Viveza criolla

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Viveza criolla is a Spanish language phrase literally meaning "native cunning"[1] describing a way of life in Argentina and Uruguay.[2] 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.[3] Viveza criolla has been called "the principal cause of a moral, cultural, economic, social and political crisis".[3] It is a similar concept to jeitinho brasileiro in Brazil.


Viveza criolla includes:

  • lack of respect for others and indifference to the common good in a framework of individual interests.[3]
  • political corruption, which extends in all institutions, in the form of perks, direct appropriation of public funds, favoritism, nepotism, misallocation of state resources, etc.[3]
  • extreme individualism, with mistrust of others and little ability to partner and cooperate in community goals.[3] (Interpersonal trust is a key component of social capital, which is crucial for economic development and proper functioning of democratic institutions.)[3]
  • Anomie or weakening of the common morality, and social deviance as behavior that departs from generally accepted standards in society.[3]
  • The habit of blaming problems on someone else, thereby encouraging paranoia and granting a permit to self-indulgence.[3]


  • Hecha la ley, hecha la trampa. -- "Made the law, made a loophole."
  • Total, si no robo yo, robará otro. -- "Overall, if I do not steal, another will steal."
  • El vivo vive del zonzo y el zonzo de su trabajo -- "the smart guy lives off the sucker, and the sucker lives off his job"


The Hand of God goal by Diego Maradona was an example of viveza criolla

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Viveza criolla". Google. Retrieved 18 Feb 2012. 
  2. ^ "Diccionario del Español del Uruguay". Academia Nacional de Letras. 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h ""Viveza Criolla" en Argentina". Retrieved 18 Feb 2012.