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

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Sat Jan 7 12:18:42 MST 2006

> Message: 18
> Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2006 21:28:49 -0500
> From: "rrubinelli" <rrubinelli at earthlink.net>
> Subject: Re: [Marxism] The latest round of debate on Evo...
> To: "Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition"
> 	<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
> Message-ID: <003301c61332$18366b70$6466a8c0 at IBM982ADB3CB03>
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I was at a conference of the Latin American left in Managua in the early
90s, and had the opportunity to interview representatives of an Ecuadorean
indigenous organization. I can't claim that the demands are exactly the
same among indigenous people/communities in Bolivia, but their demands
included things like education in their own language and respect for their
own forms of land tenure and self-organization, among others. Again, I
don't know enough about Bolivia to assess the relevancy, but in Sandinista
Nicaragua, it was precisely the non-economistic, not necessarily
class-specific, specifically indigenous demands that led the Miskitu and
other indigenous people to turn against the revolution. To their credit,
the Sandinistas recognized this and began to rectify it.

Moreover, I believe resentment against mestizaje runs deep in any country
in Latin America where there are self-identified Native peoples in any
numbers. And this isn't merely resentment at historic wrongs:
institutional racism and ideological discrimination persists. To a degree,
one might ask the same question you asked ("what demands are
expressed...") of Native people, African Americans and other oppressed
peoples in this country. I don't think you'd argue that all of their
demands can be reduced to class demands.


> OK, let's go with that.  Then what exactly is the Bolivian national
> movement?  What demands are expressed that distinguish it from the
> classs demands that aim, not at economism, but at the appropriation of
> ownership?

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