July 24, 2006
liberalism at age 20
If you aint a liberal at age 20 you gots no heart, says Winston Churchill, allegedly.
well to be a young liberal in Argentina is a different story all together from what we Americans have in mind when we think of the word. Last night I went to a friends fundraising festival that took place at the School of Political Science at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, the UBA as it is known here, the bastion for some of the most well-read , public-schooled, hot-blooded young South Americans from around the continent. The backhall is plastered in graffiti silkscreens of Che Guevarra, go-home-yankees, and even a couple of weathered leftovers of the infamous Juan Peron. people are well versed in Feucault and Derridas in a way that American students, even Brown kids of the MCM orientation, cannot imagine. Here i encountered a undercurrent that unabashedly and critically watches over the government and the big brother of the North with a wel-versed and radical mind.
Capitalism, here in Buenos Aires, at times comes interchangeably with the words fascism, imperialism, and inequality. through my internship every mentoring program that focuses on economic knowledge and entreupreurship, especially in connection with the US, gets a bad name here. yet in the same time, of course, there is a substantial community that works in tourism and language programs that target precisely the gringos, the ones who pay in dollars and euros that since the 2001 devaluation has overnight tripled in purchasing power.
Buenos Aires then, serves as this microcosm of the LatinAmerican cities, fighting the American style capitalism with one hand while taking from it with the other. This is the simple reality, es asi, says every young person ive spoken to.
Being a liberal at 20 in Argentina requires not just a heart and a brain. Unlike students at Brown or the rest of our private elite places, a young liberal college student here faces tough realities.
Posted by Johnny po Lin at July 24, 2006 12:15 PM
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