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Scott Mainwaring: "For certain sectors, politics became entertainment"

By hollisterclothingoutlet 03/02/2023 413 Views

—Usted dijo en una entrevista televisiva que Estados Unidos es un país sumamente polarizado y sus consecuencias son profundamente visibles. ¿La polarización en los Estados Unidos adquiere alguna característica diferente de las de otros países del mundo? ¿Está de moda?Scott Mainwaring: Scott Mainwaring:

-It is a very interesting question.Polarization in the United States has an ideological and an affective, identity dimension.The same happens in Brazil or Chile, but that is new in Chile.It is probably very similar to the situation of India or Hungary.We live in a high polarization world around identity issues.

- Is it possible that this polarization is related to bipartisan presidentialist systems?

-I don't believe it.If the question were specifically for the US.UU., maybe the answer would be yes.But multiparty systems also have a lot of polarization.Brazil has the most fragmented multiparty system in any other country in the history of world democracy, and are living years of very intense polarization since 2014 or 2015.This very high polarization is found both in a bipartisan system and that of the United States and in an extremely fragmented multiparty.Moreover, we live than the type of system.

“There was no ideologically as heterogeneous party as the Peronism of the 70s."

"Is it possible to relate polarization to the media system?"Is media polarization cause or consequence?

"There are something of both.Alternative communication media are clearly a polarization agent, at least in the United States and Brazil.Before, all the great media in the United States were committed to the truth and the facts.Today it is not like that.Today, an important part of the media on the right in the United States is committed to the manufacture of an alternative reality.They are clearly a very deep polarization agent.But also political polarization created a market for those polarized means.Although the causal arrow goes more in the direction of the media.They do not believe in the truth, they try to manufacture the truth.

—Latinoamerica anticipates situations that occur in the United States, such as polarization?In Argentina there is the megalomaniac idea that Donald Trump is a Juan Perón fifty years later.

—There is a polarization that began to impregnate much of Latin America.Brazil is a leader in this.Jair Bolsonaro is an extremely polarizing figure.There are more possibilities that in the coming years Brazil leaves this hyperpolarization than the United States.In the presidential elections of 2022, Lula will almost certainly reach the second round if he does not win in the first.It is a very polarizing figure, but not in the way of Bolsonaro, who lives on lies.Lula, for his participation in corruption schemes and for the economic recession that presided over his successor, Dilma Rousseff, also polariza.But it does not inventing a truth.Of course, before they affected Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador not so identity polarization cases.In Venezuela there was an extreme ideological polarization.Mexico for a long time was not so polarized, and it is not yet even from the United States or Brazil, but Andrés Manuel López Obrador identifies with the center -left, although it is also very polarizing.This influenced his position on COVID-19.As Viktor Orban in Hungary, he questions the main academic institutions.Chile was not a very polarized country until 2019.The demonstrations of that year reflected the social discontent generated in the previous years.The presidential elections showed a very polarized country.In the second round the right candidate was presented since 1989.And on the left, the much more candidate for the left of any candidate who reached the second round.It is the world we live in.

"You said that" the poor cannot eat democracy. Ellos necesitan empleos, acceso a servicios de salud y educación, agua y otros servicios públicos, así como seguridad pública".Is it what explains Latin American populisms?

—It's fundamental to understand the dynamics of politics in Latin America.Venezuela resorted to Hugo Chávez in 1998 because the establishment was in bankruptcy, after 21 years of economic decline and corruption scandals.Bolsonaro was chosen in Brazil in 2018, because the PT had a huge image problem after the scandals of the lava Jato and the economic recession that began under Dilma, while the center -right establishment had a huge problem of legitimacy after impeachment and continueWith the recession.In several countries you can see a combination of bad economy, discredited institutions and large corruption scandals.Not that most prefer authoritarian candidates.It is that the bad results of the rulers and corruption scandals pave the way for the poor to give priority to the economy, employment, public safety, education and health.These are the issues that most concern the majorities.There will always be a certain number of people who care about democracy.But it is a small number of people.

“Kirchnerism was not as extreme as Chávez;But neither is it as democratic as the Frente Amplio."

