Today in Patronizing and Insulting Characterizations of Latin America

I’ve often been mystified by the respect The Economist gets, exactly for reasons like this:

 To revive economic growth, Brazil needs to put more stress on competitiveness and market-opening trade diplomacy. Mercosur once aspired to do precisely that. A group that now consists of little more than bear-hugs and kisses among compañeros serves little purpose in a harsher world. [Emphasis added.]

There are serious criticisms of Mercosur that one can make. But it’s more than a little odd that the magazine feels Mercosur is questionable because of a lack of “due process” in the suspension of Paraguay, even while failing to consider the fact that Fernando Lugo himself did not exactly get due process in an extremely hasty and dubious impeachment process. Additionally, in describing the trade bloc in simplistic terms that treats the leaders of the respective members as nothing but emotional chums who prioritize friendships among fellow leaders, the magazine betrays the most patronizing and denigrating style of critique, as  if it is some imperial power scolding little children for not “behaving” the way the editors feel is appropriate. If The Economist is concerned about institutions lacking in serious substance, perhaps it should begin by looking in the mirror.

About Colin M. Snider

I have a Ph.D. in history, specializing in Latin American History and Comparative Indigenous History. My dissertation focused on Brazil. Beyond Latin America generally, I'm particularly interested in class identities, military politics, human rights, labor, education, music, and nation. I can be found on Twitter at @ColinMSnider.
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