (New York: Columbia University Press, 1942), 56, comments upon the same phenomenon: “The home is

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loved in Italy, not for itself, but as a symbol of the continuity of the family. Even the most modest peasant hovel is an island among many other islands. Only at family feasts—births or marriages—does one lower the bridge between house and house and then only briefly. Yet this implies nothing like oriental seclusion. The Italians, like the ancient Greeks, feel that they were born for the market place: they are not eaten by the desire for solitude which often besets the Briton or the Scot. Thousands of years of city life together have taught every Italian the art of remaining alone in the midst of the noisy crowd: alone—of course, in the Italian sense of the word—with his wife and children. That is, by the way, the source of the Italian art of living together in harmony, three or four sons under the same roof in farm or palace.” 32. Barzini, Italians, 268. According to the New York Times, July 14, 1991, the Cali drug cartel is more successful than the Medellı´n cartel because the former “long ago wove themselves into Cali’s society as seemingly upstanding white-collar citizens.” “In Medellı´n, the cartel competed with the state,” says Alvaro Guzma´n, a sociologist. “In Cali, there has been a process of accommodation with the state” (New York Times, July 14, 1991). 33. “And deeply ingrained in Nicaraguans are conceptions about how they are most obviously divided—by gender. An outline of this division is suggested by the Nicaraguan expression, ‘The man is king of the street; the woman is queen of the house.’” Forrest D. Colburn, My Car in Managua (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1991), 60. 34. An anthropological exposition of this truism may be found in Mary N. Dia´z, Tonala´: Conservatism, Responsibility, and Authority in a Mexican Town (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970), 76–79. A parish priest in Spain speaks of “the quite undeniable fact, as far as Andalusia is concerned, that men consider the church a ‘woman’s affair’ . . . and by and large leave churchgoing to the women” (Ronald Fraser, The Pueblo: A Mountain Village on the Costa del Sol [London: Allen Lane, 1973], 114). 35. See Roberto DaMatta, Carnivals, Rogues, and Heroes: An Interpretation of the Brazilian Dilemma (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1991), 107ff. In keeping with this view, sixteenth-century Spanish philosopher Juan Gine´s de Sepu´lveda defended the Conquista, arguing that New World Indians are to Spaniards as females are to males: “In wisdom, skill, virtue and humanity, these people are as inferior to the Spaniards as children are to adults and women to men” (Democrates secundo: De las justas causas de la guerra contra los Indios [Madrid: Instituto F. de Vitoria, 1951], 33). 36. Miguel Angel Asturias, El Sen˜or Presidente (New York: Atheneum, 1975), 125–126. 37. Our ancestors tried to maintain a unidimensional realm of the sacred by exposing and censoring the individual who “conceives no wickedness great that breakes not forth into open view” (Thomas Hooker, The Christians Two Chiefe Lessons, viz. SelfeDeniall, and Selfe-Tryall [London: Golden Lion, 1640], 218). Many secularized contemporaries would reverse this and censor individuals who object to “immoral” paintings, books, or spoken words that are designedly brought into public view. Yet the similarity is apparent. Although our forefathers staked their “self-evident” religious claim in the name of morality, and moderns in the name of free speech, both exhibit a consuming need for sacralization and authentication of their special beliefs and practices. Thus, today exponents of the first persuasion lobby not so much for the freedom to pray in school as for the legitimacy of their religious premises; and the latter want not so much the freedom to hang “dirty pictures” in the gallery as to thereby transform their work into art. Both reflect the truism that in the United States every claim to

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the sacred is generalized and, to the extent possible, imposed upon other people and over all of life. Most important, progress in “the cause” is equated less with religious or aesthetic self-transformation than with successful proselytization. Catholic holy men and women retreating from the world into private meditation are incomprehensible from this perspective. 38. Rene´ de Visme Williamson, Culture and Policy: The United States and the Hispanic World (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1949), 30. 39. DaMatta, Carnivals, 66. 40. See “The Americanization of Latin American Religion?” in David Martin, Tongues of Fire: The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990), 278–281. 41. Walter Bryan, The Improbable Irish (New York: Taplinger, 1969), 159. 42. Bolı´var, Selected Writings, 291. 43. From a speech by Castro in Hageman and Wheaton, Religion in Cuba Today, 136. 44. Frei Betto, Fidel Castro y la religio´n (Santiago, Chile: Pehuen Editores, 1986), 271–273. Fear of communism has been much greater in Protestant-ethos societies than in Catholic-ethos societies, no doubt due to the former’s understanding that a One Morality system, despite its pluralistic pretenses, cannot accommodate diverse public orthodoxies without private values also being threatened. U.S. political pluralism is singularly nonpluralist, ideologically speaking, when compared with Catholic polities of Europe and the Americas. Modern Marxists, of course, endeavored to politicize all of life. To maintain their traditional dualism, however, Catholic Marxists readily fixed upon the classical and Christian requirement that a small political elite must lead the large religion-prone masses to an end that provides for their own good. Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937), who has become Latin America’s most admired theorist of the Left in the late twentieth century, in so many ways represents this historical Catholic premise. Like Castro, he gave political tutorials in the necessity to change the world from above (“Critical self-consciousness means, historically and politically; the creation of an elite of intellectuals”) in the face of a popular following of rather simple individuals for whom “philosophy can only be experienced as a faith.” Preaching in the tradition of other great Catholic political thinkers and actors from Dante and Saint Thomas Aquinas, to Charles V and Machiavelli, to Bolı´var and Antonio Narin˜o, Gramsci creates a two-tier world of those who live by knowledge/understanding on the one hand and those who abide in naive faith on the other. In place of the medieval “Christian prince” who both knows and acts, Gramsci suggests the slightly broader “consciousness of being part of a particular hegemonic force . . . in which theory and practice will finally be one.” Just as Latin American leaders of the Right long claimed their mission was to “save the patria” with military force, the Left now lays claim to an ideological expertise to “save the patria” through a higher political consciousness. When Gramsci notes that “[desirable] innovation cannot come from the mass,” he is underlining a historical “iron principle” of dualistic Catholicism. A Gramsci Reader (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1988), 334–39.

PART II

Historical Factors

CHAPTER 4

The Latin American Tradition Roland H. Ebel and Raymond Taras

Perhaps in no other part of the world is a region’s culture perceived to be so distinctive and identifiable and, at the same time, so influential in the political process as in Latin America. For many observers of international politics, Latin America has become synonymous with caudillaje culture that is said to span the length and breadth of the continent; in turn, Central America is closely associated with military rule and the machismo culture it is claimed it spawns. Despite the existence of such widely-held stereotypes, few observers have searched for linkage between these regional cultures and international policy making. THE CONCEPT O F P O L I T I C A L C U LT U R E The elements of national culture that are relevant to a study of international policy making are those that serve as inputs into the political system. Put differently, it is the politicized dimension of culture—not its more general anthropological aspects—that is of interest to us. There has been, however, a long-running debate among scholars investigating political culture as to whether the concept should encompass psychological perceptions only, or should also include observed behavior. We recall that, according to a pioneer in this field, Sidney Verba, “The political culture of a society consists of the system of empirical beliefs, expressive symbols, and values which defines the situation in which political action takes place. It provides the subjective orientation to politics.”1 A second classic study, a path-breaking five-nation comparative investigation of civic cultures by Almond and Verba, adopted a similar analytical framework: the authors made clear they employed the concept of

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culture in only one of its many meanings—that of psychological orientation toward social objects. Perhaps the most ambitious effort to operationalize such a limited understanding of the term was the comparative study of seven Communist states undertaken by Archie Brown and Jack Gray. For them, Communist political culture was viewed “in terms of subjective orientation to history and politics, of fundamental beliefs and values, of foci of identification and loyalty, and of political knowledge and expectations.”2 In a follow-up study carried out by Brown nearly ten years later, the author seeks to vindicate this position by referring to the newer literature found in cultural anthropology, which, too, displays “a strong intellectual tendency to exclude from the scope of culture not only laws and formal institutions (which were sometimes included in the past) but also behavior patterns.”3 Paradoxically, therefore, the operationalization of the concept of political culture— defined as it is by a political scientist such as Brown—places the field of political science only on the analytic periphery of the term and unquestionably gives preeminence to the disciplines of social psychology and cultural anthropology. While the subjectivist school of political culture has proved an attractive alternative to social scientists wishing to carry out empirical research, a number of eminent scholars, such as Samuel Huntington and Jorge Dominguez, have considered manifest political behavior as an inseparable part of political culture. Robert C. Tucker has more explicitly argued that a behavioral approach has the added value of comparing beliefs to actions, thereby distinguishing “ideal cultural patterns” from “real” ones.4 In the field of Communist studies, where the concept of political culture has most frequently been operationalized, the majority of scholars has opted for the combined subjective and behavioral approach. Thus, in his study of the Soviet Union, Stephen White wrote: “Political culture may be defined as the attitudinal and behavioral matrix within which the political system is located.”5 In summary, we postulate that a nation’s (or a cultural region’s) political culture is made up of three components: political values, attitudes, and behavior. Political values are the idealized norms of how a proper political system should be structured and operated. This often produces what Frank Parkin has described as “the concept of a dominant value system.”6 Political attitudes are the reality-based orientations of people toward the political process. This is sometimes called the “modal” political culture. Political behavior is the way individuals and groups apply their political values and attitudes in concrete situations. This chapter will attempt to lay out what the writers conceive to be the basic characteristics of the dominant political value system of Latin America; identify some of its competing value systems; and distinguish between political values and attitudes, on the one hand, and political behavior patterns, on the other. It will then attempt to relate these facets of the Latin American political culture to the Latin American foreign policy style.

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LATI N AM ERI CA N P O L I T I C A L C U LT U R E The Dominant Value System Latin America is what Louis Hartz calls a “fragment culture;”7 that is, it is an offshoot of its Iberian mother culture. As such, certain selected characteristics of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century political culture of Iberia were brought to the New World where they were implanted in virgin soil and subsequently flourished to a greater degree than they did in the mother country. Thus, as a generalization, it might be said that contemporary Latin America is more Hispanic than is contemporary Spain. Howard Wiarda has made the point that the major movements that produced modern Western culture— the Reformation, the Industrial Revolution, the Enlightenment and the democratic revolutions of the eighteenth century—largely bypassed the Iberian world.8 What were the specific cultural traits that the Spanish conquerors brought to the New World fragment that embedded themselves so completely in the political life of the nations of the region? In brief they were hierarchy, authoritarianism, patrimonialism, corporativism, political monism, and paradoxically, political rebelliousness and resistance to authority. These cultural traits have taken different forms during different historical periods and under different socioeconomic circumstances. However, in spite of massive social, economic and political change, they have proved remarkably durable, as the hierarchical and monistic character of the contemporary Sandinista regime attests. To understand the nature of the political culture so strongly implanted in Latin America one has to understand the character of the Conquest itself. What Latin Americans have called La Conquista was really a continuation of La Reconquista, only carried on in overseas areas ranging from Buenos Aires to Manila Bay and from northern California to Tierra del Fuego. The political and military patterns utilized to effect the reconquest of the Iberian peninsula were simply transported, after the defeat of the last Moorish stronghold of Granada in 1492, to the New World as a means of achieving new conquests. During La Reconquista two contradictory patterns of political organization were utilized by Spain to achieve its objectives: (1) a policy of local self rule and decentralized military organization on the advancing frontier; and (2) a policy of centralization and monocratic rule in territories firmly under the control of the crown. Thus, two competing cultural strains arose in the Spanish empire concurrently: a culture of political centralization and authoritarianism so ably documented by Claudio Ve´liz, and a culture of decentralization and resistance to authority.9 The first was the political culture of Madrid, the second the political culture of the frontier. The first was essentially Thomistic and organicist, stressing the values of order, stability and hierarchy.10 The second was essentially localist and stressed the use of various stratagems to avoid control from Madrid as much as possible.11

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The political values of the crown and the central authorities of Madrid were, theoretically at least, based on the political philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Very briefly, for the Spanish Thomist the good society was the wellordered, hierarchical society made up of governmentally sanctioned social constituents each playing its proper function in an organically integrated society. The end of social order was the achievement of the common good (bien comun)12 as defined by the theologians and moral philosophers of the day and legislated and administered by a social and governmental elite. The means of attaining that end were the creation of a hierarchically organized polity that encouraged complementarity rather then competition, and sought order and balance. To achieve order and balance, a complex system of social and political institutions were envisioned, designed to reflect the traditional Hispanic principles of governance: political monism, organicism, legal idealism and patrimonialism. At the apex of the social and governmental order was the monarch who, with the guidance and assistance of the governing elite who held seats on the various royal councils and advisory bodies, was the chief guardian of the order and common good of the society. As such, he was above the positive law (ley), but subject to the higher or natural law (derecho) as discovered by the theologians and moral philosophers. Below the peninsular elite and presiding over the affairs of the colonies was a highly structured bureaucracy, which, formally at least, had a strong directive and interventionist role in the colonies. Social, economic, religious, and political affairs were extensively regulated by centrally and minutely drafted rules and regulations. Political monism was reinforced by legal idealism, which, in contrast to the Germanic tradition that stressed custom and the law of the folk, emphasized the ideal and the universal. In this tradition, law, of necessity, flows from above. It is to reflect the correct principles of social and political organization as determined by philosophers and theologians. It is the duty of the monarch to determine, on the basis of these principles, the law of the land. The Crown (and later, the state) is the law-giver, not the people.13

Organicism was reflected in the recognition and protection of certain powerful corporative groups such as the church, the military, the craft and commercial guilds, the landed estates and the Indian communities. These organizations were charged both with controlling the activities of their members and with defending their interests before the organs of the state. As such they performed both a governing role and a restraining role on the government. The potential rigidities of organicism and bureaucracy were counterbalanced, to a considerable extent, by patrimonialism under which functionaries of the colonial bureaucracy were considered to be under the monarch’s personal authority. Flexibility was achieved by the creation of overlapping

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jurisdictions, by issuing ordinances that could later be rescinded, and by the exercise of the moderating power. The Hispanic tradition of political monism, organicism, legal idealism, and patrimonialism has forged the dominant political value system of Latin America. This value system, which Glen Dealy has termed “monistic democracy,” stresses order, stability, leadership by elites (whether ideological, economic or military), fear of competition, abstract planning, and constant attempts—albeit often abortive ones—to create the good society from the top by government fiat. There was also, to use Richard Morse’s suggestive terminology, a “Machiavellian” side to the Thomistic vision—a rebellious, localist, lawless side to the Hispanic concept of governance.14 This resulted from a number of factors emanating both from the nature of Hispanic Thomism and from the nature of the Conquest. First of all, Thomism postulated the right of revolution if the government did not act on behalf of the common good. And how was it possible for any group of decision makers located in Madrid always to determine the common good of an empire so far flung and economically and ethnically diverse as the Spanish dominions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when speed of communication was measured in weeks and months? Local resistance to authority—even rebellion—became the political way of life in much of the empire. Thus, although the Spanish imperial system was formally centralized and bureaucratized, functionally it was highly decentralized and loosely governed. Thus the two contradictory and paradoxical political traditions of Latin America grew up side by side: the authoritarian, bureaucratic and monistic tradition so well described by Claudio Ve´liz and Glen Dealy; and the decentralized, rebellious, “power contender” tradition described by Charles Anderson.15 These two traditions, although varying in form and content in different periods, have vied for dominance throughout the 175 years of Latin American independence. The past 50 years have seen Latin America fragmented by competing political monisms—Marxism, developmentalism, Peronism, falangism, and so forth—that begin their political life as Machiavellian movements of disorder and rebellion (often in the name of pluralism) only to impose an authoritarian, hierarchically structured monistic system upon their societies when they come to power. Political monism in Latin America, therefore, has both its Machiavellian and Thomistic manifestations. Standing alongside the two monistic traditions is a third—pluralistic democracy. Although its roots go back to the democratic revolutions of the eighteenth century, until the last forty years it functioned primarily as an abstract intellectual ideal and, with a few exceptions, never penetrated deeply into the Latin American political culture. However, since the end of World War II it has increasingly been able to mount a serious challenge to the dominant monistic tradition. The extent to which one can talk about a democratic culture taking root in such countries as Venezuela and Colombia, as opposed

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to simply the emergence of specific and often short-lived democratic regimes in countries like Argentina, Brazil, Peru, or Guatemala, is hard to determine with certainty. However, the democratic tradition of peaceful electoral competition between ideological or programmatic parties, loyal opposition, incremental decision making reflecting bargaining and compromise, peaceful interplay between the governmental and/or societal institutions, and the subjection of the executive to the rule of law remain the weaker, less developed aspects of the Latin American political culture. In summary, the dominant value system of Latin America has been, and continues to be, what has been called political monism—a constant search for a harmonious, non-competitive social blueprint that can be imposed from the top. However, any monistic system, because of its resistance to political competition, differences of opinion, and thus to change, tends to be brittle and thus subject to fragmentation, disintegration and collapse. This gives rise to certain behavioral patterns, which in some ways constitute separate political cultural sub-traditions in their own right. The first is a powerful insurrectionary tradition that sees violence as the only way of bringing down an entrenched monistic regime where the electoral alternative is not available. However, the challenging groups usually seek to impose an alternative monistic vision of their own. Latin American political life, thus, has tended to oscillate, as Richard Morse suggests, between periods of Thomism and Machiavellianism. This has stimulated a second behavioral tendency, namely an amazing institutional inventiveness in the area as Latin American political elites have sought to control the oscillation. However, most of the institutional creativity has been of a monistic nature, ranging from political territorial monopoly arrangements (Uruguay) to quasi-hegemonic party systems (Mexico, Nicaragua) to power sharing agreements (Colombia). In some cases, institutional experimentation has been used to consolidate democracy: the weak presidential system of Costa Rica, the collegial executive of Uruguay, and the National Front Agreement in Colombia after 1972. The third pattern is the use of the democratic interlude to resolve a political impasse. Pluralistic democracy is often accepted by the antagonistic forces of Latin American societies as a kind of middle ground between the excesses of extreme monism (bureaucratic authoritarianism, for example) on the one hand, and insurrectionary chaos on the other. Although compromise, bargaining, delay, and acceptance of the politically possible rather than the ideal are not generally satisfactory to many groups, they are often seen as necessary to reducing violence, obtaining foreign aid, or getting rid of a tyrannical regime. The military also often accepts the democratic opening as a means of retiring from the responsibilities of social and economic management. The search for a democratic interlude explains why democracy seems to come in waves and after reaching a high point on the political shore recedes back into the ocean of Latin American history, leaving the people on the land

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once again the task of deciding which monistic group or movement they will follow. Individual Political Behavior: Caudillaje Man Within the dominant political value system of Latin America, it is possible to identify a number of class based or sectoral constellations of political attitudes and behavioral patterns. However, since the turn of the century the middle classes have been the most active, if not always the most powerful, political sector in Latin America, our attention will focus on this sector. Middle class activism derives largely from the tremendous surge in urbanization and the resulting rise of populist movements in the region. A number of writers have sought to capture the essential character of the political culture of this sector. Social anthropologist John Gillin, writing in 1960, identified ten “middle segment values” that he believed were barriers to modernization and development: personalism, machismo, dignity, familism, hierarchy, patronalism, tangible materialism, transcendental values (Arielismo), emotion as the fulfillment of self, and fatalism.16 Similarly, Glen Dealy, in his model of Catholic or “caudillaje man” (which, incidentally, he extends to a wider range of Catholic countries such as Ireland and Poland), uses slightly different terms and comes up with a shorter list of traits, but they largely encompass the same attitudes and behavior patterns identified by Gillin. In Catholic or caudillaje culture the dominant value is power in the same way that in Protestant or capitalistic culture it is wealth.17 To achieve power, caudillaje man requires a cohort of associates and supporters. “The common man of caudillaje society knows that power depends upon friendship, that there are certain means of acquiring, holding and losing friendship, and that without it one is lost.” What are these means of pursuing power through friendship? They are dignity, generosity, manliness, grandeur, and leisure.18 The caudillo as a political type emerged, as Richard Morse, William Beezley, Martin Needler, and others have suggested, from the breakdown of the colonial “Thomistic Synthesis.”19 Caudillaje man, as a personality type, has its roots in historic caudillismo but is perpetuated by the fact that contemporary political monism is inherently unstable and subject to disintegration, and caudillaje personality traits have particular survival value under such conditions. Thus, Latin America’s dominant political value system—the search for a monistic syntheses—gives rise by its very nature to the caudillaje personality, particularly among the middle sectors that are the most highly activist politically. In summary, the caudillaje personality type is a reflection of the Machiavellian face of Hispanic monism. The basic Latin American political value system inherited from Hispanic Thomism remains the norm. However, because during and after the Independence Movement the centrifugal, localist, and nuclear forces became dominant, the once recessive Machiavellian traits

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producing caudillaje man became the dominant operative political behavior pattern—but usually in the name and in search of the bien comun. It now remains to be asked what features of the Latin American political culture discussed in this section have the greatest bearing on Latin American foreign policy and international behavior. Political Culture and Foreign Policy Style Of the variety of specific traits discussed at the outset of this paper, which appear to have greatest general relevance to the area’s foreign policy and international behavior? We would like to postulate that Latin American international behavior can best be understood culturally as involving a contrapuntal relationship between three broad cultural orientations: international monism, clientalism, and nationalism. There is, in other words, a counterpoint between the Thomistic search for a stable world or regional order, and, when that fails, a Machiavellian recourse to clientalism. Clientalism, in turn, generates what Milenky has called “reactive nationalism.”20 As a means of understanding this pattern, three general environmental factors have to be considered. The first is the nature of the international system. In a very fundamental way it presents these nations with an environment, a modus operandi at odds with the region’s political habits and traditions. That is, the lack of a sovereign decision-making center in the international system places a premium on the democratic habits and skills of bargaining, compromise, coalition building, and so forth. In this sense, the Latin American nations are forced to operate in a much more freewheeling, pluralistic environment than they are disposed to by their culture. Because of the need to develop the skills and expertise to operate in such a culturally alien environment, the foreign policy establishments of most Latin American countries have been more insulated from national politics (and from the behavioral norms and expectations of the national political culture) than the other ministries of government. Foreign policy in the Latin American states had traditionally had a much greater tendency to have an organizational life of its own regardless of the regime in power. This, however, has been changing somewhat as more left-wing authoritarian governments have come to power. In countries like Cuba and Nicaragua foreign policy is less insulated from political and ideological considerations than it was under such desarrollista bureaucratic authoritarian regimes as Argentina, Brazil, or Uruguay. A second factor is the historical political instability generated by Latin America’s monistic political culture. Political monism is inherently unstable: It seeks to impose a top-down order on society on the basis of a political ideology or set of unimpeachable political objectives under the aegis of a charismatic or self-selected political elite. Unfortunately, every political monism spawns rival monisms anxious to impose their conceptions of the bien comun on the society. And, given the area’s Machiavellian tradition, they are

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more willing to take to the streets or the hills to achieve that objective. As a result, these countries, even the largest and intrinsically most powerful among them, have been among the weaker actors in the international system. Consequently, Latin American diplomatic activity and doctrine has often oscillated between exaggerated assertions of national sovereignty and taking refuge under the protecting wing of a more powerful international actor. A third and related factor is the problem of dependency generally. It is not the province of this chapter to take up a defense or criticism of dependency theory or to go into its causes or the forms it has taken. But without in any way declaring ourselves to be dependencistas, it is clear that a combination of economic underdevelopment, relatively small size, and the nature of EastWest political competition has made the Latin American nations more vulnerable to outside pressures and influences and, thus, has tended to drive many of them into the orbit of either the United States or, more rarely, the Soviet Union. Political instability and economic and technological dependency have served to reinforce in international behavior the pattern of clientalism that is so deeply ingrained in Latin American culture. One writer who addressed this phenomenon with graphic imagery was Norman A. Bailey in his essay of two decades ago, “The United States as Caudillo.” Bailey begins by contrasting the “lukewarm to frigid” response to U.S. attempts to curb Cuban subversion on the part of the Latin American nations at the San Jose and Punta del Este Foreign Ministers’ Conferences of 1960 and 1961, and the “unanimous and enthusiastic” backing the U.S. blockade obtained from the Council of the OAS during the Cuban missile crisis. What was equally significant, Bailey stated, was that during the first period “anti-Yankee sentiment seemed on the rise among the populace at large, and almost weekly riots and demonstrations in support of Cuba took place in one city or another of the region;” whereas during the second episode, “with the exception of La Paz, there was not a single important anti-U.S. demonstration or riot in any part of Latin America, whereas in some cities there were sizeable pro-U.S. manifestations.”21 Bailey explains these contradictions, “none of which should have caused surprise in Washington,” by the “‘patron’ mentality,” which had evolved through the centuries in Latin America. “Strong” but benevolent leadership is the ideal of the Latin American in the national sphere. He is not, of course, a masochist, and if the government or caudillo attacks his liberties or what he considers his private concerns, he will resist. At the same time a “weak” government, no matter how benevolent and well-intentioned, is despised and obstructed, especially if it is not, in the individual’s opinion, fulfilling its responsibilities.22

This psychology, he argues, is carried over into the international sphere. The Latin American nations want a strong but not overly intrusive patron who will

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protect them from the uncertainties of international life. Great Britain fulfilled that role throughout most of the nineteenth century, and the United States assumed it roughly at the time of the Olney Declaration in 1895. During the last decade of the nineteenth and the early part of the twentieth centuries, however, the United States violated the expected pattern of “patronal behavior” by its intervention in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. The Good Neighbor Policy, on the other hand, restored the United States to the position of the “beneficent caudillo.”23 The proper role of America, as the international caudillo in the Western Hemisphere, Bailey argued, was to protect the client from the outside world while granting him a relatively free hand in his own bailiwick. Thus, the strongly held principle of nonintervention in the internal affairs of states is compatible with strong U.S. patrimonial caudillaje leadership in the international sphere. We might postulate that for Latin America a properly working InterAmerican system constitutes the international Thomistic synthesis. In it the United States plays the role of the beneficent caudillo (in Bailey’s sense) or, from a traditionalist point of view, the role of the beneficent monarch. Collective security and economic arrangements like the Rio Treaty, the Alliance for Progress, or the Caribbean Basin Initiative (and the principles and policies they seek to apply) constitute the bien comun at any given time. Within the system, each state—in the familistic brotherhood of Spanish speaking states— has its proper role to play, presided over and tended to by the United States through the bureaucracy of the various multinational organizations. “Obedezco pero no cumplo” is the reaction of individual Latin American states to what are perceived as the excessive or ill-conceived demands by the United States. At a slightly higher level of resistance, middle class reactive nationalism (for example, the Caracas demonstrations against Richard Nixon in 1958) comes into play. Full-fledged Machiavellian behavior is reflected in attempts by governments or movements to either lower the involvement of their nation in the Inter-American Thomistic system (for example, the Arbenz regime) or attempts to withdraw it from the system altogether (for example, the Sandinista regime). When the Inter-American system becomes “nucleated” (to use Richard Morse’s term), the weaker states seek to protect themselves by drawing ever closer to a protective caudillo—whether the United States or the USSR. Applying this conceptualization (or imagery) historically, it might be postulated that following the breakdown of the Iberian empires, the first international monism created by the Latin Americans was the Liberal Synthesis, which lasted from roughly 1860 to 1930. Presided over by the then dominant international caudillo, Great Britain, which provided its clients capital, markets, and the Pax Britannica, the system was guided by the idealistic (Thomistic) doctrine of comparative advantage and sought to achieve the bien comun through the exportation of primary products and the importation of

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luxury goods. The conditions that made this system relatively successful were the low levels of mass consumption, politicization, and population growth. The Liberal Synthesis was undermined during the last decade of the nineteenth century and the first two decades of the twentieth by industrialization, urbanization, and population growth due to advances in disease control, all of which served to politicize the urban middle classes and to create the beginnings of an urban proletariat. In addition, Great Britain had relinquished its caudillo role to the United States. The Liberal Synthesis was finally destroyed (except in Central America and the insular Caribbean where it lingered on into the 1940s and 1950s) by the Great Depression, which thoroughly disrupted Latin America’s outward oriented economy. The hopes and fears of World War II tended largely to ward off the possible Machiavellian international behavior of the Latin American states resulting from the breakdown of the Liberal Synthesis (except for Argentina, which flirted with the Axis Powers). After the war, fear of Soviet expansionism coupled with the idealism generated by Allied rhetoric and American economic and political dominance caused the creation of what might be called a “developmentalist synthesis” under American leadership. The United States now fully assumed its role as, potentially at least, the beneficent caudillo. The guiding idealistic (Thomistic) doctrine was that of political and economic development; and the transfer of capital and technology was seen as the means of creating the international bien comun. International familism was also reflected in the movements of regional economic integration. Once again, however, the developmentalist synthesis was undermined by what Julio Jaguaribe, Guillermo O’Donnell, and others have called the problems of populism: deteriorating terms of trade, inflation, industrial noncompetitiveness, and hyperpoliticization.24 These problems were exacerbated by the emergence of the intrusive multinational corporation, which the United States was reluctant to control. The disintegration of the synthesis was further accelerated by the attractiveness of Marxist modes of analysis— the competing Thomism of the day—to university students and intellectuals. At the same time the United States was seen as abusing its caudillo status by intervening in the internal affairs of an obstreperous populist government— the Arbenz regime. The 1970s and 1980s have seen the Inter-American system descend into chaos with the emergence of competing international caudillos (the United States and Soviet Union) on the one hand, and a variety of national caudillajetype leaders (both democratic and authoritarian) on the other. But still the search for the international patron continues. America’s budgetary crisis coupled with its intrusion into Central America inhibits its ability to play the role of the beneficent patron effectively. Lack of economic growth and its military and political intrusiveness similarly impedes the Soviet Union in playing that role. A number of so-called “regional actors” (Venezuela and Mexico principally; at times Peru, Argentina and Brazil) have sought out a cacique role, but

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the decline in oil prices, the world agricultural glut, and the debt crisis have undermined these attempts at leadership. Thus, currently the Inter-American system is in flux. The new fledgling democratic regimes still primarily seek the protective wings of the American eagle, while beleaguered popular revolutionary regimes have sought the protection of the Russian bear. The larger states—Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru primarily, Mexico to a somewhat lesser extent—are attempting either to go it alone or to play the one caudillo off against the other. At the same time the combination of terrorism, narcotics smuggling, illicit migration and the possible default on debt has served to reduce the capability of the United States to even operate as a caudillo, much less a beneficent one. To what extent is the above description of Latin America’s culturally based international policy and behavior in accord with reality? One useful summary of the international thinking of Latin American political and academic elites has been provided by Edward S. Milenky. Although published a decade ago, his survey paints an interesting picture of elite attitudes since the war. Most see their nations as the victims of powerful outside forces—typical clientelist attitudes according to John Duncan Powell.25 Of the sixteen writers or research organizations cited on the matter of their countries’ national situation, only two (General Golbery do Couto e Silva and Julio Jaguaribe) saw certain nations, (that is, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico) as having the potential for autonomous development. Milenky noted: All of Latin America’s international options as presented by a cross-section of its foreign affairs analysts, lead to the following conclusions. Regionalists and nationalists accept the status of Latin American nations as regional powers at best, as local powers if possible, and minimally as states capable of mastering their internal affairs.

However, reactive nationalism is central to the thinking of all of the writers surveyed: Latin American students of international affairs would have their nations seek a familiar catalogue of objectives: sovereignty and autonomy; national development and, if possible national power; and a respected position as actors, not objects, in world affairs.

The one finding in the Milenky survey that does not quite fit our description of Latin American cultural behavior in international affairs is the postulate of an organicist desire to fit into an Inter-American system dominated by the United States as beneficent caudillo. He concludes that none of the analysts seek a return to the Alliance for Progress or Pan Americanism. Nevertheless he also asserts that a consensus does exist in Latin America on the future of the region.

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Generally, Latin Americans see themselves as members of weak, externally penetrated societies in which great powers, multinational corporations, and international economic relationships play important roles. As a result nation-states in the classic sense of impervious units with a political supremacy over a defined territorial sphere do not exist. Latin American governments are seen as mediators between indigenous and nonindigenous actors and forces. These conditions are the product of underdevelopment and the low power position of Latin American nations in the world. In all discussions of political reality based on political culture, recognition has to be given to the fact that while any cultural pattern is highly persistent, culture is also subject to change. Latin America is currently experiencing a “democratic wave.” Whether this development, which reflects a historically latent yet important tradition of the region, will last long enough to materially affect the national culture and the consequent international behavior of the nations of the area only time will tell. If it does persist, over the long term this should have the effect of changing the historic patron-client relationship between the U.S. and the Latin American states into one that lays greater stress on cooperation and mutual interaction. Concurrently, the ability of the U.S. and the USSR to play the caudillo role may also be diminishing, a fact that may produce major changes in Latin America’s international behavior.

NOTES 1. Sidney Verba, “Comparative Political Culture,” in Political Culture and Political Development, ed. Lucian W. Pye and Sidney Verba (Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1965), 513. 2. Archie Brown and Jack Gray, eds., Political Culture and Political Change in Communist States (London: Macmillan, 1979), 10. 3. Archie Brown, ed., Political Culture and Communist Studies (Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1985), 154–155. 4. Robert C. Tucker, “Culture, Political Culture, and Communist Society,” Political Science Quarterly 88 (June 1973): 182. 5. Stephen White, Political Culture and Soviet Politics (London: Macmillan, 1979), 1. 6. Frank Parkin, Class Inequality and Political Order (London: Macgibbon and Kee, 1971), 82. 7. Louis Hartz, The Founding of New Societies (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1964), 3–10. 8. Howard Wiarda, ed., Politics and Social Change in Latin America: The Distinct Tradition (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1974), 6. 9. Claudio Ve´liz, The Centralist Tradition in Latin America (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1980). 10. See Richard Morse, “The Heritage of Latin America,” in Hartz, The Founding of New Societies. 11. For a summary of centralist and decentralist interpretations of Latin American governance, see Roland H. Ebel and James Henderson, “Patterns of Continuity in Latin American Society: Political and Historical Perspectives,” Annals of the Southeastern Conference on Latin American Studies 7 (March 1976).

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12. See Glen Dealy, “The Tradition of Monistic Democracy in Latin America” in Wiarda, Politics and Social Change in Latin America, 80–90. 13. Ebel and Henderson, “Patterns of Continuity in Latin American Society,” 95. 14. Richard Morse, “Toward a Theory of Spanish American Government,” Journal of the History of Ideas 15 (1964): 78–82. 15. Charles Anderson, chapter 4 of Politics and Economic Change in Latin America: The Governing of Restless Nations (Princeton, N.J.: Van Nostrand, 1967). 16. John Gillin, “Some Signposts for Policy,” in Social Change in Latin America Today, ed. Richard Adams et al. (New York: Harper and Row, 1960), 14, 28–47. 17. Glen Caudill Dealy, The Public Man: An Interpretation of Latin American and Other Catholic Countries (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1977), 7. 18. Dealy, The Public Man, 8, 34. 19. See Roland H. Ebel, “Thomism and Machiavellianism in Central American Political Development” (paper given at the 44th International Congress of Americanists, Manchester, England, 5–10 September, 1982). See also Morse, “Toward a Theory of Spanish American Government,” 118–122; and, William H. Beezley, “Caudillismo: An Interpretive Note,” Journal of Inter-American Studies 11 (1969): 348–349. 20. Edward S. Milenky, “Problems, Perspectives, and Modes of Analysis: Understanding Latin American Approaches to World Affairs,” in Latin America: The Search for a New International Role, ed. Ronald G. Hellman and H. Jon Rosenbaum (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1975), 100. 21. Norman A. Bailey, “The United States as Caudillo,” Journal of Inter-American Studies 5 (July 1963): 313–314. 22. Bailey, “The United States as Caudillo,” 314–315. 23. Bailey, “The United States as Caudillo,” 320. 24. Julio Jaguaribe, chapter 22 of Political Development: A General Theory and a Latin American Case Study (New York: Harper and Row, 1973); and Guillermo O’Donnell, The Bureaucratic Authoritarian State (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983). 25. John Duncan Powell, “Peasant Society and Clientelist Politics,” American Political Science Review 64 (June 1970): 411. The international thinking of writers included in Milenky’s survey broke down this way: (1) “taking a hierarchical view with the U.S. as dominant actor:” Silva Michelena, F. Herrera, H. Godoy, C. Furtado, A.G. Frank, O. Sunkel, F. Cardoso; (2) “taking a hierarchical view with the U.S. and U.S.S.R. in a bipolar system:” J. Juaguaribe, Arujo Castro, J. Peron; (3) “taking a multipolar view:” M. Kaplan, O. Camilion, K. Vasena. Based on Milenky, “Problems, Perspectives, and Modes of Analysis.”

CHAPTER 5

The Spanish American Past: Enemy of Change Donald E. Worcester

The ways in which societies change and adjust to change are determined largely by cultural and historical factors, by long-standing customs and traditions. Cultural values differ widely from one society to another; each solves its problems according to its own values; and value systems, though they may work well for one society, cannot be expected to work as well for another. This is true even of colonies that become independent nations, although the characteristic stamp of the common mother country remains visible. What is unique in the case of Spanish America is the inability of the new nations to shed this stamp, despite determined efforts to do so. To understand the process of change of any country or group of related countries such as those of Spanish America, it is necessary to examine the major cultural characteristics and values, and to consider social and political action in relation to these, rather than to any external standard. Spanish American political behavior is largely a by-product of culture traits developed in the centuries before 1492 and modified by interaction with New World native populations since that time. Spaniards had been much influenced by both Romans and Arabs. From the Romans they inherited a love of land, a disdain for wealth from any other activity save warfare, and a preference for aristocratic government. The Greek legacy that reached Spain by way of Rome was that of Sparta, not Athens. Spaniards absorbed the Hellenistic exaltation of kings, an Egyptian trait, that would one day blossom into absolute monarchy. Hispania, the Roman province in the Iberian peninsula, was the most Romanized of Roman provinces outside Italy. It was also the least Germanized European region in the upheaval that ended the Ancient World. Unlike the

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British, who by the very term Anglo-Saxon stress their Germanic background, the French, who refer to the Franks with the same effect, or the Germans, who had the original monopoly, the Spanish cannot hyphenate Visigothic with Iberian. Instead, Moor, meaning Moslem, must be substituted for Saxon or Frank, and this in itself reveals a second great basic difference between Hispania and the rest of Europe. One of the oldest truisms of history is that “Africa begins at the Pyrenees.” The Moslem influence was both profound and lasting. The Arabs proved the value of faith on the battlefield, and Spanish Christians reacted by developing the cult of Santiago Matamoros, Saint James the Moorslayer. An Arab characteristic that was borrowed outright was devotion to the tribe and obedience to the tribal chieftain. Spanish American political parties have, until recently, reflected this emphasis on personal followings. As a result these parties have often displayed some of the characteristics of Arab raiding bands. As long as the leader retained his image of manliness and provided rewards for the faithful, they followed him willingly. If he failed they simply replaced him with another leader, whose beliefs and principles were less important than his ability to command and to reward. The Arabs and other Moslems who occupied Spain were unable to establish stable political institutions except at the tribal level. The tribal unit was basically a social structure; it forced Spain’s first “political” leaders to meet its requirements. Today the qualifications for Spanish American political leadership are still largely social, based on family, masculinity, and appearance. The Spain of Ferdinand and Isabel was the product of interaction among Christians, Moslems, and Jews, who came in large numbers under Rome. It was also an outgrowth of the turbulent Reconquest, which was more a matter of living off one’s enemies than a religious crusade. The Spanish Christians acquired Arabic ways of living and absorbed Arabic doubt that uncertainty with respect to life on earth and to the validity of everything that existed. As Ame´rico Castro has said, “Christian Spain emerged into being . . . as she incorporated and grafted into her living process what she was compelled to by her interaction with the Moslem world.” From Islam the Spanish Christian acquired a fatalistic attitude toward life that was reflected in such common expressions as “If God wills,” and “It is the will of God.” This is an attitude that produces passivity and inertia rather than creativeness and ambition. Although Spaniards were generally not aware of it, even the familiar expressions Ojala´, meaning “God grant that . . . ” and Ole´ (from Allah) meaning “Bravo!” came from the Arabic. Alongside the state, and as a result of the same influences, the Church became a temporal power, in effect a branch of royal administration in its non-spiritual activities. Education, censorship, the keeping of vital statistics, and the operation of charitable institutions were responsibilities assigned to the Church in the New World. In the nineteenth century many Spanish Americans sought to secularize education and the keeping of human statistics,

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while the Church fought to retain its traditional role. In some countries, such as Mexico and Colombia, the attempts to limit the Church to purely spiritual activities led to bloody civil wars fought in the name of religion, although Church doctrine was not under attack. In Spain the church-state became a dual concept that stood for organic unity. It was, according to Ame´rico Castro, “a creation that came out of the spirit of those people who came to find themselves in an advantageous position for releasing impulses that they had been carrying in themselves for a long time. . . . Centuries of tradition, Islamic as well as Judaic, burst out in an orgy of a belief which was now going to control the national mass without restraint or misgivings.” Spanish Christians became more and more fanatic as Jews and Moslems migrated or were converted. This fanaticism against the other two Eastern religions had, paradoxically, been borrowed involuntarily. Sixteenth-century Catholicism, an authoritarian state religion, did not resemble the Catholicism of the Middle Ages in Spain or elsewhere. Spanish Catholicism developed a form and characteristics different from the Catholicism of other European countries. As the Church had a profound influence on the Spaniard’s attitude toward government and authority in general, it also made him judge others not on a basis of race but on religious ancestry, and to avoid anyone whose mental activity was likely to lead away from strict orthodoxy. Spaniards eventually would come to believe that Spain had never been infected by any heresy, a myth happily propagated by the Old Christians, for it was to their advantage. Converts or “New Christians” were distrusted by Old Christians and resented by their former Jewish or Moslem coreligionists. The result of these conditions—suspicion on the one side and resentment on the other—impelled the New Christians to take extreme measures against Moslems and Jews to prove the genuineness of their orthodoxy. Piety was not enough to demonstrate one’s orthodoxy, so the New Christians became the harshest persecutors of non-Christians and especially of apostates. Torquemada, most famous of the early Inquisitors, was a convert, and even Ferdinand of Aragon had some Jewish ancestors. The conflict between Old and New Christians tended to give all life a religious overtone and framework. The natural consequence was a violent and unyielding rejection of ideas or doctrines that threatened the predominance of theology. The Spanish Christian, a special breed, never regarded himself as part of a national body, or at any rate of a purely secular national body. The idea that his well-being might be enhanced by cooperation and group effort he rejected as befitting only ignoble and heretical types such as the British and Dutch. The Spaniard preferred to wait for something wonderful to happen, for a saving miracle such as a winning lottery ticket something that solved all major problems and that was based on some inner merit that was not necessarily apparent to those around him. Faith in the miraculous is an attitude that discourages originality and cre-

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ativity as well as efforts to bring about economic or political change. Men who base their hopes on “lucky breaks” are not likely to create their own opportunities. Spaniards learned to expect the state to provide sinecures, positions, and pay without real responsibility or even a demand for loyalty. Men trusted in faith, and felt obliged to defend their unique form of religious belief to the death. They opposed any attempt to devise political forms to be imposed on the church. Religion to the Spaniard was a highly personalized belief and a universal ritual, not a standard for daily conduct. By the time the Moslems and Jews were expelled from Spain the Christians had absorbed a strong measure of Near Eastern religious authoritarianism. And the individual Spaniard had borrowed the Arab’s powerful instinct for preserving his personal liberty, especially against social cooperation in anything but a holy war, another concept borrowed from the Arabs. Any other collective action, he believed, would do damage to his soul. Men who nourished such beliefs could not easily comprehend or appreciate the concept of political compromise, for it was incompatible with their strong sense of personal liberty and dignity. The basic elements of Spanish life were anarchy, religion, and politics, which meant the individual, the church, and the state. Under Ferdinand and Isabel religion and politics were united, but no one from Hannibal onward has been able to unify Spain. As Salvador de Madariaga said of Ferdinand and Isabel, “Under their common rule the Spanish monarchy became a state and the Spanish state became a church.” Culturally speaking, Spain remained a cluster of nations, each of which would have seized any opportunity to go its separate way if it could not achieve domination over the others. Living on faith, in faith, and by faith, the Spaniard scorned what was merely useful, practical, or logical. Public laws were by no means equated with divine laws, and to many Spaniards resistance to such public laws was honorable and noble. This attitude is one of the basic elements in the anarchical characteristic known as Spanish individualism. Spaniards never have been, as Alonso de Palencia noted in 1459, “inclined to take rational points of view.” Spanish society, like that of medieval Europe in general, was composed of virtually independent corporations—nobility, church, guilds, universities, and the like—that cherished their independence and resisted efforts at encroachment from any direction. The members of one corporation did not seek the support of others or even consider that such support might be useful if it could be obtained. The members of each corporate part were concerned with their own particular interests, and they looked to a wise and powerful monarch for justice. The only effective cross-section of the corporate structure was the extended family, but this existed only at the regional level. Another paradox resulted—political stability at the local level, instability at the national level. Because Spanish society solidified in this condition, Spain did not follow northern Europe’s course from the medieval to the modern age, nor was she receptive to the concepts that culminated in the cult of progress.

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The corporate structuring of society followed in the wake of the conquerors of the New World, and it was easily adapted to new social conditions in which the members of the inferior corporations were identifiable by outward biological characteristics such as skin pigmentation and type of hair. Many Spanish Americans still have a preference for the corporate state. Both Juan Domingo Pero´n of Argentina and Laureano Go´mez of Colombia, to name only two, took steps toward the creation of corporate states by permitting professional groups to elect men to represent them in the national legislatures. The corporate ideal, the medieval answer to the question of order, has not disappeared. Because the attraction of the corporate organization is still strong, Spanish American political parties have rarely been genuine cross sections of the entire society. Each party usually represents only the members of certain groups, and such parties differ sharply on goals as well as methods. When parties in power alternate, therefore, it usually means drastic changes in governmental policy, and such changes may result in violence engendered by justifiable apprehensions as well as by disappointed expectations. In any event, even the most dedicated statesmen find that effective government is difficult to achieve under the circumstances. Although cultural comparisons are not always fruitful because ethnocentrism is a universal attitude, and men therefore tend to view other cultures as “wrong” or “inferior” when compared to their own, it is necessary to be aware of the great variety of ways by which different societies have satisfactorily answered universal questions. To understand the differences in cultural values between Anglo and Spanish Americans it is necessary to consider the culture traits of the Spaniards in the era of Ferdinand and of the English a century later in the time of James I. Columbus offered to sail in the service of Henry VII of England. Had this offer been accepted, the English colonists would have brought medieval cultural values fairly similar to those of the Spaniards. The impact of the Renaissance and Reformation produced greater changes in Britain and northern Europe than south of the Pyrenees, and the cultural differences heightened. The Spaniards remained faithful to the idea of authority in religion and government. The English and northern Europeans embraced Lutheran and Calvinistic concepts such as individual responsibility for interpreting the Scriptures, which turned them away from unquestioning acceptance of traditional authority in all matters. Although there were many forces in Britain and Europe that resisted the complete triumph of these ideas, in the English colonies there was no medieval tradition nor entrenched nobility or church, and the colonists could reshape their values and customs in relative freedom from restraint. The cultural differences between the Spanish and English colonists became greater as the colonial period progressed. European feudalism was not grafted onto either Spanish or Anglo-America in any form that survived. But feudalism’s economic counterpart—manorialism—was transferred, especially to Spanish America, with far-reaching con-

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sequences. Ordinarily we are inclined to view the absence of feudalism as one definite indication of “progress.” In the case of Spanish America, however, the absence of feudalism meant, more than anything else, that the possession of property did not carry with it any political, military, or judicial responsibility, as it had in the feudal era. In the early years of the conquest the encomenderos were expected to arm their retainers and to lead them when needed to defend the land, but this duty was shunned by the encomenderos’ sons and was abandoned. The feudal bond between property and responsibility, therefore, was not accepted as a natural condition by the Creoles of Spanish America. The absence of feudalism was not the only reason for the failure of the wealthy and educated to develop a sense of responsibility, for the customary exclusion of Creoles from high office in church and state contributed to the same phenomenon. Peninsular Spaniards were, of course, closer to the king, but the exclusion of the Creoles may also have been asked indirectly on the Spanish obsession regarding limpieza de sangre, purity of blood, even though it was not mentioned as a reason for preferring men born in Spain over those born in the Indies. Limpieza de sangre meant religious, not racial purity, that one’s ancestors had been Old Christians and completely free of any penalties by the Inquisition. The concept had been originated by the Jews for the simple purpose of proving that none of their ancestors had been slaves; only later was it given its religious connotation by the Christians. Most of the old Creole families were sure to have some Indian ancestors, and despite their pretensions to pure Castilian ancestry, they could not convince anyone that the claims were true. This stigma haunted the wealthy Creoles; in the mid-eighteenth century the Spanish scientists Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa met members of prominent Creole families who proclaimed their own unmixed Castilian ancestry while making frequent references to the Indian ancestors of their neighbors. Even though the king and Council of the Indies made no outright references to limpieza de sangre when appointing peninsular Spaniards to high administrative posts, it was probably an underlying factor in the exclusion of the Creoles, and it is certain that they felt deeply their supposed inferiority. The distinguished Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset believed that England’s preeminence in imperial development was owed to the interest and enterprise of the English nobility, who freely engaged in commercial and industrial ventures. He felt that the lack of similar participation by Spanish noblemen was a serious handicap to Spain. It is difficult to assess the merits of this theory, but it is true that great nobles did not participate in Spain’s overseas adventures except temporarily as viceroys, and they shunned the commercial and industrial activities that were vital to England’s prosperity. The absence of feudalism and the exclusion of Creoles from offices of trust appropriate to their social position and education had an unfortunate effect on them. Not able to assume political responsibility, they developed a sense

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of irresponsibility. Juan and Ulloa called this class the freest in the world, for the wealthy Creoles could ignore laws and taxes without penalty. Juan and Ulloa warned the king not to try to change the situation, for the Creoles would surely resist any alteration no matter how wise or just it might be. The lack of a sense of responsibility on the part of the wealthy, educated, and able was unfortunate for the newly independent states of Spanish America. These men generally refused to participate in government, and were willing to allow even more irresponsible adventurers to govern as long as they, themselves, were not molested. This attitude, which enabled Antonio Lo´pez de Santa Anna to make a career of seizing the government and “saving” Mexico, persisted among many of the large landowners until well into the twentieth century. In some areas their outlook has been changed under pressure from businessmen, whose wealth and power are based on commercial and industrial activities rather than on huge estates. But the interests of the landed oligarchs have been better served by family and other influences than by parliamentary processes, and their attitude toward government still ranges from indifference to hostility. In most of the “Indian” countries the Indians have not been brought into the mainstream of economic and political affairs, and their lack of hope has made them careless of life. Those of the high civilizations—Incas, Aztecs, and Mayas—were docile and obedient subjects before the Spaniards arrived, and their docility has no doubt encouraged tyranny. Even though they may have no stake in rebellions, Indians have usually filled the ranks of revolutionary armies, as they once shared heavily in the fighting between European colonial powers over American lands. Politically the Indians have remained inert and inarticulate, for they have had neither spokesman nor channels through which to express their grievances peacefully. They have had little opportunity to contribute to the economic or political development of the countries in which they reside, nor any reason to feel that they actually belonged to a social body. They have had no inducement to produce more than enough for their bare subsistence; any surplus would be taken from them. The Creoles inherited the Spanish tradition of revolt, which has occasionally contributed to turbulence. The king, they knew, was just. If laws or acts of government officials seemed unjust, it was obviously because some officials were guilty of misconduct. To rebel against such officials was considered an expression of loyalty to the monarch, and rebellions customarily began with the cry of “Long live the king! Death to bad government!” After independence the Creoles were unable to create an effective symbol to replace the king, producing a critical political void. Neither presidents nor constitutions could fill the king’s place in men’s minds, and both were discarded or overthrown without serious qualms. Many constitutional experiments were tried, but no amount of tinkering, no change of formula from centralist to federal, could produce a position of chief executive that merited the veneration traditionally bestowed on monarchy. Mexico twice established

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monarchical regimes, but in each case under circumstances that precluded success. Iturbide was a self-appointed emperor who lacked both royal blood and political wisdom; Maximilian had all of the conventional credentials, but he proved to be a liberal tool in the hands of ultraconservatives, forced to fight the very men whose ideas were congenial with his own in behalf of those to whom such ideas were anathema. In some countries militarism has been both a chronic cause of political turmoil and an obstacle to change, for the governments were constantly at the mercy of the army when indeed the army did not hold the reins of power. In Mexico the introduction of the fuero militar in the late eighteenth century helped give the army the delusion that it was above the law, and thus contributed to the military interventions of the nineteenth century. The wars of independence heightened the prestige of soldiers everywhere. Venezuela, scene of some of the bloodiest struggles between patriots and royalists, was not able even to begin establishing a tradition of civilian rule until the second half of the twentieth century, with the administration of Ro´mulo Betancourt and Raa´l Leoni. The recent increase in professional training of Spanish American officers, and the growing number of them from the middle class, has raised hopes that militarism may be on the wane. But the tradition has not been forgotten, and at present there are military regimes in control of Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, and Panama. It should not be supposed, however, that military control is invariably reactionary, although this has too often been the case. At times the army has been a positive force for political and economic reform. Like a chronic duel running through Spanish and Spanish American societies has been the conflict between those who value efficiency above all and those whose greatest love is liberty. This dualism is not peculiar to Spaniards alone, but they have carried it to extremes, and there is no middle ground. In politics the logical extension of efficiency is tyranny; that of liberty is anarchy. Spanish dualism has produced both tyrants and anarchists. Since compromise between extremes is never easy, and since a spirit of compromise is completely alien, participation in government in Spanish America has always been an adventure. One of the major governmental problems in Spanish America is the fact that much of the administrative machinery is anachronistic, designed to hamper ambitious colonial officials rather than to facilitate today’s administrations. This is another aspect of the colonial legacy that still lingers as an obstacle to effective government. Many presidents have entered office with sincere intentions to effect needed changes, only to find themselves hopelessly entangled in bureaucratic red tape and unable to compel their own administrative personnel or the legislators to act. They are then faced with two unsatisfactory alternatives: they may simply endure their terms without achieving any of their goals, or they can rule despotically and illegally. Some patriotic and

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dedicated men have chosen the latter course. But power corrupts and too many men have forgotten their original reasons for grasping power. The influence of the landed oligarchs has always been great and usually unrivalled. They have interfered with government when their interests were threatened, and they have prevented legislatures from enacting economic reforms that might injure them financially. A recent example was Venezuela in 1948. Ro´mulo Gallegos, the country’s first civilian president in the twentieth century, pushed through an agrarian reform law aimed at breaking up the haciendas. Three months later the army ousted him, and Colonel Marcos Pe´rez Jime´nez established a military dictatorship. More recently the Peruvian army ousted reformer Belaa´nde Terry from the presidency. Spanish Americans are still locked in a death-struggle with their past, although many men shrug off the effort as hopeless. It is as if Spanish Americans have reversed the Hegelian dialectic and have moved from synthesis to antithesis to hypothesis. But because all societies must change despite both resistance and lethargy, the Spanish American struggle against the past has not been a total failure. When the dam of resistance to change is finally breached, however, a flood will follow, and the transformation will be revolutionary, uncontrollable, and unpredictable.

CHAPTER 6

Science, Technology, and Hispanic America Irving A. Leonard

In ruminating on the all-too-obvious fact that we live in a world of science, and in reflecting on my long concern with Hispanic America, I am impressed by the nearly complete lack of association of those two abstractions—science and Hispanic America. In looking back over the marvelous pageant offered by the development of science and technology during the past half millennium, the great achievements appear mainly, though not exclusively, the creation of the peoples of Europe and, more recently, of North America. The historic names of scientific thinkers that come to mind at once are English, Italian, German, French, Scandinavian, and American; rarely are they Hispanic, and even less Hispanic American. Try as we may, it is difficult to mention a great, imaginative scientist associated with the lands of Hispanic culture such as Leonardo da Vinci and Copernicus, or inventors such as Thomas Alva Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. Why is this so? Why have these peoples, with their rich and warm imaginations, not achieved more in the realms of scientific thought and mechanical invention? It would be unscientific to reach the smug conclusion that we, who trace our ancestry to western peoples outside of Hispanic regions, are inherently science minded and, therefore, of better intellectual fiber than our hemispheric neighbors. Such an assumption is sometimes implicit, if not explicit, in attitudes often displayed abroad by our countrymen. The science of anthropology is exploding the myth of innately inferior and superior peoples, and it is showing the unsoundness of a belief that certain tribal, racial, or national groups are incapable of developing along given lines. It is becoming increasingly clear that all human entities tend to progress according to a cul-

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tural pattern largely shaped by environmental factors that produce their peculiar personalities. Under altered circumstances their responses would be different and their tribal, racial, or national character would be changed perceptibly. The apparent inferiority or superiority of a given group results mainly from an adaptation to diverse conditions. Anthropologists are demonstrating that there is little essential difference in the potentialities of one group or another, but that the aptitudes of each group tend to vary as a result of its particular experience. Hence, in comparing Anglo-Americans and Hispanic Americans, it is wiser to acknowledge that the potential development of both peoples in any direction is relatively equal, but that the special aptitudes of one tend to diverge from those of the other. The peculiar skills and achievements from these special accomplishments are the product of basic factors conditioning these human elements. What, then, are these fundamental determinants of a people’s character? In brief, they are heredity and environment that interweave, like the warp and woof of cloth, to form the fabric of a people’s personality. Varying heredity and environment produce variations in cultural patterns and, in contemplating the differences, it is well to reject valuations of superior or inferior, and to study each manifestation individually for its own peculiar nature. If, therefore, the interweaving of the perpendicular thread of heredity and the horizontal thread of environment largely determines the pattern of aptitudes and skills developed by a group, it is in these fundamental influences that we must seek the explanation of the relative lack of scientific and technological development among Hispanic peoples. Let us pursue an inquiry along these lines. To attempt such an analysis here it is necessary to oversimplify, and much that follows is quite properly subject to qualification. But, with suitable allowance for distortion in this effort to reduce the complexity of a large canvas to a profile sketch, let us embark upon an exploration of the basic factors indicated that may explain the comparative lack of scientific thought and the hampered growth of technology in Hispanic America. We may first review the ancestral influences on our hemispheric neighbors and then turn briefly to certain environmental conditions that combine with inheritance to shape the cultural and psychological pattern of the peoples in Hispanic America. In this brash attempt to explain the retarded development of scientific attitudes among these southern neighbors, let us turn back in time to when our respective ancestors began to abandon their European hearthstones and to settle in the wilderness of the Western Hemisphere. Spain and Portugal moved westward to form eventually a greater Spain and a greater Portugal in the more southerly portions of the New World, while the English, and to a lesser extent the French, also moved westward to constitute a greater England and a new France in the more northerly latitudes. But, it will be recalled, these migrations did not get under way at the same time, and this fact of chronology is of cardinal importance in this discussion. If, for the sake of simplicity, we consider only the population movements of Spain and Great

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Britain—and they were numerically the largest—we observe at once that well over a century elapsed between the establishment of permanent settlements by the Spaniards, in what is now Hispanic America, and the founding of the English colonies in Anglo-America. From 1492, when Columbus began the first European migration from the Spanish peninsula, to the first English settlement at Jamestown in 1607, one hundred and fifteen years intervened. In some eras of human history a century is not a long time and changes during such a period are insignificant, but these particular eleven decades marked a rapid transition from the medieval to the modern age. Far more important than the passage of over five score calendar years were the spiritual, intellectual, economic, and social changes that occurred within that span of time, and it is these subsequent developments that explain, in part, the striking differences in thought patterns and cultural life distinguishing present day North America from Hispanic America. Let us briefly consider the world of Western Europe that Columbus left behind when he embarked on his momentous voyages. In looking at the old world at the close of the fifteenth century, what impresses us at once is a certain uniformity, a certain solidarity characterizing the life and spirit of European peoples everywhere, from the Mediterranean to the Baltic Sea. As yet no clear sense of nationality had emerged, and the shadow of universal empire lay across the land in the medieval dream of a reincarnation in the Holy Roman Empire. Throughout all Europe the structure of society remained essentially feudal, with a small aristocracy of nobles standing on a vast pedestal of peasant serfs, though to be sure fissures and cracks were already discernible in many parts, and a small middle class existed in the larger towns and cities. But, whether one looked at England, at Germany, at France, at Italy, or at Spain, one recognized the same general outlines of feudal organization, and the variations in them seemed unimportant. Even more pronounced was the universality of spiritual concepts or religious beliefs. In Rome the Pope was the undisputed arbiter of a Catholic Christianity extending over the length and breadth of Europe. As yet no sharp schismatic dissension or rival doctrines had permanently shattered a spiritual unity so long established. Luther was still to issue his three bold pamphlets, and he was yet to usher in the Protestant revolt. Both the British Isles and the Hispanic Peninsula were still within the fold of the church of Rome whose authority was acknowledged fully. Similarly, in the intellectual realm, all Western Europe shared a common acceptance of theology and philosophy as the highest form of mental activity and as the only valid approach to ultimate truth. Experimentalism, or the scientific approach to knowledge, was practiced almost exclusively by alchemists in their vain efforts to transmute baser metals into precious ones, or in their equally futile quest of the elixir of life. Theology was the “Divine Science,” and the sole form of systematized thought deemed worthy of study by the small intelligentsia of the time. Everywhere the accepted method of seek-

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ing truth was philosophic, and it is this fundamental fact that must be emphasized in discussing the Hispanic American mind and science. On the eve of the modern age one could transfer from one to the other of the great universities of Europe, whether Bologna in Italy, Paris in France, Oxford in England, or Salamanca in Spain, and he would find no essential difference in the intellectual methods and objectives pursued in these institutions. Latin was the universal vehicle of expression, and theology and philosophy were the universal studies. Learning everywhere was authoritarian and scholastic, and the reservoirs that fed it were the Holy Writ, the writings of the church fathers, and the works of ancient Greeks, particularly Aristotle as interpreted by Albertus Magnus and Saint Thomas Aquinas. Medicine regarded the ancients Galen and Hippocrates as its fountainhead of knowledge. In all these intellectual disciplines human reason was merely the handmaiden of faith, and it served only through scholastic methods to rationalize doctrines. Thus, in all Europe, in England as in Spain, a common concept of what constituted the search for truth prevailed, and there were the same agreed methods of finding it. The means were philosophic and metaphysical; they were not experimental or scientific in the modern sense of the observation of natural phenomena and the systematic collection and organization of data concerning them. This, then, was the stage of intellectual development universal in Europe toward the end of the Middle Ages when the Hispanic peoples began to imprint their culture on the Western hemisphere. Conditions encountered in their parts of the New World conspired to foster and preserve this medieval civilization and learning, which, elsewhere, soon began to crumble. And in Spanish American soil this culture sank deep roots long before the first English colonies appeared on the North American coast. The intellectual heritage of the middle ages passed virtually intact to Hispanic America, and it so influenced the later thought processes of that vast region that the authoritarian concept of truth and the scholastic methods of demonstrating it still underlie the contemporary thinking of our southern neighbors. To a considerable degree this fact explains their relative lack of experimental science. Before further discussion, however, let us briefly consider the changed world of a century after Columbus when the English and North Europeans began to transplant their cultures to North America. Let us regard the changes that made our heritage different from that of Hispanic America. In the one hundred and fifteen years from Columbus’ first voyage to the time of the settlement at Jamestown the physical and intellectual world of Europe had expanded vastly. The little, tight Mediterranean world had exploded into a spherical globe of unimagined dimensions, with lands and seas stretching over distances of undreamed magnitude. The Ptolemaic universe, with the earth its center and pivotal point, had yielded to Copernican cosmogony, with the earth a mere peripheral planet of an immense solar system. The marvels of medieval lore almost dwindled into insignificance before the

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realities of sixteenth century geographical discoveries that stimulated European imagination as never before. Revolutionary changes in concepts shattered the old stabilities, and by 1600 the physical, intellectual, and spiritual solidarities of Europe were fast melting away. Already, in vague contours, a pattern of conflicting nationalisms was emerging, rapidly dissipating the unsubstantial shadows of universal empire. Socially, the generalized feudal structure was breaking up, and the commercial revolution was fostering an enlarging and more vigorous middle class, fast undermining the power and influence of the aristocracy. Commerce and industry were now more sharply distinguishing certain communities from others, and an aggressive financial capitalism was competing with the agrarian capitalism of the old regime. These trends were more visible in northern Europe and in the British Isles than in the more southerly areas, including Spain, where the older ways were largely intact. Even more striking were the spiritual and intellectual fissures splitting Europe into sharply contrasting sections, one struggling to preserve the medieval traditions deemed sacred, and the other accepting newer and evolving habits of thought. European Christianity was no longer united under the papacy of Rome. The Lutheran schism had divided the universal church into two hostile factions, the Protestant north and the Catholic south. By 1607 and the founding of Jamestown, there was almost a complete divorce of England, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and much of Germany, from Italy, Portugal, and Spain, where the Counter Reformation strove to maintain orthodoxy intact by crushing dissension in intellectual as well as in religious matters. In the Spanish peninsula the freedom of inquiry, formerly enjoying remarkable tolerance, was more and more severely restricted. This preoccupation of Hispanic authorities with preserving the orthodox faith had the unfortunate effect of withdrawing doctrine after doctrine, in both natural and moral philosophy, from the possibility of rational proof, and of relegating them to the sphere of unquestioned dogma. Thus reason in the Spanish peninsula—and consequently in Hispanic America—remained largely subject to authority, and it could have little of the free play enjoyed in ancient Greece or in philosophy today. The conclusions reached through rational processes were predetermined, and the initiative of thinkers was confined to formal details in the treatment of a thesis rather than to any revaluation of the thesis itself. Truth was ascertained by the traditional methods of scholasticism, and the newer freedom of speculation and experimental science, gradually embraced by northern Protestant peoples, was largely eschewed. Thus it was that the Hispanic peoples on both sides of the Atlantic tended to remain in the sluggish shallows of authoritarian, ecclesiastical learning, while their English neighbors moved into the more freely flowing currents of experimentalism sweeping onward into modern science and technology. Between 1500 and 1600, or the period between the first Spanish settlements and the first English establishments in the New World, the recently invented

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printing press began to register its full impact on European thought by facilitating the circulation of ideas, new and old, among a much larger public. This instrument of diffusion was two-edged for, while giving wider currency to diverging intellectual interests, it also helped to entrench traditional learning more deeply in those communities that chose to preserve it. Since Catholic Spain clung obstinately to older ways of thinking and exerted considerable control on the flow of books and ideas to their overseas possessions in America, orthodox learning and culture, finding favorable social and cultural conditions there for perpetuation, became the patrimony of the Hispanic parts of the New World. There the developing natural and physical sciences were virtually excluded. Of vital importance in creating this situation was the existence of large subject populations of sedentary Indians, which facilitated the transplanting of the feudal social structure, visibly declining in Europe, and thus this pattern of society received a new lease of life. Such environmental influences favored the prolongation of a medieval civilization, with its reverence for authority, intellectual and spiritual as well as political. When the English settlers reached North America over a century later and found no sedentary Indians whose labor could be exploited, these Anglo-Saxons were the beneficiaries perforce of influences now far advanced in undermining the feudalistic society and authoritarian learning of Europe. The beginnings of English America were thus in times and in conditions far more propitious for flexibility in ways of thinking, working, and living, while those of the earlier established Hispanic America were crystallized in the older pattern. To understand better the philosophic and metaphysical approach to truth thus preserved in the southern part of the New World, let us turn again to a brief consideration of the scholastic heritage of our Hispanic neighbors. Scholasticism was essentially ecclesiastical in origin and, as philosophy grew out of theology, the intellectual methods of the latter carried into secular learning. The basic premise of scholasticism was that God was the source of all truth and that, in His wisdom, this truth, or portions of it, were divinely revealed to chosen individuals as the human agencies of transmission. Their writings, therefore, were revelation, and they were held to contain within themselves the answer to every question and the refutation of any, or every, argument advanced by human reason. Truth was wrung from them by disputation and logic, utilizing dialectical devices such as the syllogism. Conclusions were thus reached by verbal rationalization—not by experimental demonstration perceived through the senses, as in modern science. Intellectual activity, then, put stress on arguments based on memorized authorities, which also included the secular philosophies of Aristotle and of others, and the characteristic fondness of Hispanic Americans today for animated discussion and their almost universal preference for the legal profession are, perhaps, traceable to this heritage. Anyone who has intimately associated with Hispanic Americans in their countries recalls the intense manner, windy argumentation, and the high flown rhetoric of volatile groups engaged in

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verbalistic tilts, even when the subject matter hardly warranted such vehemence. This custom may well be a legacy of the earlier scholastic tradition that knew little of the cool, dispassionate, and comparatively silent inquiries conducted in laboratories and libraries. Whatever the explanation, the approach of the Hispanic American to truth has been mainly philosophical and verbal, while the serious minded Anglo-American has shown an increasing preference for experimental demonstration except, it may be remarked, in his political campaigns, where rhetorical flatulence still tends to prevail. The more persistent faith of our southern neighbors in authoritarian knowledge encouraged a tendency to rely upon memory, to learn by rote rather than to develop true rational power in the individual, and learning in Hispanic America has often been more ornamental than practical. In short, its philosophical character has not been conducive to the development of those pragmatic thinkers who have made the world’s great discoveries in science and technology. It should not be assumed, however, that experimentalism won a quick victory over scholasticism elsewhere. To many in both Catholic and Protestant countries experimental science represented a threat to religion, and the newer mode of thought was resisted with passionate intensity. The furor caused by the Darwinian theory of evolution lasted well into the present century in the United States. Earlier the colonial universities of Harvard and Yale were reluctant to admit the teaching of natural sciences into their curricula, which differed little from those of contemporary institutions in Mexico and Peru. Indeed, until the eighteenth century was far advanced, the longer established Hispanic-American universities offered a richer training than did their New England rivals. Hence the heritage of scholastic learning alone does not explain the very limited participation of Hispanic America in the astounding advances of modern science and technology. One must, therefore, seek other influences that cooperated to inhibit scientific thought and mechanical invention in that part of the world. Earlier in this discussion it was suggested that heredity and environment were fundamental determinants of the cultural pattern of a people. Attention is now directed to environmental factors conditioning the evolution of Hispanic America. Without the remarkably favorable physical endowment of North America, the prodigious development of technology in the United States would have been far less, and the disintegration of scholastic learning here would have progressed far more gradually. Let us comment briefly on the fortunate circumstances of Anglo-America that fostered technical growth, the absence of which militated against a parallel development in Hispanic America. The eighteenth century witnessed a concern for useful or applied knowledge, an intellectual movement coinciding with the Industrial Revolution, to which is owed so much of our present mechanized world. Why did the countries south of us fail to share proportionately in this historic evolution? Why

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did not mills and factories spring up in equal numbers in Hispanic America as in the United States to produce manufactured goods in ever increasing quantities? In attempting to answer these questions, the sin of oversimplification must again be committed. Basically, the Industrial Revolution represented a shift from the manufacture of objects individually by craftsmen to mass production by assembling interchangeable parts. Importance shifted from men to machines. To construct and operate these machines required metal and power in plentiful supply. Where the prerequisites existed in abundance and in juxtaposition, the machine age, with its spectacular influence on science and technology, as well as on commerce and finance, could produce a wealthy, industrial civilization. Where these essentials were lacking, the old order would endure with relative poverty its inevitable lot. The first significant shift to this radical change in the manufacture of goods appeared in the British Isles well along in the eighteenth century, and subsequently on the continent and in the United States. In Hispanic America it has only begun to appear in our time. What special advantages did the northern regions enjoy that were lacking in the southern parts of this hemisphere? To oversimplify, Britain, northern France, western Germany, and the United States were well endowed with the necessary ores for metals and fuel for power, and Hispanic America was not. The prime essentials of heavy industry, the indispensable base of an industrial society, were iron ore and, in the age of steam power, coal. Without these requirements in sufficient quantities and in close association to facilitate economic exploitation, no area was likely to compete in the production of goods. Without the incentives, rewards, and material wealth that industrial activities supplied, advances in technology and science were likely to be retarded. Nature was lavish with these bounties in Europe and North America, but she was parsimonious with them in Hispanic America, to which she added handicaps of adverse climate and topography. More privileged, North America could encourage the inventive and scientific genius of its inhabitants, while less fortunate Hispanic America, though possessing immense raw materials, remained unchanged in its ways and sank more deeply into a colonial status. In the matter of coal and steam power of the early industrial age, the marked disadvantage of that vast region is clear. While the United States has over half of the world’s high grade coal, Hispanic America has less than one percent, and much of this supply is widely scattered and of such poor quality that for use as fuel it requires blending and special types of modern and expensive equipment. To overcome so severe a handicap capital was neither sufficiently abundant nor technology far enough advanced. Thus, in the United States anthracite deposits were enormous; in Hispanic America the supply of coal was pitifully inadequate to create steam power. A feudal agrarian economy, therefore, remained unchallenged by industrialism until twentieth century technology could harness other means of power. With respect to iron deposits, the picture is deceptively favorable. Some

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thirteen billion tons of iron ore of richer quality than that found in Europe and North America lie in the Sierra do Espinhac¸o near the east coast of Brazil, and that country is foremost among nations of the globe in this resource. Despite the proximity to the sea of this great deposit, topographical barriers make transportation costly, and no coal supply is at hand for smelting. Only by enormous capital outlay was a steel industry—a barometer of North American economic life—started a couple of decades or so ago in Brazil. In other countries iron ore, like coal, is often unstrategically located. Hispanic America, then, was unable to establish a heavy industry, without which base full scale economic growth is difficult. Lacking this stimulus, technology and science remained embryonic in Hispanic America, and its attachment to philosophic and humanistic learning was slow to weaken. Thus it is that the intellectual heritage of Hispanic America, harking back to the middle ages, combined with marked environmental deficiencies to prevent that vast region from keeping pace with the colossus of the north in material and technical development. It is these adverse factors, among others, which explain the absence of great names from Hispanic America in the world of science and invention. Threads of a different texture have formed the warp and woof of the personality of Hispanic peoples, and this interweaving has wrought distinct changes in the aptitudes, though not in the potentialities, of the other inhabitants of our hemisphere. Their values have remained essentially philosophic and artistic; ours, owing to other circumstances, are scientific and materialistic. It should not be assumed from this discussion, however, that Hispanic America was completely outside the sphere of experimental science throughout the four to five centuries of the modern age. Nor does it follow that its intellectual life has remained wholly behind a parapet of medieval scholasticism. In the sixteenth century the Hispanic peninsula made important contributions to the science of navigation and the techniques of naval construction. Of distinctly scientific character was the systematic collection of cosmographical data, particularly by the House of Trade at Seville, which converted that institution into Europe’s foremost repository of geographic, cartographic, and hydrographic information, and provided a model for the later English India House. The remarkable social experiments of the Spanish authorities in the New World shortly after the conquest, designed to find a satisfactory solution of their relations with the Indians, reveal an interest in sociology and political science long before these studies became formal disciplines. In attempting to discharge their responsibilities as Christian rulers, the Spaniards established experimental communities and evolved sociological techniques curiously anticipating some used by sociologists today. Of interest in this connection is a great work of the Renaissance, the Utopia of Sir Thomas More, published in 1516. The narrator of this tale, it will be recalled, had allegedly accompanied Amerigo Vespucci on a voyage to the New World, and had thus come upon the ideal state of Utopia in its interior.

