Ramírez Gallegos: Eight Theses for the New International Economic Order


Dr. René Ramírez Gallegos sets out a sweeping analysis of the present conjuncture of the global political economy – and what it will take to build a New International Economic Order. A reading for the South from Latin America & the Caribbean.

Thesis 1: The neoliberal political agenda of the Washington Consensus is in hegemonic decline. It domineers — surviving without convincing — and its violence grows as the rate of profit of capital declines.

In practical terms, this thesis could be summarized by pointing out that the most effective strategy of neoliberalism today is neoconservatism (with fascist overtones). 

By recovering history, one can observe that just as capitalism was born with colonialism, neoliberalism was born with the dictatorships in our American continent. Later, neoliberalism coexisted with minimal liberal democracy in the 1980s and 1990s and at the beginning of the new millennium. After a period in which popular governments challenged neoliberalism, today democracy is once again under siege. The crisis of capitalism and the decline of the rate of profit of capital make it unlikely that even the marriage of electoral democracy and neoliberalism can prosper. For almost three years now, the progressive governments of the region have been experiencing new forms of coups. Such coups are not carried out with tanks — with the exception of the assassination of Jovenel Moïse; although brute force is still attempted, as in Bolivia, and before that Honduras, along with failed attempts in Venezuela and Ecuador — but rather by using the very institutions of democracy: the justice system through lawfare, the electoral function (e.g. presidents are banned from contesting elections, as happened with Lula da Silva, Rafael Correa or Evo Morales), or the legislatures themselves, as in the paradigmatic case of Dilma Rousseff, not to mention others such as Lugo in Paraguay or the permanent siege against Castillo, always backed by the privately controlled mass media. 

In this context, right-wing political projects in the region today do not place the neoliberal agenda of the Washington Consensus at the center of public debate, but use narratives from the cultural sphere, promoting identitarian semantics such as xenophobia, anti-feminism, racism and aporophobia (fear of the poor), which tend to shape new fascist tendencies. In this context, electoral contests are polarized in the region with two opposing conceptions of the world, which compete in two different arenas: the progressive national popular governments compete mainly in the social and economic sphere and the neoliberal right-wing in the cultural sphere. While understanding its centrality and importance, it is essential to overcome left-wing views which understand the world through exclusively economistic interpretations. 

This marks a difference in government action when we compare the neoliberalism of the first decade of the 21st century with that of the second. Although right-wing governments prioritized policies targeting the poorest in order to guarantee governability when they came to power, this priority has since shifted. In fact, it can be pointed out that in the first decades of the 21st century, right-wing governments aimed to reduce poverty — and did so. The reduction of poverty in Latin America was not only the legacy of the left, although the speed of change was twice as fast in popular governments as in neoliberal governments (Ramirez, 2022a). However, it seems that now the right does not seek not to exploit society through the "pacification" of the excluded, but to build a consolidated group of militants who religiously defend their project of a patriarchal, white society without foreigners, where the poor are poor either because they want to be or because they deserve to be. Perhaps such a change of strategy is more effective because the poor and the middle classes can also be part of this new nucleus, something that does not occur under the first strategy where these classes do not receive the fruits of neoliberal governments’ upward wealth redistribution (see Ramírez, 2022, Ob. Cit.). The objective is to build religious projects rather than political ones, as evidenced by Bolsonaro's followers after the loss to Lula. 

The phobias generated by conservative narratives generate social violence as well as justify it. They configure fascist nationalist projects. To this perspective we must add the strategies of institutional coups within the same liberal democratic system that form neoliberal authoritarianisms. In this context, states of emergency become frequent and normalized. 

