Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Before I continue with the theme of the last post, I must thank all of you who helped with your contributions. Thanks to your donations the domains feyrazon.org and revistafeyrazon.com now point to the new site. In the next few weeks I will be completing the articles left to process. Thank you for supporting our effort with your prayers and donations. Now that the Fe y Razón magazine moves on to “new markets” within the Spanish-speaking world, please join me in prayer one more time: may the Lord make that information fruitful and help many souls.
Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
I do not think any of us can imagine how the world was before the French Revolution when Christendom was intact. The impact of that event eventually reached this distant southern shores and resulted in the Revolution of 1810. The United States had defeated Britain, the first superpower, and that ignited the imagination of many who did not want to be ruled by European powers any longer. The case of the Spanish colonies differed from their British counterparts. Spain was still in the late Middle Ages when Columbus discovered America. Ferdinand and Isabella reigned over a collection of kingdoms that had not been united since the days of the Roman Empire. The former Roman province of Hispania –comprising the territories of modern Spain and Portugal– was barely integrating again as a country when history gave them a vast dominion that extended around the globe. Those territories were governed by delegates of the Spanish crown. The Spanish colonies did not develop a parliamentary tradition like their British cousins up north. That may very well be the root of Latin American authoritarianism.
In time, when the Spanish colonies gained their independence, there was a long struggle to organize under the ever present authoritarian figures that replaced the Spanish viceroys. Eventually, after the Battle of Caseros, in the austral summer of 1852, Argentines were ready to be a united country but lots of precious time had been lost in futile fights among caudillos (chieftains) since the days of the May Revolution of 1810.
The Liberals (in the classic sense of the word) that organized the country succeeded in creating a prosperous economy. A well organized Liberal oligarchy formed a hierarchy that operated a vast agrarian enterprise –feeding the European industrialized countries with much needed raw materials– but there was an inherent contradiction between the very existence of that productive oligarchy and the earlier aspirations of the country. The Argentine national anthem proposed:
Hear O mortals the sacred call
Liberty, liberty, liberty
Hear the noise of broken chains
See that noble equality enthroned
You see, equality and a hierarchy can’t live together no matter how productive the hierarchy may be. Complex enterprises, like corporations, and countries, can only be organized and operated by hierarchies. There is a natural long distance between CEO’s and lowly employees. Those in the lower echelons of the young Argentine Republic saw the emergence of the rich agrarian oligarchy with distrust. The seeds of envy were growing slowly but steadily. By 1916 the Radical Party —a political force allied with the International Socialist Organization— managed to win the presidential elections. On October 12, 1916, on the 424th anniversary of Columbus landing in the Americas, Argentina began the age of “social justice” which was going to coincide perfectly with its decline from agrarian super-economy to its present pitiful state.
“See that noble equality enthroned”
Today, Argentina’s population is unfortunately quite “equal” in the sense that Winston Churchill defined equality many years ago:
“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
After gradually abandoning its Christian roots, Argentina is stuck in a rut of decay, insisting on more of the same but expecting different results: the very definition of insanity.
It is painful to present this lesson of history from different angles — as I have been doing lately– and read the stream of nonsensical responses it generates. Some say that “those who learn from their own experience are intelligent but those who learn from other people’s experience are wise.” I hope someone out there is wise enough to profit from this long sad history of foolishness. I hope one day Argentina wisely returns to Christ and thrives again.
John 16:33 — I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
1 Peter 5:8 — Be sober and vigilant. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
The following video is subtitled in English. It is worth watching.