The Last Day of Oppression, and the First Day of the Same: The Politics and Economics of the New Latin American Left


Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 12:00pm


CGIS South, S216, 1730 Cambridge Street

Speaker: Jeffery R. Webber, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London

Moderator: Professor Kirsten Weld, Department of History, Harvard University 
This talk will explain the political dynamics and conflicts underpinning the contradictory evolution of left-wing governments and social movements in Latin America in the last two decades. Throughout the 2000s, Latin America transformed itself into the leading edge of anti-neoliberal resistance in the world. What is left of the Pink Tide today? What are the governments' relationships to the explosive social movements that propelled them to power? As China's demand slackens for Latin American commodities, will they continue to rely on natural resource extraction?
This talk is grounded in an analysis of trends in capitalist accumulation from 1990 to 2015, in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Venezuela. It explains inequality there today through a decolonial Marxist framework, rooted in a new understanding of class and its complex associations with racial and gender oppression. The talk will also cover indigenous and peasant resistance to the expansion of private mining, agro-industry and natural gas and oil activities. Finally, the presentation will conclude with remarks on "passive revolution" in Bolivia under Evo Morales and debates around dual power and class composition during the era of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.
Jeffery R. Webber is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London. He is the author of The Last Day of Oppression, and the First Day of the Same, Red October: Left-Indigenous Struggles in Modern Bolivia, and From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia: Class Struggle, Indigenous Liberation, and the Politics of Evo Morales.