This phenomenon, which has gained strength in recent years, clashes with the righteous anger of those excluded from the economic system, those discriminated against because of the color of their skin, those assaulted because they are women, those singled out because they are migrants. Under this logic, the probability of “Joker” style exit scenarios grows exponentially. However, the conservative argument fall by its own weight: any popular protest that seeks to expand rights or prevent backsliding are read as coups, as demonstrated by the forum "Defense of Democracy in the Americas" held in Miami in 2021 headed by Luis Almagro, Lenin Moreno, Mauricio Macri, Luis Pastrana, Luis Guillermo Solis and Oswaldo Hurtado, among others. 

This debate is not a question of morality but of justice; yet the neoconservative narrative moralizes it because it is one of its main weapons to dilute politics. Through the dissolution of politics, the possibility of resolving problems through peaceful means is denied.

The decline of capital's rate of profit coupled with the concentration of accumulation and the strengthening of conservative anti-egalitarian discourses lead to violent outcomes. The blind spot for criticism of violence is that it has become structural: "The question is no longer whether or not it manifests itself, but when and in what way. The neoliberal program, lacking any persuasiveness, always includes violence as collateral. Whether tacitly or explicitly. Because he who does not convince can only lead with force" (Ramírez and Guijarro, 2022c).

Thesis 2: The most effective means of combating neoliberalism is democracy as the equality of the common people generating new social contracts of coexistence.

Tocqueville (2018) in his book "Democracy in America" noted that his goal was to understand democracy in the United States because its institutional design ensured that another French Revolution would not happen again; in other words, liberal democracy ensured that there would be no more radical changes. 

However, it was precisely in the first wave of progressive governments, when the common sense of the "end of history" prevailed worldwide, that significant democratic changes took place in Latin America. It was not necessary to do away with democracy in order to generate significant social changes. It could be said that one of the legacies of the progressive governments of the first wave was to move towards the construction of democracy as equality of the common people and a tendency towards democratic equality. The first, democracy as equality, achieved through political projects that governed the State and redistributed wealth through progressive measures; the second, democratic equality, advanced by social movements to ensure equality of alternative voices in decision making — although not always smoothly and, at times, through confrontation.

Recent research on the political economy of income and wealth redistribution in the last 20 years in the region shows two clear redistributive models: that of progressive, national popular or leftist governments whose redistributive patterns favor the vast social majorities of the popular and middle classes to the detriment of the economic elites in the top 1-10% of the wealth distribution; and that of the conservative right with regressive anti-democratic concentrating patterns, favoring economic elites opposed to the middle and working classes (Ramirez, 2022a). 

In the current state of capitalism and given the existing regional levels of wealth and income concentration, neoliberalism is hindered by democracy and seeks to dispense with it. In fact, we could say that neoliberalism can only prosper if democracy (even minimal liberal electoral democracy) does not prosper. Conversely, if democracy is radicalized, neoliberalism finds itself in trouble.

But it is necessary to clarify that the authoritarian processes of the 21st century cannot be evaluated in the same way as those of the 20th century. While in the 20th century neoliberalism was born through dictatorial processes and later a "harmonious" coexistence with representative democracy, today neoliberalism is only possible in the context of an anti-democratic, authoritarian political regime. The very institutional design of representative democracy allows new strategies that propitiate institutional coups through the other functions of the State, such as the justice system, the legislative bodies or the electoral institutions themselves. These are new forms of seemingly democratic dictatorships that give way to neoliberal authoritarianisms (Ramírez, 2019). This phenomenon occurs — as already noted — without detracting from the lingering possibility of 20th century style coups using the power of armed forces. 

In the face of neoliberal authoritarianism, the historical antithesis is democracy as equality and democratic equality, which implies another mode of accumulation and another political regime that overcomes liberal democracy. Through processes of representative and direct democracy and with participatory advances, the region experienced almost three decades in the 21st century of the democratization of basic rights and redistribution of income and wealth. This process proposed democratizing recognition and rights, recovering and establishing public and common goods, as well as a materiality that seeks to guarantee not only dignified living conditions, but to aim even further: towards the good life. These are proposals that moved forward in political systems that were linked to economic and social systems. 

