Is Evo an evil enemy of the people?

Guillermo Almeyra, 20/05/07

For some there is no doubt. There are those that say “there is no reason to look at Bolivia” and who instead declare that Evo Morales “will never decolonise the country”, that the nationalisations that have been announced are no such thing and, forgetting that support for the indigenous and popular government surpasses 75%, say, without flinching, that all the social movements are against the government.

It is not necessary to explain that Bolivia is a country which, like the rest of the world, continues to be capitalist but, like Venezuela, Cuba and Ecuador, is experiencing a dynamic anti-imperialist process, which in some cases takes an objectively anti-capitalist form and helps to build embryos of popular power that confront the logic of capitalism. There is no single party in Bolivia identified with the state apparatus that could strangle a fragile but multiform civil society which is in permanent agitation, and which could therefore run the risk of a rapid bureaucratisation of the current rampant revolutionary process underway. What's more, the social relations on which the state is based on have never allow it to consolidate and, at least since the truncated revolution of July 1952, this has been the country which has offered the clearest example of the construction of dual power (Bolivian Workers Central- Nationalist Revolutionary Movement cogovernment, worker and campesino militias, the red mining zones etc).

As well as this, the Evo government does not rest on a party that could transmit the pressure of the state apparatus downwards, but rather, rests on a pool of social movements and unions - the Movement Towards Socialism - that in a partial and deformed way applies a continuous pressure from all sectors of the oppressed and exploited population onto the state, a pressure which is concentrated in the forms and objectives of a diffuse working class culture (syndicalism, classism, socialist aspirations), which are still mixed up - for historical reasons it could not be any other way - with corporative interests, caudillismo, localism and campesino anarchism. The very important decision made by Evo of ending state financial contributions to parties will undoubtably give a greater wieght to the social movements, local power and their independence in front of the government, that is, to the process of decolonisation occurring at the movement, and the political reconstruction of the country.

The social movements pressure the government to get concessions out of it, but not only do they not oppose the government, they constitute its only social base of support. Within the government there is, without doubt, those that want to give life to a mixture of embryos of popular power and the prehispanic ayllus on one hand, and the capitalism of the pymes [small and medium companies] on the other, and baptize this brainchild of a cholo imagination "Andean capitalism". They want, from their perspective, to “tidy up”the revolution, to channel and put a brake on the social movements, strengthen the state apparatus. They are one tendency, but they are not the majority, and Evo Morales and the campesino unions follow an opposing line. Even though they sometimes fill their ideological gaps with ideas imported from Cuba and Venezuela, that at the same time they brought with them, modifying them somewhat, from the anti-socialist bureaucracy from the countries that where misnamed "real socialism" (single party, state capitalism, planning from above, suppression of the autonomous popular organs -councils- and of the autonomy of the workers' movement).

Bolivia is very small and poor, it is in a region dominated by three governments dedicate to developing the capitalism of “its” bourgeoisies (Chile, Argentina, Brazil) and lives in an international context (and national, given the successionist intents of the oligarchy) that is hostile, all of which limits the margin of maneuver of his government. What is therefore surprising is not that Morales has not eradicated capitalism in the barren lands of the altiplano within a year, instead it is everything that he has done on its path of decolonisation, national independence and anti-capitalism, such as the recuperation of strategic industries despite the pressure of the transnationals or the beginnings of an agrarian reform. Because in Bolivia there is the coming together and mixing up of three revolutions: ethnic and cultural, for equality of indigenous people with cholos and whites and for the construction of a state for all peoples and the development of cultures, power and the rights and ways of life of the originarios peoples; national, for independence in the face of transnational capital and the United States; and social, for equality, fraternity, liberty, development.

Clearly, In Bolivia, a democratic revolution can only culminate with the taking of power by the workers which certainly MAS cannot assure, but which will be impossible without this transitory experience with MAS, the embryos of dual power and the actual Constituent Assembly. Of course, constitutions, said Lassalle, are pieces of paper on the mouth of a cannon, and without a “cannon”, that is, without a relationship of forces that allows it to be implemented, they become little more than nice dreams. But this does not mean that neither the constituent assemblies nor the constitutions have no political importance, rather, it is necessary to develop popular power in order to make them reality, parting from the democratic struggle. Because as you try to change the class base of a country, and create another state power, many gradually begin, through their own experience acquired in the school of combat and in the development of their intellectual capacities, to move from a simple democratic stance to a class, pro-council, or even socialist position. Or do we have to instead wait, for the oppressed to mature, aquire consciousness and become politicised thanks to a sudden aparition or the Word of some Saviour?

Guillermo Almeyra is a member of the editorial council of Sin Permiso

Translated from Sin Permiso

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Evo is >NOT the enemy of the people. He is just an ignorant, (Maybe not so, as he is >President). Cocalero who people think he can save Bolivia. Wish he could?!!! We have gone from Bad to worse as Venezuela and Chavez (Idiot) now have a say in our politics. Who is our enemy really. USA or Venezuela. Both... but one more than the other.

Bolivia Rising