The Phantom, The Plebeian and the State: Grupo Comuna and the Intellectual Career of Álvaro García Linera

Marcelo Montaño Alvarado, Triunfo del Alma
Marcelo Mon­taño Alvarado, Tri­unfo del Alma

Specters of a Broken Marx

In 1999, a col­lec­tion of essays appeared con­cern­ing the rel­e­vance of Karl Marx’s Com­mu­nist Man­i­festo to the con­tem­po­rary con­junc­ture in Bolivia. It may have gone by unno­ticed, were it not for the fact that its authors were about to become the prin­ci­pal inter­preters of the new move­ments that irrupted in the wake of the Boli­vian state cri­sis of 2000-2005. The authors, a mot­ley array of intel­lec­tu­als from very dif­fer­ent back­grounds, called them­selves the grupo Comuna (Com­mune group): Raúl Prada, mem­ber of the group epis­teme which sought to use French post-struc­tural­ist anthro­pol­ogy to inter­vene crit­i­cally in the con­tem­po­rary Boli­vian polit­i­cal scene; Luis Tapia, a scholar of coun­ter­cul­ture informed by the writ­ings of Anto­nio Gram­sci and the Boli­vian soci­ol­o­gist René Zavaleta Mer­cado; and finally, two crit­i­cal Marx­ist intel­lec­tu­als who had just been released from prison fol­low­ing their involve­ment in an Indi­an­ist guer­rilla group called the EGTK, Raquel Gutiér­rez Aguilar and Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era, future vice-pres­i­dent of Bolivia.

The title of that work was El fan­tasma insomne  – The Insom­niac Phan­tom or, alter­na­tively, The Ghost That Doesn’t Sleep – a clear ref­er­ence to the open­ing lines of the Com­mu­nist Man­i­festo (“A specter is haunt­ing Europe”).1 What the authors shared was the feel­ing that there was a gen­eral cri­sis of Boli­vian Marx­ism which required new crit­i­cal pro­pos­als, pro­pos­als that would be capa­ble of intel­lec­tu­ally sup­port­ing the on-going anti-cap­i­tal­ist strug­gle in Bolivia. This cri­sis was com­posed of many dimen­sions: the appar­ent tri­umph of neolib­eral cap­i­tal­ism and the defeat of “real social­ism” in many cor­ners of the globe fol­low­ing the fall­out of the Cold War (rep­re­sented in Latin Amer­ica specif­i­cally by the defeat of the San­din­istas in Nicaragua in 1991); the con­se­quent weak­en­ing of the strong­hold of left­ist union­ism in Bolivia, which was dis­banded in 1985 as part of the so-called “shock-ther­apy” of neolib­eral reforms that dis­man­tled the national-pop­u­lar state; and the gen­eral crit­i­cism of the old Boli­vian left for dog­mat­i­cally adher­ing to a cer­tain tele­o­log­i­cal con­cep­tion of Marx­ism, a crit­i­cism which was espe­cially pro­nounced within indige­nous activist cir­cles, where Marx­ism was con­sid­ered to be an imported West­ern phi­los­o­phy that there­fore had lit­tle to offer to indige­nous strug­gles. The wager of this col­lec­tion of essays pub­lished by Comuna, then, was that Marx­ism in Bolivia is not dead, and should not be com­pletely done away with – that there is a specter of Marx­ism which is, above all, not dor­mant, and that any con­tem­po­rary the­ory of Marx­ism must give sup­port to this spec­tral pres­ence. In the appar­ently col­lec­tive intro­duc­tion to the pub­li­ca­tion, the authors write the fol­low­ing: “we are look­ing for the phan­tom that doesn’t sleep.”2

The Insom­niac Phan­tom is there­fore a timely work, in the sense that its authors sought to work within the con­tem­po­rary Boli­vian con­junc­ture, con­sist­ing in the gen­eral cri­sis of the Left described above, which for the Comuna group nev­er­the­less rep­re­sented the oppor­tu­nity for those specters of Boli­vian Marx­ism to be reartic­u­lated in pow­er­ful new ways. “Look­ing for the phan­tom that doesn’t sleep” was, there­fore, much more than a ques­tion of build­ing on a long his­tory of Boli­vian schol­ar­ship on the Left. What this group of intel­lec­tu­als was look­ing for, the project that would inau­gu­rate their work, was no less than a rein­ven­tion of the Left capa­ble of iden­ti­fy­ing new strate­gies appro­pri­ate for the con­tem­po­rary moment.