This would not have been possible without the access of popular projects to State power, and these were only viable due to the struggle of social movements, which at the same time pushed for democratic equality and fought for the democratization of participation in decision-making. The conservative reaction of the right-wing has not only sought to retake the processes of concentrated accumulation but also to position itself against women, Indigenous and Afro-Latin American peoples, and other marginalized ethnic groups, as well as informal and unemployed workers, as well as popular organizations exercising their voice and autonomy. Not only that, as we pointed out in Thesis 1, the right-wing sought to generate collective understandings meant to crush the excluded "other" or the very opposition represented by political parties previously in power.

The continent is experiencing both destitutive and constituent moments. In one group of countries, social movements enabled political movements that made constituent movements viable. In another group of countries, social movements made constituent movements viable that generated political movements that took State power. Elsewhere, social movements generated upheavals that challenged neoliberalism and neoliberal democracy, giving birth to constituent agreements that were channeled under different formats (popular referendums, constitutional reforms or demands for old constitutions to be revised for the 21st century). New coexistence alliances are configured or fought for while neoliberal and conservative forces defend the maintenance of a status quo that reproduces inequality, discrimination and exclusion with one difference: given the falling rate of profit, it can only concentrate at the cost of massive dispossession. Changes are never generated by the conservative neoliberal right. These forces are not revolutionary; instead they radically concentrate accumulation and power while spreading exclusion on a massive scale. Change can only come from progressive movements that are constantly on the move or often in resistance to stop the advance of dehumanization by shaping themselves as the reification of social relations.  

In political debate, it is therefore strategic to make clear in the public debate that by ideological definition of right-wing projects, change can never come, even though chameleon-like they systematically try to sell themselves as proponents of change. There is no alternative right-wing project other than neoliberal authoritarianism. The difference with the right-wing projects of the 20th century is how much more radical and effective they are in their levels of conservatism and concentration. Deepening is not the same as changing or transforming. 

Within this context, we cannot halt the advance of neoliberal authoritarianism if we do not fight for the consolidation of democracy as equality and democratic equality that channel new social contracts of coexistence that benefit the common people, the 99.9% of the population, until subalternity becomes hegemony

Thesis 3: There will be no democracy as equality if internal colonialism — the “colonial decumulative model of accumulation” — of Latin America and the Caribbean is not broken.

When speaking of the region's development models, emphasis is usually placed on its primary export character, which generates external restrictions that do not guarantee the necessary investment for the take-off of its productive development.  However, it is necessary to reframe the analysis, as suggested by Pablo González Casanova (2006, 2007), to internal colonialism. This concept, taken to the economic sphere, allows us to emphasize the economic culture of the oligarchy and plutocracy of our region. 

Using comparative terms, we can observe that while economic and financial dynamics in the capitalist core are ‘parasitic’ (since they require internal markets to accumulate, and therefore maintain demand in conditions of welfare in the core sufficient to preserve its profit; in contrast, financial dynamics are 'predatory' in the periphery, because they simply extract resources to transfer them to the core (Ramírez and Guijarro, 2022c). Paradoxically, it generates what we could call a "decumulative accumulation" (Ramírez, 2022, Ob. Cit.): generating dispossession in the economic-productive process and accumulating externally in off-shore financial tax havens, allowing access to financial circuits of the global economic core. In the best of cases, it ceases to be speculative and connects with global value chains. 

Although the pattern described above is structurally defined, it should be noted that there is a radical difference between popular governments and right-wing governments. While the former allow for the accumulation of internal assets through the generation of endogenous wealth, the latter generate external assets through foreign indebtedness. The structural form that restricts the scope of action of progressive governments is the non-sovereign foreign debt. It is no coincidence that the conservative restoration in the region came hand in hand with prolific borrowing of foreign debt. The first act of sovereignty in this field is to have a sovereign approach to the external debt incurred, which — in many cases — has been generated illegitimately or illegally. It may be necessary to set up a watchdog committee to monitor the external debt of our countries in regional integration and coordination organizations.  

