Bolivia The Restrained Revolution by vow16147

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									               Bolivia: The Restrained Revolution *

                                 By RICHARDW. PATCH




               A
       ABSTRACT: true revolution occurred in Bolivia in 1952,
    and its consequences continue to be strongly felt. The revo-
    lution triggered such extreme measures as nationalization of
    the tin mines, agrarianreform, neutralizationof the army, and
    universal franchise, but the leaders of the revolutionary Na-
    tionalistic Revolutionary Movement are essentially moderates.
    The economic consequencesof the revolution have been a seri-
    ous inflation and declining productivity. The major accom-
    plishment has been social-the integration of the majority of
    the population speaking indigenous languages into the social
    and political life of the nation. This resulted more from the
    self-assertion of that mass than from the actions of the revo-
    lutionary government. The Nationalistic Revolutionary Move-
    ment was early sympathetic to national socialism, but it was
    rejected by a popular revolt in 1946. Succeedinggovernments
    were unable to preserve order and the second accession of the
    Nationalistic Revolutionary Movement to power in 1952 was
    the alternative to anarchy. The Indian population organized
    syndicates independent of the government and forced enact-
    ment of an agrarian reform. The government now has the
    allegiance of the Indians and miners, but its maintenance is
    made difficult by an economic stabilization plan. After eight
    years, Bolivia is still a democracy,but it requires assistance to
    continue to reject the apparent advantages of totalitarianism.


   Richard W. Patch, Ph.D., Ithaca, New York, is a member of the American Univer-
sities Field Staff, Incorporated (A;UFS). He has conducted studies in Peru and Bolivia
for the past ten years, most recently returning to the United States in 1959-1960 to
lecture at the eleven universities forming the AUFS. He is author of a continuing
series of AUFS reports, a section of Social Change in Latin America Today (1960) pub-
lished by the Council on Foreign Relations, and articles in professional journals. He
taught anthropology at Cornell and Tulane Universities.
  * A preliminary version of this paper was read at the joint session of the American Historical
Association and the Conference on Latin American History in New York, December 1960.
                                              123
124                THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY

T HE word "revolution," like many in the hands of men who are essentially
      another in our insufficient vocabu-    moderates-at least in comparisonwith
lary of terms describing complex politi-     any conceivable leadership which might
cal and social movements, is overused        have arisen in their place. The reign
and underdefined. Particularly with          of moderates during periods of revolu-
reference to Latin America, the word         tionary change is notoriously brief, but
has been so often used that it has           this nation, in spite of its hectic history
become synonymous with a range of            as a republic, emerged from its most
changes from the relatively insignificant    critical trial under the leadership of
trading of power between leaders at          men who accept the responsibilities of
the pinnacle of a stable political pyramid   government, who use feelings inspired
to profoundly significant upheavals in       by nationalism to achieve domestic
which social and political institutions      integration rather than to promote
mutate to new and unexpected forms.          external strife, and who subject them-
    Since the wars of independence,there     selves to the rigors of a policy of
have been few changes of the latter          austerity rather than seek the easy
 type in Latin America. Such a revolu-       popularity of utopian promises. In this
 tion did occur in Bolivia in 1952, and      sense these men are moderates. And
its consequences will continue to work       they are still in power.
 themselves out in new social, political,
and economic adjustments for many               THE MEASURE OF REVOLUTION
years to come. The Bolivian revolu-
tion has been little reported, and such         Before 1952 Bolivian society and its
reporting as has been done has been          power structure were cast in the mold
confined to economic aspects. But            of the Spanish colonial institutions
events in this Andean country, where         which persist in many Latin-American
a formerly depressed majority of per-        republics. In Bolivia, the mold was
sons speaking Indian languages have          particularly rigid because over half the
achieved not only emancipation but           population spoke the Aymara and
power, carry a vital message to students     Quechua languages and, thus, were con-
of Latin-American nations in which an        sidered Indians. In this tight society
economic segment's political power is        in which exploitation was justified by
likely to be inversely proportional to       social distance, it was the function of
its numbers.                                 institutions such as the latifundio to
    The revolution is also worthy of note    define the status of these persons as
because events subsequent to the shift       serfs-beyond the pale of the urban,
of power in 1952 do not conform to the       Spanish-speakingsociety; without hope
stereotype of revolutions in under-          of mobility. They were unpaid labor-
developed nations. The Bolivian revo-        ers in an agricultural system which
lution is genuine in its irreversibility.    supported the status symbols of the
It took place rapidly, both in actual        few while yielding a meager subsistence
fighting and in the destruction or re-       to the mass of tillers. The revolution
form of long-standing institutions. Its      not only placed the land in the hands
leaders were early forced to extreme         of the men who cultivated it, it also
measures, from nationalization of the        destroyed the institution of latifundio,
tin mines to destruction of the army         and went far towards replacing the
and partition of the estates among           castelike status of the Indians with a
Indian tenants. Yet this complete,           class concept of campesino in which
rapid, effective revolution has remained     mobility is possible.
                    BOLIVIA:THE RESTRAINEDREVOLUTION                            125

