Eduardo Torres Arancivia

Historian Eduardo Torres Arancivia was interviewed in La República Sunday, July 27, and said that the ideal of citizenship has not caught on in Peru – and that Peru is an authoritarian county in search of a caudillo who can solve things for us. The twentieth century saw a string of dictators.

Authoritarian behavior includes disrespect for the law; you can see many signs of authoritarian behavior in everyday life in Peru. “Somos piratas, paramos la combi en donde queemos, pagamos coimas, somos impuntuales.” “Ser impuntual es autoritario. La criollada es autoritaria.” La imposición del más vivo (suggested the interviewer). “Eso es. Las va[?]as, los clientelismos, los amiguismos, todas esas son expresiones autoritarias, sin embargo no nos hemos puesto a analizar eso.”

He also said Peru has never had a liberal, bourgeois, or capitalist evolution, or anything like that. The interviewer sugested that there should have been a step between the Viceroyalty and the Republic, although I cannot see what step that would be. But Torres said yes, the problem is the mixture of monarchy and republicanism. Only now, in the 21st century, are we seriously thnking about liberal democracy. How to transition out of, or cure ourselves of the authoritarian mentality, he suggested, is the current challenge.


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3 Responses to Eduardo Torres Arancivia

  1. mila says:

    His work as historian is really great… he’s so right!

  2. profacero says:

    Hi Mila and gracias por la visita!

    Aprovecho para preguntarte – assuming you speak native Spanish and possibly even Peruvian Spanish – what word was I trying to type when I typed “Las va[?]as” … I am missing a letter and I cannot figure out what it could be. The sentence is “Las va[?]as, los clientelismos, los amiguismos, todas esas son expresiones autoritarias. . . .”


  3. *Canelita* says:

    Hello Professor Zero–you might have figured this out by now, but the word you refer to must be “varas”. Si tienes “vara” en algún lugar–es decir, un contacto, una “persona amiga”–se te facilitará cualquier trámite o gestión que quieras realizar.

    I just learned about this book by Torres Arancivia, and I can’t wait to check it out from my institution library tonight! Will come back with my own comments later on.


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