Numéro 42. L'amÉrique latine en Lutte. Hier et aujoudh'ui

 Octobre 2007

Numéro disponible en ligne sur le site du Cairn :

[Sommaire]          [Abstracts]

L’Amérique Latine est, du point de vue des luttes contre le néolibéralisme et de la recherche d’alternatives à gauche, un espace en pleine effervescence. Il s’agit ici de tenter d’analyser, en utilisant les instruments de la critique sociale (notamment marxiste), les luttes politiques et sociales qui se développent sur ce continent, dans une perspective historique qui permette de saisir à la fois les tendances de longue durée et les phénomènes nouveaux surgis au cours des dernières années.


DOSSIER : L’Amérique Latine en lutte. Hier et aujourd’hui

 sous la direction de Gérard Duménil et de Michael Lowy 

Discussion (avec Armando Boito, Ana Esther Ceceña, Guillermo Almeyra et Carlos Nelson Coutinho), Luttes sociales et perspectives politiques

M. Löwy, Le marxisme en Amérique latine. De José Carlos Mariategui aux Zapatistes du Chiapas

J. Falquet, Le mouvement féministe en Amérique latine et aux Caraïbes : défis et espoirs face à la mondialisation néolibérale

J. Baschet, L’expérience zapatiste, à treize ans du soulèvement armé de 1994

E. Gogol, La bataille d’Oaxaca: répression et résistance révolutionnaire

S. Ville, La révolution bolivarienne du Venezuela

H. Do Alto, De la Révolution Nationale à la victoire d’Evo Morales. Retour sur un demi-siècle de luttes en Bolivie populaire (1952-2007)

R. Antunes, Les luttes sociales dans la sphère du travail au Brésil. Quelques défis passés et présents 

M. Lemoine, Le progrès des gauches en Amérique Latine : gouvernements, mouvements sociaux et luttes indigènes


M. Krätke, Journalisme et science. L’importance des travaux journalistiques de Marx pour sa critique de l’Economie politique

Duménil, Lojkine, Vakaloulis, Adieu au salariat bipolaire ?


C. Whitaker, Le défi du Forum social mondial : un autre monde au-delà du capitalisme



Ricardo Antunes, Social Struggles in the Sphere of Work in Brazil: Challenges Past and Present.

        The aim of the article is to offer an inventory of labour and trade-union struggle in twentieth  century Brazil. The article thus focuses on the principal phases of this struggle, on the major breakthroughs and the major setbacks encountered. It ends with an overview of the challenges characteristic of the current social struggles in Brazil.

 Jérôme Baschet, The Zapatist Experiment : Thirteen Years of Armed Insurrecton since  1994

            The article is an attempt to situate the zapatist struggle in relation to its Mexican and Latin American models, and to chart its trajectory since January 1 1994. The emphasis is on the conceptions of power proper to the zapatists, both from a theoretical perspective (their refusal to «take power ») and from a practical perspective (the precedent of the autonomy of the Councils of good government). In conclusion, the article addresses the question of the uncertainties surrounding the present phase of the struggle, a phase which began with the Sixth Declaration of Selva Lacandona (2005). It also examines the possible meaning of a new intercontinental meeting for humanity and against neoliberalism, for which the declaration calls.

 Hervé Do Alto, From the National Revolution to the Victory of Evo Morales. A Review of a Half Century of Struggles in Popular Bolivia (1952-2007)

        The « Bolivian democratic and cultural revolution », often presented as a symbol of the leftward turn of Latin America, and which is led by Evo Morales, is without doubt part of the country’s nationalist and anti-oligarchic tradition, fruit of the revolution of 1952. The current revolutionary phase cannot however be entirely reduced to this tradition, insofar as it  illustrates the profound upheavals which the popular movement has undergone since the 1980s, during a period marked by the brutality of neo-liberal reforms and by the emergence of the “native American peasant” as the exemplary agent of “Insurgent  Bolivia”.  Bolstered by the support of a rural and plebeian base, the Morales “revolution” differs from previous revolutionary experiences by way of the resolutely anti-imperialist nature of its politics. The current nationalist cycle thus takes on an innovative, unprecedented perspective of social emancipation.

 Jules Falquet, The Feminist Movement in Latin America and in the Caribbean : Challenges and Hopes, in the Face of Neoliberal Globalisation

        Despite their diversity, Latin America and the Caribbean demonstrate a certain historical and political unity. The social movements which are rooted there are often deployed on a continental scale. They are, furthermore, often to the forefront in the  questioning of neoliberal globalisation. The analysis of the South American feminist movement, one which is remarkable for its importance and for its innovative propositions, can help us gain a theoretical perspective on the articulation between social relations and gender relations, and also on the effects of globalisation on this articulation. After presenting a historical panorama of the “second wave” of Latin-American and Caribbean feminism, of its gradual institutionalisation and the persistent oppositions between the movement’s “autonomous tendency” and its “institutional” tendency, the article addresses the current challenges facing Latin American feminism : the aggravation of the misery of the majority of women, faced with enforced migration and a disturbing growth of violence. The article ends with an inquiry into the way certain women and certain feminists, faced with poverty and/or racist exclusion, have been in the vanguard of new struggles and alliances which sketch the outlines of some of the most convincing political alternatives to neoliberalism.

