[Marxism] Fwd: ZCommunications » Progressive Extractivism: Hope or Dystopia?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jun 24 06:55:26 MDT 2014

Federico Fuentes charges that both Zibechi and Dangl advocate “a narrow 
‘extractivist vs. anti-extractivism’” politics that “could end up 
hurting those it claims to support.” He acknowledges that there are many 
native-led anti-extractivist movements, yet he strongly defends what he 
identifies as “peoples’ governments trying to use their country’s 
resources to break imperialist dependency and improve living standards 
for the majority.” [5]

Though most of Fuentes’ observations are well-reasoned, he raises two 
points that are dubious. First, he rejects “framing the debate as one 
between proponents and opponents of extractivism” because virtually 
nobody wants the economic damage that elimination of all extraction 
would bring. But the dichotomy distinguishes between two points of view 
which contrast in whether they desire to increase or decrease extraction.

Fuentes’ other disconcerting point is often made by those defending the 
proposed highway through the TIPNIS National Park in Bolivia. This is 
the claim that opposition to the highway is manipulated by 
anti-environmental NGOs. Thus, opposition to policies of the Morales 
government serves “to stoke, rather than resolve tensions among the 
regions’ diverse social movements.” The logic seems a bit strange since 
extractive projects throughout Latin America are done in partnership 
with multi-national corporations. Is Monsanto not seeking allies to 
divide popular movements?


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