Con­tex­tu­al­iz­ing the work of Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era from the per­spec­tive of the gen­eral tra­jec­tory of the Comuna group can illu­mi­nate a num­ber of the cen­tral the­o­ret­i­cal ges­tures of his work, as well as help to under­stand the shifts in focus that his work was to undergo. It is worth draw­ing atten­tion to the fact that, of the essays pub­lished in the Eng­lish trans­la­tion of Ple­beian Power, five were orig­i­nally pub­lished as part of a col­lec­tive pub­li­ca­tion with the Comuna group, and all of the essays are con­tem­po­ra­ne­ous with the group’s activ­ity. More­over, begin­ning in 2006 when Gar­cía Lin­era becomes vice-pres­i­dent of Bolivia, ide­o­log­i­cal rup­tures become vis­i­ble in the dif­fer­ent posi­tions of its mem­bers. This comes to a head in 2011, when three of the mem­bers who had par­tic­i­pated actively in Comuna signed a doc­u­ment with other activists which crit­i­cized the gov­ern­ment of Evo Morales and Gar­cía Lin­era for not fol­low­ing through on a num­ber of key poli­cies: “Man­i­festo for the Recu­per­a­tion of the Process of Change for the Peo­ple and with the Peo­ple.”3 Shortly after­wards, Gar­cía Lin­era replied to this accu­sa­tion in an essay enti­tled “NGO­ism, Infan­tile Ill­ness of the Right,” attack­ing those who signed the Man­i­festo and mark­ing the offi­cial break-up of the group. It is worth ask­ing, there­fore, if a more pro­found under­stand­ing of the direc­tion which Gar­cía Linera’s work has taken can­not be bet­ter under­stood from the per­spec­tive of the gen­eral group’s tra­jec­tory.

What we find in The Insom­niac Phan­tom is a gen­eral attempt, and this is true for Gutiér­rez Águilar and Gar­cía Lin­era in par­tic­u­lar, to reclaim the cat­e­gory of class and insist on the need to give it a renewed under­stand­ing in order to make it oper­a­tive in the con­tem­po­rary con­junc­ture. This the­o­ret­i­cal posi­tion directly chal­lenged the post-Marx­ist tra­di­tion inau­gu­rated by Ernesto Laclau and Chan­tal Mouffe, with their vari­a­tions on Gramsci’s con­cept of hege­mony. For Gutiér­rez Águilar, for exam­ple, his­tory con­tin­ues to be that of class strug­gle, and the pos­si­bil­ity of rev­o­lu­tion­ary and eman­ci­pa­tory action lies, there­fore, in the con­di­tions of pos­si­bil­ity of actual class rela­tions in their cur­rent forms. In Gar­cía Linera’s con­tri­bu­tion, which is repro­duced in the recent Eng­lish trans­la­tion of Ple­beian Power, the ques­tions of acci­dent and neces­sity, and of the pos­si­bil­ity of the rev­o­lu­tion come, as is often the case in his work, to the fore.4 His argu­ments are extremely dense, but develop themes  first found in his ear­lier work Value Form, Com­mu­nity Form, con­cern­ing the role of the periph­ery of the world cap­i­tal­ist sys­tem and those areas of the Boli­vian econ­omy which are yet to be sub­mit­ted to the real sub­sump­tion of labor by cap­i­tal.5

These two authors should be con­trasted with the work of Raúl Prada and Luis Tapia, whose reclaim­ing of Marx lies not so much in a new inter­pre­ta­tion of class, but rather in the pro­duc­tion of polit­i­cal sub­jec­tiv­ity. In other words, in this early stage Gar­cía Lin­era stands out prin­ci­pally for his insis­tence on the ques­tion of the mate­ri­al­ist deter­mi­na­tion of the con­di­tions of pro­duc­tion and of sub­jec­tiv­ity more gen­er­ally, as well as for the ques­tion of his­tor­i­cal neces­sity.6

