Sunday, May 03, 2009

Bolivia: Evo Shows Genius Part - XIV "am a Marxist-Leninist"

Evo Morales has made some fairly outrageous comments in his presidency, which somehow don't get much attention from many international media too caught up in the whole "first-indigenous" president spin.

How bizarre, how bizarre....

Recently he has been on a roll: He blamed a "CIA plot", namely one functionary for the corruption in YPFB which in fact was done by his #2 man facilitated largely by Evo's own measures. In addition he called a Mexican-American US embassy functionary a "Mexican" in the "pay of the CIA". He has called for the "ending of capitalism". Not to mention his performance at the summit of the Americas where he said he was an assasins target and complained Obama wasn't as compliant in condemning the "plot". Said plot based on the utterings of some eccentric Bolivian-Hungarian his cops killed in Santa Cruz, where he was in contact with a few fringe Crucenos who charged him about a grand for antique weapons.

May Day - How Apropriate

it was precisely at the pre-summit of ALBA where Evo made declarations that he subsequently repeated to an Argentine Newspaper.

I can't understand that because of ideological reasons they expell someone from the OAS. I am also a marxist-leninist and what are they going to expel me?"

He also said that the principles of marxism are part of the struggle of the indigenous movement for liberation, equality and dignity"

Interesting. 20 years after the collapse of communism Evo says he is a Marxist-Leninist.

Not only a Marxist which is bad enough. You can argue that original Marxism (as in Marx himself)had humanist, rational, and democratic leanings and stood for progress. But key elements of Marxism have led interpreters to adopt anti-democratic and utopian positions. Particularly damaging is a Marxian socialistic viewpoint untethered to liberal democratic concepts of government, personal freedom and institutionality. The vision of a world headed towards inevitable revolution, societies in a constant dynamic of class struggle, and a mechanistic view of the economy as an input-output machine have caused much real damage.

But its the Marxist-Leninist vision that Evo allegedly subscribes to that is dangerous to the core. Lenin's ruthless logic (endorsed by Troskty) wrote out any "reformist" and democratic elements from its conception of socialism. Instead it became about an infallible party (la vanguardia), armed with scientific certainty of its cause, seeking to achieve power at all costs, destroying its class enemies in the process. Its practical application was totalitarian, as evil a force as any during the last century.

Reality is Bolivia, however fragile, is a democracy not a peoples republic. Evo is a constitutional president elected by a majority vote in a free election. His party of disparate personalities is hardly the Leninist mass party with top down revolutionary control that for example the Sandinistas were in the 80s.

But there is a lot of the Leninist in the way Evo and the core MAS group around the government wield their mandate. Starting with the unrelenting war of words and actions against the opposition, the Eastern business and landowning class, which is much more one-sided than what foreign correspondents let on. The absolute arrogance and certainty of the executive in the way it directs policies almost without concern for the facts. Further, the way it has conducted a scorched earth policy against institutions like the supreme court and superintendencies, almost paraphrasing the exact words of contempt that Marxist-Leninist used in the past (i.e. "bourgeois-democratic") And of course, the way it has conducted its foreign policy, literally costing the country hundreds of millions of dollars in order to further what is basically a Cold War anti-US policy sans the USSR.

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