Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line: Revolutionary History: Volume 4, No. 3, Bolivian Revolution, 1953 Editorial
Editor: Al Richardson
Even if the domination of Stalinism over the labour movement, which has existed since the 1930s and which now finally shows signs of coming to an end, failed to prevent the spread of Trotskyist ideas, it did present an almost insuperable barrier to their penetration into the broad labour movement and to the formation of stable parties based upon them. It is all the more important then that, whilst we by no means identify revolutionary history with Trotskyist history alone, revolutionaries should make a close investigation of those few countries where Trotskyism won for a while for itself a leading posi-tion within the workers ’movement.
Having already allocated an issue of our journal to Vietnam, and with every intention of turning to Sri Lanka in the future, we could no longer afford to ignore Bolivia, in spite of the insufficiency of mat-erials to hand. This is especially so since the year of 1952 plunged that country into a situation of deep crisis at a time when a Trotskyist party had established for itself a very strong position. The question as to whether this really was a situation of dual power automatically arises from the evidence we present.
But since we see our rôle as posing questions rather than answering them, we have tried to place before the English-speaking public documentation both defending and criticising the policies followed at the time by the Bolivian Revolutionary Workers Party (POR). In that spirit we ask our readers to discard their preconceptions and examine the material on its merits. Our postbag will doubtless show how far we have succeeded in making the labour history of this fascinating and little understood country more intelligible, even if we remain con-vinced that a history of the Trotskyist movement in Bolivia is the proper subject for a fully documented book.
As this is the first number of our magazine to appear since the full length book that was our double issue of Volume 4, nos 1/2, our old friends will be surprised to see us in A5 format. We must admit to a great extent that our continued existence has always involved a bit of an act of faith, especially as the larger organisations on the left seem to regard us either as a threat or an irrelevance. Nor could we hope to escape the financial consequences of the general loss of support that is closing down several left bookshops and placing in question the future of several others. And whilst we had become quite attached to our old familiar ways, adaptation to the new technology will at least ensure our survival. Your help in renewing your subscriptions will prove more than welcome. Editorial Board
Updated by ETOL: 12 February 2009