Peru: between polarization and political fragmentation – 19/06/2021 – Latinoamérica21

What is more difficult: to govern with a program that identifies as Marxist in a globalized world or to achieve a minimum consensus of governability in an election where two antagonistic programs divide the electorate equally?

These are the fundamental questions being debated in Peru today. But although this is an extreme case, some of these issues are present in other parts of the region.

It is true that Pedro Castillo’s Marxist program is very relative, above all for cultural reasons. Mariátegui – journalist, politician and founder of the Peruvian Socialist Party – nearly a century ago had already racked his brains and wrote hundreds of pages in an attempt to interpret the conditions of a socialist society in the Marxist style, thoughts in western modernist rationality, in the heart of Peruvian walks.

Currently, the standards of sociability and the constitution of the community in these lands are very far from this socialist ideal.

And, indeed, issues such as gender, sexuality, multiculturalism, children’s rights, justice and others, so fashionable in world culture, strongly overlap with highland traditions.

A Marxist program

One can certainly understand that, in the reality of the globalized world, a Marxist program in Peru – a very important financial center in the region – would extend, at most, to attempts to nationalize certain economic activities and services, as well. than the regulation of globalized economic spaces.

It may also involve greater state intervention in the provision of social services and more incisive policies in a labor market with structurally informal characteristics and low productivity.

It would also include very active public policies for the development of the historically neglected Andean regions in the center and south of the country.

This program would, however, generate great doubts as to the management of the macroeconomics on issues such as the deficit, excessive public spending, inflation or debt service, among others. Every aspect where the current rules of the world economy do not forgive.

Peru is torn between two absolutely antagonistic electoral options. Not only in terms of economic management but also in the vision of the territory, in the cultural frameworks on which public policies are developed, in the imaginations of what is socially unjust or in social representation.


In this context, the immediate political dilemma that will afflict the new Peruvian government is governability.

That is to say the capacity of the government to execute the fundamental lines of the political program with which it won the elections, through a broad consensus and by diluting the conflicts that arise on the part of the interests affected by this new program.

The political panorama that opens in Peru following these particular elections is not, however, foreign to other realities, and social divides are increasingly expressed in political options and elections in the different countries. of the region.

The recent elections in Ecuador have clearly been established between an option close to the status quo of the world economy – neoliberalism – and the return of correismo in the politics of the country.

In Argentina, on the contrary, the less “mercantilist” option has overcome the more “mercantilist” option of macrismo.

In Brazil, the next elections will probably be limited to a confrontation between Bolsonaro and Lula and two opposing visions concerning the economy, social balance and political order.

Colombia has been bogged down for more than a month in protests against Duque’s neoliberal government and “uribism”, which accentuates Petro’s electoral prospects on the left.

And Venezuela and Nicaragua face a stalemate as they support alternative governments to the global world, plunged into economic and social crises that would not be sustainable without state repression.

This polarization is not only partisan. It is an antagonistic polarization which divides the electorates, that is to say the societies of two opposite sides, between “friends and enemies”.

Two fundamental ways of conceiving the economic social order, and with it the desirable political order, seem to be at odds. Not only ideologies and political agendas are in dispute, but also power relations on the streets.

For this reason, repressive forces and street violence reappear in the public space of some countries as the expression of social conflict.

Clearly, dissatisfaction with distributive injustices and living conditions, exacerbated by the pandemic, has worsened the Latin American political scenario. And there is no return to calm and sanity on the near horizon.

For this reason, repressive forces and street violence reappear in public spaces in some countries as an expression of social conflict.

Obviously, dissatisfaction with distributive injustices and living conditions, aggravated by the pandemic, has worsened the Latin American political scenario.

And a return to calm and reason does not appear on the near horizon.

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