[Marxism] Bolivia (was something elsewithtoomanyexclamationpoints)

Lüko Willms lueko.willms at t-online.de
Mon Jan 16 10:22:44 MST 2006

On Mon, 16 Jan 2006 10:49:48 -0500, rrubinelli wrote:

> So, one mo' time:  
> 1. Is Bolivia in a revolutionary condition, revolutionary ferment, 
> revolutionary struggle?  

  My knowledge is insufficient to give a clear answer, but I think that 
Bolivia is shaken by a lot of struggles, which destabilized the 
bourgeois-proimperialist regime, without yet the working masses taking 
power and establishing a workers and farmers government. 

> 2.  If so, is that struggle determined by the economic forces of 
> capitalism, the contradiction between property and labor, 
> between means and relations,  between needs and profit? 

  In final analysis, yes, but the concrete reality shows itself in a 
much more faceted and distorted way. E.G. the imperialist exploitation 
and intervention to secure this exploitation plays certainly a very 
important role. 

> 3.  If so, can the "revolution" be described, and confined, as a 
> "national revolution," a struggle for "national salvation"? 

  It certainly can be described as that, on confined (wait, I have to 
look up my dictionary); OK, if it can be confined to a national 
revolution will depend on the struggle and its outcome. 

> 4.  Whether so or not, can the tasks, the needs the impulse
> to revolution be fulfilled with a program of national class
> collaboration, or is such a program simply a manifestation or the
> struggle emerging from a past of capitalism itself incomplete
> unfulfilled? 

  I do not really understand the question. Struggle between the classes 
is certainly not a collaboration between those social formations. I 
don't know if your question is answered when I assert that the assertion 
of Bolivia's control and ownership over its national resources has been 
at the center of the past years' struggles, and will have to be achieved 
by any revolutionary development, should it not fall flat right at the 

> 5.  Is socialist expropriation of the means of production
> based on the organization of workers power, i.e. councils, factory
> committees, etc., possible and necessary (as possibility and necessity
> become the same thing in dialectic)?
  This is a far fledged and sweeping comment; the expropriation of 
private owners and nationalization of natural resources and means of 
production will certainly occur, but I would think it will be a process 
stretched over a more or less long period of time. 

  Overall comment: 

  Your questions do not deal with the art of political leadership, but 
pose only some doctrinary questions. Yet doctrine is not of much help 

  The main thing for a revolutionary leadership will be to keep the 
masses together, let them gain self-confidence, and keep them mobilized. 
Self-confidence and self-reliance also mean to not subjugate our actions 
and goals to the interests of the propertied classes, not wait for their 
nod of approval. 

  It also means to avoid storming to fast ahead with abstract solutions 
for tasks the masses have not yet taken up as their own. 

  The first question before everything else is the question how Evo 
Morales will use his post as president of the republic. 
  Morales has been one of the central leaders of the mass mobilizations 
of the past years. Will he use his office as the podium to lead further 
mass mobilizations, or will he adapt to the tradition of the office 
administering a bourgeois state submissive to the US embassy? Future 
will tell. I don't have enough insight to make reliable predictions. 

  Certainly the agreements he made in Havanna, and the decision to make 
his first trip after the election victory to Cuba, point in the right 
direction. A big literacy campaign touches the whole nation, and 
especially the most downtrodden who will be the main forces of any 
popular revolutionary movement. It secures advantages, enhances 
self-confidence, and requires a real national mobilization. 

   The same applies to medical care, about which Morales also signed 
agreements in Havanna. 

   If you ask for principles, I could name some: 

a) there must not be a single landless peasant left, although it should 
be noted that the process of nationalization of the land can be 
stretched over long time; 

b) the revolution will advance by imposing practical solutions to 
immediate practical problems, and those problems which the masses 
recognize as their own with solutions at hand, thru struggle. I guess 
that hardly any practical solution can be implemented without infringing 
priveleges of the propertied classes, who will raise resistance, which 
has to be dealt with. 

   Every single step will raise new problems, or rather move other 
problems into the prime attention of the masses of working people, and 
can then be tackled by practical solutions to immediate practical 
problems. How fast and how far this development will advance does depend 
on the struggle, and on the capacities of the leadership and the unity 
of a large revolutionary avantgarde. 

   To political currents outside of the party of the new president, I 
would recommend to decisively support every step forward, take part in 
the movement, look for issues which can create more unity. 

   Also remember that the political fight for the soviets to take power 
in the Russian revolution of 1917 meant the appeal to the Mensheviks and 
Social Revolutionaries to take power, since these parties had the 
majority in the soviets until October, at least on the national level 
and its congress of soviets. It was only after the Provisional 
Government in Petrograd was removed on 27 October (old style) that the 
Bolsheviks gained the majority of the all-russian congress of soviets. 

   I would energetically warn against a hostile attitude to the Morales 
presidency right from the start, the opposite should be done. This would 
not necessary imply a blanco check of blind confidence, but the 
readiness to march forward together, with careful but firm steps. 

   Unity makes strength. 

Comradely yours, 
Lüko Willms
Frankfurt, Germany
visit http://www.mlwerke.de Marx, Engels, Luxemburg, Lenin, Trotzki in German

More information about the Marxism mailing list