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2/12/15

Because the truth is boring, Greg

Greg Weeks starts his note entitled "Latin American Outrage at the United States" today with...
One thing I've periodically mulled over, especially in the wake of Cuba policy liberalization, is Latin American "outrage."
...and ends it with...
We seem to see too few analyses that show U.S.-Latin American relations go beyond what people say, and that differences aren't always as extreme as they appear.
... in order to bemoan the lack of serious, balanced, nuanced analysis and debate on US/LatAm relations. Along the way he takes as example the way in which left-leaners will rail at the unfairness of it all and that's true enough, though the right-wing corollary exists as well of course. That one is "Oh, Evo Morales hates the USA but oh look, he runs his country's economy all capitalist like so oh, what a hypocrite". It's equally as dumb.

The problem is that the truth is boring, Greg. Academics don't get funding from Think Tank X for being reasonable in our sunny and thrusting twenty-first century, they get it for being outspoken and toeing the political agenda line that feeds them, be it left or right (though it must be stated, the right tends to have more buying power). There is no real debate, we live in a world where two people shout right past each other on live TV in order to become and remain famous. The only place you get honest appraisals of politico-economic affairs are in off-record meetings in board rooms of large and rich companies that seek first foot advantage, exactly the type of situation where the truth is announced long after the fact. Don't go searching for level-heads and smart opinions in the public sphere, this is capitalism baby.