Published at 11:29 on 27 September 2011
Basically, unlike in Venezuela, the revolution in Bolivia is a bottom-up affair, backed by a diversity of groups, as opposed to being something orchestrated from above by a single charismatic figure. That becomes clear when you read stories like this one about a highway project being opposed by the indigenous people whose land it would compromise.
Of course Morales has become a new oppressor. How could he not, given the nature of the job he sought? By becoming the chief executive of a hierarchical system of authority, he chose to participate in a rotten system.
That’s not to say its a useless achievement and that Morales administration is no better than those it replaced, only that it’s a very limited achievement. Past administrations would not have stepped back, embarrassed, and called a moratorium. However, unless the pressure from below continues and intensifies, the outcome will be the typical “compromise” of industrial civilization: less wild nature and more development.
True change must always come from below.