Liberalism 101: What happens in Bolivia…?

Eric Cardenas writes in El Diario:


Eric CardenasThe announcement of the arrival of the Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa to the city of Santa Cruz ignited in official circles of the Government, including the President and Vice President of the plurinational State, a series of statements intended to “disqualify” the writer who received the Nobel Prize for his important literary work, in some cases with the intention of linking it to a former Minister of the Government that fell in 2003 and found exile in a country of the North, regrettable postures which, on the contrary, have given greater expectation to the visit of the named writer.

Precisely the Vice President of the State, in public statements collected by the media in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, referred to the writer to hold old, cave-type political ideas, etc., referring to the “liberal” ideas of the illustrious visitor, what leads us to examine if liberal ideas are really overcome historically or are fully in force.

Liberal ideas have their origin, as almost all philosophical thought of the West and much of the world, in the ancient Greece, specifically in the thinking of the wise man Aristotle, disciple of Plato and the approach of the philosophical school of the “Stoics”, which argued that all men are born with natural rights, being a product of nature, rights to be free and equal, ideas that were completed by the most important philosophers in the history of mankind, to finish in the French encyclopaedists that with his ideas paved the way for the French revolution which ended the regime of absolute monarchy and inaugurated liberalism, i.e. a regime of freedoms that were reflected in the Declaration of man rights and of the citizen in Paris in 1789.

The ideology of liberalism inspired emancipatory struggles and some of these features are in the proclamation the Revolutionary Assembly [Junta Tuitiva] of La Paz in 1809, and in particular the printed ideology in the draft Constitution which Simón Bolívar developed for our homeland and that was passed in 1826.

The basic idea of Simón Bolívar in its constitutional project was to build a Republic in which the citizens can enjoy full freedom, giving the citizens a series of legal and political mechanisms that would enable them to defend themselves against the two monsters (as stated in his message): “tyranny and anarchy, forming an immense ocean of oppression that surrounds the small island of freedom”. Continues the Liberator that “God intended man to freedom…”, i.e. a divine gift that can not be deprived.

For Bolivar “civil liberty”, who conceptualized it as the “true freedom”, should be protected and to do so in its Constitution was printed, so not may be suspended, as Bolivian law… (Art. 152). It is not subject to the action of the executive officers, even of the President of the Republic, which was forbidden to deprive any citizen of freedom… (Article 83, paragraph 3). Civil liberty must be safeguarded by the courts, there are individual safety, property, and equality before the law (Art. 144); the citizens must defend freedom as a duty, saying: watch over the preservation of civil liberties (article 11, paragraph 5).

Bolivar as the creator of the Republic had injected into the “superstructure” of the new State, the liberalism, as constitutional ideology, which was maintained in the other constitutions and reforms, and even in the current one of the plurinational State, is guaranteed a set of rights and freedoms. In his proclamation of January 1, 1826 to Bolivians, said: “receive the most liberal Constitution in the world”.

Liberalism in its broadest conception is not only the proclamation of a regime of freedoms, against oppression and tyranny, as well as the anarchy which also voids or limits these freedoms. Consequently the contemporary world is in full struggle to achieve freedom, liquidating dictatorial regimes in Africa and Middle East and other places. The China as a country power, despite its Communist regime, guarantees some freedoms, such as that of free enterprise and private property.

The ideology that has been overcome historically is the socialism of Marxist tendency, i.e. communism, with the crashing collapse of the system headed by the former Soviet Union, and only two or three countries under such a regime remain as samples in the Museum of history of the world. Liberalism is to democracy as the Communist socialism to dictatorship, whether with the euphemism of the dictatorship of the proletariat, which is nothing more than the party dictatorship.

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