September 25, 2007

THE ENTIRE EXPERIENCE OF THE LATIN American Left grew out of the model for anti- imperialist nation-states established in the 1920s. The Left worked through all the limits and possibilities of that model, They thought that national autonomy could be achieved through class alliances with a nationalist bour- geoisie. The proletariat was not what they thought it was; neither were the bourgeoisie or the peasants. But that struggle allowed the Left to become a political force and to design fundamental categories for leftist thinking. Most importantly, it brought the Left into the mainstream of the Latin American political process,. Today, that model is bankrupt. But behind the old idea of anti-imperialist states was another idea, perhaps older and more valuable: the notion of Latin American unity. There should be a popular, democratic, perhaps anti-imperialist response to the bourgeois conception of market integration, based on the principle that each country should try to save itself by courting impe- rialism. Why not revive [Peruvian populist] APRA's pro- posal from the 1920s to establish Latin American citi- zenship? While governments talk about regional comr- mon markets, why shouldn't the Left raise the banner that in the new world of competing regional blocs Latin America can onWv survive as a unit? And then we could work toward building the cultural basis for unification, I think this is an idea that only the Left is capable of pursuing. Without a great idea, people do not take great risks. Latin America is a challenge to the imagination. I think we should take up the challenge and make Latin American unity our goal.

Tags: Argentina, Jorge Videla, trade unions, military rule, Admiral Massera

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