The accumulation of foreign assets is a cultural pattern in the region. It is no coincidence that Latin America is the continent with the largest deposits in tax havens in the world — 27% of total deposits. There is no lack of savings for social transformation, but there are plenty of unpatriotic individuals who do not have a national or regional project. 

On the other hand, there are those expelled by neoliberalism, the migrants (the global reserve army of labor): the external wealth they generate outside the country is re-patriated to take care of their families back in their countries of origin through remittances. In a way, the global reserve army of labor coming from the Global South contains the social explosion in the peripheral countries from which they originate. In this way, migrants, those excluded from the system, turn out to be doubly functional to the system: as a reserve army of labor and as "re-patriators" of external resources.  

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, as part of the solution, it is central to publicly intervene to promote competition through the de-oligopolization and de-monopolization of the market, both for goods and services, in those sectors that are not strategic and do not guarantee the satisfaction of the population's needs  (whereas in these sectors where it would instead be preferable for the State to act to guarantee rights). Such cultural behavior of the domestic capitalist class is related to the fact that they may not re-invest in the Latin American economy due to lack of competitive markets.

iIn this context, underdevelopment is not only a consequence of a productive matrix with low added value that finds its structural limit in external restrictions due to the loss of sovereignty, but it is also associated with a sort of internal colonialism of the Latin American bourgeoisies and oligarchies.


Thesis 4: Thinking about structural change implies closing the enormous gaps that exist between the cultural practice of the vast social majorities — popular cultures which support communal solidarity — and the design of liberal political institutions.

In our American continent, there is a cultural dispute between the liberal and the communal spirit. Historically and anthropologically, popular political culture is based on a "mutually supportive communalism" and not on the savage liberal spirit metaphorized in the labyrinth of solitude (Ramirez, et. al, 2022d). This is the greatest historical resistance in the region, but also one of the causes of the crisis of liberal democracy, which is conceived from a Euro-American culture.

While social rejection of inequality remained until 2010 in the region (Ramírez, 2022nd), in recent years this trend has been reversed, and a defense of inequality has taken shape based on — among others — identity and essentialist claims: 'poor people are poor because they do not work hard', 'migrants take jobs in our countries', 'Indians are poor because they are lazy', ‘the care work of women should not have economic compensation because it is done out of love', among others. 

As dependency theorists have rightly pointed out, capitalism originated as a product of colonialism (primitive accumulation), so it is necessary to consider that the independence of our nations gave rise to a colonial state that functions as part of the accumulation strategy of global capitalism. Therefore, its institutions are configured outside the recognition that we are plurinational political communities. Accordingly, democracy must give birth to a state that is conceived from a plurinational and popular multicultural logic.

Therefore, overcoming the remaining culture of the labyrinth of solitude (individualistic neoliberalism) is more likely to be achieved when social and state interventions and institutional designs go hand in hand with the popular culture that prefers to take the path of cooperation, respecting the diversity among the peoples. 

Such a situation implies structural reforms that transcend liberal democracy. It is difficult for a culture of solidarity to flourish under institutions driven by individualistic logics. 

Such a perspective entails breaking with the division between the public and the communal, which leads to the separation between State and community. One of the limits of the first wave was that those governments that carried out state reforms did not include bridges of action with the community. Thus, institutions and social interventions that seek social transformations must consider the public from the perspective of the communal, but also the communal of the commons must think about their impact on the social public. The political culture of citizenship demands not only to be subjects of change, but also authors of change. For the people, with the people, from the people!  

