[Marxism] Cochabamba People, 1 / Bechtel, 0

Wayne S. Rossi felianan at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 20 16:57:11 MST 2006

Nestor writes: 

[First part in Spanish, MOST in English.

As you will see from the article, the famous "water war", which has 
ended with a victory that we celebrate together with J. Schultz, who 
reports in detail, was simply a particular form of what Lenin termed 
an "economic struggle".

It would be simple (simpleton) economism to turn something that can 
be won, as it was, at the courts, into a "political struggle". 

But this is what many do, only because a tiny fraction of a very poor 
people can defeat _the own bourgeoisie of those many_ in a way they 
haven't managed to do as yet.

And of course we REALLY understand the difficulties involved in such 
a task, we are not haughty nor anything like that.

I don't know what the translations of Lenin are like in Argentina, but in the English it is perfectly clear that economism is something quite different from what you present here repeatedly.  Lenin argues consistently against what he defines as a tendency for all political action to be in the trade unions, and a corresponding lack of political organization as such.  Unless you are using it to mean any awareness of the class struggle, in which case it's a baseless slur against Marxism as a whole.

What is politics?  It is concentrated economics.  They cannot be separated from each other.  The water wars, like everything else in Bolivia, are shot through and interpenetrated with the class struggle, with the struggle against imperialism, and the indigenous struggle - which are inseparable one from the other.  The water question, in being raised, automatically raised with it the questions of poverty and the oppression of the indigenous peoples, since the indigenous poor were the primary victims of the privatization.   To pretend that economics aren't political or that a revolt (!) is not political is outside of the boundaries of Marxist thought.  Bolivia is in the midst of a class struggle, of which the water wars are a part.

Marxists shouldn't have to assault analysis rooted in class struggles in order to defend *anyone*.


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