Warnings from the Far South: Democracy versus Dictatorship in Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile


This work examines three advanced Latin American republics with long records of democracy, political stability, and economic prosperity which degenerated into instability and military dictatorship--and issues a warning for other democratic peoples. Although not beset by overpopulation, serious racial diversity, or widespread illiteracy, in recent decades the people of Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile destroyed much of the good life and many of the freedoms they formerly enjoyed. Electing too few statesmen and too many politicians, they demanded more from their governments than they were willing to pay for. Rejecting sound economic policies, they engaged in unrealistic practices which led to exorbitant inflation. In contrast to traditional respect for individual freedoms, the military governments they brought in to solve their problems committed gross violations of human rights. The political and economic blunders and their unfortunate consequences should serve as a warnings to the citizens of alldemocracies.


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