Argentina and Uruguay - alike, yet different

antipodean

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IMO the dictatorships are just the most recent "blips" in the history of this unjust part of the world that has existed much longer than the 20th century. The problem with always going back to recent dictatorships for argument is that it always results in an us vs. them situation that is ultimately unwinnable and totally counterproductive. Today for example we have a situation where the government of Argentina claims to represent the victims of historic state oppression in Argentina but supports state oppression today in its ally Venezuela, who in turn condemns its own dictatorships that came before it. Just different groups doing the oppressing in slightly different ways calling themselves different things to make themselves and their friends richer at the expense of their people. At some point you just need to swallow the status-quo history has dealt you and focus on how to move forward from your current condition if you really want change. Otherwise you'll forever be a loser.

The only way for Latin America to advance is to put its past behind it and for people to change their attitudes (like many in Europe and Asia have done and going by the stats, it seems Uruguayans are doing). Things that give me optimism are when increasing amounts of people in countries like Chile or Uruguay wouldn't even think about bribing a cop, let alone do it because of social conscience (E.g. Almost 80% in URU claim they would never consider it, vs only around 70% in ARG; 67% in URU would never consider riding public transport without paying the fare vs only 48% of ARG) As a result / in parallel you don't see anywhere near the same scale of corruption as in Argentina today as people create a barrier to it by insisting rules are to be followed by everyone. The same goes for attitudes in favor of democracy, justice and protection of basic rights.

When social attitudes change like this, it signals there is less tolerance towards corruption in general including in politics and business. It makes it harder for dictatorships or corrupt regimes to fill the void or install themselves by abusing democracy. Pointing fingers only at big companies and politicians just externalises the issue and actually enables it to continue while we are all distracted squabbling and voting the same old faces in and out of power.

Btw interesting tid-bit: While the role of the church may have declined in Argentina it still has mucho influence over people's attitudes:
  • 26% of Argentines feel to some extent that it is an essential character of their democracy to have religious authorities interpret the law
  • 21,4% of Argentines would agree to some extent to have a system of government ruled by religious law, without political parties or elections
  • 39,4% of Argentines pray at least once a day
  • 70.6% of Argentines consider themselves to be a "religious person"
  • 23,5% of Argentines agree to some extent that when science and religion conflict, religion is always right
 
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antipodean

Registered
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....!
Sure thing let me see if I can upload as a PDF. You might still need to zoom but should not be so blurry.
Check out the links to the actual survey for a full breakdown of each question / finding and to see all results.
 

Attachments

Ries

Registered
IMO the dictatorships are just the most recent "blips" in the history of this unjust part of the world that has existed much longer than the 20th century. The problem with always going back to recent dictatorships for argument is that it always results in an us vs. them situation that is ultimately unwinnable and totally counterproductive. Today for example we have a situation where the government of Argentina claims to represent the victims of historic state oppression in Argentina but supports state oppression today in its ally Venezuela, who in turn condemns its own dictatorships that came before it. Just different groups doing the oppressing in slightly different ways calling themselves different things to make themselves and their friends richer at the expense of their people. At some point you just need to swallow the status-quo history has dealt you and focus on how to move forward from your current condition if you really want change. Otherwise you'll forever be a loser.

The only way for Latin America to advance is to put its past behind it and for people to change their attitudes (like many in Europe and Asia have done and going by the stats, it seems Uruguayans are doing). Things that give me optimism are when increasing amounts of people in countries like Chile or Uruguay wouldn't even think about bribing a cop, let alone do it because of social conscience (E.g. Almost 80% in URU claim they would never consider it, vs only around 70% in ARG; 70% in URU would never consider riding public transport without paying the fare vs only 48% of ARG) As a result you don't see anywhere near the same scale of corruption as in Argentina today as people create a barrier to it by insisting rules are to be followed by everyone.

When social attitudes change like this, it signals there is less tolerance towards corruption in general including in politics and business. It makes it harder for dictatorships or corrupt regimes to fill the void or install themselves by abusing democracy. Pointing fingers only at big companies and politicians just externalises the issue and actually enables it to continue while we are all distracted squabbling and voting the same old faces in and out of power.

