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3 - The Authoritarian Republicanism of Bolívar

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 October 2020

Susana Nuccetelli
Affiliation:
St Cloud State University, Minnesota
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Summary

Chapter 3 is devoted to Bolivarism, a set of doctrines of applied moral and political philosophy bearing on the Latin America of the early nineteenth century. One doctrine, authoritarian republicanism, has it that the legitimacy of any form of polity is contingent on its capacity to maximize the Enlightenment values of aggregate happiness, safety for all, and political stability of a nation. Another doctrine, the mestizaje model, contends that the collective identity of Latin Americans is not exclusively European, African, or Amerindian but a mixture of these. Bolivarism has continued to fuel ongoing populist phenomena from the nineteenth century onward, as illustrated by the “Bolivarian” revolutions of Hugo Chavez and Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. It is also a moral force behind some present-day movements that strive to obtain not only political and economic reform elsewhere in Latin America, but also recognition of the distinct racial and ethnic identity of the people of the region. The chapter also explains what is wrong with Marx’s critique of Bolívar while offering insight on what Marx should have said instead.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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References

Andrade, G. and Lugo-Ocando, J. 2018. “The Angostura Address 200 Years Later: A Critical Reading,” Iberoamericana – Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 47(1): 7482. DOI:http://doi.org/10.16993/iberoamericana.427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bolívar, Simón. 1812 . The Cartagena Manifesto. Manifesto Portal (website).Google Scholar
Bolívar, Simón 1951a. “Angostura Address,” 1819, pp. 103–122 in Selected Writings of Bolivar, ed. Bierck, Harold A., Jr. New York: The Colonial Press (Reprint pp. 121 in Janet Burke and Ted Humphrey. 2007. Nineteenth-Century Nation Building and the Latin American Tradition. Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett) http://manifestoindex.blogspot.com/192011/04/cartagena-manifesto-1812-by-simon.htmlGoogle Scholar
Bolívar, Simón 2004. “Jamaica Letter,” 1815, pp. 105–119 in Susana and Gary Seay, eds., Latin American Philosophy: An Introduction with Readings. Upper Saddle Brook, NJ: Prentice Hall (also available online at http://faculty.smu.edu/bakewell/BAKEWELL/texts/jamaica-letter.html).Google Scholar
Bushnell, David and Metford, John Callan James. n.d. “José de San Martín: Argentine Revolutionary,” Encyclopaedia Britannica. www.britannica.com/biography/Jose-de-San-MartinGoogle Scholar
Draper, Hal. 1968. “Karl Marx and Simón Bolívar: A Note on Authoritarian Leadership in a National-Liberation Movement,” New Politics 7(1): 6477. www.marxists.org/archive/draper/1968/winter/bolivar.htmGoogle Scholar
Fuentes, Carlos. 1992a. El espejo enterrado. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura EconómicaGoogle Scholar
Fuentes, Carlos 1992b. The Buried Mirror. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
Helg, Aline. 2003. “Simón Bolívar and the Spectre of Pardocracia: José Padilla in Post-Independence Cartagena,” Journal of Latin American Studies 35: 447471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Keating, Joshua. 2013. “Was Bolívar a ‘Bolivarian’?” Foreign Policy, March 6. https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/03/06/was-bolivar-a-bolivarian/. Brief article arguing that Bolívar would have opposed the Bolivarian revolution of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. Given my analysis of Bolívar’s political philosophy in this chapter, I think that although he would have had no problem with the authoritarian element of this revolution, he would have rejected its socialist element.Google Scholar
Marx, Karl. 1858. “Bolívar y Ponte.” The New American Cyclopedia, Vol. III. References here are made to the edition in the Marxists Internet Archive. www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1858/01/bolivar.htmGoogle Scholar
Polemic piece very critical of Bolívar, commonly ignored by the Latin American left.Google Scholar
Nuccetelli, Susana. 2017. “What the ‘Nina’-Film Controversy Shows about African Heritage in the Americas,” The APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy (October): 47. http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.apaonline.org/resource/collection/60044C96-F3E0-4049-BC5A-271C673FA1E5/HispanicV17n1.pdfGoogle Scholar
Simon, Joshua. 2017. The Ideology of Creole Revolution: Imperialism and Independence in American and Latin American Political Thought. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vinson III, Ben. 2018. Before Mestizaje: The Frontiers of Race and Caste in Colonial Mexico. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
von Vacano, Diego A. 2012. The Color of Citizenship: Race, Modernity and Latin American/Hispanic Political Thought. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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