An attempt is made to ask some basic questions with respect to the 20th Century Socialist experiments and see what it holds for the socialism of the present century. This note is organised in the following format. It begins with posing two theoretical questions viz. the stage-theory interpretation of Marxism and the principle of democratic centralism, both of which have had effects on the current praxis of certain communist parties. To draw a contrast with this theoretical understanding of Marxism and the consequent praxis, of which China is an apt example, we present the case of alternative forms of socialist experiments being tried in the Third World, particularly in Latin America. To locate them in a historical context, a brief overview of the neoliberal model and its devastating impact on these countries is presented to show where they first derived their strength from. Following this overview, a somewhat detailed political-economic analysis is made of the countries which could be a starting point for the road map for the 21st Century Socialism.
Pragoti republishes two articles on the "New Left" in Latin America. The first is an article published in The Marxist, written by Prof. Steve Ellner, Universidad de Oriente, Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela that describes the experiences of the socialist parties in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador - their achievements, the challenges they face in building what they call, "21st century socialism" etc. The second is an article by Prof.
On the re-election on Evo Morales as the President of Bolivia.
After Bolivia's new constitution was passed in a national referendum on Sunday, thousands gathered in La Paz to celebrate. Standing on the balcony of the presidential palace, President Evo Morales addressed a raucous crowd: "Here begins a new Bolivia. Here we begin to reach true equality.",writes Benjamin Dangl
La Paz, Bolivia -- October 28, 2008 -- After three months of intense class struggle, there can be no doubt that the US-backed right-wing opposition to the government of President Evo Morales has suffered three important defeats. The right’s offensive to topple Morales, which climaxed with the September 11-12 “civic coup” attempt, has been decisively rolled back by the combined action of the government and social movements.
The domestic and international reaction to the Left parties that are in office in a number of countries in South America – most notably in Bolivia and Venezuela – has tended to utilise violent, non-democratic and even means of sabotage to destabilise the regimes. The ongoing developments in Bolivia are the most notable examples of the tactics of the opposition.
The big question when Morales was elected was whether he could stay long in office, or whether the Bolivian right, perhaps in collusion with the armed forces, could oust him. He has now demonstrated that he can.
An EPW editorial (Courtesy Economic and Political Weekly) and an article by Immanuel Wallerstein (Courtesy Monthly Review) on the political developments in Bolivia.
The President's bid to tilt the nation's balance of power towards the Indian majority has met with violence from a right-wing rebellion, The Guardian reports from Bolivia. Article, courtesy The Guardian Observer.
The exit poll results ratified the mandate of President Morales and his Vice President García Linera and recalled three of the eight governors who were subjected to voting at the referendum. Article courtesy, Telesur and MRZine.
"The Bolivian extreme-right wing and its Washington sponsors will doubtless undertake new actions against the people and government of the indigenous President Evo Morales; however, despite having drawn the conclusion in their own favor, strategically they have lost."
Mritiunjoy Mohanty contrasts the revolution in Nepal with the elite driven political changes in Pakistan. He evaluates the political situation in Nepal and identifies challenges for the leftist consolidation in the country, drawing from similarities and dis-similarities in Latin America.