Btw interesting tid-bit: While the role of the church may have declined in Argentina it still has mucho influence over people's attitudes:
  • 26% of Argentines feel to some extent that it is an essential character of their democracy to have religious authorities interpret the law
  • 21,4% of Argentines would agree to some extent to have a system of government ruled by religious law, without political parties or elections
  • 39,4% of Argentines pray at least once a day
  • 70.6% of Argentines consider themselves to be a "religious person"
  • 23,5% of Argentines agree to some extent that when science and religion conflict, religion is always right
considering that Argentina has had 6 coup's going back to 1930, I would see it as a more longterm thing than a "blip".
But very few coups, or military dictatorships, since about 1900, succeeds without financial backing from the wealthy in the given area. Guerilla wars against colonial governments, maybe, but when the established military takes over in South America, it does it with the unspoken cooperation of the industrial and agricultural ogliarchs. And certainly those people still have a lot of power, (and 30,000 hectaire estancias) in Argentina.
I dont see the military, alone, as having screwed the pooch, but, instead, doing so in concert with the "macri's" of the country, again and again.

To some degree, Peronist politicians have made those same deals, as evidenced by the private ownership of practically the entire media and energy sectors in the country. The Peronists, who I do not consider orthodox "leftists" necessarily, have, in the last 30 odd years, not stopped the power and profits much at all- when the companies are profitable, the always seem to be private. The debt sometimes gets socialized, but YPF and Edenor are still feeding profits to the same 100 families that have always been rich...

As for the church- Argentina is the least "catholic" country I have been to- Particularly in the last 40 years. Compared to Italy, or Mexico, where the church has a lot more influence on daily life, on when stores are open, on "moral Issues" being codified by law.
I know a lot of Argentines. Almost none regularly attend religious services of any kind. And the Church does not have the political clout it did before the 76 coup. I think that coup was a big factor in the church losing power in Argentina.
 

Dougie

Registered
They allege the danger is "socialism", but mostly it was just democracy
Ain't that the truth!

IMO the dictatorships are just the most recent "blips" in the history of this unjust part of the world that has existed much longer than the 20th century. The problem with always going back to recent dictatorships for argument is that it always results in an us vs. them situation that is ultimately unwinnable and totally counterproductive. Today for example we have a situation where the government of Argentina claims to represent the victims of historic state oppression in Argentina but supports state oppression today in its ally Venezuela, who in turn condemns its own dictatorships that came before it. Just different groups doing the oppressing in slightly different ways calling themselves different things to make themselves and their friends richer at the expense of their people. At some point you just need to swallow the status-quo history has dealt you and focus on how to move forward from your current condition if you really want change. Otherwise you'll forever be a loser.

The only way for Latin America to advance is to put its past behind it and for people to change their attitudes (like many in Europe and Asia have done and going by the stats, it seems Uruguayans are doing). Things that give me optimism are when increasing amounts of people in countries like Chile or Uruguay wouldn't even think about bribing a cop, let alone do it because of social conscience (E.g. Almost 80% in URU claim they would never consider it, vs only around 70% in ARG; 70% in URU would never consider riding public transport without paying the fare vs only 48% of ARG) As a result you don't see anywhere near the same scale of corruption as in Argentina today as people create a barrier to it by insisting rules are to be followed by everyone.

When social attitudes change like this, it signals there is less tolerance towards corruption in general including in politics and business. It makes it harder for dictatorships or corrupt regimes to fill the void or install themselves by abusing democracy. Pointing fingers only at big companies and politicians just externalises the issue and actually enables it to continue while we are all distracted squabbling and voting the same old faces in and out of power.

