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Mario Vargas Llosa
1936 -
Peruvian author and critic

Prosperity or egalitarianism - you have to choose. I favor freedom - you never achieve real equality anyway: you simply sacrifice prosperity for an illusion.

Although he rarely belongs formally to a revolutionary party or engages in the difficult sacrifices required of a genuine militant, he calls himself a Marxist and on all occasions broadcasts to the four winds that American imperialism – the Pentagon, the monopolies, Washington’s cultural influence – is the source of our underdevelopment He has a keen sense of smell, which allows him to detect CIA agents whose tentacles he finds everywhere, including Boy Scout camps, tours of the Boston Symphony, Walt Disney cartoons, or anywhere or any time someone questions state-controlled economies or one-party states as a social panacea. Meanwhile, while polluting the air of his own country with these sulfurous pronouncements, he is a permanent candidate for grants from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations (which he almost always receives), and when – thanks to local dictatorships he is exiled or chooses to exile himself, it would serve no purpose to seek him in the countries he supposedly admires and broadcasts as models for his own – Cuba, China, or the Soviet Union – since the place he selects to continue his revolutionary struggle is New York University, or the university of Chicago, or California, or Texas, where he is a visiting professor only pending his appointment to a richly endowed permanent chair. Who is this person? This, dear friends, is the progressive intellectual.

1988