   Taking the long view, this is the        blame-for the revolution to Paz
crucial aspect of the revolution. No        Estenssoro and the Nationalistic Revo-
modern nation finds it easy to bring an     lutionary Movement (MNR) is to
alien culture with a long and conscious     ignore that current. And the early
history, speaking a different language,     pronouncementsof the MNR now seem
and with an attributed racial identity      to bear little relation to actual policy
into a national, urban, Westernized         as it has developed.
society. Consider how much more
difficult the feat is when the culture            THE ROAD TO REVOLUTION
apart is not a minority, but a majority
with the potential for wielding not            The country's recent history begins
strategic but absolute power. The           in 1920 with the fall of the self-styled
Bolivian revolution accomplished the        Liberal Party. The Liberal Party and
formal integration with such success        its predecessorin power had maintained
that true social adjustments to the new     a stable and strongly conservative
laws and decrees are proceeding with        government for thirty-six years. The
surprising rapidity.                        principal platform of these governments
   But, as in all revolutions, the social   was constitutionalism-respect for law
adaptions are the most difficult to         and established order above all else.
detect. Much nearer the surface are         It was a period of financial equilibrium,
the economic results of the changes.        expansion of the railroads and mining
In Bolivia, the economic catastrophes       industry, but nearly complete disregard
have been so dramatic as to obscure         for the welfare of the impoverished
all else. An inflation of 6,000 per cent    urban population, of the tin miners,
in four years, the conversion of the tin    and of the 60 per cent of the population
mines from the nation's greatest asset      who were called Indians and who lived
to its most persistent liability, the       in abject dependence and poverty.
decline in agricultural production-all      The Latin-American phenomenon of
are undeniable and important conse-         cansansio-a popular tiredness with the
quences of the revolution and its           existing government, a desire for change
reforms. But they are not the only          under the impression that any innova-
measure of the revolution.                  tion would be an improvement-under-
   Nor are the originally avowed goals,     mined the long conservative reign. At
the ideology, the intent of the revolu-     the same time, no coherent ideology
tionary leaders reliable explanations of    emerged to fill the void after the regime
the revolution as it took place. Super-     fell. But two related propositions
ficially, the drastic changes might be      gained wide acceptance: first, that na-
seen as the work of a single man,           tionalism in the sense of a basic attack
Victor Paz Estenssoro, the founder of       on national problems and the protection
the revolutionary party, its durable        of territorial integrity was desirable
conspirator, and the compelling leader      and inevitable; and, second, that revo-
who has twice been elected president of     lution was a legitimate and perhaps
the republic. But, if he and his party      necessary means of political and social
have left their stamp on the changes,       reform. These ideas were undoubtedly
they have also been borne along in the      distilled from imported doctrines of
current of events and ideas which for       Marxism and the ultranationalistic so-
many years swept the nation to revo-        cialism of fascist Germany and Italy.
lutionary change. To give credit-or         No party, however, managed to give
126                 THE ANNALS THE AMERICAN
                              OF          ACADEMY

