Vicepresident García Linera assures that socialism of the 21st century will be built from the communities

Cochabamba, May 23 (ABI) - "The state will not create the socialism of the 21st century, rather it will be the communities and social movements" said vice president Álvaro García Linera tonight, during the forum called ‘Alternatives to neoliberalism’.

García declared that in Latin America a process of pluralism is in march, in which indigenous peoples and other social movements are the undisputable actors, and they will be the ones who build the socialism of 21st century.

"To imagine socialism is to think of the enormous capacities of those indigenous peoples, who have struggled to recuperate their natural resources and a better quality of life" he mentioned.

The vice president said that democracy is advancing towards a pluralism where everyone is an actor of change to live well.

"We are searching for exits out of neoliberalism. Capitalism is traversing one of its worst moments given the fact that indigenous peoples, communities and other social organisations have risen up to say enough", he explained.

At the same time, he asked everyone to be on alert because there is the latent threat of global militarisation by those who resist losing control over the running of the poorest countries.

"We have a process of change in which the people who are participating were previously not taken into account. Latin America is now the vanguard of changes and we are very happy for this" he signaled.

García Linera also explained that even though there is a society and continent which has begun to march and advance towards a better future and there exist grand possibilities, there are also enormous difficulties because the groups of power who always lived off the people are looking of thousands of ways to remain in power.

Translated from ABI

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Vicepresident García Linera assures that socialism of the 21st century will be built from the communities

Cochabamba, May 23 (ABI) - "The state will not create the socialism of the 21st century, rather it will be the communities and social movements" said vice president Álvaro García Linera tonight, during the forum called 'Alternatives to neoliberalism'."

Louis P replies:

Well, that's palpably incorrect.

At 12PM, I attended a panel discussion on "Evo Morales and the New Bolivia" that was organized by North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA). It opened my eyes to an emerging ideological tendency to invest the Bolivian radical movement with the themes present in Zapatista support literature, John Holloway and autonomism. I had been obviously aware of the differences between people like James Petras, Jorge Martin of the Grant-Woods tendency and Gerry Foley on one side (representing varieties of ortho-Marxism or ortho-Trotskyism) and enthusiastic supporters of Morales like Roger Burbach on the other.

I tended to associate Forrest Hylton, a frequent contributor to Counterpunch and Znet and critic of Morales and who spoke at the panel, with the "ortho" camp but now see him much more clearly as a defender of autonomism rather than Marxism. His frequent allusions to "radical democracy" and "the social movements" in past articles might have alerted me to this, but I was focused more on his reportage. His talk yesterday did not get into these questions, but dealt more with the history of Bolivian indigenous resistance going back to Tupac Amaru. It was a bit superficial but useful.

It was up to NYU professor Sinclair Thomson to lay out the autonomist perspective. Describing himself as a colleague of Hylton (they co-authored a Counterpunch article), Thomson described the indigenous movement in Bolivia as best seen in terms of the EZLN and/or anarchism and as a rejection of "Bolshevism". Hostility toward Morales had as much to do it seems with a distrust of the state as it did with whether he was willing to nationalize the energy resources, etc. In the Counterpunch article cited above, Hylton and Thomson recommend the following for Bolivia's indigenous peasantry and workers:

"The Assembly could help redraw state-society relations to reflect Bolivia's new historical conditions. It could recognize the enduring non-liberal forms of collective political, economic and territorial association by which most rural and urban Bolivians organize their lives. It could democratize the political relations that throughout the republican era have limited the participation of indigenous peoples in national political life, forcing them to resort to costly insurrectionary struggles."

I would say that it is impossible to truly "democratize…political relations" without an insurrectionary struggle, but what the heck, I am one of those Brontosaurus Bolsheviks I guess.

During the Q&A, I asked Thomson why anybody would try to superimpose Zapatismo on the Bolivian mass movement, since the EZLN is basically defunct. (I could have also made the point that Cuban doctors from the dreaded Bolshevik island are saving the lives of more Chiapas babies than anybody from the EZLN, but these conferences frown on speech-making.) Thomson simply ignored my question. I don't blame him, since he obviously had no answer.

The final speaker, Anibal Quijano, a Peruvian academic and World Systems theorist, endorsed the idea of Andean capitalism as put forward by Morales's vice president. He hailed the idea of energy profits being siphoned off to fund community-based projects.

A word or two about NACLA might be useful in understanding the political meaning of this panel discussion, which might not be obvious to many of the attendees. Basically, NACLA is hostile to state socialism. Although it was formed as a nonprofit research institute in the 1960s by young scholars in solidarity with Cuba and the guerrilla movements, it has evolved into a combination of State Department liberalism and autonomist post-modernism. When Laurie Berenson was arrested by the Peruvian cops for supporting pro-Cuba guerrillas, NACLA said something like, "tsk-tsk–she should have been making better use of her time." God knows what that might have meant. Working for a Soros-funded NGO, I suppose. NACLA has also falsely accused the FARC of murdering Indians. In the current issue, there's a letter complaining about their bias on Cuba. I suppose that NACLA is trying to demonstrate its evenhandedness by printing the letter, but it would be better advised to adopt a more objective outlook, especially in light of Cuba's role in helping to stiffen Latin American resistance to neoliberalism today. But that would take a different editor and a different board of directors and different funding. So, in other words, don't expect any change.