We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cracks in Correísmo?

Click here to access article by Alejandra Santillana Ortíz & Jeffrey R. Webber from Jacobin

Political observers on the left especially have portrayed much of South American politics has moving in an independent, leftward course from controlling influences of the US. In recent years there have been some disturbing signs that the countries leading this progressive movement (Ecuador, Bolivia, and Venezuela) have stalled and actually have moved in a rightward direction toward emphasis on extractive industries, export crops, and other compromises with international and domestic capitalist interests. 

The authors of this piece appear to have captured the complexities of politics in these countries with special focus on Ecuador. This is in sharp contrast to the views expressed by some left political observers such as the view expressed by the peripatetic political observer Andre Vltchek who visited Ecuador earlier this summer and came away with a right-wing backed by Empire subversion scenario. The authors of this article refute this simple "color revolution" perspective. Referring to an opposition march that was held earlier this month, the authors of this article write:
The accusation by the government that this march is trying to overthrow Correa is pure alarmism. Sections of the Right are probably thinking about this. The Left understands that what they need to do in this moment is to position themselves, to recover the political initiative.

The government is receiving ideological support from international organizations like Intellectuals in Defense of Humanity, including prominent Latin American left figures such as Marta Harnecker and Atilio Borón. The idea they have is to come out consistently in favor of progressive Latin American government because of the threat of imperialism. And it’s true that there is external financing directed to the domestic Ecuadorian right. I don’t doubt this whatsoever.

But it’s myopic to believe that the dynamics of Ecuador are determined by this financing, and that popular social organizations in this country are merely puppets of some external force, without their own capacities to enter into political struggles.

I think there is still important work to be done in terms of unveiling what kind of government Correa represents.

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