Argentina has two major problems of which we seldom hear about and that are visibly covered. Demography and ecology: the study of the society and of the space. To introduce the issue, we can say that the composition of population and its integration, its distribution and participation on the productive apparatus, its belonging to the “us” feeling, as well as the sustainability of the economic activities and the development of the marginal areas are issues, at least, to raise and elucidate.
Argentina represents both unity and diversity. Being Argentine is politically difficult. The origin of the Argentine Nation can be traced back to 1861 with Bartolomé Mitre, who takes the concept from the Frenchman Emmanuel Sieyes. It is fundamental the volitional character that opposes to the notion later announced by the German Fichte, who highlights the racial and linguistic element. The concept taken by Mitre is about a nation, regarding the willingness of an organized group of being a nation, and not a natural nation unified by race. This is logical given nature of small population and vast territories, not counting with a great native population and having an elite of European descendants. The Argentine Nation is born because it is wanted and not because it is in itself, since before the project it didn’t exist.
The Argentine Nation then emerges as a project of the Argentine State. “Las Bases” [“The Bases”] of Alberdi is a clear example of this. But from then little has been done. The great Argentine problem is demographic. For which quantitative and qualitative aspects must be taken into account.
America is of mestizo origin, with Hispanic and Portuguese. In Argentina, to the native-American, the Spanish and the Criollo is added the European immigration and later the Latin American immigration. The complexity of this crossbreeding has not being studied. And it is essential to understand the “Argentine being”.
Argentina is an open country. And it is fine. Our country was built by immigrants. The Argentine Nation was a State construction. We were never a nation that gave itself a political organization. But that doesn’t mean we should not have an immigration policy that allows those who live or aspire to live in Argentine soil to live in a situation in which they can develop their potential abilities and where they can enjoy the basic rights of every human being. The State policy regarding this issue and the dignity deserved by all the inhabitants of our country are both pending issues.
Immigration must be a State policy. It is true that we are few. We are still far from the 60 million people that Juan Domingo Perón aspired in the 50’s. But this doesn’t mean or imply an absolute anarchy and lack of control regarding immigration and its distribution. There must be regions whose need for development should be fostered with immigration. And others where the pockets of poverty should not be enhanced by the immigration flows.
The country we want is going to be shaped by those who inhabit it. And the way in which we will do it is determinant. It must exist a certain uniform distribution of the population to allow the most equitable development and positioning of each of our regions. The Argentina of the great cities has collapsed by a great variety of issues, from daily traffic to crime and drug trafficking. And at the bottom of all this we find the same problem: the lack of a demographic and ecologic policy. The need of establishing a long-term development plan.
The tools provided by the demography and ecology are fundamental. Demography consists on the statistical analysis of human population; i.e., the science whose objective is the determination of the number and distribution of the individuals. As well as the modifications on them. It analyzes three key variables: births, migrations and deaths. And this is what Argentina is lacking. A serious planning on its material cause (with what something is made, i.e. the men that live over Argentine soil) complemented by a logical distribution of its territory, and achieving the unity needed to be a nation: the “blow of life” of any community.
Even today, at nearly 200 years from the independence, do the Argentine want to be a nation?