Bolivia: A New MAS Government, Not More of the Same

4 November 2020 —

Ollantay Itzamná

https://i1.wp.com/ollantayitzamna.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/bolivia.jpg?resize=768%2C470&ssl=1

Indigenous people in front of the old Government Palace in Bolivia

For the ethical imperative of Buen Vivir, those who during the coup d’état hid, kept silent, and were complicit with the coup plotters, can no longer be public officials. Among these are the great majority of the former officials of the Morales government. They are also morally co-responsible for the massacres and humiliation of our indigenous brothers and sisters during the coup and under the de facto government.

For each new state government it is always a challenge and an opportunity to form an army of public officials by appointment and trust that will make possible the materialization of the program of government promised in the electoral campaign.

The excluded peoples and sectors of Bolivia, through their political instrument, Movement Towards Socialism (MAS, which won the last general elections with more than 55% of the votes), have the arduous task of governing the country, correcting the bureaucratic errors of the government of Evo Morales, which paved the way for the execution of the coup d’état, subsequent indigenous massacres, and the destruction of the socio-economic stability of the country.

The main error that the government of Evo Morales committed was to surround itself and allow itself to be swallowed up by people with a sweet, professional narrative who at the same time functioned as rings isolating him from the crude socio-political reality of the country. This bureaucratic government ring perhaps had good intentions to help the Process of Change, but, in fact, not only did they distance the Morales government from the social movements (with a rural Indo-Campesino nucleus), they also distanced the MAS administration from its central objectives: the construction of the Plurinational State, with territorial autonomies, for Buen Vivir.

Initially, MAS gambled, to some extent, on governing with social actors who were not necessarily professional or technical. As time progressed, the professional and technical aspects prevailed in the administration of MAS. It is difficult to build a Plurinational State with technicians or professionals who are mentally and spiritually prepared to operate in the Nation State. It is difficult to build Buen Vivir from daily life and from public policies with officials that have been trained to make possible suicidal development (this perhaps explains the slide towards neo-extractivism in the Morales government) and individual well-being.

https://i0.wp.com/ollantayitzamna.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/golpe_de_estado_en_bolivia.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1

Aymara indigenous people on the edge of stoic resistance. Coup d’état in Bolivia. 2019

But, despite these and other limits of the Morales’ 14-year administration, neither the bureaucratic circle nor the civil servants were willing to engage in self-criticism… to retake the horizon of Buen Vivir. And, thus, when the ground was fertile, the lethal coup d’etat germinated, Evo Morales was left with neither his circle, nor an army of designated public officials. He had to flee to save his life. But the guardians of Dignified and Plurinational Bolivia could not flee, and were massacred, imprisoned, prosecuted, humiliated.

Who should assume the public function by appointment in this new stage?

People who openly, publicly confronted the violent coup d’état and the paranoid de facto government of Añez-Murillo. Among them are some former Morales government officials, but not all.

This fidelity to the political instrument and its objective of Buen Vivir, especially in adverse times, is fairly easy to verify. Look at their social network accounts. It was possible to reverse the coup d’état and defeat the de facto government in the social-digital networks, in the streets and at the polls, thanks, in good measure, to the constant resistance of radio and social-digital warriors. These digital warriors, without intending to do so, have become genuine defenders of the Process of Change.

The “modern premise” of “professionals for public management” is completely false. Academic titles do not accredit the capacity of their bearers to build Buen Vivir or the Plurinational State. Degrees, in good measure, guarantee the aspiration of personal development, the nation state … Modernity and the Planet languish because of the contradictions of those who are one-dimensional professionals…. Although there are and will always be spectacular exceptions.

For the ethical imperative of Buen Vivir, those who during the coup d’état hid, kept silent, and were complicit with the coup plotters, can no longer be public officials. Among these are the great majority of the former officials of the Morales government. They are also morally co-responsible for the massacres and humiliation of our indigenous brothers and sisters during the coup and under the de facto government.

The MAS, Luis Arce and David Choquehuanca, have around 3 million Bolivians from whom to choose the new public officials of confidence for this new stage. They cannot opt for the same faint-hearted, timorous, “well-behaved” or prudent people they already know. Otherwise, the same actors will produce the same results or worse. And of course, history will not always provide us with another historic October 18th to correct political errors that reek of indocampesina blood.

Translation by Internationalist 360°

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