TAKING SIDES ANALYSIS
Issue number: _
Title of issue: Is democracy threatened bysocial unrest and the rise of Latin America’s left?
1. Author and major thesis of the Yes side.
Carlos Alberto Montaner a writer and political analyst states thatsocial discontent and the increasing presence of Latin America’sleft is a hazard for democracy. He affirms that the entire processleads to trends towards “uncivilization.”
2. Author and major thesis of the No side.
Benjamin Dangl an editor and a political analyst. Believes that thechange to the left side is an opportunity for hope and atransformation in the economy that would meet the needs of the peoplein Latin America.
3. Briefly state in your own words two facts presented by each side.
The first fact stated by Carlos from the Yes side is that theshift in the political aligning could be a result of the failedeconomic policies created in the 1990s. Since the policies were neverimplemented, there was a disparity of the socioeconomic status of theLatin America countries with the Western European nations. After thecollapse of the Berlin Wall, most of the European countries that werepracticing communism quickly shifted to capitalism, by having a freemarket. However, the Latin America nation’s had several sanctionsplaced against them in the world economy that hampered theirdevelopment. Thus, the shift is a means to protect the affectedcountries. Another fact that Montaner says “Many of the presidentsin power in most of the Latin America countries and those that arebound to win their elections all have some affiliations towards theleft political side. Such a situation is not mere coincidence but astrategic direction.”
The main fact that Dangl informs the readers is that the politicalstructure in these countries seeks to put the needs of its peopleabove those of the US. Thus, the No side shows that the changeto the political left does more good for the citizens of LatinAmerica than bad. Another fact that is stated by the No sideis that Latin America is in the recovery stage. These countries arerecovering from the military rule that took place between the 1970sand the 1980s. Dangl goes ahead to say that most of the economicissues that currently affect these nations came about as an aftereffect of these tough times.
4. Briefly state in your own words two opinions presented by eachside.
The first opinion that Carlos presents is that the shift to the leftwill result to “uncivilization.” That opinion is only centered onthe numerous illegal activities that are common in those nations. Itis not a fact that communism enhances the drug trade. An addedopinion is that the writer asserts that Daniel Ortega will get backto power via a massive win. Once in power, Ortega will take a similaragenda just as Chavez and Castro. The author has no evidence for sucha move and only makes assumptions.
The first opinion that the No side postulates is that thetroops stationed at the border of Bolivia are there to watch out forleftist groups and guard the gas reserves. Another opinion is thatthe US government supported and funded the coup against Chavez backin 2002.
5. Briefly identify as many fallacies on the Yes side as youcan.
The first fallacy is that a shift to the political left by LatinAmerica nations will lead to “uncivilization”. The statement isfalse since there is no hard proof that it can happen.
Another fallacy is that the drug trade rampant in those nations ispromoted by communism. The writer does not provide any evidence thatshows it is possible.
An additional untrue claim is that freeing up the nations’ economicmarkets will reduce the number of illegal activities in thoseregions. The statement is false since the drug trade is onlyoperational, due to demands from North America.
6. Briefly identify as many fallacies on the No side as youcan.
The first false statement is that the United States financially paidfor the military action in Latin America in the years between 1970and 1980.
Another false utterance from Dangl is that there is army personneldeployed at the Bolivian border specifically to monitor the movementof the leftist groups.
7. All in all, which author impressed you as being the most empiricalin presenting his or her thesis? Why?
The most empirical author to represent their thesis was BenjaminDangl. His arguments were compelling. He used numerous facts andarranged them in a logical sequence. Every information he wrote wascarefully thought through and had the intended impact.
8. Are there any reasons to believe the writers are biased? If so,why do they have these biases?
I do not think any of the writers are biased since their opinionswere subjective and not objective.
9. Which side (Yes or No) do you personally feel ismost correct now that you have reviewed the material in thesearticles. Why?
I feel that the No side is the correct version. I believe thatonce the Latin America countries band together behind a commonpolitical system, they can easily implement any policies that willboost their economy. There can be no concern for unrests since peoplewill begin to appreciate the progress that their governments aremaking.
10. Research and updated any new information about the topic.
The current shift towards the left side has led to the decline ofpure democracy in most of the nations in Latin America. Most of theleaders practice some form of authoritarian rule with some elementsof populism. However, the economy of most of these countries hassignificantly improved making many people benefit (Collins, 2014).
Collins, J. N. (2014). New left experiences in Bolivia and Ecuadorand the challenge to theories of populism. Journal of LatinAmerican Studies, 46(1), 59.