Francisco Alayza Paz Soldán, the director of the Escuela de
Artes y Oficios (School of Arts and Crafts) of Lima, in his 1927
valedictory address to the assembled audience of worthies and
graduating students argued:
Peru has entered an industrial age. The number of indus-
tries that it possesses and the quality and quantity of man-
ufactured goods that it produces increases year by year. . . .
I will outline the evolution and characteristics of modern
industry, of great industry, and show the progress achieved
by machines and the immense good that civilization has
brought us. I will finish by discussing some ideas about the
consequences of industry and about the dissolvent social
doctrines derived from progress that have absolutely no
reason to exist in this country.∞
Of course, Alayza Paz Soldán was wrong: Peru had not entered
an industrial age and would not do so, in a significant way, in the
whole of the twentieth century.≤ His assertion was an expression
not of an observable reality but of an aspiration shaped by two
key beliefs—shared by progressive members of the elite—re-
garding the economic and political development of the country.
First, these elites believed that Peru needed to industrialize if it
was to become a modern and civilized nation. All modern civi-
lized nations in the world were industrial, they observed. They
concluded, perhaps naturally, that until Peru industrialized
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