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Reply #87: The corruption was there long before there were any leftist leaders. [View All]

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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #29
87. The corruption was there long before there were any leftist leaders.
The former Spanish colonies were treated as militarily occupied territories for centuries. The military and police held near-absolute powers that would only yield to bribery or "connections". This culture of corruption became too deeply ingrained to be eliminated by any single change in government, even independence from Spain. Today's leaders, whatever their politics, are surrounded by corruption, have grown up with it, and have acquired power within a corrupt system -- but that does not mean they are necessarily to blame for it, anymore than Obama is to blame for the mess he inherited from Bu**sh**. One should not judge the "moral state" of these leaders as being the same as that of their political system, particularly if they are struggling to change that system (not all are doing so, or at least equally well, of course).

(The same applies to the Philippines, another former Spanish colony.)

One could argue, with some plausibility, that the rise of the left in Latin America is largely in response to the corruption. The difficulty in making this argument is that post-colonial governments have tended to be both corrupt and authoritarian, and it is the latter which is more oppressive to revolutionaries. Political revolution has tended to lead to the overthrow of authoritarian factions, without necessarily addressing systemic corruption, so corruption lingers.
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