ⓘ Viveza criolla


ⓘ Viveza criolla

Viveza criolla is a Spanish language phrase literally meaning "creoles cleverness" and may be translated as "creoles cunning", describing a way of life in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia and Venezuela, among other Latin American countries. It is a philosophy of progress along the line of least resistance and ignoring rules, a lack of sense of responsibility and consideration for others, and it extends to all social groups and throughout the whole country, although it predominates in Buenos Aires. Viveza criolla has been called "the principal cause of a moral, cultural, economic, social and political crisis". It is a similar concept to jeitinho brasileiro in Brazil.


1. Characteristics

Viveza criolla includes:

  • Political corruption, which extends in all institutions, in the form of perks, direct appropriation of public funds, favoritism, nepotism, misallocation of state resources, etc.
  • Lack of respect for others and indifference to the common good in a framework of individual interests.
  • Extreme individualism, with mistrust of others. This includes having little ability to partner and cooperate in community goals. Interpersonal trust is a key component of social capital, which is crucial for economic development and proper functioning of democratic institutions.
  • The habit of blaming problems on others, thereby encouraging paranoia and granting a permit to self-indulgence.
  • Anomie or weakening of the common morality, and social deviance as behavior that departs from generally accepted standards in society.
  • The tendency to take advantage of or cheat others in favor of ones own self-interests, partially for reasons of self-protection and mistrust, but also to assert ones superiority and "quick-wittedness" over another.

2. Phrases

  • El vivo vive del zonzo y el zonzo de su trabajo -- "The cunning lives off the sucker, and the sucker lives off his job"
  • Total, si no robo yo, robara otro. -- "In the end, if I do not steal, someone else will."
  • Hecha la ley, hecha la trampa. -- "Made the law, made the loophole."