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So fascinated by this description was a famous Spanish bishop, Vasco de Quiroga, that, using Sir Thomas More’s romance as a kind of manual, he founded on the shores of Lake Patzcuaro in Mexico a series of “Communities of the Innocents” composed of subject Indians. The ordinances that he drew up to govern their social, economic, and political life were patently derived from More’s Utopia. So enduring was this effort that vestiges of these Utopianinspired villages were still visible in the state of Michoaca´n during this century. More truly scientific was the work of a gentle sixteenth century Franciscan, Father Bernardino de Sahagu´n, who, all his life, methodically assembled observations on the aboriginal civilizations of Mexico. This scientific compilation still supplies archaeologists and ethnologists with valuable analytical material, and it has won its author the designation “The First Anthropologist of America.” In the seventeenth century, when the Counter Reformation had inhibited the spirit of free inquiry in the Hispanic world and when the superimposed civilization of Spain had sunk deep roots into its part of the American soil, there were, nevertheless, Spanish-American scholars abreast of contemporary advances in European mathematics, astronomy, and natural sciences. Foremost among them was the Mexican-born Carlos de Sigu¨enza y Go´ngora, who was a baroque reincarnation of the Renaissance man of learning, a scholar equally at home in the sciences and the humanities. Famous in its time was his polemic on the nature of comets, in which Sigu¨enza offered a modern, rationalistic explanation of these phenomena, while opponents on both sides of the Atlantic, including Cotton Mather in New England and Erni in Switzerland, obstinately held to the superstitious notion that such astral manifestations were portents of evil to come, of war, pestilence, and of the death of monarchs. When experimental science had already made great strides in Europe, many of its learned men still believed that, in the words of Shakespeare: When beggars die, there are no comets seen, The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.

Symbolic of the spirit of science casting its light into the gloom of medieval superstition is another incident in the life of this Mexican savant. As foretold in the almanacs, a total eclipse of the sun occurred in Mexico City in 1691. For a quarter of an hour a Stygian darkness descended upon the viceregal capital, accompanied by an eerie chill that caused the dogs to howl dismally and the women and children to shriek in terror. Indians abandoned their shops in the central square and ran, stumbling and falling, to the sanctuary of the nearby cathedral, where they offered up their frightened prayers. Clanging church bells added discordant notes to the din, and fear clutched the hearts of even the more cultivated elements of the population. In sharp contrast to the general panic was a solitary figure standing on the cathedral steps with instruments in his hands.

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“In the meantime,” he related afterward, “I stood with my quadrant and telescope, viewing the sun, extremely happy and repeatedly thanking God for having granted that I might behold what so rarely happens in a given place, and about which there are so few observations in the books.” This incident occurred in Mexico City just as the hysteria of witchcraft was about to burst upon Massachusetts. The eighteenth century enlightenment stimulated the quest of useful knowledge, even in Hispanic America. Botanical expeditions assembled large collections of New World specimens, schools of mining opened to teach new techniques, and commerce, agriculture, and metallurgy were systematically developed—activities that compared favorably in achievement with those of contemporary North America. It was not until the nineteenth century that Anglo-America far outdistanced Hispanic America in technological and scientific accomplishment. In the youthful United States the burgeoning Industrial Revolution found a most propitious environment. There a whole continent, endowed with illimitable resources, including fabulous deposits of iron ore and anthracite coal within easy reach of each other, a stimulating climate, and an absence of formidable topographical barriers, beckoned a westward migration across its spaces and sharpened the spirit of individual enterprise. The needs of transportation, communication, and of the exploitation of resources by a restless, energetic people bent on acquiring wealth called into being the application of steam, electricity, and gas combustion. The resulting inventions and gadgets, protected by patents, yielded fortunes that liberally rewarded technical skills and imagination. Commerce, industry, and finance expanded, leaving fewer and fewer who chose to ponder the philosophic problems of good and evil that had so preoccupied earlier generations in North America. Under this impetus, science and technology advanced with giant strides to transform not only North America and Europe in the twentieth century, but the entire globe. Hispanic America, then, owing to its intellectual heritage, its poverty of basic resources for an industrial order, and its unfavorable geographic conditions, dropped far behind in the march of western nations, unable to emerge from a purely colonial status. Liquid capital was lacking for even the small amount of industrialism it could muster in a traditionally agrarian economy. Its contribution to science and technology could only be of the humblest, and its additions to knowledge, made by gallant efforts of obscure workers, went largely unrecognized at home and abroad. Where tropical and semitropical diseases and inadequate diet sapped the vitality of the majority of the inhabitants, the more fortunate minority had too few facilities to eradicate these ills scientifically. Yet valuable contributions to medicine came from Hispanic America. It should not be forgotten that a Cuban scientist, Dr. Carlos Juan Finlay, helped to demonstrate experimentally that the mosquito was a carrier of yellow fever and for his pioneer work Dr. Finlay was unsuccessfully proposed for the Nobel

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Prize in science in 1905. And the part played in aviation by the Brazilian Santos Dumont at the beginning of this century has never been fully appreciated here. In our own days, though little advertised, Hispanic America is entering the orbit of modern science and technology with eminent figures in biology, zoology, physiology, mineralogy, medicine, and even in the mathematical and physical sciences. Dr. Bernardo Houssay, an Argentine physiologist of world fame, won a Nobel Prize for his contribution to that science, and the Mexican physicist, Dr. Sandoval Vallarta, while engaged in research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, won the enthusiastic encomiums of Dr. Norbert Wiener, the father of the new science of cybernetics and a faculty member of that institution. And the professor of physics at the University of Sa˜o Paulo in Brazil, Dr. Cesare Lattes, was, at the age of twenty-three, one of the two scientists to discover the infinitely small forms of matter known as mesons created in the cyclotron of the University of California. In the social sciences likewise, Hispanic Americans are proving themselves the equals of other nationalities, particularly since World War II. Possibly there is hope for mankind in all this. Today it would seem that the scientific revolution is spiraling out of control. Until recently, with the discovery of nuclear fission, scientists of Europe and North America have been little troubled by a moral responsibility for the uses to which their great contributions are put, and they have appeared to regard their application to destructive ends as of no direct concern. Science, seemingly, is a cold and bloodless intellectual pursuit, divorced from the spirit and emotions of man, and the technology it produces may reduce workers to a faceless mass. In Hispanic America the rebellious nationalism, so much in evidence today, is not so much against authority and order as against the cold materialism of modern industrialism, which is so preoccupied with efficiency that it takes from men what Hispanic Americans prize most—their dignity. They are unable to bring all aspects of culture to subservience to the iron requirements of technology that modern science believes necessary for so-called “progress.” And they are in rebellion against the callous attitude of science-minded societies that can contemplate a holocaust of hundreds of millions of men, women, and children, sacrificed in the name of a materialistic ideology, whether communist or capitalist. To the Hispanic American, with his fervent belief in the creative arts as the highest manifestation of the human spirit, the scientific specialist, who is trained but uneducated, technically skilled but culturally incompetent, is a dire menace to humanity. Late is the hour. Mankind is perched on the brink of ultimate extinction. But, if there is still time, the tardy entrance of the Hispanic American into modern science may prove beneficial. By his long philosophical heritage and by his profoundly humanistic tradition, he may yet help to reconcile that fateful dichotomy of science and society that today threatens the very existence of us all.

CHAPTER 7

Claims of Political Tradition Richard M. Morse

THE TRANSFER O F I N S T I T U T I O N S Many think of the Spanish colonization of America as the work of free-acting conquistadors and their followers, avid for products of soil and subsoil, in particular gold and silver, and for the servile labor to be used in extracting them. Others, who applaud the individualism of the self-reliant settlements of Anglo America, criticize Spain for having stifled colonial development with statism, bureaucracy, and discrimination against the early settlers. First off, then, we must distinguish the roles played by private and public initiative and appreciate the connotations of each in the Spanish American context. Mario Go´ngora reminds us that although the Spanish state had acquired a strong administrative nucleus by the sixteenth century, it was not yet, as it later became, “a unitary and rationalized whole, dominated by the ‘monism of sovereignty.’”1 Political jurisdiction and other rights brought together in the king were exercised through the bureaucracy; but these might be conceded as privileges that could be defended juridically against the king himself. The categories of the public and private spheres, established under revived Roman law, were still in the process of elaboration. Thus the conquistador was not a free entrepreneur under a private contract. He was under continuing obligation to ask the crown for privileges, such as grants of Indian labor. His contract (capitulacio´n) linked freely assembled social forces with the power of the state, converting them into political elements. The state, then, was a colonizing state (estado poblador), operating through laws, customs, and judicial and administrative decisions. Grants of soil and subsoil were founded in royal concession, not in private law. Colonization

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implied the organizing of a congeries of civil and ecclesiastical jurisdictions and hierarchies; a regime of defense, taxation, and tribute; and systems of schools and universities. Not only did economic life and claims to land have their origin in the state but the whole colonizing process was conceived as having the “civilizing” function of transmitting Western Christian culture. For sixteenth-century Spaniards the state was an institutional equivalent to temporal human life in all its fullness. It contained only in embryo such possibilities as the rationalist state of seventeenth-century mercantilism, the freeenterprise state envisioned in the eighteenth century, or the “imperialist” state of the nineteenth. From Columbus onward the conquistadors took possession of new lands and oceans in the name of the crown. Although the crown’s resources were insufficient to underwrite the vast colonizing adventure, neither conquest nor settlement was a private enterprise undertaken at the margin of the Castilian state. Apart from a few important voyages subsidized by the crown (as were those led by Columbus, Pedrarias Da´vila, Magellan), recruitment and financing of most expeditions were left to private initiative. Such undertakings were sanctioned, however, only if they conformed to the broad policies of the state. An expeditionary leader might be given a liberal contract for life, or for two or more generations, to distribute and settle land, found towns, engage in commerce, and use Indian labor. But since the Indians were considered vassals to be protected and Christianized—and also taxed—his retinue included officials and ecclesiastics who represented the political, fiscal, and spiritual interests of the crown. Gradually there emerged as an embedding context for the capitulaciones (1) an elaborate juridical and theological casuistry that justified the Spanish title to the Indies and set down principles for treatment of the natives and (2) a series of civil and ecclesiastical hierarchies that exhibited both functional overlap among agencies and coalescence of function (especially administrative and judicial) within given agencies. These hierarchies culminated in the arbitrating crown, which delegated its power hesitantly and erratically. The legal apparatus for empire betrayed its medieval origins. It was informed by the broad Christian principles of theologians and jurists but frequently took the form of trifling administrative detail. Legal codification such as the 1573 colonizing ordinances and the 1680 Laws of the Indies were essentially compilations that failed to work natural-law principles and administrative decrees into a coherent whole. That such government signified deprivation of autonomy for Spanish America and meager preparation for independent nationhood is widely accepted. Nonetheless, the theoretical premise for centralization was not colonial subjection of the Indies but the assumption that the New World viceroyalties were coequal with the realms of Spain, having commensurate claims to redress from the crown. The Council of the Indies was not a colonial office but had ministerial status. The viceroy of New Spain or Peru was the

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king’s proxy. He and lesser royal officials were under elaborate admonition not to acquire private interests, economic or domestic, in their jurisdictions, and they underwent judicial review at the end of their terms. In the cases of both Spanish America and Brazil one can argue that it was only under the “enlightened” peninsular monarchies of the eighteenth century that a status— “colonial” in the modern sense—was adumbrated.2 Differences between Hapsburg rule, under which Spanish American institutions were established, and Bourbon rule, which tried somewhat ineffectually to reform them, apologists for the former have described as the differences between absolutism and despotism. Insistence on the neomedievalism of Spanish colonial institutions reflects no intent to romanticize them. It looks toward identifying a design that the formative period of Spanish rule left implanted in the Indies. This design, which had roots in outlook as well as in institutional arrangement, was to conflict with many administrative directives of the Bourbon period. It was to conflict even more sharply with ideas and ideals, constitutions and reforms, that swept in on the independent Spanish American nations after 1830. It continues to conflict at many points with modern programs of “development”—political, social, and economic. There was, of course, practical motivation for the Spanish monarchs’ concern with Christian treatment of the Indians and for the sixteenth-century debates as to their rationality and the propriety of enslaving them. This was the threat to the crown’s income and political control posed by the conquistadors once they were established in their new domains. The centrifugal movement of settlers into farm, ranch, and mining lands, far removed from seaports and administrative centers (with these in turn distant from Spain by an arduous sea voyage), created the danger of sovereign satrapies, each enjoying absolute control of Indian workers who, in the Mexican and Andean highlands or in Paraguay, could not combine for effective resistance to the new masters. As a result, and in face of privileges the monarch had granted to the discoverers and their descendants, courtly and judicial agents reacted by retrieving royal grants in the discovered lands through long suits, tenaciously sustained.3 Since Tocqueville the growth of the centralized state in Western Europe has been described as a process that undermines local autonomy and initiative and, by equalizing all citizens before the law and the state bureaucracy, weakens the protection afforded them by community ties and customs. In Spanish America under the Hapsburgs the role of the state was in some respects the opposite. Central to its function was the preservation or creation of Indian communities that would maintain their own way of life, be protected against crushing exploitation, and have independent access to royal justice and to spiritual guidance and consolation. The Laws of the Indies contained extensive tutelary legislation that respected the Indians’ cultural identity. Some have called them the most comprehensive code ever devised by an important

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colonizing power. None would deny, however, that their enforcement was greatly wanting. As occasion demanded and circumstances permitted, ways were found to exact grueling labor of Indians, notably in the mines and obrajes (textile sweatshops). Corregidors of Indian towns regularly exploited their wards for personal gain, often in conspiracy with priests and Indian caciques. It serves little purpose, however, to assess out of context the Spaniards’ cruelty toward or exploitation of the native population. It would be fatuous to expect the conquest of a new continent and its scores of millions of pagans in an age that saw the predatory forces of commercial capitalism unleashed and the face of Europe ravaged by religious persecution and the havoc of the Thirty Years’ War to have lacked ferocity and trauma. Recent historiography shelves the question of the Spanish “black legend” and examines forms of Indian defiance and accommodation, the mentality and institutions born of the conquest that contributed to the formation of an enduring “creole” culture. What concerns us here is to define the European tradition that set the mold for this culture. I suggested that the rationale of the Spanish state had medieval accents. Yet one conspicuous feature of the medieval European polity, a system of “estates” in the sense of social orders having rights of representation, was not reproduced in the Indies because no Cortes, or parliamentary body, was established. As Go´ngora summarizes the matter, “In a period when the granting of subsidies or pecuniary assistance to the King and the accompanying request for privileges was at the heart of the internal life of the State, the Indies—relatively free of tribute and paying the King the royal fifths and other perquisites that did not require consent—did not exhibit the political density and the pronounced King-Kingdom dualism characteristic of Europe in this era.”4 Only in the broad sense of groups having jurisdictional rights can estates be said to have existed in Spanish America. The state had a corporate character. Within it there were independently defined privileges and jurisdictions for general groups (Indians, blacks, Europeans, ecclesiastics) and for subgroups, such as Indians in missions, pueblos de indios, Indians on encomiendas; African slaves, colored freedmen; merchants, university students, artisans; regular clergy, secular clergy, inquisitorial officials, and so forth. The medieval imprint that the system as a whole bore was not parliamentary representation but pluralistic, compartmented privilege and administrative paternalism. Claudio Sa´nchez-Albornoz claimed that the classic institutions of feudalism never developed fully in Spain itself.5 In summary, his argument runs as follows. During the reconquest of the central tableland from the Moors, roughly a.d. 850–1200, cities and castles served as advance points of resettlement. From these nuclei colonization was undertaken only with clear guarantees of personal liberty and freedom of movement. Few colonists were tied permanently to the soil or to a lord. Society had, relatively speaking, a fluidity that precluded a complex net of vassalic relations or the emergence of a stable, conservative bourgeoisie. The commoner who could equip himself with arms

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and a steed was valuable to the crown and could become a lesser knight or, in the paradoxical phrase, a caballero villano. He might even owe fealty directly to the king rather than to a blood noble. The importance of central authority to the reconquest meant that the strength of the crown and the organization of the state never faded out, as in the Carolingian realm. Even when the centralizing process was temporarily checked in the tenth century, the crown never recognized usurpations by nobles. The flood of feudal ideas and practices that entered Spain in the eleventh century with warrior or pilgrim knights from northern Europe and with royal marriages to French princesses was not accompanied by the juridical formulae of feudalism. The advancing frontier periodically renewed the spoils and prebends that the crown could distribute, thus renewing its economic and military potential. Towns were strong and numerous, and not merely islands dispersed in a feudal sea. They were a counterweight to the church and the nobility; to keep pace, nobles were forced to beg additional lands, honors, and prebends from the crown. When in the thirteenth century a struggle developed between crown and nobles, it was not one by which the crown strove to break feudal power (as in France) or by which the knights strove to restrict royal power (as in Germany) but a contest by both to control an extant state apparatus. With respect to economic as distinct from sociopolitical organization the following factors should be borne in mind as militating against the emergence of a manorial regime in the Spanish Indies: 1. Spain itself never witnessed a flowering of the classic manorial pattern of other parts of Europe because of the seven centuries’ strife between Christians and Moors and because of the privileges, prejudicial to agriculture, acquired by the medieval sheep raisers’ guild. 2. A manorial system implies that lord and worker share a common culture and a traditional regime of mutual obligation. Clearly, such a context was lacking for Spaniard and Indian, to say nothing of Spaniard and African. Here the tutelary state and the “universal” church (usually through its regular orders) were more protective of Indian workers than was the local agrarian unit. 3. Manorialism takes form in vegetative, decentralized fashion in a nonurban economy, perpetuated by local tradition, reflecting stability both social and ecological. The initial settlement of America was accomplished by a mere handful of men not simply avid for gold, as is sometimes said, but certainly in quest of status and fame as these might be embodied in specie (however fleetingly retained), land, and a situation of authority free of manual toil. In vast areas with immeasurable resources and native labor, honor, status, and possession were inevitably factored out of the medieval social complex. For example, status might be acquired through land, rather than control of land being a function of status. Or honor and status might be achieved through heroism, rather than heroism’s being assumed as an attribute of status.

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Because the New World encomienda, or allocation of Indian labor, bore only limited resemblance to the medieval manor, Go´ngora prefers the term “patrimonialism” to “feudalism” or “manorialism” for describing the system it represented. His reason is that the conquistadors in their urgency to acquire lands and sources of wealth were at the same time bearers of royal authority. They conceived of the state as a mass of lands, tributes, benefices, grants, and honors belonging to the royal patrimony but legitimately claimed by those who had made them available to the crown. “The specifically vassalic relation of loyalty evaporates before general loyalty of subjects to the King; the link between conquistadors and King assumes a new aspect, not through a personal bond distinct from what they have as subjects, but through the relation they have with the lands, won for the royal domain.”6 IDEOLOGICAL I MP L I C AT I O N S Discussion of the transatlantic institutional legacy leads to its ideological rationale. Was it the case that Spain implanted archaic and authoritarian political precepts that its overseas realms must one day expunge in a primal act of “liberation”? Or did it leave behind an adaptable political culture that would condition political and social life for an indefinite future? Nineteenth-century ideologists of the newly independent Spanish American nations, unless they had clerical, authoritarian sympathies, replied yes to the first question and dismissed the second. In a longer-term, “anthropological” perspective, however, the second query deserves consideration. Religion, after all, takes hold in many realms, one of them being a shared instinct for behavior. In other words, we may take religion not simply as an ideological bulwark for a political structure but also as a pliant set of beliefs, social as well as theological, entertained by common folk. There is, in short, a sociology of Catholicism. Because we tend to recollect seventeenth-century Protestantism more positively than we do sixteenth-century Catholicism—given the “success” of the Anglo-American enterprise—we should remember how closely religion and social process were entwined in the north. For conveying the logic of Protestant colonization there is no more revealing statement than that of Martin Luther in his Open Letter to the Christian Nobility: If a little group of pious Christian laymen were taken captive and set down in a wilderness, and had among them no priest consecrated by a bishop, and if there in the wilderness they were to agree in choosing one of themselves, married or unmarried, and were to charge him with the office of baptizing, saying mass, absolving and preaching, such a man would be as truly a priest as though all bishops and popes had consecrated him.

This passage contains two revealing clues. The first is that a land uninhabited, or inhabited by heathen, is a “wilderness,” a no man’s land outside the pale of society, civilization, and church. The second is that the world is com-

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posed, not of one highly differentiated society for which common forms, acts, and ceremonies are a needed binding force, but of a multitude of unrelated societies, each of them a congregation of similar persons that is finite in time and place and ordered by the declarative terms of a compact rather than by common symbolic observances. As Kenneth Burke puts it, “[In] contrast with the church’s ‘organic’ theory, whereby one put a going social concern together by the toleration of differences, the Protestant sects stressed the value of complete uniformity. Each time this uniformity was impaired, the sect itself tended to split, with a new ‘uncompromising’ offshoot reaffirming the need for a homogeneous community, all members alike in status.”7 If, then, Christendom was for the Spaniard universal, this meant that his overseas settlements were not truly colonies, whether orthodox or heterodox, that had been spun off from the mother country into a wilderness. Nor was Spanish expansion properly a conquest insofar as conquest means acquisition of alien lands and peoples. In fact the word itself, which Father Las Casas called “tyrannical, Mohammedan, abusive, improper, and infernal,” was banned from official use in favor of pacification or settlement (poblacio´n).8 The term frequently used to designate the extension of Spanish political rule to America was incorporation, as in, for example, “the incorporation of the Indies to the crown of Castile.” What is implied is not annexation of terra incognita but the bringing together of what should rightfully be joined.9 To say this much is not to idealize the motives of those who erected the Spanish empire in America. Fortune-seeking, aggrandizement, fanaticism, escapism, cruelty, were all in evidence. Economically and otherwise the Spanish Indies were exploited. The point is that they were incorporated into Christendom, directly under the Spanish crown, by a carefully legitimized patrimonial state apparatus. Oppression certainly occurs within such a realm. But subjects tend to attribute it to bad information, misunderstanding, incompetence, and selfishness originating at lower administrative levels. The system itself is not seriously challenged, nor is the authority of the symbolic and irreplaceable crown. These principles of society and government help us not only to understand Hapsburg rule in America but also to assess the reception of the Enlightenment, to analyze the process by which the Spanish American nations became independent, and to interpret their subsequent careers. Scholars have debated whether neo-Scholastic thought kept its hold throughout the eighteenth century to provide justification for Spanish American independence or whether the patriots of liberation took up the liberal and rationalist program of the Enlightenment. Evidence can be adduced either way, and in any case, once one begins tracing the causes of independence, ideology yields ground to other factors. The question has less to do with the history of ideas than with political sociology. If we accept that the design for Spanish American governance was established by circa 1570, and if two centuries passed before spokesmen began issuing discreet challenges to the premises whereon it rested, one

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can imagine that an enduring political culture had been set in place. The logic of that culture found expression in Spanish neo-Thomist thought of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, not because philosophers dictate ground rules for political behavior but because certain thinkers become “influential” for being attuned to that very behavior. Francisco Sua´rez (1548–1617) is generally recognized as the leading synthesizer of neo-Thomist political thought in Spain’s baroque age of Scholasticism. His recapitulation was far from being a mere disinterment of thirteenth-century Thomism; for in recasting the Thomist argument he devised a metaphysics that found acceptance even in northern, Protestant Europe. Although one can point to instances when Sua´rez was invoked at the start of the Spanish American independence wars, his significance for the subsequent history of the new nations does not depend on whether or not he provided a pre-Enlightenment precedent for contract theory and popular sovereignty.10 It lies, rather, in the fact that his fresh marshaling of Scholastic doctrines, in response to imperatives of time and place, encapsulated assumptions about political man and his dilemmas that survive in Spanish America to this day. The following Suarezian principles illustrate the point: 1. Natural law is clearly distinguished from conscience. Natural law is a general rule; conscience is a practical application of it to specific cases. Natural law is never mistaken; conscience may be. Society and the body politic are therefore properly seen as ordered by objective and external natural-law precepts rather than by consensus sprung from the promptings of private consciences. (Where such an assumption prevails, free elections and the ballot box are unlikely to attain the mystique they possess in Protestant countries.) 2. Sovereign power originates with the collectivity of men. God is the author of civil power, but He created it as a property emanating from nature so that no society would lack the power necessary for its preservation. (This proposition allowed the view that Indians, save for recalcitrant cannibals, were not savages but lived in societies ordered by natural law. A second implication, important at the time of independence, was that when central authority collapses, power reverts to the sovereign people.) 3. The people do not delegate but alienate sovereignty to their prince. Although the people are in principle superior to the prince, they vest power in him without condition (simpliciter), that he may use it as he sees fit. By contract, then, the prince is superior to the people. 4. In certain cases the law of the prince loses its force, namely: if it is unjust, for an unjust law is not a law; if it is too harsh; or if the majority has already ceased to obey it (even though the first to cease obeying would have sinned). 5. The prince is bound by his own law. He cannot, however, be punished by himself or by his people, for he is responsible only to God or His representative.11

The difficulties that Spanish American peoples experience in erecting constitutional regimes based on wide popular participation have for generations

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been commonly ascribed to inadequate schooling in Western democratic principles; impoverished, unwholesome, and disorderly social conditions; and an ingrained personalistic or authoritarian psychology. Anchored in the propositions of Sua´rez, however, we discern precisely those seeming inconsistencies that many have attributed to environmental causes or psychic disposition. Paul Janet summarized them as follows: Such are the Scholastic doctrines of the 16th century, incoherent doctrines in which are united . . . democratic and absolutist ideas, without the author seeing very clearly where the former or the latter lead him. He adopts in all its force the principle of popular sovereignty: he excludes the doctrine of divine law . . . and he causes not simply government but even society to rest on unanimous consent. But these principles serve only to allow him immediately to effect the absolute and unconditional alienation of popular sovereignty into the hands of one person. He denies the need for consent of the people in the formulation of law; and as guarantee against an unjust law he offers only a disobedience both seditious and disloyal. Finally, he shelters the prince under the power of the laws and sets over him only the judgment of the Church.12

We need not say that Sua´rez himself was a decisive intellectual influence on Spanish America’s institutional development (although the University of Mexico did have a Suarezian chair, and his doctrines won increasing attention in New Spain during the seventeenth century). It would seem, however, that his writings are symptomatic of a post-medieval Hispano-Catholic view of man, society, and government that is by no means superseded in modern Spanish America. One must grasp that Spanish neo-Thomism was not a blind, obstinate reaction to the Protestant Reformation any more than it was a nostalgic revival of ethereal religious aspirations. What it did was to offer sophisticated theoretical formulation of the ideals and many sociological realities of the Spanish patrimonial state. In some ways the political philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas was more apt for Spain and her overseas empire than for thirteenthcentury feudal Europe, where it was conceived. The two central principles of Thomist social thought, as Ernst Troeltsch states them, are organicism and patriarchalism.13 First, society is a hierarchical system in which each person or group serves a purpose larger than any one of them can encompass. Social unity is architectonic, deriving from faith in the larger corpus mysticum and not from rationalistic definitions of purpose and strategy at critical moments of history. To the social hierarchy corresponds a scale of inequalities and imperfections that should be corrected only when Christian justice is in jeopardy. Thus casuistry, in the technical sense of judging cases of conscience by “revealed” norms, takes precedence over contrived and mutable human law, because to adjudicate is to determine whether a given case affects all of society or whether it can be dispatched by an ad hoc decision. Second, the inequalities inherent in society imply the acquiescence of each person in his station, with its attendant obligations. Such acquiescence is contingent on public accep-

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tance of a supreme authority—prince, king, pope—who must enjoy full legitimacy as the ultimate, paternal source of casuistical decisions that resolve the incessant conflicts of function and jurisdiction throughout the realm. Troeltsch suggests why this majestic philosophic edifice was partly inconsonant with the thirteenth century. He points out that the image of the Aristotelian city-state influenced Saint Thomas more strongly than did the constitutional life of his own day. “Catholic theory is, largely, comparatively independent of feudal tenure and the feudal system; the relation between the public authority and subjective public rights is treated in a highly abstract manner.” Moreover, Saint Thomas displays an urban bias: “[In] contrast to the inclination of modern Catholicism towards the rural population and its specific Ethos, it is solely the city that Saint Thomas takes into account. In his view man is naturally a town-dweller, and he regards rural life only as the result of misfortune or of want.” Previously I stressed the weakness of feudal tradition in Spain and the important role of the medieval Spanish city. We can therefore appreciate that it was for sociological as well as strategic ideological reasons that Thomist theory struck resonances throughout the Spanish empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These historically rooted precepts for governance may be generalized to an archetype that brings out more clinically their logic and implications. We speak of what Max Weber called a patrimonial state, which he distinguished as a form of “traditional” domination.14 The patrimonial ruler is ever alert to forestall the growth of an independent landed aristocracy enjoying inherited privileges. He awards benefices or prebends as remuneration for services; income accruing from benefices is an attribute of the office, not of the incumbent as a person. Characteristic ways for preserving the ruler’s authority are limiting the tenure of royal officials; forbidding officials to acquire family and economic ties in their jurisdictions; using inspectors and spies to supervise all levels of administration; and defining territorial and functional jurisdictions loosely so that they will be competitive and mutually supervisory. The authority of the ruler is oriented to tradition but allows him claim to full personal power.15 Since he is reluctant to bind himself by law, his rule takes the form of a series of directives, each subject to supersession. Thus problems of adjudication tend to become problems of administration, with administrative and judicial functions united in many offices throughout the bureaucracy. Legal remedies are frequently regarded not as applications of law but as a gift of grace or a privilege awarded on the merits of the case and not binding as precedent. Selectively used, this patrimonial type describes with surprising accuracy the structure and logic of the Spanish empire in America. It also helps us understand why chaos ensued when the keystone for the system, the Spanish crown, was suddenly removed. The compatible general case, however, returns us to historical specifics, or else we are left with a category so spacious that it lumps Spanish America with Ancient Egypt and the Chinese empire. Weber

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himself cautioned against using ideal types for description. Typology does not impart logic to a historical situation but may reveal a logic already inherent. If history yields only complex variants, combinations, and transitions between pure types, typology is merely a guide to configurations and tendencies. Although he recognized a partial fit, the late John Leddy Phelan was wary of construing colonial Spanish American government along purely patrimonial lines and properly reminded us that the polity also bore traces of feudal, charismatic, and legal domination.16 Such caution was justified in a study focused on the kingdom of Quito during a twenty-year period. For this chapter, however, which treats all of Latin America over a span of five centuries, audacious generalization seems indispensable if we are to place it in provisional perspective as a world civilization. Above I suggested why for both Spain and its overseas realms feudalism was a recessive and patrimonialism a dominant trait of the polity. In what follows I shall make the following points: first, the norms of legal or rational domination were conspicuously asserted after circa 1760; second, the fragmentation of Spanish America during the independence wars of the 1810s and 1820s caused temporary reversion to charismatic domination reminiscent of the era of European conquest; and third, the ethos of patrimonialism survived this interlude of decentralization and ruralization, and it still conditions Latin American reception of industrial capitalism and political rationality. THE CHALLENG E S O F E N L I G H T E N ME N T For pedagogical purposes Latin American history is conventionally divided into “colonial” and “national” periods. Our present treatment requires an earlier watershed in the 1760s when the administrative and economic reforms of the Bourbon monarchy took hold and when the promising agenda of the Anglo-French Enlightenment began to overcome the misoneism of intellectuals and the academic establishment.17 Neither at the institutional nor at the ideological level, however, did full transition or supersession occur. The Ibero-Atlantic world had remained at the margin of the great modern “revolutions”—commercial, scientific, political, and religious—and had actively resisted the last of these. Precisely because Spain and Portugal had “prematurely” modernized their political institutions and renovated their Scholastic ideology during Europe’s early period of nation-building and overseas expansion, they shunned the full implications of the great revolutions and failed to internalize their generative force. One implies such recalcitrance in speaking of the seventeenth century as a “baroque” age for Spain and Portugal and their overseas urban centers. The term conveys the tensions of a deeply orthodox society that is bound by determinations of the Council of Trent in an age of religious experimentalism, acquiesces in Aristotelianism in an age when scientific inquiry is repositioning the earth and heavens, and countenances the intimate coexistence of pomp,

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splendor, and vanity with scenes of misery and depravity in an age when human rights are finding formulation. In this setting faith and reason are no longer wedded. Clear statements and logical progressions become elusive. Underlying themes and ideas are embroidered with ornament and allegory. Expression becomes convoluted and cryptic. As the curved line replaces the straight in art, so metaphor and paradox replace direct utterance in literature. In the popular realm the baroque eye sees the world as theater, life as farce, people as caricatures. Here expression is marked not by convolution and overrefinement but by ridicule, “creole malice,” sadism, and obsession with death. Against a baroque outlook the Enlightenment program of rationalism, liberalism, individualism, and secularism made strategic incursions without, by and large, achieving conclusive victories. The Spanish Bourbon monarchy favored ventilation of fresh ideas, but publication of critiques by political economists might be delayed for decades; the Inquisition still made its presence felt; and the crown was quick to move against lay or religious groups of doubtful loyalty. If Bourbon rule was more rationalized and progressive than Hapsburg, it was also more centralized, more impatient with built-in checks and balances, more given to employing inspectors to spy on lesser officials, more reliant on military force. While implying Bourbon “despotism,” this very description bespeaks the undercover survival of the cumbersome, paternalistic pluralism of the old Hapsburg state. The times were inconclusive, and intellectual attainments of the Spanish Enlightenment deserve the customary epithet “eclecticism,” designating guarded coexistence rather than fusion or transcendence, an ideological mosaic rather than a system. Against this background the energetic program of Bourbon reform in America appears not as a cluster of measures launched from lofty doctrinal commitment but as a set of responses to demographic, economic, and political change. The main emphases were commercial, administrative, and strategic. The Spanish American population, which had hovered near ten million, rose by half from 1750 to 1800. This increase enlarged the market for both domestic and European products and, by the same token, yielded additional labor to produce for local and foreign markets. Gradually, a regime of free trade was introduced within the Spanish empire, while at the same time steps were taken to rationalize administration, decentralize power from the old viceregal centers in Mexico and Peru (thus assuring better central control from Madrid), and bolster defenses against rival powers in North America. Economic reform provoked antagonism from merchants in Mexico City, Caracas, and Buenos Aires who had thrived under the old monopolistic system. One can even conclude that “while Spain evolved toward [economic] liberalism, there were interests in America that obstructed those new currents.”18 Administrative reform, and specifically the new system of intendants, “revealed a fatal lack of integration in Spanish policy.” New officials were underpaid without being allowed traditional extralegal fees and exactions. Division of authority between intendants and viceroys was unwisely or vaguely

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stipulated. The activities of intendants aroused town governments to greater exertion without commensurate increase in their authority. In short, the administrative and commercial reforms of Carlos III (1759–88), sometimes called the Diocletian of the Spanish empire, “helped to precipitate the collapse of the imperial regime they were intended to prolong.”19 NATI ONHOOD Because in my argument thus far I have intimated that religion and politics both reach toward a substrate of common belief, it is not outlandish to suggest that we might find a fitting analogue to the Spanish American wars for independence in the Protestant Reformation. Both movements occurred within a far-flung, venerable Catholic institutional order that betrayed decadence at its upper levels. Both movements developed as uncoordinated patterns of dispersed and disparate revolt. Neither was hearalded by a coherent body of revolutionary doctrine, and each improvised a wide range of “ideologies” under pressure of events. Indeed, each movement evinced at inception a conservative or fundamentalist character. Each was the final cluster of a centuries-old series of random and localized heresies, uprising, or seditions;20 and, in the case of each, world events were finally propitious for transforming the impromptu outbreaks into a world-historical revolution. The analogy returns us to Weber and Troeltsch and to their contrast between church- and sect-type organization.21 While these constructs do little to illuminate the economic and sheer power components of historical causation, they help us to understand reactive responses of Spanish American societies to the breakdown of central authority. In ecclesiastical history the church utilizes the state and ruling classes to determine and stabilize an existing order, while sects are small groups organized in fellowship, connected with the lower classes, and opposed from below to the structures of state and society. The church presupposes an average morality in its world and encourages the exemplary asceticism or “achievement” of the few. For the sects asceticism is a communal principle that challenges human law and its tribunals. The church has an objective, institutional character that brings infants under its sway by baptism; sects are voluntary communities where grace is won by personal effort, not by sacraments. Because the church dominates an imperfect world, it is also dominated by the world; the sects popularize an ascetic ideal available to all that unites the fellowship instead of dividing it. The priestly class administers sacraments irrespective of its own personal worthiness; sects distrust the sacraments and allow them to be performed by laymen or even discard them. In adopting this ecclesiastical analogy we suspend the question what “ideas” influenced Spanish American independence and turn toward identifying the sociological response to crisis in a hierocratic order. That is, we are speaking, not of a political arena for conflicting “ideologies,” but of a ripping apart of

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political seams that made possible alternative constructions of the polity. Given the need to construct new nation-states, it was, in Weberian terms, the “Lutheran”-type sect that won out in Spanish America and imposed its own “churches” rather than radical “Quakers” (such as the ill-fated retinues of Hidalgo and Morelos in Mexico), who wished to extend the principle of freedom to those who were unlike themselves. In other words, the result of independence over the long run was the reelaboration of patrimonial structure within each of the new nations, a process that for Brazil has been called the internalization (interiorizac¸a˜o) of the metropolis.22 The political history of independent Spanish America is, therefore, not limited to the clash of interest groups and issue-oriented parties or factions within the formal polity but extends to spontaneous fellowships that seek to challenge, or seek former incorporation within, an architectonic scheme of society. Sects in this extended sense would include slave and Indian revolts, millenarian movements, guerrillas, squatters’ invasions, non-Catholic cult groups, Catholic base communities, and movements inspired by liberation theology. As this partial inventory suggests, the church-sect polarity derived from Reformation Europe need not be wholly secularized when applied to modern Latin America. The diffuse principle of religious association (or in the theological sense, “enthusiasm”) remains today a solvent for the goal-specific politics of hierocracy. The chain of events that led to Spanish American independence began with the Napoleonic invasions of the Iberian peninsula in 1807–8. At their inception the independence movements were not separatist or revolutionary but inspired by loyalty to the Spanish crown. Resistance to the usurper was the one principle on which articulate political groups could agree. City-based juntas in Spanish America assumed provisional autonomy in expectation of a legitimist restoration. Only when the “liberal” Cortes, convoked in unoccupied Spain, tried to reduce the vice-royalties to a status seen as colonial did the independence campaigns gather momentum. At this point the notion of a historical pact between Emperor Carlos V and the early settlers won a certain currency.23 Bolı´var called it “our social contract,” a solemn agreement by which the crown had recognized the conquistadors’ services and accepted “never to alienate the American provinces, inasmuch as he had no jurisdiction but that of sovereign domain.”24 Thus interpreted, the “pact” linked Spanish Americans to the crown but did not merge them with the Spanish nation. If the crown had persistently violated the “pact” by favoring the interests of its treasury and its officialdom, creoles on the eve of independence were not disposed to call it to account. This issue became conflictive only when control of unoccupied Spain fell to juntas, for the Spanish juntas joined their “liberalism” to the principle of “nationalism,” by which the mother country was conceived as a single people. Had Spanish Americans accepted the juntas’ leadership with no guarantee of autonomy, they would have become, in light of the original “pact,” “vassals of vassals.” Such was the irony of European modernization and democracy for people overseas.

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Fernando VII was restored in 1814; but in the face of the independence movement his character and policy discredited both himself and the church, whose support he retained. For Spanish America the patrimonial keystone had been withdrawn, and the collapse of authority heralded a new age of conquistadors. Although the eventual boundaries of the young republics loosely followed those of colonial administration, political structures disintegrated to the level of urban juntas and rural power systems. As during the conquest, a moment of social democratization occurred; lowborn mestizos who displayed prowess and leadership won prominence first in war, then in new political arenas. Just as the conquistadors had been lured by booty, encomiendas, and land, so now leaders and retinues competed for access to national treasuries, ecclesiastical properties, the fortunes of peninsulars, or the favor of foreign merchants. The arming of the citizenry, begun under the Bourbons, accelerated during the wars. Routinization of violence and militarization became familiar features of the postcolonial scene. Only much later in the century would foreign investments and political centralization allay the turbulence of independent Spanish America, much as the erection of viceroyalties had stabilized centrifugal forces in the age of conquest. One cannot say, therefore, that nationalism was a prime ingredient of the independence movements. Bolı´var, the lı´der ma´ximo of the southern continent, was torn between the vision of a transnational amphictyony of the HispanicAmerican peoples and keen awareness of feuding local oligarchies and earthbound peasantries that could yield only phantom nations. One surmises that Bolı´var’s term “amphictyony,” responsive to Enlightenment neoclassicism, was a surrogate for his instinctive sense of Hispanic unity rooted in a heritage of medieval coloration.25 A modern Colombian, Jaime Sanı´n Echeverri, writes: “Had Bolı´var not feared to be Napoleon and had he abandoned the paradigm of George Washington, perhaps our national destiny would have been saved.” The independence of the United States caused a bonding by compact of autonomous colonies. That of Spanish America caused the decapitation of a realm that had been, if not unified, at least unitary. In one case e pluribus unum, in the other ex uno plures. The Panama Congress of 1826, while it offered a first sketch of the Pan-American ideal, signified abandonment of attempts to regulate the internal affairs of Spanish America on a continental scale.26 The nature of the crisis faced by the independent Spanish American nations of 1830 is appreciated when we recall our outline of the Thomist-patrimonial state. The lower echelons of governance had functioned by grace of an interventionist, paternal monarch sanctioned by tradition and faith. His disaccreditation withdrew legitimacy from the remnants of royal bureaucracy. It was impossible to identify substitute authority that would command general assent. Decapitated, the government could not function, for the patrimonial regime had developed neither the underpinning of contractual vassalic relationships that strengthen the component parts of a feudal regime for auton-

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omous life nor a rationalized legal order free from personalist intervention by the highest authority. Although independence withdrew legitimacy from the existing hierocracy, no revolutionary change occurred. The social, corporatist, and spiritual commitments of the past retained their hold. At the same time the political and international status of the new nations had changed. To state the case more fully, political or social revolution was neither cause nor concomitant of the independence wars. Once independence came, however, governments took on a new role. Whereas the mission of colonial bureaucracy had been to uphold a traditional order, the republican bureaucracy acquired the contrary function. The new bureaucracy arose from the destruction of the old order as a force to transform society. Far from finding itself, like colonial functionaries, at the summit of established power, it had for survival to oppose the privileged classes. Its decrees and institutions could not assume old forms but were fated to provoke social transformation. According to Luis Villoro, “The colonial bureaucracy, tied to preserving the past, was necessarily antirevolutionary. The creole bureaucracy, sprung from a negation of the past, is condemned to be revolutionary for its own preservation.”27 The collapse of supreme authority energized local oligarchies, municipalities, and family systems in a struggle for power and prestige in the new, arbitrarily defined republics. These telluric structures descended from social arrangements born in the conquest period but held in check by the patrimonial state. Now again they seized the stage. Lacking complementary economic interest groups with a stake in constitutional process, the new countries were plunged into fluctuating regimes of anarchy and personalist tyranny. The contest to seize a patrimonial state apparatus, fragmented from the original imperial one, became the driving force of public life. There is ample testimony that Spanish America suffered a collapse of the moral order during the early decades of independence. The face of anarchy was partially masked, however, by the ancient habit of legalizing all public acts that had helped to cement the former empire. Each new country duly produced its convention and Anglo-French constitution. The political mechanism that emerged was generally a biparty system. Party programs faithfully reflected the language of Western parliamentary politics, although with shrewd domestic adaptations. Only elites were politically active (as was largely the case in the England of 1830, for that matter), and party adherence tended to reflect an alignment of “conservative” landed and monied interests, high clergy, and former monarchists against “liberal” professionals, intellectuals, merchants, and those with a creole, anticlerical, and anticaste outlook. Given a static rather than a dynamic social system, however, the game of politics became a naked contest for power. In circa 1830 Spanish Americans suddenly faced a situation reminiscent of Machiavelli’s Italy. More than that, they were reintroduced to the historic conflict in sixteenth-century Spain between neo-Thomist natural law and

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Machiavellian “realism.” Spaniards had resolved the issue by casuistry. Machiavelli went on the Index, and any of his precepts that were needed for modernizing neo-Scholastic doctrine were recast in acceptable idiom.28 Not only were Spanish Americans, however, now thrown into the Realpolitik of international relations but their domestic politics had disintegrated to the condition for which Machiavelli had prescribed. Keyserling sensed this in writing that “in the undisciplinable revolutionary and the unscrupulous caudillo of all South American States survives the son of Machiavelli’s age.”29 A Venezuelan cosmopolite in Sangre patricia (1902), a novel by Manuel Dı´az Rodrı´guez, also noted the similarity: “Are not our continual wars and our corruption of customs . . . the same continual wars and depraved customs of Italy of those times, with its multiple small republics and principalities? There were then in Italy as among us brutal condottieri and rough captains, exalted overnight like the first Sforzas from the soil to the royal purple.” Machiavelli was born to an “Age of Despots.” Italian city-states had lost their moral base; they no longer recognized a common Christian ethos. The pope had become one of many competing temporal rulers. Machiavelli found that the mercenary companies of his time, unlike national militias, were undependable because they had no larger loyalty. They served the intrigues of statecraft but not the needs of open warfare. Italians were effective only in dueling and personal combat. Like Machiavelli, the Spanish American nation builder had to contend with nucleated “city states.” The absence of communities intermediate between them and the erstwhile imperium had been revealed by the urban juntas of 1809–10. Only arbitrary boundaries defined the new nations territorially; only virulent sectionalism could define them operatively. The church, which had once lent sanction to the state, was now an external threat to sovereignty. The appearance of opportunist caudillos, as in the case of Italy’s city tyrants, upset the predictable interplay of class interests. The Spanish American who held to constitutionalism and to the nationcommunity was swept before winds of personalism and localism. Mexico’s Go´mez Farı´as would not transgress “the principles of public and private morality,” before which, wrote his contemporary Mora, “his indomitable force of character” vanished. Why did he not cast out the treacherous Santa Anna? Because the step was unconstitutional, “a famous reason that has kept the reputation of Sen˜or Farı´as in a very secondary place at best and caused the nation to retrogress half a century.”30 A similar case was that of Rivadavia, Argentina’s first president and proponent of bourgeois democracy and economic liberalism. His plans and principles were no match for provincial caudillism. Sadly he wrote from Parisian exile in 1830: In my opinion what retards regular and stable advance in those republics stems from the vacillations and doubts that deprive all institutions of the indispensable moral force that comes only from conviction and decision. It is evident to me, and would be easy

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to demonstrate, that our country’s upheavals spring much more immediately from lack of public spirit and cooperation among responsible men in sustaining order and laws than from attacks of ungovernable, ambitious persons without merit or fitness and of indolent coveters.31

Machiavelli’s is the handbook par excellence for the leader who would cope with “lack of public spirit and cooperation among responsible men.” Just as John Locke’s ideas were better keyed, some say, to Jeffersonian America than to his own England, so the Florentine appears to address a future Spanish America. His instructions for personalist rule became of secondary interest to European monarchs, who were about to find sanction in divine right. Locke and Machiavelli both dealt with antecedent conditions for a nation-state. The former, however, addressed a homogeneous bourgeoisie that was free to ascertain and pursue private interests; the latter addressed the leader, who with craft and foresight was to unite an inchoate, inarticulate populace whose only petition was that it be not too heavily oppressed. On nearly every page Machiavelli offers advice that seems distilled from careers of Spanish American caudillos. Of prime importance is the leader’s commanding physical presence. In time of sedition he should “present himself before the multitude with all possible grace and dignity, and attired with all the insignia of rank, so as to inspire more respect. . . . [For] there is no better or safer way of appeasing an excited mob than the presence of some man of imposing appearance and highly respected” (Discourses, 1.54).32 Among countless incidents one recalls the moment when Bolivia’s Melgarejo, with six men, entered the palace where his rival was celebrating a coup d’e´tat. The intruder, icily calm, shot the president, then faced and overawed the mob, in whose throats the shouts of victory for Belza´ had scarcely died away. The personalist leader must be physically disciplined, skilled in warfare, and familiar with mountains and plains, rivers and swamps (Prince, 14; also Discourses, 3.39). This is almost a page from the autobiography of General Pa´ez, who knew Venezuela’s Ilanos like the palm of his hand, a knowledge that confounded the royalists in 1817 and later earned him respect as leader of the new republic. Although one might indefinitely extend the list of Machiavellis’ dicta that were validated by caudillos, it remains to emphasize that he was concerned with state-building, not merely with leadership. His ideal was a republic with “laws so regulated that, without the necessity of correcting them, they afford security to those who live under them” (Discourses, 1.2). The most difficult time to preserve republican liberties is when a people accustomed to living under a prince who blinds himself by “laws that provide for the security of all his people” recovers “by some accident” its freedom. This people, “ignorant of all public affairs, of all means of defense or offense, neither knowing the princes nor being known by them,” soon relapses under a yoke often heavier than the one just shaken off (Discourses, 1.16). Government, to be created ex

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nihilo, is most expediently organized by a single leader of strength and sagacity. Yet “it will not endure long if the administration of it remains on the shoulders of a single individual; it is well, then, to confide this to the charge of the many, for thus it will be sustained by the many” (Discourses, 1.9). If at length a republic is established, that very fact certifies a fundamental “goodness” and certain “original principles” conducing to its “first growth and reputation.” To maintain republican vigor and repress men’s “insolence and ambition” those principles must find periodic reassertion through “extrinsic accident” or, preferably, “intrinsic prudence” (Discourses, 3.1). The Machiavellian leader, therefore, is to be bound by original principles, environmental and social, generic to the nascent nation-community. In about 1840 the Argentine “socialist” Echeverrı´a prescribed for his country in identical terms. He thought it impossible to organize a people without a constitution rooted in “customs, sentiments, understandings, traditions.” If the sole credentials of a legislator are those bestowed by electoral victory, his acts will be no more in the public interest than those of a private businessman. Because the premises for community will not be readily apparent, he must discard foreign solutions and sound out the “instincts, necessities, interests” of the citizens and, through laws, reveal to them their own will and common identity. Only on this preliminary basis of wise, public-minded paternalism might one hope for “the continuous embodiment of the spirit of one generation in the next.”33 We may conclude that there were four specifications for government if society was not to fall on the rocks of despotic or oligarchic caudillism or on the shoals of collapsed authority and factionalism: legitimacy, constitutionalism, nationalism, and personalism. A new government, coming after three centuries of Catholic monarchical rule that had come under only sporadic, localized challenge, needed the very aura of legitimacy that Metternich was then preaching in Europe. Superficially this might mean recruitment of a European prince (or for a scattered few, a restoration of the Incas); more deeply it meant recovery of the structure and the pragmatic safeguards against tyranny of the Spanish patrimonial state. Second, the government should be constitutional given the North American example, a penetration of Enlightenment ideas deeper than in many corners of Europe, and the need to formalize patrimonial checks and balances. Third, even though the bases for nationalism were weakly laid, government should recognize vague communal aspirations to popular sovereignty such as were aflame in Europe and proclaimed in North America. Finally, given conditions of political inexperience and social disorder, only strong personalist leadership could institutionalize government. Needless to say, these four themes were difficult to orchestrate. Legitimacy, insofar as it implied a European prince or Spanish political traditions, was not easily squared with shrewd personalist leadership or with popular sovereignty.

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Personalism and constitutionalism were uneasy bed-fellows, for as Machiavelli recognized in the Discourses, the heroic figure who sponsors a constitution, like the old soldier, must be willing to fade away. The mix of charismatic leadership and popular nationalism is of course explosive. One can plot the early careers of most Spanish American countries as one or another form of breakdown in this delicate quadrinomial equation. The most notorious is personalism, which constitutes its own untransferable legitimacy. Examples abound of the leader who identifies himself with local “original principles” although without being willing or able to relinquish government, as Machiavelli would have wished, “to the charge of many.” The system remains subordinate to the man, and unless a suitable “heir” is available, it falls with him. Here we have Weber’s charismatic leader of personal “grace,” who flouts the authority of the “eternal yesterday” as well as norms for bureaucratic rationality, whose justice is Solomonic rather than statutory, who maintains authority by proving his strength in life. Occasionally a leader undertook to mold foundations for a national community or even, as with Bolı´var and Moraza´n, an international federation. More usually, a caudillo regarded his country as a fief. In the “age of caudillos” the leader won the army’s allegiance or created his own militia, then confronted regional and social groups by blandishment, force, or personal magnetism. Features important to caudillism were patron-client groups determined to secure wealth by force of arms; use of violence in political competition; lack of institutionalized means for succession to office; and failure of incumbents to achieve lasting tenure. Such conditions were not necessarily pathological. Landowners generally dominated the elites, and since their properties tended to be organized for subsistence and local markets rather than for export, rural management aimed toward expansion of territory and of dependent labor forces rather than toward rationalization and technification. This helps to explain endemic rivalries among oligarchic kin groups and their opposition to strong central government. The caudillo, not the constitutional lawyer, was the political architect. Endowed with “access vision,” he strove from a local power base to cement his retinues into a “maximal” one for seizing central power, and with it the national treasury.”34 Caudillism, therefore, constituted a national political system, although it appeared unstable in almost any given manifestation. It rested on a regionalized structure of personal and family alliances having some degree of popular endorsement. The caudillo was not a wholly free agent but depended on the supplies and manpower of landowners, the good will of foreigners and of urban commercial and financial groups, and the legal and forensic skills of lawyers and intellectuals. Toward the end of the century new mineral and agricultural wealth and the influx of foreign investment gave caudillos different leverage. Although force and personalism were not discarded, financial resources and the protective favor of foreigners allowed leaders to govern by

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“remote control.” They adopted bourgeois bon ton and even paid lip service to constitutionalism. On occasion the Machiavellian blueprint was realized. Chile was an unusual country that managed, after a twelve-year transitional period, to avoid the extremes of tyranny and anarchy with political arrangements that made only frugal concessions to programmatic liberalism. Despite Chile’s outlandish contour, settlement centered around its central agricultural zone. Because the landed class had been infiltrated by mercantile groups partly composed of immigrants from northern Spain, the elite represented moderate diversity of economic interest. A Valparaiso businessman, Diego Portales, managed to frame these interests within a document having an aura of native legitimacy. The 1833 Constitution created a strong executive without stripping the congress and courts of countervailing powers. The first president had the aristocratic bearing that Portales lacked; a staunch Catholic and admired general who stood above factionalism, he helped to ratify the office itself. The first several presidents served double terms; the victorious candidate was generally handpicked by his predecessor. Thus the structure of the Spanish state was preserved, with only those concessions to Anglo-French constitutionalism that were necessary for a republic that had rejected monarchical rule. If the Chilean solution seems too “presidentialist,” the liberal critic should remember that some have called the relation between a deferential Spanish American legislature and the chief executive less a travesty of constitutionalism than the recovery of Spanish procedures that required consultation between the viceroy and a subordinate audiencia. The apology for Portalian Chile is that while aristocratic, it was not oligarchic, for it did not countenance “abusive domination by a single class.” Its leaders came from all groups “as long as they showed marked capacity, and in this sense one can speak of a democratic aspect.”35 The rebuttal is that Potales achieved colonial restoration in republican guise: “The static colonial system tries to rule by smothering the only positive good that emancipation brought us: political and cultural awareness.”36 This conundrum accents two terms of our quadrinomial equation: legitimacy (or tradition) and nationalism (or popular sovereignty). Patrimonial tradition might in rare cases be coherently reinstitutionalized. But how in the long run was it to be reconciled with the general will? THE BRAZI LIAN C A S E The political development of Brazil might appear to lie outside the Spanish American experience, even given the considerable diversity of the latter. To begin with, the Portuguese state apparatus was transferred parsimoniously to its New World colony. This meant that formally Lisbon retained more administrative and judicial authority than did Madrid. Yet by the same token the meager transplantation of bureaucracy to Brazil gave local groups and

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institutions a generous arena for testing their prerogatives. For example, recurrent conflicts between town councils and Jesuit missionaries often took their course without bureaucratic intervention. The status of Indians was worked out under little influence from metropolitan decrees and scholastic controversy. Or one can mention the bandeirantes, who beyond their role as pathfinders and prospectors served as a locally controlled strike force that was mobilized against the Jesuits in Paraguay, against the Dutch invaders of Pernambuco, and against Palmares, the “republic” of runaway slaves.37 Between 1920 and 1950 Brazilian ideologists and social theorists portrayed a dispersive “clan”-based or clientistic society that was anarchic in the sense that the private order dominated the public until well into the twentieth century. Their argument is persuasive; yet if it is true that Portugal reproduced overseas so feeble an instrument of control, one wonders why independent Brazil was not more subject than even Spanish America to political pulverization. Here in fact arises a second difficulty in aligning the Brazilian with the Spanish American political experience. For just as the tutelary state was weakly projected into Portuguese America, caudillism, specifically the postindependence “age of caudillos,” has no obvious counterpart. A familiar explanation is that the removal of the house Braganc¸a to Rio de Janeiro at the start of the Napoleonic intervention filled the legitimacy vacuum experienced in Spanish America, while a Brazilian talent for accommodation and conciliation mitigated the dislocations and centrifugalism that followed independence. In short, the arguments just summarized leave little margin for applying our Thomist and Machiavellian precepts to the Brazilian case. Neither, however, do they cogently explain how an archipelago of agrarian satrapies was fused with relatively little commotion into an independent, politically cohesive “empire.” Another line of analysis, while not wholly incompatible with the one just sketched, enlarges the historical context and helps fit Brazil to the Latin American political family. This argument stresses that well before the colonization of America the Portuguese crown had centralized power, curbed the nobles, coopted the merchants, and created a solid “bureaucratic state.”38 Many problems of political, territorial, and cultural unification that have plagued “the Spains” to our own day had been resolved in Portugal before overseas expansion.39 The Portuguese failure to delegate judicial and administrative functions to Brazil perhaps left regional patriciates a margin of freedom to establish their “private order.” But the state never relinquished control over the export economy, geographically limited for a century and a half to the northeast littoral. The seigneurial rights of Brazilian landlords were based not on feudal traditions but on the prebendalization of political authority.40 Even the bandeiras, so often celebrated as representing autonomous frontier energies, may have played an occasional role in Portuguese geopolitics. In contrasting the careers of the Spanish and Portuguese empires Celso Furtado finds Brazil to show more unilinear development.41 In the Spanish

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Indies the early period witnessed state intervention to organize large regions around a few dynamic mining centers. The later period, with its demographic rise and spread of hacienda agriculture, saw a slackening of regional integration and growth of landed patriciates having local economic horizons. Brazil’s early period, on the other hand, was characterized by an export economy of isolated zones oriented overseas. Then after the 1690s mineral strikes gave the state the incentive and wherewithal to assert its presence throughout and beyond the settlement zones.42 The strikes also accelerated immigration, growth of domestic markets, and the interlinking of elites. According to this view the articulation of state apparatus in colonial Brazil, beginning with the curbing of town councils after the mid-seventeenth century and reaching an apogee with the neomercantilism of the marquis of Pombal (1750–77), seems not so much a bold new scheme for dominating an “anarchic” agrarian domain as the actualizing of a set of controls that had always existed in potential. Thus, for example, central power was extended in the eighteenth century by expanding the militia system. This in effect vested with public authority the “natural” command structures headed by landowners and local notables, who became cooperative if far from docile agents of royal power. With a modicum of conflict, this strategy checked the incipient caudillism of backlanders and regional magnates as it had been asserted in bandeirismo or in guerrilla resistance to the Dutch invader and confined their authority to scattered nuclei of rural production. In this light, the legendary Brazilian talent for political conciliation comes to represent systemic availability for cooptation rather than psychic preference for tolerance in human dealings.43 On the eve of independence in 1822 certain circumstances reinforced the possibilities for evolutionary transition. First, Brazil was a slave society. In four of the most influential provinces, where more than half the population lived, there were only two free citizens for every slave. This meant that the propertied classes were prepared to subordinate divisive regional and group interests to the need for unity in the event of slave insurrections, possibly abetted by the urban popular classes. Second, while centers of higher learning in Spanish America were scattered from Mexico to Argentina, sons of the Brazilian elite went to Coimbra, and a few to France. After independence they passed through the four new law and medical faculties created in Brazil. This created a national political elite bound by personal and ideological ties.44 Another factor was that Portuguese policymakers of the 1790s turned toward a design for empire that would give freer rein to initiatives from the colony. Brazilian intellectuals and Portuguese ministers collaborated to produce “an imperial idea, Luso-Brazilian in inspiration, which moved beyond nationalism to a broader imperial solution, and sought to defuse metropolitan-colonial tensions.”45 Against this background, and given the migration of the Portuguese court to Rio, the task of shaping an independent polity was less a matter of nation-

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building, or “forging the pa´tria,” than one of internalizing the mechanisms of control formerly exercised from Lisbon.46 As Raymundo Faoro puts it, the opposition between metropolis and colony persisted as one between state and nation. Like Spanish America, then, Brazil inherited venerable precedents for the tutelary state. Indeed, the fact that Portuguese national unity was more assured than Spain’s may have lent the state more matter-of-fact acceptance. For Brazilians the office of king and later emperor was not imbued with the mystique—the sanction of ancient tradition or royal prerogative or the Christian faith itself—that many claimed was the antidote for Spanish American anarchy and separatism. Brazil offered no constituency for divine right: “The principle of monarchy reached us when it was already losing its aura of sacredness. The king was not, when we became a nation, the ‘anointed of the Lord’ . . . ; he was on the contrary a privileged person whose privilege was discussed, combatted, denied.”47 When the Brazilian empire was finally abolished in 1889, the then president of Venezuela remarked, “The only republic that existed in America has been done away with: the Empire of Brazil.”48 Within the context thus far sketched the hegira of the Portuguese court to Rio in 1808, a sine qua non of the Brazilian story, merits attention as a study in legitimation. For all the muddleheadedness and procrastination that some have attributed to Joa˜o VI, he managed during his Brazilian sojourn to expand the nation’s territory by conquest, to open Brazilian ports to trade with friendly countries, to establish a bank, to sponsor attempts at industrialization and at colonization by non-Iberians, to permit a printing press, to host a mission of French artists, and to create military and medical schools and a botanical garden. Joa˜o even went so far as to abolish the jalousies of Rio house fronts, symbols of patriarchal seclusion and of the agrarian foundations of the culture. At the very moment, therefore, when the fragmented Spanish American countries were divested of viceregal panoply and falling, many of them, under caudillo leadership of popular origin, Brazil received urban and courtly endowments that it had so far lacked. The political significance of this, Faoro holds, was that Brazil, as distinct from most of Spanish America, now offered a chance to build the state “from the top down,” that is, starting from the “bureaucratic state” rather than from the caudillos and latifundistas. Indecisive and apprehensive to the last, Joa˜o returned to Portugal in 1821, and his son Pedro declared Brazilian independence the following year in response to a Portuguese policy of “recolonization.” Unlike most America nations, Brazil produced no national hero at this dramatic moment, although the two leading protagonists each had important gifts for leadership. They exhibited sets of traits that in Bolı´var were combined. Pedro had physique, bravado and personal charm; he moved as easily among commoners as among those of his station. Jose´ Bonifa´cio de Andrada had a loftier political sense— constitutionalist although conservative—along with a mature vision of national institutions and an erudite agenda for social and economic reform. Jose´ Bonifa´cio was the architect and Pedro the agent, of Brazilian independence.

