[Marxism] Fwd: The 'pink tide' in crisis - Al Jazeera English

Stuart Munckton stuartmunckton at gmail.com
Fri Sep 2 06:07:48 MDT 2016


It is a slightly strange piece. Pitting the government against "the
country's social movements", well, actually in this case against
cooperative miners, who themselves have been in often violent conflict
<http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/09/20129247174993524.html>
with the miners in the state  industry -- which is "social movement against
social movement", in which the government int he past had to walk a
minefield to try to resolve.

In this case, the piece doesn't mention the actual nature of the protests
-- which was against unionisation of the cooperatives and in favour of
letting the cooperatives sign deals direct with transnationals, as well as
against environmental regulations.

Now anytime the government of Bolivia negotiations with multinationals or
carries out questionable measures, they get slated (Seymour specifically
mentions that the government's gas nationalisation didn't end multinational
investment) they get slated by the western left, but the cooperative miners
can oppose unions, oppose environmental regulations and demand the right to
sign deals themselves for Bolivia's and it is just... "the country's social
movements" in conflict with the government!

Well... what do the *rest* of "the country's social movements" think about
the demands of the  cooperative miners, which include violating the
constitution  in terms of state control over national resources? I suspect
not all agree. So why not be honest and also talk about "social movement
versus social movement" conflict and tensions? Like government versus
social movement tensions, these conflicts between social movements are
inevitable in a country as poor as Bolivia even in  the very best of
circumstances.

The "above bad, below good" type of thing rings false here. The
whole situation is pretty ugly, but at least acknowledging the right-wing
positions of the cooperative miner protests, who have clashed over the past
few years not just with the government but OTHER miners, would at least be
more intellectually honest. Just like the TIPNIS conflict where it was not
just "government against indigenous groups" but "indigenous groups against
indigenous groups" in its demands, with the government as one, obviously
powerful and influential, actor.

Stuart

On 2 September 2016 at 21:47, Louis Proyect via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> by Richard Seymour
>
> The astonishing killing of Bolivia's Deputy Interior Minister Rodolfo
> Illanes by striking miners has, not for the first time, pitted the
> government headed by Evo Morales against the country's social movements.
> The minister's death follows the killing of protesting miners by police.
>
> Part of the shock is that Morales' government came to power after
> insurrectionary social conflicts in which his movement of coca growers
> allied with miners and other groups of workers fought with the government
> and multinational firms.
>
> full: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/09/pink-tide-
> crisis-160901141249690.html
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