12 Feb 2008

Tyson Yunkaporta writes on political economy

Socialists who have not read Marx believe that communism will be like capitalism with better toasters....greens who have not read the signs believe in wilderness untainted by the human stain...the worst are obssessed with population control...both are wrong, the real revolution is sideways...people get ready, have taken this from Tyson who is always worth reading.

Bolivian Indigenous Revolution
First Nations Movement for Autonomy in Bolivia

© Tyson Yunkaporta

Oct 30, 2007
indigenous bolivia, david mercado
In Bolivia, there is a neo-conservative backlash against Andean aboriginal peoples who are seeking to build a pluralist state in which native peoples have autonomy.
Editors Choice
Indigenous Alternative Government Model

Indigenous activists in Bolivia are proposing an alternative to western unitary Nation-Statehood, individualism and liberalism. In its place they argue for a “Communitarian, Plurinational, Unitary State” which means that each indigenous group would be recognised as a nation with a certain administrative control of resources and autonomy over areas of health, law and education.

Rather than being grounded in leftist or progressivist dogma, their revolutionary proposals are based on indigenous values. Spokesperson Pedro Alvarez asserts that Bolivian society needs to be built on values such as equilibrium between man and plants, promotion of ecological products through organic agriculture, self-sufficiency rather than competition.
Andean Values Opposed by Right

This indigenous vision is built on Andean principles such as "nitaq sapa" (don’t be individualist), "sumaj Qamaña" (live well) and "Ñandereko" (harmonious life).

Of course there has been a massive backlash from the new right. In the Bolivian media there are constant threats of mobilisation by the Autonomy Junta to shatter this notion of a plurinational state built on indigenous values.

As usual, the right argues that indigenous autonomy means division within the state, and a weakening of the nation. They sneeringly claim that indigenousness is "self-imposed" rather than an organic identity. They assert that citizens must be "Bolivian first". They proclaim with horror that the indigenous ideal of "living well" will doom the nation to a state of underdevelopment economically. One conservative politician laments that in the andean worldview "there is no linear idea of progress."

This same politician reportedly outlined his fears of his daughter being raped by indigenous people if aboriginal communities were allowed autonomy under their own laws.

The conservative dominant culture refuses to accept the idea of pluralism in Bolivia, doggedly adhering instead to a vision of multiculturalism as homogeneity and assimilation under a modern western system with universal western values. They assert the importance of neo-liberal economics and the western ideals of "progress" and uniformity.

Right wing parties like PODEMOS, who in the past have called for regional autonomy and separatism, have now realised the power that this will give to indigenous peoples, and so now have done a complete reversal, complaining that indigenous autonomy will divide the country into 39 regions and lead to the disintegration of Bolivia.
Indigenous Voice

Rafael Bautista, an indigenous writer, states that the Right believes “we were good for dancing tinku [an indigenous dance] but not for proposing a State." Bautista talks about the dominant culture's "dogma of faith that only the European race, in its cultural form, is capable of universality in the form of the Nation-State. A theoretical invention that was never a choice, but an imposition. A plurinational State opens up the possibility of thinking for ourselves, for the first time, of unity within diversity. Something western modernity has not considered, because its hegemony only thinks about reproducing itself, without choice, or without liberty and real emancipation.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is valuable writing. I would like to get in touch with Tyson, but suite 101 does not allow direct contact. Any chance you can put me in touch?

Hey, liked your stuff too...


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