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Vic Vanni

Latin America 1: Economy and Investment

Latin America is the Cinderella of world politics. In comparison with Africa and Asia it has been neglected, as a glance at the shelves in the libraries and bookshops will show. Penguin paperbacks, for example, have published a whole African Library but nothing comparable on Latin America, and even the left wing have been relatively silent on the subject. Why is this? The main reason is that while Afro-Asia’s struggles of “national independence” are either current or very recent, Latin America’s similar struggles occurred over a century ago. And while the left has seen “socialism” in just about every Afro-Asian state, Latin America has been a United States colony, ridden with rightist governments and dictators. The Cuban revolt caused a momentary flutter but interest soon waned when the whole continent didn’t follow Cuba’s example and when the inevitable “degeneration” set in.

Book Review: 'The Coming British Revolution'

Trotskyism Rehashed

'The Coming British Revolution', by Tariq Ali, (Jonathan Cape Ltd)

The End of Fukuyama

A wise and confident-looking face gazes at us from beneath an article in the Guardian (7 September). The face is that of Francis Fukuyama, a consultant to the US State Department and the Rand Corporation. The article is his defence of his own essay 'The End of History', published last December.

Fukuyama starts by complaining that he has been misunderstood. Critics have pointed to such events as the fall of the Berlin Wall and Iraq's invasion of Kuwait as evidence that he is wrong and history is not over. He explains that what he thinks is over is not "history" but merely "the history of ideas" and that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the overthrow of "communism" in Eastern Europe only back up his main argument that "liberal democracy is the only legitimate ideology left in the world".

Book Review: 'Nomenklatura - Anatomy of the Soviet Ruling Class'

Russia's Capitalists

'Nomenklatura: Anatomy of the Soviet Ruling Class', by Michael Voslensky, (The Bodley Head, £12.95)

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