Latin Without Cicero: Musings of a Southward Bent

Remember this the next time you hear some spittle chin comment on what a great and prosperous country is the uSSA (after almost 40 years of the War on Poverty).  - jtl, 419

by Fred Reed via Fred on Everything

For many, Mexico remains a land of Pedro  sleeping away his days leaning against an adobe hut, sombrero pulled low over  his face, with a burro drowsing nearby. Apparently this is actually belived. An American woman of immoderate idiocy  once asked me by email whether Mexico had paved roads.Such folk seem to have in  mind, if mind they have, the Mexico of the age of Pancho Villa. As best I can tell, they have no  ideas at all of the rest of Latin America.

For the record, a paved road in Mexico. The  Baluarte Bridge, between Sinaloa and Durango. It is used exclusively for burro  traffic.

In reality, a much neglected location, things are a tad different. The Mexican economy  prospers. Per-capita GDP rises rapidly. Goldman-Sachs predicts that Mexico will  be the world’s    seventh  economy by 2020. I´ll believe it when I see it, but it´s not called Goldman because it doesn´t know about money. Poverty  assuredly exists, but I am aware of no city that has achieved the dysfunction  of Detroit, Newark, Camden, Birmingham, and so on. The birth rate is way down.  Literacy is up. Shopping malls are indistinguishable from those in America. Old  pot-holed roads exist next to new highways.

Mexico, as popularly conceived. Close enough for government work.

But Latin America is not just Mexico. There is  an actual civilization south of Texas, a whole unsuspected world, and much of  it is not remotely primitive. If you transported Buenos Aires to Italy, say,  or to Spain, it would not seem out of place.

Detroit.

Buenos Aires. As the photo makes clear, Latin cities are dismal slums.

Vi and I have spent days walking the streets of Lima  and Buenos Aires and found them to be modern, agreeable, and usually very  pretty cities, highly civilized in a distinctly European way, and in general  delightful. If one regards southern Europe as part of the First World, it is  hard to see how Argentina, Chile, and Colombia can be excluded.

        Newark

Bogota. An enlightening example of the civilizational incapacity of Latinos.

On the other hand, Bolivia is decidedly backward, often  lacking roads of any kind, paved or not. Ecuador, while lovely and pleasant, is  not quite midway between Bolivia and Argentina. Venezuela is nasty and  dangerous. Latin America is not one place.

I belong to a list-serve of highly bright people,  some of whose names you would know, who are serious academics and writers and  such. They are intensely concerned with the idea of IQ. They assert that  Hispanics have a mean IQ of 89, Mexicans in particular of 87, American blacks  of 85, and regard the book IQ and the  Wealth of Nations as demonstrating that GDP per capita depends on IQ. The  idea is hardly implausible. It is hard to see how a population of low  intelligence could build and run a modern city, for example.

A problem with this theory is that its proponents  are attributing a result in fact—economic success,  level of civilization—dependent on many variables to a single factor, IQ.  It doesn´t work. For example, according to IQ and the Wealth, Italy has a mean  IQ of 102, the US of 98, and yet the US has been greatly more profuse in its  engendering of both money andextraordinary technology. The advanced countries of  Latin America resemble Italy in such things as are visible from their cities. And  of course if GDP per capital is a function of IQ, then the IQ of the Chinese  must be rising at a hell of a rate. Perhaps their heads will explode.

Brazil, specifically Embraer, designs and  builds these babies, and others, used by countless airlines. Building airliners  is a characteristic of people of low IQ. The remains of such craft are often  associated with Neanderthal burial grounds.

Curious. Checking the CIA Factbook, I find that the  rate of literacy in Argentina is 97%, in Mexico, 86%, and in the United States,  99%. Though I don´tknow where the figures come from, or how literacy is  defined, the first two seem plausible. However, the US Department of Education  says that 14%  percent of American adults are illiterate. Let’s see, 14 from 100 is…86.

I  don´t vouch for the exactitude of these numbers, but they would seem to  indicate that northward things are perhaps not as rosy as we would like our  roses to be. And, having spent a lot of time on the ground southward, I note  that are a lot more culture, civilization, brains, and talent in those climes  than most Americans believe. I hesitate to suggest that we do anything so  extreme as to pay attention. It´s because I believe in the sanctity of tradition.

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3 Responses to Latin Without Cicero: Musings of a Southward Bent

  1. Gunny G says:

    Reblogged this on NOW BLOG THIS! ~ GUNNY.G: AMERICAN ! and commented:
    GyG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  2. Brian Patrick Corcoran says:

    That first photograph is not the Baluarte Bridge in Mexico, it is the Millau Viaduct in France.

    Brian Patrick Corcoran Concepcion, Chile Skype brian.corcoran147

    Like

  3. phynedyning says:

    Today, I watched a squad of American public works employees (a triple negative?) work feverishly to shut down one of my city’s busiest intersections during the lunch rush…so they could paint the crosswalk markings.

    It appears that the former hiring criteria for such employees has been downgraded from ‘able to fog a mirror’, to ‘able to reflect light’. Consequently, I foresee a coming spike in accidental burials of undead city employees (AKA ‘hookworms’).

    This has nothing to do with Fred’s (as usual) outstanding observations. But between reading Fred’s latest piece and watching a score of unhelmeted retards attempting close six lanes of traffic with orange cones…

    …I haven’t laughed so much in one day, since finding one of my backyard squirrels trying repeatedly to fuck a walnut.

    Like

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