Daily Archives: June 14, 2014

Bolivian Politics 101: The anti-liberal liberalism in current Bolivia

Luis Antezana writes in El Diario:

The anti-liberal liberalism in current Bolivia

Luis AntezanaIf you start from the objective definition of liberalism that defines that “liberalism is the political expression of capitalism” – in Bolivia never that system and all governments were determined to nominate themselves as liberals since it was applied in 1900, all they did was actually implement domestically anti-liberal measures. Moreover, some other parties when they said that applied anti-liberal measures, what actually did was apply liberal measures. That is the result of misuse of some political categories.

The liberal idea began to be used in Bolivia since the late nineteenth century and was best known by its theoretical Eliodoro Camacho. Around this character was organizing the Liberal Party which, in principle, opposed to the then ruling conservative parties and a fraction called “federalist” who had absolutely no luck.

The Liberal Party took over government after the war between La Paz and Chuquisaca, known as the federal Liberal Revolution or 1899 Revolution. That revolution (after a four-month war between the north and south of the country), definitely took out of the government the  Constitutional and Conservative parties, in the Segundo Crucero de Paria battle (Oruro) of April 10, 1899.

The Liberal Party came to power with their leaders José Manuel Pando and Ismael Montes, assuming management control of the country and by a Constituent Assembly, against all expectation of the people and despite called liberals, dictated hundred percent anti-liberal measures. Moreover, continued applying all feudal and anti-liberal measures that had dictated the Conservatives between 1880 and 1899.

Indeed, the Constituent Assembly of 1899 remained without any modification of the 1880 Constitution and all legal measures passed since then, measures the country consolidated in the feudal and anti-liberal regime based on feudal estates, the colonato, the pongueaje and all economic activities based on the feudal economic system. In short, rather than dictating liberal capitalist measures (liberals) were devoted to dictate feudal measures. In this system they added the colonial system of plunder of raw materials.

If indeed, then, they would have dictated truly liberal measures, the fate of Bolivia would have been different and had not been recorded historical events that culminated in April 1952.

That anti-liberal (or anti-capitalist) regime lasted until 1952, when the MNR as an anti-liberal party decided to implement various measures that were actually liberal measures (capitalists), since the colonato, pongueaje, feudal estates, the qualified voting was abolished etc., typically capitalist measures. In that sense, what the MNR was actually applying from 1952, by way of anti-liberalism, liberal provisions, i.e. capitalists in the broadest sense of the term, guided by the definition of liberalism marked at the beginning of this note.

MNR was removed from power in 1964, the new political currents reapplied supposedly liberal measures, but in the background, were anti-liberal. The government of Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, despite being considered liberal (and that was the most anti-liberal that can be seen), also passed measures that were contrary to the nature of liberalism, like the INRA Law, capitalization and other complementary of the colonial type. That liberalism was and is now described as “neoliberalism.”

That anti-liberal tradition persists today, so it still reigns the “anti-liberalism” which practices the liberalism, political expression of capitalism.


THANK YOU Mr. Antezana for bringing the light to this, now I understand why we ended up like this, with a ruler like the coca grower… NO WONDER!!!