A Scan of Critical World Developments
The “Pink Tide” Ebbs
Latin America has been a hotbed of left-wing activism and political experimentation for nearly two decades. In 2001, more than ten thousand scholars and activists from around the globe gathered in Brazil for the first World Social Forum, defying the Washington Consensus to assert that “another world is possible.” In what became known as the “pink tide,” center-left and left-wing parties won elections in a number of countries, channeling this oppositional energy into policies to reduce inequality through social insurance, labor protections, and investment in education. Now, however, the tide seems to be ebbing. Venezuela, once a lodestar for the global left, has been beset with violence and economic crisis. Free market acolytes have swept the presidency and legislature in Argentina, and the Workers’ Party in Brazil was forced out in a soft coup, with an unpopular and unelected president now rolling back the welfare state. And now a right-wing billionaire, former president Sebastián Piñera, promising to do the bidding of financial elites, reclaimed the presidency of Chile for an aggressive neoliberalism. But even as the tide ebbs, those who dream of a better world know it will turn again.