On the Bolivian coup

I.

The new de facto interim president of Bolivia, Jeanine Áñez, tweeted:

“I dream of a Bolivia free of indigenous satanic rituals, the city is not for Indians. They need to go to Altiplano or Chaco.”

She is of course totally democratically illegitimate. If there are new and fair elections she will not win, Morales would, as he would have won these elections. The left promised to accept the OAS results, and the right refused to make any such promise.

That point alone makes the argument, but I want to make another, not because there is any real doubt about the first point, but because it is philosophically important. Let us say, in the far fetched hypothetical, that she did have majority electoral support, what then? Democracy is a fine value, but it is not the highest value. For example, prevention of unimaginable, racialised cruelty outranks it. You are obliged to be a bit pragmatic when the futures of millions are in the balance.

I will go a step further. Any suggestion that there is no clear good guy and bad guy here because neither side has exactly followed democratic best practices is moral cowardice.

II.

A lot of new accounts sprung up after the coup, with eerily similar messages. Interestingly many of them are geolocated in Virginia. Most probably this has something to do with the headquarters of the CIA being located in Virginia.

I really hope this sort of BS is doomed to backfire, but who knows? It’s only going to get much worse once Natural Language Processing can do it in an automated way.

III.

I haven’t seen any disinfo about this yet, but it’s only a matter of time. Morales government did not collapse due to economic mismanagement.

Purchasing power parity adjusted GDP per capita under Morales (2006-2019) increased from $4387 to $7859 in 2010 US dollars. Meanwhile the Gini index fell precipitously 56.7 to 44.6 between 2006 and 2016 (the last year for which there are world-bank figures). Bolivia enjoyed a combination of rapid economic growth and falling inequality. As a result, poverty, however measured, tumbled. Egalitarianism and growth are compatible, and anyone who claims egalitarian economic strategy automatically leads to hell doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s