In the debate on the public sphere, it is essential that the middle classes — and why not the upper classes, too? — return to demand the provision of public goods. If the public sector does not regain prestige, then the public sector will never be regained at all. This generates subjective privatizations which are the structural roots of the problem of the inability to find inter-class, inter-cultural, inter-ethnic encounters. A simple example to understand this happens in the field of higher education with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) or the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) where not only the poor want to seats in their classrooms, but the middle and upper classes, too. This implies that the public sector must achieve the highest standards of quality and excellence so that in the competition with the private sector there is no doubt about the superiority of the public sector. In the narrative debate in which the concept of merit was appropriated by the right, progressivism must position excellence without implying zero-sum competition. Such a search implies tax reforms that increase public investment for the guarantee of social rights. However, an unresolved debate for progressivism in some fields is the dispute over the meaning of quality, so as not to fall into the productivist capitalist logic of current evaluation systems. 

Although in the short term, efficiency of social transformation seems to be linked to the centrality of action from the State, the first wave of progressive governments suggest that those processes that have social foundations and that actions articulated with the bases — with social movements or trade unions — are more sustainable and efficient in the medium to long-term. Political organizations should tackle capital accumulation, at the very least, from the standpoint of the protagonist of the proposed alternative — centering workers’ organizations and their articulation with social movements. Thinking in historical matrix, there is no greater political inefficiency than the temporary unsustainability of actions.  

As has been shown in other research, citizens are clear that the public is not contradictory to the commons, nor vice versa. There are areas such as economics, health, education, which citizens prefer to be led by the State; but in those related to the governance of common resources, they prefer communal solutions (Ramírez, et. al, 2022d). We must transfer this knowledge to the sphere of public policies, social reforms and state institutions.

In turn, fostering the communitarian strengthens democracy. Evidence shows that the probability of democratic participation increases if the citizen is part of the solution to community problems. In cultural praxis there is a coexistence that confirms the link between sociability and solidarity to democracy with the demos (self-government and participation), which would confirm that citizens prefer to walk in common rather than alone (ibid).

Within the logic of electoral politics, this means connecting party militancy with the demands of social movements, workers' organizations and with the existing forms of local participation; for example, where student activism is structural in the process of political education, not only in the electoral process, but also in the construction of a political force, regardless of this force is in or out of government. The religious dogma that seeks to implement conservative projects is fought with political education.

The second wave of plurinational, popular, progressive or leftist governments must articulate institutional and social reforms, without any mistrust (and always protecting public resources), linking democracy with community; citizenship with the collective demos; that is to say: a communalocracy (comunalicracia). Such a political regime must be based on an egalitarian popular culture anchored in egalitarian economic systems that break asymmetrical power relations.

Thesis 5: The origin of the cultural crisis lies in the predatory valorization of time within the framework of the time-work metamorphosis. 

The shift in the mode of accumulation towards cognitive capitalism and the implementation of neoliberalism has generated one of the most profound changes that our countries are experiencing: the deindustrialization and precarious servicification of the economy associated with platform capitalism. The core receives the benefits of technological innovations, the peripheries suffer the new forms of dispossession and exploitation as part of this change. 

Such processes have caused a profound metamorphosis of the labor sphere, not only the increase of the reserve army of labor expressed in informality, but also the emergence of the poor salaried worker. Today in Latin America and the Caribbean, having a salaried job does not guarantee a decent life. 

It is necessary to understand that the pervasiveness of neoliberalism is in the commodification of life and social relations; which entails the commodification of time, daily life and human relations. Capitalism has always known that the heart of value is in time. In industrial capitalism, the quest for profit was based primarily on the extraction of surplus value in the factory and the exploitation of nature. However, in the context of the crisis that capitalism is experiencing, it has sought new ways of appropriating time, not only for labor but also of what happens throughout the life of human beings. Info-cognitive extractivism is perhaps one of the most important means of capital valorization under modern capitalism. It is not a coincidence that the main objective of algorithms and artificial intelligence in the digital sphere is to generate addiction in the time spent on a given platform. However, expropriated time goes beyond social networks and the internet. Under different mechanisms, "smart" technology allows to appropriate almost 24 hours a day of the people who use these devices. The tendency to build smarts cities with capitalist logic is part of the same. Even when sleeping there can be a certain form of expropriation of life that allows the subsequent generation of capital valorization. In turn, platform capitalism generates new forms of rentierism, eliminating labor rights but above all generating a false consciousness of autonomy in the administration of time, the results of which are new processes of self-exploitation. 