Plebeian Bolivia

In the later months of 1999, those “phan­toms that do not sleep” began to rise from the dead. A series of road­blocks in the Depart­ment of La Paz, directed by for­mer EGTK leader Felipe Quispe and in protest of the neo-lib­eral gov­ern­ment, was accom­pa­nied in 2000 by the infa­mous Water Wars in Cochabamba. Gov­ern­ment plans to allow the pri­va­ti­za­tion of water in a joint ven­ture that included the multi­na­tional com­pany Bechtel were protested at a local level by a con­glom­er­ate of social actors under the name of the Coor­di­nadora del agua. The mem­bers of the Comuna group iden­ti­fied not only as intel­lec­tu­als but also as activists, and they very quickly became involved with what would soon be called Bolivia’s “new social move­ments.” It was as if The Insom­niac Phan­tom had antic­i­pated the unex­pected return of pop­u­lar forces act­ing in the name of a com­mons which resisted the cap­i­tal­ist dis­pos­ses­sion that had become the norm since the 1985 New Eco­nomic Plan, con­jur­ing those specters which were now effec­tively enter­ing the social scene.

The years 2000–2001 were a pro­lific moment for the mem­bers of Comuna, who would release three sep­a­rate pub­li­ca­tions in those two years alone. The first of these, El retorno de la Bolivia ple­beya (The Return of Ple­beian Bolivia), saw the first use of the word “ple­beian” to describe the pop­u­lar forces that were revolt­ing across the coun­try.7 It was also the pub­li­ca­tion that would bring vis­i­bil­ity to the group as a seri­ous intel­lec­tual endeavor that had to be heeded. There­after, the fol­low­ing year, the group pub­lished Pluriverso (Pluri­verse),8 and Tiem­pos de rebel­lion (Rebel­lious Times).9

This is a moment of very swift intel­lec­tual mat­u­ra­tion within the group’s col­lec­tive sense of iden­tity, where we see a num­ber of themes that would be impor­tant for how the group comes to under­stand the cur­rent moment, and, of course, for the devel­op­ment of Gar­cía Linera’s thought on the pop­u­lar move­ments. In The Return of Ple­beian Bolivia, for exam­ple, Gar­cía Lin­era first char­ac­ter­izes the con­tem­po­rary moment as one of cri­sis, a cri­sis of the state and even of the state form, and of that cri­sis as both threat and oppor­tu­nity for the left. “The pos­si­bil­ity of recon­struct­ing a worker’s and pop­u­lar hori­zon,” they would write in the intro­duc­tion to the pub­li­ca­tion, “is not sim­ply in resis­tance, in the pro­long­ing of agony, but rather in rad­i­cally think­ing through the cri­sis, in order to learn in it, under­stand the weak­nesses and obstruc­tions of the past, and to under­stand the world.”10 It is also where we wit­ness a col­lec­tive attempt to take on the work of Boli­vian soci­ol­o­gist René Zavaleta Mer­cado, and above all to rein­ter­pret his analy­sis of Bolivia as a “mot­ley soci­ety” (what Zavaleta calls sociedad abi­gar­rada). They write in the intro­duc­tion, in ref­er­ence to the book’s pur­pose: “We have oper­ated a sym­bolic selec­tion, as Zavaleta does, of processes, strug­gles and events, in order to think through the times that we live and we have lived, and to assem­ble a series of polit­i­cal and his­tor­i­cal expla­na­tions and inter­pre­ta­tions about this con­flic­tive ensem­ble of processes that we still call Bolivia – pre­cisely because of the his­tory that has been lived.”11

A num­ber of the essays included in the anthol­ogy Ple­beian Power come from these pub­li­ca­tions. The reader will notice that a series of ques­tions, many of which were already in some way present in The Insom­niac Phan­tom, return in ways that are very pro­duc­tive for ana­lyz­ing con­tem­po­rary Boli­vian soci­ety. In “The Death of the Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury Work­ing-Class Con­di­tion” (pub­lished as part of The Return of Ple­beian Bolivia), we see Gar­cía Lin­era denounce the con­ser­vatism of a worker’s move­ment stuck in an imag­i­nary past, unable to real­ize that the moment of the min­ers’ union power was over.12 The ques­tion of the con­junc­ture, of what is his­tor­i­cally pos­si­ble and the neces­sity of work­ing with con­di­tions that are at hand are all found here. A dif­fer­ent set of ques­tions are raised in the essay “Union, Mul­ti­tude and Com­mu­nity: Social Move­ments and Forms of Polit­i­cal Auton­omy in Bolivia” (pub­lished as part of Rebel­lious Times), where Gar­cía Lin­era adopts a Zavaleta-style study of soci­etal forms that are, in Linera’s typ­i­cal style, strongly grounded in an under­stand­ing of the social as a pro­duc­tive process closely tied to polit­i­cal econ­omy, fol­low­ing his inno­v­a­tive read­ings of Marx for indige­nous soci­eties.13

