POLC99H3 Study Guide - Final Guide: Casta, Zapatista Army Of National Liberation, Confederation Of Indigenous Nationalities Of Ecuador
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POLC99 – Latin America: The Politics of the Dispossessed 01/05/2015
Who are the dispossessed?
I. DISPOSSESSION DEFINED
oRefers to the sense of injustice in having something important taken away; lands, goods,
natural resources, opportunities or rights. It is a thing or quality that is missing o stolen or
oLiving in a system of institutionalized terrorism
oWitnessed under neoliberalism, dispossess workers of their livelihood, salary and ability
to support family
oDistinct group together for common cause. Shared a common fate
II. STRATEGIES FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
oElectoral Politics: the parliamentary road to social and political reform (working within
i. Form own party or join existing party. In 60-70s, elitist as selling out to the
ii. Weapon of choice by the dispossessed. Hard to repress a political movement
1. Ecuador’s Pachakutik Party (Office for 6 months)
2. Bolivia’s Movement Towards Socialism (MAS ) (first party to win
majority of votes transition to democracy over 50%, won 54%
3. Brazil’s Worker’s Party (PT) (indigenous workers becoming presidents)
oDirect Action: the revolutionary road to social change (working from outside the system)
i. Mobilizing the possessed, road blockades, riots, force government to concede to
1. Mexico’s Zapatistas (EZLN) Indigenous movement that originally rose
up with weapons, government backstabbed when they brought up the
2. Brazil’s Rural Landless Movement (MST) have the capability and skills
to grow crops but their land was taken away.
3. Argentina’s Unemployed Workers Movement (MTD) Resistance in
oLocal Development: Capturing and transforming local-level power by working with
municipalities and communities to bring about change.
i. Positive concrete changes, micro projects, municipal governing structures, does
not challenge national power, participating in local spaces
1. Participatory Budgeting in Brazil (BT)
2. Uruguay (Broad Front – FA) Gives citizens a say and interesting
strategies for communities to overlook
What does the concept of dispossession refer to and give an example from Latin America
What are the three strategies for organizing on the part of the dispossessed?
POLC99 LECTURE 2
Historical roots of dispossession
I. NATION-BUILDING & RACIAL MIXING (MESTIZAJE)
oToday: indigenous population ranges from 28-40 million people. 67 officially
recognized nation or peoples.
oMeasuring indigenous people are difficult because most live in dispersed areas
oDuring conquest: estimate of 30-70 million indigenous peoples
•Half died after the conquest.
oColonial administrative categories
•Whites: rulers; monopolized political and economic power.
Creole: new world born white (Whites born in Latin America instead
of Portugal/Brazil) contemporary Latin America elites.
•Indians: tributaries; required to pay tribute in the form of labour or goods.
Supported and worked for the nation-state
Building highways, roads. Every 6 months were required to work
without pay. But received certain rights and protection
•Blacks: Slaves; no special protection from the state, but could earn freedom
through self-purchase through certain period of working or savings.
Being a slave was a temporary condition. Being indigenous was
institutionalized and consolidated into the system
oDifferent relationships to the state and histories. Tend to be not as united as they could
oThe whiter you tend to be really excludes the majority.
oThe creoles of the new leaders of the Latin America, faced the task of building a
nation with a new national identity. Racial mixing, the lack of national identity.
•Mestizaje: a social process, rather than a strictly biological one, based on an
individual’s degree of acculturation and integration (westernization). Gave
rise to a new social subject: mestizo.
II. INDIGENOUS – STATE RELATIONS
oUsed to be called the indigenous problem. The huge population that is not
incorporated into the country’s economy.
oGovernments in the region have attempted to: divide indigenous peoples (through
census, those with land or without land); categorize them in ways that obscure their
ethnicity; discount them from national policy debates and denigrate them as obstacle
•That’s why the country is poor because of them
THE 3 PERIODS OF INDIGENOUS INCORPORATION
o State sponsored corporatism (1930s to 1980s) Great depression
•Served as an important means for the state to structure group representation
and regulate official channels for demand-making. It promoted assimilation
into the dominant mestizo culture by reconstituting indigenous peoples as
•Began to address land issues, indigenous were obligated to address themselves
as peasants and joined the national peasant association. Still practice their
culture at the local level.
oNeoliberal multiculturalism (1980s to 1990s) International debt crisis
•Kicked out anything to do with the state including corporatism.
•The active recognition of a minimal package of cultural rights (such as
bilingual education; constitutional recognition of indigenous peoples; but a
rejection of structural changes (such as land, power, wealth redistribution)
•Multicultural policies offered policy of recognition but not redistribution.
•Multiculturalism is the mestizaje of this century/ millennium.
oPost-neoliberal plurinationalism (2000 to present) Massive tide against
•Seeks to develop a bilateral government-to-government relationship between
the state and the indigenous groups. A plurinational state recognizes the
plurality of cultural, legal and political systems that exist within a nation-state
and places them on an equal footing.
•Opportunity for state to reconceptualise with the indigenous people.
•Ecuador (2008) and Bolivia (2009) redrafted their constitution and included
everyone in, especially the indigenous people. Recognizes the plurinational
characteristic of the nation. Mother Nature has rights in Ecuador (nature
friendly). Gender friendly in Bolivia.
•Evo Morales and the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS)
Won 54% to 69%, dominating the entire country. Change the
composition of the country.
2009 constitution: goes further than any previous legislation in the
country, if not, the world, in securing representation and participation
for the nation’s indigenous people.