Where is Latin America going?

(To Andrea Gaspardo)

Latin America is seething. This is a dramatic fact that is there for all to see. From Mexico to Argentina, from Peru to Brazil, the entire Latin American continent is slowly shaping up as one huge "Instability Factory" exactly what it was at the time of the Cold War. However, in this precise historical moment it is necessary to note a detail that should make us keep a closer eye on the events that are taking place there: unlike what happened during the period of the Cold War, in fact, Latin America is now experiencing its last and definitive phase of demographic transition.

If we compare the total fertility rates of all Latin American countries, we realize that almost all of them have now passed the threshold of 2,11 children per woman downwards, and those who have not yet done so, probably will in the next few years. years.

But what kind of implications does all of this have? In reality, many, and not all of them positive! It may seem strange to non-experts who do not usually deal with demography in a broad sense applied to geopolitical analysis, yet it is amply demonstrated that, when a particular country is subject to a transitional demographic dynamic, the local society becomes intrinsically more unstable and subject to destabilization phenomena which can alternatively lead to social revolts, the establishment of dictatorships, wars or more.

A first wave of destabilization in Latin America occurred during the 60s and 70s when there was a first reduction in fertility rates at the same time as the achievement of male literacy. At that time the instability of Latin American societies had as a natural outlet the establishment almost everywhere of ferocious military dictatorships whose brutal actions deeply marked the collective soul of the peoples of those lands.

Today, with the achievement of universal literacy, even the societies of the "Latin continent" have reached the level of transformation already achieved by European societies which presupposes the profound re-evaluation of the role of women, now no longer a simple "nurse" but an active element of economic and social life of the community. As the societies of the Old Continent learned first-hand at the time of the two world wars and 68, reaching this threshold always heralds great changes, which simply become inevitable because with mass literacy the ancient values that previously held society together are now being challenged by the "new ideas" filtering in from outside. However, this change also leads to radicalization, especially of the younger and restless elements, previously subjected to "the control of the elderly" and now instead emancipated thanks to higher education and the globalization of spirits.

In this context of social disintegration and boiling, the only lifeline for a society in demographic transition is the stability of the democratic system (obviously if we are talking about countries governed by democratic regimes; for the others, some form of implosion is guaranteed! ). And this is precisely the reason why the events affecting Latin American countries must be closely monitored; because they represent the litmus test that will allow us to say whether finally the democratic systems that arose on that continent between the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s have truly become stable and mature or if, thanks to their weakness, we will witness a dramatic regression, comparable to what happened in North Africa and in the "Greater Middle East" during the "Arab Spring" and the subsequent "Islamic Winter".