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In 1823, shortly after this fruitful collaboration, Pedro dissolved the constitutional assembly and exiled Jose´ Bonifa´cio and his brothers. Relations between the two men had consisted “rather in the conjunction of two energies than in the sympathy of two personalities.”49 Dissolution of the assembly was Pedro’s response to the “liberalism,” or desire for local autonomy, of regional patriciates. He then hand-picked a commission to produce the Constitution of 1824, conspicuous for the discretionary powers it vested in the emperor. In Brazil as in Chile the four requirements for sequential transition to nationhood were met. To his Braganc¸a legitimacy Pedro gave popular, nationalist sanction by consulting local leaders on the eve of independence, by taking advice from the anti-Portuguese Jose´ Bonifa´cio, and by declaring Brazil an empire in a somewhat Napoleonic spirit. When factionalism threatened the process of constitution-making, Pedro packed the Andrada brothers off to Portugal and, in a personalist style that would have pleased Machiavelli, promulgated a constitution. Thereafter his leadership faltered. His democratic convictions could never be reconciled with his authoritarian temperament, and in 1831 he abdicated in obedience to pressure from the soldiery and the populace. Happily, exile was palatable because there awaited in Portugal the task of rescuing the crown from his usurping brother. Pedro left as his successor in Brazil his five-year-old son, who came under the tutelage of Jose´ Bonifa´cio, now returned. The ensuring regency period threw into question the political premises of the new empire. The Additional Act of 1834 increased the power of the provinces at the expense of both the central government and the local magnates. Throughout the regency and for another decade after Pedro II assumed power in 1840, Brazil was torn from north to south by revolts of varied complexion. Faoro constructs a hypothetical cast of actors to differentiate incipient breakdown in Brazil from the caudillism of Argentina.50 On one side, standing for centralization and traditional metropolitan interests, he places the “bureaucratic estate,” reconstituted after independence and reinforced by Portuguese urban-commercial groups. On the other he locates the latifundista, representing liberalism in the form of local autonomy, resistance to statism, and “privatization.” Intermittently allied to the landed patriarch are the caudillo and the bandido. While the latter seeks asylum in regions inaccessible to justice, the former participates in the polity and may sometimes be a landowner. To a degree the caudillo’s sympathies are with localism and “liberalism.” Yet he has ties to central authority by service in the old militia or the new national guard. This, says Faoro, is what distinguishes Argentine and Brazilian caudillos. The Argentines assemble montoneras in defiance of the law of the new nation; the Brazilians have links to the public order, boast military patents, and may be recruited to smother insurrections.51 If we are drawn to a dichotomous construction of Brazilian political history as state versus society or bureaucracy versus patriarchalism, we are warned against embracing either pole as an original principle.52 We are to detect

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shifting configurations, not an isolated motive force. Take, for example, the proposition that the conspicuous political actor in nineteenth-century Brazil was not the separatist caudillo but the coronel, or local notable who held military credentials from the central government. This is by no means a polar distinction, for both coronel and caudillo are defined by the extent and nature of their compromise with central power. Moreover, just as the Spanish American caudillo had a Brazilian counterpart, so Spanish America offered a cast of latifundistas, caciques, and militia commanders who were functional equivalents of the coronel. The two contexts therefore produced analogous dramatis personae, deployed as historical circumstances dictated. The Spanish American age of caudillos lasted half a century or more after 1810, while Brazil’s caudilhagem is associated with the regency decade. In the colonial period the tables had been turned. The age of the Spanish caudillo-conquistador yielded to bureaucratic domination in the third quarter of the sixteenth century, while in Brazil outside the northeast sugar strip the caudilho bandeirante reigned till the dawn of the eighteenth.53 While differences of political tradition and of institutional momentum underlie these contrasts, economic circumstances help to explain specifics. The tardy transplantation of the state apparatus to Brazil clearly has to do with the lateness of the mineral strikes, while the brevity of the caudillo period was related to the prospects for export earnings and to the commercial interests of the British and of resident Portuguese merchants. The usefulness of the state-society binomial is not that it encapsulates a thesis about Latin American political development but that it offers more suitable coordinates for discussing the topic than have customarily been available. The assumptions made here are, first, that the state is a self-standing entity to be conjured with, not a multilateral covenant. Second, society is a somewhat passive organism, parts of it marginalized or inchoate, not an aggregation of persons and primary associations with protean capacities for organization. As Fa´bio Wanderley reminds us, Brazilian coronelismo may, for purposes of “state-building,” seem a force for dispersion and corrosion; but for “society-building” it is a force that creates and shapes power. Similar analyses exist for Spanish American cuadillism.54 Brazil’s interlude of potential disaggregation was terminated by political leaders who “interpreted” the Additional Act of 1834 to reverse its decentralizing provisions, advanced the “majority” of Pedro II to allow him to assume power in 1840, put down provincial insurrections by military force, and, in the 1850s, arranged a Conciliation to rehabilitate the tutelary state. Pedro II famed for benevolent and constitutional rule, acceded to the throne as the steward of the state, not its author. THE UNCERTAI N H E A D WAY O F R AT I O N A L I Z AT I O N Our inquiry ineluctably leads us to consider the intrusion of rationality into Latin American political life and institutions. Because of the emphasis thus

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far on ideal types of domination—traditional (feudal and patrimonial) and charismatic—it would seem that we need only seize on Weber’s scheme for rational or legal legitimation to identify obstacles and achievements on the road to “modernity.” Again we need the reminder that political ideal types are simply pointers, more useful for discerning formal structures than for probing social temperament. A glance at the index to Weber’s Economy and Society shows that rationalism, rationality (formal, instrumental, and substantive), and rationalization can be considered in political, legal, commercial, religious, and other contexts. Even if the polity is our focus, we cannot dismiss adjoining domains. Consider the ambiguities that attend rationalization in Latin America. To begin with, scholars have quarreled over whether feudalism or capitalism set the stage for institutional development in the Spanish Indies. Given our earlier presumption that feudalism is inappropriate to the case, the debate has its sophistical aspects. Yet surely we may assume that Latin America was from the start invaded, if not saturated, by a European economy that rationalized human dealings.55 If, however, we trace the unfolding of ideology, we find that only after 1760 did Latin Americans begin selectively to mesh Enlightenment precepts to received neo-Scholastic doctrine. And finally in our own era we discover that rationalization is still problematical, whether we speak of economic “development” or governance or social outlook. The process seems unending, or unendable. Accepting the strictures against facile periodization, we can still argue that rationalization took impetus in the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. For ideology the case is solid. Clearly, academic and political discourse began to absorb postulates of the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment in the 1760s.56 After independence these were widely accepted by constitutionmakers, and to detect earlier convictions from then on becomes a job of textual exegesis. At the institutional and behavioral level rationalization had gathered force throughout the colonial period in response, primarily, to economic imperatives. Here are two examples. By the mid-seventeenth century commercialism had penetrated highland Peru so deeply as to “monetize” the transactions of Indian households, converting Indian society into economically defined strata.57 In Mexico’s Oaxaca valley by the eighteenth century the Indian groups of Antequera were dissolved and proletarianized; economic norms had displaced those of ethnic status. Concurrently, a regime of taxation and forced labor yielded to the commercialization of human relations by markets and the cash nexus.58 From a more comprehensive viewpoint, however, the cumulative effect of colonial capitalism proves debatable. On the eve of independence rationalization coexisted with “commerce” for control and exploitation, as instanced by the notorious corregidors and their exactions from Indian communities. Even urban commerce was orchestrated within a framework of mercantilist design, patrician status objectives, and prebendary administration.

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Without mature institutions for credit and financial accrual, merchants were adept at maintaining options for social advancement and for orienting their progeny to alternative careers; they failed to form a coherent and enduring “class.”59 Chilean merchants were traders (negociantes), not a truly commercial group, who pursued a cursus honorum that was “part of an aristocratic as opposed to mercantile or bourgeois society.”60 As we proceed past independence and the age of the caudillos, two trends suggest that rationalization was taking firmer hold. First was exported growth and its effect on forms of agrarian production. This entailed a shift from labor-intensive to technified, capital-intensive production with formal cost-accounting; diversion of profits from owners’ status maintenance to reinvestment; and conversion of a dependent labor force to a mobile rural proletariat.61 Export earnings fed a corollary trend of national unification by creating the need for centralized infrastructure—administrative, financial, and logistic—and by yielding revenues to provide it. Routinization of public administration, however, was more equivocal than that of economic enterprise. Take, for instance, the shift that Uricoechea detects in Brazil from a patrimonial to a bureaucratic or legal-rational order.62 Patrimonialism reached its apogee, he claims, in the second quarter of the nineteenth century, when the new state apparatus managed a modus vivendi with local command structures that were bound to a prebendary conception of officeholding. By the 1870s central bureaucracy was pressing for a legal regime of greater predictability. The phrasing of internal memoranda changed from “What Your Excellency considers just” to “What Your Excellency considers best” or “more convenient.” Fernando Dı´az posits comparable tension between Mexican caudillos and caciques. 63 The caudillo is said to have an urban mentality; he seeks to transform charismatic into legal domination by promoting social struggle in favor of a national program. From a rural outlook the cacique aspires to convert charismatic into traditional domination; he defends the status quo within a regional horizon and relies on a jacquerie rather than endorse social struggle. These arguments assume that rationality took impetus from the bureaucratic center and spread toward the patriarchal periphery. In a capitalist society we might imagine the reverse: that “business sense” at the grass roots denounces the spoils system and red tape of central bureaucracy. Few Latin American analysts, however, take pains to explain why rationalization of economic production failed to shake the faith of “modernizing” landowners in the ideal of prebendary government. Taken at face value, Weber’s legalrational state seems to be self-legitimizing and to have an ecumenical vocation. Yet the many disclaimers in Uricoechea’s argument make us wonder whether undefiled evolutionism was indeed at work. Is it reasonable to suppose that central bureaucracy can serve as an all-sufficient engine for rationalization? And need we assume, as the great English ideologues seem to have done, that political and economic rationalization march in lockstep?64 Murilo de Car-

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valho compares Brazil, where the central government employed 69 percent of all public servants in 1877 and still 56 percent by 1920, with the United States, where as late as 1930 19 percent of public servants were in the federal government and 81 percent in local government. While the Brazilian concentration gave the state large visibility, it bespoke a pathological condition of macrocephaly in a country of “frustrated capitalist development.” Bureaucratic growth resulted in fact from “the very incapacity of the Brazilian state to extend its action to the periphery of the system, while North American decentralization indicated greater power for control, although not necessarily in the hands of the federal government.”65 The Mexican Revolution, which broke out in 1910, is Latin America’s classic example of the routinization of personal rule. Yet in many ways the revolution recovered earlier premises. The fact that it was, for example, overtly anticlerical does not mean that it was not deeply consonant with Hispanic tradition. Traditional matrices for social action are long-lived precisely because they take many guises and serve many purposes. This same anticlerical revolution had as its martyr-hero the “spiritual” Madero (who literally practiced spiritualism). Teachers went among remote villages as “missionaries,” sometimes too as martyrs. Painters revived the memory of monumental colonial art, spreading public buildings with murals that depicted the Indian’s oppression through the centuries in the manner of stations of Calvary leading toward chiliastic redemption. Once again the subsoil became the patrimony of the state, as it had been of the Spanish crown. The ejido system, which distributed farmland to peons, was named for the commons of the old Spanish municipality. The Indian was restored to special tutelage. Rural and urban workers came under state paternalism. Labor, capitalists, managerial and commercial groups, and syndicates of professionals and teachers were magnetized toward the politico-administrative core of government and only secondarily toward competitive interaction. Provincial conflicts were referred to central authority for adjudication, save where a local caudillo managed to establish a temporary satrapy. The revolutionary Magna Charta, the Constitution of 1917, is not primarily a social compact or set of ground rules for the conduct of public life. Like the old Laws of the Indies, this lengthy codification mixes general precepts with regulative specifics and became a document to be put into effect. Few were concerned that many constitutional provisions remained in abeyance. In the neo-Thomist tradition it is not urgent to enforce law if enforcement is for good reason unfeasible and if the community at large is inadvertent. Once it enjoyed legitimacy, the revolution was regarded as a movement to be institutionalized, not a starting point for open-ended process. Modern commentators call it a “bourgeois” revolution with populist accents.66 If the adjective is apropos, however, it designates a fresh entente with international capitalism rather than the triumph of a “bourgeois” ethic. Our reflections greatly simplify institutional change and causal patterns.

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Even so, we need not linger at the gates of a historiographical labyrinth. Let us instead share some anthropological speculations as to where it has all “come out.” In a lively, highly generalized essay, Roberto Da Matta compares citizenship in modern Brazil (or, by extension, Spanish America) with that in the United States (or Western Europe).67 He argues that citizenship in the industrial West is indeed the political corollary to the triumph of market relationships. It implies a body politic that is equalized and atomized. Just as citizenship once dissolved a tangle of feudal relationships, so today it challenges ancient complementarities of age, gender, ethnicity, and family “connections.” Nothing must interpose between the citizen, with his or her cluster of private rights and “life style,” and the state or society at large. Nor should he or she be judged by any criterion but personal merit. So far does this go that “affirmative action” hungers to reimpose ascriptive norms in behalf of the disadvantaged. In Latin America the aspiration to citizenship soared high with the achievement of nationhood. Yet it has made uncertain advance in a “relational” society. While merit criteria and individual rights became public doctrine, the laws of the state may even today recognize occupational hierarchies. Average citizens fear blind application of universal law that ignores buffers of connections or personal ties. If the social nucleus is relationship, not the individual, persons feel naked and apprehensive when addressed as citizens, for they see social complementarities as protective, not abusive. The very term “citizen”— someone subject to laws—is derogatory or accusatory, as in “o cidada˜o [the citizen] will have to wait” or “o cidada˜o doesn’t have his documents in order.” The northern counterpart to this abject cidada˜o is the vexed “taxpayer” whose disadvantage shrinks to fiscal inconvenience and whose political rights are not in question; politicos must in fact keep an eye on him. John Q. Citizen is a stalwart figure. The contrast is not between monolithic types. The fabric of northern societies, it goes without saying, is permeated by connections, informal influences, and frontiers of tacit discrimination. Were this not so, they would be madhouses, not societies. We quite expect blacks and women to weave networks once they have the political leverage to make them efficacious. The point is that here the public, consensual ideology invoked at times of impasse is the individualist “American creed,” while personal behavior is attuned to the claims of aggressive-competitive and thus individualized character structure. Connections are more instrumental than expressive in a society premised on individuals rather than on relationships. In the southern countries the two ethics are more dialectical than conflictive. The formal ethic of citizenship is public but not hegemonic. Neither ethic is restricted to specific social groups or strata. What one denies the other may grant. It is, claims Da Matta, “as though society had various sources of citizenship.” At this point the argument folds back on historical antecedents, for neoThomism posited a relational society based on estates, occupations, and fam-

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ilies; individualism found full recognition only in the spiritual realm. Thus if modern Latin America hosts two broad types of social ethic—or more when we consider permutations of these two, and still more when we consider nonWestern syncretisms—then dilemmas require adjudication by structures of authority and casuistical applications of principle as well as by self-consistent laws and legal procedure. Neo-Scholastic doctrine is accommodative, designed to “incorporate” diverse ethics albeit in asymmetrical fashion. A legalrational regime is a prescriptive ethic that solicits reconcilable differences of interest and opinion but not disparate understandings of the workings of the social universe. We evoke Latin America’s neo-Scholastic past, then, to prove the persistence, not of doctrines and institutions, but of a social ethos that remains congenial to many types of doctrines and institutions. Moreover, while one readily associates the Thomist tradition with hierocracy, we must acknowledge its historical arguments for democracy—just as rationalist individualism, usually coupled with democracy, may veer toward totalitarian outcomes. Let us now gather from our historical argument some propositions that may help to define conditions and possibilities for political change in contemporary Latin America. The first point is that now as in the past the sense that man makes and is responsible for his world is less deep or prevalent than in many other lands. The Latin American may be more sensitive to his world, or more eloquently critical of it, or more attached to it, but he seems less concerned with shaping it. The natural order looms larger than the human community, and the community larger than the sum of its associations. The venerable tradition of “natural law” has not atrophied as in the United States.68 Individual conscience is presumed more fallible, and the electoral process less consequential, than in northern democracies. The regime of goal-specific, voluntary association, of seesaw biparty systems, of deliberative legislative procedure, has a fitful existence after a century and a half of “republican” life. The anthropologist Ralph Beals described an election in a small Mexican town in which when an irreproachable balloting procedure produced a mayor-elect who was bibulous and rowdy, the town council replaced him on the day of induction with a sober, reliable citizen who had not even been a candidate. Due certification of the “election” to state authorities preserved legality. The observer concludes that a “democratic result” was obtained for people “distrustful of parliamentary procedures.”69 Such conditions, some will argue, prevail in all “developing” countries. Granted that Latin America is frequently lumped with the so-called Third World, we stress here its characteristics as an offshoot of post-medieval, Catholic, Iberian Europe. For shaping the present, such a past differs substantially from other civilizational traditions. To Spanish American society Talcott Parsons applies the rubric “particularistic-ascriptive” and in so doing differentiates it from, for example, Chinese society, to which he attributes

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“particularistic-achievement” features. In Spanish America larger social structures—beyond kinship and local community—tend “to be accepted as part of the given situation of life, and to have positive functions when order is threatened, but otherwise to be taken for granted.” Such societies are individualist rather than collectivist and non- if not anti-authoritarian. And individualism is concerned with expressive interests and less with the opportunity to shape situations through achievement. There tends to be a certain lack of concern with the remoter framework of the society, unless it is threatened. Similarly, there is no inherent objection to authority so long as it does not interfere too much with expressive freedom, indeed it may be welcomed as a factor of stability. But there is also not the positive incentive to recognize authority as inherent that exists in the cases of positive authoritarianism. The tendency to indifference to larger social issues creates a situation in which authority can become established with relatively little opposition.70

The second point, implied in the quotation just given, is that Latin American peoples still appear willing to alienate power to their chosen or accepted leaders rather than delegate it to them, much in the spirit condoned by neo-Scholastic thought. Yet the people retain also a keen sense of natural equity and sensitivity to abuses of alienated power. It may be that the classic image of the Latin American revolution is the barracks coup by an insurgent caudillo against an incumbent who lacks legitimacy. But the more significant uprising is that having a broad popular base and no clearly elaborated program beyond reclamation of sovereignty that has been tyrannically abused. “Revolutionary” change that may occur in the wake of such movements tends to be improvised under leadership that desperately seeks to legitimize its authority. The third point, therefore, is that our century witnesses a renewed quest for legitimate government. Regimes of the last century did not, by and large, attain legitimacy. Most have not yet done so. A “legitimate” revolution in Latin America needs no sharp-edged ideology; it need not polarize classes; it need not produce immediate and effective redistribution of wealth and goods. The regime it erects need not be conscientiously sanctioned at the polls by majority vote. (The difference between popular political support in Latin America and in the United States recalls Rousseau’s distinction between the general will and the will of all.) On the other hand, a legitimate revolution may well entail generalized violence and popular participation even though under improvised leadership and with diffuse goals. It needs to be informed by a deep though unarticulated sense of moral urgency. It should be indigenous, unencumbered at its inception by foreign patronage. It needs leadership of psycho-cultural appeal. Even for all their bluster and blunder, Pero´n and Fidel Castro have shown such appeal. So have gentler, saintly types, especially if martyred at an early stage, as were Martı´ and Madero. Mere tyrants are not acceptable revolutionaries.

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“Liberal” North Americans are congenitally unable to deal with charismatic Latin Americans precisely because they project on the latter their own criteria for leadership. Yet this is a revolutionary age on which Latin America has embarked. Why has a somewhat vague legitimacy become so important? It is because law-making and law-applying in Latin America are not in the last instance sanctioned by systematic referendum, by constitutions, by the bureaucratic ideal of “service,” by tyrannical power, by custom, or by scientific or dialectical laws. As Otto Gierke said of the Middle Ages: “Far rather every duty of obedience was conditioned by the rightfulness of command.”71 That is, in a patrimonial state the propriety of command is determined by the legitimacy of the authority that wields it. Hence the importance of sheer legalism in Latin American administration as constant certification for the legitimacy, not of the act, but of him who executes it. Hence, too, the unsatisfactoriness of the personalist regime that fails to take the extraordinarily difficult step of institutionalizing leadership. Fourth, the innate sense of the Latin American people for natural law is matched by a more casual attitude toward man-made law. Human laws are frequently seen as harsh or unenforceable or simply as inapplicable to the specific case. Hence the difficulty of collecting taxes; the prevalent obligation to pay fees or bribes for even routine services; the apathy of police toward theft and delinquency; the thriving contraband trade at border towns; the leniency toward those who commit crimes of passion—all the way down to disregard for “no smoking” signs on buses and in theaters.72 One of the impediments to nation-building in Latin America appears to be precisely the fact that natural law most effectively guides judgment either at the international level or at the level of the family and small community, not at the national level. It is no accident that Latin Americans are so often prominent as international jurists or that “community development” has figured so importantly in reformist strategies since the 1940s. Vis-a`-vis the complexities, abstractions, and compromises of policymaking for the nation-state, instinctive moral sentiments tend to weaken or surrender. Understandably, therefore, North Americans, with their strong and viable nation structure, show moral ambivalence in international affairs and in domestic family relations. To handle the first they build nuclear arsenals; for the second they consult Ann Landers. From the point being made flow two conclusions. First, as Latin American countries disengage from the longstanding tutelage of the United States, they may be expected to build anew their relations—economic, political, cultural— with all nations, including the non-Western. In their ecumenical religious tradition they will do so with greater ease and understanding than characterize U.S. ventures in this direction. Second, it appears essential that architects of reconstruction in Latin America challenge models that stress the organizational and depersonalizing aspects of “development.” Plans for large factories,

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large bureaucracies, even large metropolises, must incorporate the revitalized face-to-face group as the nodal element. Finally, it seems scarcely less true now than in colonial times that the larger society is perceived in Latin America as composed of parts that relate through a patrimonial center rather than directly to one another. A national government serves, not as a referee among pressure groups, but as a source of energy, coordination, and leadership for occupational groups, syndicates, corporate entities, institutions, social estates, and geographic regions. Without the internal pressures of strongly competitive institutional life, and lacking strident ideological imperatives or world power aspirations, political regimes tended until recently to vegetate after the zealous seizure of power. Vegetative regimes, however, are intolerable in our time. Thus, the patrimonial state, in some ways so viable under the Hapsburgs, becomes violence-prone in the twentieth century. If a prophecy may be ventured, it is this: that the energizing of the patrimonial state will not occur in reactive response to demands of a fast-moving, technified world. It may not even be significantly advanced by mass education, industrialization, economic production, and free elections—although these, with their ambivalent effects, are bound to come. What will more directly change the character of the state are the impulse of democratic nationalism from within and the impingement of world politics from without. Nationalism must recover ideological accents and forms of social protest that are the antidote to patrimonialism and yet consistent with the tradition from which it springs. External overtures will dissolve the unhealthy Pax (!) Monroviana and bring Latin American nations increasingly into intense, sustained involvement with the world at large and with each other. Protestant civilization can develop energies endlessly in a wilderness, as did the United States. Catholic civilization stagnates when not in vital contact with the diverse tribes and cultures of mankind.

NOTES 1. Mario Go´ngora, El estado en el derecho indiano: e´poca de fundacio´n (1492–1570) (Santiago, 1951), pp. 300–303; see idem, Studies in the Colonial History of Spanish America, trans. Richard Southern (Cambridge, 1975), chap. 3. 2. Spanish historians still avoid the term “colonial period,” and even Ricardo Levene, an Argentine, proposed that his country’s preindependence era be called the “period of Spanish domination and civilization” (Las Indias no eran colonias [Buenos Aires, 1951], pp. 161–65). 3. J. M. Ots Capdequı´, Instituciones (Barcelona, 1959), p. 8. 4. Go´ngora, Estado en el derecho, pp. 178, 183. 5. Claudio Sa´nchez-Albornoz, Espan˜a: Un enigma histo´rico, 2 vols. (Buenos Aires, 1956), 2:7–103. See also Marc Bloch, Feudal Society, trans. L. A. Manyon (London, 1961), p. 186. 6. Go´ngora, Estado en el derecho, p. 184.

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7. Kenneth Burke, Attitudes toward History, 2 vols. (New York, 1937), 1:176. 8. F. Morales Padro´n, Fisonomı´a de la conquista indiana (Seville, 1955), pp. 43–47. 9. Interestingly, the word conquest or conquista derives from the Latin conquaerere, which means “to seek out” or “bring together,” without the intimation of aggrandizement. 10. O. Carlos Stoetzer richly documents the case for the influence of neo-Scholastic ideology on Spanish American independence in The Scholastic Roots of the Spanish American Revolution (New York, 1979). My admiring but gently critical review appears in Interamerican Review 9, 4 (1979/80): 641–42. 11. See Selections from Three Works of Francisco Sua´rez, S.J., trans. G. L. Williams et al. (Oxford, 1944); and Bernice Hamilton, Political Thought in Sixteenth-Century Spain (Oxford, 1963). 12. Paul Janet, Histoire de la science politique dans ses rapports avec la morale, 2 vols., 3d ed. (Paris, 1887), 2:76. 13. Ernst Troeltsch, The Social Teachings of the Christian Churches, 2 vols. (New York, 1960), 1:280–328. 14. Max Weber, Economy and Society, 2 vols. (Berkeley, 1978), 2:1010–69. See also Reinhart Bendix, Max Weber: An Intellectual Portrait (New York, 1962), pp. 334–69. 15. Arbitrary exercise of free will at the expense of limiting traditions gives rise to what Weber called “sultanism.” 16. John Leddy Phelan, The Kingdom of Quito in the Seventeenth Century (Madison, 1967), chap. 17. 17. Cf. Rafael Moreno, “Modern Philosophy in New Spain,” in Mario de la Cueva et al., Major Trends in Mexican Philosophy, trans. A. Robert Caponigri (Notre Dame, 1966), pp. 155–67. 18. Eduardo Arcila Farı´as, El siglo ilustrado en Ame´rica (Caracas, 1955), pp. 255ff. 19. John Lynch, Spanish Colonial Administration, 1782–1810 (London, 1958), pp. 279–89. 20. See Lincoln Machado Ribas, Movimientos revolucionarios en las colonias espan˜olas de Ame´ica (Montevideo, 1940). 21. Weber, Economy and Society, 2:1204–11; Troeltsch, Social Teachings, 1:328–49. 22. Maria Odila Silva Dias, “A interiorizac¸a˜o da metro´pole (1808–1853),” in 1822: Dimenso¨es, ed. Carlos Guilherme Mota (Sa˜o Paulo, 1972), pp. 160–84. 23. Francisco Eduardo Trusso, El derecho de la revolucio´n en la emancipacio´n americana (Buenos Aires, 1964). The Laws of the Indies of 1680 codified the “pact” as the first law of book 3, tı´tulo 1: “That the Western Indies shall be forever joined to the Crown of Castile and may not be alienated.” This law can be traced to decrees of Carlos V of 1519 and 1520. 24. “Reply of a South American to a Gentleman of this Island (Jamaica),” 6 September 1815, in Selected Writings of Bolı´var, ed. Harold A. Bierck, Jr., 2 vols. (New York, 1951), 1:112. 25. See J. Estrada Monsalve, “El sistema polı´tico de Bolı´var en la doctrina tomista,” Bolı´var 13 (1952): 463–74. 26. Jaime Sanı´n Echeverri, “Los Estados Unidos y los estados desunidos de Ame´rica Latina,” Revista de la Universidad de Antioquia 149 (1962): 393–411. 27. Luis Villoro, El proceso ideolo´gico de la revolucio´n de independencia, 2d ed. (Mexico City, 1967), p. 217. 28. Donald W. Bleznick, “Spanish Reaction to Machiavelli in the Sixteenth and

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Seventeenth Centuries,” Journal of the History of Ideas 19, 4 (1958): 542–50; Jose´ Antonio Maravall, “Maquiavelo y maquiavelismo en Espan˜a,” in Estudios de historia del pensamiento espan˜ol, 3d ser. (siglo XVII) (Madrid, 1975), pp. 39–76. 29. H. Keyserling, South American Meditations (New York, 1932), p. 103. 30. Jose´ Marı´a Luis Mora, Ensayos, ideas y retratos (Mexico City, 1941), pp. xx, 184. 31. Bernadino Rivadavia, Pa´ginas de un estadista (Buenos Aires, 1945), p. 137. 32. Quotations in these three paragraphs are from the Modern Library edition of Niccolo` Machiavelli, The Prince and the Discourses, trans. Luigi Ricci and Christian E. Donald (New York, 1950). The Prince is cited by chapter; the Discourses by book and chapter. 33. Esteban Echeverrı´a, Dogma socialista; edicio´n crı´tica y documentada (La Plata, 1940), pp. 206–12. 34. See Eric R. Wolf and Edward C. Hansen, “Caudillo Politics: A Structural Analysis,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 9, 2 (1967): 168–79. 35. Jaime Eyzaguirre, Fisonomı´a histo´rica de Chile (Mexico City, 1948), p. 110. 36. Julio Ce´sar Jobet, Ensayo crı´tico del desarrollo econo´mico-social de Chile (Santiago, 1955), p. 34. 37. Richard M. Morse, The Bandeirantes: The Historical Role of the Brazilian Pathfinders (New York, 1965). 38. Raymundo Faoro, Os donos do poder: formac¸a˜o do patronato brasileiro (Porto Alegre, 1958); Antoˆnio Octa´vio Cintra, “A func¸a˜o polı´tica no Brasil colonial,” Revista Brasileira de Estudos Polı´ticos 18 (1965): 81–104; Simon Schwartzman, “Representac¸a˜o e cooptac¸a˜o polı´tica no Brasil,” Dados 7 (1970): 17. 39. This may explain why Machiavelli’s writings stirred less interest in Portugal than in Spain in the sixteenth century (Martim de Albuquerque, A sombra de Maquiavel e a e´tica tradicional portuguesa [Lison, 1974]). 40. Fernando Uricoechea, The Patrimonial Foundations of the Brazilian State (Berkeley, 1980), p. 26. 41. Celso Furtado, Economic Development of Latin America, 2d ed. (Cambridge, 1976), pp. 32–33. 42. The interests of the state and of freelance frontiersmen in the Brazilian west were to a degree mutually reinforcing (David M. Davidson, “How the Brazilian West Was Won: Freelance and State on the Mato Grosso Frontier, 1737–1752,” in Colonial Roots of Modern Brazil, ed. Dauril Alden [Berkeley, 1973], pp. 61–106). 43. See Bolivar Lamounier, “Ideologia conservadora e mundanc¸as estruturais,” Dados 5 (1969): 5–21. 44. Jose´ Murilo de Carvalho, A construc¸a˜o da ordem: a elite polı´tica imperial (Rio de Janeiro, 1980), chap. 3. 45. Kenneth R. Maxwell. “The Generation of the 1790s and the Idea of LusoBrazilian Empire,” in Alden, Colonial Roots, p. 143. 46. Silva Dias, “A interiorizac¸a˜o.” 47. F. J. de Oliveria Vianna, O occaso do impe´rio, 2d ed. (Sa˜o Paulo, n.d.), p. 203. 48. Jose´ Maria dos Santos, A polı´tica geral do Brasil (Sa˜o Paulo, 1930), p. 11n. 49. Manuel de Oliveira Lima, Formacio´n histo´rica de la nacionalidad brasilen˜a (Madrid, 1918), p. 190. 50. Faoro, Donos do poder, pp. 179–81.

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51. Oliveira Vianna, from whom Faoro freely draws arguments and information, presented regional contrasts of Brazilian caudilhagem in Populac¸o˜es meridionais do Brasil: populac¸o˜es do Centro-Sul, 6th ed. (Rio de Janeiro, 1973) and O campeador rio-grandense, 2d ed. (Rio de Janeiro, 1974). See also Richard M. Morse, “Cities and Society in Nineteenth-Century Latin America: The Illustrative Case of Brazil,” in Urbanization in the Americas from Its Beginnings to the Present, ed. R. P. Schaedel, J. E. Hardoy, and N. S. Kinzer (The Hague, 1978), pp. 286–94. 52. Fa´bio Wanderley Reis, “Brasil: ‘estado e sociedade’ em perspectiva,” Cadernos DCP 2 (1974): 35–74. 53. See Mario Go´ngora, Los grupos de conquistadores en Tierra Firme 1509–1530 (Santiago, 1962), p. 102. 54. Wolf and Hansen, “Caudillo Politics”; Rube´n H. Zorrilla, Extraccio´n social de los caudillos, 1810–1870 (Buenos Aires, 1972). 55. In his critique of influential arguments Ernesto Laclau warns us to distinguish between capitalistic modes of domestic production and participation in the world capitalist system (“Feudalism and Capitalism in Latin America,” in Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory [London, 1979], pp. 15–50). 56. Go´ngora, Studies in Colonia History, chap. 5. 57. Steve J. Stern, Peru’s Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest (Madison, 1982). 58. John K. Chance, Race and Class in Colonial Oaxaca (Stanford, 1978); William B. Taylor, Landlord and Peasant in Colonial Oaxaca (Stanford, 1972). 59. See my chapter “The Urban Development of Colonia Spanish America” in The Cambridge History of Latin America, vol. 2 (Cambridge, 1984), pp. 90–104. 60. Mario Go´ngora, “Urban Social Stratification in Chile,” Hispanic American Historical Review 55, 3 (1975): 421–48. 61. Eric R. Wolf and Sidney W. Mintz, “Haciendas and Plantations in Middle America and the Antilles,” Social and Economic Studies 6, 3 (1957): 380–412. 62. Uricoechea, Patrimonial Foundations. 63. Fernando Dı´az Dı´az, Caudillos y caciques (Mexico City, 1972). These definitions of caudillos and caciques differ from Gilmore’s for Venezuela, who considers the former as relatively autonomous charismatic leaders and the latter as bosses whose sphere of personal control is framed within an oligarchically managed bureaucratic order (Robert L. Gilmore, Caudillism and Militarism in Venezuela 1810–1910 [Athens, Ohio, 1964]). 64. On this point Se´rgio Buarque de Holanda made a pioneer adaptation of Weberian analysis to Brazil in 1936 (see below, chap. 5, “The Brazilianist as Desk Officer”). 65. Murilo de Carvalho, Construc¸a˜o da ordem, p. 122. 66. Cf. Arnaldo Co´rdova, La ideologı´a de la Revolucio´n Mexicana, 5th ed. (Mexico City, 1977). 67. Roberto Da Matta, “Cidadania: a questa˜o da cidadania num universo relacional,” in A casa e a rua: espac¸o, cidadania, mulher e morte no Brasil (Sa˜o Paulo, 1985), pp. 55–80. 68. For the natural-law revival in modern Latin American legal philosophy see J. L. Kunz, La filosofı´a del derecho latinoamericana en el siglo XX (Buenos Aires, 1951), pp. 49–71.

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69. Ralph L. Beals, Chera´n: A Sierra Tarascan Village (Washington, D.C., 1946), pp. 109–10. 70. Talcott Parsons, The Social System (Glencoe, 1951), p. 198. 71. Otto Gierke, Political Theories of the Middle Age (Boston, 1958), p. 35. 72. See Keith S. Rosenn, “The Jeito: Brazil’s Institutional Bypass of the Formal Legal System and Its Developmental Implications,” American Journal of Comparative Law 19, 3 (1971): 514–49.

CHAPTER 8

Historical Determinants of the Latin American State: The Tradition of BureaucraticPatrimonialism, Corporatism, Centralism, and Authoritarianism Howard J. Wiarda

In 1985 a group of political sociologists and political economists, whose prior academic training had apparently left them bereft of the understanding of the independence of political variables—not unusual in those two disciplines— published a book in which they attempted to “bring the state back in.”1 But most political scientists, especially those in Latin American studies where the state has always played a commanding, directing role, wondered why anyone would think the state had ever “gone away” in the first place.2 For clearly, while the state is obviously shaped and influenced by class, economic, and sociological variables, it also has an autonomy of its own—and particularly so in the bureaucratic-patrimonialist, corporatist, centralist, and authoritarian tradition of Latin America.3 The purpose of this chapter is to trace the origins of the Latin American state and to understand its historical determinants, as well as its contemporary directions. We begin with an exploration of the beginnings of state-society relations in the Iberian Peninsula, then look at how the Hapsburg Model of sociopolitical organization was carried over to the New World; next we examine the collapse of this model in the Wars of Independence and the efforts to rebuild a new, “republican” state system in the nineteenth century, and also look at the efforts to create corporatist and semicorporatist systems in Latin America beginning in the 1930s. Although more recent themes and developments are taken up by other authors, the analysis concludes with an assessment of both neoliberalism and neocorporatism in Latin America, the possible triumph of the one over the other, or the continued overlap and fusion of the two.

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ORIG I NS To understand the role of the state4 in Latin America, one needs to go back to its origins in Spain and Portugal. Few of us who began life as political scientists studying the contemporary era contemplated becoming also medieval historians, but that is in fact what we must do to understand the kind of state and the system of state-society relations that Spain, and Portugal in a less well-articulated and forceful way, carried over to Latin America.5 The Iberian state and the dynamics of state-society relations in Iberia emerged long before there were nation-states called “Spain” or “Portugal.” Instead, the peninsula was organized (when it was organized at all) on a more local or regional basis that included the kingdoms of Galicia, Navarre, Aragon, Castile, Leo´n, and Portugal (or Lusitania). The Iberian state system grew out of a confluence of factors that included the following: 1. The unsettled, unruly, underpopulated character of Iberia during much of the medieval period, especially the heartland area known as “Old Castile,” the north and center of the peninsula. The very unruliness of this vast, empty territory seemed to call forth the need for centralized, authoritarian government.6 2. The long (722–1492) Reconquest of the Peninsula from the Moors, which was one of the great, determining influences in Iberian history and made Iberian feudalism different from the French7 (paradigm) case: more militaristic, less tolerant in a religious sense, again more authoritarian, and with the ownership of land and peasants tied to conquest and military service. 3. During the Reconquest, a number of groups and forces were active: several military orders (Alca´ntara, Hospitalers, Templars, etc.) that often carried the fight against the Moors and had an existence and history prior to the creation of any state organization; the Roman Catholic Church and various religious orders whose existence also preceded (both in time and in the Church’s hierarchy of loyalties) the state concept; various towns and regions that had some degree of self-governing autonomy; and the emerging state systems, as the Moors were driven further south, in such recently formed kingdoms as Aragon, Castile, Leon, and Portugal.8

With these opening comments, we are now in a better position to understand the early concepts of the state and of state-society relations in Iberia. The initial Iberian states (plural) in Leo´n, Castile, and Aragon grew out of military and territorial conquest. They sought to govern over a vast, often unruly territory during a centuries-long struggle against the Moorish infidel where the tide of battle ebbed and flowed (and helps explain the numerous castles and walled, enclave cities in Spain and Portugal).9 As these early states began to emerge, they faced two struggles at the same time: one against the Moors and one against the autonomous corporate units (military orders, religious bodies, towns and municipalities, the fascinating economic corporation—among the most powerful of all, especially in later stages of the Reconquest—known as the Mesta, or sheepholders’ guild;10 and eventually the

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medieval universities, which similarly had their own charters of independence and self-government, and represent the beginning of the Latin American concept of university autonomy). The corporative ordering of society was closely bound up with the formative period as well as the successes of the early Spanish state.11 The difficulty (one among many) of these emerging kingdoms or state systems was that many of the corporate units over which they sought to rule had a longer temporal existence than did the new states of Iberia; and, in the evolving Thomistic/Iberian hierarchy of law, some of them such as the Church and the religious orders had strong claims to having a legitimacy above that of the state. This is not the only reason for these phenomena, but one can see in these historical concepts why still today such institutions as the Church and the military constitute virtual fourth or fifth “branches” of government and have seldom been fully subordinated to “mere” civilian authority.12 The nation-states of Spain and Portugal, among the first in Western Europe, were hammered out and forged between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. They were hammered out in the midst of warfare, a constantly shifting frontier, and great social upheaval. One of the crucial arenas in the formation of these states involved the contest and tug-of-war between the emerging state systems and the autonomous, preexisting, largely self-governing military orders, religious bodies, towns and municipalities, universities, and eventually other corporate units that made up “society.” The emerging states of Aragon, Castile, Leo´n, and others, both to better carry the war effort against the Moors and to enhance their own authority, sought to increase centralization and, with it, their own power—often at the expense of these corporate units— while the societal groups sought to preserve their autonomy. Like the war with the Moors, this contest also ebbed and flowed over a several centurieslong period, with first the emerging states gaining power and at other times society’s corporate bodies gaining strength. This struggle between developing absolutism on the one hand versus the fueros (rights) of society’s corporate units appears to be the crucial issue in the whole Spanish tradition.13 The long-term trend, however, was toward enhanced power for the state and reduced power for the “autonomias.” The agencies of these corporate group rights and freedoms were the medieval cortes that emerged in Aragon, Castile, and Leo´n. The cortes stood against the centralizing power of the monarchy and of royal absolution. Representation in the cortes, which also waxed and waned depending on the struggle against the Moors and the power of royal authority but preceded the organization of parliaments in the north of Europe, was both by the traditional estates (noble, clerical, common) and by the corporate entities. In this way both the class and the functional organization of society began at about the same time; frequently the two sets of categories overlapped. But the Spanish cortes never developed the independent law-making and tax-reviewing powers of the English parliament. Moreover, in the long struggle against royal ab-

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solution, the cortes steadily lost ground. By the time of Ferdinand and Isabella and then the Hapsburgs, the cortes—and with it, corporate group representation, as well as the Spanish concepts of rights and freedoms—had all but been completely eliminated.14 Two interruptions in the narrative need to be made at this point. The first involves the question of causation. Was it economic factors, institutional factors, cultural factors, or military factors that shaped this struggle or were its ultimate causation? The question is akin to asking if it was the chicken or the egg that came first. The answer is: We do not and cannot know and, in the long run, the question doesn’t matter very much. In this case, I am convinced, economic, sociological, institutional, military, and cultural factors were all involved in complex and overlapping ways; and it may be that one or a group of causative factors was important at certain times, while others were more important at others. Moreover, we know from anthropology, for example, that many social, economic, institutional, and even military factors may become so embedded in a culture that they take on a life of their own, becoming independent variables. That is probably what happened with such traits as bureaucratic-patrimonialism, corporatism, centralism, and authoritarianism as discussed here.15 The second digression in our historical narrative concerns some implications of this struggle between an emerging, self-aggrandizing state and the efforts of autonomous, corporate, societal units to retain their independence. The first implication is that the notion of “rights” in Iberia, and by extension in Latin America, tended historically to imply group or corporate rights (autonomy, self-government as a group) over the more individualistic notion of rights that eventually emerged in the Anglo-American, common-law legal tradition.16 The second, related implication is that in Iberia and Latin America historically “freedom” and “democracy” were largely defined in terms of the existence and protection of these corporate group rights, not in the individualistic and more process-oriented conceptions of Locke, Montesquieu, or Madison. A third, again related, implication is that “constitutionalism” in Iberia (less so in Latin America) was based on an “equilibrium” between the monarchy on the one hand and the independent regional kingdoms, social groupings, and corporate bodies on the other.17 Constitutionalism was hence defined as a system of government where the rights of the autonomous units were protected in law and charter (constitution or organic laws) and a “just balance” existed between the state and society’s component corporate bodies.18 But as Spain and Portugal began to near the end of the centuries-long struggle against the Moors and as the emerging nation-states (now consolidated into three: Aragon, Castile, and Portugal) gained greater power vis-a`vis the corporate units that made up society, this “just balance” was upset and all but entirely destroyed for centuries thereafter. This process reached its culmination in the reign of the “Catholic monarchs,” Isabella (of Castile) and Ferdinand (of Aragon) and was consolidated under the subsequent Hapsburg

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monarchy. First, Aragon and Castile were united and further centralized by the marriage of wily Ferdinand (the model of Machiavelli’s “Prince”) and the tough, shrewd Isabella—although their efforts to bring Portugal into the fold by dynastic arrangements ultimately failed. Second, within their kingdoms, especially Castile, the process of internal concentration of power continued and the autonomous rights of the societal corporate units were stripped away. Initially, Isabella took away the separate, autonomous charters of the several military orders; then she eliminated the independence of the nobility by giving them glorious titles and luring them to her court; she also put the universities to work in the service of the crown justifying royal absolutism and a hierarchical, top-down state. The last, dying rebellion against this aggrandizing central authority was the comunero revolt of 1520, an effort by the previously autonomous towns and municipalities to hang onto the vestiges of their power, but which was brutally put down by the Spanish (as distinct now from a regional) army (as distinct from the older, decentralized military orders).19 From this point on, at least until the nineteenth century, royal absolutism triumphed; the tradition of local or corporate-functional autonomies was snuffed out and nearly died. Eventually, it was revived in Spain, but only weakly in Latin America (one of the area’s problems, as we shall see)—in a republican form that was almost unrecognizable. We return to this theme later in the discussion. For Latin America, however, it is important to emphasize that it was the system of royal absolutism, what I have elsewhere termed the “Hapsburg Model,”20 that triumphed, with almost no sense of the earlier and opposed traditions of government by contract, just balance between central authority and society’s component units, and constitutional government infused with group rights and liberties. I would summarize the Hapsburg Model in the following terms: 1. Political Centralized, authoritarian, top-down rule, with power arranged in a hierarchy of absolutions from king to viceroy, to captain-general, to local land owner. 2. Economic. A monopolistic mercantilist system based on exploitation and oriented toward milking the colonies dry for the sake of the mother countries. 3. Social. A rigid, two-class/caste (in the New World) system based on principles of patrimonialism and seigniorial authority. 4. Religious. A similarly (parallel to the state system) closed, monopolistic, top-down, absolutist, authoritarian body of beliefs and institutions that often served as an arm of royal authority. 5. Intellectual. A closed system of ideas and education similarly based on revealed, absolute truth, rote memorization, and the deductive method; in short, scholastic, pre-Enlightenment, pre-scientific revolution.

A close analysis of these five characteristics, which cover virtually all areas of existence, reveals that the institutions that Spain beginning in 1492 brought to the New World are the characteristics of a pre-1500, premodern, medieval,

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semifeudal society. The institutions of Latin America are the institutions of the counter-Reformation, of Spain’s (and in a less rigid form Portugal’s) efforts to restore and perpetuate the status quo ante, the institutions of premodern Europe. In this project Spain succeeded magnificently for over three hundred years, but at enormous costs for future democratization. One can profitably speculate on the contrasts of this Hapsburgian Model with the practices and institutions brought to the North American Dutch and British colonies over a century later, by which time in these mother countries the yoke and hold of medieval institutions had been substantially broken.21 IN THE NEW WO R L D At the time of the Spanish conquest of the Americas beginning in 1492, royal absolution in Spain (and to only a somewhat lesser extent in Portugal) was in full flower. The processes of centralization of the Spanish kingdom and of royal aggrandizements of power had been occurring for centuries, reached their culmination in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, and were further consolidated and bureaucratized under the sixteenth-century Hapsburg monarchy of Charles V and Phillip II. But at the same time, the constituent elements of Spanish society, now subordinated to the power of the state, were the estates and a multitude of functional corporations that included the army, Church, merchants’ guilds (consulados), artisans’ guilds (gremios), towns and municipal organs, the mesta as well as now cattlemen’s guilds, and other corporate units. Each of these bodies had, historically, a separate juridical status and relation to the state (now largely eclipsed), expressed in fueros, leyes orga´nicas, ordenanzas, or reglamentos. Hence, while the state was increasingly centralized and absolutist, Iberian society remained essentially corporatist in the sense that it was the group or corporate body, sanctioned by and defined in law, rather than the individual, that constituted the fundamental building blocks. What was called the estado estamental was a conception of a “dual state” consisting of an increasingly absolutist monarchy and the corporate, anti-absolutist units of society represented through the cortes, with the two existing in a constantly dynamic tension.22 This same structure of an absolutist state coupled with the corporate organization of society—and the on-going dynamic between the two—was carried over to the New World. On the one hand, the Spanish (and Portuguese) colonial systems were based on the principles of absolute, top-down, royal authority centered in Madrid and Lisbon. On the other, colonial society was corporately organized with the most important colonial corporations being the Church, the cabildos (local government), the consulados and gremios (guilds), the military, the ayuntamiento, the haciendas (large estates), and the pueblos indios (Indian villages). During the formative sixteenth century and through most of the seventeenth (the period of Hapsburg rule), the disintegrative, fissiparous tendencies in the colonies’ social structure were held in check by the

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centralizing and legitimizing power of the Iberian patrimonial states, but later, as the state weakened, power began to return to society’s more autonomous corporate units, which led eventually to independence.23 Colonial Latin America’s political structure was, like that of the Iberian Peninsula, both statist and corporative. As in the Old World, society was organized by groups that constituted the basic units (family, parish, gremio, etc.) of political and administrative life. These groups derived legal personality from their privileges (fueros) and responsibilities, and often exercised—within a system of top-down royal authority—considerable autonomous control over both their own affairs and the individuals within their jurisdictions, frequently through a system of private courts and administrative agencies similarly hierarchically and corporately organized.24 “The corporate principle,” John Leddy Phelan has written, “was a basic principle of the whole system of government in the Indies, namely . . . that the individual’s rights, privileges, and obligations were derivative from the particular estate and functional corporations to which that individual belongs . . . whose privileges and responsibilities were usually spelled out in specific charters.”25 And as Roland Ebel states, “Colonial Latin America’s political structure was segmented by function and stratified by class, with those corporate groups which represented persons of higher estate having greater political power than those composed of persons of lower prestige.”26 In the New World, however, there were significant differences from the corporate model of the Old World. First, the estates were less clearly defined; although there were large haciendas and eventually a native-born (criollo) aristocracy, there was no real nobility in the New World as in the Old. Second, in the New World the Spanish found a large indigenous population that did not fit neatly into the compartmentalized functional societal arrangements of the mother countries. In many cases the Spanish therefore created a new set of corporative arrangements (ejidos, comunos) for indigenous elements; but they also created a series of categories (mestizo, castizo, morisco, chino, salta atras, gı´baro, albarazado, cambujo, zambaigo, etc.) to structure society in terms of castes as well as estates and corporations.27 A third difference was that in the New World there was no cortes as there was in the Old (however, weakened) and therefore no self-government, no system by which estates, castes, and corporate bodies were directly represented or could make their voices heard in an organized fashion. The power, authority, and legitimacy of the Spanish Crown, moreover, changed over time. As the Hapsburg monarchs declined in health, power, and legitimacy in the seventeenth century, their control over the colonies gradually eroded, allowing societal and corporate groups in the New World to achieve some greater autonomy. Moreover, royal authority was far away and travel and communications difficult; hence, while the colonies consistently exhibited formal obedience to the Crown, in practice they were quite selective about the laws actually implemented. Then in the eighteenth century, the new

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Bourbon monarchy, replacing the Hapsburgs, sought to recentralize imperial control and even abolished or put limits on the New World’s corporate units such as the Church and the Jesuits. But these steps antagonized the colonies, which eventually determined to reestablish their autonomy by moving toward independence.28 The power structure of colonial Latin America was characterized by royal absolutism emanating from the mother countries on the one hand, as well as a continuous tension between absolutist and decentralized patterns of patrimonial authority on the other.29 This tension manifested itself in a number of ways: in the dichotomy between the formal principle of a strict chain of authoritarian command versus the right of lower colonial officials to appeal directly to the Crown over higher officials. It manifested itself in the right of colonial subjects to disregard royal authority when they thought it was inadequately informed concerning local conditions. And it manifested itself in the fluctuating power of the corporate bodies, which, as Ronald Newton writes, “in clothing themselves in legal charters, fueros, and customary privilege, achieved, especially under weak monarchies, a near parity of de facto power with the Crown.”30 The Spanish colonial system, fluctuating between its absolutist and its decentralized tendencies, was, as Roland Ebel states, “a gigantic network of individual and corporate privilege depending for its ultimate sanction and operability on the legitimacy and authority of the monarch.”31 Thus, when the empire showed greater stresses and strains in the later eighteenth century and eventually cracked in the early nineteenth, so did the colonial power structure—both as an empire and within the existing viceregal and lower-level jurisdictions that became the geographic bases for the newly created states of Latin America. The network of clientage, patrimonialism, and interconnected corporate bodies that had provided a certain amount of social and political cement to the empire and to the vast, near-empty (in both a population and associational sense) territory of Latin America, and that had provided a considerable degree of legitimacy, direction, and coordination under a central authority, disintegrated into a collection of poorly organized, disarticulated, regional units presided over by local men on horseback or creole oligarchs. As Richard M. Morse concluded, “for a newly erected Spanish American political system to achieve stability and continuity it had to reproduce the structure, the logic, and the vague pragmatic safeguards against tyranny of the Spanish patrimonial state.”32

INDE PENDENCE By 1824 Spanish America had achieved its independence from the mother country and Brazil from Portugal. Our purpose, as in preceding sections of the chapter, is not to focus on the chronology of these and subsequent events

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but to provide an interpretive overview focused on the role of the state and its relations with Latin American society. The withdrawal of the Crown and of royal authority left a legitimacy vacuum in the colonies. The Crown had not always been effective but it had provided legitimacy, a centralizing focus, a gravitational pull for the distinct corporate, class, and caste interests that might otherwise spin off into separate orbits. In addition the Crown, even in its weaker years, performed the role of a “moderative power.”33 That is, it moderated between contending societal forces and thus prevented either civil war or societal disintegration into separate sovereignties, either geographical or functional. But now, with independence, these useful integrative and moderating functions of the Crown disappeared. The results of the withdrawal of royal authority were disastrous throughout Latin America. The economies of many areas reverted to a more primitive form of subsistence. The societies based on class, caste, and corporate privilege were severely disrupted. Many of these groups lost their charters, special privileges, or place in society as a result of the independence struggle and the sociopolitical breakdowns that followed. Unity vanished as the continent broke up into smaller and smaller entities—“city-states,” to use Roland Ebel’s term for the Central American republics.34 There was no agreed-upon organizing principle; there was no one to “moderate” among the contending groups; and many areas slipped into anarchy. Into the legitimacy vacuum occasioned by the withdrawal of the Crown came the independence armies, various regional men-on-horseback, and in some cases such as Chile the creole elite. But these patterns, which sound peaceful and regular, should not disguise the anarchy, disruption, and disintegration that occurred throughout the region.35 A few far-sighted independence leaders like Bolı´var foresaw the disintegrative forces at work and sought to compensate for them. Bolı´var tried to maintain the unity of the continent in a kind of pan-Latin American arrangement, but in this he failed. He flirted with the idea of a local or home-grown monarchy but that idea also languished in the new republican climate. Recognizing the anarchic tendencies threatening to tear Latin America apart, coupled with the realization that the vast continent lacked the integrating webs of associability that de Tocqueville so admired in North America, Bolı´var also considered the restoration of absolute central power (with himself as dictator); but that idea was not accepted by his contemporaries either.36 The Latin American “Founding Fathers” faced a terrible dilemma and they were quite ingenious in finding a solution for it. On the one hand, the Enlightenment, Rousseau, the French revolution, the [North] American revolution, as well as independence sentiment and the desire for liberty in their own countries all dictated that the form of government they should follow would be republican. On the other, they realistically recognized the disintegrative, anarchic tendencies at work in their own societies; that Latin America

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lacked a sufficiently strong social, economic, and political base; that the area (to use the familiar refrain of modern authoritarians) “was not ready for democracy.” So in the laws and constitutions of these new states, they arrived at an ingenious set of compromises. Strong power (not altogether different from that of the old, now ousted monarchy), combined with vast emergency powers, was concentrated in the executive branch, at the expense of the legislative and judicial branches. The franchise was severely restricted so that only literates and property holders (the creole elites or “nobility”) could vote and hold office. Corporate privilege was restored: the army and the Church were elevated to virtual fourth and fifth branches of government, with vast and special responsibilities. The executive or the army, succeeding the Crown, now played the role of the “moderative power.” Meanwhile, new controls were implemented to keep the lower classes and castes in their place.37 The period between 1824 and the mid-1850s in most Latin American countries was disorganized, confused, often anarchic; but during the next period, the 1850s through the 1880s, some order eventually emerged out of the prevailing chaos. The first banks were chartered. Population increased and began to fill the empty spaces; new lands were opened to cultivation. Foreign investment and foreign immigration both increased. An infrastructure (roads, port facilities, telephone and telegraph, railroads) began to be built. The economies of the area began to recover; society became more organized; the political systems began to recover.38 The better organization of “society” in Latin America, defined in terms of corporate bodies, associational life, and “civilizacio´n” (the opposite of “falta de civilizacio´n,” which had long plagued the area) was, during this period, accompanied by the corresponding growth of the state. The traditional four ministries (armed forces, treasury, foreign affairs, public works) now expanded to include more state functions and hence more state ministries and agencies. The centrifugalism of the early decades of independence gave way to greater centralization.39 New national armies replaced the ragtag, regional, caudilloled armies of the past. Similarly, a national bureaucracy began to grow and to extend its sway over more areas of national life. Porfirio Dı´az in Mexico is the paradigm example of the newer centralizing, development-oriented, “order-and-progress” (the positivists’ message, then the dominant ideology in Latin America) leadership.40 The period from the 1850s to the 1890s is usually considered the period when the “pre-conditions for takeoff ” (to use Rostow’s aeronautical metaphor)41 were established in Latin America: the “takeoff ” occurred during the next period, 1890–1930, which is also frequently referred to as either the “twilight of the middle ages” or the “heyday of oligarchic rule.” This was a period of unprecedented prosperity in Latin America; as late as the 1920s Argentina had a per capita income greater than that of the United States. It was also a period of social and political consolidation, actually under three patterns. One was stable, peaceful oligarchic rule (Chile, Argentina, Brazil,

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Peru); another was order-and-progress dictatorship (Dı´az, Go´mez in Venezuela, Heureaux in the Dominican Republic). The third (sometimes combined with the first two) was U.S. Marine occupation in many of the smaller, weaker, less-institutionalized countries of Central America and the Caribbean, which accomplished many of the same tasks as the previous two patterns: social peace, political stability, centralization of military and bureaucratic functions, infrastructure development, and economic growth.42 By this point, almost one hundred years after the first stirrings of independence, Latin America was finally returning to the same level of development it had under colonial rule. Interestingly, this was a period when both a strong state and strong societal organizations were growing. Moreover, a genuinely Latin American political process, otherwise known as criollo politics, later baptized as the “Andersonian model,”43 had begun to emerge. For the economic, social, and political development of Latin America in the early decades of the twentieth century had given rise to new social and political forces that had either to be accommodated or repressed, coopted or coerced. The Anderson model, based on a close examination of the processes involved, posited that a new social, economic, or corporate group could be accommodated to the political system provided two conditions were met: (1) the group had to demonstrate sufficient size and/or power capability to be taken seriously as a power contender; and (2) the group had to agree to moderate its demands and not resort to revolutionary methods that would destroy other groups in the system. Elections, a well-executed coup d’etat, or the use of carefully orchestrated violence that fell short of revolution were all “coinage” of the political system, a way of demonstrating a new group’s power capability and that its demand to be admitted as a partner in the still-prevailing patrimonialist political system should be recognized. Under these rules and conditions, first the emerging business elites around the turn of the century and then the rising middle classes (better, middle sectors) in the 1910s and 1920s (Argentina, Chile, Mexico) were admitted to “the system.” These examples and processes indicate that Latin America’s prevailing corporatist, centralized, patrimonialist, and often authoritarian structures could be more accommodative to change than is ordinarily thought. They generally bent to change and sought to accommodate the new groups rather than being overwhelmed by them. They proved—within limits—to be flexible, even somewhat modernizing. Moreover, these changes took place within a political tradition that, while borrowing from other countries, was uniquely Hispanic, criollo, indigenous. That tradition owed a great deal to the colonial and Iberian past but was not entirely inimical to progress. However, with the market crash of 1929, the global depression that set in thereafter, and then the accompanying collapse of the Latin American political regimes (between 1930 and 1934, Latin America had no less than fourteen full-scale revolutions),44 this system of traditional, cooptive, criollo politics came crashing down. In this sense the “middle ages,” the feudal past in the sense of what we have termed

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the Hapsburg Model, ended not in the 1820s with independence, but only in the 1930s in ways that involved both the disintegration of the old system and the calling forth of a new system to replace it. MANI FEST COR P O R AT I S M Up to this point we have been talking about corporatism in its traditional, historical, medieval, and what Ronald Newton called its “natural” sense.45 That is the sense in which the present author offered some twenty years ago his still-controversial formulation of “the corporative model” of Iberian and Latin American development.46 But in the 1930s a new model of corporatism and of state-society relations emerged, which we will term “manifest corporatism.” This form of corporatism owed something to the historic past, but it was also a product of new forces: the growth of a manifest ideology of corporatism, the desire and/or need for the state to get more directly involved in central planning, fascist influences, the emergence of state capitalism, and the need for authoritarian political controls to hold in check some of the new social forces, accompanying the desire for industrialization and economic growth.47 The dominant economic growth model in Latin America from the 1930s to the 1970s was Import Substitution Industrialization, or ISI. The term means the substitution of industrial goods produced domestically for those previously imported. Other contributions in this volume are dealing with these themes in greater detail: suffice it here to say that state-led ISI in the economic sphere also called for the state to regulate and/or control more closely the social, political, and corporate groups that make up society. The earlier, pre-1930 period, we have seen, was one of the emergence of both strong states and a strong corporate or societal group life in Latin America, as well as a generally accommodative political process to incorporate the new groups; but now that trend was about to be reversed—once again. Although the process was often chaotic, varied greatly from country to country, and was at times interrupted by democratic interludes, the general trend after 1930 was toward a more statist or bureaucratic-authoritarian form of corporatism. In short, state capitalism and ISI in the national economic life required similarly statist and authoritarian controls in the social and political spheres.48 There were actually several influences shaping Latin American corporatism during this early period. One was simply the historical corporatist tradition as described above. A second was the Catholic ideology of Christian corporatism that had its roots in mid-nineteenth-century Catholic thought and found later expression in the papal encyclicals Rerum Novarum and Quadregessimo Anno.49 A third was the bureaucratic-authoritarian version of corporatism, as found for example in Franco’s Spain and Salazar’s Portugal.50 Other influences on Latin American corporatism came from integralism, fascism, and solidarism, though these latter carried less weight in Latin America than

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the first three. Most Latin American forms of corporatism in the 1930s and subsequently represented mixes, fusions, and sometimes alternations of historic or “natural” corporatism, manifest Catholic corporatism, and the bureaucratic-authoritarian or “statist” form. Almost every regime that came to power in Latin America in the 1930s subsequently showed some degree of corporatist influences. The more prominent examples include Vargas’s Brazil, Pero´n’s Argentina, Ca´rdenas’s Mexico, Iban˜ez’s Chile, Trujillo’s Dominican Republic, Stroessner’s Paraguay, Arias’s Panama, Velasco’s Peru, Frei’s Chile, Pinochet’s Chile, and many others. Corporatism seemed to be ubiquitous: in a great variety of regimes not named or that did not claim to be corporatist, corporatism seemed nevertheless to be present in the labor codes, the social welfare system, the structure of industrial relations, and other social and public policy programs.51 If corporatism was so ubiquitous, its usefulness as an explanatory factor is thereby somewhat diminished; several qualifications and distinctions hence need to be introduced. First, nowhere in Latin America was a complete, fullscale corporatist regime introduced comparable to Salazar’s Portugal, with a corporately organized economy, full functional representation, a corporate chamber, and the complete corporate organization of society (even Salazar’s Portugal, a model for many Latin American regimes, was never fully corporatist);52 instead, Latin America was at most partially corporatist. Second and related, Latin American corporatism, because of (I am convinced) its setting in the American hemisphere rather than the European, continued to be influenced as much by liberal (U.S.) influences of representation, etc., as by corporatist ones. Third, the strong historical corporatism in Latin America and its medieval roots meant that Latin American corporatism included such groups as the Church or the army and was never limited only, as in recent European corporatism, to such economic groups as farmers, business, and labor. Fourth, there were quite different forms of corporatism in Latin America, as the list of regimes in the preceding paragraph indicates, ranging from leftist regimes (Ca´rdenas) to rightist ones (Pinochet), from ChristianDemocratic regimes (Frei) to secular ones, from military regimes (Trujillo, Velasco) to civilian regimes (Arias). However, it should be noted that, if one considers the whole list, military and bureaucratic-authoritarian regimes seem to have a closer and stronger affinity for corporatism, especially in its statist or control-mechanisms forms, than do civilian, elected democratic regimes.53 A fifth consideration is the constantly changing nature of corporatism in Latin America. In no regime was corporatism or its precise form constant. Rather, corporatism changed over time, in response to changes within regimes, in response to changing societal conditions, and due to alternations in power from one government to another. Corporatism took an often open and manifest form in the 1930s when, as Manoı¨lesco had proclaimed,54 it seemed to be the wave of the future. After World War II and the defeat of the Axis powers, corporatism seemed to be discredited because of its association with

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those regimes; hence, many Latin American countries dropped their more manifest forms and the corporatist label, even while continuing often to practice a disguised form of corporatism. For example, Brazil’s Vargas put in place in the 1930s a corporatist system of labor relations; and even though Vargas and his regime were later repudiated, the corporatist system of labor relations remained in effect until the constitutional/legislative changes of 1987—and may, de facto, still be partially in effect.55 Similarly, while many regimes of this period called themselves democratic and pluralist, they continued to practice the Andersonian model—essentially corporatist—of coopting new groups into the system (now extended to organized labor and peasants) but under state control and direction. As some Latin American countries shed their long-time dictators in the late 1950s to early 1960s in favor of what turned out to be a short democratic interlude, however, they also shed much of their earlier corporatist infrastructure and control mechanisms, or disguised them under “liberal” labels. But, as these democratic regimes again gave way in the 1960s and 1970s to a major wave of bureaucratic-authoritarian regimes, the corporatist structures and control mechanisms returned—often with a vengeance. In some analyses of this period,56 corporatism and authoritarianism were viewed as likely permanent features of the Latin American political landscape. Beginning in the late 1970s, however, a new wave, this time a democratic one, swept over Latin America. People became disillusioned with the corruption, brutality, and inefficiency of bureaucratic-authoritarianism; civil society began to revive after a decade and more of statism; prodemocracy sentiment spread; and the United States and the international community pushed and offered encouragement. By the mid-1990s all the countries of the area save Cuba were under varying forms (often mixed or partial forms) of democratic rule, a dramatic reversal from two decades earlier when fourteen of the twenty republics were under authoritarian rule. With the authoritarians into oblivion often went the corporatist and bureaucratic-authoritarian interpretations of Latin American state-society relations that had been prominent in previous decades. The question remaining is whether such a consignment to the dustbins of history is premature, both of authoritarian and corporatist regimes and of the models used to interpret the area. TOWARD THE F U T U R E : N E O L I B E R A L I S M O R NEO CORPORAT I S M ? Latin America’s transitions to democracy from the late 1970s began as purely political transitions aimed at holding elections, reestablishing the rule of law, restoring civil society, and respecting human rights. Initially, there was little thought given to the possibility of dismantling, reducing, or privatizing state bureaucratic institutions or of moving away from the statist ISI economic

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policy. Nevertheless, even at the beginning of this process some wondered if Latin America could have political liberalization without undergoing economic liberalization too.57 For just as in the earlier period when statism in the economic sphere was associated with authoritarianism and corporatism in the political spheres, could political freedom now be carried forward without it being accompanied by a free economic marketplace? While Latin America was still discussing the issue, events worldwide soon outpaced the policy debate. The collapse of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the revelations of the many economic failures of both MarxistLeninist and statist regimes, and the superior economic performance of capitalist economies, in East Asia and worldwide, over either Marxist or statist ones pointed toward the fact that there was now only one route to modernization: the liberal-democratic-free-market one. Moreover, to be competitive in the modern world, Latin America understood, in a context where there would be little U.S. or other foreign aid and where they could no longer use the Cold War to wring benefits out of the competing superpowers, they would have to modernize, rationalize, and make more efficient both their economies and their governmental systems. Most Latin American governments came to these conclusions by themselves; if they needed any prodding, the United States, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund were there to apply the pressure.58 The result, for a time, was a quite remarkable turnabout in thinking about the state. Led by Chile, Mexico, and Argentina, the by-now large, bloated, corrupt, inefficient, patronage-dominated Latin American state began to be reduced in size, decentralized, made more efficient, and privatized. The process was by no means peaceful, easy, or steady; in many countries there was at least as much sleight-of-hand for U.S. and IMF consumption (some public employees were fired with great publicity while others were quietly hired; state enterprises were “sold” to other state enterprises or simply consolidated into larger state enterprises so that the total number appeared to be reduced) as there was real public sector reform or privatization. But eventually in almost all countries the movement toward free markets took root; correspondingly, the economies of Latin America began to recover from the “lost decade” of the 1980s. Some economies showed spectacular growth, comparable to the “tigers” of East Asia.59 Within the United States, the movement and pressure toward free markets had, as would be expected, been mainly a Republican approach, from 1980 to 1992; my sense is that at first many Latin Americans “went along” only to please the Americans (“para Ingles ver”) and the IMF, and thus to qualify for sorely needed loans and loan guarantees. Only later, observing the spectacular economic growth of Chile and others, did this become a genuine and hemispheric-wide movement. The promise of free trade and greater access to U.S. markets a` la NAFTA accelerated this process, as virtually every country in the hemisphere clamored to work out a free trade agreement with the United

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States. The Clinton administration, however was split on the subject; some officials favored the free-trade privatization agenda while others favored a continuation of central planning, vast welfare programs, and a statist approach. This latter group provided encouragement to those, now in the minority, in Latin America who had never been convinced by the free-market approach and wished to continue with a dirigiste model. Hence, at the Hemisphere Summit in Miami in December 1994, we were treated to the new phenomenon of the traditionally statist Latin Americans being now more in favor of free trade and privatization than the historically private-enterpriseoriented Americans.60 Within Latin America, meanwhile, the debate over corporatism and the proper ordering of state-society relations had been revived, but in new terms. Many Latin Americans have concluded that, in order to have a more efficient economy and a more efficient and democratic government, they would have to dismantle the vast web of corporate controls, privilege, and entrenched interests that had built up over the preceding sixty years.61 At this point corporatism no longer meant the ideology and system of functional representation popularized in the 1930s but now was used disparagingly to refer to entrenched, corrupt, privileged groups—labor unions, business groups, bureaucratic interests—that had penetrated the state over the previous decades, most often with official blessings, hived off whole sectors for themselves, had established vast sinecures of privilege and inefficiency, and, now most important, were holding back both democracy and greater government efficiency. Hence, the conclusion was: for democracy and economic modernization to go forward, the entire corporative structure built up over decades and even centuries would have to be dismantled.62 We are now at the point of the current debates in Latin America. How much state is necessary? The Latin American state clearly needs to be streamlined for greater governmental and economic efficiency, but what about the dire social and equity issues that, presumably, demand a greater state role? A smaller, leaner state will reduce the opportunities for corruption and inefficiency, but what about all those patronage obligations that must be fulfilled if even democratic governments are to have a chance to survive and thrive? Dismantling corporatism may be rational for some economic and governmental reform purposes, but might it also result in the elimination of large parts of civil society and of some of Latin America’s most important—and very fragile—webs of associability? By pushing too hard or too rapidly to dismantle corporatism, do not we in the United States run the risk of destabilizing the very countries that we would least want to see destabilized—e.g., Mexico? Throughout Latin America the historic forms and institutions of corporatism are being undermined but they are by no means gone yet; meanwhile, the liberal-pluralist forms are growing but they are not well established or fully institutionalized yet. Several currents will likely continue to operate at the same time. On one

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level there will be ongoing pressures to continue with neoliberal economic reforms; on others there will be pressures (now reinforced by the fallout from the Mexican peso crisis, which in some quarters is being interpreted as a repudiation of the neoliberal model) to maintain a large state role, to slow the pace of privatization, and to maintain the patrimonial systems. In some systems there will be sentiment in favor of dismantling the corporatist system; in others there will be pressures to keep corporatist privilege intact. In Mexico, for example, the official corporatist structure is undergoing change both from within and without; and meanwhile new associations are being formed that operate in a liberal-pluralist framework, not the corporatist one.63 My guess is that in all these areas, as on so many policy issues in the past, Latin America will end up with a mixed system: various blends, overlaps, and halfway measures. It seems likely that the Latin American state will continue to be reformed and perhaps somewhat reduced; but it also seems unlikely that a continent with—like France—such a long, strong historical tradition of statism and with such strong interests in preserving it, will abandon that system quickly or easily. Similarly, with state-society relations: Latin America may be in the process of dismantling its older corporatist system and moving toward greater political liberalism and pluralism; but we should not be too surprised if, alongside these liberalizing changes, the region also moves toward new, updated forms of neocorporatism that also blend liberal with European-style neocorporatist forms.64 CO NCLUSI ON Historically, and today, the fate and future of the Latin American state are tied up with its larger system of state-society relations. The relative weight and power of these two have fluctuated over time: often a strong state, rarely a strong society, and at times a kind of balance between the two. It is during these times of balance that Iberia, or by extension Latin America, have been thought to be governed “constitutionally” and “democratically.” This combination of a strong state along with autonomous corporate bodies is a form of democracy that has little to do with Locke, Jefferson, or Madison but has a great deal to do with Aquinas, Sua´rez, and the great Spanish neoscholastic tradition of the sixteenth century, updated in Rousseauian, positivist, corporatist, and now neocorporatist ways. Elsewhere I have called this system a “contract state;”65 one hopes, without holding out great optimism, that American policy makers understand the different conceptions of democracy involved and can frame appropriate policy responses accordingly. We have also seen that both the Latin American state and the form of corporatism and state-society relations present have varied over time. The region has gone from an absolutist or Hapsburgian state, to a form (Rousseauian) of a republican state, to a currently more liberal and pluralist state. Similarly with its omnipresent corporatism: we have seen traditional, historic,

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semifeudal, or “natural corporatism:” manifest, albeit mixed, corporatism in the twentieth century; and the beginnings of modern neocorporatism. But the key has always been to achieve that “just balance” (Aquinas), that delicate equilibrium between state and society, that enables Latin America to function more or less democratically. In the shifting quicksands of Latin American politics, where the state-society balance is a matter of constant nuance and virtually everyday renegotiation among the various actors, that equilibrium is always difficult to achieve, no less so today than in earlier times.