To this macrostructural process occurring at the global level we must add the processes of accumulation generated through the dispossession of human life and nature generated by the implementation of neoliberalism. In the case of Latin America, neoliberalism has not only made working conditions more precarious, but has also exacerbated the predatory model of nature. In temporal terms, as a consequence of neoliberalism, it generates time that is triply exploited. The ways of compensating for the deterioration of the quality of life are associated with an increase in the number of working hours in precarious jobs, an increase in the hours of care work, mainly by women, to compensate for the insufficient household income, and an increase in the exploitation of natural resources due to the deterioration of the terms of trade. The greater the implementation of neoliberalism, the greater the number of days’ needs unmet by wages and the greater the expansion of the frontiers of natural resource exploitation. This is not a quantitative difference, it is a qualitative difference because it defines another form of society.  

Such expropriation of life is inversely related to time for democracy, for community, for sociability, for friendship, for community, for family or for enjoying nature. But this is not the main problem. The central problem lies in the sense of time generated by the capitalist transition and the implementation of neoliberalism. Liberated time can also be alienated time; but, of course, it can also be an emancipatory power. Just as leisure time can be freed up to spend 3-5 hours a day on social networks, it can also be used to participate in democratic processes, play sports, share with friends, take care of nature, etc. In other words, it is not enough to have more time, but it is clear that the sense of time cannot be contested if there is no time other than what is necessary for survival. The struggle for other chronos is as relevant as the struggle for the kairos of chronos; that is, the struggle for another temporal order is as important as the emancipatory sense that this new temporal order acquires (Ramírez, 2022b). 

Equating time with money is the meaning that time is granted in today's capitalism. Every second, every thousandth or nano-second has exchange value. And such sense of time is linked to the logic of productivity, where time always enters as a denominator; that is, dividing, splitting, fragmenting, saving. The subjective productivity that generates the search for time which systematically increases productivity not only relates to the necessity of generating greater speed in capital circulation (whether as commodities or as money), but also generates a subjective acceleration, as Rosa (2014) points out, where human fulfillment is a function of the greater number of activities that are executed in daily life throughout one's life. There is not only a hunger for time because exploitation increases as work becomes more precarious, but also because expectations of accumulating experiences grow within a time period limited to 24 hours, 7 days a week and 365 days a year, anchored in the founding myth of infinite consumption. Alice's rabbit would say: "I am here, but I should be there".  

Such a construction of the meaning of time is itself associated with a particular social function of science, which is in keeping with the accumulation of capital. Structural questions that arise in this framework include: Should the paradigm of industrialization generating full employment continue to be the utopia to be conquered? Can the current system of accumulation generate full employment? Is modern capitalism compatible with a system that is not based on the expropriation of time as a source of exchange value? What changes in the cognitive matrix are needed to generate an emancipatory function of science?

Everything would seem to indicate that the existing capitalism can hardly coexist without expropriating time for work and life, and that work in capitalism does not guarantee a dignified life.  

Given this situation, it should be clear that unemployment is not the only problem. The problem is the increase of the reserve army of labor that grows exponentially in the informal sector and that salaried work does not ensure a solution to poverty. This phenomenon affects the agenda and representation of progressivism, which has usually based its political platforms around labor and union organization, although this phenomenon has changed with the new century. 

