View Full Version : From Good Savage to Good Revolutionary/Carlos Rangel
I'm not sure if that's the english title -- but has anyone read it?
I'm waiting to get this book through Interlibrary Loan, but in the meantime I read a review. The reviewer praised the book highly, but from her description, I think I will be very disappointed.
Rangel's entire argument seems to be that all of Latin America's problems stem from people's failure to embrace capitalism. They do this, according to him, out of a belief in a myth of the superiority of indigenous peoples and their supposed communal values. This belief leads them to be socialists.
It seemed to me that Rangel had a theory that needed an argument, so he created one with little regard for facts. I don't know any socialists who came to their politics through admiration for native people -- or even any who care much about them. I also anticipate that Rangel will analyze native cultures in an entirely fatuous way.
The reviewer stated that Rangel does not offer any specific proposals, or, I inferred, specific analyses of particular governments. I'll have to wait and read the book to know more, but so far I am disappointed.
Whether capitalism (or parts of it) is good or bad, Latin America also has an ethnic issue to contend with, i.e. to what extent government policy caters for the indigenous Indian minorities. And the immigrant population consists of Europeans and Africans, which also makes talking about, for instance, Brazil a complex issue.
I am, by the way, incapable of understanding why the Argentinian economy and currency collapsed some years ago, given the fact that Argentina is a huge beef producer. There must be something structurally wrong if a potentially rich country can collapse in that way.
Whether you believe in socialism or capitalism (or a complex mix of both), the facts and history are indeed paramount if you are to understand why a certain way of organising the economic part of any given Latin American country worked or didn't work. But there are also many other factors, including corruption, education, and so on.
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