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Thread: Is Latin America Western?

  1. #26
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    I wonder why is Quebec not counted as a part of Latin America given that they speak French?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Chile
    ^^^ Chileans are - genetically speaking - very similar to Mexicans.

    They are autosomally on average 1/2 Amerindian + 1/2 European.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and southern Brazil are predominantly European
    Chile is not predominantly European. Where did this myth come from?

    Chile is a Mestizo nation, genetically similar to Paraguay and Mexico:

    https://i.imgur.com/qAyTInj.png


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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    I wonder why is Quebec not counted as a part of Latin America given that they speak French?

    ^^Because it's in Canada
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    Latin America is of course part of the west...even if with its own flavor and peculiarities.
    But since English is nearly 70% of romance/ mediterranean origin ( latin, greek and old french components...without them it would be an hunter gather kind of language) it is not far fetched to claim that all the american continent is in different degree latin.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by davef View Post
    ^^Because it's in Canada
    Ok. So you think that it would be counted as part of Latin America if they were independent?

    As for Chile, it might be "white" only in the census (self-identifications). Genetic studies about Chile show it is "balanced Mestizo". It also has a sizeable Native minority. I understand that Maciamo wrote that post years ago when DNA studies on Latin America were not yet available.

    Paraguay is actually "whiter" than Chile in terms of genetics. And Mexico is about the same.

    Without Pinochet's reforms, Chile today would likely be similar to Venezuela in terms of chaos.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    Ok. So you think that it would be counted as part of Latin America if they were independent?

    As for Chile, it might be "white" only in the census (self-identifications). Genetic studies about Chile show it is "balanced Mestizo". It also has a sizeable Native minority. I understand that Maciamo wrote that post years ago when DNA studies on Latin America were not yet available.
    I confirm that Chile is not nearly as "white" as some people think and apparently they themselves declare themselves to be. I visited only Santiago and the surrounding towns, probably one of the "whiter" regions of the country (though not nearly as much as some parts of the South like Puerto Montt, but not in the southernmost regions). I was surprised to see that the population was much more mestizo than we usually hear about (maybe is there still some unwillingness to recognize mixed origins there?). I'd say some 40% of the people I saw could pass as white, but still many of them were probably mixed to some degree, but certainly more than half of the people I saw had visible Amerindian ancestry, even if only a minority had unquestionably dominant Native American features (but still a very sizeable minority, at least 10%). I don't think, though, that Chile is less "European" than Paraguay, because in the map above that you provided to us it is clear that the most "Amerindian" regions of Chile are the least populous, whereas some of the most populated regions of Paraguay are actually the most enriched by Amerindian ancestry (the southeastern portion of the country). I also doubt that Chile would've been as weak and chaotic as Venezuela now were it not for Pinochet's reforms. The country was already much more developed and educated than Venezuela in the 1970s when Pinochet established his ruthless dictatoship. I think comparisons with Argentina or Uruguay make much more sense.

    In any case, I think that relying on admixtures or economic development to determine whether a country is western or not is a serious mistake. First of all, there is no rule that determines that "Western" leads necessarily to socio-economic development, nor is that characteristic exclusive of historically Western nations. And the European heritage that is much more visible and relevant in the long term in terms of shared culture, history, institutions and way of life than autosomal admixture.


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    Chile seems to be the most economically developed country in Latin America, better than Argentina, Uruguay and Southern Brazil. Often it is attributed to Pinochet by people with right wing views - if not Pinochet Chile would likely be another "Communist" country like for example Ecuador today. I saw a video on You Tube made by a Polish guy living in Ecuador and he says that many things resemble Communist Poland 40-60 years ago:

    He says "Reality here is similar to Polish reality from the 1960s-1970s":


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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    Chile seems to be the most economically developed country in Latin America, better than Argentina, Uruguay and Southern Brazil. Often it is attributed to Pinochet by people with right wing views - if not Pinochet Chile would likely be another "Communist" country like for example Ecuador today. I saw a video on You Tube made by a Polish guy living in Ecuador and he says that many things resemble Communist Poland 40-60 years ago:

    He says "Reality here is similar to Polish reality from the 1960s-1970s":

    Chile surpassed Argentina in human development terms only recently, in the last 10 years, but it is now the most developed South American state, on a par with some Eastern European nations like Hungary and Poland (but, truth be told, with a much, much higher level of income and opportunity inequality). I'd be wary of giving all that credit to the ruthless and in the end cowardly dictator Pinochet, though, especially if that conclusion is based on a hypothetical situation of "what if?" instead of real historic evidence/data. We cannot just presume that Chile, without Pinochet, would've become like Ecuador or Venezuela, first of all because Chile was already much more developed and democratic than both of these nations before 1973 (when Pinochet literally bombed the presidential palace and the capital city until he got the power for himself), but also because Chile has been ruled for several years by leftist parties since the fall of Pinochet's dictatorship, and they didn't act like a subtropical version of Chávez at all. Instead, most of the good years of higher than average progress in Chile happened after 1990, and many of those years were under left-leaning governments. I think it is a big stretch to imagine that history in Chile would've evolved exactly as in Venezuela or in Ecuador given that they had very different situations (economically, socially, politically). Not even Argentina, which is much more comparable to Chile in virtually every social and economic aspect, became a "Venezuela" or "Ecuador" even after being plagued by decades of populist and ineffective governments both from the right-wing and the left-wing.

    Right-wingers tend to overestimate the relatively good legacy of Pinochet in economic policy (I say "relatively" because it was not without costs and flaws, as in promoting lack of economic diversity and the already very high social inequality). That is probably in order to diminish the appalling record of his government in human rights, democracy, institutional stability, individual and collective freedom and many other indispensable things where his dictatorship's contribution was actually a detriment to Chile.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    "Latin" America is not defined on the basis of whether the official language is a "Romance" or "Latin" language. In English language usage it means those countries of the Western Hemisphere which were conquered by Spain and Portugal and where the languages of those countries are spoken.

    The amount of Amerindian ancestry and the level of economic development have nothing to do with whether they are western countries or not. The Japanese are very highly developed economically, and China is on the move. The U.S. has a lot of "minority" people in terms of genetics, as does France for that matter. They're not "western" countries? It's a matter of culture and institutions as Ygorcs has pointed out.


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    US, Canada, UK, Scandinavia are not Western European, but Northern European cultures.
    Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland etc are not Western European, but Central Europe.
    Western Europe is Iberia and Spain and France.
    No idea how Netherlands and Belgium are, seems more Western European countries, that Central European countries.
    As for Italy, it seems a mix of Western and Central Europe, with Northern Italy more shifted towards Central Europe.
    Being very industrialized is not something great, for example France or Italy kept a lot of agriculture and have an equilibrium between agriculture and industry.
    In pure Central Europe as it is in Czech Republic or Austria, there is almost no more agriculture left, only offices, tourism and industry.
    Germany is mostly Central European, but has also Western Europe influences.
    As an outsider, what differences I see between Brazil and Spain is that Brazil is a lot more liberal ,while Spain, as France and Portugal seems shifted towards socialism. Germany seems also quite Socialist country.
    So I believe in South America there is a lot of influence from US Northern-Celtic-British liberal culture.
    There is a lot of corruption and crime in South America, which is again something that is different compared to Spain, or Portugal or France.
    France, Spain, Portugal have few corruption.
    Just my 2 cents.

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