chapter  4
34 Pages

The rebellious subalterns in Bolivia

Socio-historical dynamics of the Bolivian model of anti-neoliberalism
ByJasper Abembia Ayelazuno

The Bolivian subalterns have defied the conventional wisdom that the lower classes often cope with or are submissive in the face of injustice. The Bolivian sociologist Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui aptly titled her book on subaltern resistance in Bolivia as Oppressed but not Defeated to capture the rebellious nature of the subalterns in Bolivia. Little wonder, therefore, that, Bolivia is one of the paradigmatic cases, if not the paradigmatic case of the resistance from 'below' against neoliberalism in the early 2000s, used then to illustrate that 'another world is possible'. Little wonder that Bolivia has since 'embodied the hopes of anti-globalization movements' and a rejection of the view that there is no alternative to the free market economic order. The Republic of Bolivia – democratic, multicultural, and plurinational, with the majority indigenous population gaining formal equality as their white and mestizo counterparts – rose from the ashes of several centuries of racial oppression and discrimination.