the themes sufficient clarity, and they      some unity by repeated discourses on
remained in ferment until they crystal-      the Indians' duties and obligations, and,
lized in the crisis of the Chaco war.        incidentally, his rights, his citizenship,
                                             his equality before the fatherland.
The Chaco War                                The war and the territory of the Chaco
                                             were lost to Paraguay by 1935, but it
    Many threads led to Bolivia's un-        was the new experience and vision of
 fortunate war with Paraguay over the        the Indian veterans and the disillusion-
 disputed area of the Chaco. Bolivia         ment with the senior army officers
 still smarted from its defeat in a war      which would most profoundly affect
 with Brazil in which it lost valuable       Bolivia's future by clearing the way
 rubber lands and its ignominous loss        for revolution and by preparing a mass
 of the War of the Pacific in which          of people who would take advantage
 Chile seized Bolivia's coastal strip, in-   of the change when it came.
 tensifying the country's isolation in its
 mountain fastness. Cut off from the         Secret maneuvers
 Pacific, Bolivia began to look toward
 the Atlantic and the river ports which          The junior army officers, circumvent-
 would give access to it. Such river          ing normal government and party chan-
 ports existed in the Gran Chaco where        nels, organized secret lodges in a
 national jurisdictions were poorly de-       movement called RADEPA (Raz6n de
 fined. Bolivia began to arm. As part         Patria, or Reason of the Fatherland)
 of its preoccupation with national so-       and dedicated to fascist ideals and
 cialism, it imported a German general        revolutionary means. The lodges be-
staff officer who trained and equipped        came infiltrated with Nazi ideas as
 a modern army which was believed to          fascism gathered force in Germany and
be superior to anything Paraguay could        Italy. The RADEPA installed Colonel
produce. Petroleum was discovered in          David Toro as president in 1936. Toro
lands bordering the Chaco. Ardent             responded to the pressures of national-
nationalism appeared to coincide with         ism and direct action by expropriating
patriotism, with a new outlet to the         United States oil properties and creat-
sea, with economic advantage, and with       ing a state petroleum monopoly. His
the possibility of a quick and decisive      successor, Lieutenant Colonel German
victory over a neighbor for the first        Busch, 33 years old, took banking
time in over a century of lost wars.         power from private hands to create
   Revolutionary reform was forgotten        the state controlled Central Bank. He
when war was declared in 1932. Un-           declared himself dictator in 1939 and
fortunately for Bolivia, its German          moved to require mine owners to sur-
chief of staff had calculated without        render to the government all foreign
knowledge of the inhospitable Chaco-         exchange earnings from the sale of tin.
a desert during the dry season, an           However, before the measure took ef-
impossible quagmire after the sudden         fect Busch was killed or committed
rains. The Paraguayans became prac-          suicide under mysterious circumstances.
ticed guerilla fighters and subjected the       This secret political maneuvering by
Bolivians to defeat after bloody defeat.     a part of the military was not an out-
Casualties were heavy on both sides.         standing success. Governments domi-
Bolivia was forced to impress thou-          nated by RADEPA attempted to in-
sands of Indians to supplement its elite     crease the power of the state according
corps. Officers attempted to impose          to their ideas of socialism, but they
                        BOLIVIA: THE RESTRAINED REVOLUTION                      127

