A leftist waking from his self-imposed mental slumber happens rarely, so kudos to Eduardo Galeano. At National Review Online, Carlos Alberto Montaner writes, “The author of an iconic leftist tome on Latin America now denounces the book’s ‘awful’ leftist rhetoric:”
The third chapter of our guide was titled “The Idiot’s Bible” and was devoted to explaining what Galeano himself now confirms: that the author knew very little about economics, and what little he thought he knew was totally wrong.
For example, in his book Galeano promotes the “theory of dependence,” which is the idea that the rich and powerful nations and peoples of the world assign and enforce a second-class, subservient economic status to the nations and peoples of the developing world, what was then called the Third World. This theory is one of classic leftist victimhood, a conspiratorial vision of history in which America the strong rules over Latin America the weak.
Galeano had never stopped to think why other poor societies — such as South Korea, Taiwan, Estonia, Singapore, and Hong Kong — had emerged from misery without being stopped by anyone. We could make the same observation about the achievement of Israel and, in Latin America, Chile.
The truth is that economic progress and prosperity are elective. A society can choose to do things the right way or the wrong way, and these choices have consequences. Do them the right way and within a couple of generations the economy will take off; do the opposite and the economy will sink.
At his Captain Capitalism blog, Aaron Clarey writes that he applauds Galeano “for admitting he was wrong, but it’s like saying, ‘oops’ when you helped ruin the lives of millions.”
But considering how awful the left have been behaving recently, give the man his due — and read the whole thing.