Friday, March 16, 2007

Latin American Electoral Revolutions and People Power Revolutions Compared

Here's more background information on Scenario 4 that was described in last week's post in the form of an article by Tatiana Zhurzhenko in the June 26, 2006 edition of Eurozine comparing the Velvet Revolutions (i.e. EDSA-type People Power events) with the recent wave of Latin American electoral revolutions:

On the Velvet (People Power-type) revolutions:
"the revolutions of 1989 put forward no grand project or social utopia, as was the case with their predecessors. Their only project was to catch up with a "normal" social and political order, in other words market society and liberal democracy. "

On the Latin-American electoral revolutions:
" If what happened in Bolivia can be called a revolution, it was a socialist and working-class revolution, supported, classically, by the poorest and most marginalized part of the population. "

Over here, having experienced our own velvet-revolution(s) which restored and upheld market society and liberal democracy, the middle class is reluctant to allow the Latin-American variety to happen, for fear of what they might lose. This would explain why they foolishly cling to Gloria Arroyo. Like Tim Yap*, they just want the party to continue.

On this same subject, sometime last year, i also had an interesting discussion in mlq3's blog with fellow commenter juan makabayan where he traced the roots of Latin America's leftward turn to liberation theology. He remarked that:

"in latin america, particularly Nicaragua and El Salvador, liberation theology, complementing the communist ideology, played a key role before, during and after the revolution. similar but not same is the scenario here."

He also added:

"The Doctrine of Liberation theology may have been repudiated but its spirit remains strong in latin america for it is ingrained in the ‘basic ecclesiastical communities’(bec’s) that were founded when the doctrine fused the people and the church, the temporal and divine in a militant struggle for the Kingdom.

You know what?

The development and strengthening of the bec’s is actually ‘the’ real revolution. Our current social crisis is a reflection, manifestation, indication of the state of development of bec’s. If we refresh our notion (google) of basic ecclessiastical communities (protestants: basic christian) we’ll realize its relevance to the social changes that we hope for and blog about.

The above was a useful insight by Juan Makabayan which also explains why priests and social workers are being lumped together by the current Administration and its apologists with the CPP/NPA.

*Hat tip to Expectorants for the pointer.


mlq3 said...

You'll find this latest development in the vatican timely:

cvj said...

Manolo, thanks for the pointer! This kinder, gentler approach seems to be consistent with the Pope's call for a genuine dialogue (in his unfortunately controversial speech where he cited the opinions of Emperor Manuel II Paleologus) although, in this case, it is intra-faith, not inter-faith.