Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Self-Rule

Much as we'd like democratic revolution to be as simple as using a cell phone and waving a rainbow flag, the dreadful reality of our globalized world is that isn't going to cut it. Transitioning from feudal fiefdoms, be they transnational corporations or local thugs, requires intellectual preparation and political organization.

In their report on the transition from feudalism to democracy in Bolivia, the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs documents the mechanisms used to change land ownership and territorial resource management to support self-rule.

For civil society in countries lacking indigenous majorities, the political science lessons from Bolivia and throughout the Andes help to illustrate that research, education and organizing go hand in hand. Trying to short cut that process is just wishful thinking.

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