Why Latin American Culture is So Dysfunctional

Executive Summary

  • Several trips to Latin American have provided the author with insights as to why Latin American culture is so dysfunctional.


The author recently traveled to Costa Rica. This, combined with several other trips to Latin America and observing Mexican areas of the US, provides an insight into why Latin American culture has its degree of dysfunctionality.

The Pollyanish Presentation of Latin American Culture

Latin American culture is rarely critiqued; other cultures typically allow Latin Americans to present their culture in the most flattering light. One of the main presentations of Latin American culture is that it is very family-oriented. However, what is seldom done is to explain the negative outcome of this family orientation.

Family orientation can mean being supportive of one’s family. All societies show a family preference over the others in society. However, Latin American culture takes the family preference to such an extreme that it hobbles the development of functional societies. It should go without saying that Latin America has meager intellectual accomplishments. Latin America has won 18 Nobel Prizes and only 12 non-peace Nobel Prizes.

However, low intellectual development is not the end of Latin America’s deficiencies. The following features mark Latin American countries.

  1. Poor infrastructure
  2. Poorly maintained common areas.
  3. Lack of cooperation within these societies.
  4. A willingness to litter and impose negative externalities on non-family members.
  5. A lack of meritocracy, with prestigious jobs pre-allocated to the children of the wealthy.
  6. High-income inequality.
  7. High degrees of corruption.

The Negatives of Extreme Family Orientation

Extreme family orientation makes many of the adverse outcomes in Latin American societies seem logical. Under extreme family orientation, corruption makes perfect sense. Under extreme family orientation, why not be corrupt? Corruption means benefiting yourself and your own family or small circle to the far greater cost of the overall society. Extreme family orientation supports high-income inequality. Employees are not members of one’s family. Why not pay them the minimum so that this money can be hoarded and distributed to oneself and one’s family?

The Fundamental Immaturity of Latin Americans

Latin Americans have low levels of maturity when compared with European-based societies. This is obvious by simply interacting with them or observing them. There is little expectation that one should consider planning for the future or deferring enjoyment or one’s most basic desires. Furthermore, Latin Americans are not expected in Latin American culture to ever become mature. Instead, the focus is on wants and needs.

All cultures have dancing. However, Latin American cultures take dancing to the extreme in terms of making it a focus. They also have highly sexualized dancing that is not part of European-based societies. One might say that the US does have suggestive dancing, but that is the influence of non-European cultures on the US, predominantly the black culture. When whites were the dominant racial group in the US, say back in the 1950s, such suggestive dancing was not part of the US culture. And this is because it is not part of European culture. 

This is traditional Swedish folk dancing. Notice that it is not at all sexual. 

This is traditional Irish dancing. Again, note the lack of sexuality in the dancing. 

Societies with generally low impulse control and are more infantile, like Latin American cultures, have far more emphasis on dancing and far more sexualized dancing than European-based cultures. Again, this is not to say there is no sexual dancing going on in nightclubs in the US, but again, the US is no longer a primarily European-based society. And when it was primarily a white society, the dancing was far less sexualized.

In European culture, one does not engage in public displays of sexuality. That may seem not very interesting to Latin Americans. However, societies with citizens who control their impulses, sexual among them, have better outcomes than those who do not.

The exception here is, of course, Muslim countries and Israel. Both low impulse control Muslim countries, but Islam prohibits sexualized dancing, but in many cases, prohibits all-dancing between the sexes.

Limiting sexuality in dance can be taken to an extreme, it seems. 

Things in Latin America Not Working

The problem with things not working correctly in Latin America is well known. This is a quote from a Bazilian in Brazil.

I agree brazilians can be very cool people. And I know we are generally viewed as festive, happy, and warm around the world (I’ve been abroad). Even though we sometimes are also viewed as messy, uncivilized, and uneducated – completely within reason, because some of us are far from nice.

It’s very easy to say A is better than B when you cherry-pick all the best traits of A while presenting only the worst traits of B. This is what you did on your article. (I haven’t seen the video.)

Brazil is a mess of a country where nothing works. Nothing works. Nothing. The very system we need working like clockwork to run the country is broken beyond the point of being able to work again within our lifetime.

Do you know that the average politician in Brazil has a salary at least 20 times greater than that of a teacher in fucking Sweden? Do you pull out your iPhone past 9PM in the streets? – Brazilian Gringo

How Latin Americans Are Pulling Down the US Education Scores

Latin Americans now represent around 25% of the US population, and they are the largest growing group with Biden swinging open the doors of the border – they will be even bigger in the future. Notice the decline in US education from the following quotes.

“We throw more money at our schools than just about any other country, and what do we get? For our K-12 school system, an honorary membership in the Third World,” writes Professor F. H. Buckley…. Buckley, a professor at George Mason University, added, “Not long ago, we had a superb public school system, but now we trail most countries. In math, we’re 38th in the world among developed countries in terms of how 15 year-olds perform. And it’s getting worse, not better.” From a 2018 issue of The Observer (How American Students Truly Rank in International Testing) by John Tures.