—Then Trump's management, Joe Biden triumphed, who makes a balance between the center of his party and the left wing.In Brazil, after the management of Jair Bolsonaro, the options of the so -called third way, or a more moderate and social democratic lula grow.In France, Valérie Pécresse has just been imposed in the Republicans. ¿El reflujo del proceso de las ultraderechas es una socialdemocracia más de centro, más seguidora de las ideas de Konrad Adenauer del estilo “tanto mercado como sea posible; tanto Estado como sea necesario"?

—I'm sure, I think that certainly in Brazil the question is not so much an ideological turn towards the center as a rejection of a government that has just failed.Bolsonaro was a disaster with Covid-19.Its economic policies were a failure.It was partly due to the health situation, but it is not clear that they had been so successful anyway.Bolsonaro family itself is wrapped in corruption scandals.Part of the Brazilian elite opted for Bolsonaro in 2018 for the perception that it would be better in corruption.That idea disappeared.The Brazilian establishment, the elite, probably believed more in Paulo Guedes and Sérgio Moro than in Bolsonaro.For most, Bolsonaro was always a figure too gross, but they preferred it because in part Moro and Paulo Guedes, the Minister of Finance, preferred it to the PT candidate.I don't think we should read Brazil's situation as a return to centrist ideology.It is rejection of Bolsonaro.In addition, the president still has about 22%, which means an important hard core.He has a decent opportunity to reach the second round in Brazil next year.It may also be that it fades completely.That, despite its authoritarianism and incompetence.

—En Argentina tenemos una frase que resuena con la suya: “Los pobres no pueden comer anticorrupción".If the economy goes well, some seem to tolerate it.Is corruption important for people or is it just an excuse when the economy doesn't work?

Scott Mainwaring:

- At times of economic difficulties, many more voters are going to worry about the economy than about corruption.This is what Lula's resurgence explains in Brazil.In 2010, when he left office, he was immensely popular.Then, the combination of corruption scandals that began under their presidency and the economic recession led to a severe decline in their popularity.But now he has multiple support.Many people see that they look like Bolsonaro to that.He is corrupt, his family is corrupt.That is why they choose what they consider a corrupt, but that presided over prosperity.

—If corruption was the biggest problem for Brazilians, the possibility that Sérgio Moro goes to the ballot and even wins it is very high.

"I don't think corruption is the biggest problem.For a time it was a very important issue, but the investigations of the Lava Jato ended.This process caused an increase in cynicism between Brazilian voters and elite.Think that everyone is corrupt.Of course, that is not reality, but it is a generalized perception among the Brazilian electorate.Today, most Brazilian voters care much more about the economy than corruption.Sérgio Moro may get a third way in Brazil, something that would not happen if the elections were tomorrow.It would be Bolsonaro against Lula in a second round.But for most of the Brazilian elite, Moro is more nice than Bolsonaro.Moro himself got involved in a judicial overreach.But he is a person of high integrity, and smarter than Jair Bolsonaro.But Bolsonaro today has 22% of the electorate.Moro has a lot of half of that now.

“Polarization in the United States has an ideological and an affective dimension."

—A parliamentary coalition system like German can be a good antidote against polarization?

—The great advantage they have over presidential ones is that it is more difficult for outsiders to take power.In the United States, with a parliamentary system, it would have been impossible for Donald Trump to become head of government.Few people from the Republican elite in 2016 or 2015 liked Donald Trump.The United States was polarized before Trump, but now it is in a more dangerous way.Today, the nucleus of the Republican party is authoritarian.They hugged the lies about the 2020 elections, try to give more power to the authorities to cancel the results of the free and fair elections, try to generate mechanisms to deprive their rights to voters.The Republican Party, from Richard Nixon onwards, had a long but mostly subtle history of authoritarianism.Now lost subtlety.There are exceptions.For example, those who voted in favor of the dismissal of Donald Trump in 2020 and 2021, but these are mostly isolated individuals within the party today.The dominant part of the Republican party is openly authoritarian.Even so, in a parliamentary system, Viktor Orban came to power in Hungary in 2010, but thanks to an electoral system of majorities.In general, for Outsiders winning the Executive Power is much easier in presidential systems.He spent Bolsonaro in 2018 and Hugo Chávez ten years before.To some extent, the same goes for Evo Morales, although he had a match that between 2002 and 2006 had grown up in power.As in parliamentary systems, parties choose the head of government, it is more difficult for an outsider.

