About 1850, Argentina was at the end of a 40-year period of chaos. The prosperous Spanish colony at the southern tip of the South American continent tried to organize following the model of the United States in 1816. There was a feeble attempt to copy the American Constitution of 1778 —without the checks and balances, mind you— but the experiment never actually worked beyond the signing of a document and a few discourses. The country sank into a period of anarchy during which strong men ruled large swaths of land by force. At that time, the former Spanish colony lost about half of its original territory to other emerging countries like Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and its Portuguese neighbor to the East, Brazil. Argentines fought each other while the world ate their lunch.
Eventually a new Constitution was passed in 1853. Major world powers helped the strongest among the strongmen to begin organizing the country. This last line I wrote will generate a number of responses among Argentine readers (spare me, please) who were told a different (false) story at school. In any case, the country got organized under the new Constitution and within the first few years of civil order, a form of semi-republican oligarchic government developed. The rulers of that age had a gigantic task at hand. Half the country was in the hands of savages that raided the frontier regularly; the other half was mostly in the hands of “caudillos” who had to be forced to accept the new order. The country needed to be organized, educated, pacified, and provided with the normal institutions of modernity. That was accomplished in record time. By 1877, Argentine income per capita was the highest in the western world. Argentina enjoyed a period of nearly unstoppable growth and prosperity that lasted half a century. The centenary of the Revolution of 1810 found the country among the top ten economies of the world, with a strong currency, and a reasonably well educated population.
In 1916 the Radical Party — a member of the family of International Socialist political parties — managed to win the Presidential elections. It was to govern the country uninterrupted until the first military coup in 1930. A series of dubious elections kept the country off the Radical’s hands and under the control of a pseudo-Conservative/military governments until 1945. The decline had begun but the country was so prosperous that few noticed. The period between the two world wars was a time of cultural development and reasonable prosperity. The old oligarchs were gone, replaced by a “progressive” ruling class that did not have the skills and principles necessary to keep the good times rolling. In time, a form of Fascist rule coalesced in 1946 under Gen. Juan Peron who won the first free elections in a long time.
Juan Peron was a master politician and could play the Argentines like a fiddle but he was a lousy administrator. He managed to institute a form of worker’s union system that copied mostly Mussolini’s model with touches of FDR’s. The country gradually moved towards a dictatorship as the old money reserves dwindled and Peron found himself unable to generate decent growth in a post-war period filled with opportunities. He was ousted in 1955 and I am sure he was glad to leave. Two decades of uncertainty and incredibly incompetent governments continued the decline into the sixties until the return of Peron in 1974. He was elected President and died within a year of his election. The country fell into chaos and a new military coup restored a bloody kind of order in 1976 that lasted until the war with Britain of 1982.
The “saviors of the nation” of 1916 initiated a process of decline that transformed a resourceful and naturally capitalistic population into a mass of delusional quasi-Socialists that have been trying to make the square wheel work for slightly over a century. Argentines who bragged in 1910 of being able to feed the whole world are now barely able to feed themselves. Half the country is poor by even the most lenient international standards. There is no hope. A diabolical troika of politicians, unions, and businessmen keep the country closed to international commerce, mired in a maze of taxes of all kinds, heavily indebted, and in constant social turmoil. Anything goes except production, commerce, and prosperity. Argentina is perhaps the only country that taxes its own exports. A gigantic state apparatus multiplies work for lawyers, politicians, and troublemakers at the expense of the general population. That same population inexplicably keeps dreaming of the three or four sweet years they enjoyed in 1946-1950 while Peron went through the treasury like a red-hot knife through butter. Today, a celery stalk with a sign reading “Peron” can be elected to any government post. And if my proverbial celery stalk could be elected, he would surely be a corrupt vegetable able to siphon enough money to make his own family rich for generations to come. The cancer of Populist Socialism is now about to completely devour a nation that was one of the most free and affluent only 100 years ago.
In 1946, as American businessmen were launching the newly invented transistor, Argentines were chanting “we want shoes, not books” to a satisfied Juan Peron benevolently watching them from the balcony of the presidential palace. Even to this day, many of my fellow countrymen would gladly gather to insult anyone for writing articles like this. They are convinced that some sort of “social equality” will get them out of this mess. One can hear them everywhere talking about all kinds of social schemes that will “solve the crisis” — the poor chaps won’t know how miserably they’re living until they shake those ideas out of their minds. And out of their minds they are: in the news today, the mother of a young man, shot and killed by a physician during a violent robbery, demands that the victim of that assault be put in jail. The physician was tried and exonerated for killing her baby who was only trying to steal a car at gunpoint — and would have surely killed the car’s owner to eliminate the only witness. That kind of crime is seen almost daily all across the nation.
The financial newspapers and media around the world are describing a country at the edge of a brutal financial crisis tonight. The pusillanimous administration in charge cannot find a direction. While it is true that they received a country ransacked by a corrupt horde, the government of Mr. Macri has done very little to unleash the productive forces and the fabulous natural riches of the country. He is considered a Milton Friedman type by the local ignoramuses, when in reality he is more like some sort of emasculated Jimmy Carter.
