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InsiderOnline Blog: October 2010

A Nobel Prize to Celebrate

Congratulations to Mario Vargas Llosa on winning the Nobel Prize in Literature this week. The Swedish Academy recognized Vargas Llosa “for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt and defeat.” It’s a description that hints at another distinguishing characteristic of Vargas Llosa: Unlike many recent winners of the prize (Harold Pinter, Doris Lessing) Vargas Llosa is not politically of the Left. He started out there, of course, as an admirer of Fidel Castro, but he became disenchanted with the brutality of Castro’s dictatorship and drifted rightward. Vargas Llosa in fact ran for President of Peru in 1990 on a neoliberal platform of budget cuts and free markets. He has been variously described as a free-market conservative, neoliberal, classical liberal, and liberal. He explained his views at the American Enterprise Institute in 2005:

the liberal I aspire to be considers freedom a core value. Thanks to this freedom, humanity has been able to journey from the primitive cave to the stars and the information revolution, to progress from forms of collectivist and despotic association to representative democracy. The foundations of liberty are private property and the rule of law; this system guarantees the fewest possible forms of injustice, produces the greatest material and cultural progress, most effectively stems violence and provides the greatest respect for human rights. According to this concept of liberalism, freedom is a single, unified concept. Political and economic liberties are as inseparable as the two sides of a medal.

We haven’t read all his works, but we especially enjoyed Death in the Andes.

Posted on 10/08/10 12:27 PM by Alex Adrianson

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