Latin American Studies

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abe Gaytan
Latin American Studies
December 8, 2011

Prompt # 1
Through U.S foreign policy, Latin American countries have been affected both positively and negatively. However, they have been primarily affected negatively by neoliberalism and polyarchy rather than positively. Due to the exploitation of Latin American lands and people, many Latino/as created resistance in both the United States and their home countries. With the foreign policies enforced in Latin American countries, it allows the United States to grow with the price of exploiting and hurting Latin America and its people. Explicitly neoliberalism and polyarchy promotion affects Latin American in a less than positive way, causing ramifications on Latinos in the U.S. and in the countries themselves.

Neoliberal globalization can be closely defined as a commercial conquest of more and more land. As the United States begins to take over more and more land, they begin to spread their way of thinking and acting in terms of industrial use. Neoliberal globalization affects Latin American in 3 ways; by reducing government participation in the economy, deregulation, and free trade liberalization. The first way that globalization is affecting Latin America is by reducing government participation in the economy. By doing so, this allows a decrease in public spending and privatization of public services and enterprises. The second way that globalization is affecting Latin American countries is by deregulation. Deregulation is the reduction of government oversight over the economy. By doing this, the United States has eliminated re-distributive policies, subsidies and price controls, and progressive taxation. With the elimination of these aspects, the market has the ability to decide what it would like to do rather than the government. The third way is by free trade liberalization, which eliminates tariffs and promotes exports. With all of these factors affecting Latin America, it eventually leads to the concentration of wealth and resources.

Along with Neoliberal Globalization, Polyarchy, another form of foreign policy, affects Latin American countries in various forms. Polyarchy is a system in which a small group governs and the mass participation in decision making is limited to choosing leaders in elections that are carefully managed by competing elites. It is a policy initiative, both economic and political of the United States government, promoting neoliberal market and state institutional arrangements. Polarchy has the ability to replace dictators and authoritarian rule. It facilitates a rise of transnational oriented elites into the government and a co-opt mass democratization movements to undercut demand for fundamental change. Low- intensity democracy, which is partly another form of polyarchy redefines democracy to reconcile a fundamental contradiction with capitalism. This contradiction allows there to be a concentration of wealth and power and it allows the production of two classes of people. Although these forms of foreign policies may portray a sense of aid towards Latin American countries, it actually leads to exploitation and unruliness of the land and the people.

According to William I. Robinson and his article Promoting Polyarchy In Latin America: Oxymoron of the Market Economy, over the past thirty years the world economy has experienced dramatic crisis and restructuring as “globalization has unfolded”. Structural changes have profoundly transformed the social and political fabric of each nation, “international relations, and the global system as a whole, giving rise to a new global capitalist”. The increasing global mobility of capital has allowed for the decentralization and functional integration around the world of “vast chains of productions and distribution and the unprecedented concentration of worldwide economic management”, control, and decision making power in transnational capital. As national economies are dismantled and...
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