[Marxism] Once in disagreement, at last!

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Sun Apr 9 22:01:40 MDT 2006

There were so many times I was in agreement with Mark Lause, that I 
feared that he was an alter ego of yours truly.  But this time we are 
in disagreement.  I will send my comments as codas to Mark's 

Respuesta a:"{posible spam} Marxism Digest, Vol 30, Issue 21"
Enviado por:marxism-request at lists.econ.utah.edu
Con fecha:9 Apr 2006, a las 19:13

> Message: 4
> Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2006 15:42:42 -0400
> From: "Mark Lause" <MLause at cinci.rr.com>
> Subject: RE: [Marxism] Models for the Latin American left
> To: "'Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition'"
>  <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
> Message-ID: <004601c65c0d$c45bf950$02c44847 at yourkf1y8xksrv>
> Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="us-ascii"
> Yes, Bolivar (and others) fought for the independence of Latin
> American nations from Spanish colonialism.  And their success in that
> alone makes it clear that such a solution was absolutely insufficient.

Neither Bolívar nor any of his generation fought for the independence 
of Latin American nations from Spanish colonialism.

All of them were members of a revolutionary generation that was 
Spanish-wide in origin and goals.  They were the American expression 
of the Spanish revolution that began with the April 2nd uprising in 

They never fought for the independence of Latin American nations, but 
for the constitution of a single, at most two or maybe three, large 
nations from Cape Mendocino to Cape Horn.  On this, their essential 
goal, they were defeated.

And this is why the solution was not efficient.  It simply was 

> Other colonialisms have proven to be much more pressing.  In Bolivar's
> own day, President James Monroe issued his famous doctrine claiming US
> primacy in the western hemisphere.  That has been increasingly the
> problem in Latin America.

And Bolívar was one of the first to understand that.  But in his 
times, the actual enemy was Britain and he was much slower to realize 
it on time.  He began to know the actual truth when he realized that 
the loans agreed by Santander, the President of the Gran Colombia, 
were to turn the country a subject of London.

> Secondly, there were the internal questions of these republics, which
> were unaddressed by Bolivar and contemporary leaders.  And there were
> forces in these countries who were trying to get these concerns on the
> agenda.  Sorry, but opposing slavery per se is also insufficient.

This is partly true.  But the revolution had to begun somewhere, 
hadn't it.  The middle classes -particularly the clerical and 
professional classes- wanted equality with their Spanish-born 
counterparts, and an end to absolutism.  But the mobilisation began 
to bring other classes and social groups to the fore, through warfare 
itself.  Bolívar was not able to set the Peruvian and High Peruvian 
indian peasants free, but others in the same movement attempted to do 
it, setting a milestone on the road that takes from Tupac Amaru to  --
Evo Morales.

Bolívar had the keenest sense of the necessity for unity, and this 
sense is the current name of permanent revolution as well as it was 
in his times:  without the mobilisation of the lowest ranks of the 
society, this unity will not be achieved.

> For progressive models for the Latin American Left today, we need to
> look to Indian resistance movements, slave rebellions, maroons, the
> stuggles of immigrant labor, etc. 

Much to the contrary, if these movements don't look to Bolívar, they 
will be isolated and will lose any gain they can obtain.

> There are things on which to draw other than generals.

Yes.  But not if you are rejecting generals (revolutionary generals) 
in the name of other things.

> ML
> PS: And I'd say the same about George Washington...who really is the
> best North American comparison for Bolivar.

Certainly not.  Bolívar was much more of a revolutionary, basically 
because of the conditions in which he had to fight.  To begin with, 
and only at an ideological level, he was nurtured in the best 
traditions of the French Revolution.  Perhaps the American 
revolutionary who most approached him (if any did) was Paine.  But I 
would not bet to it.

However, conservative Washington was not his simile.


Este correo lo ha enviado
Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
[No necesariamente es su autor]
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
"La patria tiene que ser la dignidad arriba y el regocijo abajo".
Aparicio Saravia
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