The Latin American Revolution: Politics and Strategy from Apro-Marxism to Guevarism

The Latin American Revolution: Politics and Strategy from Apro-Marxism to Guevarism

The Latin American Revolution: Politics and Strategy from Apro-Marxism to Guevarism

The Latin American Revolution: Politics and Strategy from Apro-Marxism to Guevarism

Excerpt

Our epoch, the one which began with the great French Revolution of 1789 but had its first preview in the English Puritan Revolution of 1640, marks an abrupt departure from the previously existing traditional societies in having ushered in an era of revolutions. Traditional societies were comparatively timeless and static. A revolution in the mode of production occurred with the shift from ancient slavery to feudal forms of peonage and land tenure, but it took place slowly and imperceptibly over several centuries. Although slave and peasant rebellions occurred periodically within traditional societies, political revolutions were no more typical than economic ones. Absence of innovation was the rule.

The modern bourgeoisie was the first social class with a revolutionary mission. Conservation of the old ways of production was a condition of the continuing political and economic hegemony of the traditional slaveholding and feudal aristocracies. In contrast, the epoch initiated by the bourgeoisie was distinguished from all earlier ones by its unceasing tendency to revolutionize the instruments of production, economic relations and the fabric of society as a whole--by its uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions. With the bourgeoisie economic insecurity and political agitation became a way of life.

In this respect Latin America is a privileged capsule of the brave new world created by the entrepreneurial class. No other area of the globe is better qualified historically to be the El Dorado of modern and contemporary revolutions. The stereotype of Latin America as a hotbed of revolution is not a caricature but a reality. Nowhere in the world has there been such a rash of liberal constitutions and their successive violation. Bolivia still holds the record for perennially unstable regimes:

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