NOTES 1. Peter B. Evans, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, and Theda Skocpol (eds.), Bringing the State Back In (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985). 2. Howard J. Wiarda and Harvey F. Kline (eds.), Latin American Politics and Development, 4th ed. (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1995), Chapter 5. 3. Claudio Velı´z, The Centralist Tradition in Latin America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980); Alfred Stepan, The State and Society: Peru in Comparative Perspective (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978). 4. The state is here defined, following Weber, as the continuous administrative, legal, bureaucratic, decision-making, and coercive system that governs the polity. It seeks to structure state-society relations and often seeks to influence the internal affairs of civil society as well. 5. Throughout the analysis we use “ideal types” to simplify and make clear the analysis, recognizing that numerous qualifications and country variations are also required. 6. E. Ramon Arango, Spain: Democracy Regained (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1995). 7. For France see Marc Bloch, Feudal Society (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961). On the Reconquest as the defining feature of Spanish history, see Americo Castro. The Structure of Spanish History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1954). 8. James F. Powers, “The Origins and Development of Municipal Military Service in the Leonese and Castilian Reconquest, 800–1250,” Traditio XXVI (1970), 91–111; Elena Lourie, “A Society Organized for War: Medieval Spain,” Past and Present 35 (December 1966), 54–76; Jose´ Antonio Maravall, “The Origins of the Modern State,” Journal of World History 6 (1961), 789–808; Evelyn S. Proctor, “The Towns of Leo´n and Castille as Suitors before the King’s Court in the Thirteenth Century,” English Historical Review CCXC (January 1959), 1–22, and especially Angus Mackay, Spain in the Middle Ages: From Frontier to Empire, 1000–1500 (London: Macmillan, 1977); and Archibald R. Lewis, The Development of Southern French and Catalan Society, 718–1050 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1965). No one could read these works without being convinced of the power of the corporative tradition in Iberia and Latin America; see also Anton-Hermann Chroust, “The Corporate Idea and the Body Politic in the Middle Ages.” Review of Politics IX (October 1947), 423–52; and Antony Black, Guilds and Civil Society in European Political Thought from the Twelfth Century to the Present (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1984). 9. Claudio Sa´nchez-Albernoz, “The Frontier and Castilian Liberties,” in Archibald

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R. Lewis and Thomas F. McGann (eds.), The New World Looks at Its History (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963), 27–69. 10. Julius Klein, The Mesta: A Study in Spanish Economic History, 1273–1836 (Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 1964). 11. Supra, n. 8; also Charles Julian Bishko, “The Iberian Background of Latin American History,” Hispanic American Historical Review XXXVI (February 1956), 50–80; Alfonso Garcia Gallo, “Aportacion al estudio de los fucros,” Anuario de Historia del Derecho Espan˜ol 26 (1956), 425–40. Corporatism is here defined as a sociopolitical system in which the group, sanctioned by and defined in law, constitutes the basic unit of social and political life, rather than the individual. 12. For extended discussion, see Wiarda and Kline (eds.), Latin American Politics and Development, Introduction. 13. Bernice Hamilton, Political Thought in Sixteenth Century Spain (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963); J. H. Parry, The Spanish Theory of Empire in the Sixteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1940). 14. Joseph F. O’Callaghan, “The Beginning of the Cortes of Leo´n-Castile,” American Historical Review LXXIV (June 1969), 1503–37; Lesley Byrd Simpson, “The Cortes of Castile,” Americas XII (January 1956), 223–33. 15. For recent treatments of these issues see Aaron Wildavsky and David Laitin, “Political Culture and Political Preferences,” American Political Science Review 82 (June 1988); Harry Eckstein, “A Culturalist Theory of Political Change,” American Political Science Review 82 (September 1988); Lucian Pye, The Mandarin and the Cadre: China’s Political Cultures (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1988); Ronald Inglehart, Culture Shift in Advanced Industrial Society (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990); Howard J. Wiarda, “Political Culture and National Development,” Fletcher Forum 13 (Summer 1989), 193–204. 16. Actually, both individual and corporate group rights were present in the early Iberian conception, but the group conception became paramount. See McKay, Spain in the Middle Ages. 17. McKay is again the best source; also Gaines Post, Studies in Medieval Legal Thought: Public Law and the State, 1100–1332 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961). 18. The point is elaborated in Howard J. Wiarda, “Constitutionalism and Political Culture in Mexico: How Deep the Foundations?” in Daniel B. Franklin and Michael J. Baun (eds.), Political Culture and Constitutionalism: A Comparative Approach (Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1995), 119–37. 19. John Lynch, Spain under the Hapsburgs (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1965–69). 20. Howard J. Wiarda, Latin American Politics: A New World of Possibilities (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1994). 21. See Louis Hartz (ed.), The Founding of New Societies (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1964). 22. L. N. McAlister, “Social Structure and Social Change in New Spain,” Hispanic American Historical Review LXIII (August 1963), 349–70; Bishko, “The Iberian Background of Latin American History.” 23. McAlister, “Social Structure”; C. H. Haring, The Spanish Empire in America (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1947); Charles Gibson, Spain in America (New York: Harper and Row, 1966). 24. Ronald C. Newton, “On ‘Functional Groups,’ ‘Fragmentation,’ and ‘Pluralism’

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in Spanish American Political Society,” Hispanic American Historical Review L (February 1970), 1–29. 25. John Leddy Phelan, The Kingdom of Quito in the Seventeenth Century: Bureaucratic Politics in the Spanish Empire (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967). This book is a classic of historical analysis; its implications reach far beyond the Ecuadorian case study. 26. Roland H. Ebel and James Henderson, “Patterns of Continuity in Latin American Society: Political and Historical Perspectives,” Annals of the Southeast Conference on Latin American Studies (March 1976), 91–122. 27. Nicolas Leo´n, Las Castas del Mexico Colonial (Mexico: 1924); Richard Kowetzke, “Estado y sociedad en las Indias”, Estudios Americanos III (1951), 33–58. 28. John Leddy Phelan, “Authority and Flexibility in the Spanish Imperial Bureaucracy,” Administrative Science Quarterly V (June 1960); L. N. McAlister, Spain and Portugal in the New World (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984). 29. Patrimonialism is a form of personal authority in which the ruler doles out benefits, privileges, and positions in return for loyalty and service. See Magali Sarfatti, Spanish Bureaucratic Patrimonialism in America (Berkeley: Institute of International Relations, University of California, 1966); Sidney Greenfield, “The Patrimonial State and Patron-Client Relations in Iberia and Latin America” (Amherst: University of Massachusetts, Program in Latin American Studies, Occasional Papers Series No. 1, 1976); and Raymundo Faoro, Os Donos do Pader: Formac¸ao do Patronato Politico Brasileiro (Rio de Janeiro: Ed. Globo, 1958). 30. Ronald C. Newton, “Natural Corporatism and the Passing of Populism in Spanish America,” Review of Politics XXXVI (January 1974), 46. 31. Ebel and Henderson, “Patterns of Continuity”. 32. Richard M. Morse, “The Heritage of Latin America,” in Hartz, Founding. 33. See Alfred Stepan, The Military in Politics: Changing Patterns in Brazil (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971). 34. Roland Ebel, “Governing the City State: Notes on the Politics of the Small Latin American Countries”, Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs (August 1972). 35. Tulio Halperin-Donghi, The Aftermath of Revolution in Latin America (New York: Harper and Row, 1973); David Bushnell and Neill MacCaulay, The Emergence of Latin America in the Nineteenth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994). 36. Glen Dealy, The Public Man: An Interpretation of Latin American and Other Catholic Countries (Amherst, Mass.: University of Massachusetts Press, 1977). 37. Glen Dealy, “Prolegomena on the Spanish American Political Tradition,” Hispanic American Historical Review 48 (1968), 37–58. 38. Roberto Cortes Conde, The First Stages of Modernization in Latin America (New York: Harper and Row, 1974); Richard Graham, Britain and the Onset of Modernization in Brazil (London: Cambridge University Press, 1968). 39. Velı´z, Centralist Tradition. 40. Harry Hoetink, The Dominican People, 1850–1900: Notes for a Historical Sociology (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982). 41. W. W. Rostow, The Stages of Economic Growth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1960). 42. Bruce Calder, The Impact of Intervention: The Dominican Republic during the U.S. Occupation of 1916–1924 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1984).

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43. Charles W. Anderson, Politics and Economic Change in Latin America: The Governing of Restless Nations (Princeton, N.J.: D. Van Nostrand, 1967). 44. Howard J. Wiarda, Critical Elections and Critical Coups: State, Society, and the Military in the Processes of Latin American Development (Athens: Center for International Studies, Ohio University, 1979). 45. Newton, “Natural Corporatism.” 46. Howard J. Wiarda, “Toward a Framework for the Study of Political Change in the Iberic-Latin Tradition: The Corporative Model,” World Politics 25 (January 1973), 206–35; also, Corporatism and National Development in Latin America (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1981). 47. Andrew Shonfield, Modern Capitalism (London: Oxford University Press, 1965); Philippe C. Schmitter and Gerhard Lehmbruch (eds.), Trends toward Corporatist Intermediation (Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1979). 48. Guillermo O’Donnell, Modernization and Bureaucratic Authoritarianism (Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1973); but also David Collier (ed.), The New Authoritarianism in Latin America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979). 49. Howard J. Wiarda, “Corporatist Theory and Ideology: A Latin American Development Paradigm,” Journal of Church and State XX (Winter 1978), 29–56. 50. Howard J. Wiarda, Corporatism and Development: The Portuguese Experience (Amherst, Mass.: University of Massachusetts Press, 1977). 51. Additional details are in Howard J. Wiarda, “Corporatism and Development in the Iberic-Latin World: Persistent Strains and New Variations,” The Review of Politics 36 (January 1974), 3–33. 52. Wiarda, Corporatism and Development. 53. James Malloy (ed.), Corporatism and Authoritarianism in Latin America (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1977). 54. Mihail Manoı¨lesco, Le Siecle du Corporatisme (Paris: Libraric Felix Alcan, 1934). 55. Kenneth P. Erickson, The Brazilian Corporative State and Working Class Politics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977). 56. Philippe Schmitter, “Still the Century of Corporatism?” The Review of Politics 36 (January 1974), 85–131; Malloy, Authoritarianism and Corporatism; Wiarda, Corporatism and National Development. 57. Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982); and Peter L. Berger, The Capitalist Revolution (New York: Basic Books, 1986). 58. Abraham F. Lowenthal and Gregory F. Treverton (eds.), Latin America in a New World (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1994); Howard J. Wiarda, Latin American Politics: A New World of Possibilities. 59. Among the best sources are the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, CEPAL News, especially the January issues reporting on the economic performance for the previous year; and Inter-American Development Bank, Annual Report (Washington, D.C.: IADB, yearly). 60. Based on author interviews and participant observation, see also Mark Falcoff. “The Miami Summit: Perils and Possibilities,” Latin American Outlook (Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, December 1994). 61. Jorge Bustamante, La Republica Corporativa (Buenos Aires: EMECE Publishers, 1989).

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62. See the author’s review of the Bustamante book, “Dismantling Corporatism: The Problem of Modernization in Latin America,” World Affairs 156 (Spring 1994), 199–203; Chapter 9 in this book. 63. Neil Harvey (ed.), Mexico: Dilemmas of Transition (London: British Academy Press, 1993). 64. The model for a mixed liberal and neocorporatist formula may well be Spain; see Howard J. Wiarda, Politics in Iberia: The Political Systems of Spain and Portugal (New York: HarperCollins, 1992). 65. Howard J. Wiarda, American Foreign Policy toward Latin America in the 80s and 90s: Issues and Controversies from Reagan to Bush (New York: New York University Press, 1992), Chapter 8, “State-Society Relations in Latin America; Toward a Theory of the Contract State.”

PART III

Politics and Social Change

CHAPTER 9

The Tradition of Higher Laws in Latin America Margaret MacLeish Mott

The role of the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America’s political development cannot be overestimated. Particularly for North Americans reared in an environment of religious pluralism, where church and state are separate and a religion means one of many pathways to God, understanding the impact of Catholicism on Latin American politics requires an extraordinary effort. Rather than see Catholicism as just one church among many, which is what a strictly religious comparison might suggest, the Roman Catholic Church might better be seen as having all the creative and constitutive powers of a Constitutional Convention. Both the definer and the source of norms, the Roman Catholic Church has been the authority on law, politics, and social life. For this reason, law provides a better place of comparison than religion. The Roman Catholic Church was not a free and voluntary association in which the parishioner weighed and considered the priest’s words by the light of her own reason (which is how Martin Luther and John Locke understood going to church1) but the place of certainty in a world filled with uncertainties. Just as the nineteenth-century merchant of Philadelphia looked to the constitution to distinguish just procedures from unjust practices, so the Catholic of Caracas looked to the man in priestly robes to let her know the difference between right and wrong. But there is another aspect to this comparison besides the sources of authority. Just as in constitutional rhetoric some truths are self-evident and some rights are inalienable, so in Catholic discourse some wisdom is innate. Rather than always look to the man in the pulpit, the Catholic tradition complemented the priest’s ecclesiastical authority by asking the believer to look at

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the law written on her own heart. Although God’s essence could only be known to the blessed, that is, saints, his divine will could be understood “through reflection.”2 These two sources of authority, the one external and the other internal, were not at odds with one another. Rather, the mystery of the Mass resonated with the law written on the heart. Many of the authors in this volume have emphasized the authoritarian aspect of the Church. In Ebel and Taras’ analysis, the Church fits the requisites of a caudillo culture: beneficent, intolerant, and all-powerful. The Roman Catholic Church provided legitimacy to Wiarda’s Hapsburg Model and a saintliness to the tragic heroes described by Moyano Martin. In Leonard’s analysis of scientific development, the Church prohibited scientific inquiry and retarded the industrial revolution. According to Worcester, Latin American’s political apathy and fatalism is directly tied to a religious tradition that understands fate as a matter of God’s will and not as a product of human activity. In the light of these discussions, the Roman Catholic Church appears to be the brakes on Latin American political development, the chief “enemy of change,” to quote Worcester. That is only half the picture. Besides being the authority for political and social mores, the Catholic intellectual tradition, going back to Saint Paul, has been the source for social justice and the instigator of political accountability. Although always authoritarian, this tradition is not without a strong democratic component. This democratic component is most visible when considered in light of Catholic theories on natural law. An individual’s ability to sense the good and the just through natural law was an early precept of Christian doctrine. Saint Paul spoke of men who knew what was right and wrong even though they had not read the Torah. “Ever since the creation of the world,” wrote Saint Paul, “[God’s] invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.”3 Natural law is both constitutive and commanding. The term includes both the capacity to clearly perceive God through innate abilities as well as what will be seen should one bother to look. Saint Paul first described the phenomena of natural law as a set of commands inscribed by God in the nature of man: “what the law requires is written on their hearts.”4 What this means is that all humans (whether Jews, Gentiles, women, or children) were created in such a way as to know God’s ways, even without an external authority. The natural laws, that is those commands that are so compelling to our salvation that we would know them without ever having heard them promulgated, included: to preserve oneself and society; to rear one’s offspring; and to know the truth and to love God. The branch of Western Civilization that took root in Latin America never questioned the legitimacy of natural law. Constitutions and legislative bodies came and went, making law along the way, but none of those provisions or promulgations carried the authority of natural law. In North America, the hierarchy of law peaked at a constitution with federal and state laws taking

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their appropriate places below. In Latin America, the hierarchy of law established by Saint Thomas Aquinas peaked at divine law, that is, scriptural authority, with natural law and human law taking their appropriate places below. What this means in terms of relative authority is that human law, like state law in the federal system, was only legitimate in Catholic culture in as much as it conformed to a higher law. The devout, that is, those in touch with natural law, might legitimately challenge the authority of human law. The protest of the Madres de la Plaza during the dirty war in Argentina is an example of such a challenge. Even though the mothers were in violation of martial law, they were completely in keeping with the commands of natural law, one of which includes the command to rear and protect one’s offspring. Not only did natural law provide a legitimacy for their public and illegal rebellion, but it reduced the authority of the governing military junta to mere human law. Of the two parties involved, the mothers and the generals, the mothers presented themselves as more in touch with God’s will than the corrupt and, therefore, unnatural generals. This is not to say that only the persecuted invoke natural law. After the military takeover in 1973, General Pinochet declared that the “Allende government has exceeded the bounds of legitimacy.”5 Although Allende was conducting his government in a legal manner, in Pinochet’s mind, the economic turbulence in Chile threatened the preservation of Chilean society. The source of Pinochet’s authority was refined in a speech delivered on the second anniversary of the coup: “From the bottom of their hearts our people demanded their liberation.”6 Pinochet justified his anti-political actions by explaining it as a legitimate response to a people whose hearts were crying that something was wrong. Despite a strong bias in favor of authority, authority in and of itself does not entail obedience. Rather authority entails a social obligation: the obligation to be just. Even as early as Aquinas, we can see a social contract theory emerging. On the one hand, human law, by teaching one the habit of virtue, is worthy of obedience, which is itself a virtue. But if a human law is out of sync with the law written on men’s hearts it is no longer worthy of obedience. “[A]s Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. i.5), a law that is not just, seems to be no law at all.”7 Although Saint Thomas cautions against “scandal or disturbance,” and urges a gospel of compliance and forgiveness, he nonetheless plants the seeds for a just rebellion. Natural law, in other words, may have supported an authoritarian form of government but never a bloody and tyrannous form. Natural law provides a very different foundation for understanding government than either liberalism or absolutism. Liberalism has come to hold private property as outside the reach of public necessity, ignoring the first half of John Locke’s dual end of government “which is the publick good and preservation of Property.”8 Absolutism, on the other hand, privileges obedience and order over social justice: might, purely by being might, is right. Absolute theorists in the early modern era, such as the British philosopher Sir Robert

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Filmer, argued that an absolute ruler was part of God’s will. Should God will the tyrant away, God would intervene. Natural law, on the other hand, provided a legal basis for social rebellion. Deposing a tyrant was the people’s responsibility, not the business of providence. In order to preserve society, sometimes the people had to rebel. Although mutually exclusive in matters of political power, absolutism and liberalism are both grounded in legal understandings of property rights. The king’s absolute rule over his people was likened to a husband’s absolute rule over his wife, a father’s absolute rule over his children, and an owner’s absolute right to his property. This absolute right in one’s private property informed eighteenth-century liberal utilitarian ideas of government. Particularly in the writings of Bentham and Mill, the end of government was to protect private property and rarely to reallocate it to those in danger of starving. By tempering absolute ownership with social necessity, natural law provides a critique of both private property and absolute authority, of both liberalism and absolutism. NAT URAL LAW A N D P R I VAT E P R O P E RT Y Many of the philosophical battles of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries between absolutists, constitutionalists, papists and monarchs arose out of the legal problems presented by conquest. Faced with Meso-American civilizations that in many ways mirrored the European political systems, the Spanish conquerors were unclear as to what were the rights of conquest. Did the Indians idolatrous behavior give the Catholics a right to take over? Did the obligation of conversion entail a social responsibility? Natural law arguments were pitched on both sides of the Indian question with no clear solution. The conquistador who wanted to work his Indians to death fought with theologians who demanded that the landowners extend natural rights to their subjects. Francisco de Vitoria, a Spanish Dominican, argued that the Indians were entitled to the same rights as children. Unlike humanists, such as Juan Gine´s de Sepa´lveda, who argued that the Indians were a natural slave class,9 Vitoria argued for the Indians to be treated as children with all the attendant privileges and restrictions of wards of the state.10 That the Indians were never legally enslaved points to the effectiveness of natural law. Political theorists across the political and religious spectrum struggled to understand the relationship between private property and the needs of an expanding empire. The natural law tradition stressed social preservation sometimes at the expense of individual property rights. According to natural law, a man on the verge of starvation had a right to steal food from a rich neighbor in order to survive. In cases of emergency, the natural law directive to preserve oneself and one’s family trumped the powers of any trespass or burglary laws. Medieval jurists, on the other hand, had developed a canon that supported absolute rights to property.11 Canon jurists made their deci-

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sions under the principles set forth by positive law, that is the law posited by rulers, legislatures, and other jurists. In that body of literature, a man’s right to his property prevailed over any lesser title. Medieval debates about the relationship between a natural right to private property and the natural law to survive took on a more divisive tone in the sixteenth century’s Great Schism between Protestantism and Catholicism. Operating outside of the Roman Catholic Church, Hugo Grotius argued for a law separate from theology, that is, for the supremacy of the canonists’ subjective understanding of natural rights. For the humanist Grotius, an individual’s right to his property implied “exclusive use and absolute control.”12 On the Catholic side of the debate, Francisco Sua´rez, a Jesuit and student of Vitoria, refused to surrender the primacy of the natural right to survive. Whereas the secular jurists were arguing for a right in a thing, that is, absolute ownership, the Catholic jurists, operating in the tradition of Saint Thomas, argued for both the necessity of private property, that is, a right in a thing, ius in re, as well as the complementary necessity of social survival, that is, a right to a thing, or ius ad rem. The right to survive included the right to a decent wage for one’s labor. Francisco Sua´rez described the worker’s “right to his stipend” as being on par with a right to one’s property.13 By describing natural law in terms of complementary natural rights, Sua´rez brought the ideas embodied in the law written on men’s hearts into the modern era’s discourse on natural rights. Protestant countries, following Grotius’s lead, reduced natural law to a subjective natural right. There were some economic implications for this rewriting of natural law. Dutch shipping countries, wanting to establish a legal right to certain waterways, declared that the sea was of such a nature that it could not belong to just one country. Terra firma, on the other hand, began as a common space and then, as people took ownership, was carved into private property, now understood under the narrow reading that Grotius had assigned. For British dissenters from the Anglican Church, the notion of private property rights resonated with their efforts to make religion a private affair. Just as a man was the lord of his estate, argued the dissenters, so the believer was the lord of his conscience. If a man spoiled his property, then he would suffer the consequences. Should a Christian choose the wrong form of worship, then God would impose the just penalty. In neither case should the government intervene. This rush to privacy and individual choice was never a part of the Latin American tradition. The colonial Church shouldered the obligation of guiding a believer’s conscience and the landowner shouldered the obligation of preserving society. In the post-colonial era, when socialist and communist ideologies came dangerously close to co-opting natural law, the Church reacted vehemently, distinguishing traditional natural law from efforts to nationalize private property. The Church reminded those disenchanted with the evils of industrialization that natural law does not transfer title to a state

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engaged in redistributing goods. Rather a person’s use of their property is tempered by social needs. Although the owner of an abundant orchard could not deny access to a starving family neither could the state come in and take the orchard away. The Church’s hard stand against land reform put it at odds with revolutionary movements throughout Latin America. The fact that the Church had accumulated enormous land holdings in the colonial period did not aid their efforts at moral persuasion. Despite its compromised position at the end of the colonial period, once divested of much of its property both in Latin America and in Europe, the Church was able to speak more convincingly as it carved out a natural law alternative to capitalism and communism. In the papal encyclical, Rerum Novarum (1891), Leo XIII called for the protection of property against state intrusions as well as just wages for workers. Forty years later that position was reaffirmed in Quadragesimo Anno (1931) in which Pius XI repeated Leo’s concerns about Marxism, particularly the notion of class conflict. The preservation of society is the preservation of a corporate society (seen as an outgrowth of natural law) in which functional groups join forces with friendly harmony. For a group to champion its needs at the expense of another, as Marx’s dictatorship of the proletariat would imply, was against natural law. Not only was private property tempered by social preservation but so was class rebellion. NAT URAL LAW A N D AU T H O R I T Y Natural law also provides a different recipe for government than that proposed by either liberalism or absolutism. If we think of liberalism as manifesting in a limited government with most of the decision-making happening in representative bodies, and absolutism, or totalitarianism, as manifesting an omnipresent state with decision-making concentrated in the executive, then natural law understandings of government sit somewhere in between. Although power resides in a powerful executive, it is tempered by an obligation to the ruled. Aquinas likened the ruler to “the head or heart that moves all the others.” The head that moved all others suggests monism (a) single authority), what Aquinas referred to as “a single controlling force in the body that aimed at the common good of all the members.”14 The power of the executive, albeit plenary in its scope, is limited by its end, the common good. If we just focus on this authoritarian aspect of Aquinas’s primer, then it looks like a recipe for tyranny. The single, controlling force conjures up images of leaders—like dictators Augusto Pinochet of Chile and Alfredo Stroessner of Paraguay on the right, or Fidel Castro on the left—who ran their countries into the ground because their power was not constrained. Yet none of these absolute rulers fulfilled the duties of their office according to natural law. The use of the body as a metaphor for natural law both grants and limits the power of the executive. For instance, Aquinas describes the function of

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the king as “a duty to act in his kingdom like the soul in the body and God in the world.”15 Soul, in this case, does not refer to a strictly religious term but to the Aristotelian concept of the animating principle. The soul is what actuates the body, giving the body understanding and consciousness.16 For the king to act as the soul in the body is to give the king the responsibility to actuate his kingdom, to animate his subjects, each one according to his or her station in life. But actuate means more than just being alive. It means to exercise one’s moral power within the confines of a particular social position. Not just a single controlling force giving forth commands, the king was also a guiding force animating the moral powers of the various members of the political body to their proper end. By making this comparison between God and the king, Aquinas effectively granted the monarch the power to change conventional wisdom. This situation was most obvious when an Indian cacique converted to Christianity, thus moving his people away from pagan customs and toward Christian beliefs. Yet this thinking also had significance during recent times of social and political change, for instance during the industrial revolution. In Latin America it was not unusual for a strong dictator, such as Brazil’s Getulio Vargas, to institute economic and social changes in what has been called a top-down revolution. The corporatist practices of the thirties and forties took on a more democratic veneer in the eighties and nineties, yet the economic programs and social policies instituted by Argentina’s Menem and Peru’s Fujimori were as top-down as those instituted by Vargas. As in the case with an expanded sense of property, authority conformed to natural law as long as the power of the executive served the common good. In the political controversies of the early modern era, the notion of an animated member served as the basis for the natural law version of political consent. Whereas absolutists suggested that a people alienated all power to the monarch, and political theorists, such as Hobbes and Locke, were developing an understanding of consent in which political power was delegated and natural rights were inalienable, Catholic intellectuals, still firmly rooted in the natural law tradition, continued along the vector determined by Aquinas. It was “in the nature of things,” wrote Francisco Sua´rez, that “all men are born free.” Through a “special volition, or common consent” these free men gathered together into “one political body through one bond of fellowship and for the purpose of aiding one another in the attainment of a single political end.”17 In order to function, the one political body needed a single head, a “common power which the individual members of the community are bound to obey.” In a slight shift from Aquinas’s doctrine of the duty of the king as animator, the community first actuated itself and then, in turn, actuated the ruler. Sua´rez’ notion of government by double consent, published in 1612, predates Hobbes’s Leviathan by almost forty years and suggests a substantially different way of understanding the process by which a community gives its

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consent. Whereas Hobbes relied on people’s fears of an unruly alternative to explain their political consent,18 Sua´rez focused on the capacity of a community to come to perfection through its moral power, through reflection and participation. This second consent is what distinguishes the perfect society from an imperfect society, such as a family group. Only a perfect society is able to transfer political power. Only a perfect society moves beyond the limitations of dominium, of using private property purely for one’s own sake, to the greater end of preserving society.19 In an imperfect society, ownership is understood purely in terms of the right to use, abuse, and alienate. In a perfect society, ownership carries with it an obligation to preserve. An imperfect society follows family codes; a perfect society operates in harmony with the principles of natural law. Neo-Thomist writings on community consent were developed against the backdrop of sixteenth-century European politics. Writing against the heretics in England, Sua´rez compared the British system under James I to a “mutilated and monstrous organism.”20 The moral power retained by the people, argued Sua´rez, allowed them to depose a ruler who had fallen into heresy. Bernice Hamilton explains Sua´rez position: “Defence of the community by arms against the king is not lawful unless the king makes an unjust attack upon it, when by natural law the state, like a private person, is permitted to defend itself.”21 The rights of the person to preserve herself are here conceived as the rights of the state to defend itself. It is interesting to note that the “state” in the natural law tradition does not refer to the tyrant but rather to the entire body politic, embodied with natural rights, both ius in re and ius ad rem. Together these rights were understood as moral power, a claim to bring against the leader should he or she fail in his or her responsibility to preserve society. Yet all these modern reconceptions of society as a source of moral power did not result in an emasculated executive, and it is in this regard that the natural law tradition remained distinct from liberalism. Whereas liberalism created an acephalous body of believers, natural law continued to insist on the necessity of a strong head. Not a head out of touch with the needs of its members, as that was an unnatural head, but a head embodied with sufficient power to animate the various members of the body politic and to lead it down the path of virtue, or in modern terms, economic development. TWO RECENT C A S E S T U D I E S : P E RU A N D VEN EZUELA The success of Latin America’s efforts to achieve development have largely depended on the ability of each nation’s leader to implement some difficult economic programs. Faced with a crushing foreign debt, the leaders of Latin America have been forced to produce rapidly growing economies or else de-

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fault on their loans and suffer a complete devaluation in their economy. Some of these austerity measures have required extra-legal activities. The ability of these leaders to stay in power, however, largely depends on their ability to guide their countries to economic stability while still conforming to the precepts of higher laws. When President Fujimori suspended the constitution in 1992 he was, to a certain extent, following the duties of the Thomistic king. Like the single controlling force, Fujimori instituted austerity measures that fueled the economy, sometimes at the expense of constitutional liberties. He also took harsh actions against Peru’s violent Sendero Luminoso insurgency, suspending civil liberties. During the 1997 Summit of Iberoamerican Heads of State, Fujimori explained his executive actions in terms of economic development and the needs of the poor. “Democracy,” he wrote, “should provide a context for sustained and firm development.” Rather than worry about the legal implications of ignoring constitutional provisions, Fujimori declared that “we have to defend the economic basis of democracy.” As far as he was concerned, governance was less about following the constitution than providing an “umbrella or parasol that protects as well as permits the development of a recovered Peruvian democracy.”22 Catholic doctrine insists that all members of society are moved toward their respective perfection and in this regard, Fujimori was fairly compliant. His micro-credit lending policy encouraged Andean weavers to set up home businesses. He legalized street vending, turning the streets of Lima into open-air shopping malls where everything from Apple computers to toilet seats were for sale. Rather than operating as a distant, coercive force that only intervened in order to protect private property, in the manner of a laissez-faire system, Fujimori’s governance sponsored economic activity, guiding the people to an entrepreneurial version of their due end. Although many of Fujimori’s actions were clearly in violation of constitutional principles, his policies were largely tolerated as long as they followed a higher justice. Once his administration violated natural law—as when Fujimori’s security adviser, Vladimiro Montesinos was shown bribing an opposition congressman—his leadership lost its legitimacy. On PBS’s NewsHour, Peruvian journalist Vladimir Kochera described the reaction to the video as one in which “the country started falling into a very deep moral crisis.”23 Recognizing he had lost his moral legitimacy, the strong-arm president resigned, called for new elections, and announced that his name would not be on the ballot. Seen in its entirety, the political career of Fujimori illustrates the endurance of the hierarchy of law. The President held himself above the positive law, that is, the constitution, but he was subject to the moral powers of his people. Once his administration was deemed to have broken the law written on the citizen’s hearts, he had to give up his right to the presidential palace. Had Fujimori opted for the repressive techniques of a Pinochet it is unlikely

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he would have maintained critical international support. As it was, he lost both international respect and the support of his people. Apprehending clearly the writing on the wall, Fujimori decided not to push his luck. After all, according to the provisions of natural law, the people of an unjust leader, just like a person under attack, had the right to defend themselves. Besides, in Latin America, the army has a history of hearing those calls coming from the bottom of the people’s hearts. In an article filed with the news agency, Agencia EFE, on December 6, 1999, President Hugo Cha´vez of Venezuela similarly vowed to lift Venezuela out of poverty through “God’s help.” Even with substantial revenues from oil exports, Venezuela is tottering on the brink of financial ruin. Speaking at a ceremony at the Miraflores Palace, one year after what he called “the peaceful Bolivarian revolution,” Cha´vez called on Venezuelans to celebrate the victory of “the people” over rival political parties.24 Political parties, a crucial component of Anglo-American democracy, are here depicted as a virus, capable of dividing society and destabilizing the health of the body politic, of retarding a society’s movement along the path to perfection. Within one year of being elected, Cha´vez had abolished the congress through an extra-constitutional assembly. The Supreme Court felt obliged to resign nine months into his administration. Even the constitution was rewritten to permit his reelection. Cha´vez claimed that he was doing all this for the poor and, indeed, according to press reports, the poor generally supported these measures. When President Cha´vez spoke to the Venezuelan people in December of 1999, he warned them that they wouldn’t feel the benefits of their labors for ten or twenty years, and even then, he didn’t promise luxuries or great wealth. Even through hard work and Christian sacrifices, Cha´vez could only promise a life of honesty and humility. But, he told his listeners, you will have dignity. The state would work to provide full access to education, health care, housing, social security. In other words he would provide for the people’s right to survive. Cha´vez, along with his Latin American counterparts, may not be abusing the constitution but merely transcending it. Rather than finding the voice of the people on the printed page, as is the myth of constitutions, these strongarm leaders maintain their legitimacy through the very act of taking the law into their own hands. What matters in terms of political legitimacy is that the law they take is the same moral law written on their people’s hearts. For a leader to act above human law is not contrary to Catholic notions of governance. The suspension of constitutional privileges or the disbanding of a legislature is not in and of itself grounds for social rebellion. But for a leader to act above natural law is another matter entirely. As such, natural law continues to guide the heart and control the hand of the executive. In this regard the Church, or its political-religious legacy, has often taken on the role of the judiciary, reminding the political actors of the supremacy of natural law.

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THE CHURCH A S A N AG E N T O F S O C I A L C H A N G E The Church may have attempted to animate the Indians’ moral powers in the early colonial period but it hasn’t always championed the rights of the poor. Many the Latin American dictator was able to maintain his legitimacy because of the support of the clergy. Given the authoritarian aspect of natural law, the Church could make a strong case for a dictatorship, emphasizing the virtue of obedience and downplaying the people’s moral power. After a tragic alliance with fascism during World War II, that bias in favor of authority was reexamined. By the time of Vatican II in the early sixties, the Church was revitalizing the more socially minded aspects of Catholic doctrine. The Latin American Church took the lead in applying the social justice principles articulated in Vatican II. In 1968, the Latin American Bishops’ Conference in Medellı´n, Colombia, named this movement in favor of the poor “liberation theology.” Rather than protect the poor from the ravages of tyranny, a reactive position, the priests worked to organize the poor into effective political actors. While some have criticized liberation theologians such as Gustavo Gutie´rrez and Oscar Romero as being too concerned with the cares of this world, their efforts are not out of line with natural law. Reflection and participation are how the people know God’s will, according to Saint Thomas. Exercising one’s moral power is how the people temper political absolutism, according to Sua´rez. Although the Church may not have consistently emphasized those teachings during its battle with Marxism, those teachings have always been there. Human rights is a direct descendent of natural law theory. The ius gentium that Vitoria and Sua´rez championed on behalf of the American Indians articulated a theory of rights outside of those recognized by a particular state. The Church, therefore, was the first to recognize that people had rights purely by being human, by being creatures of God. The first of these natural rights was the right to survive, both individually and socially. From a purely institutional viewpoint, today’s human rights commissions occupy a similar function and position as the Church did in the Middle Ages, when the Pope held an indirect moral power over the Christian kings. Neither the Vatican nor modern human rights commissions hold any real coercive power. What they both share is international legitimacy and moral authority. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Vicariat of Solidarity, what Tina Rosenberg describes as “the most important local human-rights organization in the world,”25 was housed in the Chilean Catholic Church during the Pinochet regime. The efficacy of the Church in promoting social change in Latin America suggests that it may not be merely the brakes on political development, nor just the enemy of change. As the source and definer of natural law, the Church may be the indigenous vehicle for enhancing democratic participation and reflection. Even in places like Guatemala where the Catholic Church’s pri-

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macy has been challenged by Evangelical Protestant groups, the vital form of Christianity in Latin America continues to speak the rhetoric of natural law. Sometimes that rhetoric animates the people to the point at which they work to depose the tyrannical head, as is the case with liberation theology. Sometimes that rhetoric provides the basis of austerity measures that offer a better world in a future not of one’s lifetime, as Cha´vez articulated. In either event, natural law remains the authority for social change and political development. CONCLUSI ON: L AT I N A M E R I C A ’ S RU L E O F L AW Although rule of law has generally come to mean the authority of a written constitution, there are other legal mechanisms for constraining political power. In the Latin American tradition, the source of a higher law has been the law written on men’s hearts. Although Catholic political theory continues to be a critical source of interpretation of that internalized code of ethics, the nature of this internalized law also provides a basis for social movements from below. Liberation theology has been most visible in that regard but the success of women’s church groups in organizing for social change is an equally instructive example. The fact that piety and devotion are as important as any written authority allows for a wide range of social actors, including peasants, workers, and indigenous people, to come forward. Natural law continues to push for a corporate understanding of justice. Rather than push for social change on the basis of individual rights, an important aspect of the liberal tradition, natural law understands rights in terms of a corporate experience. In other words, equality is not as important as compatibility. Liberalism founders on programs such as affirmative action, which attempt to bring traditionally disenfranchised people into the political fold, because each person is to be treated as individual; equality is the common good. The goal of natural law, on the other hand, is to animate all members each according to his or her kind. Equality may be a means to that total animation but should it fail to address the problem, then some other procedure is needed. Hence the need for a strong executive: the head can see what the various members need and can organize them accordingly. Natural law, then, is not out-of-step with democracy but provides a substantially different mechanism for achieving full democratic participation. Unfortunately, perhaps because of vestigial Cold War thinking, or because as a species we tend to think in black and white, this third alternative to liberal democracy and totalitarian rule is largely overlooked. Although Latin America’s politics have not always provided textbook models of good government, many of the social programs of both the Church and Christian democratic governments are worthy of attention. If we reduce these efforts to the limited sphere of religion as it is understood in the United States, that is, in terms of a separation of church and state, then we miss the full implications of the Roman Catholic Church’s political and social effects.

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NOTES 1. John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration, ed. James Tully (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1983), 28. 2. Saint Thomas Aquinas, Treatise on Law (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Press, 1996), 41. 3. Romans 1:20 Revised Standard Version. 4. Romans 2:15 RSV. 5. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, “Reasons of the Junta, 1973”, in The Politics of AntiPolitics, eds. Brian Loveman and Thomas M. Davies, Jr. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978), 198. 6. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, “Speech by Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, 1975,” in The Politics of Anti-Politics, eds. Brian Loveman and Thomas M. Davies, Jr. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978), 200. 7. Aquinas, Treatise on Law, 97. 8. John Locke, Two Treatises on Government, ed. Peter Laslett (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 2.239. 9. See Lewis Hanke, The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America (Boston: Little, Brown, 1965). 10. See Anthony Pagden, Spanish Imperialism and the Political Imagination (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990). 11. Brian Tierney, The Idea of Natural Rights (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1997). 12. B. Andrew Lustig, “Natural Law, Property, and Justice: The General Justification of Property in John Locke,” The Journal of Religious Ethics 19 (Spring 1991): 119–149, 130. 13. Francisco Sua´rez, cited in James Tully, A Discourse on Property: John Locke and his Adversaries (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980), 67. It is interesting to note Tully’s claim that John Locke’s Two Treatises on Government follows the Suarezian notion of rights, that is, that Locke’s use of the word, “property” refers to ius in re and Locke’s use of the words “rights to” refers to ius ad rem. 14. Aquinas, “On Kingship,” in St. Thomas Aquinas on Politics and Ethics, ed. Paul E. Sigmund (New York: Norton, 1988) 14–29, 15. 15. Aquinas, “On Kingship,” 26. 16. Aquinas, “Life, or Soul and its Abilities,” in Aquinas: Selected Philosophical Writings (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 121. 17. Sua´rez, “Political Authority and Community Consent,” in Sigmund, 148–151. 18. See Peter J. Ahrensdorf, “The Fear of Death and the Longing for Immortality: Hobbes and Thucydides on Human Nature and the Problem of Anarchy,” American Political Science Review 94 (September 2000): 579–593, 580. 19. Reijo Wilenius, The Social and Political Theory of Francisco Sua´rez (Helsinki: Societas Philosophica Fennica, 1963), 36. 20. Antonio Molina Melia´, Iglesia y Estado en el Siglo de Oro Espan˜ol: El Pensamiento de Francisco Sua´rez (Valencia, Spain: Universidad de Valencia, 1977), 97. 21. Bernice Hamilton, Political Thought in Sixteenth Century Spain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963), 62. 22. Alberto Fujimori, “Noticia de la Cumbre,” VII Cumbre Iberoamericana de Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno, November 1997. Available at: http://www.cumbre.ve/ pg-d17htm. Downloaded 13 January 2000.

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23. Vladimir Kochera, “Stepping Down,” 18 September 2000, Online NewsHour. Available at: www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/latin_america/july-dec00/peru_9-18.html. Accessed 20 September 2000. 24. “Chavez promises to lift Venezuela out of poverty,” Agencia EFE, 6 December 1999. Available at: http://library.northernlight.com. Downloaded 5 January 2000. 25. Tina Rosenberg, “Latin America’s Magical Liberalism,” WQ (autumn 1992), 64.

CHAPTER 10

Latin America and Democracy Octavio Paz

Mistaken ideas about the historical reality of Latin America have been appearing for almost two centuries. There is not even an exact name to designate this reality: should it be “Latin America,” “Hispanic America,” “Iberoamerica,” “Indoamerica”? Each of these names ignores one part of its complexity. Economic, social, and political labels are equally misleading. The concept of “underdevelopment,” for instance, may be applied to economics and technology, but not to art, literature, moral values, or politics. The expression “Third World” is vaguer still. The term is deceiving as well as imprecise. For instance, what relationship exists between Argentina and Angola, Thailand and Costa Rica, Tunisia and Brazil? Despite two centuries of European domination, neither India nor Algeria changed its language, religion, or culture. The same may be said of Indonesia, Vietnam, Senegal, indeed, of most of the former European possessions in Asia and Africa. Iranians, Hindus, and Chinese belong to civilizations unlike that of the West. We Latin Americans speak Spanish or Portuguese; we are or have been Christian; our customs, institutions, arts and literature are direct descendants of those of Spain and Portugal. For all these reasons we are one outpost of the West in America; the other is the United States and Canada. But as soon as we admit that we are an extension of Europe overseas, all the differences between us and the Europeans spring into view. They are many and they are decisive. The first is the presence of non-European elements. In many Latin American nations there is a substantial population of Indians, and in others, of blacks. The exceptions are Uruguay and Argentina and, to a lesser degree, Chile and Costa Rica. Some of the Indians are descendants of the advanced

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pre-Columbian civilizations of Mexico, Central America, and Peru; a somewhat smaller number of others are left over from the nomadic tribes. All of them, the former especially, have refined our countries’ sensitivity and aroused our fantasy. Furthermore, many traces of their cultures appear in our beliefs, institutions, and customs, mixed in with our Hispanic heritage: the family, social morals, religion, legends and folk tales, mythology, arts, cooking. The presence of blacks has also had a great influence, tending, it seems to me, in the opposite direction from that of the Indians. While the latter suppress their emotions and cultivate reticence and inwardness, the former celebrate orgiastic, sensuous values. The second, no less profound difference comes from something that is very often forgotten, namely, the peculiar brand of Western civilization embodied in Spain and Portugal. Unlike their English, Dutch, and French rivals, the Spanish and the Portuguese were dominated for centuries by Islam. But to speak in terms of domination is deceiving; we still find the splendor of the Spanish Arabic civilization astonishing, and those centuries of struggle were also a time of intimate coexistence. Moslems, Jews, and Christians lived together on the Iberian peninsula until the 16th century. It is impossible to understand either the history of Spain and Portugal or the truly unique nature of their cultures if this fact is forgotten. The fusion between religion and politics, for example, or the notion of crusade, appears in Hispanic attitudes to a heightened and more intense degree than in other European countries. It is not farfetched to see in these characteristics the traces of Islam and the Islamic vision of the world and of history. The third difference, I think, has been the decisive factor. The modern world was ushered in by a series of events that include, together with the Reformation and the Renaissance, European expansion in Asia, America, and Africa. This movement began with the discoveries and conquests of the Portuguese and the Spanish. However, soon after, and with equal violence, Spain and Portugal closed their doors, locked themselves in, and rejected the modernity that was just dawning. The Counter-Reformation was the most complete, radical, and coherent expression of this rejection. The Spanish monarchy identified itself with a universal faith and with a unique interpretation of that faith. The Spanish king was a mixture of Theodosius the Great and Abd-er-Rahman III, first Caliph of Cordoba. (The pity is that the Spanish rulers imitated the sectarian politics of the former and not the liberal tolerance of the latter.) And therefore, while other European states showed an increasing tendency to represent the emerging concept of the nation and to defend its values, the Spanish state confused its cause with that of an ideology. The general evolution of society and of the modern states tended to affirm the individual interests of each nation—relativizing politics, stripping it of its once sacred aura. The idea of the universal mission of the Spanish people, as defenders of a doctrine thought to be just and true, was a medieval and an Arabic legacy;

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once injected into the doctrine of the Hispanic monarchy, it first inspired the actions of this monarchy, but eventually immobilized it. The strangest thing is that this theological-political conception has reappeared in our time. Nowadays, however, it is not identified with divine revelation; it wears the mask of a so-called universal science of history and society. Revealed truth has become the “scientific truth” of Marxism, incarnate not in a Church and a Council but in a Party and a Committee. The 17th century is Spain’s great century: Quevedo and Go´ngora, Lope de Vega and Caldero´n, Vela´zquez and Zurbara´n, architecture and neoscholasticism. However, it would be useless to search among those great names for a Descartes, a Hobbes, a Spinoza, or a Leibnitz. Nor for a Galileo or a Newton. Theology closed Spain’s doors to modern thought, and the Golden Age of Spain’s literature and arts was the age of its intellectual decadence and political ruin. On the American continent, the contrast is even starker. From Montaigne on we read about the horrors of the conquest; but let us also remember what Portugal and Spain so admirably created in America. They founded complex, rich, original societies, created in the image of the cities they built, which were both solid and opulent. A double axis ruled those viceroyalties and general captaincies, one vertical and the other horizontal. The first was hierarchical and created a social order appropriate to the descending ranks of classes and social groups: lords, common folk, Indians, slaves. By means of a plurality of jurisdictions and statutes, the horizontal axis united the different social and ethnic groups, with their individual characteristics, in an intricate web of rights and obligations. And so inequality and coexistence—two opposed principles—worked together in a complimentary arrangement. Those societies may not have been just, but neither were they barbaric. Architecture is the mirror of societies. But in this mirror we find enigmatic images that we have to decipher. In the mid-18th century, the wealth and refinement of such cities as Mexico City and Puebla were in sharp contrast to the austere simplicity, almost poverty, of Boston and Philadelphia. The splendor was illusory: what was dawn in the United States was dusk in Spanish America. In the north, Americans were born into the Reformation and the Enlightenment, that is to say, the modern world; we were greeted by the Counter-Reformation and neoscholasticism, that is, we were set against the modern world. We had neither an intellectual nor a democratic, bourgeois revolution. The philosophical foundation of the absolutist Catholic monarchy was the thought of Sua´rez and his Jesuit disciples. These theologians were geniuses who rebuilt Thomism and made of it a philosophic fortress. The historian Richard Morse has pointed out that neo-Thomism had a double function: on the one hand, sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly, it was the ideological foundation on which stood the imposing political, juridical, and economic entity we call the Spanish Empire; on the other, it was the training ground of

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our intellectual class where its habits and attitudes were molded. In this sense—as a mental attitude, not a philosophy—its influence lives on among Latin American intellectuals. In its origins, neo-Thomism was a system of thought designed to defend orthodoxy from Lutheran and Calvinist heresies, heresies that were the first manifestations of modernity. Unlike other philosophic trends of the time, it was not a method of exploring the unknown but a system to defend all that was known and established. The modern age begins with criticism of first principles; neoscholasticism set itself to defend those principles and to demonstrate their necessary, eternal, and unassailable nature. Although in the 18th century this philosophy faded away on Latin America’s intellectual horizon, the attitudes and habits that were its sum and substance have lived on to our time. Our intellectuals have embraced liberalism, positivism, and now Marxism-Leninism. Yet in almost every case, regardless of philosophical outlook, the psychological and moral attitudes of the former champions of neoscholasticism are only too obvious, out of sight, but still alive. The paradox of modernity: today’s ideas, yesterday’s attitudes. Their ancestors swore by St. Thomas, they swear by Marx; but for them all, reason is a weapon in the service of “Truth.” The intellectuals’ mission is to defend reason. They do, however, conceive of culture and thought as a polemic and a battle—a crusade. And so an intellectual tradition has survived in our countries that has little respect for the opinions of others, that prefers ideas to reality, and intellectual systems to the criticism of those systems. INDE PENDENCE , M O D E R N I T Y, D E M O C R AC Y Slowly and timidly the new ideas made their way into Spain and its overseas possessions during the second half of the 18th century. We have a word in Spanish that expresses very aptly the nature of this movement, its original inspiration and its limitations: europeizar, “to Europeanize.” The renovation and modernization of the Hispanic world could not come from the implantation of principles developed and elaborated by us, but from our adoption of other people’s ideas, the ideas of the European Enlightenment. And so “Europeanization” became synonymous with modernization; years later another word with the same meaning appeared: americanizar, “to Americanize.” During the whole of the 19th century, in Spain and Portugal as well as in Latin America, enlightened minorities tried in different ways, many of them violent, to change our countries, to leap into modernity. Therefore the word “revolution” was also synonymous with modernization. Our Wars of Independence can and must be seen from this perspective. Their objective was not only to cut ourselves off from Spain, but also to transform the new countries into truly modern nations in one revolutionary burst. This is a trait they share with all separatist movements, though each of these has different characteristics depending on where it originates.

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Latin American revolutionaries were inspired by a double model, the War of Independence in the United States and the French Revolution. In fact, it can be said that the 19th century began with three great revolutions: the American, the French, and the one that produced the nations of Latin America. All three triumphed on the battlefields but in each case the political and social results were different. In the United States the first really modern society appeared, though it was sullied by enslaving the blacks and exterminating the Indians. In France, even though the nation underwent substantial and radical changes, the new society that evolved out of the revolution, as de Tocqueville showed, in many ways was a continuation of the centralist France of Richelieu and Louis XIV. In Latin America the countries won independence and began to rule themselves; but the revolutionaries never succeeded in establishing regimes and institutions that were really free and democratic, except on paper. The American Revolution founded a nation; the French changed and renovated society; the Latin American revolutions failed in one of their main objectives—political, social, and economic modernization. The French and American revolutions were the result of the historical evolution of both nations; the Latin American movements merely adopted other people’s doctrines and programs. I want to emphasize this point: they adopted, they did not adapt. The intellectual tradition that had formed the consciousness and minds of the French and American intelligentsias since the Reformation and the Enlightenment did not exist in Latin America; nor were there the social classes that corresponded, historically speaking, to the new liberal, democratic ideology. There was hardly a middle class, and our bourgeoisie had not moved beyond the stage of mercantilism. There was an organic relationship between the revolutionary groups in France and their ideas, and the same is true of the American revolution; in our case, however, there was no correlation between ideas and classes. Ideas served only as masks; so they became an ideology in the negative sense of the word, that is, a veil that intercepts and disfigures the perception of reality. Ideology turns ideas into masks that hide a person, and by the same token stop us from seeing reality. Masks deceive others and make us deceive ourselves. Latin American independence coincided with the nadir of the Spanish Empire. National unity in Spain had not been made by the fusion of the different tribes on the peninsula, nor by their voluntary association, but by a political dynasty held together by alliances and forced annexations. The crisis of the Spanish state, which the Napoleonic invasion precipitated, marked the beginning of disintegration. Therefore the movement to free the Spanish American nations (Brazil’s case is different) must also be seen as a process of disintegration. Like in a new staging of the old Spanish Arabic history of rebellious chieftains, many of the revolutionary leaders appropriated the lands they had liberated as if indeed they had conquered them. The borders of some of the new

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nations coincided with the farthest points reached by the liberating armies. The result was the atomization of entire regions, such as Central America and the Antilles. The military despots invented countries that were not viable politically or economically and, furthermore, lacked any real national physiognomy. In defiance of common sense these entities have survived thanks to historical accident and complicity between local oligarchies, dictatorships, and imperialism. Dispersion was one side of the coin; the other was instability, civil wars, dictatorships. When the Spanish Empire and its administration fell, power devolved upon two groups: economic power upon the native oligarchies and political power upon the military. The oligarchies lacked the power to rule in their own names. During the Spanish regime, far from growing and developing as it had in other Western countries, civil society had survived in the shadow of the state. The patrimonialist system has been the central reality in our countries, as it had been in Spain. In this system the head of government— prince or viceroy, tyrant or president—directs the state and the nation like an extension of his own patrimony, in other words, like his family. The oligarchies, made up of landowners and merchants, had lived in submission to authority and had as little political experience as they had influence among the people. In contrast, the power of the priests grew enormously, as did, though to a lesser extent, that of the lawyers, doctors, and other members of the liberal professions (the seed of today’s intellectuals). These groups immediately and fervently espoused the ideologies of the era; some became liberals and others conservatives. The other source of power, which proved decisive, was the military. In countries with no experience of democracy, with rich oligarchies and poor governments, the struggle between the political factions inevitably ended in violence. The liberals were no less violent than the conservatives; in other words, they were as fanatical as their adversaries. Endemic civil war produced militarism, and militarism produced dictatorships. Latin America has lived for over a century amid disorder and tyranny, anarchic violence and despotism. People have tried to explain the persistence of these evils by the lack of those social classes and economic structures that made democracy possible in Europe and in the United States. Surely, we have not had a truly modern bourgeoisie, the middle class has been weak and small in numbers, and the proletariat is of recent origin. But democracy is not simply the result of the social and economic conditions inherent in capitalism and the industrial revolution. As Cornelius Castoriadis has shown, democracy is truly a political creation, that is, a body of ideas, institutions, and practices that constitute a collective invention. Democracy has been invented twice, first in Greece and then in the West. In both cases it has come from the conjunction of the theories and ideas of several generations, with the actions of different groups and classes, such as the bourgeoisie, the proletariat, and other segments of society. Democracy is

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not a superstructure; it is a creation of the people. Furthermore, it is the condition, the foundation of modern civilization. And so, among the social and economic causes cited to explain the failures of the Latin American democracies must be added what I referred to earlier: the lack of a modern, critical, intellectual tradition. And finally, we must not forget inertia and passivity, that vast mass of opinions, habits, beliefs, routines, convictions, inherited ideas and customs that make up our countries’ heritage. A century ago Pe´rez Galdo´s, who had thought long and hard about this question, put these words into the mouth of one of his characters, a clear-minded liberal: In the realm of thought we see how the true idea instantly drives out the false, and we think the idea will drive out old customs equally quickly. But time created customs as patiently and slowly as it made the mountains, and only time, at work day after day, can destroy them. Bayonets cannot overthrow mountains.1

This summary would be incomplete if I did not mention an extraneous factor that speeded up the process of disintegration and that also strengthened the hold of our tyrants: American imperialism. It is true that the fragmentation of our countries, our civil wars, militarism and dictatorships were not the invention of the United States. But that country has a fundamental responsibility for this state of affairs, because it has taken advantage of it to materially improve its own situation and to dominate. It has fomented the divisions among countries, parties, and leaders; it has threatened the use of force, and has not hesitated to use force whenever “its” interests have been endangered; it has helped rebellions or strengthened tyrants at its own convenience. Its imperialism has not been ideological, and its policy of intervention has been guided by economic considerations and supremacist politics. For all these reasons, the United States has been one of the greatest stumbling blocks in our hesitant struggle to enter the modern world. This is tragic because American democracy inspired the fathers of our Independence and our great liberals like Sarmiento and Jua´rez. From the 18th century onward, for us modernization has meant democracy and free institutions; and the archetype of this political and social modernity was United States democracy. History’s nemesis: in Latin America the United States has been the protector of tyrants and the ally of democracy’s enemies. HIS TORI CAL LE G I T I MAC Y A N D T OT A L I T A R I A N ATH EOLOGY After consolidating their independence, the Latin American nations chose democratic republicanism for their system of government. Mexico’s imperial experience lasted a very short time; in Brazil too, the Empire was ultimately replaced by the Republic. The adoption of democratic constitutions in all Latin American countries and the frequency with which tyrannical regimes

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hold power in these countries show that one of the peculiar characteristics of our societies is the divorce between legal and political reality. Democracy is our historical legitimacy; dictatorship is the exception. The conflict between our ideal legitimacy and the dictatorships we in fact have is one more expression—one of the most painful—of the rebellion of historical reality when faced with the schemas and geometries imposed upon it by political philosophy. Latin America has excellent constitutions, but they were not thought through for our countries. I once called them “straitjackets”; I must add that time and again these straitjackets have been destroyed by popular upheavals. Eruptions and explosions have been the vengeance of the realities of Latin America, or as Galdo´s would say, of our customs, stubborn and heavy as mountains and explosive as volcanos. The dictatorships have been the brutal remedy for these outbursts. A deadly remedy because they inevitably provoke new explosions. The powerlessness of intellectual schemas to deal with facts proves that our reformers had neither the imagination nor the realism of the 16th-century missionaries. Impressed by the Indians’ fervent religiosity, the Little Fathers sought and found points where the pre-Columbian mythologies intersected with Christianity. These points made passage from the old to the new religion possible. As Christianity became Indianized it took root and blossomed. Our reformers should have tried something similar. There have been few attempts to reconcile formal legitimacy with traditional reality. Furthermore, almost all such attempts have failed. The most coherent and lucid, the Peruvian APRA party, wore itself out in a long struggle that ended by wasting its revolutionary energies, though it was an exemplary contribution to the defense of democracy. Others have been caricatures, like Peronism, which ran to Italian fascism at one extreme, and to populist demagoguery at the other. Despite its failings, the Mexican experiment has been the most successful, the most original and profound. It was neither a program nor a theory but an instinctive response to the absence of programs and theories. Like all true political creations, it was a collective construction designed to resolve the particular problems of a shattered, drained society. It was born of the Mexican Revolution, a movement that had wiped out the institutions created by the liberals in the 19th century and transformed into the mask of Porfirio Dı´az’s dictatorship. This regime, which had inherited Jua´rez’s liberalism, was a sort of mestizo version—a combination of bossism, liberalism, and positivism—of the enlightened despotism of the 18th century. Like all dictatorships, the Porfirio regime was incapable of solving the problem of succession, which is the problem of legitimacy. As the leader grew old, the arthritic regime tried to perpetuate itself. The response was violence. Political rebellion almost immediately became social revolt. Once the revolutionaries—after many hesitations and vacillations—had won, they overcame the temptation that is faced by all victorious revolutions

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and fatal to their success, namely, to resolve quarrels among factions by the dictatorship of a revolutionary Caesar. Because of a dual compromise, the Mexicans were able to avoid this danger without falling into anarchy or internal strife. The proscription against the reelection of presidents closed the door to despots; the formation of a party that draws together workers’ syndicates and peasant and middle-class organizations assured the regime’s continuity. The party was not and is not an ideological party, and it does not obey an orthodoxy; it is neither the “advance guard” of the people nor a chosen body of militants. It is an open, rather amorphous organization, controlled by a political bureaucracy gathered from the lower and middle strata of society. So for over half a century Mexico has been able to escape the dismal circularity that consists of moving from anarchy to dictatorship and vice versa. The result was not democracy, nor despotism, but a peculiar regime, both paternalistic and popular, that slowly but surely—and not without hitches, eruptions, and backsliding—has been moving toward ever more free and democratic forms. The process has been too slow, and the weariness of the system has been visible for years. After the crisis of 1968, the regime realistically and sensibly instituted changes that culminated in the political reforms we see today. Unfortunately, apart from being clearly minority groups, the independent and opposition parties lack cadres and programs capable of replacing the party that has held power for so long. We face the problem of succession as we faced it in 1910: if we want to avoid grievous harm, the Mexican system must now renew itself by means of an internal democratic transformation . . . but I cannot dwell on this theme. I have devoted various essays to it, which are now published in the collection El Ogre Filantro´pico [“The Philanthropic Ogre”], to which I refer my readers.2 The history of Latin American democracy has not been merely a history of failures. For a long time we had exemplary democracies in Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina. All three have fallen, one after the other, to be replaced by military governments. In Colombia, which was unable to solve its social problems, democracy has been frozen into formalism; in Peru, on the other hand, it has been renovated and strengthened in the wake of the military regime. But the most heartening examples are Venezuela and Costa Rica, two authentic democracies. The case of tiny Costa Rica, in the midst of the troubled and authoritarian Central American countries, has been and is admirable. To conclude this brief summary: it is significant that the frequency of military coups has never blurred the legitimacy of democracy in the consciousness of our nations. Its moral authority remains indisputable. Therefore, all dictators invariably and solemnly declare, as they assume power, that theirs is an interim government and that they are ready to restore democratic institutions as soon as circumstances permit. It is true that they rarely fulfill their promise, but no matter. What seems to me both revealing and worthy of emphasis is that they feel forced to make such a promise. This is an extraordinary phe-

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nomenon, though few have examined its significance. Until the second half of the 20th century, no one dared to cast doubt on democracy as the historical and constitutional legitimacy of Latin America. We were born with it, and despite the crimes and the tyrannies, democracy was a sort of baptismal certificate consecrating the birth of our nations. About 25 years ago the situation changed, and this requires comment. Fidel Castro’s movement kindled the imagination of many Latin Americans, especially students and intellectuals. He emerged like the heir of our nations’ great traditions: Latin American independence and unity, anti-imperialism, a program of social reforms both radical and badly needed, the restoration of democracy. One by one these illusions have faded. The Cuban Revolution’s gradual process of degeneration has been recounted several times, even by such people as Carlos Franqui who took a direct role in it, so I will not go over the same ground. I merely want to point out that the regrettable involution of Castro’s regime was the result of a combination of circumstances: Castro himself, who has the personality of a typical Latin American despot in the Spanish Arabic tradition; the totalitarian structure of the Cuban Communist party, which was the political instrument for the forced imposition of the Soviet model of bureaucratic domination; the insensitivity and arrogant stupidity of Washington, especially during the first phase of the Cuban Revolution, before it was appropriated by the Communist bureaucracy; and finally the weakness of our democratic traditions, as true of Cuba as of other Latin American countries. This weakness explains why the regime continues to hold an attraction for some students and intellectuals, even though its despotic nature and the failures of its economic and social policies become clearer each day. Other people hold on to their illusions in desperation. This is not rational behavior, but it is understandable. The word misery, in the moral sense of misfortune and in the material sense of extreme poverty, seems to have been invented to describe the state of most of our countries. Furthermore, many of Castro’s enemies have a stake in perpetuating this terrible situation. Symmetrical hostilities. I pointed out earlier that the Latin American dictatorships present themselves as exceptional, interim regimes. None of our dictators, not even the boldest, has denied the historical legitimacy of democracy. Castro’s regime was the first that dared proclaim a different legitimacy. The foundation of his power is not the will of the majority, freely expressed in secret ballots, but a concept that, despite its scientific pretensions, has a certain analogy with the Mandate of Heaven in ancient China. This concept, made up of leftovers from Marxism (the original and the apocryphal versions), is the official creed of the Soviet Union and other bureaucratic dictatorships. Let me repeat the overworked formula: the general, upward movement of history is incarnate in a class, the proletariat, which delivers it to a party, which delegates it to a committee, which entrusts it to a leader. Castro rules in the name of history. Like divine will, history exists on a

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higher level, immune to the erratic and contradictory opinions of the masses. It would be useless to try to refute this concept; it is not a doctrine but a belief. And a belief incarnate in a party with a dual personality—both church and army. The confusion we feel in the face of this new obscurantism is essentially what our liberal forebears felt about the ultrareactionaries of the 19th century. The old dogmatists saw the monarchy as a divine institution and the monarch as the Lord’s Chosen; the new dogmatists see the party as an instrument of history and its leaders as interpreters and mouthpieces. We are witnessing the return of absolutism, disguised as science, history, and dialectic. Yet the similarity between today’s totalitarianism and the old absolutism conceals profound differences. Space does not allow me to explore them here. I will mention only the main difference. The absolute monarch exercised his authority in the name of a higher, supernatural power, God; the totalitarian leader rules in the name of his identification with the party, the proletariat, and the laws governing historical evolution. The leader is universal history personified. The transcendent God of the 16th- and 17th-century theologians comes down to earth and becomes the “historical process”; in turn the “historical process” becomes flesh in this or that leader—Stalin, Mao, Fidel. Totalitarianism confiscates the forms of religion, empties them of their content, and steps inside them. Modern democracy had consummated the separation between religion and politics. Totalitarianism unites them again, but inside out: the substance of the absolute monarch’s politics was religious; now politics is the substance of the totalitarian pseudoreligion. In the 16th and 17th centuries the bridge between religion and politics was neo-Thomist theology; in the 20th century the bridge between politics and totalitarianism is a pseudoscientific ideology that claims to be a universal science of history and society. This is a heady theme, but I must desist; I want to return to the individual case of Latin America. . . . 3 The antidemocratic nature of this concept is as worrying as its pseudoscientific pretensions. Not only do the actions and politics of Castro’s regime reject democracy; it is rejected by the very principles on which this regime is based. In this sense the Cuban bureaucratic dictatorship is really a historical novelty on our continent. It is the first example, not of socialism but of a revolutionary legitimacy that aims to displace the historical legitimacy of democracy. It has sundered the very tradition on which Latin America was founded. EMP IRE AND ID E O L O G Y The hegemony of the United States on the continent has been continuous and indisputable from the middle of the 19th century onward. Though denounced time and again by Latin Americans, the Monroe Doctrine was the expression of this reality. In this sphere too, the Cuban Revolution presents

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us with a radical break. Nemesis intervenes again: Washington’s scornful, hostile policies threw Castro into the arms of Russia. Like a gift from the heaven of history—where fortuitousness, not dialectic, reigns—the Russians received something that the Kaiser had always dreamed of and never obtained—a political and military base in Latin America. From the historical point of view, the end of the Monroe Doctrine means a return to the beginning. Our continent is open to the expansionism of powers from other continents just as it was in the 16th century. And so the loss of American influence in Cuba was not a victory for anti-imperialism. The dusk (relatively speaking) of United States supremacy unmistakably and most importantly signifies that Russia’s imperialist expansion has reached Latin America. Once again we have become, or have been turned into, the battleground of the great powers. The accidents of history, not our actions, have brought us to this situation. What is to be done? Whether we can do little or much about it, the first thing is to try to think lucidly and independently; then, most importantly, we must not resign ourselves to objective passivity. With better luck than Napoleon III in his Mexican adventure, the Russians have needed neither to send troops to Cuba nor to fight. The situation is diametrically opposed to that of Afghanistan. Castro’s government has wiped out the opposition, which was made up for the most part of his former comrades-in-arms, and has overcome and roughly silenced the malcontents. In Cuba the Soviet Union counts on secure allies, bound to it with the bonds of self-interest, ideology, and complicity. The Russo-Cuban coalition is diplomatic, economic, military, and political, all at the same time. In all the international councils and forums, Cuban diplomacy stands on the same side as the Soviet Union. Moreover, with diligence and skill, it serves and defends Russian interests among the nonaligned countries. Russia and the Eastern bloc nations are subsidizing the faltering Cuban economy, though insufficiently, it would seem. In return, Cuba’s military support is abundant and out of proportion with the island’s needs. In effect Cuban troops are the Soviets’ vanguard, and have taken part in military operations in Africa and elsewhere. It is unrealistic—to say the least—to close our eyes to the heavily military nature of the Russo-Cuban alliance, as the governments of some countries, including Mexico, have done. Cuba’s importance as a political base is even greater, if it still makes sense to distinguish here between military and political. Havana has been and is a center of agitation, propaganda, coordination, and training for Latin America’s revolutionary movements. Nevertheless, the revolts and agitations that are unsettling our continent, especially Central America, are not the result of a Russo-Cuban conspiracy, nor of the machinations of international communism, as U.S. government spokesmen keep repeating. We all know that these movements have been caused by the social injustices, poverty, and lack of public freedoms that are prevalent in many Latin Amer-

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ican countries. The Soviets did not invent discontent; they merely use it and try to subvert it to their own ends. We must admit that they almost always succeed. The errant policies of the United States have had something to do with this result. But when all is said and done, I find myself wondering, why have so many revolutionary movements, which began as generous responses to unjust, even intolerable social conditions, become catspaws for the Soviets? Why, when they succeed, do people reproduce in their own countries the totalitarian model of bureaucratic domination? The revolutionary apprentice is almost always impressed by the organization and discipline of the Communist parties; for they combine the outward forms of the army and the religious order, two institutions that have demonstrated internal cohesion and their ability to proselytize and oppose. In both, ideology unites individual wills, and justifies rigid hierarchies and the division of labor. Both are training grounds for action and obedience. The party, furthermore, is the collective personification of its ideology. The predominance of political over economic considerations is one of the features distinguishing Russian imperialism from the capitalist imperialisms of the West. And politics is seen not merely as strategy and tactics but as one of the dimensions of ideology. Alain Bec¸anson has justly labeled the Soviet Union an ideocracy; there ideology fulfills the same function that theology served at the court of Philip II, though on a much lower intellectual level. This astonishing mixture of archaism and modernity is one of those premodern characteristics of the Russian state that bear out its hybrid nature. At the same time, the predominance of ideology explains how the Communist system can still seduce the unsophisticated, including those intellectuals whose countries of origin absorbed liberal and democratic ideas late and inadequately. The populace of Latin America, traditionally and persistently Catholic peasants and workers, has been insensitive to the fascination of the new totalitarian absolutism. But, as they lost their old faith, the intellectuals and the middle and upper classes embraced this ideological substitute, consecrated by “science.” The great majority of Latin America’s revolutionary leaders belong to the middle and upper classes, that is, to the social groups where ideology is rampant. Ideological politics are not necessarily at odds with realism. The history of fanaticisms is rich in wise, brave leaders, clever strategists, and wily diplomats. Yet Stalin was a monster, not a dreamer. And so, on the contrary, ideology weakens our scruples because it introduces an absolute in the name of which all or almost all is allowed in political relationships, which by their nature are relative. In the case of Communist ideology that absolute has a name: the laws of historical evolution. The translation of these laws into political and moral terms is the “liberation of humanity,” a task currently entrusted by these same laws to the industrial proletariat. All means to this end are moral, even crimes. Who defines the end and the means? The proletariat itself? No, its “advance guard,” the party and the party leaders.

