[Marxism] The latest round of debate on Evo...

Lüko Willms lueko.willms at t-online.de
Sat Jan 7 04:13:54 MST 2006

On Fri, 6 Jan 2006 15:22:19 -0800 (PST), Wayne S. Rossi wrote:

>The Bolivian water and gas wars were anti-imperialist not because the 
Bolivian workers had some great and powerful anti-imperialist ideology, 
but because their class interests brought them into conflict with 
imperialism's needs and caused a real conflict. 

   To cite the latest. The conflict comes with the sale of water 
supplies to a French company, and of the gas to a number of 
international corporations. 

   So the struggle to regain Bolivian control over these resources is 
immediately a struggle against the imperialist powers, and it is a 
political struggle inside the Bolivian nation to unite it behind the 
national Bolivian interests in an effective fighting formation. And this 
political struggles tears apart the propertied classes between their 
real interest of securing their own economic development and the strong 
ties with imperialism where they see the only means to develop this 
economy and which can defend it against the working classes. 

> That is what anti-imperialism is really about: the movement of classes 
struggling against finance capital, not Evo palling up with Chavez and 

   Why should Bolivia and the working classes in that nation try to stay 
alone, and not seek allies against the empire? That would be foolish. 

   On the contrary, the visit of Evo Morales to Cuba and the accords he 
signed there for a massive alphabetisation campaign, medical care, are 
important steps both for forging an international antiimperialist 
alliance and for strengthening the Bolivian people for the struggles 
ahead -- being able to read and write, and being healthy instead of sick 
is very important for a fighter. 

  In your first contribution to this thread
Message-ID: <20060106024826.69498.qmail at web32804.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2006 18:48:26 -0800 (PST)

 you wrote: 

> But the deeper question is not about frameworks; 
> it is about the struggle on the ground. 

  That makes me think of the dialectical phrase about the unity of 
difference and identity ...
  The struggles on the ground take place within a certain international 
framework, as youself are asserting. 

> However much the world struggle against imperialism 
> is a major factor in Joaquin's own analysis, it is 
> markedly *not* a factor in what is happening in Bolivia. 

  But then you continue asserting just the opposite: 

>  There, the resistance to neoliberal capitalism has taken 
> on concrete form in the gas and water wars, the sort 
> of conflict which marks the beginning of a revolutionary period, 
> and Morales being elected president is a *result* of this 
> radicalization with the *intent* of continuing it. 

   As said above, the gas and water wars are not so much a war against 
the Bolivian national capitalists, or only in the way of reproaching 
them the sale of these Bolivian national resources to foreign, 
imperialist corporations, which will not be solved by a class struggle 
in the narrow national framework alone. 

>  Morales' mandate is not to be the president of "all Bolivians," 
> a deeply opportunist line that should turn the stomach, but to 
> be the instrument of the proletariat in nationalizing gas 

  the nationalization of the gas resources means to recuperate them from 
international corporations in the Bolivian national interest. 

> and beginning the project of reversing neoliberal "reforms" that 
> have raped the country.  

   And again, these "reforms" have been imposed by imperialism, either 
thru international institutions like the IMF or directly by this or that 
corporation or country. 

   To leave that out would cause the class struggle within Bolivia to 
end in a blind alley. 

> If he fails to do that, he will be placing himself in concrete 
> opposition to the working class - and they have shown little 
> use for prior opponents as President.

   Well, if Morales fails, he has failed. But please let's register his 
election victory as the expression of the Bolivian masses out of their 
depression, and accompany them with their elected leader in the 
struggles they are undertaking, and not nag their struggles as something 
which is bound to fail. 

  As to the demand for "nationalization", one should not be surprised if 
this results in just a different share of the returns, and in a 
different management structure. 

  The MPLA government has also not nationalized the Texac-Chevron oil 
field in Cabinda, but only partial. I love the way how an US-american 
engineer put it to me, when I had the chance to visit the CabGoc oil 
field: "Angola is the 51% owner and we are the 49% operator". The 
agreement also includes the formation of Angolan technicians and 

   I guess that also in Bolivia, a flat 100% nationalization of the gas 
and its exclusive use within Bolivia is not possible in the short run, 
since Bolivia would need to get the equipement to process the gas, and 
they are not yet in the position to produce all of that themselves, 
which will force them, I presume, to sell a large quantity of the gas to 
build by and by the infrastructure for using an increasing part the gas 

   Please remember also that Lenin was very much in favor of giving 
concessions to imperialist corporations for exploiting national 
resources in Siberia or elsewhere, because the young Soviet Union did 
not have the means to untertake their exploitation, just as the Cubans 
team up with international corporations in the exploration of their 
continental shelf for oil and gas resources, or also their nickel mines. 


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