In October 2019, the Presidential elections in Bolivia sparked a political crisis. Public trust in liberal democratic institutions collapsed amidst accusations of electoral fraud and the incumbent, Evo Morales, who initially appeared to have won the elections in the first round, left his presidential post at the suggestion of the military. Bolivian politics polarised around narratives of electoral fraud and coup d’état. In order to make sense of the chaos of this moment, I suggest returning to the framing of ‘crisis as method’ suggested by Bolivian critical theorist René Zavaleta. In suggesting crisis not only as a historical feature of capitalism but also as an epistemological lens through which to discern complex and incongruent social formations such as Bolivia, Zavaleta gives us the tools to make sense of the 2019 crisis. By looking at medium-term processes of subsumption, class formation and nation-building, I identify the socio-historical blocs present in 2019 and their lineage, as well as the origins of the two competing narratives of crisis.