Two more books would be pub­lished over the sub­se­quent three years as com­men­taries on the neolib­eral cri­sis and the new social move­ments: Democ­ra­ti­za­ciones ple­beyas (Ple­beian Democ­ra­ti­za­tions)14 in 2002 and Memo­rias de octubre (Mem­o­ries of Octo­ber) in 2004.15 In the first, we wit­ness the word “ple­beian” return to the fore of the the­o­ret­i­cal ges­ture, but this time not as an analy­sis of the pos­si­bil­ity of social move­ments them­selves, but as a cri­tique and analy­sis of insti­tu­tional forms of power, and par­tic­u­larly of the state. The gen­eral notion of “cri­sis” to define the moment that Bolivia entered at the turn of the 21st cen­tury is now much more specif­i­cally applied to the state, and this is par­tic­u­larly preva­lent in Gar­cía Linera’s analy­ses. He co-authors an essay with Gutiér­rez Águilar enti­tled “The Neolib­eral State Cycle and its Cri­sis” (this would be the last essay Gutiér­rez Águilar would write in pub­li­ca­tions which also included Gar­cía Lin­era, as she later became one of the new government’s fiercest crit­ics), and writes an essay of which he is the sole author enti­tled “The Twi­light of a State Cycle.” Mem­o­ries of Octo­ber pro­vides the­o­ret­i­cal reflec­tions on the insur­rec­tion of Octo­ber 2003, also known as the Gas Wars, which forced Pres­i­dent Gon­zalo Sánchez de Lozada to step down and leave the coun­try for his own safety. It was widely regarded as a vic­tory for the Left and indige­nous groups, and pro­duced a doc­u­ment called the Octo­ber Agenda which called for a Con­stituent Assem­bly, among other demands. It is inter­est­ing that Gar­cía Lin­era, unlike the other authors of this col­lec­tion, writes his con­tri­bu­tion about the state: his con­tri­bu­tion is called “State Cri­sis and Indige­nous-Ple­beian Upris­ings in Bolivia.”16 Just as the Octo­ber Agenda was in many ways an impor­tant moment for Gar­cía Linera’s even­tual tran­si­tion into the state, so too were these last two pub­li­ca­tions impor­tant for Comuna’s increas­ing intel­lec­tual con­cern with the pos­si­bil­ity of rev­o­lu­tion not only against, but also of the state.

The State of the Question

By 2005, the intel­lec­tual inter­ests of the Comuna group turned to the ques­tion of the state – which coin­cides, of course, with Gar­cía Linera’s own tran­si­tion into the Boli­vian state as vice-pres­i­dent. As is appar­ent in Ple­beian Power, Gar­cía Lin­era him­self had already begun to write impor­tant texts on the ques­tion of the state, includ­ing very con­crete pro­pos­als for new direc­tions for polit­i­cal reform (see, for exam­ple, the 2004 essay “Indige­nous Autonomies and Multi­na­tional State”).17 A series of three texts con­clude the exist­ing pub­li­ca­tions signed by the group: in 2005, Hor­i­zon­tes y límites del estado y el poder (Hori­zons and Lim­its of the State and Power);18 in 2007, La trans­for­ma­ción plu­ral­ista del estado (The Plu­ral­ist Trans­for­ma­tion of the State);19 in 2010, El Estado. Campo de lucha (The State: A Bat­tle­field).20

The first pub­li­ca­tion, Hori­zons and Lim­its of the State and Power, rep­re­sents what are prob­a­bly the most mature elab­o­ra­tions of the group on the his­toric­ity of the cri­sis of the Boli­vian state. The pro­logue to the work refers to two dimen­sions: the first is the cri­sis of the Boli­vian state specif­i­cally, due to the colo­nial nature of the state that con­tin­ues to sep­a­rate access to cit­i­zen­ship accord­ing to dis­tinc­tions between white and Indian cul­ture; the sec­ond is a more gen­eral cri­sis of the state form, in which the par­tic­u­lar type of cap­i­tal­ist devel­op­ment over the last decades has placed into ques­tion the sov­er­eignty of the state appa­ra­tus. The essays con­tained in this col­lec­tion are a highly the­o­ret­i­cal approach to the state, but one can detect a tone of opti­mism in some of the authors, which opens up the ques­tion of recon­fig­ur­ing state power. Gar­cía Linera’s con­tri­bu­tion, “The Strug­gle for Power in Bolivia,”21 for instance, reflects the inten­sity of the recent polit­i­cal recon­fig­u­ra­tion. Once again, the reader can detect a num­ber of ques­tions that main­tain absolute impor­tance for Gar­cía Lin­era: the ques­tion of the his­tor­i­cal pos­si­bil­ity of dif­fer­ent kinds of resis­tance, and of how social move­ments artic­u­late them­selves and whether they are  able to con­sol­i­date more last­ing artic­u­la­tion.

