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Identity Politics, From La Paz To Trump Tower

Donald Trump and Alvaro Garcia Linera
Donald Trump and Alvaro Garcia Linera
Roy Greenburgh

It is yet another alliance of ideas that fiction could not have invented. The leftist vice president of Bolivia, who has never disavowed his Marxist past, is seeing eye-to-eye with a certain out-for-himself American real estate mogul with a taste for gold-plated everything.


Writing for America Economia, Álvaro García Linera has penned a kind of manifesto announcing the demise of the "ideology of globalization." The longtime ally of Bolivian President Evo Morales lays out a sharply worded obituary for the idea that expanding free trade and liberalism was "the putative final destination of human aspirations." He calls this conventional wisdom of the world's political and economic establishment: "the biggest ideological trickery of recent centuries."


Both the Brexit and Donald Trump victories, García Linera concludes, were just the outward proof that globalization's glory days were over. "Trump is not the free market's executioner, but a coroner appointed to quietly confirm its demise." Agree with him or otherwise, the essay is well worth a read, and we have it here in English.


Agree with him or otherwise, Trump certainly cannot be ignored either. His latest — five days before his inauguration — is a joint interview late yesterday from Trump Tower with The Times of London and Germany's Bild tabloid. This round of international chest-beating also includes something that too may be identified as an idea, if not the ideology, that could define Trump's presidency, both at home and abroad. And it walks hand-in-hand with García Linera's manifesto. Responding to the Brexit vote, Trump concludes, "Countries want their own identity." Of course, how those identities are defined — and how to avoid conflict between inward-looking nations — is another question.

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Society

Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better

As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.

Photo of a father with a son on his shoulders

Father and son in the streets of Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Pereyra*

-Essay-

When I was a child — I must have been around eight or so — whenever we headed with my mom and grandma to my aunt's country house in Don Torcuato, outside of Buenos Aires, there was the joy of summer plans. Spending the day outdoors, playing soccer in the field, being in the swimming pool and eating delicious food.

But when I focus on the moment, something like a painful thorn appears in the background: from the back window of the car I see my dad standing on the sidewalk waving us goodbye. Sometimes he would stay at home. “I have to work” was the line he used.

Maybe one of my older siblings would also stay behind with him, but I'm sure there were no children left around because we were all enthusiastic about going to my aunt’s. For a long time in his life, for my old man, those summer days must have been the closest he came to being alone, in silence (which he liked so much) and in calm, considering that he was the father of seven. But I can only see this and say it out loud today.

Over the years, the scene repeated itself: the destination changed — it could be a birthday or a family reunion. The thorn was no longer invisible but began to be uncomfortable as, being older, my interpretation of the events changed. When words were absent, I started to guess what might be happening — and we know how random guessing can be.

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