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Latin America perspectives a series of information and comment about Latin America with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. These programs are recorded by station w s r u FM. Here now is Dr. Gardner. Today a remarkable number of Latin Americans hold Karl Marx in high regard despite the fact that Marx's low opinion of Latin Americans was compounded of contempt and derision in 1858 the renowned anti-capitalist thinker writing about Cmon believe all our declared. Like most of his countryman he was averse to any prolonged exertion. I know not whether the war of independence was considered an exertion on the part of Karl Marx. I know not whether the not inconsiderable period of 15 years dedicated to that
war is considered a prolonged exertion one rather is led to conclude that Karl Marx didn't know. Cmon believer. One is further led to believe that despite the fact a son in law of his was Cuban born he knew less than a little about Latin America. To see the most cowardly ordinary wretched rascal he is again describing belief are decried as though he were Napoleon The first was really too absurd. Karl Marx wrote to his friend and fellow thinker angles. Indicative of the fact that Marx was not alone as an early communist thinker in his ignorance of Latin America. His friend Engels proceeded to write concerning events of 1847 in this vein. In America we have witnessed the conquest of Mexico and we are happy about
it. It is in the interests of its own development that henceforth Mexico should be placed under the tutelage of the United States. A little later Marx writing to Engels added this thought the Spaniards are indeed degenerate but a degenerate Spaniard a Mexican. That is the ideal. All the vices of the Spaniards boastfulness boastfulness grandiloquence and quixotism are found in the Mexican was raised to the third power but they no longer have the substance that the Spaniards possess. One would then easily conclude from these direct quotations that Marx and Engels were without initial awareness of much less concern and affection for Latin America. These quotations Incidentally I have taken from the volume entitled Marxism in Latin
America which has been edited with an introduction by Louis E. Aguilar a publication of Alfred a can off Company of New York. This work deals with Marxism from the earliest moment to the present. Consequently ranging as it does over millions of square miles that compose Latin America it is a very broad and complex subject that is brought within the confines of an anthology. It's a difficult task that the editor appreciates and wants his reader to appreciate as well. Indeed to the difficulties inherent in the making of any selection of articles the sacrifice of interesting material the inevitable partiality of the presentation must be added the tremendous dispersion of materials and the consequent difficulty in
obtaining them as in many other areas of Latin American culture. Marxist writing these are scattered through a multitude of articles and pamphlets often ephemeral and sometimes almost impossible to locate until a very short time ago for example. It was an arduous job to find the basic works of the prominent Peruvian writer and thinker host say Carlos got to get difficult to find them even. Mind you in Peru his own home country and so in this collection of writings about Marxism in Latin America the editor strives to present diverse facets of Marxism from the first socialist sprouts to contemporary communist self criticism. Indeed he seeks to go beyond the limits of those authors who are most widely known and includes a number of Trotskyite and ex communist
authors although as broad a picture as possible has been offered by him for reasons of space. The examples are of only the most typical cases of the most important parties and so there is no claim to this being an exhaustive work. In fact it is an initial and an exploratory one that hopes to arouse interest in an area of intellectual history of Latin America that to date has received too slight attention in some cases. The reader of the volume will note things are somewhat repetitious somewhat confused. This is neither the product of the editor or of the translator of these specific items but rather it is indicative of the confusion of thought the repetitious nature of presentation on the part of the original writer who oftentimes was less concerned with style than he was with the intense
fervor with which he wanted to set forth his case. The selections are quite commonly. A grouped within the framework of certain periods for example Marxism comes late to Latin America relatively speaking and the background period lies between approximately 1890 and the close of World War 1. A group of selections deals with this background interval and then with the emergence of communist parties and more of that in a moment in the period after World War One. P second group of articles deals with the rise of the communist parties and the hardline period that has a great deal of Stalinism related to what in the end of all down to 1935 at which point the Popular Front and the coming of World War 2 takes over and sets forth a distinct interval
between one hundred thirty five and forty five. In the post World War Two period there are two more groupings of the readings one dealing with cold war and crisis between end of war and the rise of Castro's Cuba and the last the Cuban revolution and its aftermath. The product of the last decade. Beyond this time period approach to Marxism in Latin America and the literature resulting therefrom we have a group of essays entitled criticism and self criticism. The period one thousand twenty two thousand nine hundred twenty eight saw the rise of the first communist parties in Latin America they're coming in that time interval is related to the fact that there was a continuous stream of immigrants out of Europe who with economic distress and such in the post-war period brought with them many ideas of social. Rest many
which became basic to communist thought and organization. Likewise it's in this period immediately after World War One that the first workers groups were organized and expressing themselves with strikes and other demands and activities. It's a time to in the 1920s when the initial thrust of rural population toward urban centers in Latin America took on an added temple and this made the groupings of people in concentration easier to contact with the spread of new ideas. It's a time to when in the one thousand twenty days Latin America knows more of the emergence of a strong middle class nucleus. And this middle class wanting more political power which up to that time had been well-nigh monopolized by aristocrats will cater to and pattern ideas of appeal to the as yet submerged mass
beneath it. And then too of course there were economic crises immediately after World War one that helped give rise to the birth of communism in Latin America in January. 1018 the roots of the Argentine Communist Party came into being in 1999. The Mexican Communist Party at least nominally was created in one thousand twenty one. It appears in Chile as a party and that same year in Brazil and in more a guy the socialist party shifts toward communist tenets by 925 the communist party was organized in Havana Cuba by 1000 twenty eight. The total membership of the Communist Party as stated by the common turn and it was not one to understate the membership suggested there were only two thousand members in all Latin America but Brazil
had possibly a twelve hundred. The Mexicans having doubled their membership the previous year fewer than a thousand. In one hundred twenty seven hosts a Carlos Monte hot diggity previously mentioned as a Peruvian thinker produced a volume which translated in English becomes seven essays of interpretation on Peruvian reality. That writing becomes the most serious attempt to understand the Latin American national problems social economic or otherwise. From a Marxist standpoint the number of authors in the Latin American area in the 1900s and 30s who found a stumbling block to communism founded largely in terms of the theoretical premise that communism would come about thanks to an industrial proletariat. This of course was
difficult for them to understand comprehend accept because they were with an overwhelming rural masses of population. There will come later on a shift in the thinking and in the employment of outlook in Latin America. Russia and the communist elements of Europe generally gave Latin America serious attention only after World War Two devoting a lot of attention to relations and influence there. She strolled Russia did to increase commercial relations and culturally to intensify its propaganda through publications books and radio broadcasts. Cuba of course has presented the contradiction to the old theory that communist revolution comes through urban proletariat masses and one of the characteristics of the Cuban revolutionary process perhaps its most important feature in the Latin American
field is that the revolution did not take place under socialist banners. This has caused a great deal of rethinking in Latin America concerning the relationship of communism to rural masses. We have then blocks of essays from the late 19th century to the latest moment in the 20th dealing with Marxism in Latin America edited by Louis are this a publication of Alfred a can off company. This was another programme in the series Latin America perspectives with Dr S. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Join us for our next program when Dr. Gardner will comment on another interesting aspect of Latin American affairs. These programs are recorded by station WFIU FM and are made available to this station by the national educational radio network.
Latin American perspectives II
Episode Number
Episode 10 of 38
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3544. This prog.: Marxism in Latin America, ed. by Louis E. Aguilar
Global Affairs
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Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-31-10 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:28
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Chicago: “Latin American perspectives II; Episode 10 of 38,” 1968-11-05, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 28, 2023,
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