were unable to stir popular support or       A presidential and congressional elec-
maintain effective public order. The         tion was held in 1951. Paz Estenssoro,
political vacuum began to be filled in       in exile, and many MNR congressional
the early 1940's by the formation of         candidates received a plurality. But
half a dozen parties of varying tend-        the army annulled the election in a last
encies, from the Nationalistic Revolu-       desperate move. A military junta
tionary Movement, which was able to          governed briefly, then fell apart.
reach an understanding with the
RADEPA, to a Bolivian Communist              The revolution
Party. The MNR, founded by intel-
lectuals such as the university professor       In April 1952, it was plain that if
Victor Paz Estenssoro, was able to           Bolivia did not have an MNR govern-
combine the popular themes of nation-        ment it would have no government.
alism and revolution with a program          The party had planned a revolution
of government which included, in the         later in the year, but the defection of
beginning, the RADEPA's ideals of a          one of the military junta to their ranks
powerful centralized state headed by         made revolution an immediate neces-
the military.                                sity. For this reason, and despite the
   In 1943 the RADEPA and the MNR            radical propaganda of the MNR, the
deposed a president sympathetic to the       actual fighting of the April revolution
Allies and installed Lieutenant Colonel      was not a spectacular struggle between
Gualberto Villarroel. Paz Estenssoro         strong partisans of the old regime and
became Minister of Finance. But the          the revolutionaries. The old regime
alliance was unstable and became in-         no longer existed as a group with faith
creasingly unpopular after the defeat        in itself and power to enforce its be-
of the Axis. Finally, Villarroel was         liefs; it was a shattered conglomerate
killed in his palace by street mobs, and     of special interests without the force
his body was hung from a lamppost in         or talent to impose the principles which
the Plaza Murillo. The RADEPA was            supported their privilege. Fighting in
discredited, and the MNR was driven          La Paz was led by Hernan Siles
underground and into exile.                  Zuazo, rebel son of a former president,
                                             and Juan Lechin, a labor leader who
Political instability                        calls himself a Trotskyite. Civilian
                                             irregulars and a portion of the army
   One government rapidly followed an-       quickly defeated loyal army forces, and
other in the succeeding five years.          the MNR was suddenly in power.
New liberals tried makeshift reforms            The revolution did not follow the
which were frustrated by landowners,         rules. There was no class struggle.
mine owners, and parts of the army.          There was little loss of life. There was
Traditional governments enacted re-          little fighting outside La Paz. There
pressive legislation which could not be      was no accession of the extremists, no
enforced by an atrophied administra-         reign of terror, no Thermidor. The
tive arm, but which did arouse new           keynote of moderation was struck by
restlessness in the Indians and miners.      Siles Zuazo who named himself provi-
Two presidents in succession resigned        sional president at the conclusion of
their posts and fled into voluntary exile.    the fighting, but he held the post only
Bolivia was fast approaching anarchy         during the time it took Paz Estenssoro
through the failure of one faction after      to fly to Bolivia. Paz assumed the
another to master the art of governing.       presidency to which he considered him-
128                THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY

self elected by the invalidated balloting   reducciones had a brief existence in the
of the previous year. Siles became          Cochabamba valleys as in the rest of
vice-president during Paz's term, then      Alto and Bajo Peru. It rapidly gave
was himself elected president in the        way to the new latifundios. But, in
regular elections of 1956.                  Cochabamba, a pattern had been set.
                                            The serfs lived in hamlets or villages,
          AGRARIANREFORM                    not scattered over wide areas as before
                                            and as they do today in many parts
  The important question was what           of Peru. These villages continued to
the permanent results of the revolution     be as strongly influenced by the Span-
would be. The mines were national-          ish towns in the twentieth century as
ized, but property once expropriated        they were in the sixteenth century.
can be returned to private hands. The       Indian interaction with the Spaniards
army was neutralized, but armies can        was greater than, for example, on the
be re-created. The unexpected and           Aymara-inhabited altiplano or in the
irreversible feature of the revolution      Peruvian sierra. In all probability, the
was the organized emergence of the          aspirations of the Quechua speakers in
campesinos as a political and social        Cochabamba to the status of mestizo-
force. The Indian population had            to which they were certainly entitled
taken no part in the fighting which         by race-was more keenly developed
installed the new government. For           than in other parts of the Andes.
several months in 1952, there was little       The experiences of the Quechua
change in their lot on the latifundios.     speakers in the Chaco war, the assur-
The MNR had plans for an eventual           ances of equality, the description of
agrarian reform, but no planned reform      their rights and duties, were sown in
could have been as sweeping as the one      minds already preparedfor a new status.
initiated by the Indians themselves         After the war, the veterans returned to
and only formalized by the government       the latifundios as serfs, on land which
decree-law of August 2, 1953.               was theirs only at the pleasure of the
   The Indian organization which            patr6n, for which land they labored
forced the reform upon the government       three days each week without pay, and
had begun in the Indian villages of the     for which the entire family owed many
upper Cochabamba valleys in the mid-        other obligations: a period of domestic
1930's. It was another result of the        service in the house of the patrdn, a levy
Chaco war. The Cochabamba valleys           of firewood and wool, care of the live-
contained Bolivia's densest population      stock of the patr6n, and a cash payment,
of Quechua speakers. It was in this         the ancient canon. The head of the
area that the colonial institution of       family, the colono, pe6n, or pegujalero,
reducciones, the forced resettlement of     as he was variously called, could be
Indians into new population centers         rented out as any other chattel by the
dominated by a Spanish town, was            patr6n when the serf was not needed
pushed with vigor in the time of the        for work on the latifundio.
viceroy Francisco de Toledo. The               The Chaco veterans rebelled and
reducciones entailed many difficulties,     formed an agrarian syndicate for the
and they were violently opposed by the      purpose of renting land for cash and
encomenderos and by the superintend-        escaping the feudal obligations of the
ents of mines deprived of men for their     colonos. At first they were successful,
labor levy. The institution of the          then the landowners also began to or-
                    BOLIVIA:THE RESTRAINEDREVOLUTION                             129

ganize. They drove the syndicate mem-       seal of government recognition on the
bers from their lands and homes. But        campesinos' new status as small farm-
this only strengthened the Indian or-       ers. They are still the lowest class of a
ganization. Able leaders arose. The         class conscious society. But they now
syndicates spread slowly through the        have the potential of upward movement
Cochabamba valleys before 1952, then        in that society, which they did not have
rapidly throughout Bolivia after the        when they were members of the caste-
revolution-with little help from the        like group of Indians.
government. By late 1952 an organi-
zation existed, headed by a Quechua                               CHANGE
                                                MASS VS. INDIVIDUAL
speaking jefe maximo, which united
most of the Quechua speakers and some          It would be a mistake to overstate
of the Aymara speakers of Bolivia. It       the present extent of the change from
owed nothing to the government and          Indian to mestizo. There are still many
could act independently of it.              families on the altiplano and in the
   By 1953 the Quechua speakers began       more remote areas of the sierra and
attacking rural landowners. The pa-         puna who consider themselves Indians.
trones and administrators of latifundios    Their cultural world remains much the
were driven from the countryside into       same as in the seventeenth century.
the cities. Land, buildings, seed stocks,   They live a wretched existence which
animals, vehicles, and machinery were       can be called subsistence only by virtue
seized and divided among syndicate          of an extraordinary physical adaption
members. It became dangerous to use         to a grossly insufficientdiet. They still
the word "Indian," and the substitute,      maintain themselves in dogged isolation
"campesino," came into vogue. Civil         from the rest of the world they have
war became a menacing possibility when      come to fear.
the campesinos threatened to attack the        Even in the more accessible areas
small towns. The government was             where colonial reducciones established a
forced to act and to act drastically.       tradition of interaction between Indian
The result was the decree-law of the        and Spanish speakersand where agrarian
agrarian reform, signed in the Indian       syndicates flourish, the new campesinos
village of Ucureina under the watchful      have not suddenly been integrated into
eyes of fifty thousand campesinos.          the society of Western-oriented towns-
   The agrarian reform has not accom-       people. The former Indians are, in-
plished all that some had hoped. Agrar-     stead, a new class which gives a differ-
ian reform, like revolution itself, car-    ent shape to the new society.
ries the magical aura of miracles worked       The campesino class is not a mass of
overnight. But, in this hard world of       individuals eager to leave their rela-
realities, agrarian reform in Bolivia, as   tively poor agricultural lands and to
in other countries, meant temporarily       ape the manners and mores of mestizos,
lower production, greater consumption       as in a process of simple social mobility.
by the producers and a smaller surplus      Particularly in the Cochabambavalleys,
for the towns, an unwieldy bureaucratic     the campesinos are undergoing a genu-
administration, and long delays in plac-    ine process of acculturation in the sense
ing the actual title in the hands of the    that entire communities are beginning
new property owner. But the agrarian        to display behavior characteristic of the
reform, together with an extended fran-     dominantSpanish-speaking    culture. This
chise without a literacy test, placed the   is more unusual than it sounds, because
130                                      ACADEMY
                   THE ANNALS THE AMERICAN
                             OF