—En “Presidencialismo y democracia en América Latina", con Matthew Soberg Shugart escriben: “Este argumento presenta dos problemas: la democracia presidencialista ha existido sobre todo en América Latina, lo cual hace difícil separar los obstáculos para la democracia en esa región que se derivan del tipo de régimen y los que se originan en factores socioeconómicos o de otra índole; y la democracia parlamentaria se presenta casi exclusivamente en Europa o en ex colonias británicas, lo cual debería inducirnos a sospechar de los argumentos que sostienen que el parlamentarismo funcionaría igualmente bien fuera de esos contextos".What fails is the economy or presidentialism?

—The economy is failing people.In abstract, I choose the parliamentary system to presidentialism.But presidentialism worked decently in Latin America for years.Brazil is a complicated case because the party system is very fragmented.But it can be said that Brazilian democracy worked quite well since 1994, when Cardoso became Minister of Economy and stabilized it.His presidency was largely successful.The same during the presidency of Lula.Things began to crumble with the end of the raw material boom.Of course, Lava Jato's investigations had a lot to do.But if the raw material boom had not ended, surely Dilma Rousseff would not have been dismissed.The same applies to Peru.Probably, Chilean democracy would also be more solid.

“The Brazilian establishment believed more in Paulo Guedes and Sérgio Moro than in Bolsonaro."

- It is noted that the democracies of the twentieth century are characterized by representativeness, the existence of rights for all citizens and universal suffrage.How do these principles sustain in a society in which social networks show increasing manifestations of hate?

-It is a very difficult question.For the complexity of balance freedom of expression with the control of these hate speeches.I am not sure that no country has solved it.The United States did not.There are small efforts to prohibit some hate speeches propagators.They were correct steps, but there are limits as to how far you can reach in pursuit of freedom of expression. En Estados Unidos existe lo que se llama “la cultura de la cancelación".It is a lesser phenomenon than what the right pointed out.Cancel individuals and their speech for not agreeing, even if they have legitimate democratic views.It is very marginal, but the reason I mention it is the complexity of how to balance freedom of expression with surveillance on hate discourse and the manifestly antidemocratic.The call to violence is a limit.Violates the current law.But when it comes to the scope, I think it is a really difficult issue.Of course, we do not want a hate speech, authoritarian, we do not want these social networks and media to be dedicated to lying on purpose.But it is very difficult to find out how to treat them without starting to run the risk of violating freedom of expression and other rights.

“Uruguay and Costa Rica have stronger democracies than the United States."

—In a spectacle society, is boredom the countercara of political anger?

"It is not universal, but for some sectors the policy became entertainment.There the polarizing effects of social networks are so pernicious.Facebook algorithms have shown that the most scandalous speech is the one that attracts more attention.And Donald Trump discovered the same in his 2015 and 2016 presidential campaign.He got enormous attention, even during the Republican primaries, through the scandal.He arrived with a personal corruption history.He was involved in thousands of demands.Something like 21 women took a step forward and accused him of sexual inconducts.A person of that profile could never have successfully submitted to a high -level political position in the United States.It is a land that changed very quickly due to social networks. Hace años, un senador de Nueva York, el demócrata Daniel Patrick Moynihan, dijo: “Tienes derecho a tus propias opiniones, pero no tienes derecho a tus propios hechos".I miss that world.We no longer live in that world, at least in the United States and in many other places on the planet some sectors believe they are entitled to their own facts.Of course, in a way, this is not new.It was, the totalitarian or the great totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century, Josep Stalin, Adolf Hitler or Mao Tse Tung tried to create their own truth and erased the real truth.But seeing that this occurs under democracy is new.And deeply worrying.

"You said" Bolsonaro is much more extreme than Donald Trump.I do not know that Trump has been deeply homophobic in his public speech. Bolsonaro ha dicho que si uno de sus hijos fuera gay preferiría que el hijo muriera".What are the similarities and differences between both politicians?

