When the Bolivian regime of Evo Morales was subjected to a right-wing coup in 2019, a lot of people in American and British media celebrated it as a “victory for democracy”, despite ample evidence that the claims of election-rigging were entirely unfounded. These same people seemed unwilling to grapple with the brutality of the new interim president, or her open racism towards the indigenous people of Bolivia. In the last few years, I’ve heard a lot of people saying that things like colonial abuses, or anti-democratic coups against left-wing governments in South and Central America are things of the past – that that was stuff we did during the Cold War, not NOW.
This is very clearly false. The aggressive, destructive nature of neoliberal capitalism has continued unabated since the dissolution of the USSR, as capitalist countries work to ensure that no competing system – especially a more democratic one – is allowed to succeed. I’ve said before that we need to stand in solidarity as a species if we’re going to survive the warming of our planet, and that goes beyond simply speaking out against coups or abuses happening at smaller scales. We also need to be on guard against the efforts to provide moral justification for these assaults on democracy. We should know, by now, to be suspicious of claims of election meddling, particularly when leveled against left-wing governments. We should remember the long and bloody history of the United States overthrowing democratically elected leaders, or aiding in their overthrow, with inevitably disastrous results.
If we’re going to build a better world, we must not only do the work of building, but also call out those who try to tear down efforts to do so, regardless of what’s happening. The Michael Brooks Show has done a good job of calling out people who either fail at critical thinking, or who willingly participate in the spreading of propaganda, and I agree with them that, in the wake of the recent victory for democracy in Bolivia, it’s worth taking a victory lap, not just for the sake of celebrating, but also to keep in mind what was said and done to justify and support a military coup that put a right-wing extremist in power. Those who oppose democracy try to claim its legitimacy for themselves, and we cannot allow them to do so.
Despite everything happening in the world right now, life goes on, and I’m still required to spend money in order to live. My work is supported by a group of wonderful people over at patreon.com/oceanoxia, and I would be immeasurably grateful if you would consider joining their ranks. How much you give, and for how long are entirely under your control, and every little bit helps a great deal, as my household is very short on money right now. Thank you for reading, and take care of yourselves.