An essay “written on the occasion of the premier of the documentary film, ‘Asfaltar Bolivia’” [Paving Bolivia] in Barcelona (2015), denouncing the destructive impact of capitalist development and its hypocritical rhetoric of “progress”, “development” and “modernization”, in the context of the recent nationalist upsurge based on extractive industries and a modified form of globalization that has swept over Latin America as the new populist leaders attempt to impose “modern, consumerist, individualist and predatory lifestyles” to create a “social base” so the “extractivist bureaucracy can consolidate its power” at the expense of indigenous communities and “collective ways of life”.
Marxist academic Ralph Miliband's extensive and detailed analysis and critique of the role played by the state in advanced capitalist society. It examines each part of the state, including the government, civil service, legal system and armed forces and their relationships with business, the media, religion and trade unions. Written in 1969, most of the tendencies he points to are even further advanced today, so while there is little mention of race and gender this remains an invaluable text.
As the 2015 General Election looms ever closer, more and more media commentary is going to be dedicated to who people should vote for. Rather than talking generally about the problems and limitations of representative democracy, this is the first of several posts looking at and debunking specific 'tactical voting' strategies and election narratives from an anti-electoral perspective.