Latin America, and the Hispanic/Latinx diaspora across the globe are often associated passionate romance, colorful cuisine, flamboyant personalities, fascinating cultures, and dangerous communists that must be killed above all other targets. Above all, the Latin world is supposedly a colorful show that is admirable from afar. Life there is just one big samba party according to the tourists and documentary filmmakers who wouldn’t dare set foot outside of their sponsored pathways. One step too far in the jungle, and they will not survive past a day. The natives or he leaves will determine the inevitable fate of those foolish to enter. One step too high in the Andes, you will freeze to death or gasp from lack of oxygen while singing to the llamas from insanity. After all, those oxygen tanks don’t last forever.
I reunited with an article that had a profound effect on my pathway as a young writer. From the Latin American Herald Tribune I would like to talk about Living in the Epicenter of Nihilism in Latin America. After giving it an initial reading, I was shunned at the overtly pro-western position as it largely targets the left-leaning leaders such as Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Ollanta Humala of Peru. However, I think there is more to nihilism in Latin America than the author intends to put out. Right away in the first two lines, the page introduced my nihilism without even uttering the word yet, “the rebellion in modern times in Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia — with Peru and Ecuador likely to follow soon — is not about capitalism.” What astonished my first was that it dared to challenge the entire notion of the battle the institutions and the Starbucks Marxists constantly push forward: capitalism vs communism. Whether we like to admit it or not, socialism does involve money and a system of control that will lead to self-destruction, but so does capitalism. Capitalism just does a better job at hiding the disasters in plain sight than Stalin could ever do.
I found myself focusing less on the discussions of the populist tendencies of the leaders, but rather on the nihilistic attitudes of the population that has led them to their thrones. “The poor of the Andes – half its population – are rebelling against modernity itself: knowledge, science, technology, finance, law, development, and democracy.” This describes the Andean cultural shift to reclaim their indigenous roots as a big middle finger to the proposals of the developed world. Surely, a good number of them immigrated to the European Union and the United States. What convinced the rest to stay and reject the modern world? Lack of interest, or do they foresee a terrible future? I think it’s both. This general acceptance of chaos of disorder is rampant in the poorer communities of these nations; Those with large indigenous populations are facing a shift towards their nature-based traditions and they now rebel against the encroaching effects of disturbing science. According to the article, the industrialized-largely European realms of Argentina, Colombia, Chile, and much of Brazil are filled more with widespread discontent and desire for a different life that no government can give.
The article claims that the failure of the modern world traces back to Haiti. With noble intent, the former slaves have risen against their French enslavers and attempt to run their nation — like that of their former colonizer. Hundreds of warlords, ill-run economies, revolutions, alliances, betrayals, and promises later. Haiti is now in ruins with little hope for change. It would take just as long to revive the dream of their forefathers.
As a person of Andean Latinx descent living within a failing empire, I write because it is all I can do to survive and to tell a story. The story of the rejection of society within the Latin world and within the Latinx human.