-Yeah.First, similarities are greater than differences.Both are right -wing populists, both depend on lies and propaganda.In both cases, social networks are fundamental to their power.Trump was a businessman.That is a difference.There are those who affirm that he was a very immoral businessman.There was a very commented book, published in the 90s, on Trump's unusual business practices, which began being very rich thanks to his father.And increased his fortune with those practices.Bolsonaro was a captain in the Brazilian army, a very marginal congressman.Trump had a much higher profile than Bolsonaro.Trump had a famous television program.Trump's speech is not homophobic.Part of your support base is.Trump has a known story of racism, but his racism was more subtle.Many feminist would also say that Trump is a sexist.Another important difference is that Bolsonaro had a long career before appearing to the presidency in 2018.Trump had never introduced himself to anything.

“Lula is much closer to a democratic left than Hugo Chávez."

"Is Uruguay the country in Latin America with better democratic functioning?"

—Uruguay, Costa Rica and Chile, perhaps with more difficult in the Chilean case, were the highest level democracies.The two main indicators of democracy that I look and use as a citizen and academic are the index of liberal democracy and Freedom House, and both agree that these three countries have been by a good margin the strongest democracies of the region.The reason I say that it could qualify the Chilean case more than that of Costa Rica and Uruguay is that in Chilean democracy, for a period of decades, disaffection increased, apathy.When the objective indicators in Chile are observed, such as poverty reduction and reducing income inequalities in the 2010 trade, Chile is an extraordinary success.It also passed in the institutional.But with more caveats than in Uruguay or Costa Rica.Uruguay and Costa Rica have stronger democracies than the United States.

—Uruguay and Costa Rica are small countries, such as the Scandinavians, Chile is bigger.But Chileans perceive themselves as an island.What do the three have in common?

—Chile is a medium-sized country, medium-pequeño.I don't think it's because of size, but it can't be ruled out as a factor.Other small countries in the region are a disaster, such as Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador.The three countries of his question for a great margin have the greatest state capacity in the region.I am very critical of the Pinochet dictatorship.But one of the things that dictatorship did was have an efficient state at the time of transition to democracy in 1990.There were serious state deficiencies in the social sphere, due to neoliberal policies.But in the economic field, Augusto Pinochet rebuilt a solid state and reoriented the Chilean economy towards a new world moment, with greater openness.How do you reach a solid state?It is a complex question.I don't have a complete answer to her.But there is a second response, which I think also overlaps with the first.It is also true that the three countries have a tradition of institutional respect.Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay.Chile and Uruguay had quite solid democracies a long time.This helped build a solid judicial system.They are countries with quite solid party systems.A stable and solid parties system hinders the arrival of others.Venezuela had it, but disintegrated in 1993.Not by chance it was before Hugo Chávez won in 1998.Solid state, judicial system and combined parties contribute to a more effective social system.People became citizens more than in other countries.They were more inclusive.A process that was done later and clientellar.These three countries are also among the most economically developed, that also helps.When Costa Rica redeemocratized between 1949 and 1953, it was not rich.The richest countries have an advantage in democratic terms over countries such as Paraguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, Honduras or Nicaragua, where it would be surprising if a high level of democracy flourished.

—In a preceding interview, you pointed out differences between the Latin American left: he pointed out that Michelle Bachelet, Ricardo Lagos or Tabaré Vázquez, coincidentally from Uruguay, represent a different tradition from Hugo Chávez.In this taxonomy, how does Argentine Kirchnerism analyze in that leftist tradition?

—The Kirchnerism is among these poles.These poles represent both a continuum in terms of respect for democracy and the will to respect an orientation towards economic efficiency.Kirchnerism, of course, is not so extreme on the scale of authoritarian democracy such as Hugo Chávez, but was not as democratic as Michelle Bachelet, Ricardo Lagos or Tabaré Vázquez.It was more traditional populist.More centralizing power than Ricardo Lagos or Tabaré Vázquez.The PT under Lula was also at an intermediate point.11 years ago I would have put Lula very close to Bachelet, Lagos and Tabaré Vázquez.Retrospectively, I feel that I was very generous.As many people, I underestimated the corruption of the PT and its economic inefficiency.I still believe that Lula is much closer to a democratic left than Hugo Chávez.In that spectrum I locked Kirchnerism.

“In times of crisis, many voters care more about the economy than about corruption."

- Can Peronism generally be in a classical political tradition or is it sui generis?

