Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia. Part II: Revolutionary Epoch, Combined Liberation and the December 2005 Elections
This article presents a broad analysis of the political economy and dynamics of social change during the first year (January 2006–January 2007) of the Evo Morales government in Bolivia. It situates this analysis in the wider historical context of left-indigenous insurrection between 2000 and 2005, the changing character of contemporary capitalist imperialism, and the resurgence of anti-neoliberalism and anti-imperialism elsewhere in Latin America. It considers at a general level the overarching dilemmas of revolution and reform. Part II of this three-part essay addresses four major themes. First, it reviews the literature on revolution in contemporary Bolivia. Second, it explains why the 2000 to 2005 period is best conceived as a revolutionary epoch in which left-indigenous social forces were engaged in a combined liberation struggle against racial oppression and class exploitation. However, it argues that this revolutionary epoch has not led to social revolution. Third it examines in detail the electoral rise of Evo Morales and his Movimiento al Socialismo (Movement Towards Socialism, MAS) party in the December 2005 elections. Fourth, it explores the historical trajectory of the MAS in terms of its changing class composition, ideology, and political strategies since the party's inception in the late 1990s.