This does not mean that the struggle for decent work should not be at the heart of the political dispute, linked to the pursuit of a programmatic agenda of industrialization. Undoubtedly, such a programmatic agenda continues to have relevance. However, the question is whether, given the changes the world is undergoing today, the expectations for life of the new generations are still based on work, and whether struggling for a radical change in the productive matrix — if feasible — could allow for the return of the focus on the full employment utopia as an objective of progressive projects. This debate is significant for popular national projects in general, but it is especially relevant in political projects such as Peronism in Argentina or the Workers' Party (PT) in Brazil, which have based their political strength on the worker, usually workers unionized in an industrial sector.  

Dependency theorists discussed the issue in depth: under capitalism in the periphery, industrialization does not guarantee modernity or democratization because it does not necessarily redistribute income and wealth. There are countries in the region that for two or three decades have lived on cash transfers and have not experienced the meaning of employment; where the value of employment as the center of life has ceased to be relevant, both in material terms and in terms of expectations. If we add to this the expectations generated by platform capitalism (where no education or experience is needed to generate wealth and the utopia of "easy money" is sold at the click of a computer, being the paradigmatic example of Khaby Lame) and narco-capitalism, which offers better standards of living than any other type of formal salaried work, it seems that the founding myth of a new project of society runs through different paths than the sphere of labor. It must be linked to life itself and its reproduction, promoting the maximization of common time and with it the generation and enjoyment of emancipatory relational goods: more friends, more democratic participation, more cultivation of the body, more eros, more production and enjoyment of art, more time to take care of each other and nature, as long as society has its human needs met. The closest thing to wanting to live together is to take care of each other and share time on a human scale; or, to share common social futures as a nation state and as a Patria Grande. Humanity has reached sophisticated levels in its scientific and technological advances that would allow us to advance in other projects for humanity. The problem is not that robots are taking jobs away from people or that artificial intelligence is replacing human brains. The problem is that robots and artificial intelligence are at the service of capital accumulation, which means they serve a project of exploitation, social alienation of life, and the depredation of ecosystems. 

If work does not guarantee a dignified life and the industrial project has lost importance in a world that is moving towards the servification of the economy, it is essential in the transition to place concepts such as the universal dividend, universal wage or universal income at the center of the debate. The pandemic demonstrated that one cannot depend on work to live a decent life. It is necessary to be clear in progressive political projects that the transition requires deconcentrated accumulation. If accumulation and the new rentierism are based on a capitalism that extracts value beyond labor — at every moment of human and non-human life — the concept of distribution of profits to guarantee a universal dividend is fair in a system that extracts social value at every moment of social interaction, usually through large transnational monopolistic corporations that hide in global regulatory loopholes, like tax havens. Similarly, a universal wage for care work, mainly performed by women, is fair not only because it is work per se but also because their work is a condition of possibility of surplus value in the capitalist system itself. However, if we recognize that the current system in dependency capitalism cannot guarantee that the salaried worker is not poor and that the necessary number of jobs are generated within the economic system for it to be the way to guarantee social and economic rights, the centrality of work passes to the background and the struggle moves from dignified work to a dignified life. In this framework, the all-encompassing concept in material terms becomes universal income. Thus, the universal dividend, the universal wage and the universal income are not mutually exclusive, but complementary actions. They are not handouts. They are a just recognition of work that is not valued in today's economy. 

The gregarious, cooperative and solidarity-based culture that exists in Latin America and the Caribbean can only prosper if it structurally breaks with the predatory valorization of time generated by the current mode of accumulation of capitalism. Herein lies the civilizational dispute: to move from the sense that time is money to the seizing and experiencing time for the good life, for the tasty (sabrosa) life. And today, women seem to be the ones leading the construction of other meanings of life. In this framework, the structural change in the meaning of time is currently taking place in the region through the convergence of social struggles in the political disputes of feminist struggles.  

Thesis 6: The national of the popular is the Big Question.

Progressive, leftist or national popular projects have based their agenda on the defense of the nation state. In the current system of capitalism, which is post-statist, the search for sovereignty is not only about recovering the state for the common good. In fact, its recovery is insufficient to guarantee autonomy of government and a historical project. 