a normal pattern of change in the Andes      The campesinos' houses are the same,
is for the individual to become a mestizo    their food is the same, although there
by leaving his highland community of         may be more of it, their clothing changes
birth, rejecting his Indian background,      only slowly towards the Western styles
and assuming all possible mestizo status     of the mestizos, although school children
symbols. The individual who becomes          now use the purchased uniforms once
a mestizo by this route, however, finds      the prerogative of the Spanish-speaking
himself part of a despised "cholo" mi-       children. There is no rush to acquire
nority in a world dominated by urban         status symbols, because there is a deep
upper classes to which he cannot aspire.     sense of the ridiculousness of a person
This is properly described as a process      wearing a necktie, for example, when
of social mobility-an individual affair      that person is unable to speak Spanish.
in which neither the Indian nor the          Sewing machines, bicycles, and Italian
mestizo communities are importantly          accordions are becoming common pos-
affected.                                    sessions among the campesinos,but they
    In the formerly Indian communities       are only weak indicators of the change
of Bolivia, on the other hand, the group     which has taken place.
 itself is the agency regulating the adop-
 tion of mestizo traits. The individuals             THE LEVELED SOCIETY
 within the group proceed at the same
 pace, with few persons standing out as        The revolution has leveled Bolivian
 "moremestizo" than the others. Neither      society in two ways. The bottom mass
 is there strong motivation physically to    has moved upward, and the upper class
 leave the community nor to reject           has virtually disappeared. Ownership
 identifiably Indian behavior patterns.      of land through a period of time was
 Rather, the individuals are participating   once a prime indication of aristocracy.
 in a true cultural change, as a group,      Expropriation of the latifundios put an
 which promises to create a new culture      end to the badge and to the income
 retaining some indigenous features but,     which accompanied it. The hyper-
 as a whole, closely resembling present      inflation of 1952-1956 wiped out much
 small-town mestizo patterns. From this      other accumulated wealth. Commerce
 group, which now has the characteristics    came to a near standstill. Opportunities
 of a lower class, mobility within the       for renewing wealth dried up. The
 next generation to any level of national    economic climate and public opinion
 society will be possible, especially for    were such that these persons found it
 persons taking advantage of the public      more comfortableoutside Bolivia. Large
 school system.                              numbers left the country voluntarily,
    Education has become a basic aspira-     some were exiled, few have returned.
 tion of campesino communities. Most         The exodus has left a critical lack of
 persons hold the aspiration not for         professional and managerial personnel.
  themselves but for their children. Many    It has also left a void which will even-
  communities have accepted the national     tually be filled by a class in which status
  government's offer to provide teachers     is achieved rather than ascribed.
  for any village which builds a school.
  The situation and the potentialities of         NATIONALISM INTEGRATION
                                                            AS
  the campesinos have changed radically
  since the revolution. But, as stated          One of the reasons for the present
  before, this change is not apparent in     moderation of the MNR is the realiza-
  ways which immediately strike the eye.     tion of the power which resides in the
                    BOLIVIA: THE RESTRAINED REVOLUTION                           131

