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Andean Blues June 11, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in News, Politics.
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Andean Blues
On Sunday morning, I went to vote in Barranco, my old neighborhood. I voted for Garcia, the lesser of two evils because not voting or casting a blank vote would have helped Humala. Garcia, now a moderate populist who says he does not want to break away from globalization, won with roughly 53 percent of the vote against Humala’s 47 percent.

In the 1960s, American historian Carroll Quigley explained in “The Evolution of Civilizations” that decadence starts when social arrangements that serve social needs turn into institutions that serve their own needs.

That, precisely, is part of Latin America’s plight. The disconnect between official institutions and social needs — the legacy of too many caudillos and the absence of the rule of law — has thrown many people into the hands of leaders who espouse nationalist ideologies. The challenge is to heal the rift, not to widen it as Humala was planning to do.

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