Re: [OPE] Latin America, lethal for young people.

From: Alejandro Agafonow <>
Date: Sat Nov 29 2008 - 05:52:41 EST

There is a theory that explains the extreme levels of social violence that Mexican people suffer, as well as other Latin American people. It is the “institutional anomie theory”.   The hypothesis, tested in cross national regression analysis, sustains that “[…] levels of homicide will be lower in capitalist societies that have decommodified labor by reducing dependence on the market for personal well-being.”   How it is possible that after 10 years of Chavista government the level of anomie in Venezuela keeps among the highest in the region, is a problem that Chávez’s sympathizers have to face instead of evading the reality.   Nevertheless, the focus on the decommodification of labor revels a bias toward the dimension of “positive liberty”. Democratic harmony also requires to consider “negative liberty”, i.e. guarantees of non-intervention in the ways of being and doing of people. So, in other paper I have defined “democratic equilibrium” as:   **[…] that social state in which, first, an excess of negative liberty–excessive guarantees of non-intervention in the ways of being and doing of people, questioning the very existence of an equitable principle of regulation–does not extend to the monopolization of socially valued resources that prevents others a reasonable share, and second, where an excess of positive liberty–the liberty of a regulatory body, which could be the state, to curb the actions of free wills–does not infringe upon reasonable ways of being and doing.**     This conceptual tool, which could be interpreted as an extension of the institutional anomie theory, helps to take a first step towards the explanation the phenomenon of anomie arising in societies that have taken care of the dimension of positive liberty, decommodifying labor, but instead neglect the dimension of negative liberty abolishing civil and political rights. This is the case of communist dictatorships.   So, there are intriguing cases like Japan, Ireland and Cuba. The first two are capitalist societies with low levels of decommodified labor. The third one, with high levels of decommodified labor but with a systematic suppression of negative liberties.   All of them are apparently peaceful, i.e. you find low levels of homicides. But since they are far from fulfilling the requirements of democratic equilibrium defined before, the reasons of their stability must rest in some other causes.   In the case of Cuba the reasons must be the police like regulation and a system of indoctrination that fosters the acceptance of an institutional order contrary to basic socialist values like freedom and autonomy.   The appearance of social harmony just points out the fragile stability achieved. This stability can not be enduring.   My statements are not ambiguous Abelardo M.F.. Maybe it seems to those that lack a sound democratic theory and are victims of the easy rhetoric of Stalinist like pseudo-socialists.   Regards,A. Agafonow ________________________________ De: FLORES ABELARDO MARINA <> Para: Enviado: sábado, 29 de noviembre, 2008 1:04:31 Asunto: RE: [OPE] Latin America, lethal for young people. Agafanow,     Could you please explain what do you mean with Cuba's "apparent peaceful streets". Your statement is quite ambiguous. Are the streets peaceful or not? If peacefulness is only apparent, could you explain what is the reality behind that appearance? A hidden violence?  Of what kind?     Frankly speaking, I surely know what neighborhoods and streets I should not walk alone in Mexico City, where I live: they are openly non-peaceful. I also know what neighgborhoods and streets are somewhat more "peaceful". I think that OPE-L, as a serious academic forum, doesn't need such ambiguous statements, from which you derive strong conclusions. Saludos, Abelardo Mariña Flores -----Mensaje original----- De: []En nombre de Alejandro Agafonow Enviado el: Jueves, 27 de Noviembre de 2008 10:43 a.m. Para: Outline on Political Economy mailing list Asunto: Re: [OPE] Latin America, lethal for young people. Jerry, I am not suggesting that violence in Venezuela is per se a consequence of the road to socialism. After 10 years of Chavismo this is not more than the consequence of the incompetence of Chávez and his government. Nevertheless, I doubt about the Cuban harmony. Its apparent peaceful streets must be a consequence of the police-minded regulation of almost any circulation goods, including weapons. I mean, that regulation is necessary, but a democratic rule of law forbids a police like regulation of human lives. Regards, A. Agafonow -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- De: GERALD LEVY <> Para: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <> Enviado: jueves, 27 de noviembre, 2008 16:57:40 Asunto: RE: [OPE] Latin America, lethal for young people. > ”A young man in Latin America between 15 and 24 years old is in danger > of dying murdered more than anywhere else in the world.” (in Spanish) > > And Venezuela among the most dangerous countries. And, by that measure,  Cuba is among the least dangerous countries in Latin America, Alejandro. It is  less dangerous, according to the report, than North America.  The morale of the report for Venezuela might be to follow the Cuba Road. In solidarity, Jerry _______________________________________________ ope mailing list

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