Whether a tiny fascist or benevolent
dictator, South America needs something Evo
When I was about 7 or 8, Iíd
have these sprawling, epic fantasies of being a worshipped leader of
a nation. It was never the U.S., though. It would always be some
undefined nation of non-English speakers. Iíd be at the podium in
front of millions of my admirers, shouting gibberish and accepting
adulation from the awestruck populace.
Looking back, it seems kind of weird, but one must
admit that being a 7-year-old, beloved fascist dictator must be a
I never truly built on my fascist fantasies and
really am not much of an ideologue of any type at this point. Which
is likely why the trend of South American nations veering sharply to
the left hasnít filled me with any good, old-fashioned American
hatred and fear.
I canít say Iím a big fan of
socialism, as for the most part, it seems to me the general plan of
many socialists to solve wealth inequality is to just make everyone
poor. But after spending enough time in South America, I can see why
people are willing to listen to suggestions.
Here in Brazil, a simple drive down the street
will take me past dozens of children ó very young children ó
juggling tennis balls at stoplights for loose change. Or just
outright begging. And, keep in mind, Brazil is about as good as it
gets in South America, and the city I live in is as good a city as
Brazil has to offer.
So if Venezuelaís Hugo Chavez wants to condemn
capitalism and taunt the U.S., and Bolivians want to elect Evo
Morales, who am I to judge? Unless the entire nation is endlessly
ablaze, itís not like a place like Bolivia will get much worse,
Obviously, the endless democratic tinkering the
U.S. does in South America havenít helped matters here, and one
would hope there will be no more Allendes. There will be, of course,
but one can hope.
But just as guilty are South American politicians
as a whole. If you want to think that U.S. politicians are
narcissistic whores, so be it. But take a look at some of the cats
in charge down here some time to see how politicians really put the
screws to their own people.
What do South American nations need more than
anything else, in my opinion? Benevolent dictators. Preferably
intelligent and older than 7.
Because something needs to happen. The level of
poverty in South America is just morally insulting. While dreams of
an immense South American turnaround are very likely akin to my
fascism fantasies, itís still blindingly clear things need to
improve. And all plans for that improvement should be given
William K. Wolfrum
William is a freelance writer based in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
His work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers
and Web sites.
Keywords and misspellings: Eva politics poletics
democrat demoncrat republican repub comentary commentary