Final Reflections
The wave of Bolivia’s twenty‑first‑century uprisings certainly offers vital as‑
pects for reflecting on potential pathways for social self‑emancipation, as well
as possible ways to transform the present and set a course for the future.
Bolivia’s systematic collective efforts for struggle, creation, imagination,
and organization confirm that social self‑emancipation is defined by an inter‑
mittent play of tensions and conflicts in constant movement. On the one hand,
numerous groups, associations, bodies, and collectives of men and women,
those who do not live off of the labor of others, reject being politically and
economically subjugated by the established order. On the other hand, that
order has the potential and the practical capacity to prevail against superfi‑
cial transformations. In other words, social emancipation is understood as
an ongoing individual and collective activity that fundamentally involves the
relentless and multifarious rejection of capital’s domination and exchange
value over useful labor. It also represents the constant confrontation and con‑
tinual evasion of state regulations, procedures, and goals.
In this sense social emancipation is above all a path to follow, a map to
draw, and not a final location, an end goal, or a “state” to achieve. The path-
ways to emancipation are, first and foremost, practical action for cooperation,
collective self‑regulation, and useful labor. What is more, they are revealed
in an uncomfortable albeit expansive way under the weight of the reality that
must be transformed.
There are two ways to consider achievements obtained through great co‑
operative acts of struggle that challenge the status quo and reject the capi‑
talist order and the state. First, they suggest a possibility for disrupting the
established order more deeply to create and strengthen a different social, eco‑
nomic, and political structure that is satisfactory to all. At the same time,
they represent a limit to both. Central to the practical impulse for the various
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