[Marxism] FWD: Another Chavez or another Lula?

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Thu Jan 5 11:16:51 MST 2006

> Message: 11
> Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2006 07:01:17 -0800
> From: "David McDonald" <dbmcdonald at comcast.net>
> Subject: RE: [Marxism] FWD: Another Chavez or another Lula?
> To: "Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition"
> 	<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
> Message-ID: <GJEKKOEGKLMEFMGCOFDNEEAADHAA.dbmcdonald at comcast.net>
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David W. is engaging in political analysis, which is what we do on this
list. Or should do. That involves looking at the historic trajectory of
leaders, their relattionship with given class forces at the local,
national and international levels. In point of fact, David W. is
attempting a preliminary assessment -- as he duly notes -- of the Evo
Morales presidency, based on the aforementioned trajectory, rather than
simply taking him at his currently uttered word. It seems that David M.
(and Walter) would have us shut our eyes to these unwelcome aspects and
merely look at a snapshot of the present. Far from a simple attack on
Morales as a "reformist," Walters stated quite clearly that Morales could
go either way (a la "Chavez or Lula"). He is not -- let's be real --
imposing anything on Morales or the Bolivian masses. He is providing some
criteria for evaluating the new administration.

Nevertheless, you certainly have no more information than David has: why
are you so quick to attack him and impugn his motives ("Why is David W in
such a hurry to instruct the millions of Bolivians")?

> So did 55% of the people of Bolivia. Why is David W in such a hurry to
instruct the millions of Bolivians who elected Evo, to show how much smarter
> than them he is because of that quick reformist-spotting trigger he has?
What a quick draw! David say Walter starts with Evo, but this is
> Whom did the Bolivians elect, the Ghost of Che? Didn't Marx say that we
bring no premises beyond the actual human beings who make history? Don't we
> all have to start with Evo in the real world?

Now the following is a REAL telling argument:

> I have never seen the slightest indication from David W that he
> understands
> the following very basic fact:
> when a person is elected president s/he assumes the responsibility to
> the president of ALL BOLIVIANS, not just the people who voted for

One could make the same argument for George Bush. Problem is this argument
is so formalistic and superficial as to be trivial -- and just plain
rubbish. Depending on what social forces he and his program and policies
rely on and project, he will "elect" to represent SOME Bolivians over
others, either defending the "Nation" (viz the workers and campesinos) or
slide down the slippery slope toward supporting oligarchic and ultimately
imperialist interests.

Personally, I'm willing to give Evo the benefit of the doubt. Vacillating
leaders are sometimes transformed under the twin mallets of mass movements
and imperialist intervention: sometimes the leaders are "led" by popular
upsurges. We shall see...


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