In the final essay that Gar­cía Lin­era pub­lishes with the Comuna group in 2010, enti­tled “The State in Tran­si­tion: Power Bloc and Point of Bifur­ca­tion,” it is pos­si­ble to detect a change in tone with respect to pre­vi­ous writ­ings with the Comuna, where Gar­cía Lin­era, now ide­o­logue of the state, attempts to write the offi­cial his­tory of state con­sol­i­da­tion in Bolivia. As Jef­fery Web­ber notes in his con­tri­bu­tion to this dossier, there is a turn­ing point in Gar­cía Linera’s writ­ings as vice-pres­i­dent that takes place dur­ing these years where the pre­vi­ous open­ness to the plu­ral­ity of forces of the Left becomes re-inter­preted as a con­flict between left- and right-wing Bolivia, where all those that do not side with the state are sup­posed to be under the influ­ence of the lat­ter. This change is curi­ously appar­ent in the dif­fer­ence between a first ver­sion of “The State in Tran­si­tion” pub­lished in 2008 and the final ver­sion, pub­lished with Comuna in 2010.22 Whereas the ques­tion of the “point of bifur­ca­tion” remains an open one in 2008, in 2010 Gar­cía Lin­era reveals the final crys­tal­liza­tion of the new state for­ma­tion to be the “vic­tory of the left” in the approval of the new Con­sti­tu­tion in 2009. The ques­tion becomes, there­fore: does this offi­cial his­tory not rep­re­sent a clo­sure of the more open-ended process with which the so called “process of change” began, as we see a new hege­monic bloc take power while oth­ers become mar­gin­al­ized from the polit­i­cal process – oth­ers that had hoped that the Con­stituent Reforms would mean some­thing very dif­fer­ent for Bolivia? Or does this appar­ent change in Gar­cía Linera’s posi­tion have to do more with his pre­cise under­stand­ing of the his­tor­i­cal con­junc­ture, of what is nec­es­sary and what is pos­si­ble within a polit­i­cal con­fig­u­ra­tion where, one must not for­get, a right-wing coun­ter-rev­o­lu­tion remains a very real threat?

These ques­tions remain open, and to some extent will only be decided a pos­te­ri­ori, and per­haps, as Wal­ter Ben­jamin reminds us in his the­ses on his­tory, only by the vic­tors. We sug­gest that a crit­i­cal approach to these ques­tions requires, on an empir­i­cal level, more stud­ies such as those by Jef­frey Web­ber, James Petras, and Henry Velt­meyer23 to under­line the gap between the rhetoric of the cur­rent MAS gov­ern­ment and the direc­tion of its actual poli­cies; and, on a the­o­ret­i­cal level, an engage­ment with the notion of the “his­tor­i­cally nec­es­sary” and ¨his­tor­i­cally pos­si­ble” – the ques­tion of how to defend the rev­o­lu­tion – which has been used to jus­tify the gen­eral direc­tion of the cur­rent Boli­vian admin­is­tra­tion and is par­tic­u­larly well elab­o­rated by Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era him­self. The future ante­rior – What will have been of these move­ments? – here appears to be appro­pri­ate, sug­gest­ing the need to keep our eyes and ears open to the voices of the specters that per­haps, still, do not sleep, in order to inter­pret the 2000-2005 insur­rec­tions in Bolivia in light of future devel­op­ments in the coun­try.

This arti­cle is part of a dossier enti­tled Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era: A Boli­vian Marx­ist Seduced.

  1. Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era et al., El fan­tasma insomne : pen­sando el pre­sente desde el man­i­fiesto comu­nista (La Paz: Muela del Dia­blo Edi­tores, 1999). All trans­la­tions are the author’s unless oth­er­wise stated, with the excep­tion of essays pub­lished as part of Ple­beian Power where the author has remained faith­ful to the orig­i­nal trans­la­tions.  

