Monday, June 12, 2006
Remember communism? Just 20 years ago, there was still a significant threat to private property from the political movement whose foundation was, in the words of one K. Marx, the “abolition of private property.” With the collapse of the Soviet Union and China’s embrace of capitalism, in the 1990s writers suggested that a consensus in favor of free enterprise meant an “end of history.” In reality, such views were simply a manifestation of American and Eurocentrism. Outside of the West, in countries in which the putative benefits of private property and capitalism have not benefited the poor, the appeal of collectivism remains strong. Latin America has, of course, been the center of such renewed appeal –- which is not going to go away any time soon. See here for a revealing story about the effort of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela to seize a noted private ecotourist preserve for distribution to the “people.”
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