Btw interesting tid-bit: While the role of the church may have declined in Argentina it still has mucho influence over people's attitudes:
  • 26% of Argentines feel to some extent that it is an essential character of their democracy to have religious authorities interpret the law
  • 21,4% of Argentines would agree to some extent to have a system of government ruled by religious law, without political parties or elections
  • 39,4% of Argentines pray at least once a day
  • 70.6% of Argentines consider themselves to be a "religious person"
  • 23,5% of Argentines agree to some extent that when science and religion conflict, religion is always right
Interesting thoughts. I see the dictatorships as a little more than a blip because of how it shaped the current power structure in a lot of countries.

Well known families throughout South America were gifted large amounts of valuable land and given exclusive rights to certain businesses, which has given these families assets that continue to generate wealth. Their grandparents may have been clever sociopaths, but their offspring usually are not smart. They were simply born to the right families. You now have this inherited wealth and power that wasn't selected for competency running things.

What you say is very true though about the hypocrisy of the new groups that come into power and then repeat the same corruption that they had decried by the previous group.

Politicians are by and large cowards that may have certain beliefs, but are motivated by self preservation above all else. They respond to political pressure. That's why social and culture attitudes will play a role as you suggest in changing things for the better.
 

antipodean

Registered
considering that Argentina has had 6 coup's going back to 1930, I would see it as a more longterm thing than a "blip".
But very few coups, or military dictatorships, since about 1900, succeeds without financial backing from the wealthy in the given area. Guerilla wars against colonial governments, maybe, but when the established military takes over in South America, it does it with the unspoken cooperation of the industrial and agricultural ogliarchs. And certainly those people still have a lot of power, (and 30,000 hectaire estancias) in Argentina.
I dont see the military, alone, as having screwed the pooch, but, instead, doing so in concert with the "macri's" of the country, again and again.

To some degree, Peronist politicians have made those same deals, as evidenced by the private ownership of practically the entire media and energy sectors in the country. The Peronists, who I do not consider orthodox "leftists" necessarily, have, in the last 30 odd years, not stopped the power and profits much at all- when the companies are profitable, the always seem to be private. The debt sometimes gets socialized, but YPF and Edenor are still feeding profits to the same 100 families that have always been rich...

As for the church- Argentina is the least "catholic" country I have been to- Particularly in the last 40 years. Compared to Italy, or Mexico, where the church has a lot more influence on daily life, on when stores are open, on "moral Issues" being codified by law.
I know a lot of Argentines. Almost none regularly attend religious services of any kind. And the Church does not have the political clout it did before the 76 coup. I think that coup was a big factor in the church losing power in Argentina.
The power structure between the founding of the state and Peron and the dictators never really changed. The people have never been free of state corruption. Peronists plundered (and today, plunder) the country like the "liberals", generals, "liberators" and Spanish that came before them. Having power in this country is a great business, as everyone needs a secret socio or intermediario or two and the constitutional structure of 1853 pretty much gives free rein for whoever is at the top to put their hands wherever they want.

It is also worth remembering that corruption in Argentina was rampant even under the "non-macri´s" and well before them. From Argentina perpetuating wars of independence to benefit some profitable side-businesses to Sarmiento vs. Mitre, Baring Brothers (the Lehman Bros of its time) or Celman in the 1800s to Yrigoyen to small examples like Nazi fugitives being given shelter by Peron and his corporatist arm of the same old companies that exist today like Mercedes Benz to the famous extortion campaigns after the failed investment activity of the CGT in the 1960s.
I think it was by 1996 that the NYT called Argentina a "mafia state" - the same thing international newspapers were saying about Argentine in the 1800s.

Likewise, its experience with foreign debt goes back 200 years as well.. Baring Brothers, until it was paid 1903 for 8 times more than was taken out, by which time Argentine had already taken out tens of millions more in debt from other sources and having debt crises like today in 1873, 1890 etc. (Un?)fortunately in democracy or otherwise, governments are obliged to pay the debts that came before them and like almost all countries in the world debt is, to some extent - fair game to debate - part and parcel of development in the long run and needed at some points in time when luck runs out and expenditure needs don't match the cash on hand. While it certainly keeps getting more expensive as Argentines continue to butt heads on how to ideally pay it, it is hardly a symptom unique to military dictatorship or avoidable if it had not had happened. Nor do we see the same present-day issues of dictatorship incurred debt in Chile, Brazil or Uruguay who also suffered the same.

