Argentina and Uruguay - alike, yet different

semigoodlookin

Registered
- when people don't pick up their dog poop but then they complain about people not doing their job. Agree
- when people get pulled over for speeding and try to charmuear or bribe the officer to get away with it but then they complain about corrupt politicians and bad drivers. Agree, although not specifically an Argentina practice.
- when people don't wear masks correctly because it is uncomfortable but then they complain about getting COVID. Happening everywhere
- when people don't declare income but then they complain about the state not having money to help them. Agree
- when people want to protect their jobs but then they complain about the high price of consumer goods. I don't think these are the same.
- when people beep at you to breach the speed limit because there are no cops around but then they complain about impunity. Agree, but not exclusive to Argentina
- when people want to use more and pay less for energy and then complain about power cuts. Agree
- when people complain that their own business struggling due to a lack of customers and then they go shopping in Miami. Hardly representitive of the majority of the Argentina people.
- when people wave a green flag but then abuse their own family member for wanting an abortion or to live in a same-sex relationship. Seems ancedotal because where is evidence for this?
- when people champion a more inclusive society but then hire their friend, cousin, brother or son to do a job or provide services. I don't see Argentina as an inclusive society so think this is a moot point.
- when people vote for a politician suspected of corruption but then decry another politician suspected of the same thing. Agree
- when people huff and puff at the time they spend in the supermarket line and then insist on asking 1000 questions and paying in cuotas over 3 different cards to benefit from every possible discount when it is their turn to pay. I guess they insist because it is neccesary for them to make their money go as far as possible.
- etc, etc, etc
I tend to agree with a lot of what you say here but some of the above are dubious.

I think the political class in Argentina is the problem and this is not a debate about conservative/socialist or left/right. The constant erosion of the country perpetrated by the political class has trickled into the population.
 
I tend to agree with a lot of what you say here but some of the above are dubious.

I think the political class in Argentina is the problem and this is not a debate about conservative/socialist or left/right. The constant erosion of the country perpetrated by the political class has trickled into the population.
It's every person for themself in Argentina.

Do the best you can and work if inclined to get ahead. Manage well and hide what you can from the government that is bent on confiscation then redistribution or waste. This is a sad reality, but there really isn't much of a choice because faith in this broken system will waste your time, effort and add to a person's level of frustration.
 

cuando_volverá

Registered
Isn't the interviewee saying the problem is that the Argentine right is so ineffective and weak that they can't properly build a movement?

I view the problem not one so much of conservatives vs socialists, but rather the deeply rooted institutional corruption and clientelism of mainly the Peronist party...within that party you obviously have some right wing politicos like Pichetto, non ideological opportunists like Massa, and socialists.

Here are the highlights:


Viveza criolla includes:

  • Lack of respect for others and indifference to the common good in a framework of individual interests.[2]
  • Political corruption, which extends in all institutions, in the form of perks, direct appropriation of public funds, favoritism, nepotism, misallocation of state resources, etc.[2]
  • Extreme individualism, with mistrust of others. This includes having little ability to partner and cooperate in community goals.[2] (Interpersonal trust is a key component of social capital, which is crucial for economic development and proper functioning of democratic institutions.)[2]
  • Anomie or weakening of the common morality, and social deviance as behavior that departs from generally accepted standards in society.[2]
  • The habit of blaming problems on others, thereby encouraging paranoia and granting a permit to self-indulgence.
  • The tendency to take advantage of or cheat others in favor of one's own self-interests, partially for reasons of self-protection and mistrust, but also to assert one's superiority and "quick-wittedness" over another. [2]
 

FrankPintor

Registered
According to The Economist (May 22, "Race in America", "The price of the ticket") "There is a well-established correlation between how homogenous a nation is in racial or ethnic terms and how much its citizens trust each other".

This could explain the mistrust of others and the viveza criolla common to most Latin American countries. Wikipedia claims that Uruguay is one of the most homogenous countries in South America, though how much its society differs from Argentina I don't know. It's noticeably much more laid back than here.
 

antipodean

Registered
I tend to agree with a lot of what you say here but some of the above are dubious.

I think the political class in Argentina is the problem and this is not a debate about conservative/socialist or left/right. The constant erosion of the country perpetrated by the political class has trickled into the population.
Most of my examples were indeed anecdotal and only semi-serious in order to paint a picture of the different kinds of political discourse here from different sides of the spectrum - most of which just don't balance at the end of the day because people are just not willing to do their part and prefer hypocrisy to actual change.

Have dug deeper this evening into the WVS data to demonstrate how the biggest differences between Argentina and Uruguay do actually appear to be the moral threshold and personal values. Used the 2017-2020 data for Argentine and 2011-2018 data for Uruguay (last available surveys)
It is interesting to see just how big some of the fundamental social differences are, while just how similar most of the fundamental political commonalities are. This to me reinforces the point that Argentina's often dysfunctional state and political system - and political class - are just a reflection of its people and a symptom of their permissiveness.

