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

Sunday, September 20, 2015

What's Behind the Bolivian Government's Attack on NGOs?

Click here to access article by Emily Achtenberg from Upside Down World

There are more and more signs that the new progressive nations of South America that brought in governments which pursued more independent policies, included a smattering of indigenous involvement, and superficial socialist elements are moving to the right politically. This is especially noticeable with the political drift to the right in Ecuador and Bolivia. Perhaps the directors of the US Empire are sensing this and are of the opinion that the time is ripe to try to encourage stronger ties with their old "backyard". Hence their efforts to renew ties with the Cuban government and the new overtures to Brazil as reported in today's other posted article

In this article the author reports on the Bolivian government's attack on their domestic NGOs that are seeking to protect the environment using false accusations that the NGOs are representing foreign interests.
The fraught relationship between the government of President Evo Morales and Bolivia’s NGOs took a turn for the worse this past August, when Vice President Alvaro García Linera launched an attack on four well-respected Bolivian research organizations: the Center for the Study of Labor and Agrarian Development (CEDLA), the Bolivian Center for Documentation and Information (CEDIB), and the Tierra and Milenio Foundations. The episode has set off a firestorm inside and outside Bolivia, raising important questions about national sovereignty, the erosion of democracy, and the prospects for continuing debate around Bolivia’s extractivist development model.
This trend is an illustration of the effects of the rewards of wealth and power provided by capitalism on anyone who comes in close contact with it. It is like a powerful, addictive elixir on those who drink it, and causes them to almost immediately be dedicated to consuming the substance and forget about all the other social goals which they espoused in order to devote their lives to it.