organized bloc of campesinos. The
                                               PROBLEMS OF INTERNATIONALISM
agrarian syndicates on occasion have
taken measures in their own hands with         In spite of the ardent talk of nation-
dismaying consequences. But the MNR         alism, the country is actually undergoing
government has been largely successful      a remarkable experiment in submitting
in its courtship of the campesinos and      national interests to international super-
in maintaining a counterbalance of          vision. The MNR is able to pursue its
power in the militias of the miners and     moderate course because of very sub-
the urban MNR Political Control Posts.      stantial aid given by the United States.
But civil war between campesinos and        The United States has made the aid
townspeople remains a disturbing pos-       conditional on acceptance of economic
sibility. This, perhaps as much as the      recommendations of the International
government'sdependenceon foreign aid,       Monetary Fund (IMF). In 1956 the
has dictated a policy of restraint and      IMF drew up a detailed stabilization
avoidance of extreme measures which         plan which the government found itself
might place salaried workers in con-        forced to accept. The plan achieved
flict with the largely subsistence campe-   foreign exchange stabilization by freez-
sinos.                                      ing wages, allowing prices to seek their
   The MNR gave new impetus to sen-         level, sharply restricting credit, and
timents of nationalism in a country with    eliminating subsidies which the govern-
a long history of nationhood but in         ment had given to offset the effects of
which nationalism is a new phenomenon.      inflation. The stabilization is some-
The banner of nationalism was raised        what illusory because the effect of do-
in the 1920's after the fall of constitu-   mestic policies is small compared with
tionalism. The new philosophy called        the effect of the United States contri-
for a new approach to national problems     bution to the national budget. There
which would supposedly transcend the        is no illusion, however, in the fact that
legalisms of the old order. The empha-      the stabilization plan has created large
sis on national problems permeated the      political problems for the government.
universities, but it did not capture the    The tin miners had lived more from sub-
popular imagination. It remained for        sidies than from wages, which remain
the MNR to revive and direct the senti-     insufficient. Salaried workers suffered
ment after national socialism proved to     from the disparity between the price
be a dead end.                              level which increasedsome ten times and
   The MNR aroused and used feelings        the new wage level which only approxi-
of national pride to broaden its base of    mately doubled. Worst of all, credit
popular support, to identify the national   operations nearly ceased, industries
good with the good of the party. It has     closed their doors when allowed to do
been successful to the point where the      so by the government, and the prospect
only opposition to the MNR is the nu-       for economic development receded. Bo-
merically small Bolivian Falange origi-     livia's experiment with international su-
nally inspired by Antonio Primo de Ri-      pervision of its economic policies has
vera's Spanish movement. Since the          not been an unmixed blessing.
MNR revolution, the Falange has                The cloud in the sky is that con-
mounted a number of limited but san-        tinued austerity imposed by the stabi-
guinary revolts, none with any chance       lization plan on the salaried workers-
of success, which the MNR used to           an economic stability unrelieved by
convince the population that opposition     economic development-may at last
to the party is treason to the state.       provoke the townspeople to more radi-
132               THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY

cal and probably ill-advised approaches   of violence and in maintaining close
to the unsolved problems of massive       ties with the United States. But those
poverty and national dependence. The      ties have not yet produced the dramatic
most popular and least responsible        results for which Bolivians continue to
partisan of extreme measures is Trot-     hope. Bolivia has weathered eight years
skyite Juan Lechin, recently elected      of revolution without recourse to the
vice-president of the republic. The       crude machinery of totalitarianism.
Bolivian national revolution is unique    But a revolution within a democratic
in Latin America, both in having          structure needs all the help and under-
wrought great change with a minimum       standing it can get.

								
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