—She political scientists like to think about how individual phenomena are located in general categories.Would locate Peronism within a nationalist tradition, very strongly populist and mostly statist.The big exception was Carlos Menem's period.Menem fits the populist tradition and the nationalist.But it was very oriented towards the market and away from the statist aspects of capitalism.Peronism also has some singularities.Which are?Juan Perón was elected in 1945 and arrived at the presidency in 1946.It is an incredibly long -lived movement and game.I don't know if there is any other in power in Latin America that has such a long tradition.Most populist traditions do not leave a powerful organizational legacy.In Ecuador he had a very strong tradition, but did not leave any organizational legacy.Rafael Correa has an organizational legacy, but dates back only to 2006 or 2007.Another unusual thing of Peronism as a phenomenon is that he had great ideological heterogeneity.I wrote about Peronism more in the period from 1972 to 1976.There was no party in the world that was as heterogeneous ideologically as at that time.Today is not like that.But he had Carlos Menem's center -right period.That produced drainage and fragmentations, but it is still the ruling party.And Argentina ruled for most time since 1989.So Peronism was an interesting phenomenon, with unique characteristics, but also fits into some categories that social scientists and historians like.

"There are alternative means that are polarization agents."

—There are two geopolitical areas in South America: the Atlantic and the Pacific.The difference between one and the other is that in the Atlantic we have Pampas and in the Pacific, mountains.In the Atlantic we have 80% of the population formed by immigrants who came voluntarily or involuntarily, such as Africans, but most people are not pre -Columbian inhabitants.Does this establish different political cultures?

-Good question.Countries with a large indigenous population evolved very differently: Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.The horrible subjugation of indigenous peoples is an indisputable factor.They are countries where the social gap of racial and ethnic lines was huge.Something similar existed in Brazil, but for a different reason: the import of slaves.Not in all aspects that of the Atlantic/Pacific difference is fulfilled.The key was in the subjugation of the peoples.Brazil, together with Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador, are countries that historically had greater inequalities than Chile, Uruguay and Argentina.The countries of the Southern Cone, Uruguay, Chile and Argentina, have more in common.That would be a possible geographical cut.Argentina was the richest country in Latin America during generations.The same Uruguay and Chile.The biggest geographical cut would be that of the Southern Cone, against the Andean countries and Colombia and Venezuela.I lived in Argentina and both the country and its people are very dear to me.The many friendships I have and the years of training in your country treasure.

“SoloChile, Costa Rica and Uruguay tienen Estados eficaces en Latinoamérica"

—Usted dijo que “América Latina necesita más Estado y más mercado". ¿Hay políticos y partidos que representen ese ideal socialdemócrata de “más Estado"?

"I love that statement.I heard it for the first time to my old friend Alejandro Foxley, who was Minister of Economy and then senator in Chile.Foxley's idea was the presence of the state that I would imagine.In places where there is a very weak state, there is a catastrophic society.Countries like Afghanistan, Honduras, Guatemala.The State must provide basic conditions.Thomas Hobbes said that without the Leviathan, without a powerful state, life is unpleasant, short and brutal.It is absolutely true.The great German sociologist Max Weber argued that the State is the monopoly of the legitimate means of coercion in a society.It must be an effective rights executor and maintain security.You must provide decent education, decent health care.All countries in the world need an effective state.An effective state is not the same as a giant state.In Latin America in the last thirty years many countries expanded fiscal income.Most now have many more fiscal income and therefore more spending from the public sector than thirty years ago. Pero solo tres países de la región,Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay, podemos decir que tienen Estados bastante eficaces.It is a question that needs more attention among social scientists, beyond the intuitions that we can have in this regard. Why, despite the mass increase of tax revenues, the capacity of the State did not follow the pace of the needs of citizens?There are abundant evidence worldwide that if markets are hindered with excessive regulations, disasters occur.Venezuela is an example.But the governments of the PT in Brazil did some things that were great.They reduced poverty to a large extent from the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso.But they expanded the public sector so that they encouraged corruption and inefficiency.The State must be vitally concerned about efficiency.If you play with the markets, if the markets are inefficient and ineffective, countries cannot progress.Both markets and states must be strong.

Production: Pablo Helman and Natalia Gelfman.

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