So, ever wonder what it would be like to have a real president? One who had convictions he could intelligently elaborate upon? One who took representing "the People" seriously?
"Evo, what do you and the MAS understand by 'socialism,'" I asked him, when I was invited by the Executive Committee of the Bolivian Labor Central (COB). "To live in community and equality," he answered. "Fundamentally, in the peasant communities they have socialism. For example, if we speak of land. I come from the ayllu of the Department of Oruro. Clearly, where I live at this moment, in the East in Chapare, there are no ayllus. It is individual parceling, and there arise very serious problems, because it leads to small holdings, which you don't see in a peasant community where the land is communal."
"Does the socio-economic model of the MAS resemble more that of Lula, Cuba, or Hugo Chávez?" I insisted. "I believe it is something much deeper," he answered. "It is an economic model based on solidarity, reciprocity, community, and consensus. Because, for us, democracy is a consensus. In the community there is consensus, in the trade union there are majorities and minorities.
"Inside this official democracy of Bolivia they do not respect the thought, sentiments, and the sufferings of the national majorities. And within this framework we are seeking a communitarian socialism based on the community. A socialism, let's say, based on reciprocity and solidarity. And beyond that, respecting Mother Earth, the Pacha Mama. It is not possible within that model to convert Mother Earth to merchandise. In Bolivia with the agrarian reform it is better to be a vaccinated cow than a human being. For a vaccinated cow there are 25 hectares and for a human being there is nothing."
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Evo Morales, Communitarian Socialism and the Regional Power Block
By Heinz Dieterich
Jan 14, 2006, 18:12