Eugène Gogol, The Battle of Oaxaca

            This article puts forward a description and analysis of the reality of the battle of  Oaxaca, between June and November 2006. The strike and occupation of the main square of Oaxaca, the creation of the popular assembly of the peoples of Oaxaca (PAPO), the activities of native women and native communities, the authoritarian strategy of the State, the battle of ideas within the movement: these are the issues addressed in the article.

 Michael Krätke, Journalism and Science: the Importance of Marx’s Practice of Journalism for his Critique of Political Economy.

        Already in his lifetime, Marx earned himself a reputation, even fame, as a leading financial and economic journalist. From 1850 to 1868, he wrote nearly a hundred newspaper articles dealing with all sorts of economic and financial topics. His work as an economic journalist is closely related to his ongoing work on the “critique of political economy”: A lot of the material he collected and studied for his articles was used for his economic manuscripts as well. Many of the topics mentioned but not systematically treated in his many (unfinished) manuscripts pertaining to CAPITAL have been analyzed in his newspaper articles. Some of them are brilliant little essays on crises, on financial markets, on the capitalist world economy. The close links between Marx’ journalism and  his work on the critique of political economy are exemplified with respect to several topics: the impact of factory legislation, world market, world trade and colonialism (imperialism), monetary theory and monetary politics (bank legislation), the theory and history of crises and cycles and – last but not least – public finance (and its critique). 

 Michel Lemoine, The Progress of the Left in Latin America: Governments, Social Movements, the Struggles of the Amerindian Populations

         Gérard Duménil and Michaël Löwy here interview Michel Lemoine about the nature of the governments currently in office in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and Venezuela. What contribution can these governments make to the task of establishing an anti-imperialist front ?  What are the specific features of the Latin American resistance to neo-liberalism, in view of the articulation between this resistance and the struggles of the Amerindian populations? How is one to assess the manner in which Chavez defines and attempts to implement his project of a “socialism for the twenty-first century”. These are the principal questions addressed here.

 Jean Lojkine,  A Farewell to the Bipolar Class of Wage-Earners ?

            G. Duménil and M. Vakaloulis here interview J. Lojkine about his latest book, Farewell to the Middle Class. Lojkine’s intention is to question and demystify the ideology of « the middle class », an ideology which is both political (propagated and relayed by social-democracy) and « erudite », insofar as it corresponds to the sociological thesis of the « generalisation of the middle class ». Lojkine here answers questions dealing with the economic and political presuppositions of his critique of the « generalisation of the middle class ». In what way are « managers » affected by the current social transformations? What are the alliances within which they find themselves enrolled? How is one to account for the fragmentation of the current class of wage-earners, and to what type of political unification might it eventually lead?

 Michael  Löwy,  Le Marxism in Latin America. From José Carlos Mariategui to Chiapas and the Zapatists

             José Carlos Mariagegui, the first major Latin American Marxist thinker, who died in 1939, considered socialism to be the sole alternative to the domination of Latin American by US imperialism. He dreamt of an Indo-American socialism which would not be the mere carbon-copy of precedents elsewhere; which, on the contrary, would be the heroic creation of the peoples of the continent. Because of the hegemony of Stalinism within the Latin American left, it was in fact the « carbon-copy » which was to dominate thinking for many years. The  renewal of Marxism was to come about in the 1960s, with the Cuban revolution and the rise of Guevarism, whose repercussions include the theology of liberation and movements such as the Mexican Zapatist movement of the 1990s.

Sébastien Ville, The Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela

    The roots of the « Bolivarian revolution » are located in the fall of the dictatorship in 1958. The role of the armed forces in the history of the Venezuelan left considerably predates Chavez’s accession to power in 1998. If we are to understand the political process involved here, we must grasp the nature of the historical bonds between the radical left and certain sectors of the armed forces. The article reviews this history, examining the achievements of the Chavez governments in power since 1998; It then addresses certain current debates in the country, notably on the question of the construction of a socialism for the twenty-first century and the role of the armed forces in the struggles of the country.

 Chico WhitakerThe Challenge of the World Social Forum : The Other World, Beyond Capitalism

            In this interview Gérard Duménil and Michaël Löwy ask Chico Whitaker to expound on his latest book, Changing the World: The New World, A User’s Guide, and more generally, on the meaning of the World Social Forum project. What, in his view, is the meaning and implication of alterglobalisation, and what is the role which Latin American is playing within it? And how does the project tie in with the critique of capitalism? Or with what critique of capitalism? How can it contribute to the redefinition of the strategy of struggle and to the organisation of the collective destinies the aim of which is to change the world? These are the principal questions which are here put to Chico Whitaker.