Writings Of Sarmiento And Bolívar On Identity

Comparing the documents and writings of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and Simón Bolívar, one of the primary findings is drawn from the examination of their thinking regarding the connections between diversity, identity, and otherness. The historical context of their work is concerned with breaking free from colonial ties, which enables considerations of the problem of identity and the need to think about political and cultural unification that can alter the process of independence. In their writings, the authors agree that the colonial period brought negative outcomes for the Latin American population and communities.

In Bolívar’s perspective, the rejection of colonial rule is expressed in the urgency of building a republican nation-state. He writes, “among us, the masses are incapable of an independent nation,” thus suggesting that there are very few leaders who can take responsibility for the building of an independent nation (qtd. in Bushnell 146). In Sarmiento’s view, the break away from the colonial past should take the form of a project that would facilitate significant progress and the strengthening of the civilization. He writes, “what is noteworthy in this society, in terms of social aspects, is its affinity with ancient life,” thus suggesting the need to move away from antiquated standards of living and facilitate progress, both moral and practical (qtd in Bushnell 34). In both cases, the authors state that identity would lead to fundamental diversity, which, in turn, will help build stronger governments as elements of unity. Besides, as argued by Sarmiento, geographic diversity could limit the construction of the social identity of the population that remains to be built. Within the social landscape, there is an abundance of “other” groups, which, for the construction of identity, must be made visible.

Work Cited

Bushnell, David. El Libertador: Writings of Simón Bolívar. Oxford University Press, 2003.