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Over 40 years ago the philosopher John Dewey demonstrated the fallacy of this reasoning in his reply to Leon Trotsky. First, the very existence of these laws of historical evolution is highly doubtful, and the likelihood that the Communist leaders are the most suitable people to interpret and carry them out is even more dubious. Second, even if these laws had the rigorous logic of a physical law, how could we deduce a moral from them? The law of gravitation is neither good nor bad. No theorem forbids killing, or decrees that one must love one’s neighbor. To quote a critic: if Marx had discovered that the laws of historical evolution tend to enslave men and women instead of freeing them, would it be moral to fight for the universal enslavement of humanity?4 Scientism is the mask of the new absolutism. Trotsky did not answer Dewey, but since his death the number of believers in these laws that grant moral absolution to those who act in their name has not diminished but increased. It is not difficult to perceive the origins of this new morality—it is a secular version of the holy war. The new absolutism binds many consciences to itself because it satisfies the old, perpetual thirst for totality from which all men suffer. Absolutism and totality are the two faces of the same psychic reality. We seek totality because it reconciles our isolated, lost, orphaned selves with the whole, it ends the exile initiated at birth. This is one of the roots of religion and of love; also of our dreams of fraternity and equality. We need an absolute because it alone can give us the certainty of the truth and goodness of the totality we have embraced. In the beginning, revolutionaries are united by a sense of fraternity in which the search for power and the struggle of self-interests and of individuals are indistinguishable from the passion for justice. It is a fraternity governed by an absolute but still needing to affirm itself to the outside world in order to be fully realized. And so the other is born, not just the political adversary espousing views different from ours; the other is the enemy of absolutism, the absolute enemy. He must be exterminated. A heroic, terrible dream . . . with a dreadful awakening: the other is our double.

IN D EFENSE OF D E MO C R AC Y Early in 1980, in several Latin American and Spanish newspapers, I published a series of political commentaries on the decade that had just ended. These appeared in book form as Tiempo Nublado (1970–1979) [“Clouded Times”]. In the last of these articles, which appeared in Mexico on January 28th, 1980, I said, Somoza’s fall has posed a question no one has so far dared answer. Will the new regime move toward social democracy, or will it try to impose a dictatorship like Cuba’s? The second alternative would mark the beginning of a series of terrible conflicts in Central America that would surely extend to Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia. . . . by nature such

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conflicts will not be (are not) only national, nor can they be confined inside the frontiers of each country. By virtue of the forces and ideologies that are at odds with each other, the Central American struggles are international in scope. And like epidemics, they are contagious, no attempt at quarantine will isolate them. The artificial division of Central America into six countries does not coincide with its social and historical reality. . . . It would be illusory to think that these conflicts can be contained. They are part of the great ideological, political, and military struggles of our century. Reality has confirmed my fears. The overthrow of Somoza, greeted joyfully by democrats and democratic socialists throughout Latin America, was the result of a movement in which the whole of Nicaragua participated. As always happens, a group of leaders who had distinguished themselves in the fight took control of the revolutionary regime. Some of the new government’s measures, calculated to establish a more just social order in a country despoiled for over half a century by both its own people and by foreigners, were received with applause. The decision not to expose Somoza’s supporters to the death penalty also excited sympathy. However, it was disappointing to learn that elections had been postponed until 1985 (now there is talk of putting them off ad calendas graecas). A country without free elections is a country without a voice, without eyes, and without arms.

In the course of the last two years, the regimentation of society, the attacks on the only free newspaper, the increasingly tight control of public opinion, militarization, internal espionage generalized under the pretext of security measures, and the ever more authoritarian declarations and actions of the leaders have been unhappily reminiscent of the pattern followed by other revolutions that have ended in totalitarian petrification. Despite the friendship and the economic, moral, and political support our government has lent to Managua, it is no secret that the Sandinista leaders turn to Havana, not to Mexico, for orientation and encouragement. Their pro-Cuban, pro-Soviet inclinations are manifest. In the international arena one of the first acts of the revolutionary government during the conference of nonaligned countries (held in Havana in 1979) was to vote in favor of recognizing the regime imposed on Cambodia by the Vietnamese troops. From then on the Soviet bloc has counted on one more vote in the international forums. I know that Nicaraguans will not easily forget the intervention of the United States in the internal affairs of “their” “country” over the last century and more; nor American complicity with the Somozan dynasty. Past wrongs may justify anti-Americanism, but do they justify pro-Sovietism? The Managuan government could have taken advantage of the offers of friendship from Mexico, France and West Germany, as well as the sympathy of the leaders of the Socialist International, to explore a path of independent action that would not have put it in Washington’s pocket, but would have avoided turning the country into a bridgehead for the Soviet Union. It did not do so. Must we “Mexicans” go on offering friendship to a regime that chooses its friends elsewhere?

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In the Winter 1982 issue of Dissent, Gabriel Zaid published an article that is the best piece of reporting I have read on El Salvador and is an enlightening analysis of the situation there. Zaid’s article confirms that the logic of terror is mirror-logic: the image of the murderer that the terrorist sees is not his enemy’s but his own. This psychological and moral truth is also a political truth. The terrorism of the military and the far right is reproduced in the terrorism of the guerrillas. But neither the junta nor the guerrillas are homogeneous blocs; both are divided into various groups and tendencies. Therefore Zaid hints that perhaps the possibility of a solution, other than the extermination of one or the other of the opposing blocs, may be in finding, in both camps, those groups who are willing to exchange weapons for dialogue. This is not impossible. The vast majority of the Salvadorans, no matter what their ideology, is opposed to violence—from the right or from the left— and longs for a return to peaceful, democratic channels. The elections of March 28 supported Zaid’s analysis. Despite the violence unleashed by the guerrillas, the people went into the streets and waited hours to record their votes, all the time exposed to gunshots and bombs. Their example was admirable, and the indifference of many outsiders in the face of this peaceful heroism is yet another indication of the wretched times in which we live. Despite the stupid inflation of the total number of votes to which the political parties in El Salvador apparently agreed, the meaning of this election is incontestable: the great majority of the Salvadorans opt for democratic legality. The voting gave Duarte’s Christian Democrats a plurality, but a coalition of right-wing and far-right parties has taken the major share of power. This situation could have been avoided if the guerrillas had accepted democratic confrontation; according to the New York Times correspondent in San Salvador, they might have received between 15 and 25 percent of the votes. A tragic abstention. If power falls into the hands of the right, they will prolong the conflict and will cause irreparable harm. Whether they or the guerrillas finally win, democracy will be defeated.5 The Central American situation is like the whole history of our countries in miniature. As we decipher it, we contemplate ourselves, we read the tale of our own misfortunes. The first of these, whose consequences were sadly prophetic, was Independence: as we were liberated, we were divided. This fragmentation produced a multiplication of tyrannies, and the struggles among the tyrants made the intrusion of the United States easier. And so the Central American crisis teaches two lessons. One shows how fragmentation produced dispersion, dispersion weakness, and weakness has culminated today in a crisis of independence—Central America is a battleground for the great powers. From the second we see that the defeat of democracy means the perpetuation of injustice and physical and moral wretchedness, no matter who wins, the colonels or the commissars. Democracy and independence are complementary and inseparable realities; to lose the first is to lose the second and vice versa. The Central Americans are

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fighting for democracy and for independence. We must help them win that double battle. It seems timely to reproduce here the conclusion of my article I mentioned earlier: Mexico’s international politics have traditionally been founded on the principle of nonintervention. . . . This was and is a juridical shield, a legal weapon. It has defended us and with it we have defended others. But today this policy is not sufficient. It would be incomprehensible for our government to close its eyes to the new configuration of forces on the American continent. Faced with situations as those that could develop in Central America, it is not enough to mouth abstract doctrines with negative overtones. We have principles and interests to defend in that region. We are not talking about abandoning the principle of nonintervention, but of giving it a positive impact. We want democratic, peace-loving regimes on our continent. We want friends, not the armed agents of an imperial power.

We hear often enough that Latin America’s problems are those of an underdeveloped continent. The adjective is equivocal; it judges rather than describes. It labels but does not explain. And the label has little meaning: underdeveloped in what, by what, and in relation to what model or paradigm? It is a technocratic concept that downgrades the real values of a civilization, the physiognomy and the soul of each society. It is an ethnocentric concept. To say this is not to ignore our countries’ problems: economic, political, and intellectual dependence on the outside world, the egregious social inequalities, extreme poverty alongside wealth and wastefulness, the absence of public freedoms, repression, militarism, unstable institutions, disorder, demagoguery, mythomania, hollow rhetoric, lies and their masks, corruption, archaic moral attitudes, machismo, backwardness in science and technology, intolerance toward opinions, beliefs, and customs. The problems are real. How real are the remedies? After 25 years, the most radical cure has produced the following results: Cubans today are as poor or poorer than before the revolution and are much less free; inequality has not disappeared—the hierarchies are different but are more rather than less rigid and hide-bound; repression is like the heat—unrelenting, intense and ubiquitous; economically the island is dependent on sugar, politically on Russia. The Cuban Revolution has become petrified. It is a huge block of granite that is crushing the people. At the other extreme, the military dictatorships have perpetuated the disastrous, unjust status quo; they have abolished public freedoms, they have practiced a cruel policy of repression, they have failed to solve the economic problems and in many cases have exacerbated the social problems. And most seriously, they have been and are incapable of resolving the central political problem of our societies, the problem of succession, that is, of the legitimacy of government. So, far form suppressing instability, they aggravate it. Latin American democracy arrived late and has been maimed and betrayed

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time and time again. It has been weak, indecisive, rebellious, its own worst enemy, open to the flattery of demagogues, corrupted by money, undermined by favoritism and nepotism. And yet, almost everything good that has been done in Latin America for the last century and a half has been done within a democratic framework, or, as in Mexico, on the way toward such a framework. There is still much to be done. Our nations need changes and reforms that are both radical and appropriate to the tradition and genius of each country. Wherever the attempt has been made to change economic and social structures while dismantling democratic institutions, there injustice, oppression, and inequality have thrived. First and foremost, the workers require the freedom to assemble and the right to strike. These are the first things their liberators snatch away from them. Without democracy changes are counterproductive; in other words, there is no change. At this point we must be intransigent and repeat this message: social change and democracy are inseparable. To defend democracy is to defend the possibility of change; in turn, only change can strengthen democracy and allow it finally to take shape in social life. It is a dual task of vast proportions. It is a task for everyone, not just Latin Americans. The fight is worldwide. Furthermore, the outcome is uncertain, doubtful. No matter. We must undertake it.

NOTES Translated by Rachel Phillips Belash. 1. Benito Pe´rez Galdo´s, La segunda casaca, 1883. 2. The title essay, “The Philanthropic Ogre,” appeared, in English translation, in the Winter 1979 issue of Dissent.—Ed. 3. The interested reader may turn to Claude Lefort’s penetrating clarification of this theme in L’invention de´mocratique, Paris: Gallimard, 1981. 4. Baruch Knei-Paz, The Social and Political Thought of Leon Trotsky, London, Oxford, and New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. 5. I am writing these lines just after the election. Like the vast majority of the democrats and true socialists of Latin America I read with embarrassment the resolution of the Socialist International that the “so-called” elections in El Salvador “are of no value.” Moral insensitivity and political blindness!

CHAPTER 11

From El Cid to El Che: The Hero and the Mystique of Liberation in Latin America Dolores Moyano Martin

Spain gave the world the hero incarnate in El Cid and the transcendent hero in Don Quixote. Much of Spanish destiny would unfold in their shadows, as affirmation and negation of their exemplary lives. The poem and the novel reflect and foreshadow the two great epics of Spanish history: the reconquest of Spain and the conquest of America. For almost eight hundred years Spaniards were obsessed, consumed by the passion of the reconquest of Spain from the infidels, the Arabs who invaded in 710. The notion of lucha (struggle), which permeates much of the revolutionary poetry of Spanish America today, probably goes back as far as 1099, when it is said that El Cid, already dead but strapped to his horse Babieca, won his last battle at Valencia. The capture of Granada and the final expulsion of the Moors from the Iberian peninsula in 1492 was the epic feat of another Spaniard not unlike El Cid, Gonzalo de Co´rdoba, El Gran Capita´n, whose tactics, training, and organization would make Spanish infantry invincible for almost two centuries. The centuries devoted to warring against the infidel, an enterprise involving much of the male population, resulted in plebeians who regarded themselves as noblemen, “fumo di fidalgo,” according to the Florentine ambassador to Spain in 1513.1 A Frenchman who visited Spain in the seventeenth century was amazed to hear a poor squire boast that “I am as much a noble as the king, aye, and nobler, for he is half Flemish.”2 And the nobleman’s, or hidalgo’s, chief occupations were to make war and attend mass; a knight’s tasks, like Don Quixote’s, were battle and prayer. The heroic life was, had to be, a quest, a gesta filled with adventure and longing, longing for honor, even death—anything but the ordinary. Otherwise one might as well be dead or worse, working

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with money, papers, or one’s hands, like Jews and other infidels or, God forbid, women.3 The regard for leisure and aversion to ordinary work that existed in medieval Spain were exacerbated by the conquest of America. Saint Teresa describes how one of her brothers, having returned from America, refused to work the land. Why should he toil like a dirt farmer after having been a sen˜or in the Indies?4 The notion of a heroic life was propagated by the cantares de gesta, or chansons de geste, the heroic poetry of the Spanish Middle Ages, the popularity of which is exemplified by Don Quixote’s reciting such a ballad to an innkeeper perceived to be the governor of a fortress: Mis arreos son las armas mi descanso el pelear mi cama las duras pen˜as mi dormir siempre velar (Arms are my ornaments combat, my rest vigilance, my sleep the hard rock, my bed)

If Spain is “the home of the idea of chivalry,”5 observes Miguel de Unamuno, then “Quixotism is simply the most desperate phase of the battle of the Middle Ages against its offspring the Renaissance.”6 The books of chivalry, which popularized the medieval ethos of heroic poetry, were the favorite reading not only of the general public but of such “austere spirits as Saint Ignatius, Saint Teresa and the Emperor Charles V.”7 Indeed, Cervantes, who published the world’s first novel in 1605 to ridicule the genre, was in a sense unhorsed by his own creation, a caricature that took off with a life of its own, leaving its creator behind, eclipsing all his serious works, galloping on to posterity to become that most endearing and enduring of gallant knights. The conquest of America was the consecration of the Spanish hero as crusading knight. The conquistadors exemplify Joseph Campbell’s definition of the hero: individuals who venture forth from the world of common day into regions of supernatural wonders where fabulous forces must be encountered and decisive victories won so that the triumphant hero can return home with the power to bestow blessings and riches on his fellow men.8 And the feats of the conquest would be as heroic as anything in the books of chivalry. Few men have shown the daring of Corte´s’ marching into Mexico with 400 men or of Pizarro taking over the Inca empire with 180. And what witnesses they had in their soldiers! One of Corte´s’ men, Bernal Dı´az del Castillo, writing as an old man, left us the most vivid, unforgettable account of that mythic European entry into the New World: “With such wonderful sights to gaze on we did not know what to say or if this was real that we saw

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before our eyes . . . and, as I write, it all comes before me as if it had happened only yesterday.”9 But the first wizard to infuse the New World with all the magic and wonder of the Old World’s legends was the discoverer himself. Columbus painted the inhabitants of Hispaniola to the Spanish sovereigns as if they were blissful creatures from the Golden Age, unsullied before the fall; free of violence or greed, the natives showed “as much love as if they were giving their hearts.”10 And from the seed of Columbus’s fancy would grow that most enduring American myth, one that combined the bliss of Ovid’s Golden Age with the innocence of the Bible’s paradise lost,11 the notion of the Noble Savage, a much stronger and lasting presence in the history, literature, and folklore of Latin America than in the United States.12 In a brilliant examination of Latin American political mythology, the Venezuelan author Carlos Rangel points to the connection between the past notion of the Noble Savage and today’s notion of the Noble Revolutionary.13 The present chapter is an exploration of this connection, an attempt to establish whether the Latin American guerrilla is somehow the latest incarnation of the Spanish hero. The crusader, warrior, savior, that stalked the continent, charged with a sacred mission: to liberate us, to restore us to that free and happy state that Columbus found before the rot set in, to convert us to the true faith, to that very old belief in the New Man. SPANI SH AMER I C A , T H E N I N E T E E N T H C E N T U RY: THE HERO AS E MA N C I PAT O R Is it possible, as has been pointed out, that the most significant achievement of that prototypical hero of the nineteenth century, Napoleon, was one that never entered his mind: the emancipation of Spanish America? That Napoleon was both the denial and the consummation of the French Revolution is exemplified by the coins that bore the inscription: REPUBLIQUE FRANC ¸ AISE, NAPOLEON EMPEREUR. But even more than France itself, the young Spanish American republics would be doomed to the paradox of that inscription, to the cyclic transmutation of revolutionary liberation into absolutism.14 After the Napoleonic invasion of Spain and the abdication of King Ferdinand VII in 1808, the Spanish American colonies proclaimed their freedom. Their independence, however, was achieved after sixteen years of savage war with the Spanish armies, a campaign led by the Venezuelan Simo´n Bolı´var (1783–1830), thereafter known as the Liberator. At the time, “belief in the power of the heroic individual”15 was at its peak. And Bolı´var, a dashing, brilliant, irresistible personality, exemplified the Napoleonic ideal (the Argentine Jose´ de San Martı´n, the liberator from the South, was more of a George Washington and did not fit the heroic-romantic mold). Bolı´var had not only the conceit of genius but, as noted by Unamuno,

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the heroic energy, indomitable will, and cult of glory characteristic of Don Quixote.16 The Latin American war of independence was fought with unwilling, untrained, and poorly equipped recruits, over terrain of a savagery inconceivable to either Julius Caesar or Napoleon. In such circumstances, military science counted less than the heroic will and a gift for leadership that were characteristic of Bolı´var—a brilliant improviser who lived by Danton’s famous maxim: “L’audace, l’audace, toujours de l’audace!”17 In addition to being a great warrior, Bolı´var was also the region’s first romantic writer and the first great interpreter of Spanish American history. Unquestionably one of the most gifted revolutionary leaders in history and the first Latin American to attain universal renown,18 he was also the region’s greatest visionary. Not the least of his gifts was the clarity of insight with which he analyzed the Latin American conditions that would prevent the liberation he so brilliantly led from producing either a workable political system, as in the United States, or extensive social and economic reforms, as in post-Napoleonic Europe.19 He concluded that to serve the revolution was to plow the sea.20 Truthfulness, harsh honesty about the problems and faults of Latin America, as well as emphasis on the region’s responsibility for its own destiny, have been characteristic of the true Latin American hero. But in a political culture where mendacity, sentimentality, and the rationalization of responsibility are endemic (especially among the elites and the intelligentsia), Bolı´var’s harsh truths have never been popular. The great irony of Spanish American emancipation was that el pueblo—all who are not among the elite (for example, Indians, blacks, mestizos, mulattoes, poor whites)—were consigned to either harsher bondage or greater servitude after liberation than they had been in colonial times when the humanitarian laws of the Spanish Crown did, to an extent, shelter the weak from total exploitation by the powerful. Partly as a result of such abuses and injustices, there arose in the nineteenth century a veritable tide of populist leaders, the rural caudillos who would wreak almost as much havoc and destruction across the young republics as had the savage wars of independence. With “clairvoyant desperation,”21 Bolı´var anticipated the vengeful rise and bloody wake of these Latin American cossacks. Another true and truthful hero, the Cuban Jose´ Martı´ (1853–1895), a great admirer of Bolı´var, also expressed doubts about the relevance of North American or other democratic systems of government for Latin America. Alluding to the continent’s violent heritage, the tradition of meeting force with force, he warned, to paraphrase him, that you don’t stop the charge of a caudillo’s stallion with a Hamiltonian decree.22 The magnitude of Bolı´var’s achievement, the continental scope of his mission, as well as his unrealized dream of an independent and unified Latin America would haunt future generations and inspire in Martı´23 and others a peculiarly Spanish American mystique of continental liberation. The mille-

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narian and totalitarian tendencies of this cult would become more evident in the twentieth century when more than one liberation movement resulted in the oppression and repression of the people it liberated. The great Russian writer Alexander Herzen (1812–1870), who had known or befriended many European revolutionaries of the nineteenth century, including Marx, Bakunin, Garibaldi, and Mazzini, was as prescient as Bolı´var about the dark forces unleashed by liberation. He foresaw them engulfing his own country with dire consequences for the Russian people. His statement about Catholic Europe also applies to Latin America: “The Latin World does not like freedom, it likes to sue for it; it sometimes finds the force for liberation, never for freedom.”24 He concluded that “if only people wanted, instead of liberating humanity to liberate themselves, they would do a great deal for human freedom.”25 CUBA, THE TWE N T I E T H C E N T U RY: T H E H E R O A S REVOLUTI ONA RY It is no accident that the Cuban Revolution of 1959 took place in one of those Caribbean islands mythified by Columbus: “The earliest utopias of the imagination and the starting places for many key nineteenth century revolutionaries were often islands.”26 The old utopia was thus reborn in the romantic dream of a socialist island inhabited by noble revolutionaries,27 led by a new Prospero who, like the discoverer himself, could transmute American reality into the stuff European dreams are made of. At long last, through magic incantation, through the language of fantasy and sorcery, a much beloved figure would be summoned: the Noble Savage as New Socialist Man. Like the medieval Spanish knight who consecrated his words, his life, and his death to the nobility of his cause, one of the island’s warriors would set forth into the wicked world to proclaim the good news, to spread the gospel of the incarnation of the revolutionary word: In Latin America a New Man had risen to die for our sins, and the New Man was he—Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Almost twenty years ago, I published a memoir about him, reminiscences of the young man I knew in Co´rdoba, Argentina, in the 1940s– 1950s,28 Ernestito Guevara as we knew him then: a handsome, mesmerizing young man who was wildly eccentric and shockingly opinionated but unusually idealistic and generous. But now, I write not about that boy, but about El Che, the Revolutionary, the Guerrilla, an implacable zealot of total war, whose ultimate end is as much a mystery to me as to anyone else. The attempt to unravel it here, to explore from the distance of years, books, articles, this second, abstract persona against the memory of the first real and immediate human being that I knew well, is a disconcerting endeavor, somehow like refocusing a multiple exposure in which the first impression will always overshadow the others. He was different from other children—wiser, tougher, more independent—

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probably because of having been from infancy on the verge of death because of asthma attacks. From the beginning, we wondered at his amazing nonconformity, his passion for the out-of-the-ordinary—what in hindsight now appear to have been the first stirrings of that very Spanish yearning for the heroic. Unamuno described this yearning as the need to “live a life of restless longing,”29 an existence driven, in Huizinga’s words, by the “vision of a sublime life”30—or perhaps a sublime death? In a journal he kept as a young man, he carefully transcribed the words of an unidentified victim of the French Revolution: “I go to the scaffold with my head high. I am not a victim, I am the blood that fertilizes the soil of France. I die because I must, so that the people can live on.”31 And so are revolutionary myths spun and revolutionary heroes born. In our case, the mythmaking begins with the history of the Cuban Revolution, which would be portrayed not as the outcome of an extraordinarily favorable constellation of forces and circumstances (for example, approval rather than intervention on the part of the United States; enthusiastic reports in the American press; massive support on the part of the Cuban middle class; active encouragement and even some assistance from democratic governments in Latin America; and last but by no means least, a powerful and deadly urban terrorist network of middle-class students). “The peasants,” as Le´o Sauvage has observed, “played a more important role in Che’s imagination than they did in the Cuban Revolution.”32 But the myth of a rural-based revolution would grow and persist, all credit being accorded Cuba’s peasants as well as that indispensable factor: a “miraculously . . . small band of men . . . the armed vanguard,”33 the twelve apostles that would lead the poor peasants to victory. The number twelve is no coincidence—even if the original survivors of Batista’s first attack were, in fact, fifteen. The incorporation of biblical or eschatological imagery into political ideology is characteristic of what one historian has called “the revolutionary faith.”34 In the nineteenth century, revolutionary ideologies became secularized versions of “the old Judeo-Christian belief in deliverance-through-history. At a deep and often subconscious level, the revolutionary faith was shaped by the Christian faith it attempted to replace.”35 In the Paris of the French Revolution there was, as in Galilee, a “revolutionary apostolate of twelve,”36 presided over by an ascetic visionary aptly called Saint-Just. The apostles would return with the Russian Revolution in Alexander Blok’s 1918 poem “The Twelve,” the final image being “that of Christ-as-revolutionary leading armed apostles into windswept St. Petersburg.”37 As in Paris and St. Petersburg, the apostles’ third apparition in Havana in 1959 would be as ominous, as fraught with danger for the flock as for the apostles themselves. The Cuban gospel was so electrifying that Che’s words would reach as far as his original archenemy: the Catholic Church. Latin American priests would adopt the Cuban revolutionary faith and incorporate it into a new church

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doctrine: Theology of Liberation. The first to formulate the new theology in 1971, the Peruvian Gustavo Gutie´rrez, was also the first to invoke Che: The liberation of our continent means more than overcoming economic, social, and political dependence. It means, in a deeper sense, to see the becoming of mankind as a process of the emancipation of man in history. It is to see man in search of a qualitatively different society in which he will be free from all servitude, in which he will be the artisan of his own destiny. It is to seek the building of a new man. Ernesto “Che” Guevara wrote, “We revolutionaries often lack the knowledge and the intellectual audacity to face the task of the development of a new human being.”38

Another example of such infatuation with Cuba is the case of the poet and priest Ernesto Cardenal, who later served as Nicaragua’s Minister of Culture during the Sandinista regime and who stated that Cuba is “the gospel put into practice,” “that Christ led me to Marx”39 and that “there is no difference between the Kingdom of God and communist society.”40 The attitude of Father Cardenal is by no means uncommon or unusual among Latin American priests and even some bishops and archbishops. The vast and complex issue of liberation theology in Latin America, well beyond the scope of this article, has been analyzed with rigor, eloquence, and much insight by Michael Novak in his book Will It Liberate?41 Che’s own background and the religious imagery in his writings are worth examining, given his far-reaching impact on Latin American Catholics in general and the Catholic Church in particular. In those years after the Spanish Civil War when I was growing up, our parents were mostly anticlerical or agnostic. Celia de la Serna, Che’s mother, however, was a militant atheist, an unusual stance in those days for a woman of her patrician background. Prior to her atheism, she had been such a militant Catholic that as a young woman she had almost joined a strict order of nuns. Instead, she passed on her militancy to her favorite son. If militant atheists are that rare incarnation of the true believers,42 it is also true that their adopted creeds are often rife with old beliefs. Che’s catechism for crusaders against the capitalist infidel defines the guerrilla warrior as “the Jesuit of warfare,”43 and the guerrilla doctor as “the true priest.”44 “The fault of many of our intellectuals and artists is to be found in their ‘original sin’: They are not authentically revolutionary.”45 The inherent “justice and truth of each revolutionary act” must be propagated through “intensive indoctrination”46 in order to strengthen “faith in the final victory.”47 But the guerrilla must above all “spread the incontrovertible truth that victory of the enemy against the people is finally impossible. Whoever does not feel this undoubted truth cannot be a guerrilla fighter.”48 An “undoubted truth” that has to be felt is not unlike that old “revealed truth” that had to be believed, or else. Or else, Woe to you Sinners, Monopolists, and Agents: be forewarned about the omnipotent people and their fury.49

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But the Cuban people turned out to be far less omnipotent than the island’s one-man revolutionary vanguard, El Lı´der Ma´ximo: Fidel Castro. Since Che’s departure in 1965, only one individual of real intelligence has been part of Castro’s inner circle, Carlos Rafael Rodrı´guez, a foxy survivor. It is clear that Castro has less in common with the grey apparatchik leaders of communist Europe than with those eccentric and implacable Latin American despots of the nineteenth century: awesome caudillos such as Argentina’s Juan Manuel de Rosas (1793–1877) and Paraguay’s Jose´ Gaspar Rodrı´guez de Francia (1766–1840) who called himself “El Supremo.” When and how did the deification of Castro begin? And why do El Supremos tend to emerge from such revolutions? There seems to be in Latin America, more than any other region of the world, a craving for political supermen, a need to hero-worship statesmen as well as historical figures.50 The worship of Castro the Hero began early on, and Che was one of the first to succumb. In Mexico, in 1956, the revolutionary apostle composed a paean dedicated to the new Messiah and to the liberation of the Promised Land. The first lines of “Song to Fidel” are: Let us go, Fiery prophet of the dawn On silent spatial roads To liberate the green island you love51

That totalitarian socialisms—whether in Germany and Italy as national socialism or in the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba as communist socialism— are shaped by powerful messianic leaders in their emerging phases (say, the first thirty or fifty years) is an obvious fact by now. In his famous essay “Socialism and Man in Cuba,” Che stresses such a role. It is not merely the Leninist vanguard that leads but very specifically Fidel, the man himself, or in Che’s words: the personality, the man as the individual leads the masses that make history . . . Fidel gave impulse to the Revolution . . . he has always given it leadership and set the tone. . . . [and the mass of the people] follows its leaders because it has faith in them. It has faith in them because these leaders have known how to interpret the longings of the masses.52

How will the people learn to follow such a leader? Not unlike how good Catholics are taught to follow the lives of the saints: by example. And the ideal example of such a follower, according to Che, was one of the revolutionary martyrs, the dead apostle Camilo Cienfuegos, who “practiced loyalty like a religion; he was its votary, both in his personal loyalty to Fidel who embodied as no one else the will of the people, and in his loyalty to the people themselves.”53

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The revolutionary comandante is the latest incarnation of the old archetype of the Spanish warrior—the comandante of the crusade against the infidel— whose love of lucha , trappings (uniforms), or rhetoric would continue through the ages in an endless progeny of liberators, conquistadores, emancipators, rural caudillos, city caudillos, military juntas, military dictators, rural guerrillas, urban guerrillas, and senderistas of the Shining Path. Che’s exemplary warrior, the true revolutionary, is the most ascetic and zealous manifestation of the archetype and, as Sauvage has observed, Che’s definition of such a type “comes appallingly close to a self-portrait”:54 He must combine an impassioned spirit with a cold mind and make painful decisions without flinching. Our vanguard revolutionaries . . . cannot descend with small doses of daily affection to the terrain where ordinary men put their love into practice . . . The leaders of the Revolution have children who do not learn to call their father with their first faltering words; they have wives who must be part of the general sacrifice . . . to carry the Revolution to its destination; their friends are strictly limited to their comrades in revolution. There is no life outside the Revolution.55

But aware that such a puritanical visionary might become dangerously dogmatic and intolerant, he warns that under “these conditions” it is necessary to have “a large dose of humanity, a large dose of a sense of justice and truth, to avoid falling into dogmatic extremes, into cold scholasticism, into isolation from the masses.”56 But, as Sauvage points out, Che is unaware of “the fact that the ‘revolutionary’ he has just described has already fallen, and could not help but fall into all these extremes.”57 BO LI VIA, 1966– 6 7 , T H E G U E R R I L L A : D E AT H O F THE HERO Why did this revolutionary born in Argentina fight in Cuba to die in Bolivia? After Che vanished from public view in 1965, his dying mother wrote him a poignant letter in which she told him: “Yes, you’ll always be a foreigner. That seems to be your permanent fate.”58 Shortly after the success of the Cuban Revolution, Che’s father asked him about his future plans: Was he planning to practice medicine? No, replied the son, he was now working for the new government, but, he added, “Yo mismo no se´ en que tierra dejare´ los huesos” (I myself have no idea in what land I’ll leave my bones). The father, who refers more than once to the enigma of his son’s life throughout his memoirs, believes that in this phrase is the key to the mystery.59 The loneliness of exile, a “physical homelessness that often deepened into spiritual alienation,”60 was also characteristic of European revolutionaries of the 1840s, the rootless revolutionaries who found in Marx’s theories not another makeshift shelter of radical ideas but the solid temple of revolutionary ideology.61

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But in our time, the temple’s principal form of worship in Latin America would be the cult of liberation with Che as its first apostle and Bolivia as its first mission. There, the initial revolutionary foco would be lit by Che to illuminate the unenlightened, and to spark one, two, three, many Vietnams, spreading the fire of liberation throughout the continent. But reality, recalcitrant, refused to reflect the dream. And the nightmare began. Forty desperate guerrillas—without food, water, or communication equipment; resented by the peasantry; abandoned by the Bolivian communists; ignored by Castro; wracked by colic, edema, fainting spells, and, in Che’s case, by violent asthma attacks; lost in savage, unfamiliar terrain, without proper maps, inexplicably separated by Che into two groups that, exhausted from seeking one another, went around in circles for months never realizing how close they were—finally were killed off one by one. Che’s notion of the revolutionary hero, whom he defines as the “highest rung in the human species,”62 is like that of his spiritual predecessor, the “dark genius” of the Russian revolutionary tradition, Serge Nechaev—immortalized by Dostoevski in his great anti-terrorist novel, The Possessed. For Nechaev as for Che, the revolutionary was not only a superior being but also “a doomed man,” one who “has severed every tie with the civil order, the educated world,” a world which he inhabits but “only to destroy it more effectively.”63 In his careful analysis of the Bolivian campaign, Sauvage emphasizes Che’s peculiar carelessness, the way in which, from the very beginning, he left an unmistakable trail of telltale clues (for example, photos, letters, documents). Inexplicably, in the letters and documents as well as in his diary, he would often use real names rather than pseudonyms, a practice that led to the early arrest of key members of his underground urban network.64 But most regrettable of all is the fact that although he writes with affection and feeling about some of his men in Bolivia, he never expresses any remorse or regret about their unspeakable suffering or pointless deaths. A paradoxical and contradictory document, the diary combines admirable honesty, and courage with an implacable zeal about the cause, an unswerving conviction that deliverance from the mission would be attained only through martyrdom. And to Che, salvation does not mean rescue, much less retreat or escape. On the contrary, there is in the diary a sinister undertow of anticipation of ruin and death. A confidant of Egypt’s President Nasser, Mohammed Hassanein Heikal, describes in his memoirs a meeting that took place between Nasser and Che on February 11, 1965. He reports that “Guevara was saddened by some deep personal distress,”65 and that he told Nasser: The turning point in each man’s life is the moment when he decides to face death. If he faces death, then he is a hero whether he becomes a success or not. He can be a good or bad politician, but if he cannot face death, he will never be anything more than a politician.”66

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Heikal concluded that Che “knew his own destiny. He was so disillusioned with his life, with what he saw as the failure of the application of the revolution, that he had developed a death wish. He did not want to run factories and cope with technocrats and bureaucrats. He wanted to fight. He wanted to look death in the face.”67 The hidden connection between the cult of liberation and the cult of death—a connection whose sinister implications would come to full bloom in Argentina, in the 1970s—begins in Che’s Bolivian diary, in his words, their meaning incarnate in the icon: the macabre, mesmerizing photograph of his corpse, the eyes open in a beatific state, the visionary martyr purified by the mortification of the flesh, the prophet of liberation finally liberated by death. ARGENTINA, 19 7 0 – 7 8 , T H E T E R R O R I S T: L E G AC Y OF THE HERO In contrast to the true and truthful heroes of Latin America, the region’s false heroes have usually been princes of deceit, masters of doublespeak, demagogues who manipulated the people with consummate skill. Two recent examples of the breed are Juan Domingo Pero´n of Argentina and Fidel Castro of Cuba. The mythical fusion of the rhetoric of both caudillos would be achieved after and, in a very real sense, through Che Guevara’s death. The combination would result in a deadly doctrinal concoction of national liberation that would trigger a far bloodier mystique of “liberating” death squads of the Right.68 Che’s doctrine of national liberation is carefully spelled out in a chilling, prophetic document, his last official article and political testament made public in Havana in April 1967: “Message to the Tricontinental: Create Two, Three . . . Many Vietnams.” According to Che, liberation means freeing the world, especially the underdeveloped world, from the greatest enemy of mankind, the United States. However, if the liberators are to succeed, their driving force must be, above all, hatred: “Hatred as an element of the struggle; a relentless hatred of the enemy, impelling us over and beyond the natural limitations man is heir to and transforming him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold killing machine.”

Once such hatred is tapped, he muses, “How close we could look into a bright future should two, three, or many Vietnams flourish throughout the world with their share of deaths and their immense tragedies.”69 His chilling prophecy would not be fulfilled in Bolivia, but in Cambodia. Unlike Che, who was very clear about his definition of liberation, Pero´n’s has generated volumes of analysis and exegesis. Nevertheless, that master of mendacity was being sincere when he expressed the hope that the Sino-Soviet split would lead to the emergence of the “national socialism” he had so ad-

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mired in the Italy and Germany of the 1930s–1940s. In 1968, he reemphasized his regret that the Allied defeat of Germany and Italy had “eliminated all momentary possibilities for national socialism.” Although dimmed by the unfortunate Allied victory of 1945, these possibilities had, in his view, brightened considerably after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. By 1970, Pero´n declared that “the solution was to liberate the country [that is, Argentina] in the way Fidel freed his.”70 Pero´n’s murky and fraudulent ideology as well as his use of flattery and encouragement aided and abetted the rise of a sinister and secret army of storm-troopers, the Argentine Montoneros, soldiers of Pero´n, but heirs of Che Guevara. These bloodthirsty young terrorists would eventually provoke a reaction of such savagery on the part of the armed forces that their own ferocious deeds would seem small by comparison. Once again, as in the wars of independence, the mystical patronage of the Noble Savage was invoked to sanctify the cause of liberation: Uruguay’s urban guerrillas picking the name Tupamaros after the Inca rebel of the 1700s; their Argentine counterparts calling themselves Montoneros after the nineteenthcentury bands of fiercely loyal gauchos that followed the caudillo-warlord wherever he led them. Che Guevara, who had been skeptical about the use of terror in the Cuban Revolution, changed his mind in Bolivia. He wrote that the resistance and distrust of Bolivian peasants had to be overcome through “systematic terror.”71 Che’s seminal notion of terror planificado was the Bolivian seed that sprouted in Argentina. Nurtured by the Montoneros but propagated by the military, the seed grew into a weed so monstrous and poisonous that it almost suffocated the country. The sacramental exaltation of violence that became so typical of the Montoneros in the late 1970s was also characteristic of the Russian revolutionary tradition, a tradition that in itself was “demonstrably different from anything in the West.” Like the Russian People’s Will, the Montoneros also wished to extirpate that mythic monster: bourgeois mediocrity. The Russian ideological predecessors of the Argentine guerrillas were also mostly middle-class students with a horror of “small deeds” and a longing for the nobility of “great deeds, suicidal assassinations, dramatic escapes, heroic coups.”72 The Montoneros’ first heroic coup was the 1970 kidnapping and execution of General Pedro Eugenio Aramburu who deposed Pero´n in 1955. This murder and the many that followed gradually led to the development of what can only be described as a sort of folk cult of blood and death, with its own weird rituals and chilling incantations. At public rallies, often to the accompaniment of drums, Montoneros would chant merrily: Con el cra´neo de Aramburu vamo’ a hacer un cenicero pa’ que apaguen sus puchos los comandos montoneros

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(We’re making an ashtray with Aramburu’s skull for the Montoneros to put out their cigarette butts)

Giussani compares it to the chants of the Italian blackshirts: Con la barba di Cicotti noi faremo spazzolini per pulire gli stivali di Benito Mussolini.73

It should be emphasized that in the 1970s the Montoneros were not just another band of terrorists but “the mightiest urban guerrilla force ever seen in the whole of Latin America,” and Europe as well. Next to them, the Italian Red Brigades, the German Baader-Meinhoff, the Basque ETA, the Irish IRA, and even the Sandinistas at the most successful stage of their insurrection against Somoza, are dwarfed by comparison. A few examples of the scale on which the Montoneros operated include: Guerrillas who became affiliated with them held a liberated zone in Tucuma´n for more than a year; full-scale attacks on military garrisons and other well-defended government bastions were conducted often and with remarkable success; a ransom they collected for the kidnapping of the Born brothers from the Bunge y Born grain consortium set the world record at the time for guerrilla ransoms, $60 million; they had their own brokers investing the ransom millions on Wall Street with interest payments averaging $130,000 per month; and last but not least, they even ventured into the arms business developing the potential to manufacture machine guns.74 Twenty years would pass before another group surpassed the Montoneros. In the 1990s, only the guerrillas-cum-drug-lords of Colombia outdid them in military power, strategic success, financial resources, and overall audacity. Pero´n and Che Guevara had in common a “military conception of politics.”75 In the case of Guevara, it is virtually unknown that he believed, as he wrote, that the revolutionary “triumph will always be the product of a regular army, even though its origins are in a guerrilla army.76 In Cuba these irregular army leaders, the former guerrillas, became the ruling party—one of the reasons for the pervasive militarization and regimentation of Cuban society today. As Sauvage has noted, “Che was a warrior. A warrior, and not only a guerrilla. He loved the battle. He loved the sight of weapons. He loved the life of the soldier.” Like Trotsky in the 1920s, Che wanted “the workers to think of themselves as soldiers,” and for those who did not, the reluctant ones, he set up militarized “labor brigades.77 The Montoneros would also regard workers as troops, their “labour-oriented initiatives” being “incorrigibly militaristic,”78

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and having about as much success with Argentine workers as Che had had with their Cuban counterparts. The founding fathers of the Montoneros were originally members of the “violently right-wing Tacuara,” a sinister organization in the European fascist model that made a cult of violence and death. The tacuaristas wore “the Maltese Cross on their lapels, put on uniforms for secret initiation rites in the darkest recesses of the Chacarita cemetery in Buenos Aires . . . possessed small arms from the start, and . . . when not engaged in attacks on Jewish schoolchildren, carried coshes and knuckle-dusters with them.79 The fascist cult of the Leader, the need to glorify such a figure and invest it with supernatural powers and, above all, the eroticization of the leader’s interaction with his followers is present in Che’s writings. Speaking of Castro, he compares his public performances with “the dialogue of two tuning forks whose vibrations summon forth new vibrations each in the other. Fidel and the mass begin to vibrate in a dialogue of growing intensity which reaches its culminating point in an abrupt ending crowned by our victorious battlecry.”80 Patria o Muerte! (Fatherland or Death!) Or maybe Sieg Heil? Reading the names of the Montoneros from my native town of Co´rdoba, I cannot but wonder at the fact that most of them came from families that in my childhood had been ardent supporters of Hitler, Franco, and Mussolini. As the daughter of an American Protestant mother, I was well aware of the attitudes of Co´rdoba’s ultra-Catholic Right, in particular of their hostility to Protestant-capitalist values and their aversion to parliamentary democracy as exemplified by the United States—the unheroic society par excellence in their eyes, a crude, corrupt, and materialistic nation run by Jews, nouveau-riche merchants, and greedy capitalists. That the ultra-Right and ultra-Left should have a comparable perception of the United States is a telling feature of Argentine political culture, and possibly of Latin American political culture in general. Again, as in nineteenth century Russia, the Left and the Right have deeply influenced each other in twentieth-century Argentina. This symbiosis of extremes became “a fateful and enduring feature of the Russian revolutionary tradition.” In both Russia and Argentina, the development of secret political forces on the Right would be inextricably intertwined with the rise of revolutionary organizations on the Left. The Czarist secret police and the Russian revolutionaries who “opposed one another in principle,” actually shared “a subculture of intrigue, anonymity and excitement.”81 It is clear from history that extremists have been more averse to moderation than to each other. Moderate positions, usually complicated and arduous to implement, were scorned as mode´rantisme by that founding father of extremism, Robespierre. The result of such scorn is what happened in Argentina: the worst case of political polarization, one in which an extreme revolutionary Left, on the one hand, and an even more extreme reactionary Right, on the

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other, recognized and understood each other’s positions better than any mode´rantiste stance in between. The ritual role reversal between the Montoneros and the military was gradual. Like mythic antagonists who, under a spell, must face the enemy’s image in a magic mirror that has the power to switch their reflections, the opponents began their danse macabre. The terrorists gradually surfaced as an army with uniforms, military ranks, and even (foreign) parades; the army went underground, descending into the Montonero Hades to outdo them, making an invincible terrorist out of the State. The militarization of the Montoneros, partly attributable to their fascist origins, intensified in the late 1970s. Military ranks were introduced: comandantes in addition to aspirants, officials, and three different officer grades. In true fascist fashion, their “growing addiction to hierarchy and elaborate structures meant that the real physical division became one between ‘officers’ and ‘troops.’” Their affinity for military paraphernalia intensified and the uniforms “worn by Montoneros during the Cuban Youth Festival” caused much “amusement” among “Red Army delegates wearing civilian dress.”82 Indeed, when the Montoneros’ Supreme Command in Exile ruled that only members in uniform could attend meetings, guerrillas had to travel to their conspiratorial destinations in Rome and Madrid on city buses with a parcel perched on their knees: a carefully folded, secretly wrapped uniform.83 The Montonero leadership became a perfect ca´pula, an untranslatable but apt term meaning both “top rulers” and “dome of a church”; its double meaning infuses the Spanish notion of top ruler with an awe-inspiring and sacrosanct ring. When Che wrote in his diary, “The legend of the guerrilla is growing like foam; we are already invincible supermen,”84 he was speaking with characteristic irony. Nevertheless, his definition of the true revolutionary is practically that of a superman. The opposite of these supermen were the Bolivian peasants of whom he wrote with no irony and much condescension that “they are like little animals.”85 The “invincible supermen” who eventually arose in Che’s native Argentina did regard themselves as such. According to Giussani, the Montoneros viewed “the revolution as a homeric feat carried out by heroic beings, a task beyond ordinary men,” the omnipotent guerrilla “conjuring revolutions like a saint’s miracles.”86 That such elitist perceptions of the self are inseparable from contempt for others is characteristic of the ideology of liberation espoused by most guerrilla movements in Latin America. “Reasumamos la calidad de conquistadores . . . seamos dioses” (Let us recapture the nature of the conquistadors . . . let us be gods) wrote the Salvadoran guerrilla-poet Roque Dalton.87 But poor Roque Dalton never became a god. Another set of godly candidates, a rival guerrilla faction with a different gospel of liberation, executed him (Dalton was ajusticiado, a Spanish legal term that fuses the concepts of justice and death, thus

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allowing the hangman to see his victim not as someone killed but as someone justiced.) The reduction of human beings to abstract intellectual categories has, according to British historian Paul Johnson, been one of the most pernicious notions of our age.88 First and foremost are the individuals who establish such categories and decide who belongs where: These all-knowing individuals make up the party or party elites, and are exemplified by the Nazi’s Schutzstaffel, the Soviets’ Leninist Vanguard, or Cuba’s guerrilla elite. The second category consists of those whom the first category has marked or will mark for elimination. Usually referred to as “enemies of the people,” these individuals are broken into subcategories such as bourgeois, capitalists, monopolists, Jews, kulaks, and gypsies among others. Finally, the third category is usually composed of presumed followers of the first category of leaders, groups in whose name and on whose behalf the second category is, will be, or has been eliminated (for example, the Aryan race, the proletariat, the poor, the peasants). Thus, the second category’s elimination leads to the third category’s liberation, all according to the grand design of the supermen planners in the first category, the gods of Roque Dalton. FROM HEROIC L I B E R AT I O N T O O R D I N A RY FREEDOMS The ansia, longing, for heroism and liberation that began with El Cid and continued through the conquest and emancipation reemerged in our century as the old crusade, imbued now with the fervor of a new faith: Revolutionary Liberation. Since the French Revolution liberation has meant that the low, the poor, the powerless, all those living in darkness and subjugation will rise to destroy the sovereign in power and become sovereign in turn; liberation is attained through the destruction of all traditions, institutions, and social arrangements. Thus, the original French Jacobin concept of a Manichaean conflict between the forces of virtue (the powerless) and the forces of evil (those in power) was easily translated into the Marxist idea of class warfare. Indeed, there are remarkable similarities between the Jacobin and Marxist conceptions of the Utopia toward which, inexorably, history marches on.89 Stubborn history, however, keeps slinking backward, away from unknown freedom and back to familiar bondage: REPUBLIQUE FRANQAISE, NAPOLEON EMPEREUR. As Hannah Arendt observed, the nature of a revolution will be predetermined by the nature of the government it overthrows. Indeed, there is nothing more futile than revolutionary liberation unless it is “followed by the constitution of the newly won freedom.”90 And what are the freedoms to which most human beings aspire? First, freedom from tyranny and torture; second, freedom from poverty and want; and third, freedom of movement, of information, and of ideas. But instead of

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the patient and complex constitution and implementation of such newly won freedoms—an arduous process involving years of careful study and debate among the people’s representatives to avoid the imposition of a single metaphysic upon all—what ends up being constituted and implemented in Cuba and other Marxist-Leninist states is precisely a single metaphysical vision: that all-embracing and all-solving revolutionary faith, a salvationist creed that can be challenged only at the risk of heresy and is thus fundamentally incompatible with human freedom.91 And yet despite the historical evidence from the French Revolution onward that revolutionary liberation has almost invariably led to the oppression— even enslavement—of those it liberated, the mystique continues to enthrall intellectuals who not only have never been liberated but who, on the contrary, choose to live under those carefully, arduously constituted, most definitely unheroic bourgeois freedoms. It is such intellectuals, Sartre above all, who have glorified some of the most ruthless dictators of our century: Stalin, Mao, and Castro. Che Guevara, on the other hand, much more than a liberator in the Castro mold, is perceived in Latin America as the region’s Supreme Samurai. It is as such, much more than as Marxist liberator, that he has achieved mythic status throughout the hemisphere. He underwent a test that predates the mystique of liberation, the ultimate test of heroism—one that Castro never took, much less passed. Che committed that very Spanish version of seppuku: selfimmolation for the lost cause. Reverence for the fact of a pointless and gallant death is as old as the medieval chansons de geste that comprise the epic poem of El Cid. That the tradition continues in Spanish America today is the thesis of a study about Chile in which the author concludes that an obscure naval officer who died in the War of the Pacific (1879–1883) has been made into a hero by Chileans precisely because of his self-immolation during a battle that was lost.92 Interestingly, the one region of the United States that shares this passion for hopeless warfare and the cult of the hero of the lost cause is the American South. A recent study of Southern military strategy during the American Civil War convincingly demonstrates that the idea of self-immolation was widespread among Southern soldiers.93 It is no wonder that William Faulkner’s books, so steeped in defeat, loss, and regret, have had such a profound impact on the Latin American writers of the last forty years—perhaps more impact than Faulkner has had in his own country. It would seem that mythic status can be achieved only by committing ritual suicide like Che, the Chilean Arturo Prat, or the Cuban Jose´ Martı´, and if not by self-immolation then by succumbing to assassination like Emiliano Zapata, Francisco Madero, and other leaders of the Mexican Revolution. But if neither of these methods is possible, then one has to die in exile and in poverty as with Argentina’s Jose´ de San Martı´n and Bolı´var himself. The possibility of such a hero being honored in his old age, dying at home in bed,

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surrounded by family and friends as in the case of say, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, is most unusual. I often wonder at the equivalent of an Alexander Hamilton in Latin America: how many ballads, corridos, and novels would have been written, not about the Federalist papers, but about his heroic end! So too, the immense popularity of John F. Kennedy throughout the region is probably due more to his assassination than to his policies. Is success unheroic to Latin Americans? Statesmen who, after accomplishing a great deal for their countries, withdrew willingly from public life, their own lives coming to a quiet end, such as Bernardino Rivadavia in nineteenthcentury Argentina or Ro´mulo Betancourt in twentieth-century Venezuela, do not elicit the same interest or admiration. We may be thankful that the conflict waged in Latin America over the preceding forty years and described in the preceding pages appears to be over, at least for the present. The military is out of power in most countries, although it may still play a role below the surface. Except for Colombia and the eccentric Zapatista movement in Chiapas, Mexico, the guerrilla movements that wreaked such havoc and destruction throughout the last decades have been vanquished and some have even sued for peace and joined the normal political process. It would seem as if the Latin American variant of democracy has triumphed in all countries except Cuba. And even there, one assumes the actuarial tables will eventually catch up with Fidel Castro, the primordial caudillo lı´der ma´ximo of the hemisphere. But have the aging of Fidel, the death of Che, the capture and imprisonment of the Shining Path’s Abimael Guzma´n, the failure of most guerrilla movements, the disappearance of various dictators truly served to drive the proverbial stake through the heart of the messianic savior? Or does the old archetype of the revolutionary comandante riding to the rescue continue to cast its spell and perhaps engender more progeny? Unfortunately, the answer appears to be yes. Witness the cases of Alberto Fujimori in Peru, Hugo Cha´vez in Venezuela, and to an extent, even Carlos Saa´l Menem in Argentina and the revered Fernando Henrique Cardoso in Brazil. “El Fuji” was elected President of Peru three times, the third time fraudulently. Although he accomplished much at the beginning of his rule by restoring a ruined economy and destroying the legendary Shining Path, a guerrilla movement more brutal and vicious, if less financially successful, than the Argentine Montoneros, not long thereafter, a haughty and imperious Fujimori dismantled the Congress, ran roughshod over the nation’s judiciary, chose to rule by decree and undermined the political party system. Eventually driven from power, he resigned from Japan, his ancestral homeland, where he sought refuge. The latest military officer to become President of a Latin American country is former paratrooper Colonel Hugo Cha´vez of Venezuela. So far, he has governed in an authoritarian manner not unlike that of Fujimori’s. The cor-

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rupt and ineffectual old political parties of Venezuela were undoubtedly in need of a thorough house-cleaning and sweeping reform. And yet, despite the grave shortcomings of the Venezuelan political system, it had established a working parliamentary democracy for more than half a century. Unfortunately, what Cha´vez wanted was not reform and improvement but obliteration. As in the case of Fujimori, the nation’s judiciary and its courts were once again overruled or ignored. Finally, Cha´vez drafted a new Constitution that gives him, the President, unlimited powers. Cha´vez’s hero is none other than Latin America’s prototypical liberatorcum-caudillo, Simo´n Bolı´var. Cha´vez’s political philosophy, to the consternation and bewilderment of the American Embassy who cannot figure out what he means, is “Rousseauvian democracy.” There is no question that just as the pragmatic and matter-of-fact John Locke became the dominant influence of the North American democratic experiment, the utopian and romantic Rousseau, described by Bertrand Russell as “the inventor of the political philosophy of pseudo-democratic dictatorships,”94 became the patron thinker of most Latin American political reformers. The latest United States panacea for Latin America is “civil society,” a concept derived from the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville, the French author of the classic Democracy in America. The problem is that, like Rousseau himself, many Latin American democrats also disapprove of civil society because a true pluralistic democracy will be divisive and interfere with the need for absolute rule. Like his Latin American disciples, Rousseau had little patience with and even less respect for prosaic and tedious democratic institutions such as parliaments, elections, checks and balances. Instead, Rousseau preferred heroic leadership, direct contact between rulers and ruled without inconvenient intermediaries such as elected representatives or competing interest groups. There is little appeal in the notion of democracy in the Lockean sense of painstaking and tedious labor when compared to the exciting Rousseauvian example of instant leadership by a liberator who can intuit the sovereign will of the people. Two examples of such readings of the people’s will are General Augusto Pinochet, a right-wing totalitarian whose crusade was to liberate Chile from communism, and Castro, a left-wing totalitarian whose crusade was to liberate Cuba from capitalism. But what about such current democracies as the Argentine and Brazilian? Both Presidents Carlos Saa´l Menem and Fernando Henrique Cardoso changed their respective constitutions to give themselves a second term. Both ruled imperiously and seldom treated the courts or Congress as co-equal branches. Both practiced what sociologist Guillermo O’Donnell has called “delegative democracy,” a system requiring elections every few years but one in which the President wields enormous power with little democratic accountability in the interim between those elections. So even in democratic regimes, the leader still reigns supreme. Perhaps this disappointing and unbalanced implementation of democracy

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explains why popular support for democracy has been declining in Latin America. A decade ago, democracy enjoyed 80–90 percent support; nowadays it is down to 60 percent, and in some countries (for example, Ecuador, Paraguay) it has slipped to below 50 percent. Meanwhile, support for authoritarian rule or strong government (popularly known as la mano fuerte) is rising in some countries and surpassing the level of support for democracy. In Spain, however, there has been an unprecedented change that may affect the future of Latin America. The Civil War (1936–1939) was probably Spain’s final gesta, its last joust of heroic liberation, a crusade won by Franco and the Falange that resulted in decades of dictatorship for the Spanish people. Still, the triumph of the beleaguered Republic by then almost entirely in the hands of Stalinist liberators, would have probably resulted in an even harsher dictatorship.95 A great irony is that Franco’s handpicked successor, King Juan Carlos of Spain, with no pretensions of heroism and no rhetoric of liberation, is the individual most responsible for the ordinary freedoms that Spaniards enjoy today. One of the most underrated statesmen of this century, the king achieved this remarkable feat by quietly and forcefully checkmating not only the liberators on the Left but especially those on the Right who presumed on the king’s allegiance. Given the example of Spain today, will the false heroes of Latin America and their deceptive and dangerous liberation gospel continue to appeal to the young as irresistibly as they have over the last traumatic decades? Or will a new brand of unromantic, honest, and pragmatic statesmen such as the Spaniards Adolfo Sua´rez, Felipe Gonza´lez, Jose´ Marı´a Aznar, and the king himself, finally emerge in the region? It took a brutal civil war for Spaniards to finally dismount Don Quixote’s Rocinante in favor of Sancho Panza’s donkey; it took much suffering for them to give up the exhilarating gallop of liberation for the tedious, arduous climb towards ordinary freedoms. Will the Latin Americans also heed Sancho? Will they listen to that eminently sensible squire’s words to his longsuffering master?: Oh, please wait, Your Grace, because the New Man you see in the horizon is not new at all but old Policarpo, the blacksmith, up to his old tricks, running from us as he still owes me payment for some pigs! Forgive me, Sire, but Policarpo hails not from some magic island as Your Lordship insists but from a dusty piece of La Mancha that I know well. Sinner that I am, Your Grace, but it seems to me that ever since we began as knight errants intent on liberating captives all we have had are mishaps, poundings, punches, and more poundings, as if this were the only way to set the people free!

NOTES 1. Ramo´n Mene´ndez Pidal, The Spaniards in their History (London: Hollis & Carter, 1950), 122.

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2. Mene´ndez Pidal, 131. 3. Mene´ndez Pidal, 122. 4. Angel Rosenblat, El Hispanoamericano y el Trabajo, quoted in Carlos Rangel, Del Buen Salvaje al Buen Revolucionario (Caracas: Monte Avila, 1977), 264. 5. Miguel de Unamuno. The Tragic Sense of Life (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977), 323. 6. Unamuno, 349. 7. Walter Starkie, “Introduction,” in Mene´ndez Pidal, The Spaniards, 49. 8. Joseph Campbell. The Hero with a Thousand Faces (New York: Meridian Books, 1956), 30. 9. Bernal Dı´az del Castillo. The Conquest of New Spain (New York: Penguin Books, 1963), 216–217. 10. Emir Rodrı´guez Monegal, ed., The Borzoi Anthology of Latin American Literature (New York: Knopf, 1977), 1:7. 11. H.N. Fairchild. The Noble Savage: A Study in Romantic Naturalism (New York: Russell & Russell, 1961), 6–7. 12. The romanticization of “non-civilized” man, however, precedes the notion of “noble savage” and is as old as Tacitus’ Germania. 13. Rangel, Del Buen Salvaje, 241–242. 14. Salvador de Madariaga. Bolı´var (Coral Gables: University of Miami Press, 1952), xvi–xviii. 15. James H. Billington. Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith (New York: Basic Books, 1980), 368. 16. Miguel de Unamuno quoted in The Liberator Simo´n Bolı´var: Man and Image ed. David Bushnell (New York: Knopf. 1970), 205. 17. Bushnell, The Liberator Simo´n Bolı´var, xvi. Danton’s maxim, “L’audace, l’audace, toujours de l’audace!” translates into English as “Audacity in everything.” 18. Lord Byron, for example, named his yacht in Greece after him. 19. Bushnell, Simo´n Bolı´var, i. 20. Bushnell, 86. 21. Rangel, 274. 22. Rangel, 274. 23. For a brilliant analysis of Martı´’s mystique of liberation see Luis Ortega, Entre el Suen˜o y la Distancia (Mexico: Ediciones Ganivet, 1968). 24. Alexander Herzen. My Past and Thoughts: Memoirs (New York: Knopf, 1968), 2:822. 25. Isaiah Berlin. Russian Thinkers (New York: The Viking Press, 1978), 200. 26. Billington, 8, 51. Samuel Johnson was one of the few to mock the eighteenthcentury European infatuation with the notion of “mystic isles.” See his comments in Fairchild, The Noble Savage, 336–337. 27. Rangel, 390. 28. Dolores Moyano Martin. “The Making of a Revolutionary: A Memoir of the Young Guevara.” The New York Times Magazine (August 18, 1968), 48–54, 61–64, 69–72. 29. Unamuno, 349. 30. Johan Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages (New York: Doubleday, 1954), 37.

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31. Ernesto Guevara Lynch. Mi Hijo El Che (Barcelona: Editorial Planeta, 1981), 223. 32. Le´o Sauvage, Che Guevara: the Failure of a Revolutionary (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1973), 162. 33. Che Guevara, Guerilla Warfare (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1961), 20. 34. Billington, 17–85. 35. Billington, 8. 36. Billington, 63. 37. Billington, 478. 38. Gustavo Gutie´rrez, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1973), 91. 39. Michael Novak. Will it Liberate?: Questions about Liberation Theology (New York: Paulist Press, 1986), 13, 22. 40. Mario Vargas Llosa. Historia de Mayta (Barcelona: Seix Barral, 1984), 91–92. 41. See endnote 41. 42. Billington, 5. 43. Guevara, Guerilla Warfare, 19. 44. Guevara, 90. 45. Ernesto Che Guevara. Venceremos! The speeches and writings, ed. John Gerassi (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1968), 397. 46. Guevara, Guerrilla Warfare, 114. 47. Guevara, 112. 48. Emphasis in the original. Guevara, 22. 49. Guevara, 122. 50. See, for example, the Bolı´var biography, J.A. Cova, El Superhombre: Vida y Obra del Libertador (The Superman) (Caracas: Editorial La Torre, 1940). 51. Guevara, Venceremos!, 23. For fire symbolism in revolutionary ideology, see Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men. 52. Emphasis added, Guevara, Venceremos!, 397. 53. Emphasis added, Guevara, Guerrilla Warfare, 8. 54. Sauvage, Che Guevara, 147–148. 55. Guevara, Venceremos!, 398. 56. Guevara, 398. 57. Sauvage, Che Guevara, 149. 58. Ricardo Rojo. My Friend Che (New York: The Dial Press, 1968), 174. 59. Guevara Lynch, Mi Hijo El Che, 70, 255, 273. 60. Billington, 274. 61. Billington, 276. 62. Ernesto Che Guevara. El Diario del Che en Bolivia (Mexico: Siglo Veintiuno Editores, 1968), 196. 63. Billington, 196. 64. Sauvage, Che Guevara, 153–180. 65. Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, The Cairo Documents (New York: Doubleday, 1973), 348. 66. Emphasis added, Heikal, 356–352. 67. Emphasis added, Heikal, 356–357. 68. Richard Gillespie, Soldiers of Pero´n: Argentina’s Montoneros (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982), 185.

