Bolivia Under Evo Morales Review of Jeffery Webber, From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia: Class Struggle, Indigenous Liberation and the Politics of Evo Morales

Via Scoop.itMediaMentor

New Socialist… [excerpt] Bolivia Under Evo Morales Sunday, 27 November 2011 15:01
By Sarah Hines Review of Jeffery Webber, From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia: Class Struggle, Indigenous Liberation and the Politics of Evo Morales (Chicago: Haymarket, 2011). Bolivia has been on forefront of challenges to neoliberalism in Latin America and the Global South, and stands out for the level of autonomy and power achieved by its social movements. Of all the left-leaning governments elected to office in recent years in Latin America, the 2006 election of Evo Morales, head of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party, most clearly resulted from popular struggle from below. Among the so-called “pink tide” governments, Bolivia has been deemed by critics and proponents alike to be among the most radical. Just a few months after Morales took power, The Economist, referring to Morales and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, declared that, “A specter has arisen [in Latin America], one of anti-American leftist nationalism.” Leftists have looked to these governments as beacons of hope and evidence that it is possible to successfully challenge neoliberalism and imperialism at a time when war and economic crisis are ravaging the lives of poor and working people around the globe. Morales’s election was especially inspiring due to the fact that he is the first indigenous president of an overwhelmingly indigenous country and has called out developed countries for their environmental crimes. While there has been active debate among Bolivian leftists about what position to take toward the MAS party and Morales government, leftists outside Bolivia often see their role as supporting and celebrating rather than deeply understanding the rise of Morales and the MAS. In From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia, Jeffery Webber challenges the international left to look more critically at what the rise of the MAS and the first term of the Morales government represent for struggles against oppression and planetary destruction. The book offers an accessible introduction to the trajectory of Bolivian political developments since 2000, and undertakes a deeper analysis of social, political and economic change and continuity than is found in most progressive writing on Bolivia.


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