Assessing the Pink Tide in Latin America

Socialism 2017

August 15, 2017

In the mid-2000s, an explosion of struggle against neoliberalism translated into the parliamentary halls and presidential palaces of many South American countries, as center-left and left parties were elected to office. These parties were able to take advantage of an enlargement of state revenue, driven by an extraordinary commodities boom, to engage in targeted distribution that lowered poverty rates without fundamentally challenging the underlying class structures of those societies. But a financial crisis that began in 2007, and the collapse of commodity prices after 2012, led these same governments to begin to implement austerity policies, imposing the costs of declines in state treasuries onto the vast majority, rather than on the rich. While capital had flourished under many of these governments, the new left had never been the first choice of private investors. Sensing blood, they'and re now going for the kill—new right politics are on the ascent in extra-parliamentary and parliamentary forms throughout the region. Under these conditions, how does a critical and independent left combat the right without becoming apologists for these governments?

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