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69. Guevara, Venceremos!, 422–423. 70. Emphasis added, all quotes from Gillespie, Soldiers of Pero´n, 38–39. 71. Guevara. El Diario del Che en Bolivia, 131. 72. Billington, 394, 398, 410. 73. “With the beard of Cicotti we’ll make brushes to polish the boots of Mussolini.” All quotations taken from Pablo Giussani, Montoneros: La Soberbia Armada (Buenos Aires: Sudamericana/Planeta, 1986), 89. 74. Gillespie, 163, 180–183, 252. 75. Giussani, Monotoneros, 242. 76. Emphasis added, quoted in Stephen Schwarz, “On revolutionary War: Intellectual Origins of Central American Insurgent Strategies,” The Transition from Authoritarianism to Democracy in the Hispanic World (San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Studies, 1986), 79. 77. Sauvage, Che Guevara, 263, 133. 78. Gillespie, 264. 79. Gillespie, 48, 4. 80. Guevara, Venceremos!, 389. 81. Billington, 469, 473, 119. 82. Gillespie, 178, 244, 250. 83. Giussani, 66–67. 84. Guevara, El Diario del Che en Bolivia, 170. 85. Guevara, 162. 86. Giussani, 57, 120. 87. Roque Dalton, Un Libro Rojo para Lenı´n (Managua: Editorial Nueva Nicaragua, 1986), 234–235. 88. Paul Johnson, Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Eighties (New York: Harper & Row, 1983). 89. J.L. Talmon, The Origins of Totalitarian Democracies (New York: Praeger, 1960), 252. 90. Hannah Arendt, On Revolution (New York: Viking, 1963), 154, 141. 91. Talmon, The origins of totalitarian democracies, 252. 92. William F. Sater, The Heroic Image in Chile: Arturo Prat, Secular Saint (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973), 52. 93. Grady McWhiney and Perry D. Jamieson, Attack and Die: Civil War Military Tactics and the Southern Heritage (Birmingham, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, 1982). 94. Bertrand Russell, A history of Western philosophy (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1945), 684. 95. For the first major study of the extent of the Soviet Union’s penetration and the Stalinization of the Spanish Republic, see Ronald Radosh, Mary R. Habeck, and Grigory Sevostianov, Spain Betrayed: The Soviet Union in the Spanish Civil War, Annals of Communism Series (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001).

CHAPTER 12

Latin America’s Magical Liberalism Tina Rosenberg

Despite being born under the banner of liberalism, the nations of Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina, have been plagued by authoritarian rulers, corruption, and economies dominated by privilege. If this is liberalism, it would have been unrecognizable to John Locke, Adam Smith, or James Madison. Today, as a resurgent faith in constitutional democracy and free markets sweeps the world, many Latin American leaders and intellectuals are trying to make their nations liberal in fact as well as in name. Tina Rosenberg argues that success is anything but assured.

In March 1990, at Lima’s luxurious and well-guarded El Pueblo resort, novelist Mario Vargas Llosa played host to a conference of conservative intellectuals and politicians from Peru and around the world. The meeting, dubbed the “World Encounter for Liberty,” was part of Vargas Llosa’s campaign for Peru’s presidency, which he undertook with the quixotic mission of bringing European-style liberalism to his unfortunate country. Vargas Llosa could persuade few of his friends abroad to travel to Peru. Octavio Paz sent a videotaped speech; Lech Walesa sent only regrets. The most celebrated participant was the French writer Jean-Franc¸ois Revel. About 500 Peruvian businessmen, Vargas Llosa’s supporters, spent the weekend listening to panelists celebrate the fall of Leninism. It was a Woodstock for the Right—until the Chileans began to speak. An admirer of the economic reforms General Augusto Pinochet had brought about in neighboring Chile during the late 1980s, Vargas Llosa had invited a delegation of Chilean businessmen, including Jose´ Pin˜era, who had held ministerial posts for mining and labor under Pinochet and had reformed Chile’s social-security system. Eager to duplicate Chile’s economic

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boom, the Peruvians received Pin˜era warmly when he came forward to speak. The first part of his talk—proud words about the triumph of capitalism in his native country—was greeted with frequent applause. But the clapping stopped when he began to talk about how it could happen in Peru. “Be good citizens,” he told the Peruvians. “Pay your taxes. Accept the reality that tariffs must drop. Wake up to the fact that the state must no longer protect you.” The Peruvians sat in stony silence as Pin˜era finished and returned to his seat. Pin˜era’s reception tells much about why Vargas Llosa’s ideas ended up lost in the labyrinths that mark his novels, and why his campaign ended in failure and betrayal. It shows both how far Latin America has come toward realizing the liberal ideal and how far it has yet to go. Certainly, there have been hopeful signs. Starting in the mid-1980s, Latin American and Caribbean governments, one after another, began to abandon protectionism and other statist economic policies that had been widespread— and ruinous—for decades. Programs that cut state spending, decontrolled prices, privatized state holdings, and redirected economic production away from import substitution and toward competitive exports are now the rule more than the exception throughout Latin America. Even politicians who campaigned against economic liberalization have ended up sponsoring it. During Peru’s 1990 presidential race, Alberto Fujimori blasted Vargas Llosa’s advocacy of “shock therapy,” and Carlos Menem in Argentina ran as a traditional Peronist populist. Once in office, though, both men proceeded to govern from the right, with Fujimori adopting a plan—which became known as “Fuji-shock”—even more austere than the one proposed by Vargas Llosa. Gasoline prices rose 3,000 percent, food prices by 500 percent. Last fall, Menem capped monetary reforms, tax-rate reductions, and the privatization of several state companies with a sweeping program of deregulation. Other Latin American leaders made similar adjustments. Jamaica’s Michael Manley and Venezuela’s Carlos Andre´s Pere´z were populists during their first administrations but turned right after being reelected. In Mexico, the caudillos (strong men) of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) once made themselves national heroes by expropriating Mexico’s privately owned resources; President La´zaro Ca´rdenas’s 1938 decree nationalizing foreign oil companies was considered by many Mexicans the high point of the Mexican Revolution. Today, by contrast, PRI’s President Carlos Salinas wins applause by selling nationalized companies back to private owners. Political developments in Latin America have also looked promising. While in 1976 only four nations—Colombia, Venezuela, Surinam, and Costa Rica— enjoyed elected, civilian governments, today only four do not. Haiti and Cuba are classic right- and left-wing dictatorships; Peru’s elected president Fujimori, backed by the military, staged his own autogolpe (self-coup) last April and has since held dictatorial powers; Mexico’s PRI remains in control by engineering elections, although it has begun to make good on its promise to clean up the electoral process.

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Despite these exceptions, most of Latin America gives the appearance of moving in the right direction. The armed forces no longer seek to control their governments, and governments no longer seek to control their economies. On the surface at least, Latin America appears to be caught up in the larger global movement toward the “end of history,” the triumph of liberal democracy, rule of law, and free-market principles celebrated by such optimists as Francis Fukuyama. But appearances are deceptive. While dictatorship and statist economic programs have largely vanished from Latin America with this most recent embrace of the liberal ideal, they have been supplanted by forms of government and economic policies that remain far from the realities of a true liberal order. Unfortunately, the discrepancy between appearances and substance is nothing new in this part of the world. Just as many Latin American writers have become known for a style of literature called magical realism, a style blending realism and surreal fantasy, so Latin America’s dominant political and economic traditions could be described as magical liberalism—a highly fanciful semblance of the spare, elegant system imagined by a John Locke or a James Madison. It may seem odd to say that liberalism is largely illusory for nations that have long claimed to be liberal constitutional democracies. After all, most Latin American states came to independence under the banner of liberalism. The debates that took place in the capitals of the new countries in the early 19th century resembled those that took place 50 years before in Philadelphia and Boston. The issues were federalism, checks on executive power, and the rights of citizens; and many Latin American constitutions were almost wordfor-word translations of the U.S. Constitution. But the French Revolution and French thinkers—notably Jean Jacques Rousseau—had a far more decisive effect on Latin American liberalism than did Anglo-American ideas and experiences. The religion, language, and culture of the French were also far more familiar to Latin Americans. Just as important, Latin American revolutions succeeded in large part because of Napoleon’s usurpation of the Spanish crown. The flag of the United Provinces of Central America, before that short-lived nation’s dissolution in 1838, featured the red cap of the French Revolution, and Mexico’s liberal reforms of the 1850s were carried out under the influence of the French. From Rousseau and the French model, Latin American liberals inherited a strong statist orientation. While Locke and the Anglo-American tradition emphasized tolerance, civil society, individual rights, and limits on central power, Rousseau (particularly as interpreted by Latin American intellectuals) tended to emphasize the subordination of all social interests to central authority and even, if necessary, to a powerful, visionary leader. Accompanying this centralizing, authoritarian tendency was an equally powerful corporatist impulse. Perpetuating some of the feudal habits of the former Hapsburg Spanish governors, the new Latin nations gave cer-

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tain groups—the military, the Catholic Church, and wealthy landowners— special responsibilities and rights, from education to a “moderating” role in government. As a political philosophy, Latin American liberalism has weathered most ideological challenges from the Right and the Left. In our century, it has survived the neo-fascist governments of Juan Pero´n in Argentina and Geta´lio Vargas in Brazil (whose ideological vogue ended with the defeat of European fascism in World War II) and, more recently, a string of military dictatorships that often preserved the window dressing of liberal constitutionalism while effectively crushing democracy and free enterprise. There has also been the challenge of communism. But though communists took power in Nicaragua and Cuba, and though they created influential parties in most Latin American nations, Marxism-Leninism never posed a serious, hemispherewide challenge to the liberal ideal. Today, communists rule in only one nation, and there only by dint of Fidel Castro’s will and charisma. Curiously—one might even say magically—the liberal ideal in Latin America seems to endure precisely because of its lack of substance. The fact that liberalism’s guiding principles, as encoded in law, have been only feebly enforced has allowed almost any travesty of liberalism to govern in its name. To be sure, liberalism admits a wide range of economic and political arrangements. Liberal nations have different electoral systems and vary in the degree to which their governments feel motivated to restrict citizens’ rights. Economic liberalism encompasses both John Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman; there is room under liberalism for Britain’s laissez-faire, Sweden’s social democracy, Japan’s government-directed industrial policy, and Germany’s welfare state. Yet for all its latitude, liberalism is not broad enough to encompass many of the economic and political arrangements that have obtained throughout most of Latin America’s modern history, from the earliest days of independence to the present. Even parties that have called themselves liberal have often represented anything but liberal principles. The Somozas, the dynasty that long dominated Nicaragua, called themselves and their supporters the Nationalist Liberal Party. Argentina’s liberals supported the military coup of 1976 and defended the juntas’ terrifying record of repression. Colombia’s Liberal Party comes closer to reflecting liberal ideals, yet for most of its history it has been a party of the wealthy, resistant to widespread political participation and the uniform application of law. Even more than to the French influence, the weakness of Latin American liberalism can be attributed to social and political conditions that predate the era of independence, bound up with patterns of governance and economics that resulted from the conquest and colonization of this part of the New World by the Spanish and Portuguese. Unlike the English colonizers to the north, the Iberian conquerors were more interested in extracting than in creating wealth. Argentine writer Jacobo Timerman overstates the case only

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slightly when he declares that the “Spanish were really pirates.” Latin America’s colonizers came bearing notions of centralized authority and hierarchy that reflected the organizational preferences of the Spanish Hapsburg Crown and the conservative Catholic Church. Great class differences resulting from the conquest of Indian civilizations reinforced a social organization of master and slave as well as elite resistance to the idea of universal rights. Central control exercised by colonial seats such as Lima and Santiago de Guatemala inhibited development of a civil society. Corruption further undermined a universal application of law. The corrosiveness of this colonial legacy can be demonstrated by what happened in those few countries that were less burdened by it: Chile, Uruguay, and Costa Rica. The territories that were to become these nations had the good fortune to be poor and isolated at the time of the Spanish conquest— and to lack the great Indian civilizations that the Spanish could enslave to work on the plantations and in the mines. Chile was the only Spanish colony that operated at a loss every year. Costa Rica, despite its name, had no minerals, was the farthest of all Central American countries from the Spanish seat of government in Guatemala, and had a tiny indigenous population. These relatively poor territories enjoyed the development of family farms, urban traders, and a capitalist bourgeoisie. Uruguay was colonized as a poor, tiny chunk of Argentina; the British split it from the larger country to make it a buffer between Argentina and Brazil. Essentially a city-state—today half its people live in Montevideo—Uruguay avoided Argentina’s gradual decline principally because of Jose´ Batlle y Ordonez, who was president from 1903 to 1907, and again from 1911 to 1915. Batlle’s social-welfare policies created a strong middle class and contributed to decades of political harmony. The country maintained only a token army. In the early 1970s, both Chile and Uruguay saw their long democratic histories interrupted by brutal military coups. But these dictatorships were aberrations imposed on societies whose respect for law and civil society went far beyond the Latin norm. Their democracies now restored, they and Costa Rica have court systems that are fair and efficient, relatively uncorrupt bureaucracies (although this is less so in Costa Rica), and governments that protect, rather than violate, the rights of individuals. History’s bequest to the rest of Latin America was far less kind. Most Latins can vote in elections every few years, but they must contend every day with societies whose basis is power, not law. The doors of bureaucracy close in the face of the poor; judges never rule against the wealthy and powerful; new entrepreneurs find it almost impossible to navigate huge bureaucracies and compete in a world of crony-dominated commerce. Even today, most Latin countries that have the formal attributes of democracies and free-market economies operate, just below the surface, like the anciens re´gimes of premodern Europe. Yet history is not an all-powerful master, and Latin America has not been

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untouched by events in other parts of the world. Liberalism is now not only the most important political ideal but seemingly the only one—at least among the secular alternatives. As political scientists Larry Diamond, Juan Linz, and Seymour Martin Lipset note in Democracy in Developing Countries, Vol. IV, Latin America (1989), liberalism and Islamic fundamentalism are the only political ideologies considered legitimate by those who live under them. But other, more decisive factors lie behind Latin America’s move toward genuine liberalization. One is a new seriousness about human rights. Largely because of the international human-rights movement (for whose invigoration former U.S. president Jimmy Carter deserves much credit), it is now generally conceded that human and political rights are fundamental requirements for all societies, not just developed, Western countries. Every member of the Organization of American States (OAS) has signed the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, which parallels the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If this seems unremarkable, one need only recall that 20 years ago many political scientists considered democracy incompatible with the cultures of Spain and Portugal. There is also a new and forceful consensus behind democratic reform and free elections among the regional organizations. Ten years ago it would have been unrealistic, to say the least, to expect the OAS to intervene in favor of democracy, because most of its members were dictatorships. Today, the OAS has a corporate interest in promoting democracy, and the OAS and its related institutions have shown a new interest in going beyond democratic rhetoric. Two examples are the OAS’s observer mission to Nicaragua’s 1990 elections, and the landmark 1988 decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to hold the Honduran government responsible for “a systematic policy of disappearance” in the case of 120 people who “disappeared” between 1981 and 1984. The next year, the court ordered the government to pay compensation to the families of two victims. Another reason for optimism is the changing religious climate of Latin America. Michael Novak, a scholar of religion and philosophy at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., points out that Rousseau’s hostility to the Catholic Church has long been matched by the Latin American Catholic Church’s traditional hostility to liberal ideas. For centuries, priests saw their mission as serving Latin America’s elites. Believing that what the poor needed was more charity from the rich, Catholic clerics counseled the dispossessed to accept their lot. Like their Spanish forebears, Latin America’s Catholic clergy believed there was nothing wrong with inherited wealth but found the ideas of work and initiative vaguely distasteful. In addition, the Catholic tradition in Latin America was an undemocratic and intolerant one— priests in Colombia used to warn parishioners either to vote Conservative or suffer the pains of hell. Much has changed. World War II largely cured the Catholic Church of its preference for authoritarian government, and in many countries throughout

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Latin America, priests have played an important role in protecting the rights of minorities and the oppressed. Shortly after Salvador Allende was overthrown in Chile, Cardinal Raa´l Silva Henrı´quez announced that General Pinochet’s victims could “sleep under my bed, if they want to.” The Chilean Catholic Church became the home of the Vicariat of Solidarity, which during the Pinochet regime was probably the most important local human-rights organization in the world. (One exception to this trend was in Argentina, where the Church is so close to the state that the clergy draw government salaries. During the 1976–1983 “dirty war” in Argentina, all but a handful of priests cooperated with the military and turned a blind eye to repression.) In 1968, the Latin American Bishops’ Conference in Medellı´n, Colombia, echoing and extending the ideas of Pope John XXIII, gave a new interpretation to the role of the Church. Peruvian priest and theologian Gustavo Gutierrez gave the philosophy the name “liberation theology.” Liberation theology made the Church more sensitive to the needs of the poor and more focused on improving this world instead of waiting for the next. It also discredited the old solution of “more alms” in favor of organizing the poor for political participation. While some priests who favored liberation theology also endorsed socialism—in a few cases, such as that of the Colombian guerrilla-priest Camillo Torres, they took up arms—today liberation theology is less radical than it was 20 years ago, and many former revolutionaries have turned their focus to more democratic political strategies. The surprising growth of Protestantism in the region has also had a liberalizing effect. There are now about 40 million Protestants in Latin America, and in many big-city slums the more visible churches are no longer Catholic but Mormon, Adventist, and Pentacostal. These sects differ greatly from the older Protestant churches that were so instrumental in the economic and social transformation of northern Europe and North America. Those churches promoted an ethic of hard work, thrift, and self-reliance—the “worldly asceticism” that Max Weber considered necessary to capitalist achievement. The newer, more charismatic Protestant churches attract Latin converts partly by promising magical change. In that respect, they are closer to traditional Latin Catholicism than to traditional northern Protestantism. Still, the Protestant churches are a liberalizing force. Economically, they stimulate entrepreneurialism by requiring the born-again to reform their personal behavior; men, for example, are pressed to give up drinking and become more responsible fathers. Politically, these new religious movements have had to fight for space and tolerance, and to the extent they have succeeded—and succeeded in winning tolerance from the Catholic Church—they have helped to democratize their countries. Changes in the intellectual sphere are also important. The widespread repudiation of Marxism-Leninism in 1989 was decisive, but among intellectuals throughout the world the political pendulum had been swinging toward the right since 1968. Until that year, the energy in Latin American intellectual

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life, as elsewhere, was found in Marxism, but during the 1970s and ’80s; many important Latin American intellectuals began to move towards social democracy and then to Lockean liberalism and the free-market principles of Adam Smith. The rightward journey of Peru’s Vargas Llosa was not only pronounced but meticulously documented in his political novels and essays. The abandonment of Marxism is not only an affair of the parlor. Many leftwing Latin guerrilla groups have given up armed struggle and accepted democratic rule, notably in Colombia and El Salvador. In other countries, left-wing political parties, such as the Chilean Socialist Party, have renounced Leninism and are distancing themselves from Marxist economics. The Chilean socialists’ shift to social democracy is due not only to the collapse of Soviet communism but also to Pinochet’s exiling of many socialist leaders after his 1973 coup, which gave them the sobering opportunity to experience life in Moscow or East Berlin first-hand. Also crucial is the influence of Eurosocialists such as French president Franc¸ois Mitterand and, particularly, Spain’s prime minister, Felipe Gonza´lez, men whose modern vision of socialism has a decidedly liberal flavor. Despite such encouraging developments, it is hard to be sanguine about liberal democracy’s future in Latin America. Three recent coups—successful in Haiti and Peru, unsuccessful in Venezuela—are grim reminders that elected government is still fragile in many Latin American nations and that dictatorship picks up momentum as it spreads. After Fujimori suspended Congress in Peru last April, Bolivian president Jaime Paz Zamora threatened similarly to “discipline” his nation’s legislature. He was forced to back off, but the warning hung unpleasantly in the air. The risk of military uprisings looms in Brazil, Guatemala, and El Salvador, and if the civilian leaders of Argentina and Uruguay lose their current popularity, those countries will also face serious threats to their democratic institutions. The case of Peru is a sad illustration of how poorly democratic institutions hold up. From 1980 until Fujimori’s self-coup, Peru passed every test on the checklist of formal democracy. It held three competitive and fair democratic elections. A broad spectrum of parties won representation in Congress. The courts were relatively independent of executive control. The press presented a wide range of views. The constitution, published in every telephone book in the country, served as a model statement of liberal rights. Yet despite these trappings, “democratic” Peru was a profoundly illiberal society. There was no rule of law. The poor did not attempt to use the court system, because it did them no good. The vast majority of Peruvians believed that money, not the strongest case, would win a judge’s favor. There were no universal norms—the poor, especially highland Indians, got nothing from their government: no roads, no schools, no health clinics—while the rich formed alliances with politicians to write laws to their liking and to ignore those that were not. The security forces were brutal, with the worst record of forced disappearances of any nation in the world, and torture and rape of

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prisoners was routine. Soldiers were also above the law—not one has ever been convicted of a human-rights violation. Two vicious left-wing guerrilla groups grew in power and influence, even while they killed thousands of civilians. All of these problems are now exacerbated by Fujimori’s censorship of the press and his closing of Congress, courts, and all other institutions that check the power of the president and the military. Dictatorship has made matters worse, but the formal institutions of democracy were clearly not enough. Unfortunately, Fujimori had something of a point when he claimed that they were all a sham. Colombia is another example of a country that has enjoyed regular elections—since 1958—but few of the other essentials of liberal democracy. Its primary problem is the almost complete absence of the rule of law. Colombia has the highest levels of violence in the world for a country not involved in an international war. Judges must go on strike each year to receive their pay; their office buildings are strewn with garbage because there is no money to pay for cleaning them. Judges receive 400,000 new cases each year and are able to process only 70,000 of them. No laboratories exist to examine evidence. Judges must take the bus to investigate crimes, even to pursue wellfinanced drug traffickers. The result is widespread lawlessness. One in 1,000 crimes is punished. “We’ve reached the point where anyone who is judged for a crime feels he’s getting arbitrary treatment,” says Fernando Navas Talero, assistant attorney general for human rights. As a result, justice has been privatized. Criminals are punished not by the state but by groups such as Death To Car Thieves. Debts are squared not in bankruptcy court but by hired killers. It is a vicious circle—the more people exact private revenge, the more crimes are committed, the more the climate of lawlessness flourishes, and the greater the strain on the system of justice. It is not just the actions—or inaction—of the state that block prospects for liberal democracy. Although the Left in many countries has abandoned advocacy of Leninism and armed struggle, some guerrilla groups remain. In Peru especially, the vicious Shining Path guerrillas consider themselves the world’s only remaining guardians of the communist flame. They have forced the government from large portions of the Peruvian countryside and are now taking power in Lima’s slums. But a more widespread obstacle to true democratization is the attitude of elites on the Right. As leftists abandon their advocacy of policies such as expropriation that threaten right-wing elites, those elites now have the opportunity to relax their siege mentality. They no longer need fear the extension of rights and participation to their countries’ poor. But the Right has preferred to view the Left’s turn toward democracy not as an opportunity for compromise but as surrender. In Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Guatemala, and Honduras, to name a few countries, right-wing death squads—at times with the participation of soldiers or civilian govern-

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ment officials—assassinate the organizers of labor unions, peasant federations, human-rights groups, and other peaceful associations necessary to the creation of civil society. A system with no political space for the Left encourages armed struggle. El Salvador’s leftists began to take up arms in the 1970s after decades of electoral fraud, massacres, and repressive measures by the country’s landowners shut them out of the political process. In Colombia in 1990, Carlos Pizarro, the leader of the M-19 guerrillas, led his men down from the mountains to lay down their guns and form a political party, with the charismatic Pizarro as its presidential candidate. He gave interviews praising private enterprise and criticizing Fidel Castro. Seven weeks after he abandoned guerrilla war, for all his good-faith efforts, Pizarro was assassinated on a commercial airliner. Despite his legendary audacity, Pizarro had been shot only once before in his 20-year career as a guerrilla—while wearing a suit during peace negotiations in Bogota. In short, then, a wave of elected civilian governments has not brought full liberal democracy to Latin America. Civilian government is a step in the right direction, but it has done little for countries that historically have lacked a truly liberal political culture. The same holds in the economic sphere: Policies that reduce government control of the economy have not produced true freemarket economies. In general, the new policies are good ones and have improved economic health. But in most countries, the legacy of history blocks their economies from freeing market forces, unleashing individual entrepreneurship, and permitting equality of opportunity. The old protectionist policies had their intellectual underpinning in the theory of the center and the periphery, elaborated in 1950 by Argentine economist Raa´l Prebisch, then head of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA). He argued that prices of goods manufactured by the developed nations at the center of the world economy would always rise faster than those of the raw materials exported by the Third World countries on the periphery. As a result, Latin America would have to export more and more timber or coffee to be able to import autos or fertilizer. For years, the ECLA encouraged Latin countries to escape this vicious cycle by manufacturing products at home to substitute for imports and by resisting foreign ownership of local factories and businesses. Prebisch’s assumptions about commodity prices have proved correct. But, contrary to his hopes, local industries did not eventually become competitive, and governments did not gradually lift their tariff walls. Instead, locally made products continued to be shoddier or more expensive than the imported versions (and in some cases both: Brazil’s protected computers were years behind foreign computers and cost five times as much). Moreover, foreign capital stayed away, local manufacturers refused to modernize, and local prices and wages remained wildly out of line with world levels. Populism, the other part of the statist economic strategy, was just as widespread in Latin America, although it is by no means a disease limited to the

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region. Subsidies of goods and services, from a loaf of bread to a university education, were touted as ways to compensate the poor for miserable wages and the disproportionate power of the rich. But they were also designed to buy off politically influential groups. Their high cost fueled inflation, and they distorted economic and social decisions—luring people to already overcrowded cities, for example. But governments found themselves unable to cut subsidies without provoking civic unrest, or at the very least, political disaffection. In February 1989, riots broke out in Venezuela when subsidized bus fares went up. In the early 1980s, the wages of statist policies came due. The debt crisis and world-wide recession crippled Latin economies. Blamed for recession and inflation, the old policies provided no antidotes to the recession’s effects. Clearly it was time to try something new. Pressure from international lending institutions encouraged the move rightward. Governments that had borrowed heavily during the 1970s, when the banks were flush with oil dollars, now found themselves with bills they could not pay without fresh loans. And the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Inter-American Development Bank conditioned new loans on budget cuts and privatization. The banks’ insistence upon liberalization was new. It resulted partly from pressure from the Reagan administration (the United States contributes the largest share of the World Bank’s funds, and a U.S. citizen is guaranteed the bank’s presidency) and partly from the new, conservative economic thinking that young lending-institution employees absorbed at U.S. universities. The influence of the new thinking came from within national governments as well. While 30 years ago economics was not considered a profession in Latin America—bankers were simply bankers—today the finance ministers of most large Latin countries, including Pedro Aspe in Mexico and Alejandro Foxley in Chile, hold degrees in economics from U.S. universities. Latin American leaders learned what would happen if they refused to change. There was the calamitous example of Peru’s President Alan Garcı´a, who took office in 1985 announcing he would pay the banks no more than 10 percent of Peru’s export earnings on the country’s $13.7 billion debt. The IMF placed Peru on its blacklist, making it ineligible for new loans—the only Latin country so distinguished. The result was the worst economic decline experienced by any country in modern history: two-million-percent inflation during Garcı´a’s five years in office. Latin American leaders also learned from those who were early to change. In the mid-1980s, both Augusto Pinochet in Chile and Felipe Gonza´lez in Spain—one a right-wing military dictator, the other a nominal socialist— instituted liberalizing reforms and produced economic booms. With the fall of Leninism came a further discrediting of statist policies. Fujimori, Menem, Pere´z, Manley, and even the Sandinistas decided that following the dictates of the banks was the prudent, if painful, course.

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Surprisingly enough, the Reagan administration had little direct influence on Latin American policymakers. Despite the claims of administration officials that their conservative thinking helped sway the Latins, their relations with most Latin advocates of the traditional policies were so poor that advice from Washington was almost enough to guarantee that its recipients would run in the opposite direction. Latin American leaders complained that Reagan administration officials made their prescriptions with little regard for the political realities of Latin America. The one exception was El Salvador, whose embrace of liberalizing reforms in the 1980s took place because the country had practically become the 51st state: By the late 1980s, for the first time in the history of U.S. foreign aid, the United States was putting more into a foreign government’s treasury than the recipient country itself. Contrary to what some Reagan administration officials thought, the swing rightward in Latin American economic policies did not necessarily represent a political shift—not among policymakers, and certainly not among ordinary Latin Americans. “No one privatized because of a firm commitment to the ideology,” said Moises Naim, an executive director of the World Bank who administered Venezuela’s austerity program of 1989. “They did it for pragmatic reasons. People were tired of not being able to make a telephone call.” Many of the Latin American leaders who became reformers, such as Menem, Fujimori, and Pere´z, were left-wing ideologues until after taking office. They campaigned on a platform of firm opposition to reforms, then, once elected, decided reforms were the only course and proceeded to smuggle them past the electorate early in the honeymoon period of their administrations. Indeed, of all the Latin reformers, only Fernando Collor de Mello in Brazil, a conservative who narrowly defeated Workers Party candidate Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva in 1989, campaigned on a platform of liberal reforms—and then backtracked once he reached office. Instituted with so little public support, the reforms have proven difficult to sustain. While many ordinary Latin Americans knew that there was something seriously wrong with their countries’ economies and endorsed the general goals of low inflation and economic growth, the only part of the reforms that they initially experienced was the tremendous social cost: the layoffs and price hikes. Many Latins believe—with good reason—that the reforms’ benefits will go to society’s elites, while the poor bear the costs. Even the economic miracle of Chile proves their point. From 1979 to 1989, according to the Pinochet government’s own statistics, the proportion of national wealth owned by the top 20 percent of the population rose from 51 to 60 percent. In 1988, the buying power of a worker making the minimum wage was 25 percent less than it was in 1970, when socialist Salvador Allende became president. And what about more recent converts to liberalization? Venezuela’s 1989 reforms—which included the freeing of currency exchange and interest rates, increases in electricity, water, transportation, and other tariffs, the elimination

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of subsidies to producers of flour and other basic goods, and the sale of state enterprises—brought the country 9.2-percent growth in 1991, the highest growth rate of any country in the world. Yet ordinary Venezuelans were so disgusted with sacrifice at the bottom and corruption at the top that an attempted military coup this past February enjoyed widespread public support. Many believe it is only a matter of time before the soldiers try again. In many countries, government officials tried to make reform palatable by promising medium-term growth, jobs, and prosperity in exchange for immediate sacrifice, echoing Vargas Llosa’s campaign slogan that with his reforms, Peru would become “a country of proprietors.” This is typical political hyperbole. While reforms now flounder, ordinary Latin Americans feel defrauded—as well they should. The reforms were oversold. They have proved to be no more and no less than macroeconomic adjustments, a rationalization of economic policies rather than a ticket to prosperity. The best illustration is Bolivia, which went from 8,000-percent inflation in 1985 to a mere 16 percent in 1991. Bolivia accomplished this by cutting government spending, devaluing the currency, freeing interest rates, liberalizing tariffs, and removing subsidies: in other words, by following the liberal model being promoted throughout the world by such “shock therapy” gurus as Harvard’s Jeffrey Sachs. Yet Bolivia remains the poorest country in South America, and living standards for the great majority have not improved. The reforms have produced per-capita growth of one percent or less a year and very little foreign investment. If Bolivia is an example of success, what is a failure? In many ways, Latin America’s new austerity policies are the economic equivalent of its regular elections. On paper there may be little difference between the economic rules of the game in Peru and in the countries of Western Europe and North America: All respect private property, equality of economic opportunity, and other liberal economic principles. But in reality Peru and other Latin nations are as illiberal economically as they are politically. Most Latin American economies are characterized by two overwhelming—and profoundly illiberal—characteristics: a justice system that prevents the uniform application of economic rules, and success that comes with whom you know, not what you do. Peruvian businessman and politician Hernando de Soto characterizes the economic system of much of Latin America not as capitalism but as mercantilism. Mercantilism is the product of the same legacies that shaped the continent’s political system. In most countries (again, the former colonies of Costa Rica, Chile, and Uruguay being the exceptions), the labor force has consisted of landless and uneducated peasants who worked in mines and on plantations under miserable conditions. The colonial seats absorbed most economic activity and controlled the little that took place in the countryside. (And how this pattern persists: Lima during the late 1980s gobbled up 98 percent of all new investment in Peru!) The private sector in Latin America has always functioned more like a public sector; the state created and coopted business-

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men, granting them privileges to keep them dependent. The same powerful families who ran government also ran, or were closely linked to those who ran, large business empires. They controlled government boards that marketed commodities abroad, and they managed state-owned enterprises whose inefficiency went unchecked. And the lack of a working justice system that would treat all comers fairly allowed corruption to thrive. One manifestation of mercantilism is excessive—indeed, absurdly excessive—government regulation. As de Soto convincingly argues in The Other Path (1989), regulations in most Latin countries are so burdensome that they are ignored. Enterprising folk set up their businesses outside the “legal” state not because they wish to be criminals but because going through the necessary legal channels would cost so much in bribes and wasted time that it would be folly even to try. But overregulation is not the only problem. In Peru, for example, a small businessman with a good idea has virtually no chance of getting the capital he needs to get started. His established competitors will obtain an unfair advantage by bribing government inspectors, who will wink at irregularities and violations of building-code or safety standards. The established entrepreneurs will have a monopoly on government contracts, an important source of business. The newcomer cannot turn to a working justice system with a predictable, universally applied set of business and labor laws. Indeed, our entrepreneur may soon give up on working hard or efficiently. He may go into the unregulated “informal” sector, or he may try to make money the oldfashioned way: by cultivating close ties to people in power. De Soto is quite correct to point out the destructiveness of government overregulation. Where he is wrong—and where his gospel has been wrongly preached in the United States—is in believing that the government should therefore have as small a role as possible. (He has said, for example, that he does not even believe in a minimum wage.) The problem he describes has little to do with the size of government. A big government smothers initiative through overregulation; a too-small one allows it to be devoured by predators while the state stands by, unwilling or unable to enforce rules that check abuses by the high and mighty. A successful liberal, capitalist economy needs neither a particularly large nor a particularly small state. It needs a strong state whose legitimacy rests on its ability to deliver basic services such as justice, education, and health care. In short, it needs a state in which all people can believe. Reducing government interference in the economy will not turn mercantilist nations into liberal states. It could, instead, open the way to more corruption, financial scandal, and exploitation of those who need protection that only the state can provide, whether it is from food stands selling contaminated ceviche or plantation owners who do not pay minimum wage. Reduced interference could simply facilitate mercantilism, which in turn would feed opposition to liberal reforms.

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Chile’s relative success at producing growth, and the failure of nominally democratic societies such as pre-coup Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Venezuela to match it, has given rise to an argument heard increasingly in Latin America—and in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union—that dictatorship is good for the economy. Some elites in Peru welcomed Fujimori’s April self-coup, saying that Peru’s economy would improve now that Peru had a “Chinochet.”1 Among its many flaws, this argument ignores the strong likelihood that Chile’s prosperity came despite Pinochet’s dictatorship. Dozens of right-wing military dictators in Latin America have tried Pinochet-style policies—in the words of Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, imprisoning people so prices could go free—and most met with economic catastrophe. Less than a decade before Pinochet’s success, the military junta in Argentina failed with similar reforms. The free-market “Brazilian Miracle” that began in 1969 and put Brazil’s rate of growth among the world’s highest collapsed by 1973. Indeed, Pinochet himself failed once. In 1975, his University of Chicagotrained economists finally convinced him to allow them to begin a process of privatizing reforms. After a slow start, Chile enjoyed a wild, five-year economic boom. Loans were easily available and the peso, fixed at 39 to the dollar, was vastly overvalued; even working-class Chileans bought cars, televisions, and imported Scotch; Santiago’s streets, said one Chilean, looked like the duty-free zone at the Hong Kong airport. Chile’s powerful economic groups, held by a small number of owners in interlocking networks, bought up the newly privatized industries, accumulating huge dollar debts to finance their purchases. With the 1981 world recession the foreign loans dried up, and with them vanished the boom. The government devalued the peso by 75 percent in the last six months of the year, effectively quadrupling the debts of those who had borrowed dollars. The next year the gross domestic product fell 14 percent and unemployment reached 30 percent. On January, 14, 1983, the government announced that two important banks and a savings-and-loan had gone bankrupt. Before the crisis was over, the government would take control of 70 percent of the country’s financial sector. In 1985, Hernan Buchi, a young, Columbia University-educated economist, became finance minister and began to privatize again. This time it worked. Circumstances played a part. The earlier privatizations fell victim to a world recession, rising oil prices, and a fall in the price of copper, Chile’s main export. The second time around, commodity prices were more favorable and the World Bank contributed a $750 million loan. But what Chilean economists consider just as important is that the second attempt was accomplished with more government regulation. New laws prohibited the huge concentrations of wealth that the first sell-offs had produced. Buyers’ accounts were carefully inspected. Some protective tariffs were reintroduced. Workers were given the opportunity to buy shares in the privatized businesses. The state

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regulated capital markets, and it kept exchange and interest rates realistic. Rather than allow the private sector to assume huge dollar debts, as it had before, the government worked to reduce Chile’s debt through debt-forequity swaps. In short, liberalization worked the second time not because the nation had a strong dictator at its helm but because it had strong civic and political traditions: a sense of fair play among its wealthy, an efficient and largely uncorrupt judiciary, and respect for government and its laws. Far from being helpful, dictatorships have several qualities that interfere with successful liberalizing reform. One is that dictators are notoriously insulated from real information about how well policies work. They hear what they want to hear and do not welcome the free press and panoply of pressure groups that tell the government how it is doing. Dictatorships also lack a method to ensure that bad policies are changed. Democracies have one: voting. The ballot may be an imperfect method, but it is better than anything dictatorship has yet produced. Indeed, it was largely the economic failure of military governments that forced them to hold elections in the late 1970s and early 1980s in many countries, Argentina and Uruguay included. This is one reason an unprecedented wave of democratization in Latin America has come simultaneous with the worst economic decline since the Great Depression. When elected civilians took over, they were handed the bill for the unrestrained borrowing and ruined infrastructure of the dictatorships. This could explain why many in Latin America think of hard times when they think of democracy—a most unfortunate association. People will voluntarily make the sacrifices needed for liberalizing reforms only if they believe in their government and its legitimacy. In Chile, for example, the democratic government of Patricio Aylwin has enjoyed greater labor peace than did Pinochet’s authoritarian regime, because the principal unions want Aylwin to succeed and feel that strikes or wage demands might hurt the Chilean economy. There are few dictatorships that have enjoyed genuine public support of this type. Juan Pero´n’s quasi-dictatorial regime in Argentina, for example, benefited from the fervent—indeed, worshipful— backing of Argentina’s workers. But Pero´n was idolized precisely because he told workers they had sacrificed too much. His protectionist policies helped ruin an economy that before World War II had been the fifth richest in the world. Under elected government, of course, popular groups have the power to threaten reforms, and public demonstrations can panic governments into resorting to populism. The risk is especially great in the first throes of reform. But even in countries with powerful unions, this has not happened. In Argentina, Menem managed to splinter his country’s powerful, corrupt unions, and Bolivia’s leaders found that the country’s vocal unions, sick of hyperinflation, in the end accepted reforms. In Brazil, union opposition to liberal reforms was less significant in blocking

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them than was resistance from business. A few weeks after President Collor declared an end to subsidies in 1991, for example, he turned around and granted his country’s sugar producers an $11-billion package of subsidies and price supports. This exception then produced a general clamor for more exceptions, and subsidies crept back into Collor’s economic plan. Indeed, in most Latin American countries, the principal obstacle to reform has come not from society’s poor but from its privileged. Many Latin businessmen—from Brazil’s food processors to Peru’s tire manufacturers—owe their fortunes to protectionist policies. Not surprisingly, they strongly resist changes that expose them to international competition. Their factories are not efficient enough to compete; they may not even know how to behave in a modern business culture. (One New York investment banker who handles Latin America said he is occasionally offered bribes by Peruvian businessmen to misrepresent their firms’ economic health.) In the most backward nations, such as El Salvador, some land and factory owners shoot labor leaders, refuse to pay taxes, and resist any encroachment on the other near-absolute privileges they enjoy. They behave more like feudal lords or the caudillos of yore than bourgeois citizens. If Latin American countries want to emulate Chile’s success with liberal economics, it is not Pinochet’s dictatorship they should emulate but Chile’s civil society, social consensus, rule of law, well-run public institutions, and strong, legitimate state. Capitalists may clamor for authoritarian pro-business policies, but capitalism’s long-term interests are served by policies that are almost exactly the reverse. Instead of permitting landowners and businessmen to threaten grassroots organizations, governments should promote unions, peasant federations, and neighborhood associations; such organizations build civil society, deepen democracy, and give the dispossessed a stake in the system. Governments must encourage social pacts that wrest concessions from all sides in business and social conflicts in return for social peace. Governments must collect taxes, fight corruption, keep health clinics stocked with medicines and teachers in the schools, and, most important, build fair and efficient courts. This is already a daunting task for Latin American governments; any economic program that throws more hurdles in the way is doomed to fail. Successful, modern capitalism will not simply emerge a gleaming new edifice when old regulations are chipped away. An economically and politically liberal state demands not fewer rules but new rules—rules that apply to all, sustained not through violence but through the shared conviction that it is law, not power, that governs the new world.

NOTE 1. In Peru Fujimori is dubbed “el Chino” because of his Asian ancestry: hence “Chinochet.”

CHAPTER 13

The News about Religion in Latin America Daniel H. Levine

The cliche´ has it that a picture is worth a thousand words. So let’s begin with a picture, and see where it takes us. I took a photo in 1968, in the Guatemalan market town of Solala´. I remember the scene vividly; only much later did I grasp its meaning. The photograph shows a Protestant preacher working a crowd in the market. The majority of Guatemalans are Indians, the audience is clearly made up of Indian men and women, and the speaker, I remember, was preaching the gospel in Kakchiquel, the language of the region. Holding a Bible in his hands, he illustrated his sermon by pointing to a hand-painted canvas that depicted Heaven, Hell, the temptations of this world, and the ways of the righteous and of the sinner. The canvas made me think of Pilgrim’s Progress. I found the scene stirring enough to save the slide for more than three decades, but at the time it seemed little more than an interesting sideshow. The preacher, and indeed the whole scene, did not fit into any accepted scheme of things. In retrospect, it is easy to see this preacher as a precursor of the wave of Protestant, especially Pentecostal, religious expansions that swept Central America in the subsequent years. The religious experience was new, as was the leadership: ordinary, often non-white, and barely lettered men using a popular language, who recall the circuit-riding preachers of 19thcentury North America. The signs were there, but they slipped by most observers. Eleven years later, I was with peasant cooperatives in the mountains of western Venezuela, where every meeting began with prayer and moved on to matters of organization and social action. In mid-1992, I joined in discussions of liberation theology in Lima, in a seminar that brought theologians, academics, activists and community leaders together to grapple with their own

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errors, reverses, and failures while holding to hope for the future. A few months later, at rush hour on a Friday evening, I went to the Petare station, one of the busiest Metro stops in Caracas and gateway to a large number of poor barrios in the east of the city. Walking into the station I found myself in the midst of a large and enthusiastic crowd: not a concert, not a political meeting, not a market, but a Pentecostal revival. There were preachers, there was music, and courteous, well-dressed young men and women circulated through the crowd inviting passersby to join them in prayer and to come to church. The atmosphere was warm and charged with energy and enthusiasm. I still remember the human warmth, the cultural effervescence, and the emotional power on display there. I already knew intellectually about the advance of the Protestant churches, especially in poor neighborhoods. I had even, on a few occasions, heard the music, the clapping of hands, and the enthusiastic hymn-singing of the faithful praising God late into the night. But never before had I directly experienced what I felt that evening in Petare. It reminded me of scenes I had experienced elsewhere, among groups inspired by the theology of liberation: neighborhood organizations, cooperatives, women’s groups, health committees, and many others. Here, as well, one encountered a sense of openness, an atmosphere of hope and cultural creativity, and the same strongly popular and working class makeup of the crowd. That night waiting for the train in Petare I remember thinking, this is really the future of religion: The future is here, in these kinds of places, in these social spaces, with ordinary men and women like this. This is where the future of religion will be built. Encounters like these could be repeated endlessly. As discrete moments each has interest, color, and warmth. Taken together, they provide a window into the experience of change in religion, and in the place that religion claims and holds in society and politics across the region. The first point to make is that change is normal. Not long ago, this would have been a shocking statement for students of religion. Religions were assumed to be carriers of “tradition,” consigned by reigning theories of secularization to privatization, decline, and disappearance. Theoretical blinders play no ideological favorites. Such views helped scholars and observers miss the religious roots of the civil rights movement in the United States just as they misread the surge of the Iranian revolution. Tocqueville’s comment is apt: “Eighteenth-century philosophers had a very simple explanation for the general weakening of beliefs. Religious zeal, they said, was bound to die down as enlightenment and freedom spread. It is tiresome that the facts do not fit this theory at all.”1 It is not easy to see things as they are; and harder still to identify trends that are just taking form. Academics and the theories that guide them commonly play catch-up with change. Our views of the world and unstated assumptions about how things work make it easy to miss the sources and the growing evidence of change. The repeated pressure of events that run counter to expectations slowly brings scholars to abandon old theories and slowly to

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accept that what they see in the news is no short term aberration, but rather the leading edge of something new. Religion gives us many cases in point. Beginning with the tragedy of Jonestown, spurred at home by the rise of the religious right and abroad by the surprise of the Iranian revolution, and capped off by the disasters and lies at Waco, public images of religion have changed beyond recognition. What was once vaguely comforting and familiar to Americans has become associated with conflict, extremism, danger, violence, and upheaval. One finds attention to fundamentalisms here and around the world, talk of “religious resurgence,” and concerns about the “politicization of religion”—as if what we now see had never been seen before. The story of my own encounters with religion over the years in Latin America suggests that Latin America shares and in some way leads these unsettling experiences of change. By any measure, what we take as “religion” and what we find when we encounter it almost anywhere in the region have undergone intense and repeated waves of change, often associated with great violence. The pace of change has been so rapid, and the pattern so rich and complex, that it is sometimes hard to know where to start. One useful first step is to acknowledge that there is more religion—that is, more instances and variety and accessibility of religion—than ever before. Where a typical town or neighborhood once could be safely assumed to have one church, sparsely attended at that, one now funds multiple, competing religious offerings: evangelical chapels and charismatic movements, street preachers and religious radio and television programs. A region once comfortably assumed to be totally Roman Catholic is approaching religious pluralism. There is religious innovation; and instances of what some scholars like to call “fundamentalism” are everywhere. But these rarely fit expectations derived from North American experience. At the same time, the end of the cold war, the close of civil wars in Central America, and the return of much of South America to “normal politics,” have taken religious issues and actors out of the spotlight and off center stage in national political life. Where churches once stood as a “voice for the voiceless” and opposed authoritarian regimes in the name of preserving human rights and promoting democracy, we now find religious actors competing for votes, patronage, and the spoils of office. Catholic “ayatollahs” are notable for their absence, red bishops a thing of past imagination. If we take a photograph now, how can we know if the scene we shoot hides an edge of long term change? It will not be easy. The object of our attention is a moving target, difficult to keep up with, let alone to keep in focus. The pressure to pigeonhole events and label trends is at best premature, at worst counterproductive. The Peruvian theologian Gustavo Gutie´rrez has a nice way of stating the point. He writes, “At present we are in the position of those trying to decide whom a newborn child resembles. Some will say the father, others the mother, some will even find that the child has this grandfather’s nose or that aunt’s eyes, whereas still others will be of the opinion that the

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child does not remind them of any family features known to them. Better to photograph the child and decide later on whom it resembles.”2 The question has two parts: how to get a better picture and how to know what we are seeing. Several approaches suggest themselves. One is to put together a list of themes, groups, issues, or places that are starting to occupy public attention in Latin America. This is not difficult, and I will do some relevant list-making later. But it seems to me that starting here jumps the gun. To make sense of what is, it helps to know how things got this way. If we can grasp how issues move on and off the table in Latin America, it may yield insight into how what is happening now can lead to future scenarios. One important step in this process is to stop simply extrapolating from the past— that is, to stop expecting that what used to happen will happen again. A great many points that once occupied our attention are no longer on the agenda in Latin America. Let me therefore begin with a brief account of what is no longer the case, and why. My account begins with a period when concerns over religion and politics, and writings about the “politicization” of religion, first moved to the center of attention in the study of Latin America. From this starting point, historically situated between the mid-1960s and the late 1980s. I will work back and then forward to bring us to the present. The bedrock of any discussion of change in religion, society, and politics has to be acknowledging the disappearance of the Catholic monopoly. Latin America is now approaching a state of religious pluralism (among Christian groups) for the first time in its history. This religious pluralism entails not only a multiplicity of voices speaking “in the name of religion” but also a conflict for voice within specific religious groups. The spread of literacy and the access to mass media have diffused the tools of religious expertise into many hands. It is no longer difficult to set up a church; the sheer growth in numbers has been startling.3 The decay of monopoly and the approach of pluralism have also brought a shift in the focus of many religious activists. There is competition for members, and demands that official subsidies (long limited to the Catholic church) now be more widely and equitably divided. Not everything is narrowly political. A wider range of religiously linked services has appeared—schools, hospitals, publications, and groups. Whether or not this adds up to the creation of a “civil society,” as some would like, the difference in the fabric of everyday life, and in the options open to ordinary people, is remarkable. A story that not long ago could be told with confidence about how Catholicism supported and reflected the established order became a story in which religion (Protestant as well as Catholic) has become a source of new ideas about how to organize society and politics, and how to lead the good life. It is no exaggeration to say that many of the region’s most significant movements for change would have been unthinkable without religious participation and legitimation. If we look to the “big politics” of state and governments, and trace the history of its study, it is clear that the early boom of

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attention to religion and politics in Latin America came with enthusiasm over “development” and the belief that religion could provide a solid floor of values, a cultural unity assumed to be essential for economic success. Pioneering work by the late Ivan Vallier argued that if religion was to help promote change, the churches had to get out of politics. Only by cutting ties to political options, and (by extension) to existing elites and social arrangements, could religion create and promote core values. This optimistic view went hand in hand with a conviction that Christian Democratic parties could be a key vehicle for change.4 Vallier inspired a generation of students (myself included) to take a fresh look at religion and politics, but he turned out to be wrong about the general issues and about Christian Democracy in particular. The kind of developmental project he anticipated foundered in the late 1960s as democracies collapsed across the region, Christian Democratic parties divided, and the churches themselves faced a new wave of demands to get into politics, but now to promote not development but liberation. The origins, extensions, and impacts of liberation theology have generated a huge literature and this is not the place for a thorough review. Here it suffices to underscore that for many students and observers of the region, the energizing effects of liberation theology, which included calls for political action and opposition to states and elites, represented a case in point of the politicization of religion and a model that still provides some with a road map for tracing events. From the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, religious voices throughout Latin America outlined a radical critique of the established order of things, argued for (and helped create) a place for the poor and powerless in national life, and sparked a broad range of social innovations, including social movements. At times it seemed as if changes arising in religion were going to spark a whole new era of cultural and political transformation. Religion began to change, and in changing seemed to be creating a foundation for major transformations of culture, society and politics. Once the reliable ally of domination, religion became a source and inspiration for freedom. New ideas about justice, rights, legitimacy, and active citizenship were put on the continent’s agenda. New social movements were spawned, political alliances reconfigured, and innovative connections with politics at all levels were set in motion. This is what is often referred to as “the popular church.” Ordinary people acquired confidence and skills that spilled over to reshape their views of established institutions, and remake their dealings with the world of power, politics, and privilege. Organizations were created, activists trained, martyrs produced. The evolution of events in Central America gave this aspect of politics special prominence but Central America was never representative of the larger reality. Excessive focus on Central America skewed our perception of reality by tying the validity of the liberationist project too closely to the fortunes of political groups and movements, and exaggerating the extent of the popular involvement and support they enjoyed. The tide began to turn in the mid-

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1980s. Intense and effective repression took a toll, as did competition from other movements, including new churches bearing a very different political message. Allies and connections in the churches and in political parties were lost, just as major shifts in economic and political conditions made collective action substantially harder. Strong Vatican opposition, the fall of socialism in Europe, the defeat of the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua, and the growth and spread of evangelical Protestantism have reinforced a sense that the promise of liberation theology is at best played out, at worst an illusion that never was. But even if the demise of liberation theology were complete, this would not make religion and politics irrelevant to one another. The relationship continues, but the actors, issues, arenas, and ideological direction of the struggles have all been transformed. The preceding discussion brings me to the point where we can begin specifying what is no longer the case in politics. The most obvious change comes with the involvement of religion in conflict, war, and peace. A more traditional way to put this would be to talk about church-state conflict and its links to politics more broadly defined. But however the relationship is phrased, the point remains the same: how and to what extent religious groups, activists, leaders, symbols, and resources are tied up with parties in conflict, or with the resolution of the often armed conflict. Popular imagery of religion stoking revolution—of red bishops leading the charge against governments or of an Iranian-style revolution brewing in the western hemisphere—were all the products of a fevered right wing imagination. This is not to say that there was no involvement of religion with this kind of politics. Here again, Central American experience took the lead, and nowhere more than in Guatemala, where the early growth of fundamentalist Protestantism was closely linked to the North American religious right. But there, as elsewhere, the decline of the cold war has weakened those ties and Latin American Protestants, left to their own devices, have produced a much more varied set of positions than Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell imagined when they embraced Chile’s General Pinochet or Guatemala’s General Rios Montt in the 1980s. More common was the role of churches and church-related organizations in protecting individuals or groups and servicing needs of all kind with food and shelter, legal assistance, organizational sponsorship, help with finding missing relatives, resisting torture, and caring for the victims of war, including orphans. Cases in point include Chile’s justly famous Vicariate of Solidarity and Brazil’s Pastoral Land Commission, along with a host of lesser known efforts by Socorro Juridico in El Salvador, Quakers and groups like Witness for Peace in Nicaragua, and SERPAI in Argentina. More recently, in the endgame of authoritarian regimes across the region, churches have played a central part in fact finding and truth commissions. This assumption of the role of “honest broker” reflects a subtle shift away from partisanship to recognizing the legitimacy of all sides, and using the extensive religious networks to promote peace. In this regard, the experience of Latin America has much in common

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with that of Zimbabwe and South Africa after apartheid, and with certain aspects of the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. The decline of physical violence associated with religion, has not, of course, brought a decline of violence per se. In the post-liberation environment, churches of all kinds, especially in the cities, face a kind of violence for which the ideas of liberation theology left them ill prepared. The spread of drugs and the epidemic of gang violence common to major cities of the region have thus far not met with a coherent response from the churches.5 The same is true for family violence, which remains one of the open secrets of ordinary life. A feature of religious life in Latin America that is worthy of note is the relative absence of millenarian or end of the world movements so notable in recent western experience. The region has seen no new prophets, no creators of a new Jerusalem, no armed movement that withdraws from “the world” to prepare for and await its end. Although I can think of separatist movements akin to the Branch Davidians (the Israelitas in Peru, for example) since the great Canudos Rebellion of the 19th century in Brazil, there has been no outburst of state violence against a separatist religious movement. Just as political alignments and coalitions of a certain kind no longer hold, the pattern of public space, and its religious uses, which stood for centuries has also begun to change. The very concept of “public”—of what constitutes “public space” and who can use it—is complex. The proliferation of organizations of all kinds has helped put issues once relegated to “private” life into the public sphere, and to accustom people (especially women) to think about public solutions to private problems. These include such basic matters as water, housing, healthcare, and childcare. Although, as we shall see, many of these new organizations fail, the disposition to organize remains, and the ties between public and private continue to be reworked, even in the absence of long-lasting group structure. (See Romero.) There has also been a boom in the public spaces available for religion: new churches, chapels, and other venues where religious messages are transmitted. The latter include street corners, television stations, and public transport. Note that the proliferation and redefinition of space has been a product of the occupation of public space by new actors—men and women who hitherto had no voice, or at least were told that they had none. Although the phenomenon is visible everywhere, I limit myself here to revivals, television, and new churches. Revivals as such and their use as a kind of technique mixing political and other messages with great emotive power before mass audiences is now common in places otherwise as distinct as Puerto Rico, Peru, Brazil, and Venezuela. Nor are revivals limited to stadiums and street corners. Latin America is a television-soaked culture area: Television programs are widely available and religious broadcasting has expanded to fill the newly available space. In some regards this is just a natural extension of radio, which has long since been developed and used by missionaries. The difference now is in the scale

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of the effort and in the target. Missionaries now work big cities and core population groups, not just outlying and marginal populations. The early wave of revivals in the region had close ties with North American fundamentalism and shared in its strongly anticommunist and anti-leftist message. For reasons indicated earlier, those ties have weakened, and most current revivals eschew broad political goals, although they may get involved in specific issues, such as the constitutional reforms in Puerto Rico. The point is less their political affiliation than their power to move and mobilize. This was brought home to me in a visit I made to Cuba in mid-1998, as part of a delegation sponsored by the Latin American Studies Association. We went to attend a conference on society and religion, and in general to test the waters in the aftermath of Pope John Paul II’s visit to the island. Alongside statements of greater openness to religion, and a clear growth of spin-off religious groups (such as the Martin Luther King Center in Havana), we encountered strong official resistance to the very idea of evangelical-style revivals or organizations, much less revivals in Cuba itself. As the experience of Falun Gong in China suggests, a group that can mobilize on that scale is a threat best kept off the stage. The proliferation of new churches has been remarkable. Many of these are small and short-lived. In his study of the war in Guatemala’s Ixil country, David Stoll shows how Protestant churches in the town of Nebaj grew from two in 1970 to 21 in 1989. For the whole municipio (town and surrounding hamlets), the new total was over 90. These were all small churches, generally split-offs from other Protestant start ups, founded by men with little schooling.6 But not all new churches are small, and some are immense. Brazil has some of the world’s largest independent Protestant churches, including several that are wholly autonomous foundations. The Church of the Universal Reign of God is a case in point. Founded in 1975 by Edir Macedo, the Universal Church is now a multinational institution, controlling one of Brazil’s most extensive nets of mass media, including television. Its doctrine is a variant on the classic North American “prosperity theology”—the “name it and claim it” school made famous by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s failed PTL Ministry. An interesting aspect of the new uses and claimants to public space is the situation of religious political parties. Explicitly confessional parties have never had much success in Latin America. Traditional Catholics identified with straight conservative movements, and beginning in the 1950s and 60s Christian Democratic parties, inspired by Catholic social doctrine but formally independent of the church, claimed religious legitimacy for their reformist agenda. These parties only attained power in Chile and Venezuela, and the Venezuelan party has now effectively disappeared as a major political force. In any event, the surge of leftist Catholic politics, embodied in liberation theology, put other claims to religious legitimacy on the table, and along with pressures from the right, left Christian Democracy divided. But religious political activism, and explicitly religious political parties and

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candidates, are now enjoying something of a comeback—this time associated with Protestants and evangelical groups. Early insistence that such groups were nonpolitical confused the language of otherworldliness and personal salvation with day-to-day realities of involvement in community and national affairs. The vocal Protestant affiliation of Guatemala’s General Efraı´n Rios Montt attracted much attention, particularly after he unleashed what was in effect a war on grassroots Catholic activists during his short but violent time in office. Rios Montt was not Latin America’s first Protestant President: That honor goes to Brazil. Nor was he the last Guatemalan Protestant to achieve high office. Jorge Elı´as Serrano came later, and was ousted in a sea of corruption scandals that tarnished the believers’ reputation for probity. Since these spectacular experiences, Latin American Protestant activists have slowly created a different path. The tone of Protestant voices and the direction of their political involvement have changed substantially over the years. The 1970s and 1980s were dominated by aggressive evangelism, a focus on building networks of churches and leaders for the future, and a strident anti-leftism. The salience of this agenda was reinforced by links with North American fundamentalist Protestant groups, whose involvement was mediated and enhanced by common commitments in the Central American civil wars. The end of these conflicts and the demise of Chile’s Pinochet (long a favorite of the North American religious right) lowered the temperature and reduced pressure on evangelical groups to take sides in the wars or their ideological surrogates. Around the same time, the groups and networks crafted in preceding years began to flex their muscles, reaching out for broader political influence. Evangelical churches began to press claims on the government for benefits long accorded automatically to Catholic churches and institutions. These included support for schools and for the construction and repair of church facilities. They also began to claim a place in public life as legitimate spokesmen for religion, as moral voices to be consulted, respected, and put on view equally with Catholics. This is part of a more general demand for formal recognition by the state—a demand that is as much symbolic (sharing space on public platforms) as it is material. They built alliances with social and political groups at all levels and began to construct political movements. The apparent fluke of Rios Montt’s aggressively evangelical regime Guatemala was followed not much later by the free election of Jorge Elı´s Serrano (an evangelical candidate closely linked with Rios Montt) to the country’s presidency. Soon after, Alberto Fujimori won Peru’s presidency with strategic and highly visible backing from the country’s Evangelical Alliance. Evangelicals aligned themselves with emerging political figures (including, most recently, Venezuela’s Hugo Cha´vez), and at the same time organized and ran slates of explicitly evangelical candidates for public office all across the region. Democracy was long suspect in the eyes of Catholic church leaders, but by the mid-1960s a combination of influences from European thinkers like

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Jacques Maritain and the Second Vatican Council, and pressures from within the ranks of the Latin American churches themselves, made democracy ideologically acceptable. This change came just as the presence of the state, once bitterly contested in areas like education, became more and more taken as a given, something to be worked with. Religion’s (that is to say, the institutional Catholic church’s) relation to democracy in this period is one of growing support, with confidence in development and in the capacity of middle class moderate politics to manage the process. The collapse of the region’s democracies in the 1970s undermined this confidence. Although the political stances associated with liberation theology are often caricatured as a kind of simple minded revolutionary Marxism, it is fair to say that equality and change were more important to its view of the world than were democracy, elections, and competition. The slow and difficult transition back to democracy in the 1980s, and the failure of the Sandinistas to retain popular support in Nicaragua, spurred another change, and a reconsideration of democratic politics not only as inevitable, but also as good. But there are ironies here. Central among them is that most of the affiliations and movements that arose around or were inspired by liberation theology failed to make the transition to democracy. To put it bluntly, they flourished in war and under repression but divided and disappeared in more open circumstances. The neighborhood associations, women’s groups, soup kitchens, and even the human rights groups that flourished as recently as 10 or 15 years ago are no longer to be found. The popular movement that once seemed so promising as a source of new politics is gone. Why? There are some short-term reasons, including the very toll of struggle. By the early 1990s, many groups had burned out. The struggle had been exhausting; members had been killed or had simply drifted away; leaders had not been replaced; and severe economic decline meant that for numbers of grassroots followers, the struggle to survive took precedence over the political struggle. Political alliances also proved fragile. Those who placed their hopes in the Left more often than not ended up abandoned—victims of disputes that had nothing to do with their own concerns. The advent of a new conservative generation of church leadership also took a toll. The issues have a different reality for elites and the institutions they direct than for grassroots activists and group members. Elites and institutions face the challenge of maintaining a critical presence in a very different political arena. Religious spokesmen no longer command immediate attention. Religious discourse no longer occupies center stage and even if it did, there is no longer a single voice. Activists and especially grassroots members face a more elemental challenge: how to hold members and keep organizations alive in the teeth of hard times and a state that is at best indifferent. By now it is clear that early hopes for a new politics will not be fulfilled. Everywhere in Latin America, transitions to democracy have been accompanied by demobilization and marginalization of popular movements. It is easier to hold groups to-

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gether against a common enemy like the military than to choose among competing parties in an election. The fact that political opening came accompanied by economic crisis and cuts in government structures and services put a premium on the presence of leaders and the availability of existing church and church-related networks. Activists experienced at reaching across class lines to mobilize and deliver services assumed new prominence. In many cases, grassroots groups were supplemented and even replaced by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that often had important transnational connections. The number and variety of NGOs active in Latin America has expanded greatly over the last decade. The variety is astonishing: human rights organizations, Catholic religious orders, missionary societies, Protestant churches of all kinds, relief organizations and development agencies; research and educational foundations; environmental groups; and special purpose efforts directed at, for example, rural or urban trade unions, housing, and children. Groups like these organized throughout the region to make plans, broker resources, and provide services ranging from education, surplus food, health services, and agricultural extension to legal advice, cooperatives, and housing projects. Although only a few of the groups in question are explicitly religious in origin and sponsorship, many have clear links with religious groups. They share ideas, agendas, personnel, and resources. Much of the staffing for such efforts comes from the ranks of the ex-clergy. It is not that churches or religiously linked groups “stepped into the breach.” What happened is better described as the widening of existing gaps, the weakening of state agencies, and the disappearance of other groups, leaving these organizations with fewer competitors. In the recent experience of activist religion in Latin America, gender issues have played a critical role. Women comprised the vast majority of the membership of grassroots religious groups. This had less to do with the supposedly greater piety of women than with the appeal of religiously sanctioned organizations to people for whom organization and activity outside the home was something new. Women quickly took the opportunities and became active in new ways across the region. Because church organizations were culturally sanctioned vehicles for women, they drew hitherto silent voices into public spaces. But many women remained wary of specifically political activism and constrained by family obligations—including pressure from male relatives to stay out of politics, which is seen as “men’s work.” All this shaped the kind of activism that most group members were disposed to support. They would commit themselves with enthusiasm and bravery to local issues but resist recruitment for broader agendas. They would filter out activist and conflictcentered messages. The result was that they followed leaders only so far, but no further. The choices were difficult, and often led to ultimate abandonment of activism.7 The preceding observations raise some obvious questions: What has hap-

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pened to the activists? What has happened to activism as a general disposition? What is the fate of all those mobilizing energies, all those organizational skills? There is no clear answer yet, but there are some indications. Let us be clear that nothing is unusual about the problems of Latin America’s religiously inspired movements. Most social movements in most places fail. Heroic activism is difficult to sustain in the best of circumstances. The more common experience is a cycle of protest in which activists recognize a crack in existing systems of social and political control, movements proliferate, and then they decay. In any event, it seems clear that participation and activism can be compartmentalized, such that skills can be put to use in local and community events without this necessarily feeding into a larger organizational net. These efforts are no less genuine for being limited in scope. I suggest, therefore, that we look at the local level, and at less explicitly political spaces, to get a sense of the kinds of interests and energies brewing “out there.” This means looking to churches, schools, local and perhaps regional networks, and to a range of issues more commonly considered private than public. The yield will be organizations that come and go according to the issues. It is also worth recognizing that action is costly, especially for ordinary people who operate on the slimmest of margins. This suggests that rather than replacing older attitudes of submission or pleading, activism may be seen by many as an alternative, useful as far as it goes. Activism may also be more likely in bursts, in efforts that fill a suddenly visible gap, rather than in sustained campaigns. It is important to say a few words about fundamentalism—but only a few. Writing about fundamentalism has been a growth industry in recent years, to the point that any religious activism or militancy is commonly labeled “fundamentalist” and the term has lost its meaning. In the case of Latin America, the undoubted growth and expansion of Protestant churches of all kinds has drawn attention to the prospects of fundamentalism in the region. But everything new is not fundamentalist, nor are all fundamentalists the same. It is important to recognize distinctions within Latin American Protestantism, and in particular to distinguish Pentecostal churches from their fundamentalist cousins. As in the United States, the former are much less drawn into political alliances than the latter. I am reminded of a comment by Nancy Ammerman, a distinguished student of religion in contemporary North America (including fundamentalism), to the effect that “fundamentalists tie their shoes.” The implication is that those we call fundamentalists are not aliens, inexplicably caught up in some weird doctrine. Nor do they spend all, or even most of their time in “militancy.” They also tie their shoes, raise and school their children, construct communities, and make (they hope) a living. A striking feature of Protestantism, including the fundamentalist variety, in Latin America has been its consistent appeal to both sexes. The common wisdom holds that fundamentalism is, well, fundamentally patriarchal, and thus reinforces male domination in family, society, and politics. There is considerable truth in this, but recent research affirms both its powerful appeal to

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women and an impact on men that reins in and controls male prerogative while at the same time supporting male domination. The two are related. The appeal to women has much to do with the vision of a stable family life in which drunkenness and serial monogamy are banned. The appeal to men, in contrast, is often linked to a sense of crisis overcome—be the crisis drunkenness, unemployment, migration, loneliness, or homelessness. Attention to the preaching and recruitment of these churches will uncover less politics and more healing, less activism and more spiritual crisis, than their common image conveys. The political fallout is mixed and sometimes curious. For example, neighborhood cleanups and the construction of local church-linked businesses to combat the effects of economic crisis dramatically reinforce traditional Catholic anti-pornography and censorship campaigns. In thinking about the future and how to see it coming, we must at once think about politics in different ways and expand our horizons beyond politics, however politics ends up being defined. If we have learned anything at all from the experience of religion in the public sphere in recent years, it is surely that the boundaries of the political have been pushed outwards. Politics is no longer the exclusive preserve of governments; all kinds of local and seemingly uncoordinated actions can constitute politics. But by the same token, the new politics created here may not lend itself well to the construction of movements and organizations. Perhaps its strength lies in the mobilization of opinion, of a civil society that in many senses was not there before. It also helps if we think about religion’s encounter with politics and democracy in Latin America less as a linear trajectory, moving inexorably from one point to another, than as a cycle. As cycles of protest rise, organizational innovations are tried out, new paths are opened for political and social action, and members of hitherto marginal groups are drawn into action. After a while, opposition grows and opponents find ways to counter the initial surge, activists tire, conditions change. This should be no surprise. When we look beyond politics, we find a terrain that is rich with change. The religious transformations sketched out here have the potential to set in motion long-term changes in culture and social life. Take the relations between the sexes. Gender relations are notoriously slow to change and famously resistant to pressure from institutions. It is worth thinking that a less directed process of change in gender relations and family life may be underway in the region. By stressing stable families and reining in male sexuality, the new generation of Protestant churches has an edge on transforming a central aspect of everyday life. The Catholic Church has been slow to acknowledge gender issues as legitimate. Problems specific to women—including spousal abuse, sexual harassment, and limited access to jobs or schooling—are folded into a general critique of exploitation with roots in class inequalities. Liberationist discourse and the organizations that rely on it promote a “unisex” standard emphasizing female participation in the public sphere. As noted earlier, this has had limited success.

