Decoloniality, democracy and anti-imperialism in Our America – Rebelion

The worker, indigenous, peasant, Afro-descendant, youth and women’s struggles (among the most notable) that have taken place in our America since the beginning of the century are characterized by giving a greater depth and a better meaning to democracy, understanding it as something more than the opportunity to cast a vote and elect rulers. And such struggles take place in the midst of repression and the emergence of new right-wing and ultra-reactionary sectors that, in one way or another, seek to limit and end them, in many cases counting on the imperial consent of Washington. Added to all this is the interfering role of the Organization of American States, whose secretary general has not hesitated to support US hegemonic plans to the point of endorsing the coup d’état against Bolivian President Evo Morales, arguing non-existent electoral fraud.

Even when national sovereignty, the self-determination of peoples and the intervention of the State in the economy have been under siege by the geopolitical and economic interests of the United States and large transnational corporations, this siege has now intensified. The claim to take over the markets, the territories occupied, in large part, by the native peoples, and the strategic natural resources of everything that includes our America, south of the Rio Grande, now combines various methods, both those applied during the Cold War as those extracted from the new information and communication technologies. This reality is supported from within each of our nations by right-wing sectors, whose racist, violent, misogynistic and anti-democratic traits are more than evident and constitute what could be described as their ideology; following the guidelines set by similar political groups and parties in Europe and the United States. The anti-imperialist position that this would originate would have, as an associated consequence, an anti-facist position, in defense of the national, democratic and human rights that are embodied in each Constitution; which would require adopting from those who defend them a permanent militancy.

Seen as a whole, the different popular struggles undertaken throughout our America can also be framed in a process of decolonization in the face of the permanence of coloniality, represented by the Eurocentric thought that endures in academic centers and in many areas of social life. , which would come to complement (or be integrated into) the fight against racism, patriarchy and capital. Nothing more could be circumscribed to a partial or local conquest when the established system or order remains unchanged at its roots, without decisively attacking the causes of the structural problems that have burdened us for a long time. The decolonization of thought would vindicate the neglected and oppressed social classes and sectors that would thus be recognized and considered historical subjects of the new type of society to be built.

For this reason, for democracy to be truly functional, participatory and popular, it is necessary “to make -as Enrique Dussel puts it- that people can participate, that it not only be representative, that it not be reduced to a bureaucratic leadership that governs from above. down. Political institutions must be modified from the bottom up to limit representation. Participation cannot be only temporary, through some type of plebiscite or consultation: participation must be organic, with the constant presence of the people, with the institutions built for that purpose. That of course requires a radically new type of state, a revolution with the institutional participation of the people. Given this transcendental step, it can be affirmed that there will really be a revolution in our countries, without there being obstacles that cannot be overcome, thanks largely to those movements of workers, indigenous people, peasants, Afro-descendants, youth and women who became visible and they openly question the unjust, unequal and exclusionary prevailing regime.

Rebelión has published this article with the permission of the author through a Creative Commons license, respecting his freedom to publish it in other sources.

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