Friday, 30 October 2020

The Failure of Socialism: Lessons for Latin America

In a context of pandemic restrictions, Germany celebrates the Day of German Unity, an event that we can also analyze from a Latin American perspective

PANAM POST – The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, is one of the most memorable events of the second half of the 20th century.

The images recorded by thousands of cameras and repeated to infinity by television channels around the globe moved, not only as a record of a historical moment of high impact, but above all as symbols of the courage, energy, and joys of freedom.

If Latin America wants to prosper, it must learn, like Germany, to break down walls (Archive).

- Advertisement -

A year later, another event, this time of a legal nature, followed this highly emotional one.

This event is now 30 years old. On October 3, 1990, the two Germanies officially agreed on their unity, marking a before and after for their history, that of Europe, and that of the entire world.

In a context of pandemic restrictions, Germany celebrates today the Day of German Unity, an event that we can also analyze from a Latin American perspective, drawing two major lessons:

Lesson #1: Development goes hand in hand with freedom

Firstly, for anyone who holds the most basic of intellectual honesty, the secession of Germany exposes the differences in living standards and well-being between a regime that respects individual freedoms and one that curtails them. The complete failure of centralized planning of the economy to provide a minimum of welfare and happiness was evident.

- Advertisement -

As revealed by the Index of Economic Freedom published annually by the Heritage Foundation, those countries with the greatest respect for individual rights, protection of private property, contractual freedom, the lowest tax burden, and reasonable levels of public spending are the most prosperous. Always. Currently, several countries at the bottom of that list are Latin American.

Lesson #2: Walls can be torn down

Over the past 50 years at least, Latin America has oscillated back and forth between left and right-wing regimes, but with a clear predominance of statist ideologies more akin, in that sense, to the political character of East Germany.

There have been exceptions- the brief periods or governments more oriented towards the ideas of freedom, such as those of President Sebastián Piñera in the Republic of Chile, elected twice, or President Luis Lacalle Pou in the Oriental Republic of Uruguay.

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, recently admitted that some restrictions implemented in the course of the COVID-19 crisis made her remember her childhood in communist Germany. Could we make this comparison between East Germany and Argentina, for example? Of course, we could.

In economic matters, both companies and individuals rush to plan a departure from the country “before it is too late.” From multinationals such as Coca Cola to hundreds – or perhaps thousands – of individuals are considering “jumping over the pond.” Attracted by the policies and tax benefits implemented by Lacalle Pou’s government, they are asking about opportunities to settle on the other side of the Río de la Plata.

The Latin American balance

If the process of the fall of the wall and the reunification of Germany has taught us anything, it is that the loss of freedom is not necessarily an irrevocable fate. All that is needed is for statesmen to emulate Ronald Reagan and his famous phrase “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” to exercise the power to captivate us and call us to challenge totalitarianism. If Latin America aspires to prosper, it is necessary to learn, like Germany, to tear down walls.

- Advertisement -


- Advertisement -
Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

Related Articles

Costa Rica has the third highest average salary in Latin America

(QCOSTARICA) Costa Rica has the third-highest average salary in Latin America,...

Indigenous Mexicans turn inward to survive COVID-19, barricading villages and growing their own food

Zapotec farmers return from their ‘milpa,’ the garden plots that provide...


With the dollar rising, should I transfer my loan or my savings from the currency?

QCOSTARICA - The change in the exchange rate of the dollar against the colon is an aspect that causes many concerns and nervousness, not...

Gasoline prices will be cheaper on Wednesday

QCOSTARICA - On Wednesday, October 28, the lower fuel prices for Super, Plus 91 and Diesel fuel will go into effect. Prices at the pumps...

COVID-19 in Costa Rica: 862 new case for Tuesday; after 50 days fewer than 500 people hospitalized

QCOSTARICA - For Tuesday, October 27, the Ministry of Health reported 862 new cases of COVID-19, of which 248 are by epidemiological link and...

“Gag Law” approved by Ortega will enter into force in 60 days

TODAY NICARAGUA – The 70 votes of the ruling Frente Sandinista (Sandinista Front) in the National Assembly approved, without opposition, the Special Law on...

Recent trend of the R rate in Costa Rica: 0.95 “oscillating”

QCOSTARICA - The R rate of COVID-19 in Costa Rica, estimated with the most recent data of October 28, 2020, is R = 0.95...

COVID-19 in Costa Rica: 1,231 new cases for Oct 28, hospitalizations keeps dropping

QCOSTARICA - After a few days of new cases daily under 1000, on Wednesday, October 28, the Ministry of Health reported 1,321 new cases. Costa...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.