  2. Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era et al., El fan­tasma insomne, 9. 

  3. Colec­tivo Man­i­fiesto 22 de Junio, “For the Recu­per­a­tion of the Process of Change for the Peo­ple and with the Peo­ple,” Dialec­ti­cal Anthro­pol­ogy 35 (2011): 285-293. 

  4. See Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era, “The Com­mu­nist Man­i­festo and Our Present: Four The­ses on its His­tor­i­cal Actu­al­ity”, in  Ple­beian Power: Col­lec­tive Action and Indige­nous, Work­ing-Class and Pop­u­lar Iden­ti­ties in Bolivia (Chicago: Hay­mar­ket Books, 2014).  

  5. Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era, Forma valor, forma comu­nidad: aprox­i­mación teórica-abstracta a los fun­da­men­tos civ­i­liza­to­rios que prece­den al Ayllu uni­ver­sal (Chon­chocoro: [pub­lisher not iden­ti­fied], 1995). 

  6. Although Gar­cía Lin­era never cites the French intel­lec­tual, this focus on neces­sity res­onates strongly with the late work of Louis Althusser. 

  7. Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era et al., El retorno de la Bolivia ple­beya (La Paz: Muela del Dia­blo Edi­tores, 2000). 

  8. Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era et al., Pluriverso (La Paz: Muela del Dia­blo Edi­tores, 2001). 

  9. Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era et al., Tiem­pos de rebe­lión (La Paz: Muela del Dia­blo Edi­tores, 2001). 

  10. Gar­cía Lin­era et al., El retorno de la Bolivia ple­beya, 8. 

  11. Gar­cía Lin­era et al., El retorno de la Bolivia ple­beya, 7. 

  12. See also “The Death of the Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury Work­ing-Class Con­di­tion”,  in Gar­cía Lin­era, op. cit. (2014). 

  13. See also: “Union, Mul­ti­tude and Com­mu­nity: Social Move­ments and Forms of Polit­i­cal Auton­omy in Bolivia”, in Gar­cía Lin­era, op. cit. (2014). 

  14. Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era et al., Democ­ra­ti­za­ciones ple­beyas (La Paz: Muela del Dia­blo Edi­tores, 2002). 

  15. Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era et al.,  Memo­rias de octubre (La Paz: Muela del Dia­blo Edi­tores, 2004). 

  16. See also: “State Cri­sis and Indige­nous-Ple­beian Upris­ings in Bolivia” in Gar­cía Lin­era, op. cit. (2014). 

  17. Cf. “Indige­nous Autonomies and Multi­na­tional State”  in Gar­cía Lin­era, op. cit. (2014). 

  18. Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era et al., Hor­i­zon­tes y límites del estado y el poder (La Paz: Muela del Dia­blo Edi­tores, 2005). 

  19. Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era et al., Trans­for­ma­ción plu­ral­ista del estado. La Paz: Muela del Dia­blo Edi­tores, 2007).  

  20. Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era et al., El estado. Campo de lucha (La Paz: Muela del Dia­blo Edi­tores, 2010). 

  21. See also: “The Strug­gle for Power in Bolivia” in Gar­cía Lin­era, op. cit. (2014). 

  22. Only the first ver­sion of this essay has thus far been trans­lated into Eng­lish. Refer to: Álvaro Gar­cía Lin­era, “The State in Tran­si­tion: Power Bloc and Point of Bifur­ca­tion”, Latin Amer­i­can Per­spec­tives, 37.4 (July 2010), 34-47. 

  23. See Jef­frey R. Web­ber, Red Octo­ber: Left-Indige­nous Strug­gles in Mod­ern Bolivia (Lei­den: Brill, 2011) and from the same author, From Rebel­lion to Reform in Bolivia: Class strug­gle, Indige­nous Lib­er­a­tion, and the Pol­i­tics of Evo Morales (Chicago: Hay­mar­ket Books, 2011). Finally, see also James Petras and Henry Velt­meyer,  What’s Left in Latin Amer­ica? (Burling­ton, VT: Ash­gate, 2009), 95-134. 

Author of the article

is a final-year PhD student in Hispanic Studies at Texas A&M University, where he is writing his dissertation on the changing meanings of indigeneity and the increased visibility of indigenous actors in the public sphere in Bolivia over the last forty years.