CHAPTER XVIII Dilemma with Three Horns

UPON THE somewhat appalling array of factors and factors which we have been piling up through so many pages rests the central question of this discourse: Come war, come the peace of Hitler, what can the United States do about a practical Latin- American policy?

A great many of our policies in the past, it becomes fairly evident, have been made in a kind of dream world of smugness and wishful thinking.

We have imagined, for instance, that the Latin Americans were a people very much like ourselves, or that it would take only a little persuasion--or compulsion--to make them so. Whereas, as we have seen, practically everything in their historical experience, economic situation, cultural inheritance, political methods, and their scale of social values tends to make them irreconcilably different from us.

We have imagined that our interests are the same as theirs, which, in the long view and a remote idealistic sense, is doubtless true. But this does not prevent millions of Latin Americans from seeing that most of our concrete, immediate interests in the republics conflict with theirs, and that the immediate profits from many of our activities on the Latin-American scene are their equally positive losses.

We have imagined that Latin Americans look on us as their mentors in the arts of civilized progress and their protectors and defenders against a world of ravening enemies. Actually, the Latin

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