Latin America is a part of America well known for its prevailing Latin languages, specifically the Spanish and Portuguese.
It includes all the American regions formerly under the dominion of the Portuguese and Spain. All these regions depict similar socioeconomic backgrounds whose colonialism is either, formal or informal rather than cultural. The Latin America is thought to have emerged as early as 1830s, as posited by French people who claim that it was initially occupied by the Latin immigrants. Then an idea arose that, based on the time of arrival of the Latin people to this part of America, the region should be favoring the Latin cultural practices more than any other group. It was postulated that that the chances of Latin Europe joining this regions on the expense of Teutonic Europe were high, an issue that was subject to discussion before it happened. This became now, ‘The idea of Latin America’, which is a public declaration, based on the economic geography of the powers of state. This idea seeks the notion of Latin America, right from its European origin a few centuries ago, tracing its roots since then up to date.
It shows the reason why the issues of the 19th centuries need to be damped to welcome new inventions. “The idea of Latin America is a geopolitical manifesto that charts the history of the concept of Latin America, insisting on the need to leave behind an idea which belonged to the nation-building mentality of the 19th century Europe.” (Mignolo 78). This idea declares the century’s state of mind invalid and paves way to new ideas of the 20th century and the upcoming others. This idea has triggered the minds of many, arousing the need to consider stories, which have been neglected. Mignolo, in his idea portrays the difference between Euro America and Latin America by pointing out the origin, state of economy and the insidiousness of the former.
However, Mognolo’s work concerning this idea is subject to criticism, right from the topic. It is provocative and a probable attractor of racial discrimination originating from the Latin American region.
Critical analysis of “The idea of Latin America”
Mignolo artistically chooses ‘The idea of Latin America’ as the principal topic of his book.
He claims that the book is the basis of the imperial and colonial ‘notion’ of the Latin America. He shows how it will influence politics in relation to previous centuries and how this will give the present world a new shape. Building on this, the topic is quite provocative. It singles out one, on the expense of others, an issue that has served as a fuel to the prevailing conflicts. People, in need of a change, cannot employ a topic that is liable of causing havoc. In addition, it is based on the assumptions that, exploitation is the root cause of the modern world.
He uses Latin America as the one responsible of colonizing other countries in order to bring modernity. The results of colonialism are clear from the wars that people involved themselves in, in an effort to eradicate it. Therefore, it stands out that the topic is outdated and irrelevant. The author has employed many assumptions in passing his claims. These render his works less accurate. Scientifically, they are, allowed but the few they are the more meaningful the research becomes. He posits that the future cannot be, achieved without capitalism. This is general and not well thought because many have arisen to disagree with this.
“The case for de-colonial global system, the system must be egalitarian and holistic in its approach. We have seen socialism fail and we have seen capitalism succeed in its self afflicted destruction…those who say there is no future without capitalism have been proven wrong…” (Quintero para 1). This response clearly addresses the issue of capitalism and is in contrast with Mignolo’s assumption. Another argument arises in Mignolo’s use of the term ‘Colonialism’ without expounding on what it covers.
Colonialism by itself is all, encompassing. It includes knowledge as well, a case that is highly controversial because once the knowledge is colonized, it blocks all the avenues of change and this calls for people to adhere with the present rules regardless of the impact it imposes on them. The author ought to have argued out this clearly not to cast doubts on the readers of his works. The author goes on to include indigenous intellectual people in his works. He is entirely devoted to support them concerning the issue of Eurocentric and current/majestic intellectuals. These intellectuals have people they ought to represent from where they come. The author does not take into account the probability that these people can fail to; appropriately stand in for their communities. He just assumes that this cannot be the case.
In his complain about Occidentalism as the main issue behind the Latin Americans subaltern acquaintance, he does not take into account the impact of excluding them in his theory of colonization. He wants to convince the reader that this is not of any significance, though in the real sense, it shows how the Latin America can be safe on the expense of the other countries, in case of any drawback from the theory. This then calls for clarification, failure to which an untimely catastrophe can erupt.
On the subject of knowledge, Mignolo points out the relationship between it and the modernity/ colonialism. He also mentions a change of the terms when developing theory concepts. By this, he wants to convince people that this will improve their efficiency. However, his intentions of locking the other countries that ought to benefit are clear. The change in question is aimed at ensuring that the theories work well in some but not everywhere. According to him, they will be in favor of the Latin Americans. In his assumption that capitalism is a booster of modernity, he ought to consider the results. It goes hand in hand with industrialization, which the world is claiming will precede the third world war.
Mignolo is taking people through the origin of the Latin America showing its connection to the western identity. It is depicted as a planned idea aimed at expanding the global capitalism, which on the other hand will bring a revolutionary shift, a mark of the cure of colonialism. Though driven by change, he fails to clarify its area of coverage as well as its impact to the entire word, and hence welcoming criticisms to his work.
Mignolo, Walter. “The Idea of Latin America.” Oxford: Blackwell, 2005. Quintero, Ramon. “The Idea of Latin America.” Word press: Blackwell, 2007.