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Despite the unquestioned expansion of Protestant churches, in most countries the Roman Catholic Church remains dominant, and for many continues to be “the church.” An unanswered question for the future of religion in Latin America hinges on the future of changes within the Catholic Church generally. There is likely to be a change in the papacy in the next few years, but regardless of what directions Vatican policy takes, it seems clear that the groundwork has been laid for a long run of conservative leadership in the Catholic churches of the region. For almost 20 years now, Vatican policy has been to replace liberationist bishops with those more sympathetic to papal views, purge seminaries and publishing houses, and restrain excessively independent “politicized” groups. There can be no question that this has had an effect. One area to look at, then, is the current status of regional Catholic institutions, such as the conferences of bishops and religious orders. Although their days of actively promoting social and political change seem well past, this does not rule out the taking of public stands on a wide range of issues, from ecology and land use to housing and unemployment. The Catholic Church no longer holds a monopoly on the creation and use of continent-wide religious organizations. The proliferation of religious NGOs, from the transnational to the locally based, range from confederations of churches to networks of publishing houses and school associations. There are now two competing Protestant organizations: the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI, or Conferencia LatinoAmericana de Iglesias), which groups the more historical and liberationist churches and has ties to the World Council of Churches, and the Latin American Evangelical Fellowship, comprised of more evangelical groups. Neither of these organizations can contain the mushrooming and typically fissiparous Pentecostal churches. Organizations of this kind are a fascinating mix of clearing house and training ground. As they grow and become more institutionalized, they are likely to be an important source of new positions and initiatives, brokering ideas and resources. In the 1980s, religion was pushed and pulled onto center stage by a powerful combination of new ideas, effective leaders, and populations eager to make sense of their situation and find moral sanction and allies in their search for solutions. As circumstances changed, religion not surprisingly assumed a less prominent role. But moving off center stage does not mean moving out of the public sphere. Hopes that the restoration of democracy would bring a thorough depoliticization of religion have already been disappointed. Why expect religion to be depoliticized in Latin America, when religious issues and groups flourish in politics all around the world, not least in the United States. At issue is not depoliticization or abandonment of the public sphere, but rather a shift in who speaks and what exactly they say. The prime focus and level of action has also shifted. If we ask who speaks for religion in Latin America today, the answer is not at all clear. Whereas once religion meant the Roman Catholic Church and

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the Roman Catholic Church meant its hierarchy, there is now a proliferation of voices and of venues for their expression. Any list of those who “speak for the Catholic Church” on social and political issues, therefore, must include (at least) the Pope; regional organizations such as CELAM (Conferencia Episcopal Latino Americana, the Latin American Bishops’ Conference), and CLAR (Conferencia Latino Americana de Religiosos, the Latin American Conference of Religious Orders), which are often at odds with one another; relevant national hierarchies; individual prelates and specific religious orders; magazines and publishing houses; research institutes, universities and schools; local clergy, sisters and activists; intermediate structures such as the Vicariate of Solidarity and the Comisa˜o Pastoral da Terra; and a host of lay-inspired and run action groups. This is not to say that there is no unity at all. The passage of time and events plus consistent Vatican pressure for a restoration of authority have molded a broadly common agenda which, if it does not go all the way in the direction Rome wants, nonetheless manages to move the center of gravity of discourse and action far from where it was at the high point of liberationist discourse in the 1970s. The building blocks of a new agenda for the Catholic Church are these. First is a steady condemnation of violence, an avoidance wherever possible of involvement in violence, and a consistent commitment to broad definitions of human rights. Second is withdrawal in most cases from open political and partisan alliances and connections. Third, there is a shift in the locus of activism away from big structures and national issues to a patient, long-term effort directed at the creation of resources and accumulation of social capital at the local level. To be sure, directing attention to the local level without a sustained effort to build and hold membership, without energies devoted to conferences, publications, and the elaboration of organizational structures, is wasted effort. The point is that the situation and the understanding of what is at issue in building a movement has changed considerably. Movements now find fewer allies in state and political parties. They operate more and more to fill spaces left empty as the neo-liberal state has withdrawn from social intervention. They draw resources increasingly from volunteers, from a host of small scale enterprises, and not least from NGOs. The pluralization of religious voices has immediate consequences for democracy. To begin with, in a plural environment, it is to everyone’s interest to maintain open civil society with guarantees of free speech and equal access to institutions and to public spaces. The continuing erosion of Catholicism’s monopoly status thus bears on a host of traditional issues from censorship and education to subsidies and representation in government commissions, committees, and public platforms. Set in the general political context, pluralization also suggests that building and sustaining a new role will require groups to play the old politics more skillfully and more consistently than in the past. This means sustaining grassroots democracy while working on allies and connections and assuming a realistic bargaining stance to politics. Con-

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tinued work at the local level is the bedrock on which anything else must be built. Groups need to bargain for better terms with everyone and enter into alliances only with great care and caution. Allies, connections, resources, and the shield they provide remain of critical importance. The point to bear in mind is that, groups and collections of activists remain a vital presence, above all at the local level. They have been central to the construction of popular movements, and have energized urban politics throughout the region. Is this failure, or do we need a different measure of success? It has become common in writings on religion and politics in Latin America to dismiss stress on continued democratization as a romantic hangover from the golden period of liberation theology: one among many illusions, another bubble to burst. But this confuses the undoubted organizational problems of liberation theology with the power that democratizing movements can have to enrich social life and create meaningful new identities. On reflection, it is clear that much of the power of liberationist ideas came from the way they held a mirror up to the prevailing order of things and its operative rules of the game: to hierarchy and equality, to state control and autonomy, to passivity and activism, to impunity, justice and accountability. Claims were advanced that are new to the culture of Latin American politics. At the heart of these claims is a view of legitimacy and of legitimate politics grounded in elements that are new to the culture of Latin American politics: transparency, accountability, participation through organizations, and a definition of governance less wedded to order and control from above. Transparency and accountability require that official decisions be open to public scrutiny, and that officials themselves be responsible for their action: subject to the same law they impose. Enforcing these demands requires diffusing authority and multiplying points of citizen access to the political arena. Although grassroots groups cannot by themselves guarantee open and equitable politics, their creation and continuing presence, above all in local politics, is an important step in this direction. One consequence has been to place the theme of citizenship—that is, of the human and civil rights of persons—at the forefront of popular movements, avoiding the assumption of earlier radicalism that there could be no citizenship without a total transformation of society. The result may finally be effective pressure from below for that modernization of the state and of institutions of political representation that is so conspicuously lacking in the region. The final issue I want to mention is religious competition. Earlier I underscored the extent to which Latin America is now approaching a situation of genuine religious pluralism. Catholicism may still be the single most powerful force, but the Catholic Church can no longer pretend to be the only authentically religious voice in the region. The advent of pluralism has brought competition for faithful and some significant elbowing for public support and financing. Although incidents of religious strife are thus far thankfully rare, it is fair to say that ecumenism has not been the dominant note of interchurch

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relations. The Catholic hierarchy complains repeatedly about “the invasion of the sects” and worries about the erosion of what in their eyes is Latin America’s uniquely Catholic culture. Many of the newer Protestant groups evidence open hostility to the Catholic Church, and references to the church as “the whore of Babylon” are not uncommon. Aided by mass communications, these conflicts have sometimes erupted on a wide scale, as in the famous case when a representative of Brazil’s Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, in a program broadcast on the church’s television network mocked an effigy of Our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil’s patron saint, and even nudged it with his foot. The episode became known in the media as the chute na Santa— “shoot for saint” (chute being the term for a kick, as derived from the English soccer expression “shoot for goal”). The result was a conflict waged on television and later transposed into the courts as each group challenged the other’s legitimacy. The Universal Church was accused of promoting magic, charlatanism, and improperly taking the money of the faithful in return for promised gifts of the spirit. Legal actions were eventually brought against the Universal Church for “crimes against religious faith,” including public denigration of a religious object. The head of the church, Edir Macedo, was referred to as no more than a caca-niquel, a slot machine, taking in money in return for a promise of riches. Most conflicts lack the high theater of this incident, but perhaps for that very reason they deserve our close attention. Religion in Latin America has been the scene of so much change in so little time that, to use a colloquial expression, there is a lot of shaking out to be done. Not much is settled and all we can be sure of is the likelihood of continued innovation, and of a religious scene that is increasingly urban, multiple, and multi-faceted. Religious people now seek a hearing on the streets, in small chapels, modest churches, and cathedrals. They organize radio and television stations and run sizeable businesses. Managing religious pluralism and competition will not be easy, but it is clearly high on this century’s agenda. My lone market preacher is now many voices. That is something really new.

NOTES 1. Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1969), p. 295. 2. Gutierrez, Gustavo, We Drink from Our Own Wells: The Spiritual Journey of a People, (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1984), p. 92. 3. See David Stoll, Is Latin America Turning Protestant? The Politics of Evangelical Growth (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1900), ch. 6. 4. See Ivan Vallier, Catholicism, Social Control and Modernization in Latin America (Englewood: Prentice Hall, 1970). 5. See Phillip Berryman, Religion in the Megacity: Catholic and Protestant Portraits from Latin America (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1996).

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6. Stoll, David, Between Two Armies: In the Ixil Towns of Guatemala (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994). 7. See C. Drogus, “Private Power or Public Power: Pentecostalism, Base Communities and Gender” in Edward L. Cleary and Hannah Stewart-Gambino, eds., Power, Politics and Pentecostals in Latin America (Boulder, Col.: Westview Press, 1997), pp. 55–75; and C. Drogus, Women, Religion, and Social Change in Brazil’s Popular Church (South Bend: University of Notre Dame Press, 1997).

PART IV

Foreign Policy Implications

CHAPTER 14

On Democracy and Democratization Peter H. Smith

Latin America has become one of the most politically dynamic regions of the world in recent years. Once thought a sleepy backwater—a land of hot climates and hot tempers, bananas and coffee—Latin America has exhibited a remarkable capacity for fundamental and far-reaching political change. From the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s there appeared a new type of repressive regime, uncharacteristically faceless and efficient, an exclusive and institutionalized coalition that waged war on its citizens and acquired the graceless but descriptive characterization of a “bureaucratic authoritarian” state. In recent years we have witnessed the replacement, or superseding, of military rule by more or less democratic governments. Just as the 1970s was the decade of authoritarianism, the 1980s and now the 1990s appear to comprise an era of democratization. Neither pattern fits the historical stereotype of Latin America. What is going on? There has been sweeping change in the international arena as well. For most of the 1980s it appeared that the postwar hegemony of the United States was in decline, especially in economic matters, as Japan and Germany assumed increasing prominence.1 For a while at least, smaller states found expanding room for political maneuver. There followed the collapse of the Berlin wall and, later, the collapse of the Soviet Union itself. Triumph in Operation Desert Storm left the United States as the world’s only global superpower, at least in military matters. By the early 1990s the disintegration of the postwar system had not yet revealed firm foundations for “new world order.” Change was no doubt occurring, but its ultimate direction was far from clear. The simultaneous occurrence of domestic and international transformations raises obvious questions: Have they been related? If so, how? This pos-

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sibility has received generally scant attention in the political science literature despite its widespread endorsement in official discourse and the media. (In particular, there has been a tendency to attribute domestic transitions in Eastern Europe to the termination of the Cold War and to extrapolate this connection to other parts of the world.)2 In its most optimistic formulation, a broad hypothesis might plausibly propose that democratization at the national level will be supported, encouraged, and strengthened by transformation at the international level. This, in turn, could enhance ties between the newly democratic countries of Latin America and the world’s most prominent democracy, the United States. What does the evidence suggest? To analyze the process of regime restructuring, I want to focus on two distinct levels: international and national. By regime I mean a set of principles, norms, and decision-making procedures—or “rules of the game”—that are acknowledged and accepted by constituents (in the international arena, sovereign nations or states; in the national arena, individual citizens). By restructuring I mean a significant change in the content of these norms and procedures—not just a minor modification or system-sustaining reform, but a qualitative transformation from one type of system to another, from one set of rules to another. It is my belief that both the international and national regimes for Latin America have undergone considerable structural change in the last decade or so. At the same time, I want to pose a set of causal questions: What has been the connection (if any) between these structural changes? Has restructuring at the international level affected restructuring at the national level? If so, how? And vice versa: Has restructuring at the national level affected restructuring of the international regime?

RES TRUCTURIN G N AT I O N A L R E G I ME S Concepts, Definitions, and Corollaries Striking as the transformations of the international regime might be, it has been the restructuring of political systems at the national level that has so far captured scholarly attention. Military and bureaucratic-authoritarian regimes have given way to elected governments in Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, El Salvador, Brazil, Guatemala, and Chile. Cumulative changes have been little short of breathtaking. Whereas two-thirds of Latin America’s population labored under military rule in 1979, 90 percent were enjoying more democratic governments by the mid-1980s. Nine countries in the region had installed “far more democratic” regimes, according to one assessment, and none had reverted to dictatorship.3 Was this to be a continental trend? Let me begin with definitions. Democracy can mean many things. In my view a political system can be characterized as democratic if it embodies three elementary principles:

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1. The principle of competition, such that all sectors of the population have a regular opportunity to compete for political power (and not just a share of it) 2. The principle of participation, such that (a) no group or sector of the society is excluded from competition for power by force or legal means and (b) all sectors of the citizenry are equally entitled (if not actively encouraged) to take part in the competition 3. The principle of accountability, such that government officials must be publicly answerable to the citizens (or their representatives) for their actions and policies

In such a system, both rulers and ruled have rights and obligations: Citizens must accept the outcome of a legitimate competition and permit the winners to govern with authority; rulers must remain accountable and accessible. The notion of accountability entails a corollary implication about state autonomy: Potentially, at least, a truly democratic state must be a relatively autonomous state. That is, a democratic state must be responsive to the citizenry as a whole, and a democratic state must have the capacity to carry out its popular mandate in an effective manner. (Otherwise the competition for power would merely be a sham.) Of course, a democratic state could turn out to serve the interests of a specific social class, if those class interests are consistent or convergent with the will of the majority, but it can only do so publicly and not privately. Whether or not it exercises autonomy in practice, the democratic state must nonetheless have autonomy in principle. Needless to say, a democracy so abstractly defined can take various institutional forms. A procedural minimum would probably entail regular elections, adult suffrage, rights of association, and rights of access. But there can be enormous variation in the frequency and nature of elections, the roles of the legislature, the powers of the executive (prime minister or president), the function of the courts, and so on. The conventional inclusion of such institutionally diverse systems as contemporary Spain, Italy, Sweden, Argentina, and the United States merely serves to emphasize the point: There is no single method for democracy. It is also, of course, a matter of degree. This is not an either-or proposition. Regimes can be “more” or “less” democratic. As Robert A. Dahl argued with such eloquence, the concept of democracy—or “polyarchy,” as he preferred to call it—would partake of two analytically distinct dimensions: participation and contestation. Systems could be appropriately located on this twodimensional scale and, of course, they could change their position over time. This perspective made it possible to speculate about the shape of different paths to various points on the democratic spectrum.4 My point takes the form of a question: Just how much democratization has truly taken place? A rigorous application of the three principles defined earlier (or some other comparable standard) might yield the somewhat disheartening conclusion that the recent installations of democracy in Latin America are not only fragile, with which most observers would agree, but also very partial.

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The military still holds autonomous power (and a functional veto) in Guatemala, El Salvador, and to some extent in Chile and Brazil. There are unstated proscriptions on state power—against redistributive programs of social reform, for example—in Peru, Venezuela, and Colombia, as well as elsewhere. Until 1990 there were no direct elections for the presidency in Brazil. One of the purest examples of a democracy in Latin America has been Argentina, and even there (or especially there) the government has come under siege. Much of the current literature appears to miss or ignore this elementary point. The infatuation with democracy is entirely understandable. The transition of a country like Argentina (or the Philippines) from a brutal and reactionary dictatorship to a progressive democracy is a thrilling spectacle, and the courage of such leaders as Raa´l Alfonsı´n and Corazo´n Aquino deserves enormous praise. After years of contemplating the horrors and anguish of bureaucratic-authoritarian domination, scholars have rejoiced in the opportunity to study such gratifying developments. Books on the subject are tumbling off the shelves; everyone, it seems, is talking about democratization.5 For analytical purposes, however, it is essential to uphold definitional rigor. Emphasis on the importance of the process of democratization often leads to exaggeration about its pervasiveness. Note, for instance, the caution with which Paul Drake and Eduardo Silva qualify the hemispheric trend: By the mid-1980s, they write, nine countries had governments that were “much more democratic” than in 1979. More democratic than what? One could just as well have said “much less authoritarian.” And how useful a construct is that? Such care is important because of the crucial difference, which most authors recognize (in principle if not always in practice), between the liberalization of an authoritarian regime and the democratization of politics. Observe, however, that the concept of democratization is inherently teleological: The meaning of the transition is derived from its presumed terminus (democracy), and in many cases that is merely a matter of speculation. Strictly speaking, it is difficult (if not impossible) to know if democratization has taken place unless democracy itself has been attained; otherwise what looked like democratization might just have been a sophisticated from of liberalization. Indeed, the blurring of this distinction becomes apparent during the course of the transition itself. Utilizing the metaphor of a multi-layered chess game, Guillermo O’Donnell and Philippe Schmitter stipulate that two moves are forbidden during the process of regime restructuring: 1. It is illegal to take, or even checkmate, the King of one of the players. “In other words, during the transition, the property rights of the bourgeoisie are inviolable.” [!] 2. Nor is it allowable to take or even circumscribe the Queen. “In other words, to the extent that the armed forces serve as a prime protector of the rights and privileges covered by the first restriction, their institutional existence, assets and hierarchy cannot be eliminated or even seriously threatened.”6

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These are serious restrictions indeed, and they sharply reduce the degree of state autonomy. Strictly speaking, they mean that a democratizing state cannot be a fully democratic state. Progress, in this view, must come on the installment plan. Especially treacherous is the concept of “redemocratization,” which implies the reinstatement of a previously existing democratic regime. Writers sometimes use the term, with cavalier dismissal of historical reality, as though it were synonymous with democratization. It would seem obvious that one cannot reinstate something that did not exist before. As though to illustrate the convolutions of vocabulary, Laurence Whitehead stated in the mid-1980s that the maintenance of a government-in-exile for Spain by outside governments in 1946–1948 was “probably the most drastic attempt to induce redemocratization anywhere in the postwar period, short of outright invasion. Current campaigns against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua,” he adds, “may constitute the nearest equivalent.”7 The term might apply to Spain. But Nicaragua? Redemocratization?8 Theories, Models, Descriptions Throughout its recent history Latin America has displayed extraordinary variation in its assortment of political regimes—from competitive multiparty systems (contemporary Argentina) to single-party structures (postrevolutionary Mexico) to anti-party military monoliths (Chile under Pinochet). Corporatist alliances coexist and compete with class-based movements; conservative forces struggle openly with revolutionary tendencies. Individual countries, such as Argentina and Brazil, have undergone fundamental transitions from aristocratic governance to limited democracy to populist experimentation to military rule and recently toward democracy again. One of the most intimidating and irresistible tasks for political observers has been to impose intellectual order on this bewildering array of phenomena. What are the regularities underlying this variety? What are the determinants of political structure? What factors shape the processes of change? In the optimistic hubris of the 1960s, students of Latin American politics, especially those from the United States, found ready and congenial answers in what had come to be known as modernization theory. As applied to Latin America by John J. Johnson and others, the theory posited simple causal connections. Economic development creates middle-class sectors, which in turn espouse political democracy, either as a tactical means of gaining power or as an expression of enlightened values (the difference did not seem to matter at the time). The greater the level of economic development, the greater the likelihood of democratic practice. The paradigm possessed internal coherence and logical structure; indeed, it amounted to a full-blown theory of modernization. Moreover it appeared to find empirical support in the cross-national analyses of Seymour Martin Lipset and Phillips Cutright, it carried implica-

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tions for U.S. policy and foreign aid, and it offered bright hopes for the future. It seemed to be too good to be true—and so, alas, it turned out to be.9 Reality proved to be harsh. Instead of dispensing prosperity, economic development (such as it was) accentuated the concentration of wealth and exacerbated existing inequalities. The middle strata, relatively privileged, forged little if any sense of class consciousness and, in critical moments of decision, joined with the ruling classes in opposition to the popular masses. Political outcomes took a decidedly authoritarian turn, as shown by the lamentable experiences of Brazil (1964), Argentina (1966), and Chile (1973). And in stark contradiction of modernization theory, these patterns emerged in the most developed and most rapidly developing countries of the continent. What could have gone wrong? Two sets of answers came forth. One viewpoint focused on the cultural traditions of Latin America and argued that antidemocratic politics was (and remains) entirely consistent with a Catholic and Mediterranean worldview that stressed the need for harmony, order, and the elimination of conflict. By failing to grasp these continuities, scholars had confused form with substance and rhetoric with reality. Latin America’s constitutions were never as democratic as they appeared; party politics were not as representative as they might have seemed. There had been no downfall of democracy because there had not been much upsurge in the first place. The academic community, afflicted by its own myopia and biases, had simply misread the social facts. A second approach accepted modernization theory’s linkage of socioeconomic causes with political outcomes but turned the answer upside down: Because Latin America’s economic development was qualitatively different from that of North America and Western Europe, it produced different results. Specifically, this argument maintained, Latin America’s experience was determined by the pervasive fact of its dependency. Because of its intrinsic character, dependent development intensifies inequities, allocating benefits to sectors involved in the world market and denying them to marginal groups. Though often divided among themselves, proponents of the dependencia approach insisted from the start that economic dependency led to political authoritarianism—but the precise form of this relationship remained unclear. It was not until the early 1970s that Guillermo O’Donnell presented a coherent rationale for this position. According to his analysis, the dependent location of Latin America’s economies has placed inherent limitations on the region’s capacity for industrial growth. As expansion declines, conflict ensues, and ruling elites confront a clear-cut logic: They can sacrifice growth or they can pursue it by repressing the working classes (thus reducing wages, controlling inflation, and attracting international investment). The preference, almost invariably, is for the latter course, even if it means violent assaults upon already organized working-class groups. Thus ensued the vicious coups and repressive regimes in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. They did not emerge in spite of Latin America’s economic development; they emerged because of it.10

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This insightful and provocative line of argument prompted a wave of research and analysis of the origins and properties of the bureaucratic-authoritarian state. As such, the O’Donnell version of dependency offered a model for understanding (or attempting to understand) political change, but was never (and was never meant to be) a full-fledged theory. It identified variables and posited a relationship between them. But it did not form a complete and coherent system of interrelationships.11 In fact some of the dependency writing presents models of political structure and does not even address the question of political change. In an intriguing attempt to provide a cross-national statistical test of the political consequences of world-system position, for instance, Kenneth Bollen found that location on the “semi-periphery” produces, on average, a considerable drop in the degree of democratic political practice, and location on the “periphery” correlates with an even lower democratic score. Leaving aside the questions of measurement and operationalization, let us take the finding at face value: Dependent societies display political disadvantages.12 The conclusion is arresting, if disheartening, but it tells us nothing about the dynamics of political change. It would certainly not have led us to predict the recent trend toward democratization in, of all places, Latin America, right on the outermost periphery of the world system. It was from this starting point that political scientists began to focus their attention on the process of democratization—or, more precisely, on transitions from authoritarian rule. One striking characteristic of this literature, at least in my perception, is its fascination with the dynamics of the transition itself. As Alfred Stepan points out, the focus derives its justification from the premise that “the actual route” of democratization can exert “independent weight” on the shape of the final outcome. The path of democratization can affect the ultimate role of the military, the scope of permissible opposition, and the composition of the ruling coalition. In other words, the transition itself constitutes an independent variable in the determination of the ensuing democratic system.13 As developed in a number of writings on the subject, this reasoning has produced a number of provocative hypotheses. For example: H1: The harsher the authoritarian regime, the greater the degree of subsequent democracy. H2: The greater the authoritarian repression, the greater the discontinuity between pre- and post-authoritarian democracies. H3: The longer an authoritarian regime remains in power, the greater the transformation of the preauthoritarian civilian political system. H4: The more sudden and unexpected the transition from authoritarianism, the greater the likelihood of a popular upsurge—and the greater its impact on the subsequent democracy.

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H5: The more controlled the transition from authoritarianism, the easier the installation and consolidation of democracy. H6: The more total and sudden the collapse of the authoritarian regime, the more likely the appearance of a full and open democracy—subject to severe authoritarian reversals. H7: The more unsuccessful the authoritarian episode the less the resistance to democracy—and the less likely a subsequent reversal. H8: The more radical the economic policies of the authoritarian regime, the greater the reluctance to initiate or accept a process of transition.

And so on. Aside from such hypotheses, suggestive in content but modest in scale, there seems to be no analytical model (not to mention a theory) of political change that accounts for the emergence of political democracy (if that’s what it is). This is not so much a criticism of the existing literature as an invitation. We stand, at the moment, with rich and insightful narration of processes. We do not have a model or a theory; we have descriptions and, to some extent, prescriptions. As though in illustration of this point, Guillermo O’Donnell, who has done so much creative work on models of democratic breakdown, has come to invoke the importance of cultural legacy and ideological values. Because authoritarian regimes often justify their existence as a necessary preparation for the installation of “true” democracy, O’Donnell wrote in the late 1970s, they eventually have to face the problem of democracy. The contradiction between rhetoric and reality finally becomes apparent (and unacceptable) to the citizenry, and then the preconditions for transition begin to take hold: The fact that certain words, such as democracy, are employed at all cannot simply be attributed to idiosyncrasies, to tactics of accommodation with the international situation, or to false consciousness. The evident contradiction between the mere mention of democracy and the reality of daily life is much more than this. This contradiction is a key to understanding the weaknesses and profound tensions of the present system of domination. It is also an indication of the immense importance of what remains implicit behind the superficial appearance of these societies—the importance of those who are excluded and forced into legitimacy and yet, on the other hand, are a Pandora’s box that must not be tampered with. The implicit presence of those who are excluded and silent is the source of the dynamic and tensions of BA [bureaucratic authoritarianism] to no less a degree than that which occurs in the grand scenarios of this type of state. Later on . . . the dikes of exclusion begin to crack, the effects of fear begin to be diluted, and some of the voices which had been silenced are heard once again. More or less obliquely, but with a meaning that no one can fail to understand, they begin to resound, not only throughout the society, but also within the state apparatus itself.14

In the Transitions volume, O’Donnell again emphasizes “the forceful emergence of modes of thinking that postulated some pluralistic institutionaliza-

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tion of political life,” a development he takes to constitute “a radical novelty.” Until recently, he adds, “political democracy did not grow firm roots in Latin America.” Even in the 1960s, intellectuals from both the left and the right challenged democracy and its outcomes. But this has changed, he says, in part because of the horrors of the recent experiences with authoritarianism.15 I agree with the general argument that ideology matters and that the democratic creed appears to have taken on a new vigor in Latin America. But I think it is important to specify the content of the democratic credo and to trace continuities and transformations in the meaning of the term “democracy” in political discourse. In fact, I disagree with the assertion that concepts of political democracy never took root in Latin America until the past few years. Some ideas, I think, extend all the way back to the pre-Enlightenment formulations of Francisco Sua´rez and other Hispanic thinkers, and it is precisely this historical persistence of democratic thinking that sets Latin America apart: It is the only region in the Third World where the idea of democracy has stood in permanent opposition to the doctrines of authoritarianism.16 It all depends, of course, on the meaning of democracy. Let us take one notion that is common to all Latin America: the principle of accountability and the importance of popular participation through a “consulta popular.” According to this conception, leaders are accountable to the populace but citizens have no automatic recourse in cases of malfeasance or unjust policy: Leaders must explain themselves but they cannot be removed from office. Popular consultation, moreover, means exactly that: Leaders justify their actions to the citizenry and listen to suggestions, but they are not obliged to follow the wishes of the masses. Quite the contrary: The more common expectation is that populace will respond with approval and acclamation. The consulta looks for affirmation, not for critical dialogue. This notion is quite different from any practical belief in the sanctity of popular opinion and respect for the will of the electorate. Within Latin culture there is in fact a fairly widespread predisposition to regard elections as the institutionalized celebration of mediocrity. Originally derived from Catholic political theory and the doctrine of original sin, this argument holds that human law is fallible by definition. Virtue, or grace, is bestowed upon a precious few, and the task of political organization is to concentrate power in the hands of that distinctive elite. The will of the majority is, therefore, not only suspect; by the sheer force of logic it is ignorant, mean-spirited, and vicious. Cast in these terms, elections become a ludicrous means for transferring the authority of governance. It is entirely possible for individuals to believe deeply in the democratic credo of the consulta popular but not to believe in the supremacy of the electoral will. Indeed, that is much of the substance of the political debate in contemporary Mexico: Both the Partido Revolucionaria Institucional (PRI) and its critics espouse doctrines of democracy, but they are advocating differing ideals. (In the late 1980s the corriente democra´tica within the PRI was calling for

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a more systematic form of consulta popular, and at the same time opposition parties were demanding respect for the electoral process. As one Mexican observed about the Revolution, “we managed to institute no-reelection, but we have not achieved effective suffrage yet.”17) Specific content matters. There is a puzzle, too, in this domain of political ideas. Latin America has drawn much of its political inspiration from the Enlightenment and from continental Europe, but it has never instituted a formal parliamentary system—as in France, Britain, Italy, and Spain. Why is this so? Why the insistence on presidentialism? (It is not, let me say, because of U.S. influence and the example of its constitution: That is simply not an explanation.) Juan Linz and others have written persuasively on the advantages of parliamentarism, as it establishes a system of “divisible payoffs” and therefore tends to keep all players in the game.18 But parliamentarism has never really been tried in Latin America. Chile combined an informal parliamentary system with a formally presidentialist one from the 1890s to the 1970s, but no other case comes even close. Why this proscription? And to look toward the future: Does parliamentarism represent a plausible alternative for Latin America?

INTE RNATIONA L - N AT I O N A L L I N K AG E S : PRE LIMINARY S P E C U L AT I O N S International Influences on National Developments One of the most conspicuous omissions from the recent literature on transitions concerns external factors. Contributors to the Transitions volume go to considerable lengths to minimize the impact of international or structural variables on democratization in Latin America. A fascinating essay by Laurence Whitehead demonstrates the importance of such influences in Southern Europe (Greece, Spain, and Portugal) and places special emphasis on the role of such transnational organizations as the European Economic Community, the Council of Europe, the Socialist International, and the Christian Democratic network.19 Comparable institutions, however, have not played any such part in Latin America. The inference, therefore, is that global variables have been mostly irrelevant for Latin America. Says Abraham F. Lowenthal in his introduction: “These cases show that, although international factors, direct and indirect, may condition and affect the course of transition, the major participants and the dominant influences in every case have been national.”20 During peacetime, virtually all the authors aver, the international arena has very little to do with the initiation or direction of the process of transition. This is a curious state of affairs, as global factors have played such a major part in prior analyses of the breakdown of democracy and the onset of authoritarianism. One does not have to be a hard-core dependentista to assume that international factors and big-power politics are likely to affect major transformations in the political life of the relatively vulnerable nations of Latin

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America. O’Donnell and Schmitter acknowledge this fact openly. In the Latin American instances, they write, The reasons for launching a transition can be found predominantly in domestic, internal factors. Of course, ideological constraints operating at the international level have some effect on actor perceptions of the long-term viability of a given regime, and the negative impact of a downturn in the international economy can accelerate matters. Nevertheless, it seems to us fruitless to search for some international factor or context which can reliably compel authoritarian rulers to experiment with liberalization, much less which can predictably cause their regimes to collapse. Even if one seizes upon the impact of military fiascoes such as the Malvinas/Falklands for Argentina or Cyprus for Greece, it is more accurate to interpret them as the result of an already tottering and stalemated regime seeking a fuite en avant rather than as the cause of having reached such an impasse.

Although political and social processes “are neither symmetric nor reversible,” they continue, the causes of a democratic breakdown may not necessarily be the same as the reasons for a transition for authoritarianism.21 In fact, neither de´nouement can be automatically predetermined, and in both instances relatively small numbers of actors come to perform crucial roles.22 Both processes are highly contingent and uncertain. Even though options for political leaders tend to narrow during the cases of democratic decline, they continually expand during times of transition from authoritarianism—so these transformations are even more unpredictable, fluid, and resistant to customary forms of social science analysis. This falls a bit wide of the mark. To be sure, it is possible to focus so narrowly on the process of transition itself—to the exclusion of its origins or consequences, of the breakdown of authoritarianism, or the consolidation of democracy—as to minimize the visible impact of external and structural factors. There might be a temptation to define the problem away. But even during this specific phase of transformation, the range of plausible options is likely to be conditioned in some meaningful way by international arrangements. Let us note, for example, Alfred Stepan’s observation on the difficulty of reaching democracy through revolution. “Theoretically,” he writes, “there can be a space for democratic revolutionary Marxist reconstruction.” Orthodox Leninism, inimical itself to pluralist politics, has been modified and amended by the influence of Italian Eurocommunism and contemporary emphases on participation. Also, he adds, There has been greater geo-political space in the world for democratic revolutionary socialism because neither the functional equivalent of the capitalist encirclement that threatened the Soviet Union after World War I nor the Stalinist encirclement of Eastern Europe after 1945 seemed likely to be repeated. In the multipolar, post-OPEC world since the 1970s, new revolutionary regimes had greater opportunities than be-

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fore for piecing together aid, trade, and security relationships with a variety of countries.

Nicaragua as of 1979 offered such a possibility for democratic installation. “However,” Stepan continues, “The triumph of President Reagan in the United States elections of 1980, the incorporation of El Salvador into the East-West struggle, economic difficulties, and the emergence (in a country without a rich tradition of Marxist debate) of classical Leninism as an important component of the core model of the Sandinista rule of organization have made revolutionary Marxist democracy quite problematic.”23 This foreclosing of options was due in large part to international factors, especially to East-West confrontation and continuation of the cold war throughout most of the 1980s. This seems important to me. And it underscores one key analytical point: During the course of transition, the influence of international factors might be more evident with regard to what did not happen than to what actually occurred. It is a case, one might say, of the dog that didn’t bark. In this perspective, one of the most notable facts about the recent transitions is a nonoccurrence. The United States did not take action to prevent, control, or truncate the process of democratization as it had done on so many other occasions.24 The United States did not intervene. This abstemiousness came at a time when the United States was stepping up its activity in Central America, when it was mounting an invasion of Grenada, and during an era when leading doctrinal formulations in Washington stressed the dangers and difficulties inherent in post-authoritarian transitions.25 It would not be difficult to conjure up counterfactual scenarios of interference or intervention. And had this occurred, it would be hard to avoid the conclusion that things would have turned out differently. Why was Washington so permissive? Essentially, I suspect, because it did not perceive any direct threat to U.S. security interests. In the case of Central America (rather conspicuously omitted from the Transitions volume), of course, the United States exercised a major tutelary role. The elections in El Salvador were directly supervised by U.S. personnel.26 Similarly, the transitions in Honduras and Guatemala occurred under the watchful supervision of Washington. There is a legitimate question about whether these cases constitute instances of “democratization,” but there is no doubt about the reality of external influence. Basically, the Reagan administration appears to have supported these changes in order to consolidate centrist government and extend the diplomatic and political isolation of Nicaragua. The relatively passive stance of the United States regarding the transitions in South America—Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, and Peru—may stem from two reasons. One is that the United States has less direct influence on these countries (though this is not reason enough not to try, as shown by Chile in 1973). The second, and more important, reason is that none of these transitions threatened to empower a radical party of the Left. With or without

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direct supervision of the armed forces, every one of these transformations culminated in contests between parties of the Center and the Center-Left or Center-Right (Argentina and Brazil may be the most obvious examples of this; even in Peru the electoral base of the Left was pretty much restricted to Lima, and the triumphant Aprista party is nothing if not reformist.) There was no genuine threat to U.S. security interests, at least in the short run, and there was no need to intervene. It is in the process of consolidation that the impact of international factors (in general) and of the United States (in particular) becomes more readily apparent.27 Particularly crucial is a firm stance against undemocratic forces seeking to undermine the newly constituted democracy. In past eras Washington has often exerted a nefarious influence, tending to condone right-wing takeovers on the basis of security reasons. One major problem of the 1980s and 1990s continues to be the Latin American debt, now well over $400 billion. This could prove to be a critical factor in the consolidation (or not) of democracy. Indeed, some would argue that the region’s fragile democracies are especially susceptible to pressures and problems deriving from the foreign debt—and, more broadly, from the contemporary crisis of economic development. As one well-known essay on this topic begins, “Democracy and debt were a macabre pas de deux in South America during 1983.” The news of democratic transition “was haunted by the growing social and political implications of the continent’s economic difficulties. The growing foreign debt has become the most visible manifestation of the current economic crisis, the worst in more than 50 years. . . . Many ask if it is possible for fragile democratic institutions to meet the demands of the International Monetary Fund and the international private commercial banks, and simultaneously to respond to the expectations and needs of their citizens.”28 Often implicit in such arguments, this reasoning takes the following form: 1. Democracy depends on popular support 2. Economic hardship will antagonize popular masses 3. IMF-type austerity programs impose economic hardship 4. The masses, thus alienated, will withdraw support from the regime 5. The lack of popular support will either tempt the government to take dramatic actions against its creditors in order to regain popularity or create a crisis of legitimacy that will invite military takeover

In Riordan Roett’s words: There is a risk that these democratic governments will collapse, of course, possibly to be replaced by others prepared to take radical steps such as repudiation of their debts. But an even more basic threat is that the promising trend to greater democracy in the area—an intricate and delicate process of political institutionalization now under

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way—may be aborted, with the crushing of social expectations that were generated during the 1970s, as South America moved toward middle-class status in the international system. These dangers are, or should be, of the highest importance to U.S. foreign policy in the hemisphere in the 1980s.29

But is this really true? I raise this question not only because none of the new democracies has yet been overthrown, nearly a decade after Roett’s predictions,30 but because of logical alternatives. For example: 1. The armed forces, nowhere renowned for the success of their economic policy, might be extremely reluctant to assume responsibility for management of the debt. 2. Democratic leaders, in search of popular support, might be able to rally nationalist sentiment by condemning the role of foreign banks and international agencies (somewhat as Alan Garcı´a attempted in Peru). 3. Disaffected masses may not necessarily create a crisis for the system; rather, they might just vote out the party in power.

In the short run, the debt burden does not automatically constitute a crisis for the new democracies. In the medium run, perhaps, a democratic system might be better equipped to respond to popular dissatisfaction than an authoritarian regime. And in the long run, the socio-political costs of continuing debt service could undermine the legitimacy of any kind of system, democratic or authoritarian.31 If these premises hold true, we might therefore expect to see three broad patterns in the future. First, within the Latin democracies, there might be a fairly constant rotation of parties in power, as opposition parties will be able to tarnish ruling parties with the social costs of the debt. Such enfranchisement of the opposition and alternation in power could actually assist the consolidation of democratic regimes. The economic crisis might foster tolerance and accommodation while imbuing political rivals with a shared sense of national purpose. In some cases, the Latin American debt crisis may actually help strengthen democratic processes and systems. Second, in the longer term, we might witness a fairly volatile alternation of authoritarian and democratic regimes, as neither will be able to solve the debt problem or the economic crisis. Such a pattern would reaffirm the historically cyclical pattern of political change in Latin America, a recurring transition from authoritarianism to democracy and back again,32 but with perhaps some added twists. Because of economic crisis and low system legitimacy, the cycles might well become shorter—that is, the changes might become more rapid—and because of socio-economic mobilization, popular participation might become greater. This could enhance demands for democratization; it could also lead to greater violence. Third, contemporary democracies in Latin America might transform themselves into democraduras, as O’Donnell and Schmitter have called them, civil-

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ian governments under the auspices of military authorities who are dedicated to the imposition and maintenance of social discipline. This scenario entails a merging of democratic and authoritarian modes, rather than oscillation between them. Such a possibility will grow stronger if economic crisis continues to fester. Reflecting on the political implications of external debt, Robert Kaufman and Barbara Stallings offer a similar judgment: “The greater danger to democracy is not military overthrow, but military subversion.”33 There might well emerge a variety of hardline democracies, quasi-democratic and quasi-authoritarian, as occurred in Uruguay under Jose´ Marı´a Bordaberry some time ago—electoral regimes that impose key policy decisions without popular consultation and that make short shrift of human rights and democratic freedoms. In other words, the future of Latin America might not be Costa Rica; it might be Guatemala or Peru. National Influences on International Developments What about reverse causality? What might be the impact of Latin America’s democratization on the international regime? My comments will be brief but the question itself deserves careful attention: It simply stands to reason that a global area with a democratic Latin America has to be different from one with an authoritarian continent. I see two general scenarios. The first general scenario is that, in the long run, democratization in Latin America may cause problems for the United States for several reasons. First, democratic regimes are more likely to take controversial stands on such issues as repayment of external debt or prosecution of drug wars.34 And during the 1980s, the democratic regimes were more likely to distance themselves from U.S. positions—at least from Reagantype positions—on matters of security. In this regard the example of democratized Greece is most indicative: Just as quickly as Greece moved into the European Community (EC) it pulled back from the NATO alliance. Second, democratization alters the terms of international dialogue and facilitates collaboration among the newly democratic regimes. During the 1980s this process came through most clearly in the formation of the support group for the Contadora Group, a cluster of the newly democratized nations of South America (Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, and others). In other words, the fact of democratization creates an affinity between nations, if only in symbolic terms, that encourages and facilitates the process of concertacio´n. And regional concertacio´n, in turn, could create a power block to mitigate reassertions of U.S. hegemony. Third, and partly for this same reason, democratization may tend to strengthen lines of political allegiance between Latin America and Europe, not the United States. The Socialist International and the Christian Democratic Organization of America have close links to ruling or leading parties in many of the new democracies whereas the U.S. political system has no

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counterparts of this kind. (The CIA does not count.) There are other transnational agencies from Europe with contacts in Latin America, and it is my guess that these bonds will be strengthened as consolidation occurs. Ironically, the new pattern of democratization may serve to revive and fortify historical patterns of affinity that were displaced or interrupted during the long period of the pax americana. Fourth, democratization should alter the terms of international and hemispheric discourse. The United States, presenting itself as the paladin of democracy, cannot easily justify overt attempts to undermine or overthrow any of the democratic regimes in Latin America. This may not prevent the United States from trying, of course, but it will complicate the justification. To this extent, the mere fact of democratization should provide countries of Latin America with additional room for maneuver in dealing with the United States. At the same time, this alteration in discourse carries ominous implications for the as yet “un-democratized” nations of the region and makes them more susceptible to outside or great-power pressure. The U.S. invasions of Grenada in 1983 and Panama in 1989 provide telling illustrations of this point; less conspicuous but equally revealing, as of 1992, is the continuing pressure on Cuba. Ultimately, it seems likely that democratization will strengthen the role of Latin America in such international forums as the United Nations, particularly within the General Assembly, and lend support to campaigns in favor of the primacy of international law. Fragile as they are, the Latin democracies have a direct stake in the upholding of doctrines against outside intervention. This could enhance their position as leaders of Third-World coalitions, strengthen their international authority, and at least potentially, bring them into still further conflict with the United States. The second general scenario entails not disagreement between Latin America and the United States, but a process of increasing disengagement. To put it bluntly, the United States and other leading powers of the post-cold war world could forge a North-North axis that would, for all practical intents and purposes, lead to abandonment of Third-World countries of the South. Some developing nations might have special access to this new circle of power and privilege: Given the likelihood of a North America free-trade agreement, Mexico provides a case in point. But many countries and regions of the Third World, from Africa to Peru, might well be excluded from participation. The long-term result could be increasingly sharp economic and political disparities between North and South. In this context, countries of Latin America—democratic or not—would become irrelevant. As suggested above, the countries might disagree with the United States for one reason or another, but they would not have the power or leverage to promote their positions. The United States could simply ignore protestations from a marginalized Third World. And this, in turn, would leave most of Latin America with two stark options. One option would be to seek

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access to the North-North axis at all costs, including the suppression of disagreement with the United States; the other would be to stake out positions of principle in not-so-splendid isolation. The first alternative would entail a modern-day resuscitation of the Monroe Doctrine; the second might involve pursuit of the Bolivarian dream of South American unity, itself a quixotic ideal in an increasingly pragmatic world.35 In summary, democratization and its consequences will pose a continuing challenge for U.S. foreign policy. Notwithstanding public rhetoric, the process of democratization in Latin America will not lead to automatic or increasing harmony with the United States; on the contrary, it could lead to increasing tension and alienation. If Latin nations succeed in creating fullblown democracies—with competition, participation, and accountability—the long-term likelihood of conflict becomes a near-certainty, for this would entail the enfranchisement of the political Left, not just the Center and the Right. In this sense democratization, fragmentary and pragmatic, might be acceptable to the United States; democracy, inclusive and ideological, might appear dangerous to traditional interpretations of U.S. national interests. Ultimately, the accommodation of Latin American democracy will depend upon the redefinition of the U.S. national interests in the post-cold war environment, and on the nature of the still-emergent international regime.

NOTES 1. See especially Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000 (New York: Random House, 1987), especially chapters 7–8. 2. See Dankwart Rustow, “Democracy: A Global Revolution?” Foreign Affairs 69, no. 4 (Fall 1990): 75–91. Of course this argument cannot apply to most of Latin America, where processes of democratization began well before the end of the cold war. 3. Paul E. Drake and Eduardo Silva (eds.), Elections and Democratization in Latin America, 1980–1985 (La Jolla: Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego, 1986), 10. 4. Robert A. Dahl, Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971). 5. Some of the most prominent publications include the multifaceted volume edited by Guillermo O’Donnell, Philippe C. Schmitter, and Laurence Whitehead, Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Prospects for Democracy (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986); Drake and Silva (eds.), Elections and Democratization; James M. Malloy and Mitchell Seligson (eds.), Authoritarians and Democrats: Regime Transformation in Latin America (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1987); and Alfred Stepan (ed.), Democratizing Brazil: Problems of Transition and Consolidation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989). 6. Guillermo O’Donnell and Philippe C. Schmitter, “Tentative Conclusions About Uncertain Democracies,” Part IV (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), 69.

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7. Whitehead, “International Aspects of Democratization,” O’Donnell, Schmitter, and Whitehead (eds.), Transitions, Part III, 20. 8. For a fairly rigorous use of the concept see Karen L. Remmer, “Redemocratization and the Impact of Authoritarian Rule in Latin America,” Comparative Politics (April 1985): 253–275. Remmer examines ten cases of redemocratization between 1940 and 1983, although it is not entirely clear that each instance represented an attempt to reinstate the previously existing regime; and her operationalization of the supposed impact of authoritarian rule, as shown by crude electoral results, is preliminary at best. 9. John J. Johnson, Political Change in Latin America: The Emergence of the Middle Sectors (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1958); Seymour Martin Lipset, Political Man: The Social Bases of Politics (Garden City: Doubleday, 1963): 27–63; Phillips Cutright, “National Political Development: Measurement and Analysis,” American Sociological Review, Vol. 28 (1963): 253–264. 10. Guillermo O’Donnell, Modernization and Bureaucratic-Authoritarianism: Studies in South American Politics (Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1973). 11. On this see David Collier (ed.), The New Authoritarianism in Latin America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979); and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, “The Consumption of Dependency Theory in the United States,” Latin American Research Review, Vol. 12, no. 3 (1977): 7–24. 12. Kenneth Bollen, “World System Position, Dependency, and Democracy: The Cross-National Evidence,” American Sociological Review, 48, no. 4 (August 1983): 468–479. 13. Alfred Stepan, “Paths Toward Redemocratization: Theoretical and Comparative Considerations,” O’Donnell, Schmitter, and Whitehead (eds.), Transitions, Part III, 65. 14. Guillermo O’Donnell, “Tensions in the Bureaucratic-Authoritarian State and the Question of Democracy” in Collier (ed.), New Authoritarianism, 285–318, with quotes from 317–318. 15. “Introduction to the Latin American Cases,” O’Donnell, Schmitter, and Whitehead (eds.), Transitions, Part II, 16. 16. See John A. Booth and Mitchell A. Seligson, “The Political Culture of Authoritarianism in Mexico: A Reexamination,” Latin American Research Review, 19, no. 1 (1984): 106–124; and Susan Tiano, “Authoritarianism and Political Culture in Argentina and Chile in the mid-1960s,” Latin American Research Review, 21, no. 1 (1986): 78–96. 17. Revealingly enough, respondents in the Booth-Seligson survey expressed much greater support for the ideals of political participation than for the rights of political opposition: “Political Culture,” as cited. 18. Juan J. Linz, “The Transition from Authoritarian Regimes to Democratic Political Systems and the Problems of Consolidation of Political Democracy,” IPSA Tokyo Round Table (March–April 1982). 19. Whitehead, “International Aspects,” O’Donnell, Schmitter, and Whitehead (eds.), Transitions. 20. “Foreword,” O’Donnell, Schmitter, and Whitehead (eds.), Transitions, xi. 21. O’Donnell and Schmitter, “Tentative Conclusions,” O’Donnell, Schmitter, and Whitehead (eds.), Transitons, Part IV, 18. 22. See Juan J. Linz and Alfred Stepan (eds.), The Breakdown of Democratic Regimes (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979).

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23. Alfred Stepan, “Paths Toward Redemocratization,” O’Donnell, Schmitter, and Whitehead (eds.), Transitons, Part III, 84. 24. See Cole Blasier, “The United States and Democracy in Latin America,” in Malloy and Seligson (eds.), Authoritarians and Democrats, 219–233. 25. See Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, “Dictatorships and Double Standards,” Commentary (November 1979), republished in Dictatorship and Double Standards: Rationalism and Reason in Politics (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982), 23–52. 26. See Terry Karl, “Imposing Consent: Electoralism vs. Democratization in El Salvador,” in Drake and Silva (eds.), Elections and Democratization, 9–36. 27. See Whitehead, “International Aspects,” O’Donnell, Schmitter, and Whitehead (eds.), Transitions, Part III, 44. 28. Riordan Roett, “Democracy and Debt in South America: A Continent’s Dilemma,” Foreign Affairs (Winter 1984): 695–720, with quotes from 695. 29. Roett, “Democracy and Debt,” 696–697. 30. With the partial exception of Peru, where President Alberto Fujimori staged an autogolpe against his own government in April 1992. In addition, an elected president was in 1991 overthrown by the armed forces in Haiti, where democratization had just begun; and military elements in early 1992 attempted (unsuccessfully) to oust President Carlos Andre´s Pe´rez in Venezuela. 31. See Robert R. Kaufman, “Democratic and Authoritarian Responses to the Debt Issue: Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico,” in Miles Kahler (ed.), The Politics of International Debt (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1986), 187–217. 32. As noted in Malloy and Seligson (eds.), Authoritarians and Democrats. 33. “Debt and Democracy in the 1980s: The Latin American Experience,” in Barbara Stallings and Robert Kaufman (eds.), Debt and Democracy in Latin America (Boulder: Westview Press, 1989), 219. 34. See Peter H. Smith (ed.), Drug Policy in the Americas (Boulder: Westview, 1992). 35. For more detail see Peter H. Smith, “Alternative Scenarios for the New International Order,” in Kotaro Horisaka, Barbara Stallings, and Gabriel Sze´kely (eds.), Japanese Involvement with Latin America in the New International Environment: Perspectives from Japan, the U.S. and Latin America, in Japanese (Tokyo: Doubankan, 1991).

CHAPTER 15

Consensus Found, Consensus Lost: Disjunctures in U.S. Policy Toward Latin America in the New Millennium Howard J. Wiarda

After the great ideological debates of the 1970s and 1980s, and the domestic war (there is no better term) over Central American policy, a quite remarkable consensus had emerged in the 1990s on United States policy in Latin America. The new consensus was surprisingly bipartisan, it was largely continuous from the Bush to the Clinton administrations, and it actually had its origins in the earlier Carter and Reagan administrations. For those who remember the rancorous and divisive battles stretching back over two decades over such issues as human rights, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, the emergence of a U.S. foreign policy consensus on Latin America was nothing short of astounding. The basic elements in this new consensus are three, all interrelated: 1. Emphasis on furthering democracy and human rights 2. Emphasis on free (or at least fair) trade and economic integration 3. Emphasis on open markets, state downsizing, and privatization—that is, capitalism

The three aspects are seen as interrelated as follows: democracy and human rights (not authoritarianism or Marxism-Leninism) help provide a stable, long-term climate in which the economy can grow and the middle class can prosper. In turn, economic development, free trade, and privatization help provide a better climate for democracy and human rights to be established and consolidated. All of these factors combined are the best guarantors for stability throughout the hemisphere, which, in the absence of any post–Cold War external threats, remains the primary goal of U.S. foreign policy. This

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consensus and its interrelated parts sound remarkably close to the formula set forth four decades ago by, among others, W.W. Rostow in global terms and, specifically with regard to Latin America, John J. Johnson and the authors of the Alliance for Progress.1 One can appreciate why this agenda is so popular and widespread in policymaking circles, why there is so much consensus: 1. The policy incorporates both Wilsonian idealism (democracy, human rights, free markets) and hard-headed national interests (stability, an economic climate that the United States can dominate). 2. The policy ends the fratricidal and politically costly (to both political parties) debates of the 1980s. 3. The policy has the support of most think tanks, the media, Congress, business, religious groups, and so forth. 4. The policy provides unity and coherence to an otherwise fractious and conflictual foreign policy making bureaucracy and process. 5. The policy enjoys support from Latin America as well as from U.S. foreign policy mainstreams. It ends the conflict that has raged between the United States and Latin America over the last forty years over the agenda and priorities of policy.

At the same time, one can also see why it would be so difficult to alter this consensus. For the policy was only arrived at after two decades of debate and conflict. Once arrived at with so much difficulty, however, policy-makers will be reluctant to alter or reexamine a consensus that took so long to form and was so costly. The logic is: Better to continue with what is now widely recognized as a flawed policy than to open again the interminable debate that had seemingly earlier been settled. But open it we must. For the policy is not working. Or, it is only partially working and the policy armature to deal with nuanced situations is lacking. On all three main elements in the consensus—democracy, free trade, open markets—major problems have developed. Or, the actual practice in Latin America has not lived up to promises or expectations. Of course the Mexican peso crisis of December, 1994, and continuing to the present with severe economic and political consequences, was a major precipitating factor in undermining the earlier consensus; but the problems are deeper than that and revolve around the basic assumptions of the policy itself. In the following sections, therefore, we look, in turn, at the three main elements in the consensus and what has been and is going wrong; in the concluding section we assess the policy implications. THE DEM OCRAC Y AG E N DA Let us be clear from the beginning: no one doubts that since the mid-1970s Latin America has made enormous strides toward democracy. At that time,

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depending on how one counts, either fourteen or seventeen of the twenty Latin American countries were governed either by outright military authoritarians or by civilian regimes in which the military was so close to the surface of power as to make the line between civilian and military all but indistinguishable. Only Colombia, Costa Rica, and Venezuela remained in the democratic camp and even they were considered elite—directed democracies.2 By now that unhappy situation has been reversed. Nineteen of the twenty countries are said to be in the democratic camp. Only Cuba lies outside the democratic fold. American policy-makers, especially those who in earlier decades had to deal with all the difficulties, grief, and nastiness of the Pinochets of this world or the Salvadoran colonels on the one hand, or the Sandinistas and their supporters on the other, are endlessly and quite understandably lauding the democratic progress that has been made. And no one doubts that the political conditions throughout Latin America are far better presently than previously. Even the Latin American left, which repeatedly used to denounce mere bourgeois democracy, has now discovered that to live under the rule of law is far better than living under dictatorship. A sea change both in institutions and in attitudes has by now ushered the old authoritarians out of power and paved the way for democracy, or at least partial democracy. However the glass of democracy in Latin America is still only half full. The architecture (regular elections, political parties, constitution) of democracy has been put in place but it has not been fully implemented. It is not yet clear if attitudes, political culture, and social structure have changed to match the political-institutional changes. The process is still incomplete; democracy is still not fully consolidated. It represents a lofty goal and there have been major accomplishments, but there are also many problems. Most policy-makers, upon refection, acknowledge the incompleteness of the process but believe the remaining problems can gradually be overcome. And, for understandable reasons, they tend to emphasize the accomplishments, the part of the glass that is half full. Scholars, on the other hand, also have an obligation to look at the part that is still half empty. Or, in some cases, maybe more than half empty. And, more than that, to examine more closely and critically than policy-makers are inclined, the fundamental assumptions of the policy itself. When those tasks are undertaken, a number of disturbing trends become evident. Few of these augur well for democracy or full democratic consolidation now or in the future. First, public opinion surveys are telling us that, along with democracy, Latin America is showing an increasing preference for “strong government.”3 In country after country, the surveys show overwhelming support (80 percent or more in the early 90s, 60 percent in most countries in the mid 90s, but less than 50 percent in some countries at the dawn of the twenty-first century) for representative government on the one hand but for a strong, statist, paternalistic regime on the other. These are the two forks in the trail—democracy versus authoritarianism—that Latin America has always faced, are they

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not? But can you have both at the same time? Surely those who favor democracy must be disturbed by the nearly equal percentage who favor strong government. The surveys also mean that those Latin American leaders whom Americans have often criticized for being too statist, too authoritarian, or too behind the times—Alberto Fujimori in Peru, Hugo Cha´vez in Venezuela, or Joaquin Balaguer in the Domincan Republic—may be closer to their own countries’ political mainstreams than most outside democrats would like to believe. Second, these same surveys indicate that while there is strong support for democracy as an idea, there is little support for what we think of as democracy’s necessary supporting institutions. Thus while public support for democracy in most countries is 60 percent or higher, support for such democratic infrastructure institutions as political parties or labor unions—any party, any union—is often below 20 percent. Nor do the congress, judiciary, business groups, and so forth that most of us think of as necessary in a functioning, pluralist democracy rank much higher. Only the armed forces and the Catholic Church in most countries come close to having majority support. The obvious question is, can democracy long stay healthy if support for its key underlying principles—pluralism, parties, separation of powers—is so low? A third problem is that democracy has not been delivering adequately in the way of goods and services. Disillusionment with democracy has set in. In most countries, even those where the economy has been performing well, the gap between rich and poor has been widening rather than narrowing. Social services and safety nets have been shrinking. Hospital care, education, social welfare, virtually all public services have been declining throughout the Hemisphere. People are starting to blame not just individual governments but democracy itself for their problems. The threat of food riots, looting, crime, and anomic violence seems to be rising, indeed has already been occurring in countries such as Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. Fourth, democracy may be established but it is being defined in ways that must seem strange to serious students of democracy. The same public opinion surveys cited earlier show that in Uruguay democracy often is defined as welfarism; in Brazil as patronage; and in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Venezuela as strong, statist, Pero´n-style nationalistic and top-down leadership. A preference has clearly emerged for organic, paternalistic, integrated, corporately organized democracy. These preferences are often in keeping with long-established Latin American traditions but they must be worrisome to true, pluralist democrats. A fifth issue is the role of the military. Although the armed forces have generally been content to stay behind the scenes in recent years, nowhere in Latin America has the North American model of a non-political, nondeliberative military entirely subordinated to civilian authority been institu-

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tionalized.4 Even in Chile, now considered both one of the strongest Latin American democracies and a model of military professionalism, the tension recently between civilian and military spheres has been palpable and nervewracking. The consensus among Latin American military officers seems to be that the American model of civil-military relations is inappropriate in their context, that they are every bit as professional as their U.S. counterparts, only that their notions of professionalism are different from (not inferior to or less developed than) ours. These attitudes similarly do not augur well for democratic politics in the Anglo-American mold. Another disturbing trend, sixth, is toward what Guillermo O’Donnell has called “delegative democracy.”5 That is, the people have democracy on the day of the elections and in the voting act; but after that and in the intervals between elections, they delegate decision-making to an all-power executive. Menem in Argentina is the best example but Fujimori in Peru, Zedillo in Mexico, Balaguer in the Dominican Republic, Cha´vez in Venezuela, and others are following or have followed similar paths. Courts, congress, federalism (where that exists), and local government tend to lose power in the process; the system of checks and balances gives way to presidential power, an imperious if not imperial presidency that Nixon never dreamed of. In some cases it is not just separation of powers but societal and political pluralism that is sacrificed as well. Pluralism becomes limited and co-opted, but that is precisely what characterized the authoritarian regimes that these new democrats have replaced.6 In many countries, seventh, corporatism has also made a comeback. This is neither the traditional corporatism of the past nor modern, socialdemocratic neo-corporatism. Instead it may be termed “everyday corporatism” or else plain old patronage politics.7 While most of Latin America has now repudiated much of the formal corporatism that was once found in its labor laws, social welfare programs, and structure of labor-state-business relations, it still often practices corporatism informally. In observing several recent elections and their aftermaths in Latin America, I have been struck by how every group—military, business, labor, state-owned enterprises, journalists, even film producers —lines up to protect, enhance, or guarantee its verba, its special privileges and budgets, its patronage positions. This is not progressive, socially just, modern, Scandinavian-style neo-corporatism that some Latin American intellectuals wish to move toward but rather corrupt, patronage-based politics in which every group has its hooks into the treasury and patronage system and is determined to protect its special position and entitlements at all costs.8 Another aspect, eighth, that is worrisome in Latin America’s recent march toward democracy is, actually, elections and the electoral process themselves. In the past, under authoritarianism, the preoccupation was the absence of elections; now we have an abundance of elections, but they have often been so divisive and crisis-prone as to produce near national breakdown rather than

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stable, democratic outcomes. The countries where elections have been agents of division and fragmentation rather than consensus and national coming together include Brazil, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Haiti, Mexico, Venezuela, and others. The Dominican Republic, for example, has had ten elections—ordinarily enough for the country to be considered safely democratic—since the end of authoritarianism in 1961; but only four of these have been fair and competitive while the runups to or outcomes of the others produced crises, coup d’etat, revolution, civil war, U.S. military intervention, or near national breakdowns. In well established democracies elections are usually viewed as ways of building consensus or of shifting policy directions, but in Latin America some elections are proving so divisive as to tear the country apart or produce instability—precisely the opposite of what the United States’ democracy-via-elections strategy was designed to accomplish. If elections are divisive—and this is the ninth point in our analysis—then that problem can be solved by national unity governments. Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela (not unimportant countries) have all shown signs in recent years of opting for or moving towards coalition governments, one-party governments, or governments of national unity. This is a familiar and very traditional tactic in Latin America: to overcome the divisiveness and fragmentation that liberalism, democracy, and elections produce by moving toward coalition, national front, or national unity governments.9 Colombia, for example, has been practicing this tactic for decades. But in addition to being very traditional, these strategies are profoundly antidemocratic. They deny real choice, they leave politics almost exclusively in the hands of the elites, and they largely exclude the electorate (who may vote but are not involved in the negotiations and patronage trade-offs leading to the coalition) from effective participation. So we need to decide: do we favor democracy and the instability it often produces, or do we favor a coalition arrangement that is often anti-democratic? Or can we have both (as with democracy and strong government)? It is a theme to which we return in the conclusion. Tenth, let me focus on a philosophical issue: the nature of elections themselves, the way U.S. policy has advanced them, and the web of agencies (Republican International Institute, Democrat International Institute, Agency for International Development, Carter Center, election observor teams, and so forth.) now established to promote the elections policy. The type of elections the United States has advanced are based on Lockean, Jeffersonian, individualistic, one-person-one-vote principles. An entire cottage industry of election observors, computer and voting technicians, and government officials has now emerged to support such elections. But Latin America has long been organized more on organic, centralized, integralist, corporatist, and Rousseauian principles. Rousseau, the father of Latin American independence and republicanism, was opposed to all forms of civil society as agencies of divisiveness; he favored an organic, tightly integrated society with direct contact

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(no intermediaries) between leaders and followers in the style of Hugo Cha´vez in Venezuela. Latin Americans’ most thoughtful leaders are not entirely convinced that their countries can be governed or held together on the basis of inorganic principles and organizations. So once again we face the dilemma that while U.S. policy has suceeded in establishing U.S.-style democracy and elections as the only legitimate route to power, that strategy may have produced not the happy stability that is at the core of our policy but actually the potential for greater upheaval, unraveling, and instability in the future.10 To respond to these problems, eleventh, the U.S. government through its AID programs has sought to develop what it calls “civil society.” Civil society is the latest AID panacea in a long list of AID panaceas to solve Latin America’s problems going back to agrarian reform and community development in the 1960s. Now, everyone since Alexis d’Tocqueville has understood that a lively civil society of intermediaries between the individual and the state is necessary for a functioning pluralist democracy; and to the extent Latin America develops such a functioning civil society, democracy will be strengthened. However: (1) Does the United States government or AID know what it’s doing sufficiently that we should have confidence in their efforts? The record so far is less than inspiring. (2) While we may hope that liberal pluralism and stronger democracy result from these efforts, the more likely outcome is greater corporatism, patronage, and co-optation extended to new groups. (3) Most of the new civil society groups that AID brags about to Congress to justify its existence and budget are, in fact, mainly AID creations and absolutely dependent on it for funding. When a group gets 90–95 percent of its budget from AID, it is an AID front; moreover, as soon as the funding dries up, the group funded also usually disappears and with it the efforts to build civil society. (4) My experience recently in Central America and the Caribbean is that the groups now funded by AID and other U.S. agencies as part of the effort to build civil society are often the same groups and individuals who have been milking AID dry for decades. They know the United States goes through successive waves of panaceas of which civil society is only the latest; hence they have latched onto this program as they have milked others in the past for their own private purposes. Therefore, while the goal of building a genuine civil society is a good one, present policies seem to offer slim hope that that will be the actual outcome. Here, then, are eleven worrisome features about Latin America’s recent and highly-celebrated transitions to democracy. All of them suggest that Latin American democracy may be more precarious than we had thought, that the journey is still incomplete, the glass still half empty. They also point toward the conclusion that what exists is still democracy with adjectives: limited democracy, guided democracy, controlled democracy, “tutelary democracy” (Oropeza),11 “delegative democracy” (O’Donnell),12 “Rousseauian democracy” (Wiarda).13 There are important implications for students of Latin America in this: we need a new nomenclature or set of categories to describe these still

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partial democracies, these half-way houses. But there are also implications for policy-makers: the need for a nuanced approach that recognizes gradations and crazy-quilt patterns en route to democracy rather than the far too simple dichotomy of dictatorship or democracy. In fact, most, if not all Latin American regimes are strung out, so to speak, somewhere between these two poles, and we now need to recognize that both intellectually and in a policy sense. The discussion points to two conclusions: first, that democracy in Latin America is less secure and in more trouble than we had hoped; and second, it is not just Latin American democracy that is troubled but the U.S. policy assumptions undergirding much of the democracy thrust as well. FREE TRADE AN D E C O N O MI C I N T E G R AT I O N The second pillar of the 1990s consensus involving the United States and Latin America was free trade and economic integration. Among most policymakers and serious scholars, this element of the consensus still holds that free trade and economic integration should go forward and that, despite some short-term disruptions, in the longer run free trade benefits all parties. The assumption still is that free trade has a multiplier effect (1:2): that for every dollar invested in trade, it brings back two dollars in benefits. Hence the argument that free trade is a rising tide that lifts all boats.14 Free trade and hemispheric economic integration were justified in the United States on political and strategic grounds as well as economic grounds. The perception was widespread among U.S. policy elites in the post–Cold War, early 1990s, that since Western Europe was moving toward greater economic integration and Japan was perceived to be organizing its own Asian common market, the United States should organize its trade/strategic bloc in the Western Hemisphere. The two parts of the Americas, North and South, were seen as complementary: industrial, developed, highly educated, technological in the North and resource-rich, developing, agricultural, with expanding markets in the South. Geographical proximity, immigration, trade patterns, investment, tourism, and communications were other factors that added to the logic of U.S.–Latin American integration. The United States also saw increased trade and economic integration, at a time of declining foreign aid and post–Cold War interest in foreign policy, as a way, at low cost, of bolstering the Latin American economies, strengthening nascent democracies, and thus stabilizing an area of importance and proximity to the United States. The strategic issues were particularly important to the United States in the case of Mexico. Right on the U.S. doorstep, sharing a 2,000-mile and very porous border with the United States, with one hundred million persons, was a Third World nation whose stability the United States had long taken for granted. But suddenly the Third World debt crisis that Mexico triggered in 1982 by its announcement that it could not meet its obligations, coupled with

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a severe political crisis in the late 1980s brought on by continued one-party rule, fraudulent elections, massive corruption, and a number of high-level assassinations, made Mexico look potentially highly unstable both economically and politically. Although the issue was mainly argued on economic grounds (jobs, the benefits of trade, and so forth) that came to overwhelm all others, the initial U.S. purpose behind the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was political/strategic: to help stabilize a neighboring country of major strategic importance to the United States, both in terms of U.S. international policy and domestic politics and society, whose stability could no longer be assumed. The passage of NAFTA, which may have been President Clinton’s finest moment, was enormously costly politically to the Democratic administration. NAFTA was particularly unpopular among labor groups who saw it as costing them jobs. For a president seeking reelection and whose electoral plurality in 1992 was only 40 percent, no further loss of important constituency support could be permitted. Hence without ever saying so publicly, the United States put off the accession of Chile—all but universally seen as the next and most qualified candidate—and other countries of NAFTA. Although this was initially a decision of a Democratic White House, the Republican majority in Congress after 1994 acceded to the Chile postponement because they too were eager to avoid the political costs of another NAFTA-like debate. Although leaders in both parties recognized that Chile was a very different country from Mexico whose accession would have almost no domestic political, labor, or environmental consequences as Mexico’s did, they were unwilling in an election year to risk any political costs by advancing Chile’s accession. Hence by a gentleman’s agreement that encompassed both parties, any further progress on Chile’s accession to NAFTA was put off until after the November 1996 election. Then NAFTA expansion was postponed indefinitely. Chile, meanwhile, has both diversified its trade and joined MERCOSUR, touted in some quarters as a complement to and, more recently, in others as a counterbalance to NAFTA. Given the political costs incurred, it is doubtful that future U.S. administrations will go forward with enthusiasm toward new or expanded free-trade agreements. Meanwhile, in both parts of the Hemisphere, there is increased skepticism concerning the value of free-trade agreements such as NAFTA. The smaller Latin American countries are often fearful that a free-trade regime may be “too rich” (as one Caribbean ambassador put it) for their fragile economies. In virtually all countries there is fear that small and less efficient firms (the majority!) will not be able to compete in a tariff-free global economy; hence there is renewed pressure virtually everywhere, hard to resist by newly democratic governments, for increased rather than decreased protectionism. Some countries are fed up with the United States temporizing on and postponing NAFTA expansion on domestic political grounds; a number of countries on nationalistic grounds are beginning to see MERCOSUR as a South American

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competitor to NAFTA. These fears are compounded by the growing realization in Latin America that a free-trade regime tends to benefit mainly the strongest economy (the United States) in that regime and that steps need to be taken (protectionism) to offset the U.S. advantages. The effects of NAFTA, or its perceived effects, on Mexico’s domestic society and politics have also been severe—at least in the short run. The subject is treated at greater length in the next section; here let us only say that for many Mexicans NAFTA is seen mainly as ushering in austerity, sacrifices, devaluation, economic crisis, a lower living standard, greater social inequality, loss of jobs, a severe drop in gross national product, widespread public disillusionment, a reversion to a 1970s economic level, and the increased potential for political instability—precisely what NAFTA was designed to avoid. Not all of these setbacks can actually be blamed on NAFTA, of course, and the Mexican leadership has remained committed, at least rhetorically, to the NAFTA agenda. Nevertheless under severe domestic pressure the government has backpeddled on many of its earlier free-trade/integration initiatives, fearing, again in a more democratic context, both the economic and the political costs of a too pro-NAFTA stance. However by the late 1990s NAFTA seemed to be bringing economic benefits to Mexico; the election of opposition and pro-business candidate Vice`nte Fox seemed to point to new and expanded efforts at integration with the United States. On the U.S. side too, enthusiasm for NAFTA has waned. Few of the promises that had accompanied the original proposal have been fulfilled. Immigration from Mexico has not appreciably slowed, the Mexican economy had declined instead of grown, jobs are not being created in sufficient numbers, corruption and drug-trafficking may be larger than ever, and there are few signs of transparency, accountability, or responsibility in the Mexican political system. The immense bailout of the Mexican economy following the peso crisis has not stabilized the Mexican economy or the political system. Despite official reassurances that Mexico is recovering and paying back the loans, the public perception is not only that this is money down a rathole but that it is only the first of many installments to keep Mexico afloat. Faced with this kind of taxpayer sentiment, politicians of both political parties will have a hard time justifying additional loans to Mexico. Meanwhile, in both countries, we have seen a reneging on the promises that accompanied the passages of NAFTA: a slowing of austerity and privatization on the Mexican side and both bellicose language and unilateral action on the American side, for example, on the issue of allowing non-safety-inspected Mexican trucks on U.S. highways. The modest U.S. efforts at present toward integration are thus going forward at lower, non-political levels and largely through private rather than public efforts. But if private investment is also frightened away by the threat of either Latin American economic mismanagement or guerrilla challenges as in Mexico and Colombia, then there will be no flesh left on the NAFTA skeleton at all. The Mexican peso crisis has reverberated strongly throughout Latin America and in the posh corridors of the international lending agencies, still staffed

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mainly by out-of-office cabinet ministers who were among the chief architects of the earlier strategy of import substitution industrialization (IRI) through mercantilism and protectionism. Throughout Latin America the sense is strong, although not very accurate, that NAFTA is the cause of Mexico’s troubles and all the trauma, instability, loss of jobs, declining living standards, and so forth that Mexico has experienced. Hence no president in Latin America can afford politically at this stage to say that he is following the Mexico formula. NAFTA is seen as poisonous, an instrument of ruin. And even if the charges against NAFTA are wrong or blown way out of proportion, people believe that they are true; moreover Mexico’s troubles have provided a convenient rationalization for governments who wish to avoid painful but necessary austerity and have strengthened those still-influential groups (including in the World Bank, IMF, and Inter-American Development Bank) who have never been convinced of the wisdom of the NAFTA package. So what is a poor Latin American government to do at this stage? Many countries in South America are back-peddling on their earlier commitment to a free-trade regime. Others, especially in the Caribbean and Central America, who are heavily dependent on the United States, are awaiting the end of the U.S. campaign and hoping that the United States can return to serious consideration of NAFTA expansion. Meanwhile many of these countries are continuing preliminary and low-profile negotiations with the United States, hoping to be prepared to move quickly toward NAFTA or a NAFTA-like arrangement after the U.S. election. One of the strongest economies of the area, Chile, has moved effectively since NAFTA admission was postponed to diversify its international trade: approximately one-third with Asia, one-third with Europe, and one-third with the Americas (including the United States). The other major economies, Argentina and Brazil, sensing that NAFTA for them may be a long time in coming and may not be all that attractive if and when it arrives, are similarly seeking to diversify while also strengthening MERCOSUR; Chile’s admission to MERCOSUR may be interpreted as further strengthening that institution, further diversifying its economy, and as a way of hedging its bets against U.S. procrastination on NAFTA. The situation throughout the hemisphere with regard to trade integration is thus extremely fluid. But there is no doubt: (1) The bloom is off both the NAFTA rose and the notion of Hemisphere-wide integration; (2) the Mexican crisis has had very wide negative reverberations and not just in that country; and (3) many Latin American countries are now moving to diversify their trade both because that is seen as a good in itself and as a hedge against the fickleness of U.S. policy. O PE N M ARKET S , S T AT E D OWN S I Z I N G , PRIVATIZATION The slippage that we have seen on both the democratization and the freetrade/integration agendas has also been occurring in this third leg of the 1990s U.S. policy consensus on open markets, state downsizing, and privatization.

