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Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador have been involved in the birth processes of the Socialism of 21st Century . Dieterich Steffan, the founder of the movement, (Socialism of the 21st Century – Wikipedia article has began the movement because of the failure of both capitalism and socialism as known before. What worries me now, is that indigenous peoples and other vulnerable populations are being used to rebuild the left wing movement in South America with the promise of new constitutions that will embrace everyone and money that will get to them directly. Both allegations have been true up to now, as all three governments have implemented new constitutions that make indigenous cultures prevail, and all three of them have also won plebiscites and elections over and over again by giving different bonuses to the grassroots peoples. Both, constitutional reforms and bonuses, were indeed very much needed. But let us analyze the how, when and why these undeniable achievements have a dangerous bias.
New Constitutions have been approved in all three cases by force, with a lot of dead people and by shutting up the press. The three constitutions are legal, but were obtained through illegitimate processes. Most of their new content is very good, but the few points that need to be changed are:

- Deadly for economies: they circumscribe economy to the willingness of the new left wing bureaucracy composed by believers of the Socialism of the 21st Century, who have, in most cases, not even finished high school. The few knowledgeable people are being bullied by the masses so that they follow straight lines AGAINST the right wing, not FOR the creation of social and economic wealth and equality. Basic things like clear data on economic facts are not available anymore, as people only know what public marketing teams allow them to know in a clearly slanted way.

- Deadly for individuals and their work drive, as everyone MUST abide by the new rules. The newcomers to power have no mercy with the opposition. Many small businesses are closing and many more are drowning because of the lack of new markets. Sadly enough, their militia is ready to beat up anyone who goes for a different way of thinking

- Deadly for freedom of the press, as these constitutions give the governments the power to take away all private property that does not ‘serve the collective needs’.

- Deadly for peace, as the way to reach change includes nurturing militia, arming them so that they prevail in confrontations, and making them serve as fear sowing machines.

- Most important of all, they are DEADLY TO JUSTICE, meaning that while having so many good constitutional articles in the subject, they allow for the conformation of POLITICAL Supreme Courts, Superintendences, Ombudsmen, Electoral Power, Constitutional Tribunals and other instances. In cases when it has not been possible to put a member of the ruling party on these places, they have been put in the hands of ad-interim followers, by making up trials of all kinds for the former officers.

How can something so good turn into something so bad? We need to discuss this case openly, as violence, violation of human rights and censorship (both self-censorship and governmental censorship) do not let people react, or take any kind of action in these three countries. So the only place left for open discussion are forums in countries where one can still speak the truth without being beaten up for it, or lead to extreme poverty as the government takes away all that people have worked for in years, in the blink of an eye.

Bonuses, bonuses! This is the question. South America, as well as Africa and many Arab countries, have an extended number of people that have been poor for too long. As a socialist friend of mine said: ‘They have nothing to lose, and much to gain by rioting’. International NGOs, such as CEJIS in Bolivia, ENCOD (European NGO Council on Drugs and Development), the Open Society Institute of Mr. George Soros, Lindesmith Center in the United States, and other big agencies, have invested, for example, more than 400 million dollars to fund the 2004 riots in Bolivia. So to say, the 1600 NGOs registered in Bolivia have lots of money going to the political empowerment of the poor, without making them responsible of upgrading their education at the same time. So these have become very manageable groups in terms of repeating slogans and rioting and sowing fear. These poor people are also the foundation of the left wing power that uses them to build up power for the new group of bureaucrats that manage the money coming in. They have been offered free land (which they deserve, but not by killing people or taking away other people’s whole life earnings); jobs in the government (the nationalization processes are the way to create jobs for the followers, although each person who gets a job must pay a ‘tithing’, meaning that 10% of their salary goes to the political party they belong to, to maintain the marketing teams working); and bonuses, lots of bonuses, which they really deserve and should have been given a long time ago. I will illustrate the way bonuses have been tailored, so that all people can understand the idea.

If a woman owner of the smallest store you can think of is asked about her capital, and she states “$100, and with that I make $110 every month”. What do you think she will say if a wise man from the government or an NGO comes to tell her “We will distribute $20 from your capital to your children, because they deserve that”? I am sure she will smile and say, “Sir, I appreciate that, but please take the $10 of profit I make every month to distribute, and leave my capital alone!” Everyone will agree with her, right?
Well, ‘social movements’, the militia of these governments, have made us very afraid to say that bonuses are indeed being distributed from the capital, and not from the profit. As you can see, the bonuses are good, but the way to pay for the bonuses only ensures more poverty. The woman who owns the store in the upper paragraph is wiser than all of us in these countries, as our need of money is so strong, that we don’t mind giving away the capital.

For all these reasons, I agree that neither socialist nor capitalist approaches is right. We need to begin to open our minds to RESPONSIBLE GOVERNANCE, which is different from political positions. Poor people need not to be poor, and rich people need not to crave for more. This can be achieved through a set of governmental behaviors that will lead to a better world for everyone, IF AND ONLY IF, left and right wing politicians stop being greedy for power and/or money… Mr. Dieterich Steffan, what kind of monster have you created?


Maria de Chirikof's picture

Indigenous worldviews

You seem very interested in Indigenous Peoples so here are some links that you might not have seen yet, enjoy!

The Global Summit of 2009 for Indigenous views on Climate Change

The Indigenist Intelligence Review is a part of the Intelligent Aboriginal News Service and contains many articles and links to other sites of interest to Indigenous peoples.
The Indigenist Intelligence Review

WiserEarth helps the global movement of people and organizations working toward social justice, indigenous rights, and environmental stewardship connect, collaborate, share knowledge, and build alliances.
WiserEarth Site

WiserEarth Groups Page
WiserEarth Groups Listings

Center for World Indigenous Studies and offers a variety of resources and Educational programs you might find interesting
Center for World Indigenous Studies


LauraB's picture


Hi Temple,

I was wondering if you have connected with Jackie who lives in Bolivia and is a very active member on Pulsewire.
I think you both have a strong voice about what is happening in Latin and South America and I see that you two might have lots in common.

I am so glad that you are informing the members as to your thoughts on politics in Central and South America.

Thanks for being an active member on this site.



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