The Contours of Gramscian Theory in Bolivia: From Government Rhetoric to Radical Critique
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Since the turn of the millennium, the production of critical social theory in Bolivia has been galvanized by a period of social upheaval and social movements victories.1 These movements created a moment of intense praxis, with theory and action producing one another in a dialectical fashion. The social impact of Bolivian intellectuals in response to the systemic crisis that emerged in the late-1990s cannot be underplayed, as the interaction between social movements and the state was influenced by thinkers of the time. Gramscian theory—especially “passive revolution” and the “integral state”—has been particularly important in the study and politics of the revolutionary cycle from 2000 to 2005 and the government of Movimiento al Socialismo (the Movement toward Socialism; MAS). These two concepts have facilitated a rich analysis of the government of Evo Morales and the developments of the state. These theories have also been transformed into government discourse, with García Linera using the notion of the integral state to describe the MAS government's political project in his role as vice-president. This article seeks to explore the impact of this social theory on Bolivian society and the social function of Gramscian intellectuals by looking at two key texts: García Linera's Las tensiones creativas de la revolución and Bolivian philosopher Luis Tapia's El Estado de derecho como tiranía. While both texts use a Gramscian analysis in the Bolivian context to great effect, they also demonstrate the political nature of Bolivian social theory and highlight the social function that the intellectuals themselves perform.