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Indianism and Marxism: The Disparity between Two Revolutionary Rationales

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Chapter Summary

In Bolivia, the old Marxism is neither politically nor intellectually relevant, and critical Marxism, which comes from a new intellectual generation, has only limited influence and still-narrow circles of production. In contrast, Indianism has, little-by-little, established itself as a narrative of resistance that has recently been put forward as an authentic possibility for power. Revolutionary nationalism and primitive Marxism were two political narratives that simultaneously emerged with great strength following the Chaco War, among relatively similar sectors (the educated middle-classes), with similar proposals, in opposition to the same adversary the old oligarchic and élitist régime. At first, Katarist Indianism arose as a political discourse that started to systematically resignify history, language and culture. The 'Revolutionary Nationalist Movement' (MNR) was the political party that most clearly understood the importance of the discursive development of an indigenous nationalism, seen as a danger, and the difficulties being experienced by the indigenous movement.

Keywords: Bolivia; Katarist Indianism; primitive marxism; revolutionary nationalism



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