By L. Whitehead
This e-book of amassed essays by means of Laurence Whitehead, an eminent pupil of Latin the United States, explores the buildings and affects that bind jointly the sector, laying off gentle in this colossal and quickly altering tradition zone.
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Extra info for Latin America: A New Interpretation
One must not confuse political independence nor economic nor technological independence, nor even all three together, with the ontological independence presupposed by an original and autonomous development [. ] the new nations were constrained to continue within the imitative framework that had prevailed in the history of Latin America from its colonial beginnings [. ] what happened with the collapse of the colonial structure was a change in the model, 30 LATIN AMERICA: A NEW INTERPRETATION something very different from its disappearance.
But there is no single unified “modernizing” elite, and the actually existing, highly fragmented, and competitive elites may also have to contend with the distrust and rival claims that are intermittently expressed by wider and less organized sectors of society. The latter have good reason to act on 20 LATIN AMERICA: A NEW INTERPRETATION their own behalf to shape policy changes that could otherwise seriously disregard their interests. Indeed, under democratic conditions broad strata in deeply unequal societies have every incentive to mobilize and intervene when change is afoot, both to assert their precarious citizenship rights and to ensure that their views—often quite divergent from dominant orthodoxies—are not simply disregarded or bypassed.
From this comparative perspective, Latin America’s historic orientation toward external models is therefore quite distinctive. The first question is how these alternatives are perceived and appropriated by local elites, which is not necessarily how they are understood or INTRODUCTION: LATIN AMERICA IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE 21 intended from the outside. ) The second question is the extent to which any particular modernizing initiative is appropriated, adapted, and internalized not only by its initial promoters but also by the wider—and more heterogeneous—society at large.
Latin America: A New Interpretation by L. Whitehead