[Marxism] Random observations on the Morales thread

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Jan 7 12:04:16 MST 2006

1. Fred and Walter take exception to the impatience of critics like rr and 
David Walters who supposedly are jumping all over Morales before he has 
taken office. In reality, there have been criticisms of Morales for some 
time now, including from me. If you go back to February 2004, you'll find 
the same exact arguments back and forth: 
http://archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/marxism/2004w05/date.htm#00057 So 
the current debate is just a continuation of one that is at least 2 years old.

2. There is a tendency to label criticisms of Morales as "Trotskyist". In 
fact, criticism comes from a variety of quarters, including Forrest Hylton 
on Counterpunch. To my knowledge, Hylton has absolutely no connections to 
the Trotskyist movement. His criticisms seem to flow from a "radical 
democracy" perspective geared to the social movements not unlike Patrick 

3. There are also criticisms from Felipe Quispe, who is an indigenous 
leader with Marxist politics. The differences between Quispe and Morales 
run fairly deep, from what I can ascertain and may have something to do 
with the fact that they are rooted in two different indigenous communities, 
Aymara and Quechua respectively.

4.  There's been very little discussion of Ecuador here but it would be 
useful to study what has happened there in the past few years as a prior 
example of the impasse that working class and indigenous movements can 
reach without a revolutionary party. The left backed Lucio Gutierrez, whose 
victory was hailed in 2002 by the ultra-Trotskyists in IDOM as an opening 
stage of a socialist revolution. But within a year, the leader of the 
indigenous Pachakutik movement was saying: "He's a traitor. He'll always 
work with this group of rightists, and the fact of the matter is, he has 
become a president of the business class."

5. We don't really have an example of a parliamentary path to socialism, 
even though Engels considered the theoretical possibility of such a thing 
happening. But that was in a country like German where the working class 
had powerful social and economic institutions that in combination with 
electoral victories would pave the way for taking power. But what does that 
have to do with a country like Bolivia which has had more military coups 
than any country I can think of in the hemisphere? In a way, arguing about 
whether Morales will nationalize gas or parrots for that matter is besides 
the point. Imperialism is not likely to tolerate even a mildly meliorative 
regime. So given those circumstances, it is imperative for the movement to 
think about ways of defending itself from the inevitable attack. It is 
important to take note of the Iraqi resistance which inhibits the ability 
of the USA to intervene elsewhere. I have no idea what is in the mind of a 
guerrilla setting off IED's on the road to the Baghdad airport but 
objectively they are create a 2006 version of Che's "Create 2, 3 many 

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