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First, it needs to be said that a good part of what was earlier presented as a movement toward open markets, state downsizing, and privatization was exaggerated or based on elaborate shell games. For example, Mexico would, with loud fanfare for the benefit of the United States and the international lending agencies, announce a reduction of several thousand of its public employees, only very quietly to put even more persons on the public payroll the next week. Or, it would consolidate several state-owned firms into one even larger one, or sell one state-owned company to another state-directed agency (for example, to the official trade union organization), or, it has recently been revealed, pass these firms off through immensely corrupt practices to friends, family members, or cronies of those in power—and then present glowing statistics to the international community concerning reductions in the number of state-owned enterprises. Even before the great peso crisis of 1994 and thereafter, in other words, there was considerably less to the privatization and state downsizing than meets the eye. And Mexico was by no means alone in exaggerating its privatization efforts. Second, after the Mexican peso crisis, these trends toward noncompliance, obfuscation, or reversals of the open market, state-downsizing, privatization agenda quickly accelerated throughout the hemisphere. A variety of factors were involved. To begin, many leaders in Latin America were never convinced this was the correct agenda to begin with; they often preferred the levers of control of a statist approach. Second (and parallel to the ripples over NAFTA), the populations of these countries, particularly after the Mexico crisis, saw the privatization agenda as leading to loss of jobs, pauperization, crisis, possible violence, and lowered living standards. Hence privatization became less acceptable politically. Third, the business community in Latin America recognized they were not prepared for competition on a global basis and moved to scuttle the program while also preserving their special, inside access and protected status. Fourth, there was a genuine social justice issue: the fear that in a climate of unbridled free markets and capitalism, the situation of the poor in Latin America would only get worse. Not only did many people continue to look to the government for social programs but they also, fifth, looked to the state as an arbiter of social and political conflict in quasi-corporatist fashion. They argued the state needed to be strengthened, not weakened. A sixth factor involved habit and tradition: rather like France, the tradition of looking to a powerful, centralized, guiding, directing, dirigiste, semimercantilist state was so strong and lasting that the notion of reducing it or functioning under any other kind of system would likely take decades to be imbued. Seventh was patronage politics: reducing the size of the state was good economic logic but it was terrible political logic; particularly in a time of regular democratic elections, the idea of shrinking the number of patronage positions and thus of political support was anathema to politicians seeking election or reelection. Eighth, as the economies of many Latin American countries struggled to recover from 1980s depression, or, as in the cases of

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Mexico, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Haiti, and others, slipped backwards, the pressures for a stronger state role on economic policy became intense. A ninth factor was again, all those officials in the IMF, World Bank, or IDB who remained committed statists and were not about to allow a private sector– dominated economy to emerge as dominant. The result is that a program that only had modest claims to success before the Mexican crisis has, since the crisis, been slowed still further. Some countries are continuing to downsize and privatize; but without great enthusiasm, at immense political risk, and often without the support of the U.S. government. The Mexico crisis from 1994 to today and all the damage it has done continues to resonate both politically and economically not only in that country but up and down the hemisphere. Almost everyone in Latin America now views the Mexican economic policy model as a failure, and there is little enthusiasm for following Mexico’s lead. The result has been a major slowing and second-guessing of the neoliberal agenda, including on the part of its earlier adherents. Indeed in many countries the program of open markets, state downsizing, and privatization, except for rhetorical purposes and to please international donor agencies, is all but off the agenda. Perhaps it will come back in some distant future, but for now protectionism and a strong state role—in both the United States and Latin America—seem to be back in control. CO NCLUSI ONS A N D P O L I C Y I M P L I C AT I O N S After the Mexican peso crisis, and needing to shore up a policy that looked increasingly precarious, American officials were insistent in claiming—correctly—that NAFTA was not the cause of Mexico’s problems. Indeed what was striking was how strongly the United States reiterated that its hard-won policy consensus on democracy, free trade, and open markets was the correct one and that it needed to be continued. On both the political (democracy) and the economic (free trade, open markets) fronts, the United States stood by its policy—and not just rhetorically.15 Indeed, one major reason for the strength of the rhetoric was that the United States could not conceive that any other agenda besides democracy, free trade, and open markets could be correct or find public, congressional, or bureaucratic consensus. But it is clear by now that the earlier forecasts concerning an inevitable, progressive march toward democracy and open markets were overstated and oversold. The glass is both half full and half empty. Expectations about Latin America’s progress toward democracy and free markets need to be tempered and scaled back. By now it is obvious that the euphoric rhetoric that accompanied the December 1994 Miami summit (fewer than two weeks before the Mexico crash) was too strong and optimistic. At the same time the post–peso crisis pessimism and depression that followed were also too strong. We require not only more modest and realistic expectations but also new

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ways of thinking about and conceptualizing the issues. Latin America (and we need to distinguish between the countries) has made important progress toward democracy but it is not fully there yet. We do both Latin America and U.S. policy a disservice by exaggerating the claims made. For such claims both raise expectations unrealistically and lock policy in a box that allows little nuance or flexibility. In the United States we tend to dichotomize the issues: either authoritarianism, or democracy, either mercantilism or free markets. But the realities of development and of Latin America are rarely that clear or neat. Rather than either-or propositions, we need to recognize a continuum and various intermediary positions, both between authoritarianism and democracy and between mercantilism and open markets. Moreover we need to be prepared to accept that some nations will never completely bridge these transitions, indeed both that they cannot realistically do so and that they may not want to emulate the U.S. model of democracy and capitalism. We need to acknowledge various half-way houses or crazy-quilt patterns for which Latin America has a certain genius for improvising. My sense is that United States policy does often deal with such less-thancomplete transitions quite realistically—witness the acceptance of something less than full democracy in Mexico, Haiti, the Domincan Republic, or Peru. But this often occurs only after immense internal and frequently intense ideological battles, accompanied by recriminations, bitterness, and division. Hence it would be useful (although perhaps hard to explain to the public and Congress) to develop new nomenclature (partial democracy, controlled democracy, delegative democracy, and so forth in the political realm; degrees of statism in the economic realm) to describe these various half-way houses, the distinct points along the spectrum. These new categories would not only be more reflective of Latin American realities but they would also help us avoid the policy straightjacket, the conflict and recriminations that now, in the absence of such categories, accompany almost every policy debate on Latin America. Realism is always a useful ingredient in an American foreign policy that is often dominated by emotionalism alternating with neglect and bursts of Wilsonian idealism. Such a set of categories would not only enable us to deal with Latin American possibilities realistically, but it would also provide us with a set of handles to nudge the region toward new and more democratic levels.

NOTES 1. W. W. Rostow, The Stages of Economic Growth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1960); John J. Johnson, Political Change in Latin America (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1958). 2. An assessment at the time is Howard J. Wiarda, ed., The Continuing Struggle for Democracy in Latin America (Boulder: Westview Press, 1980).

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3. See, for example, Cultura Democra´tica en Venezuela (Caracas: Fundacio´n Pensamiento y Accio´n, 1996); Isis Duarte et al., Cultura Polı´tica y Democracia en la Republica Dominicana (Santo Domingo: Pontificia Universidad Cato´lica Madre y Maestra, 1995); Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Latin America, 8 September 1995, 54 and 7 February 1996, 3. Additional surveys are cited and analyzed in Howard J. Wiarda, The Democratic Revolution in Latin America (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1990); and Mark Falcoff, “Latin American Outlook” (Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, February, 1996). 4. See the excellent study by Brian Loveman, The Constitution of Tyranny: Regimes of Exception in Spanish America (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993). 5. O’Donnell, “Delegative Democracy,” Journal of Democracy, 5 (January 1994): 55–69. 6. For the concept of limited pluralism see Juan Linz, “An Authoritarian Regime: Spain,” in Cleavages, Ideologies, and Party Systems, ed. E. Allardt and Y. Littunen (Helsinki: Westermarck Society, 1964). 7. A recent summary is Howard J. Wiarda, Corporatism and Comparative Politics: The Other Great “Ism” (New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1996). 8. The best study is Jorge Bustamante, La Republica Corporativa (Buenos Aires: EMECE, 1989). 9. See especially the writings of Glen Dealy, The Public Man: An Interpretation of Latin American and Other Catholic Countries (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1977). 10. The point is elaborated in Howard J. Wiarda, The 1996 Dominican Republic Elections: Post Election Report (Washington, D.C.: Center for Strategic and International Studies, Americas Program, July, 1996). 11. Luis J. Oropeza, Tutelary Pluralism: A Critical Approach to Venezuelan Democracy (Cambridge: Harvard University, Center for International Affairs, 1983). 12. O’Donnell, “Delegative Democracy.” 13. Wiarda, Politics and Social Change in Latin America, 3rd ed. (Boulder: Westview Press, 1992). 14. M. Delal Baer and Sidney Weintraub, eds., The NAFTA Debate: Grappling with Unconventional Trade Issues (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1994). 15. Jeffrey Garten (Undersecretary of Commerce), “After the Mexico Crisis: Challenge and Opportunity in Latin America,” speech before the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the North-South Center, University of Miami (21 February 1995); Alexander Watson (Assistant Secretary of State), comments reported and quoted extensively in Council of the Americas, Washington FAX Report (3 March 1995).

CHAPTER 16

Conclusion Howard J. Wiarda and Margaret MacLeish Mott

Latin America’s political theory, political tradition, and sociocultural underpinnings are quite different from those of the United States. Most books written on Latin America over the last thirty years overlook or ignore these political-cultural themes in favor of a focus on class structure, dependency relations, or institutional analysis. Our book acknowledges the importance of these factors but argues that Latin American political culture is also important for understanding the area. Unlike some authors, we do not elevate political culture into a sufficient or all-encompassing explanation; instead, our approach is to study political culture along with these other factors. And in doing that we arrive at a more complex and realistic explanation that shows the interrelations of history, sociology, religion, economics, geography, politics, culture, and intellectual traditions. For just as one cannot understand Latin America without analyzing its class and socioracial structure, so we cannot fully comprehend the area without coming seriously to grips with history, religion, and the underlying political culture. In the United States we trace our intellectual and political roots to the English common law tradition, to the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, to the individualism ushered in with the Protestant Reformation and the political pluralism to which the religious pluralism of the Thirteen Colonies gave rise, and to the ideas of the founding fathers and others such as Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Lincoln, Wilson, and Roosevelt. Because of this tradition, almost all Americans share a belief in limited and representative government, separation of powers, political rights and liberties, pluralism, equality of opportunity, basic freedoms, and the separation of church and state.

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Latin America is harder for North Americans to understand. Latin America is not a non-Western area (like Thailand or Saudi Arabia, for instance) and its origins, like ours, lie in the Western tradition. But Latin America represents a fragment of the Western tradition that is quite different from the AngloAmerican tradition. As seen in this book, Latin America’s intellectual tradition has its roots in Greek philosophy, Roman law, medieval Catholicism, Spanish and Portuguese feudalism, neoscholasticism and the Counter-Reformation, and eventually Rousseau’s idea of the general will, Bolivar’s recognition of the need for unity and authority, and Comte’s and Rodo’s elitism, organicism and corporatism, and conservative nationalism. These founding principles were quite different from those of the United States. It was not just ideas and philosophies, of course, that shaped Latin America and its contrasts with North America. Latin America had, and still has in many countries, a two-class social structure reinforced by racial criteria: whites on top and Indians and blacks at the bottom. It also had the hacienda or feudal estate, perhaps the characteristic institutional feature, historically, of Latin American social and economic, as well as political, life. And for long periods— upwards of three centuries of colonial rule by Spain and Portugal, and on into its independence period in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—Latin America was cast in a dependency relation vis-a`-vis the great powers, of which the United States has been the most recent and the most pervasive. Who could deny the importance of these factors? Certainly not us. And yet, one cannot ignore the political culture dimension. How could anyone presume to understand Latin America without comprehending its often tragic and strife-torn history; the role of religion and the historic Roman Catholic Church; the impact of Roman rule; the Islamic conquest; and then the Christian Reconquest of Spain and Portugal and the carry-over of these traditions to the Americas; the distinct nature of rights and the corporateorganic character of Iberian and Latin American society; the Thomistic tradition and the Counter-Reformation; and the culture of machismo (manliness) and its counterpart, marianismo (veneration of the Virgin Mary)? All of these and unmentioned others are preeminently cultural or sociocultural phenomena, and no complete understanding of Latin America is possible without taking them into account. It is not only the political-cultural and social institutions that Latin America had that are important and distinctive; it is also the cultural traditions that it lacked. Latin America, because of the Spanish-Portuguese policies of censorship and keeping the region in isolation, missed out on all those critical cultural and political-cultural traditions that are essential in the development of modern Western civilization: the Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, the Protestant Reformation, the movement toward limited and representative government, the revolution in technology and invention, the Industrial Revolution, and others. In short, Latin America remained locked in the Middle Ages and was bypassed by all the great cultural and

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sociopolitical movements of the modern world. There is no doubt that these factors as well as the structural ones outlined previously were crucial in explaining Latin American development, or the retarded lack thereof. The United States was, in Louis Hartz’s phrase, “born free” in the sense of lacking a feudal or medieval past that would hinder its development and modernization. Latin America, in contrast, was “born feudal” in the sense that it was a product of the Spanish and Portuguese Middle Ages and was prohibited by colonialism from developing in ways that would lead to modernity and democratization. Even after independence, our authors make clear, the feudal past continued to hang heavily over Latin America; in many respects, medievalism in Latin America is still a powerful influence. The institutions that feudal Spain and Portugal carried over to Latin America were as follows: an authoritarian, top-down political system flowing from king to local landowner; a statist or mercantilist economy used by the mother countries to milk their colonies dry of wealth; a rigid, two-class social structure reinforced in the colonies by racial criteria; a set of religious beliefs that were inflexible, absolutist, and unchanging; and an intellectual tradition that was similarly deductive, pre-scientific. All these traits taken together we have termed the Hapsburg Model, named after the absolutist monarchy in power at the time. Earlier, Spain and Portugal had had a nascent, grassroots, predemocratic tradition, but that had been wiped out by royal absolutism. Hence, it was the rigid authoritarianism and feudalism of the Hapsburgs that was carried over to Latin America. The medieval Roman Catholic Church was particularly influential in shaping not just the religion but also the political philosophy, political culture, law, sociology, and educational or intellectual life of both the mother countries, Spain and Portugal, and Latin America. As several of our contributors point out, it was the Church and the Church fathers, especially Saint Thomas, and then the sixteenth-century Jesuits of the Counter-Reformation, particularly Sua´rez, that provided the arguments, justification, and authority for a hierarchy of laws, a similarly hierarchical structure of society, top-down decision-making and an authoritative if not authoritarian state, and a closed, deductive, nonscientific method of reasoning. These religious leaders also provided for a form of contract between rulers and ruled that might, as in England and its North American colonies, have evolved into representative or democratic government; but in Iberia and Latin America those possibilities were snuffed out by the ascendancy of royal absolution. The Church’s hold on Latin American society and politics continued for centuries; in many countries, even though now more secular, the political and philosophic ideas bequeathed by the earlier colonization still hold, modified by the forces of change and modernization but, as the essays of Octavio Paz and others make clear, nowhere eliminated by them. The system of absolute, top-down rule and hierarchy persisted for some three centuries of Spanish and Portuguese colonialism. If anything, the system

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got harder and tighter at the end under a new Bourbon monarchy rather than liberalizing. Similarly the independence movements in Latin America beginning in the early nineteenth century were conservative movements, aimed at restoring the absolutist and semi-feudal status quo and led by the white, elitist upper class, against the liberalizing trends occurring in Europe and even in Spain and Portugal. We usually think of independence movements as representing liberalism but in Latin America it was the conservatives who held power both before and after independence. Independence required a change in political institutions, however, and in the political philosophy undergirding them. Most of the Latin American countries adopted constitutions providing for representative government, for example, but then so qualified the basic law that the older authoritarianism was preserved: strong executive authority, the military elevated to almost a fourth branch of government, severe restrictions on the suffrage and on civil liberties, strong emergency laws that gave the government the ability to rule by decree, weak legislatures, judiciaries, and local governments. The underlying philosophy also changed—but also stayed remarkably the same. Thomism continued to undergird religion and morale but politically the French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau, not Locke, Jefferson, or Madison, emerged as the new font of republican wisdom. Rousseau was suspicious of elections and the procedural aspects of democracy, as the United States emphasized; instead, he stressed the heroic leader, the man-on-horseback who intuitively knows the general will of his people and is not constrained by checks and balances or competing interest groups and pluralism. Ever since Rousseau, right-wing dictators like Augusto Pinochet in Chile or left-wing dictators like Fidel Castro have invoked Rousseau’s name to justify their authoritarianism. Rousseau presented a “great and glorious” vision of a “pure” democracy, but in the absence of regular, functioning institutions and elections, his formula often degenerated into tyranny. It offered the promise that Latin America could leapfrog over the more prosaic, boring tasks of building democratic institutions from the grass roots up, but in practice the Rousseau formula usually produced either dictatorship or chaos, with the two often alternating in Latin American history. As the nineteenth century progressed, Latin America settled down somewhat politically, and during the last third of the century the economies of the area received the stimulus of foreign capital, new demands for its products, immigration and the opening of new lands for production, and hence economic growth. The period from 1870 to 1900 was Latin America’s economic take-off period, a period of relative stability and prosperity that in most countries lasted until the great market crash of 1929–30. New political philosophies such as positivism, corporatism, and Hispanicism (admiration for all things Spanish) entered the lexicon during this period, but what is striking about them is how much they continued to justify and rationalize existing beliefs, power structures, and hierarchies. The older Thomism and Catholicism be-

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gan to fade somewhat as Latin America became more secular, but in these new ideas the same system of elite rule, top-down authority, and the hierarchical organization of society was maintained. The more Latin America changed, the more it remained the same. The 1930s was a crucial time of change in Latin America, a “critical juncture” in David Collier’s and Ruth Berins Collier’s terms.1 It was during this decade and thereafter that the Middle Ages finally began to fade in Latin America and the pace of modernization accelerated. These changes may be analyzed under five main headings, here only briefly summarized.2 First, the basic values, beliefs, and overall political culture of Latin America began to change; the older, traditional Catholic beliefs of hierarchy and authority began to give way to newer beliefs based on democracy, social justice, and full participation. Second, the economy changed from agricultural, semi-feudal, and mercantilist to increasingly urban, industrial, and capitalist. Third, society changed: the old two-class system of elites and peasants gave way to one that was more pluralist and multi-class, including now business groups, a sizable middle class, and organized trade unions and farmers. A fourth area of change was in the political realm: the authoritarian and elite-dominated structures of the past began to yield to a politics that was often populist, social-democratic, and even revolutionary. These political changes were reflected in the new interest groups that emerged, new massbased political parties, and the expectation that government agencies should be responsive and deliver not just patronage but real goods and services—or else! Finally, there were changes in the international sphere: Latin America’s traditional isolation began to break down and the continent became more closely integrated into global affairs—culturally, politically, economically, and in all other ways. These vast stirrings of modernization also had their impact in the realm of ideas. Liberalism, socialism, social democracy, nationalism, Marxism, capitalism—all had an impact on Latin America. Generally, the way Latin America dealt with these ideas as well as with the new social forces of these times was to use a combination of repression and co-optation. Repression was often used against rising trade union and peasant groups—until they became sufficiently large and influential enough that co-optation proved a better strategy. Cooptation usually took the form of integrating unions and peasant groups into the political system under state control rather than allowing them complete freedom as under democratic pluralism. The Latin American states created official government-run and co-opted organizations for workers and farmers and thus brought them into the political process but under government auspices. In return for modifying some of their revolutionary demands, these groups received salary increases and benefits from the state. In this way new and rising social groups were brought into the political system but usually under state control and without that implying full-scale democracy. Instead,

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the system of co-opting interest groups and integrating them under government regulation was called corporatism. Corporatism for a considerable period in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and beyond was Latin America’s answer to liberalism and Marxism. Corporatism, particularly in its Catholic and social-Christian forms, was touted as Latin America’s third way, neither full-scale liberalism and democracy on the one hand, nor full-scale authoritarianism on the other. It represented an effort by Latin America to adapt to change and to the new social forces set loose by modernization and economic development, but without that implying full equality and participation for lower-class groups either. Note that, while change occurred as new groups were co-opted and brought in, it was the state, controlled still by the elites both civilian and military, that managed and oversaw the entire process. The economic collapse of the 1930s undermined and even destroyed in many countries the old oligarchic order in Latin America, but it did not bring forth any clear and consistent new order to replace it. The old order had proved insufficient but Latin America was unwilling to proceed too fast toward democracy and full participation. The result was a period of instability coupled with uncertainty and the search for a new political formula. Populist and corporatist leaders like Juan Pero´n in Argentina or Getulio Vargas in Brazil recognized the rise of the lower classes and sought to incorporate them into the political process by using statist and frankly authoritarian controls. Other countries tried new forms of social democracy that were then usually quickly crushed by military authoritarianism. Still other countries similarly lurched between liberalism and dictatorship, meanwhile seeking, usually through corporatist techniques, to bring the lower classes into the political process without yet giving them the full democracy that would have deprived the elites of power. The 1930s was a period of great instability in Latin America, followed by a wave of authoritarianism in the 1940s and 1950s, and then again a democratic opening in the late 1950s and early 1960s, corresponding to John F. Kennedy’s Alliance for Progress and the renewed hope that many people had in Latin America’s future. But democracy implied bringing the lower classes in as full and equal participants and that, coupled with Cold War–era fears that often weak and wobbly democrats might make the countries of the region susceptible to Marxist-Leninist revolutions, triggered a new round of authoritarian takeovers in the late 1960s and 1970s. By the mid-1970s fourteen of the twenty countries were under military rule; three others were governed by civilian authoritarians; and the three remaining so-called democracies were elite-dominated or corporatist regimes. A number of these military regimes were vicious abuses of human rights and sought to turn the clock back to earlier, sleepier times by again excluding whole sectors of the population from active participation in the national political life. While instability and authoritarianism seemed endemic in the region, we

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should not forget that all throughout this period since the 1930s social and economic changes were nonetheless going forward inexorably. These vast sea changes in Latin American life had the long-term effect of undermining the older oligarchic society and, more than that, the philosophic basis of it as analyzed in this book. For example, during this period from the middle of the twentieth century to its end, Latin America went from 70 percent illiterate to 70 percent literate. It went from 70 percent rural to 70 percent urban—and many Latin Americans took the next step by migrating abroad. Economic development, often slow and uneven to be sure, resulted in greater affluence for many, more money in circulation and a general economic quickening, and new opportunities for social mobility. At the same time, the Roman Catholic Church lost its hold on the population; very few people believed, let alone read, any more the older Thomistic injunctions calling for authority, discipline, and accepting one’s God-given station in life. Young people in particular were liberated by television, the movies, and peer pressures, and they no longer accepted the authoritarian and non-democratic values of their elders. Latin America was more integrated not only into the global economy but also into the world culture of values, beliefs, and attitudes, including democracy. The economic situation, society, and all of Latin American political culture began to change. The old institutions— Church, hacienda, oligarchy—were undermined, and with them the value system that had supported them for so long. Latin America of the late 1970s and 1980s was vastly different from the Latin America of earlier times. By the late 1970s the Latin American militaries, recognizing these new realities as well as their own inadequacies of governing, began their retreat from power. In country after country the armed forces returned to the barracks, most often peacefully, and allowed the democratic political process to reassert itself. New elections were held in almost all countries and democratic governments replaced the old authoritarians. Support for democracy soared; and with the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s a further complicating issue was eliminated. By this point nineteen of the twenty Latin American countries (all except Cuba) could be said to be under democratic rule; democracy was supported in public opinion polls by 80–90 percent of the population; and, with the collapse and discrediting of both authoritarianism and Marxism-Leninism, democracy seemed to be the only legitimate form of government, the only game in town. The recent democratic transitions in Latin America provide the acid test for the readings and thesis of this book. Is Latin America still unique, distinctive, true to its own particular culture and tradition, which, as we have seen, are very different from those of the United States? Is the region still authoritarian, elitist, corporatist, and dominated by traditional beliefs? Or has it become so democratic and so integrated into global currents that its political beliefs and institutions are no different from those of other democracies? The answer is, a little of both. On the one hand, there is no doubt that

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Latin America has become more democratic in recent decades. Moreover, the growth of democracy is underlain, as we have seen, by vast, long-term social, economic, and cultural changes that have altered not just the face but the basic institutions of the region. Political parties have grown up; civil society and pluralism have emerged; elections are considered the only route to power; and democracy enjoys strong legitimacy. Nineteen of twenty countries functioning as electoral democracies is not a bad record, particularly as compared with past history. On the other hand, the form that democracy takes in Latin America often remains true to the older tradition. First, it is personalistic and executivecentered—remember Dolores Martin’s analysis of the El Cid tradition. Second, it is still often elite-directed rather than mass-based. Third, the military is still present, often the power behind the (now elected) throne. Fourth, neither political parties, civil society, nor interest groups and pluralism are highly valued in Latin America; they are still often seen as divisive and unnecessary. Fifth, courts and congresses are similarly often held in low repute and are seldom seen as separate, coequal branches of government. Sixth, the older corporatist system of co-opted, government-controlled groups is still often present, living alongside the newer, more liberal interestgroup system. Seventh, local government is still weak and grassroots participation in politics is not widespread. Eighth, the older mercantilist state and its supporters still vie with the supporters of liberalism and neoliberalism and may well reassert themselves. Ninth, civil and human rights are still widely violated in Latin America, and sometimes even democratic elections are fraudulent. Tenth, the Catholic Church and its belief system that had undergirded Latin America for so long, though sometimes battered and itself changing, remain as powerful influences. Eleventh, while support for democracy was in the solid 80–90 percent in the early 1990s, by the dawn of the twenty-first century it had shrunk to 60– 65 percent for the region as a whole and to less than 50 percent in some countries. Support for democracy’s essential undergirding institutions—parties, labor unions, parliament—was under 20 percent in most countries. There was widespread disillusionment with democracy and a sense it had not delivered, in the way of social and economic improvements, on its earlier promises. And, while support for democracy was down, support for strong government—the authoritarian alternative—was rising and in some countries had surpassed the pro-democracy percentage. We need to assess all these trends carefully; we need also to distinguish between countries. Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Uruguay, though not without problems of their own, are by now probably solidly in the democratic camp. On the other side, Ecuador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Paraguay seem especially vulnerable to authoritarian reassertions of power. All the other countries, twelve in all, are strung out somewhere between these two poles on the democracy-authoritarian spectrum. Adding the vulnerable countries

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to the in-between countries means that democracy may be in serious trouble in sixteen of the twenty countries. Recognizing these realities, quite a number of countries and regimes have sought to reconcile and combine their democratic and their authoritarian features. The two most prominent examples, treated earlier in the book, are Alberto Fujimori in Peru and Hugo Cha´vez in Venezuela. Both of these were elected presidents, although the fairness of these elections was open to question. Both believed in strong, executive-centered leadership and preferred to rule without much input from the courts and congress. In both, the human rights situation is generally free, though not without some abuses. Both are adherents of a strong state with the government playing a major role in the economy. In both countries the line between democracy and authoritarianism under these men was fuzzy. Both were what Tina Rosenberg earlier in this book termed “Rousseauian democrats.” That is, they were in the tradition of Rousseau and not that of Locke, Jefferson, or Madison. Like Rousseau, both despised political parties, civil society, and other intermediaries. Both sought direct and immediate interchange between rulers and ruled and personified the leadership principle. Both presumed to know the general will and what was best for their people, without necessarily the pluralism of interest groups, the free and liberal society, and the regular, competitive elections that are required for full democracy. We are not saying that Fujimori or Cha´vez necessarily represent the future of Latin America. Instead, the diverse countries of Latin America will have many diverse outcomes. But what is interesting about their regimes—and widespread throughout Latin America—is the way they have sought to combine older authoritarianism with newer democracy. Similarly, how they have tried to reconcile indigenous and historic ways of doing things with the newer requirements of global democracy. We see that as the likely future of Latin America—and of other developing nations. That is, combinations of old and new, half-way houses of traditional and modern, blends and fusions of indigenous and imported. There will not be a wholesale and complete transition from authoritarianism to democracy in very many countries but more likely a crazy-quilt pattern of both, often overlapping. If one thinks about it for a moment, that is also what Japan, India, East Asia, the Islamic countries, sub-Saharan Africa, and other developing regions as well as Latin America are doing, and what the United States and Western Europe have done in the past. Democracy, after all, is a process. It does not happen overnight. It is continuous. The journey never fully ends. There are no pure forms. It also reflects local conditions, cultures, levels of socioeconomic development, and historic and traditional ways of doing things. That means we need to understand not only the processes and institutions of democracy but also of Latin America,

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its history, culture, religious beliefs, and basic underlying principles, and how these are blended, reconciled, and fused in various countries. All countries represent interesting and unique combinations of global influences—including now democracy—reconciled in various ways with local or indigenous norms. To us, such differences as well as the similarities between countries help make the world interesting; they also give us the incentive to keep working for more and better democracy. Latin America is, thus, surely one of the world’s most fascinating living laboratories, not just of social and economic change but of ever-changing political experimentation as well. We find this diversity among the universality of democracy healthy and invigorating, and we hope some of our enthusiasm and excitement about these issues is conveyed to our readers.

NOTES 1. David Collier and Ruth Berins Collier, Shaping the Political Arena: Critical Junctures, the Labor Movement, and Regime Dynamics in Latin America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991). 2. For elaboration see Howard J. Wiarda and Harvey F. Kline, An Introduction to Latin American Politics and Development (Boulder: Westview Press, 2001).

Suggested Readings

The readings listed here include some of the best interpretive overviews of Latin American history, culture, sociology, and politics. Unless they have more general applicability, specific country and topical studies have been omitted; readers interested in examining these issues in the several countries are urged to consult the analyses and bibliographies contained in Howard J. Wiarda and Harvey F. Kline, Latin American Politics and Development, 5th edition (Boulder: Westview Press, 2000). The present listing seeks to offer suggestions for reading on Latin America’s historical background, its patterns and processes of development, and the distinctiveness of Latin American culture, political society, and civilization. Adams, R. N. The Second Sowing: Power and Secondary Development in Latin America. San Francisco: Chandler, 1967. Adams, R. N., et al. Social Change in Latin America Today. New York: Vintage, 1960. Adie, R. F., and G. E. Poitras. Latin America: The Politics of Immobility. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1974. Agu¨ero, F., and J. Stark, eds. Fault Lines of Democracy in Post-Transition Latin America. Miami: North-South Center Press, University of Miami, 1998. Alba, V. The Latin Americans. New York: Praeger, 1969. Alvarez, S. E., E. Dagnino, and A. Escobar, eds. Cultures of Politics, Politics of Cultures: Revisioning Latin American Social Movements. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1998. Anderson, C. W. Politics and Economic Change in Latin America. Princeton: Van Nostrand, 1967. Arciniegas, G. Latin America: A Cultural History. New York: Knopf, 1967. Arguedas, A. Pueblo Infermo. Barcelona: Tasso, 1910. Baga´, S. Estructura social de la colonia. Buenos Aires, 1952. Baloyra, E. A., ed. Comparing New Democracies: Transition and Consolidation in Mediterranean Europe and the Southern Cone. Boulder: Westview Press, 1987.

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Bishko, C. J. “The Iberian Background of Latin American History.” Hispanic American Historical Review 36 (February 1956): 50–80. Buckland, W. W., and A. D. McNair. Roman Law and Common Law: A Comparison. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965. Cabat, L., and R. Cabat. The Hispanic World: A Survey of the Civilizations of Spain and Latin America. New York: Oxford Book Co., 1961. Camp, R., ed. Democracy in Latin America: Patterns and Cycles. Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, 1996. Cardoso, F. H., and E. Faletto. Dependency and Development in Latin America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978. Castro, A. The Spaniards: An Introduction to Their History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971. Cespedes, G. Latin America. New York: Knopf, 1974. Chalmers, D. A. “Crisis and Change in Latin America.” Journal of International Affairs 23 (1969): 76–88. ———. “Parties and Society in Latin America.” Studies in Comparative International Development 7 (Summer 1972): 102–30. Collier, D., ed. The New Authoritarianism in Latin America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979. Collier, D., and R. B. Collier. Shaping the Political Arena: Critical Junctures, the Labor Movement, and Regime Dynamics in Latin America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991. Cortes Conde, R. The First Stages of Modernization in Spanish America. New York: Harper and Row, 1974. Crawford, W. R. A Century of Latin American Thought. New York: Praeger, 1966. Dealy, G. C. The Latin Americans: Spirit and Ethos. Boulder: Westview Press, 1992. ———. The Public Man: An Interpretation of Latin American and Other Catholic Countries. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1977. Duncan, W. R. Latin American Politics: A Developmental Approach. New York: Praeger, 1976. Economic Commission for Latin America. Social Development of Latin America in the Post-War Period. New York: United Nations, 1964. Einaudi, L., ed. Beyond Cuba: Latin America Takes Charge of Its Future. New York: Crane, Russak, 1974. Erickson, K. P. The Brazilian Corporative State and Working Class Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977. Falcoff, M. A Culture of Its Own: Taking Latin America Seriously. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Press, 1998. Fals Borda, O. “Marginality and Revolution in Latin America, 1809–1969.” Studies in Comparative International Development 6 (1970–71): 63–89. Faoro, R. Os Donos do Poder: Formaca˜o do Patronato Politico Brasileiro. Poˆrto Alegre: Globo, 1976. Fitch, J. S. The Military Coup as a Political Process. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977. Fitzgibbon, R. H., and J. A. Fernandez. Latin America: Political Culture and Development. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1981. Foster, G. M. Culture and Conquest: America’s Spanish Heritage. Chicago: Quadrangle, 1960.

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Gaspar, E. The United States and Latin America: A Special Relationship? Washington, D.C.: AEI-Hoover, 1978. Germani, G. “Stages of Modernization.” International Journal 24 (Summer 1969): 463– 85. Germani, G., and K. Silvert. “Politics, Social Structure, and Military Intervention in Latin America.” European Journal of Sociology, no. 2 (1961): 62–81. Gibson, C. Spain in America. New York: Harper, 1966. ———, ed. The Black Legend: Anti-Spanish Attitudes in the Old World and the New. New York: Knopf, 1971. Glade, W. The Latin American Economies. New York: American, 1969. Glassman, R. Political History of Latin America. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1969. Go´ngora, M. El estado en el derecho indiano. Santiago, 1951. Graham, L. S. Civil Service Reform in Brazil: Principles versus Practice. Austin: University of Texas, 1968. Green, O. H. Spain and the Western Tradition. Madison and Milwaukee: University of Wisconsin Press, 1963–66. Hale, C. A. Mexican Liberalism in the Age of Mora, 1821–1853. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968. Halpern-Donghi, T. The Aftermath of Revolution in Latin America. New York: Harper and Row, 1973. Hamill, H. M., ed. Dictatorship in Spanish America. New York: Knopf, 1965. Hamilton, B. Political Thought in Sixteenth-Century Spain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963. Hanke, L., ed. Do the Americas Have a Common History? New York: Knopf, 1964. ———. The First Social Experiments in America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1935. ———. The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America. Boston: Little, Brown, 1965. Haring, C. H. The Spanish Empire in America. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1963. Harris, L. K., and V. Alba. The Political Culture and Behavior of Latin America. Kent: Kent State University Press, 1974. Hartz, L. The Liberal Tradition in America. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1955. Hartz, L., et al. The Founding of New Societies. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1964. Herring, H. A History of Latin America. New York: Knopf, 1968. Hillgarth, J. N. The Spanish Kingdoms, 1250–1516. Oxford: Clarendon, 1976. Hirschman, A. O. Journeys Toward Progress: Studies of Economic Policy-Making in Latin America. New York: Anchor, 1965. Hyman, E. “Soldiers in Politics.” Political Science Quarterly 87 (September 1972): 401– 18. Jaguaribe, H. Political Development: A General Theory and a Latin American Case Study. New York: Harper and Row, 1978. Jane, C. Liberty and Despotism in Latin America. Oxford: Clarendon, 1929. Johnson, H. B., Jr., ed. From Reconquest to Empire: The Iberian Background to Latin American History. New York: Knopf, 1970.

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Johnson, J. J. The Military and Society in Latin America. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1964. ———. Political Change in Latin America. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1958. ———, ed. Continuity and Change in Latin America. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1964. Johnson, K. F. Argentina’s Mosaic of Discord, 1966–1968. Washington, D.C.: Institute for the Comparative Study of Political Systems, 1969. Joseph, G. M., and D. Nugent, eds. Everyday Forms of State Formation. Durham, N.C: Duke University Press, 1994. Kadt, E. de. “Paternalism and Populism: Catholicism in Latin America.” Journal of Contemporary History 2 (October 1967): 89–100. Karst, K., and K. S. Rosenn. Law and Development in Latin America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975. Kling, M. “Toward a Theory of Power and Political Instability in Latin America.” Western Political Quarterly 9 (March 1956): 21–35. ———. “Violence and Politics in Latin America.” Sociological Review 2 (1967): 119– 32. Kryzanek, M. J. Latin America: Change and Challenge. New York: Harper Collins, 1995. Lafaye, J. “The Spanish Diaspora: The Enduring Unity of Hispanic Culture.” Washington: Wilson Center, Latin American Program, 1977. Landsberger, H. A., ed. The Church and Social Change in Latin America. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1970. ———. “The Labor Elite: Is It Revolutionary?” In Elites in Latin America, edited by S. M. Lipset and A. Solari. New York: Oxford University Press, 1967. Lanning, J. T. Academic Culture in the Spanish Colonies. London: Oxford University Press, 1940. Levine, Daniel H. Religion and Politics in Latin America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981. Lewy, G. Constitutionalism and Statecraft During the Golden Age of Spain. Geneva: Droz, 1960. Lipset, S. M., and A. Solari, eds. Elites in Latin America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1967. Loveman, B., and T. M. Davies, Jr., eds. The Politics of Anti-Politics. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978. McAlister, L. N. “Changing Concepts of the Role of the Military in Latin America.” Annals, no. 360 (July 1965): 85–98. ———. “Civil-Military Relations in Latin America.” Journal of Inter-American Studies 3 (July 1961): 341–50. ———. The “Fuero Militar” in New Spain, 1746–1800. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1957. MacKay, A. Spain in the Middle Ages. London: Macmillan, 1977. Madden, M. R. Political Theory and Law in Medieval Spain. New York: Fordham University Press, 1930. Maier, J., and R. W. Weatherhead, eds. Politics of Change in Latin America. New York: Praeger, 1954. Malloy, J., ed. Authoritarianism and Corporatism in Latin America. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1977.

Suggested Readings

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Malloy, J. M., and M. A. Seligson, eds. Authoritarians and Democrats: Regime Transformation in Latin America. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1987. Mander, J. The Unrevolutionary Society: The Power of Latin American Conservatism in a Changing World. New York: Knopf, 1969. Marsal, J. Cambio Social en America Latina: Critica de Algunas Interpretaciones Dominantes en las Ciencias Sociales. Buenos Aires: Solar/Hachette, 1967. Martz, J. “The Place of Latin America in the Study of Comparative Politics.” Journal of Politics 28 (February 1966): 57–80. Martz, J., and M. Jorrin. Latin American Political Thought and Ideology. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1970. Mecham, J. L. Church and State in Latin America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1966. Mercier, Vega, L. Roads to Power in Latin America. New York: Praeger, 1969. Merryman, J. H. The Civil Law Tradition. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1969. Middlebrook, K. J., and D. S. Palmer. Military Government and Corporativist Political Development. Beverly Hills: Sage, 1975. Moreno, F. J. “The Spanish Colonial System: A Functional Approach.” Western Political Quarterly 20 (June 1967): 308–30. Moreno, F. J., and B. Mitrani, eds. Conflict and Violence in Latin American Politics. New York: Crowell, 1971. Needler, M. Political Development in Latin America. New York: Random, 1968. O’Callaghan, J. F. A History of Medieval Spain. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1975. O’Donnell, G. Modernization and Bureaucratic Authoritarianism: Studies in South American Politics. Berkeley: University of California, Institute of International Studies, 1973. O’Donnell, G., P. C. Schmitter, and L. Whitehead, eds. Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Prospects for Democracy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986. Ortega y Gasset, J. Invertebrate Spain. New York: Norton, 1937. Oxhorn, P. D. and G. Ducatenzeiler, eds. What Kind of Democracy, What Kind of Market? Latin America in the Age of Neoliberalism. University Park: Pennsylvania University Press, 1998. Packenham, R. A. Liberal America and the Third World: Political Development Ideas in Foreign Aid and Social Sciences. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973. Pagden, Anthony. Spanish Imperialism and the Political Imagination. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990. Palmer, D. S., Peru: The Authoritarian Tradition. New York: Praeger, 1980. Parry, J. H. The Spanish Theory of Empire in the Sixteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1940. Payne, J. L. Labor and Politics in Peru: The System of Political Bargaining. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965. ———. “The Politics of Structured Violence.” Journal of Politics 27 (May 1965): 362– 74. Paz, O. The Labyrinth of Solitude: Life and Thought in Mexico. New York: Grove, 1961. Phelan, J. L. “Authority and Flexibility in the Spanish Imperial Bureaucracy.” Administrative Science Quarterly 5 (June 1960): 47–64. Picon-Salas, M. Cultural History of Spanish America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968.

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Suggested Readings

Pike, F. “Corporatism and Latin American-United States Relations.” Review of Politics 36 (January 1974): 132–70. ———. Hispanismo. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1971. ———. The United States and the Andean Republics. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1977. Pike, F., and T. Stritch, eds. The New Corporatism: Social and Political Structures in the Iberian World. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1974. Post, G. “Roman Law and Early Representation in Spain and Italy.” Speculum 18 (April 1943): 211–32. ———. Studies in Medieval Legal Thought: Public Law and the State, 1100–1322. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1964. Powell, J. D. “Peasant Society and Clientelist Politics.” American Political Science Review 66 (June 1970): 411–25. Rio, A. del. The Clash and Attraction of Two Cultures: The Hispanic and Anglo-Saxon Worlds in America. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1965. Rivera, J. Latin America: A Sociocultural Interpretation. New York: Appleton-CenturyCrofts, 1971. Roett, R. Brazil: Politics in a Patrimonialist Society. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1972. Sarfatti, M. Spanish Bureaucratic-Patrimonialism in Latin America. Berkeley: University of California, Institute of International Studies, 1966. Schmitter, P. “Paths to Political Development in Latin America.” In Changing Latin America, edited by D. Chalmers. New York: Academy of Political Science, Columbia University Press, 1972. Schurz, W. L. Latin America. New York: Dutton, 1963. Schwartz, S., ed. The Transition from Authoritarianism to Democracy in the Hispanic World. San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Studies, ICS Press, 1986. Scott, R. E. “The Government Bureaucrats and Political Change in Latin America.” Journal of International Affairs 20 (1966): 289–308. Sigmund, P. E., ed. St. Thomas Aquinas on Politics and Ethics. New York: Norton, 1988. Silvert, K. H. The Conflict Society: Reaction and Revolution in Latin America. New York: American Universities Field Staff, 1966. Skinner, Quentin. The Foundations of Modern Political Thought: Vol 2 The Age of Reformation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978. Stepan, A. “Political Development: The Latin American Tradition.” Journal of International Affairs 20 (1966): 223–34. ———. Rethinking Military Politics. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988. ———. State and Society: Peru in Comparative Perspective. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978. Stoetzer, C. The Scholastic Roots of the Spanish American Revolution. New York: Fordham University Press, 1979. Van Cott, D. L., ed. Indigenous Peoples and Democracy in Latin America. New York: Saint Martin’s Press, 1995. Velı´z, C. The Centralist Tradition in Latin America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980. ———, ed. Obstacles to Change in Latin America. London: Oxford University Press, 1965.

Suggested Readings

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———, ed. The Politics of Conformity in Latin America. London: Oxford University Press, 1967. Vicens Vives, J. Approaches to the History of Spain. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970. Wagley, C. The Latin American Tradition. New York: Columbia University Press, 1968. Weinstein, M. Uruguay: The Politics of Failure. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1975. Wesson, R., ed. New Military Politics in Latin America. New York: Praeger and Hoover Institution Press, 1982. ———. Democracy in Latin America: Promise and Problems. New York: Praeger and Hoover Institution Press, 1982. Wiarda, H. J., ed. Non-Western Theories of Development: Global Trends versus Regional Norms. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace, 1998. ———, ed. Comparative Democracy and Democratization. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace, 2001. ———. The Continuing Struggle for Democracy in Latin America. Boulder: Westview Press, 1980. ———. Corporatism and Development: The Portuguese Experience. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1977. ———. Corporatism and National Development in Latin America. Boulder: Westview Press, 1981. ———. Cracks in the Consensus: Debating the Democracy Agenda in U.S. Foreign Policy. Washington, D.C. and New York: Praeger Publishers for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1997. ———. Critical Elections and Critical Coups: State, Society and the Military in the Processes of Latin American Development. Athens: Ohio University, Center for International Studies, 1979. ———. Democracy and Its Discontents: Development, Interdependence, and U.S. Policy in Latin America. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1995. ———. The Democratic Revolution in Latin America: The U.S. Policy Response. New York: Holmes and Meier, A Twentieth Century Fund Book, 1990. ———. Ethnocentrism in Foreign Policy: Can We Understand the Third World? Washington: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1985. ———. The Soul of Latin America: The Cultural and Political Tradition. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001. ———. “Toward a Framework for the Study of Political Change in Iberic-Latin Tradition: The Corporative Model.” World Politics 25, no. 2 (January 1973): 206– 35. Wiarda, H. J., and H. F. Kline, eds. Latin American Politics and Development. 5th ed. Boulder: Westview Press, 2000. Wiarda, H. J., and M. MacLeish Mott. Catholic Roots and Democratic Flowers: The Political Systems of Spain and Portugal. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood/Praeger, 2001 Wilenius, R. The Social and Political Theory of Francisco Sua´rez. Helsinki: Societas Philosophica Fennica, 1963. Willems, E. Latin American Culture. New York: Harper and Row, 1975. Williams, E. J., and F. J. Wright. Latin American Politics: A Developmental Approach. Palo Alto, Calif.: Mayfield, 1975. Wolf, E. R., and E. C. Hansen. “Caudillo Politics: A Structural Analysis.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 9 (January 1967): 168–79.

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Worcester, D. C., and D. Schaeffer. Growth and Culture of Latin America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970. Wynia, G. W., The Politics of Latin American Development. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987. Zea, L. The Latin American Mind. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1963.

Index

Activism, 237–38 Agency for International Development (AID), 273 Anderson, Charles, 25–27, 33 Angel Asturias, Miguel, 46 Aquinas, St. Thomas, 7, 32, 58, 99–100; on natural law, 154–55, 158–59. See also Thomism Arab influences, 69–70, 72, 168 Arendt, Hannah, 38–44, 200 Argentina, cult of violence, 195–199 Authoritarianism, religious, 72; liberalization of, 250; transition from, 253. See also Bureaucraticauthoritarian regimes Baroque, 101 Barzini, Luigi, 45 Batlle y Ordonez, Jose´, 213 Beals, Ralph, 121 Bolı´var, Simo´n, 40, 45, 47, 104–5, 137; as Chavez’s hero, 203; as Emancipator, 187–88 Bolivia, 221 Bollen, Kenneth, 253 Bonifa´cio de Andrada e Silva, Jose´, 114–15

Bourbon monarchy, 101–2, 105, 135–36 Braganc¸a, Pedro, 114–15 Brazil, political development, 111–16; liberal reforms, 224–25; Universal Church scandel, 243 Bureaucratic-authoritarian regimes, 60, 140. See also Authoritarianism Burke, Kenneth, 97 Cali drug cartel, 51 n.32 Calvinism, 42 Capitalism, 4, 42–43 Capitulaciones, 91–92. See also fueros Cardenal, Ernesto, 191 Castro, Fidel, 40, 45, 47, 176–77; as hero, 192 Catholicism, 3, 4, 71; political thought, 140, 234, 255; sociology of, 96 Caudillage. See Caudillism Caudillism, 45, 48, 48 n.9, 61–67; in Brazil, 116; in contemporary LA, 225; and Machiavelli, 108–10 Centralism, 30–31; in Brazil, 112–13 Cerrantes, Miguel, 186, 204 Cha´vez, Hugo, 162, 202–3 Chile, 11, 213; 1833 constitution, 111; economic miracle, 220, 223–24

302

Index

Christian Democracy, 234 Church, 24, 28. See also Catholicism; Roman Catholic Church Citizenship, 120 Civic virtues, 40 Civil society, 203, 225, 230, 273 Clientelism, 62, 66 Coalitions, 27–30 Cold War, 258 Colombia, and democracy, 217 Colonial model. See Spanish colonial model Columbus, Christopher, 187 Common good (bien comun), 41, 58 Communism, 31, 212 Conquest, 3, 39–40, 73–77, 91–96; heroism of, 186–87 Constitutionalism, 41, 109–10, 132 Consulta popular, 255–56 Converts, 71 Corporatism, 73, 140–42. See also Corporativism; Neo-corporatism Coporativism, 20, 134–35. See also Corporatism Cortes, 131–32, 134 Corte´s, Hernando, 40 Costa Rica, 213 Counter-Reformation, 83, 88, 168 Criollo, politics, 139–40 Cuba, 178; Pope’s visit to, 234; revolution, 176, 189–93 Da Matta, Roberto, 120 Dahl, Robert A., 249 Dalton, Rogue, 199–200 de Soto, Hernando, 221–22 de Toqueville, Alexis, 93, 228 Dealy, Glen, 31–33 Death Squads, 217–18 Democracy, 5, 172–73, 203–4; and Catholicism, 235–36, 242; in cycle w/authoritarian regime, 260; definition of, 248–49; as goal of authoritarian regime, 254 democraduras, 260 Dependency Theory, 1–2, 252–53 Development Theory, 1–2, 251–52; critique of, 17–19; religion and, 231

Dewey, John, 180 Dı´az del Castillo, Bernal, 186–87 Dı´az, Porfirio, 138 Dualism, 37–48 Ebel, Roland, 135, 136 El Cid, 185 El Salvador, 182 Elections, 255 Elites, 24, 116; in Brazil, 113; in postcolonial LA, 106. See also Oligarchs Enlightenment, 97, 101–3, 117 Estates, absence of in the Indies, 94 Evangelicals, 235. See also Religion Feminism, 47 Ferdinand and Isabel, 70, 72, 132–33 Feudalism, 73–74, 83, 93–95 Filmer, Sir Robert, 155–56 Foreign debt, 259–60, 274–75 French Revolution, 200–201, 211. See also Cuba, revolution; Mexico, revolution fuero militar, 76 fueros, 20, 22–23, 24, 131. See also Law; Organicism Fujimori, Alberto, 161–62, 202; austerity measures of, 201; and censorship, 217 Fukuyama, Francis, 211 Fundamentalism, 238–39. See also Religion Gongora, Mario, 91, 94 Great Britain, as beneficent cardillo, 64–65 Grotius, Hugo, 157 Guatemala, and Protestantism, 232, 234 Guevara, Ernesto “Che”: in Bolivia, 193–95; compared to Castro, 199–200; compared to Pero´n, 195–99; role in Cuban revolution, 189–93; and self-immolation, 200 Guilds, 24, 72, 130 Gutie´rrez, Gustavo, 191, 215, 229–30 Hapsburg Model, 6, 8, 133–34 Hartz, Louis, 57

Index Holy Roman Empire, 81 Human Rights, 163, 214. See also Rights Huntington, Samuel, 18, 56 Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI), 140, 142–43 Indians, 24, 75, 93, 167–68; in Brazil, 112; and natural law, 156; and utopian communities, 88 Industrial Revolution, 85–87 Inquisition, 6, 71, 102 Inter-American system, 65–66 International influences, 256–61 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 143, 219, 259 Janet, Paul, 99 Jesuits, in Brazil, 112 Joa˜o VI, 114 Kaufman, Robert, 261 Kenworthy, Eldon, 27–30, 33 Labor, 28 Las Casas, Bartolome´ de, 97 Law, 21, 58, 72, 75, 98–99. See also Legal Idealism; Natural Law Law of the Indies, 92–94 Legal Idealism, 58–59 Legitimacy, 21–22, 109–10, 122–23 Liberalism, 210, 212, 215–16. See also Neo-liberalism Liberation theory, 163–64, 214–15, 231; and democracy, 236 Limpieza de Sangre, 74 Locke, John, 108, 155, 211 Lowenthal, Abraham F., 256 Luther, Martin, 96–97 Machiavelli, Niccolo`, 106–8 Machiavellianism, 59–60, 62–64, 111 Martı´, Jose´, 188 Marxism, 41–42, 65, 170, 200, 215–16 Mercantilism, 221–22 Mexico, constitution of 1917, 119; ejido system, 119; foreign policy, 180–83; peso crisis, 275, 278; revolution, 119, 174–75

303

Middle class, 28 Milenky, Edward S., 66 Military, 24, 28, 76; contemporary influence, 250; coups, 175–76 Military Dictatorship, 174–76, 183; and economic reform, 223–24 Miracles, 71–72 Modernization Theory, 251 Monism, 58–59 Monistic democracy, 31–33. See also Monism Monroe Doctrine, 177–78 Montoneros, 196–99 More, Sir Thomas, 87–88 Morse, Richard, 23, 136 Nationalism, reactive, 66, 109 Natural Law, 58, 99, 123, 153–64; and authority, 158–60; and property, 156–58. See also Law Neo-corporatism, 142–45 Neo-liberalism, 142–45 Neo-Scholasticism. See Neo-Thomism Neo-Thomism, 98–100, 117, 120–22, 169–76. See also Thomism Newton, Ronald, 136, 140 Nicaragua, 258; Sandanista revolution, 181 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), 237, 240, 241 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 143–44, 275–77 Novak, Michael, 191, 214 O’Donnell, Guillermo, 65, 203, 250–55, 257, 260–261 Oligarchs, 75–77, 172 Organicism, 58, 99 Ortega y Gasset, Jose´, 74 Parsons, Talcott, 121–22 Partido Revolucionaria Institucional (PRI), 210, 255–56 Patrimonialism, 22–23, 96, 99–101, 118 Patron mentality, 63 Paul, St., 154 Pen, and formal democracy, 216–17

304

Index

Pero´n, Juan Domingo, 195–99, 224 Personalism, 109–10 Phelan, John Leddy, 135 Pin˜era, Jose´, 209–10 Pinochet, Augusto, economic reform, 223 Pluralism, 5, 59–60; religious, 230, 241–42 Political culture approach, 1–3, 252, 284; defined, 55–56 Populism, 65, 218–19 Presidentialism, 256 Private life: Arendt on, 37–38; colonial, 91; Machiavelli on, 39 Protestantism, 3–5, 40, 46, 47–48, 96–97, 215; in formal politics, 234–35; in Guatemala, 232; Pentecostal revivals, 227–28 Public domain, 38, 91, 233 Rationalism, 117–18 Reagan, Ronald: administration, 219–20, 258; election of, 258 Reconquest, 6, 57, 70, 94–95, 130 Redemocratization, 251 Reformation, 46, 73, 83, 103–4 Regime restructuring, defined, 248 Religion, and social change, 228–29; revivals, 233–34. See also Evangelicals; Fundamentalism Republicanism, 109–11, 137–38, 173–74 Rights, 132. See also Human Rights Rios Montt, General Efra´in, 235 Rivadavia, Bernardino, 107–8 Roett, Riordan, 259–60 Roman Catholic Church, 3, 47, 103, 153, 285; contemporary issues, 240–41; in Cuba, 190–91; papal encyclicals, 140, 158; support of dictators, 214. See also Catholicism; Church Roman influences, 41–42, 69–70 Rostow, W. W., 17 Rousseau, Jean-Jaques, 7, 203, 211 Sa´nchez-Albornoz, Claudio, 94 Sarmiento, Domingo Faustino, 38–39

Schmitter, Philippe, 250–51, 257, 260–61 Scholasticism, 82–85, 97–99. See also Thomism Science, 79–90 Sigu¨enza y Go´ngora, Carlos de, 88–89 Slavery, 171; in Brazil, 113 Smith, Adam, 42, 216 Soviet Union, 178–79 Spain, democracy and, 204; influences, 168; medieval, 72 Spanish colonial model, 19–25, 33 Spanish-American Wars, 103–4 Stallings, Barbara, 261 Statism, 31, 143; and national economies, 219 Stepan, Alfred, 257–58 Sua´rez, Francisco, 98, 157, 159–60, 169–70; as proponent of democracy, 255 Technology, 79–90 Teresa, Saint, 186 Thomism, 31–32; and U.S. foreign policy, 64, 106–7. See also Aquinas, St. Thomas; Scholasticism Totalitarianism, 177 Troeltsch, Ernst, 99–100, 103 Trotsky, Leon, 180 United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA), 218 United States, as beneficient caudillo, 63–67; contemporary foreign policy, 267–68; government as power contender, 28; industrial revolution, 89; influence, 258–59. See also Monroe Doctrine Uruguay, 213 Vargas Llosa, Mario, 209–10 Velı´z, Claudio, 30–31, 57 Venezuela, liberalization of economy, 220–21 Verba, Sydney, 55 Violence, 233, 241

Index Wars of Independence. See SpanishAmerican Wars Weber, Max: theory of legal-rational state, 118; theory of patrimonialism, 22, 48 n.9, 100–101, 103, 110; on worldly asceticism, 215 Wiarda, Howard, 18, 57

Williamson, Rene´ de Visme, 46 Women, 237, 239 World Bank, 219 World-system, 253 Zaid, Gabriel, 182 Zamora, Jaime Paz, 216

305

About the Contributors

GLEN CAUDILL DEALY is professor of political science at Oregon State University. His well-crafted essays on the intellectual and religious roots of Latin America are recognized as classics in the field. His book The Public Man: An Interpretation of Latin American and Other Catholic Countries is must reading for anyone doing research in the area. ROLAND H. EBEL is professor of political science emeritus at Tulane University in New Orleans. A superb teacher and scholar, he is best known for his studies of Central America and the politics of small, interpersonal, clientelistic countries, which he calls “Politics in the City-State.” The late IRVING A. LEONARD held a joint appointment in history and Spanish at the University of Michigan. An expert in the history and culture of both Spain and Latin America, he was the author of such elegantly written studies as Books of the Brave and Baroque Times in Old Mexico. DANIEL H. LEVINE is professor of political science at the University of Michigan and director of the Latin American studies program there. His books on religion and politics in Latin America are widely considered to be the best on the subject. DOLORES MOYANO MARTIN, who grew up in Argentina with Che Guevara, is a Washington-based writer specializing in Latin American affairs. Her

308

About the Contributors

career was mainly at the Library of Congress where she was the editor of the prestigious Handbook of Latin American Studies. RICHARD M. MORSE was for a long time professor of history at Yale University where he wrote some classic essays about Spain, Latin America, and the cultural-historical connections between them. An authority on Brazil, he also directed the Latin American Studies program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. MARGARET MACLEISH MOTT, coeditor of this book, is professor of political theory at Marlboro College in Vermont. She is the coauthor of Catholic Roots and Democratic Flowers: The Political Systems of Spain and Portugal and author of articles on the Inquisition and the Spanish–Latin American intellectual and religious tradition. OCTAVIO PAZ, the great Mexican novelist, historian, poet, essayist, and Renaissance man, was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1990. A prolific author and also editor of the magazine Vuelta, he has written extensively on politics, economics, society, culture, and international affairs. TINA ROSENBERG is an independent journalist and foreign affairs writer. She has written extensively on Latin America and Eastern Europe, writes editorials regularly on foreign policy for the New York Times, and is the author of The Haunted Land: Facing Europe’s Ghosts. PETER H. SMITH is professor of political science and director of the center of Latin American studies at the University of California, San Diego. He has published widely-acclaimed books on Mexico and Argentina; his Talons of the Eagle deals with U.S. policy in Latin America. RAYMOND TARAS is a professor of political science and literature at Tulane University. HOWARD J. WIARDA, coeditor of this book, is professor of political science and holder of the Leonard J. Horwitz chair in Iberian and Latin American studies at the University of Massachusetts. He is also Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, both in Washington, D.C. His books include Latin American Politics and Development, American Foreign Policy, Introduction to Comparative Politics, Democracy and Its Discontents, and Latin American Politics: A New World of Possibilities.

About the Contributors

309

DONALD E. WORCESTER was, along with Profs. Leonard and Morse, one of the country’s preeminent historians of Latin America. He taught for many years at the University of Florida and then Texas Christian University, was a specialist in Latin American cultural as well as military history, wrote fiction as well as history about the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, and is best known as the author (with Donald Schaeffer) of the two-volume Growth and Culture of Latin America.