Left-Indigenous Struggles in Modern Bolivia
Bolivia witnessed a left-indigenous insurrectionary cycle between 2000 and 2005 that overthrew two presidents and laid the foundation for Evo Morales’ to become the country's first indigenous president. Building on the theoretical traditions of Marxism and indigenous liberation, this book provides an analytical framework for understanding the fine-grained sociological and political nuances of recent Bolivian class-struggle, state-repression, and indigenous resistance.
“Jeffery Webber’s Red October provides an invaluable guide to our generation’s 1848: Bolivia’s resource wars of the early twenty-first century, when indigenous and union activists joined together to take back their country’s water and gas from foreign corporations – and in so doing, led the first sustained and successful assault on neoliberalism. Like what Karl Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire did for 1848, Webber astutely analyzes the alliances and ideologies of a powerful social movement that, while drawing its poetry from the past, is pointing the world to a different future, one with newer, fuller conceptions of democracy. In so doing, Webber provides the most innovative update of social movement theory yet available.”
—Greg Grandin, Professor of History, New York University, and author of Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism, and Last Colonial Massacre: Latin America in the Cold War, among other books.
“A number of studies … have been published [on Bolivia] in recent years. However, none of these books comes close to the breadth and depth of analysis provided by Red October, or matches its theoretical contributions in regard to social movement dynamics and political developments. Red October is without doubt the most solidly researched study and theoretically framed analysis of the popular movement in contemporary times that I have read. It will be read carefully by scholars and students of social movements and political development in various disciplines, but particularly those who favour or are attuned to an analysis of social movements from a political economy perspective.”
—Henry Veltmeyer, Professor of International Development Studies at St. Mary’s University Canada and the Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Mexico. He is the co-author of over thirty books, including most recently, Illusions and Opportunities: Civil Society and the Quest for Social Change (2007) and, with James Petras, What’s Left in Latin America? (2009).
“Combining political sociology and ethnography, Red October is the most exhaustive, in-depth study available of the revolutionary conjuncture in Bolivia in 2000-2005, which brought Evo Morales and his party, Movement toward Socialism, to power. Red October is essential reading for anyone looking to understand how Bolivia’s radical political traditions—one connected to trade unions and revolutionary Left parties in the twentieth century, the other to Indian community insurgency in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—have combined and overlapped to such powerful effect. This book highlights the legacy that titanic Left-labor struggles of the twentieth century bequeathed to Bolivian radicals in the twenty-first century, and puts paid to the notion that neoliberalism and new social movements buried old New Left class politics and identities. Most importantly, Red October provides us with a well-rounded portrait of anti-imperialist, working-class consciousness in El Alto, shot through with memories of past struggles against the legacies of colonialism and racial-ethnic forms of discrimination and domination.”
– Forrest Hylton, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, author of Evil Hour in Colombia, and co-author with Sinclair Thomson of Revolutionary Horizons: Past and Present in Bolivian Politics.
“Red October is a provocative and insightful account of the indigenous protests that shook Bolivia between 2000 and 2005. It provides a compelling analysis of the infrastructures of solidarity, popular cultures of resistance, and oppositional forms of consciousness that nurtured one of Latin America’s most militant social move