Facundo: Civilizacion y Barbarie en Las Pampas Argentinas
Facundo - Civilizacion y barbarie Domingo F. Sarmiento Preface by Juan Carlos Casas, author of "La Ingratitud de Sarmiento" 266 pages - In Spanish Facundo is a text about geography, sociology, politics, and history -all blended together- as well as the clear preview of the government program of who was to become the president of Argentina 15 years later. The confrontation of two opposed conceptions about political power: uneducated autocratic rule versus cultivated institutionalized government, is the basis of this work, first conceived as a political pamphlet and finally grown into masterpiece heights due to the overflowing Sarmiento talent. "For Sarmiento, barbarism was the native tribes and gaucho plains; and cities, the civilization. The gaucho has been replaced by colonial farmers and blue collar workers, barbarism now is not just in the fields but also in the big city mobs, and the demagogue plays the role of the ancient caudillo, who also was a demagogue. The disjunctive has not changed. Sub especie aeternatitis, Facundo is still the best argentine story," wrote Jos? Luis Borges in his preface to the 1975 edition. Today, 158 years after Facundo was written, and almost 30 years since the Borges reflections, Argentina still fights entangled between the forces that sustain intitutional power versus those who privilege the personal rule of the powerful. Civilization or barbarism is for Argentina still a pending issue, whose roots cannot be fully understood without the enlightening words of Sarmiento.
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