“In mathematics, 29 nations outperformed the United States by a statistically significant margin, up from 23 three years ago,” reports Education Week. “In science, 22 education systems scored above the U.S. average, up from 18 in 2009.” In reading, 19 other locales scored higher than U.S. students — a jump from nine in 2009, when the last assessment was performed. From Bill Chappell’s 2013 article in NPR (U.S. Students Slide In Global Ranking On Math, Reading, Science)

What is left out of these discussions of the decline of US education is that the population of the US is turning over, with whites being replaced in the population. Secondly, the average age of a Latino in the US is 11, while the average age of a white person is 58. So, they are far more predominant in the student population than 25% of the population would indicate. The US already had a large poorly performing group — which are blacks that dragged down the US education scores. While (25% + 13% = 38%) they are over 50% of all students. Naturally, US education scores are in a massive decline. At a certain point, whites will leave education in large numbers. When Latinos replace them, in addition to the ever-growing Latino student population, the education scores will decline even more.


Latin American culture keeps these societies at low maturity and sophistication levels compared to European-based societies. The elites in these societies monopolize the opportunities (which under family-first thinking is justified), which means that the rest of the population seeks to immigrate. When Latin Americans immigrate, they seek to immigrate to white countries that do not have such extreme family-based chauvinism. However, those already in the US do not place expectations on Latin Americans to change their culture. Also, Latin Americans do not want to be questioned on why their preference is nearly 100% of the time a European-based society that has virtually no overlap with their culture and is virtually the exact opposite of their own culture. Instead, as with nearly all non-white immigrants to white countries, they say nothing about the superiority of the culture of the country to which they immigrate or seek to immigrate, instead speaking in generalities regarding “opportunity. Their deflection of why they choose white countries to immigrate to leaves out why they do not have opportunities in their own countries. They also do not see the problematic implications of societies based on extreme family chauvinism against the public interest.

Europeans-based societies became the most civilized in the world and are now the universal target of immigration for non-Europeans precisely because they both expected maturity from their adult members and developed cultures that did not simply place one’s family above all other members in society to such an extreme degree is found in the Latin American societies. However, when they arrive in the US, no one explains to them that their cultures are defective in this regard, and as they plan to behave the same way as before, it will lead to the same outcomes in the new country they are fleeing in their old country. They are allowed to be as immature and family chauvinistic as they were in Latin America because this is part of being “culturally sensitive” on the part of the rest of US society.

Secondly, when the current media covers the mass immigration of people from Latin America, the blame is nearly always placed on factors like violence (which is not placed at the foot of Latin American culture), US intervention, and essentially everything except Latin American culture itself. Latin Americans are presented as victims who have not had any hand in developing or perpetuating the dysfunctional societies they inhabit, and nor is it acknowledged that they bring with them any dysfunctional characteristics when they immigrate to a European-based country. It is quite amazing how all Latin Americans must never be held accountable for their own culture or societies.

The Illogic of Allowing Latin Americans to Immigrate to European-Based Countries

Allowing people with Latin American culture to immigrate to societies that have developed a much broader extension of empathy outside of just the family is a recipe for disaster for European-based countries. First, these characteristics of low maturity and extraordinarily high family preference have led to very poor outcomes for Latin America. And for those who would like to lay the problems of Latin America exclusively at the feet of the US for its interventionism, the problem is one of timing. Latin America was already fully developed as an immature, overly family preferences society with poor infrastructure and high levels of corruption before the US began to intervene in their affairs. The Mexican-American War was as recent as 1846, and significant intervention in Latin America did not begin until the 1890s. Latin American countries were highly ineffective cesspools of corruption before any interaction with the United States. The Mexican-American War was such a mismatch because Mexico’s military and overall society were ineffective in comparison to the US. The US military and militias penetrated down to Mexico City and could have easily ended the reign of the Mexican government at the time with ease. It would have been far better for all following Mexicans and the US if the US had done precisely this. Mexico City was and still is so hated by most of the Mexican country that it is very likely in many areas of Mexico, the deposition of the Mexican government would have been greeted with cheers.

Furthermore, other dysfunctional features of Latin America, such as a high fertility rate (Mexico’s population increased 12.37 times since 1900, from 13.5 million to 167 million in 2020 when one includes the number of Mexicans living in the US) are not things imposed by the outside on these countries unless one counts the Catholic Church. However, after centuries, the Catholic Church is so integrated into Latin American society that it is challenging to consider it an outside influence.

Secondly, US intervention does not make Latin Americans so immature or make them disregard the broader societal public interest with such abandon due to such an overemphasis on one’s own family.

A good way of looking at this is found in the following quotation.

“These societies were poor and violent irrespective of when the United States became involved in a major way,” Cynthia Arnson, the director of the Latin American Programme at the Wilson Centre thinktank, said. But she added: “The US since the very early stages of the cold war has played a defining role in the evolution of state violence.” – The Guardian

Secondly, because the European-based population in the US was brought up not to place their own families so high above the rest of the population, this makes those individuals unable to defend themselves against those that do place their family inappropriately and further their racial affiliation higher than everything else. Instead of Latin America making progress towards expanding empathy towards the rest of society in their own countries, the immigration of large numbers of Latin Americans has and will continue to cause the breakdown of trust and society in the US as Latin Americans go about perpetuating the same dysfunctional characteristics and behaviors that have made Latin America so tricky for the majority of the population in these countries.

Latin Americans cannot admit the deficiencies within their own culture. And their only response to this article will be that the article is racist.