It is also important to remember that when the military took over there were a lot of middle-class people silently supporting it - enabling it - because of the problems they faced in the day, themselves problems of their yesterday. Referring back to the attitudes we see that compared to Uruguay, Argentines (peronist and anti-peronist alike) still hold on to authoritarian and anti-democratic tendencies by a greater extent. The amount of Argentines who absolutely believe having a strong leader who is not bound by parliament or elections is downright scary for a country that has suffered dictatorship - and given what we know about the socio-economic composure of this society we can almost guarantee these people are not "oligarchs". A result of lifetimes worth of strong-man propaganda from all sides of the political divide? Maybe.

Again, Argentina can squabble for another 20 years in casting blame back 100 years for their present situation, but it changes nothing more than if it were two fans squabbling over River vs. Boca.... all we do is end up arguing over which corrupto gets to get rich or what way it is better for them to get rich... privatization deals, trading favors, extortion tactics or plain old state intervention that involves simply siphoning off some budget.
IMO the most important thing that changes nations for the better or worse (or just traps them in stagnation) is... attitude.
 

antipodean

Registered
There is an inflation problem because Argentina is a country with punk culture, people want to live today and not the future - https://www.ambito.com/politica/alberto-fernandez/pais-punk-alcoholico-recuperacion-y-otras-definiciones-economicas-n5194783

Nothing to do monetary or economic policy.
"Todo es hoy, no hay mañana. Todo es a corto plazo porque no hay futuro. Los acuerdos son a dos años, no a 10"

He has a point. It seems it applies to his own punk values and morals too.

Given that on 30 July 2017 at 23:11 the same guy tweeted "En Venezuela se ha quebrado la convivencia democrática y el Gobierno ha cometido abusos imperdonables sobre DDHH. El silencio es complicidad" yet yesterday his government withdrew support for an investigation of Maduro for human rights abuses reported by the UN at the International Criminal Court. This is just a recent example of yet another unexplained U-turn.

If people can't trust their politicians to stay true to their words, or at least try to give an intelligent reason why they pancake or don't deliver, how can they trust the money they give people will stay true to its value or trust that a chosen monetary or economic policy won't also be thrown out and reinvented on a whim? Then, if no one trusts your policies, people will just go around them making them less effective and more prone to needing reinvention, after political promises have already been made and still need to be paid for. Then I guess we do kinda see a cycle after all?
 

camberiu

Registered
"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".
And then you visit Russia, or Belarus, or mainland China, or Mongolia, or Vietnam, and a load of other places...and that alleged correlation between racial/ethnic homogeneity and social trust goes down the drain pretty fast.
 

FrankPintor

Registered
And then you visit Russia, or Belarus, or mainland China, or Mongolia, or Vietnam, and a load of other places...and that alleged correlation between racial/ethnic homogeneity and social trust goes down the drain pretty fast.
You're welcome to take it up with The Economist, it was a direct quote from their article ;-)
 

toongeorges

Registered
Well known families throughout South America were gifted large amounts of valuable land and given exclusive rights to certain businesses, which has given these families assets that continue to generate wealth. Their grandparents may have been clever sociopaths, but their offspring usually are not smart. They were simply born to the right families. You now have this inherited wealth and power that wasn't selected for competency running things.
There was corruption in the past, there still is, such as Christina Kirchner amassing over 100 million dollars after coming to power with her husband, all thanks to a "successful law business", some estimate of her wealth, which is probably mostly in black: https://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-politicians/presidents/cristina-fernandez-de-kirchner-net-worth/

Your comment may seem to justify the "anticapitalistic" government measures as if the evil rich get their pay back. In reality the money grabbing measures are just ordinary thievery and it hurts honest Argentines much more than corrupt ones. Maybe you live in a bubble, but I have seen honest people's life and future destroyed by this government and I left the country because I did not want to be a victim myself.
 
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