Fredric Jameson’s claim that ‘‘all third-world texts are necessarily . . . na-
tional allegories’’ has perhaps been unjustly discredited over the years for its
generalizations about the ‘‘Third World,’’ objections properly anticipated by
Jameson himself.∞
No theory can take exhaustive account of di√erence. A
more interesting challenge, and one directly relevant to the Argentine case,
lies in Aijaz Ahmad’s observation that Jameson’s Third World appears to be
suspended outside the First World system of capitalism.≤
This allows Jame-
son to contrast ‘‘the radical split between the private and the public’’≥
according to him—characterizes capitalism, with the inseparability of these
two spheres in the Third World text. There is much to suggest, however, that
Argentina’s experience of Third World status is articulated precisely in rela-
tion to the capitalist system. Indeed, it is surely the case that the experience
of most Third World nations is very much defined by their position as
dependent within a global system of capitalism and unequal trade. Further-
more, and curiously, Jameson’s argument concerning the public and the
private appears oddly unfitting in the context of Argentina’s experience of
neoliberalism since the 1990s, which has been most intent on eroding the
boundaries between the private and the public by subsuming politics into
This process is clearly delineated by Maristella Svampa, who traces the
increasing loss of autonomy of politics with regard to economics in Mene-
mist Argentina, as neoliberal reform was made to appear the only possible
choice, arising from economic necessity rather than a political decision.∂
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