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Let’s Not Allow Latin America’s Champagne Socialists To Divide Us Any Longer

By: Priscila Guinovart - @PrisUY - Feb 9, 2016, 8:29 am
Para lo que son buenos los gobernantes de izquierda es para dividir, y ninguna sociedad avanza si está dividida. (Aporrea)
Lefties know how to divide society, but no society can progress when divided. (Aporrea)

EspañolLatin Americans share certain characteristics. We tend to be resilient, for example, after growing up in adversity. On the other hand, there are some characteristics that are not as positive, such as the fanaticism towards political ideology.

In Latin America, people shed tears for a political leader, something unthinkable in any other part of the globe save, perhaps, Kim Jong-Un’s North Korea, where failing to display the proper sentiment towards the tyrant leads to physical punishment. Otherwise, in the civilized world, personal emotions do not come to the fore when choosing a public servant.

Both left and right — I apologize for using such obsolete terms — have emotionally manipulated the masses throughout history. The right instills fear, while the left promotes the vilest human feelings in individuals, who voluntarily cease to be considered as such: envy, socio-economic resentment, frustration, and thinking that “if I have little, it’s because others have too much.”

But the left is currently much more successful than the right when it comes to controlling emotions. Lefties invite their followers to be part of that fiction known as “the people”. The left has a fighting spirit, and who doesn’t want a fighter, right? The left tells a wonderful fairy tale in which evil —  embodied by businessmen, the rich, exploiters, multinationals and free-market capitalism — is clearly identified and must be fought. That is what fighters do: they fight.

Last week, I wrote a column about the way in which Uruguay’s former president José “Pepe” Mujica represents a lie. I received much criticism, which didn’t bother me at all. However, I was saddened to read so many messages that euphorically defended him. It was the same euphoria with which sports fans defend a soccer team. And euphoria leads to combat, and combat to personal grievance.

I’m not denouncing “verbal abuse”. My aim is to illustrate that the left has managed to divide us. People call me “cheta“, “rich girl”, and speculate about my own upper class background, in which I allegedly have no contact with reality.

None of that is true, but they don’t care, because truth itself doesn’t matter. I don’t associate myself with the left, therefore I don’t belong to “the people”. I am an evil, selfish, greedy, and ignorant person.

Why? Because the left also took control of the moral high ground quite some time ago. Whoever is not a lefty is obviously neither smart nor educated. Nor does he have the “right” kind of knowledge. Whoever refuses to vote for the left is instantly dehumanized and reduced to what he obviously is: an ignorant monster.

Mujica railed time and again against consumerism and capitalism. Owning things is not bad, he says now, but owning too much is. He referred to the simple life of the guerrilla fighter, a field in which he is an expert. He must be convinced that, if some people are barefoot, it must be because of my infinite pettiness of having more than three pairs of shoes.

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Material possessions neither bother nor offend me. Anyone should be able to have as much as he pleases. My helpless stubbornness leads me to believe in individual freedom.

I care about poverty, not wealth. I care about hunger, not abundance. The left, however, is obsessed with others’ possessions, even if many of its leaders hypocritically enjoy the best that bourgeois capitalism has to offer.

While Mujica was pontificating about the simple life, Uruguay’s current leftist Vice President Raúl Sendic, a “man of the people” mainly known for ruining a state monopoly, crashed his Audi in the beach after ignoring a stop sign.

Those of us who believe in freedom won’t censor champagne socialists for driving luxury cars. On the other hand, so-called progressives should realize that limiting free speech and branding others as evil or dim-witted because they don’t agree with the standard leftist narrative is not the way forward for Latin America.

It turns out, in fact, that those of us who don’t buy the leftist interpretation of events are not necessarily rabid right-wingers. We also want the best for our country. The truth is, the region will not move forward if we remain divided.

The left’s “divide and rule” tactics must be resisted. The political apartheid, which should have never been imposed, must end today.

Translated by Rebeca Morla.

Priscila Guinovart Priscila Guinovart

Priscila Guinovart is an Uruguayan teacher and writer. She has written for outlets in Latin America, the U.S., and Europe. While in London, she wrote her book La cabeza de Dios. Follow her: @PrisUY.