Evo Morales’ victory demonstrates how much Bolivia has changed | Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

… Morales’ election heralded much more than the arrival of the first indigenous person to the presidential palace. It marked the onset of a political revolution that has gradually seen Bolivia’s old political elites dislodged from power and replaced by representatives from the country’s indigenous peoples and popular classes.For this majority, the MAS government represents a safeguard against a return to the Bolivia of yesteryear, run by corrupt white elites. More than that, for most indigenous people and social movements, the MAS government is “their” government.This does not mean that the people have handed the MAS a blank cheque. Already on several occasions the MAS government has been forced to back-down on certain policies due to popular pressure.However, none of these protests have posed a fundamental challenge to the MAS’ overall vision for Bolivia, precisely because this vision is largely informed by the struggles and demands of the people themselves.Instead, these conflicts have primarily been disputes over how best to make this vision a reality.The MAS response to date has been to follow an approach of seeking dialogue and consensus, retreating where necessary, but always attempting to continue to drive the process forward towards its goal.Morales constantly sums up this approach using the Zapatista slogan “to govern by obeying”.It was this approach that enabled the MAS to come into the elections with the backing of the country’s main indigenous, campesino, workers and urban poor organisations and ensured its thumping victory.The failure of opposition forces and critics to recognise or accept the fact that a political revolution that has taken place and important economic transformations are underway explain why they are so far out of touch with the majority of Bolivian society.

via Evo Morales’ victory demonstrates how much Bolivia has changed | Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal.

Author: Makere

A transplanted New Zealand Scots/Maori academic/grandmother/random singer and sometime activist, my life is shaped by a deep conviction of the necessity for active critical engagement in the multi-faceted global and local crises of being and survival of species that confront us in the 21st century, the urgency of re-visioning the meaning of thriving together, and the contribution of Indigenous knowledge systems to a truly sustainable and just global society.

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