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IW 05

Bolivia

The day Trotsky got “burned”

 

One of the arguments most bandied about by those who criticized our call to vote for Evo Morales and the MAS (with our own revolutionary program) was that we would get “burned” by Evo Morales.

This is major nonesense. The “left-wing” opposition to the vote for Morales declared (before the elections, of course) that it was the same thing whether Morales or Quiroga won: one and the other “were the same”. Preoccupied with not getting “burned” by Morales... they didn't mind getting “burned” by Tuto Quiroga.

Neither did they mind, of course, getting “burned” by the impotent, passive and parasitical bureaucracy of the COB.

The problem is that in the Bolivian elections, there was no way of avoiding getting “burned” by someone. The thing was to choose by whom. With whom was it preferible to get “burned”? By our enemy (Quiroga) or by the enemy of our enemy (Morales)?

When a revolutionary current does not lead the events and, as a result, is obliged to develop the revolutionary struggle inside one of the confronted bands, it is inevitable that some ignoramus affirm that they will be “burned” by the political leadership of one or the other. This is not the first time that this happens; it will not be the last.

Trotsky also saw himself embroiled in this problem. While discussing in June of 1940 the possibilities (and the inevitability) of the United States entering WWII, Trotsky put forward a program of his own for the youth that entered the army: freedom of agitation and propaganda within the Army, freedom of unionization of the troops, election of officers by the soldiers, fraternization of the soldiers of all armies (including those of the enemies).

Someone then asked Trotsky if he —who combatted imperialist war-- was not afraid of getting “burned” by the militarists. Trotsky's answer was a classic: he explained that given his objective of transforming the imperialist war into a revolutionary civil war, the worst danger was not that of getting “burned” by the militarists but by the pacifists. In our case, being “burned” by Evo Morales is a “lesser evil” in relation to getting “burned” by the paralized charlatans, let alone Tuto Quiroga.