“Justice and equality are always hope. Resentment, ridicule and racism cannot be. That is the right, which wants to build a future world founded on bile and hate. We, on the contrary, have to build a happy world, founded on justice and equality”.
Alvaro Garcia Linera.
The coup that removed President Evo Morales from power in Bolivia had deep roots. It was not just the actions of a group of fascists and religious fanatics. As Álvaro García Linera rightly points out, “…it was a blow against equality, against the social and political rise of the indigenous peoples who, finally, after centuries of oppression and internal colonialism, won citizenship and power. The coup d’état was against that popular indigenous social rise that now proudly occupied the streets, the ministries, the Parliament, the embassies, the regional governments, the State decisions. This means that struggles for equality have their counter-effects and counter-purposes”. (Álvaro García Linera, José Luis. Politics as a dispute of hopes. 1st ed., digital. Buenos Aires. CLACSO, 2022).
In the Plurinational State of Bolivia, a beautiful political-social process of profound changes was being (continued) to be built. It began with the promulgation in 2009 of the new Constitution, in which it was established that equality is the construction of a higher moral horizon. But that objective has its counterpart: the resentment of the equalized against those who are equalized.
The primary objective of the coup d’état against the Indian president was to prevent that egalitarian process from consolidating. As García Linera points out, in Bolivia, for centuries until Evo took office in 2006, a privileged sector, with a foreign surname, white skin, university education abroad, and command of foreign languages, had assumed that the land, power, government, respect, ministries, chancelleries, works, contracts with the State corresponded to him by natural right, surname and lineage.
Evo is not overthrown by a bunch of misfits. Racism in its most institutionalized expression, radical neo-fascism, became ideologized in the minds of those who ignored the popular will. In this republican colonial order, argues García Linera, the Indians, the peasants, the townspeople, the Aymara, the Quechua, the Guaraní, were there to work the land and to build buildings, cook the food of the patrons, and sweep their streets. .
In turn, political power, prestige, and command were assigned, by the moral nature of things, to an elite that believed itself to be white and had family surnames. It was the revived colony, rebuilt by imperial mandate to once again enslave Bolivians and subject them to barbarism so that they would return to live in the swamp of inequalities of ignominy. Evo was many things, in particular, a break with the old moral and ethical order. It was the first time that an indigenous person reached the Presidency of Bolivia. The right was not going to forgive him easily. The new Plurinational State had to be demolished. That was the task entrusted to Jeanine Áñez who, with the book of the four gospels under her arm and supported by traitorous soldiers, entered the headquarters of the Presidential Palace at the blow of sabers and bullets.
The arrival of Evo to power, says García Linera, meant the breakdown of the old moral order of things. There was an indigenous president, an indigenous chancellor, a group of senators and deputies of which 55 percent were social worker leaders or indigenous leaders. The functions of the State, the ministries, the deputy ministries, the directorates, the public companies were no longer directed by the old aristocratic and white elites, who believed themselves superior, but by Quispes, Mamanis, Tolas, Aruquipas, that is, by the surnames of the townspeople, of the majority of the country.
It was a fact of radical construction of equality. From the hand of social rebellions and the electoral triumph of Evo, they became power, embodied it for the first time and, thus, equaled those who had always considered that those spaces were theirs by right, surname and lineage. Those equal reactionary sectors held out for five, ten years, but they were no longer willing to put up with it any longer and they gathered hatred, resentment against this process of equality. And they spewed it out in 2019, killing, jailing, persecuting and torturing workers.
Equality, which is a supreme human goal, then has a price. That is a lesson for everyone and it is something that one has to anticipate. Those who had the privileges were to protect them, even violently; they would have to coil and “feud” in them. Once again, they were unwilling to share them. The old colonial-imperial power reappeared in Bolivia with blood and fire. A new pseudo-religious crusade was searching for the Holy Grail.
The search for equality became an affront in the eyes of the privileged. It was unbearable for them. The smell of the Indians gave them hives. They stank before the rich men and the crested ladies of La Paz. Far from seeking to share and compete for that social justice, the right has entrenched itself and radicalized itself. So, in 2019, since they couldn’t kill Evo, the first thing they did was burn the Wiphala, spit on it and trample on it. In this burning of an indigenous symbol, all that will to get rid of equal Indians who had ceased to be subjects to become citizens with identical rights is represented. They burned the Wiphala and entered the Government Palace with the Bible in hand, as Pizarro did centuries ago in Cajamarca, says García Linera.
As Saramago writes, in all ages there has always been something or someone to rock us and govern: with its promises of eternity, religion rocked us and governed. The big lies are the first to deeply believe the deceptions they proclaim as truths. (Saramago, José. The hand that rocks the cradle. Visáo Magazine. The notebook of the Nobel year. Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2018).
In Bolivia a new fascism was practiced, very different from classical fascism whose clearest expression was that developed in the Second Great War, particularly by Adolf Hitler and Mussolini. Contemporary fascism, says Chantal Mouffe, manifests itself in the so-called liberal democracies in the deep crisis of representation that manifests itself in the discontent of the militancy and in the emergence of anti-establishment movements. It is the answer to explosions of irrational passions.
This so-called neo-fascism, in the opinion of Alain Badiou, is a reactive subjectivity and is intra-capitalist, since it does not propose another structure of the world. It is part of the changes in its paradigms that the right makes, according to Jean-Yves Camus. When the tactic of electoral arithmetic no longer satisfies them, they are exhausted, the right reinvents itself, returns to its own rights, they already see the fight at the polls as unnecessary and that is why they mutate towards creepy ways to make politics a farce. (Neofascism, How did the global extreme right arise and what could be its consequences? Intellectual Capital. Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2022).
Bolivia was a very hard and cruel experience. It was a doctorate studied by the people and although the extreme right-wing threats and attempts persist, the lesson has had to be learned. The empowerment of the popular must continue to consolidate. According to Professor García Linera, Bolivia leaves us with a great lesson to always keep in mind: the rights are democratic as long as their privileges of caste and surname, their possessions and their prerogatives are not substantially and structurally affected. When they put themselves at risk in pursuit of equality, they take off their democrat dress, they take off the lock on their tongue, which limited the excess of their words and their fury, and hatred is unleashed in speech, in the word, in action on popular bodies, especially women.
In Bolivia, the phrase that in politics, there are no naive words was patented once again. Neofascism knows it, they are versatile in that. Hence, Professor García Linera specifies it with great mastery: Today neoliberalism is the defender of a world in decline, not a builder of the future.
Disclaimer: Via Telesur – Translated by RJ983
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