Look in this crystal ball country, USA. Young Americans, now infatuated with Socialism, have no idea the kind of fox they are inviting into their chicken coop. There is no rewinding of the history machine. Argentina took a century to decline. It took Venezuela a mere two decades. If the United States continues in the “progressive” path, the country will experience misery never seen in the history of mankind. What is worse, they can drag the whole world into a dark age that will last decades if not centuries.
Return to common sense or die an uncommon death.
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…from chicken coop to chicken poop! Once the leaders turn into rulers, the society is done! Toast! I was already thinking, as you and others have said, that IF our (the US or any other) nation is to be restored as a genuine Republic it will be as a Catholic nation!
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Excellent and lucid as usual. Thank you for such a great overview of your country. The timeline helped me understand much better.
I agree we’re probably doomed up here without another Divine Intervention.
We’ll see if He pulls it off again next year.
God help the young who inherit this mess who were never taught history, or anything else for that matter.
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I apologize. I hope I took care of the many typos. It was written early in the morning before coffee. 🙂
Thank you for the history, Carlos. The outline and life of socialism that you gave is very clear. Life without God, with Him only in the background, has many difficulties.
I see that God has been intervening on behalf of the United States, but that the majority in the United States has voted no thanks way too often. Clinton was voted in twice, Obama was voted in twice…no thanks in spades…along with FDR and more.
Our Father’s intervention with President Bush, the son, and now with President Trump are our last hopes. Bush was pro lfe whereas his wife was pro abortion….imagine great difficulties there. So now God has given us one more opportunity with President Trump who has fully converted to pro life, whom I firmly believe will win the 2020 election. If he should not complete his second term, does VP Pence finish it in strength? Will America’s citizens vote with God or against His choice??
The problem is the rejection by the majority of Americans, as seen in the majority of the voters who voted for Mrs. Clinton who was and is utterly supportive of abortion at every stage as are all of the candidates of the Democrat Party here in the U. S., in their acceptance of the rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, and so follows their acceptance of the killing of the unborn children by their mothers, for every woman who has been with child, is a mother. Though numbers say one thing as to the numbers of Christians in the U.S., lives may well show other.
The electoral vote, by God’s grace, saved the election of President Trump in 2016!!
Many, many are praying for mercy over the judgment due to the sins of the U.S. God is intervening, but acceptance of His mercy??? So we keep on praying for Him to help ever so much, all who are His, and more, through what He must allow and do, to bring the U.S. back to Him.
It is not just a matter of keeping capitalism going instead of socialism, it is that the life of the U.S. is absolutely intertwined with that of Jesus Christ, and as that Life is continually being rejected, that which is against Him must be overcome….as God sees the need and the way.
God bless, C-Marie
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V Schraa, the problem is not just that the young were never taught history-it is worse, because very many have been taught a false history. They are blinded by erroneous notions of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’, childish measures of justice.
This is a big mess. I think we are at the point of requiring Divine Intervention, almost on the scale of two millennia ago.
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It is my opinion that the U.S. would have to disintegrate at some point as someone said it is the only country founded upon an ideal and that ideal was not centered on God revealed to His one, true Catholic Church, but the ideals of Locke, Adam Smith, Hegel, Rosseau-on the “Enlightenment” philosophies that rejected what is true. On the notion that man can perfect himself with scientific and technological advances.
Someone said the Constitution was written for a moral and religious people. Not true. It was written to incorporate and indoctrinate in perpetuity the false religions, Freemasonry, and “Enlightenment” philosophies, and so many theological heresies and revolutionary ideas about man.
Because the true God was rejected from its founding, the only path available is the one leading to disintegration. The path to tyranny and totalitarianism which will be trod when God is not recognized as man’s Supreme Authority and the Social Reign and Kingship of Christ is denied.
IN RESPONSE TO LANIE
Many of the Founding Fathers were Masons. So were others like Simon Bolivar, and the Mexican revolutionaries of 1910. God, however, works in very strange ways. The US has been a haven for the Christian cause in many ways. The founders agreed to a motto: “In God We Trust” although I cannot attest to their sincerity, one has to admit the motto is good. Of course it would have been great that the men who wrote the US Constitution would have been faithful Catholics. They were not although there was one Catholic among them and many proofs of George Washington’s conversion have been coming to light lately. The time assigned to the nations of this world will come to an end one day. God knows the day. When that day comes, all will recognize Christ as king. Until then, we have to work with what we have.
RECEIVED VIA EMAIL:
Yes Carlos, I have often noted that the US is the backstop for the follies of other nations. Once the US adopts those follies, it is not just another nation to do so, but is the destruction of the backstop…the net that can provide a reprieve for such follies. Then there is only madness and chaos for the whole world.
Ave Maria, Stella Maris!
IN RESPONSE TO CJ:
Yes CJ, Argentina has but an infinitesimal fraction of the US economy, military power, or social influence in the world. As the US continues to inject Socialism in its political and social structure, the potential for great damage to the entire world is serious! Once the world’s policeman, now the US is behaving more and more like a cop that has been drinking on duty. The world is more unstable as a result. Good thing that God is in charge!
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