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Dougie

Registered
Agree with the description of the power structure, however, I am not convinced it is the root cause nor that it is a problem of conservatives vs. "socialists" by any means.

Perhaps Uruguayans nowdays just have more realistic, flexible, and altruistic attitudes that are more in tune with the modern world and their state reflects that?


Meanwhile here in Argentina, I would generalize the people's attitudes as being uncompromising, stubborn and egotistical with a focus only on maintaining their own status-quo or comfort. For example, we see this in common behaviors from all walks of life:

- when people don't pick up their dog poop but then they complain about people not doing their job.
- when people get pulled over for speeding and try to charmuear or bribe the officer to get away with it but then they complain about corrupt politicians and bad drivers.
- when people don't wear masks correctly because it is uncomfortable but then they complain about getting COVID.
- when people don't declare income but then they complain about the state not having money to help them.
- when people want to protect their jobs but then they complain about the high price of consumer goods.
- when people beep at you to breach the speed limit because there are no cops around but then they complain about impunity.
- when people want to use more and pay less for energy and then complain about power cuts.
- when people complain that their own business struggling due to a lack of customers and then they go shopping in Miami.
- when people wave a green flag but then abuse their own family member for wanting an abortion or to live in a same-sex relationship.
- when people champion a more inclusive society but then hire their friend, cousin, brother or son to do a job or provide services.
- when people vote for a politician suspected of corruption but then decry another politician suspected of the same thing.
- when people huff and puff at the time they spend in the supermarket line and then insist on asking 1000 questions and paying in cuotas over 3 different cards to benefit from every possible discount when it is their turn to pay.
- etc, etc, etc

In short, it's always someone else's problem. Not sure these attitudes really differ that much between the big city and the interior either.
As a result, the democratically elected politicians and the state structures that they espouse will just be a reflection of these values until said values change. Then to perpetuate the cycle, politicians will naturally propagate maintaining this power structure in order to stay in the job. This in turn leads a big chunk of people, who do not question things, to believe it is the "right" way - like a football fan who always believes their team is the best.
I find it funny how everyone here complains about no one being careful about covid, "la gente no se cuida" and then 10 minutes later they tell you how they had a big gathering the previous Sunday with their parents, in-laws, sisters, brothers, their kids, etc. In their view it's everyone else not being careful, but they're doing the exact same thing!
 

semigoodlookin

Registered
I find it funny how everyone here complains about no one being careful about covid, "la gente no se cuida" and then 10 minutes later they tell you how they had a big gathering the previous Sunday with their parents, in-laws, sisters, brothers, their kids, etc. In their view it's everyone else not being careful, but they're doing the exact same thing!
This is true, which is why it was funny on the other thread people were arguing an imaginary line between CABA and the province means people on one side do exactly as you describe, and those on the other side do not. However, I don't think this is a problem exclusive to Argentina.
 

Ries

Registered
I dont see it a left/right or "socialists" being involved- instead, I see the major problems in South America in general, including the economic ones, are traceable to the last gasp 20th century dictatorships which occured in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay, among others- they were the action of a triumvirutate- the church, the military, and the old wealthy, in each case.
They allege the danger is "socialism", but mostly it was just democracy, and the failure, globally, of top down inherited wealth and power.

The dictatorships in all 4 countries crashed the economies, nationalized industries, ran up debt, and covered it with mass arrests, torture, and even distractive wars. Chile is still run by a billionaire who made his millions controlling the single raw commodity export that supports the whole country, with a legislature that is still controlled by military - it was only a couple of years ago they finally stopped the off books funding of the military.
In Uruguay, the military crashed the GDP by 20%, and it was mostly protests against their dismal economic peformance that caused their downfall.
Similar stories in Brazil and Argentina - Authority figures destroyed the economies, borrowed billions, and killed their own citizens, to try to preserve authority and enforce ideological rule.

Luckily, in Argentina, the last 40 years have seen a big decline in the power of the Church and the Military, but the inherited wealth still calls a lot of the shots in positions of power, and resist change. When we talk about "corruption", the scale of crooked traffic cops is dwarfed by the same old big companies not paying taxes, skimming millions off of public construction projects, and developing land without following rules.
 

on the brink

Registered
Have dug deeper this evening into the WVS data to demonstrate how the biggest differences between Argentina and Uruguay do actually appear to be the moral threshold and personal values. Used the 2017-2020 data for Argentine and 2011-2018 data for Uruguay (last available surveys)
It is interesting to see just how big some of the fundamental social differences are, while just how similar most of the fundamental political commonalities are. This to me reinforces the point that Argentina's often dysfunctional state and political system - and political class - are just a reflection of its people and a symptom of their permissiveness.

View attachment 7744

Hello, Antipodean.... what a fascinanting comparison list.

Sadly, when I enlarge it it becomes blurry, and if I access the links you provided I'm baffled by the many options. Could you post a larger version of the in list, or the exact link for that particular one in WWS's website?

As a part-time resident of both countries I'd love to study it in detail.

Thanks....!
 
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