Quotes Suitable for Framing: Mario Vargas Llosa

 

latin american idiot

He believes that we’re poor because they are rich and vice versa, that history is a successful conspiracy of evil against good, where they always win and we always lose (he is always among the poor victims and the noble losers).  He has no objection to surfing through cyberspace and being on-line, while at the same time-without realizing the contradiction-loathing consumerism.  When he speaks of culture he boasts, “What I know I learned from life, not from books, so my culture isn’t academic, but pragmatic.”  Who is he?  He is the Latin-American Idiot.

Mario Vargas Llosa, first paragraph of the foreword to Guide to the Perfect Latin American Idiot by Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza, Carlos Alberto Montaner and Alvaro Vargas Llosa (2001), which is essential reading in the current pontificate.

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11 Comments

  1. Vargas Llosa nails it. The problems Latin America faces are of its own making. Those in the USA who are casual observers of Latin America often blame the Catholic Church or Spain or international trade or some other bogeyman, but they do not understand – at all.

    Latin America is blessed with warm weather (most of it) year round. Latin America has abundant fertile land for agriculture and vast natural resources. The landscape is incredibly varied – countless miles of beaches, vast plains, the Andes Mountains, etc.

    Yet Latin America is poor. It has always been such because Latin American countries have lacked the backbone to enforce the rights of property owners, operated substandard educational systems filled with political propaganda and little useful knowledge and simply have been unable to provide the means for poor people to move out of poverty with education, job skills and employment opportunities. Entrpreneurism is a dirty word in Latin America.

    The so-called educated elite of Latin America has always looked longingly at the Left. Wealth redistribution is always seen as the path to greatness. Strong leaders are admired even when they trample on the rights of those who are not in favor.

    The United States is held in contempt, while at the same time countless Latin Americans of all economic and political classes want to come here and stay. When the US gets involved in Latin America, the Latin American Idiot is angry at the US for not minding its own business. When the US minds its own business, the Latin American idiot blames the US for ignoring Latin American problems.

    So much of this book fits the current Roman Pontiff. Add to that – the Roman Pontiff knows what he knows about the US economy from the American bishops and it is no wonder his views are what they are.

  2. Another book that will help the readers of TAC understand the mess in Latin America is “The Mystery Of Capital” by Hernando De Soto. He shows that capitalism fails in Latin America because the culture, the laws, and the mentality of the people prevent it from working like it should. Someone should review this book for TAC.

  3. Condescending to the max. And you posting it makes it racist. What a good Catholic you are.

  4. So let me see James, Latin Americans describing intellectual pathologies popular among elites in Latin America is racist? Thank you for giving a prime example of the intellectual bankruptcy of the true believers of the Left.

  5. Get used to being called racist, bigots and hate monger’s. This is what awaits American Catholics that don’t lick the boots of (c)atholics that see no problem with abortion on demand, sodomite marriage or Papal overreach. Defending the Holy Church and dogmas vs. Politics of green movements in the world.

    Welcome to the New World.
    A kinder, more gentle place.
    Oh….Jesus in the Eucharist… Body blood soul and divinity….that’s what those wacko conservative Catholics believe… Symbolic only is what 70 % of Catholics believe.

    Oh boy. What a future ahead.

  6. Latin America is blessed with warm weather (most of it) year round. Latin America has abundant fertile land for agriculture and vast natural resources. The landscape is incredibly varied – countless miles of beaches, vast plains, the Andes Mountains, etc. Yet Latin America is poor.

    “Abundant natural resources” are not an unqualified blessing and are neither a necessary nor sufficient prerequisite for development. El Salvador and Cuba are the only Latin American countries which have an inventory of arable land in proportions that would be about normal in the British Isles or continental Europe (25% to 35% of the total). Conversion of forest land to agricultural uses is not an option throughout broad swaths of Latin America because the nutritional poverty of tropical soils.

    While we’re at it, aggregate standards of living in Latin America are about average for the human race. The place is notable for high crime rates and malintegrated labor markets.

  7. Has anyone read “The Jesuits” by Malachi Martin? I’ve heard it will help you understand Francis’s goals.

  8. And speaking of what might better be described as left wing idiocy, the Vatican has involved yet another hard core, vile freedom hating leftist to join the occupy Vatican crowd. And I thought the encyclical was an invitation to “dialogue” with differing points of view. You are seeing a modus operandi which bodes poorly for the synod. This excerpt from the Guardian article about the appointment of Naomi Kleine to advance the Pope’s green agenda

    “Naomi Klein and Cardinal Peter Turkson are to lead a high-level conference on the environment, bringing together churchmen, scientists and activists to debate climate change action. Klein, who campaigns for an overhaul of the global financial system to tackle climate change, told the Observer she was surprised but delighted to receive the invitation from Turkson’s office.

    “The fact that they invited me indicates they’re not backing down from the fight. A lot of people have patted the pope on the head, but said he’s wrong on the economics. I think he’s right on the economics,” she said, referring to Pope Francis’s recent publication of an encyclical on the environment.”

  9. Art, did someone take a leak in your Wheaties?

    Argentina has the pampas – a vast plains area that is quite suitable for agriculture and raising cattle. You omitted that.

    You make it sound as if there is a deficit of arable land in Latin America. Ain’t the case.

    While Latin America isn’t a poor as much of sub-Saharan Africa or North Korea, it’s still very poor and SHOULD NOT BE POOR. That’s one of the points of Vargas Llosa’s book.

    My wife is from Colombia. She taught English lessons. She saw more poverty in her home city of Cali than you or I have seen in the United States.

  10. Argentina has the pampas – a vast plains area that is quite suitable for agriculture and raising cattle. You omitted that.

    About 14% of Argentina land is arable in character. It’s one of the higher shares in Latin America but nowhere near the norms of Britain or continental Europe.

    it’s still very poor

    Brazil has a per capita income about 30% that of the United States. In real terms that’s roughly similar to that in this country ca. 1940. Brazil has a wretchedly skewed income distribution, so a fudge factor might be appropriate to contrive a comparison. The per capita income of the middle 70% of the population of Brazil is roughly characteristic of that in the United States just prior to the Depression (with a very different mix of goods and services, of course). Roughly half of Latin America’s population lives in loci more affluent and roughly half less affluent.

    SHOULD NOT BE POOR

    A bit of wisdom from Thomas Sowell: there is nothing inevitable about progress.

    and SHOULD NOT BE POOR.

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