The eternal Latin American Middle Ages

Beatrice Rangel
Beatrice Rangel

Another commodity boom is coming as a result of the COVID-19 induced break in the global supply chain and Russia’s occupation of Ukraine. Many analysts are predicting that this will be the launching device for some regional economies towards development.

History however seems to contradict these optimistic views. From the 17th century to this part, there have been 15 commodity booms without the Latin American countries that have production capacity having developed. In fact, the economy that has grown the most and formed the middle class on the continent is that of Mexico since the signing of NAFTA with the United States and Canada in 1995.

The rest of the economies, despite exhibiting high growth rates in some cases, failed to break the barrier of underdevelopment. And the reason for this failure stems from the absence of an institutional framework conducive to wealth creation. The institutions that favor the creation of wealth give absolute priority to the protection of the freedom of the individual above any other purpose. Consequently, they facilitate the construction of the common good from the individual search for well-being. The institutions that govern the lives of Latin Americans, on the contrary, promote the extraction of rents in the economic sphere and corporatism in the political sphere. Rent extraction prevents the full growth of an economic system. Because for rent extraction to be efficient, the number of participants must be controlled. This encourages the exclusion of sectors that are carriers of innovation. And therefore political relations are not competitive but corporatist. Each social segment is represented by a corporation. That corporation has a dome. The dome has access to the juiciest businesses; to the best state services and legal protection. The rest of society is subjected to a fight to obtain work; to access public services and to enforce the rule of law. This explains the dictatorial conduct followed by many democratic leaders in the region, which are expressed in the absence of independence of the judiciary, nepotism, cronyism and, of course, the immortal Hidra Lerma of corruption. And therefore political relations are not competitive but corporatist. Each social segment is represented by a corporation. That corporation has a dome. The dome has access to the juiciest businesses; to the best state services and legal protection. The rest of society is subjected to a fight to obtain work; to access public services and to enforce the rule of law. This explains the dictatorial conduct followed by many democratic leaders in the region, which are expressed in the absence of independence of the judiciary, nepotism, cronyism and, of course, the immortal Hidra Lerma of corruption. And therefore political relations are not competitive but corporatist. Each social segment is represented by a corporation. That corporation has a dome. The dome has access to the juiciest businesses; to the best state services and legal protection. The rest of society is subjected to a fight to obtain work; to access public services and to enforce the rule of law. This explains the dictatorial conduct followed by many democratic leaders in the region, which are expressed in the absence of independence of the judiciary, nepotism, cronyism and, of course, the immortal Hidra Lerma of corruption. to the best state services and legal protection. The rest of society is subjected to a fight to obtain work; to access public services and to enforce the rule of law. This explains the dictatorial conduct followed by many democratic leaders in the region, which are expressed in the absence of independence of the judiciary, nepotism, cronyism and, of course, the immortal Hidra Lerma of corruption. to the best state services and legal protection. The rest of society is subjected to a fight to obtain work; to access public services and to enforce the rule of law. This explains the dictatorial conduct followed by many democratic leaders in the region, which are expressed in the absence of independence of the judiciary, nepotism, cronyism and, of course, the immortal Hidra Lerma of corruption.

This institutional framework has its birth certificate in the Middle Ages. Historical stage that never separated religion from state; I never substitute knowledge for dogma and never thought that the men and women who were part of the tribes that occupied the territory of each feudal lord had the right to freedom. This confirms what many scholars of history have indicated: Latin America was not part of the Enlightenment. Therefore, the regional institutional framework has been a medieval enclave for 500 years. This enclave dams up the productive forces and impedes the development of innovative talent. Thus, our nations carry a straitjacket that, if not lifted, will prevent the use of objective conditions favorable to development to achieve prosperity, as has already happened 15 times in the last 3 centuries.

“The opinions published here are the sole responsibility of their author.”