In Latin America — and as long as an alternative mode of accumulation to the current one is not configured — the national of the popular is the Big Question. Regional integration is not a snobbery. It is a necessity for the survival of our peoples and is the only guarantee of winning the sovereignty of our territories. 

This situation not only involves recovering the agenda of CELAC and UNASUR. It means that we must not fail in the creation of a new regional financial architecture, including a common regional currency; in recovering science, technology and innovation, security and health councils; in the creation of cartels of lithium (or strategic resource) producing countries; in replacing the Organization of American States (OAS) as a space for the resolution of democratic conflicts in the region, but it also involves strategies that seek an integration within the framework of the new geopolitics where the articulator is the region itself. What do we mean by this? That the multipolar centrality should probably not be BRICS, but LATIN-RICS. Although the leadership could be retaken by Brazil, it could also be collective (e.g. Brazil, Mexico, Argentina) but always as representatives of the countries of South America, Central America and the Caribbean. Undoubtedly, this implies thinking about political integration, which implies that sovereignty must be ceded in some matters to the region in the face of the internal perspectives of the nation state unity.  

However, the experience of the conflict experienced on the continent means that integration cannot only be achieved through the union of the states, but must also be the unity of the peoples. This implies pushing those spaces that seek to concretize the construction of the Big Question from below, such as the Forum for Integration for the Plurinational Americas (RUNASUR), the Union of Universities of Latin America and the Caribbean (UDUAL) or the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), among others. Integration must be from "above" and "below", where summits are also from the bases of the social movements that share agendas of struggle throughout the territory of Abya Yala. The starting point of this agenda is the consensus of building Latin American and Caribbean citizenship, where there is transferability of rights and obligations.   

At this juncture of hegemonic transition, the battlefield expands and time compresses, so that the battle in any part of the region is our battle. Unlike zero-sum games of power redistribution, to think of the Big Question as an expanded horizon of destiny implies thinking of a cooperative game of positive sum where we seek the aggregation, not the division, of power rather than supremacy of one power over another. If conservative neoliberal projects have as their objective the aggregation of transnational corporations, popular projects cannot have the nation state as their space of articulation. 

In this geopolitical context, should we ally ourselves with the declining but still dominant power in the region, or should we seek alliances with the competing powers? Not with either one. Latin America must ally with Latin America (Ramírez and Guijarro, 2022c). For any rapprochement with either declining or emerging powers, we must first adopt the dimension of a regional bloc (ibid). 

Thesis 7: Only the people can save the people, so it is a matter of survival to unite political forces with social forces and combine their struggles.

We live in dark times. We have not yet reached the level of catastrophe of the dictatorships of the 1970s. But it is inevitable to remember the ominous past when the dirty war of the present carries out silent, but no less effective, coups through the very means that sustain the democratic facade. Today, the balance of power is a farce. 

Hence the condition of the powers that be: in times of recession of their hegemony, the conservative forces of the dominant ideology tend to become more overbearing and authoritarian. 

Given this situation, it is urgent to shore up political strength with social strength. When a conflict arises, it will not be the casual supporters or opportunistic allies who will show up. Only the people can save the people. 

If we analyze the history of the new millennium we can see that most of the progressive movements that have emerged in the region are born from the struggles of social movements that either organized themselves to become parties or pushed for anti-neoliberal political parties. Not only that. In the interregnum of the return of conservative governments, the governments that best resisted their onslaught were those that strengthened their militant grassroots structures and joined together with social movements. 

It is also true that the marriage has not been natural and has had a rocky road. In fact, when governing, the relationship between progressive projects and social movements was not at all simple and in some cases there were even splits that undermined the trust to move forward together. However, it is clear that, if the governments deviated in some cases, in resistance there is a convergence. Right-wing projects have found both progressive political parties and social movements on the sidelines. However, this has not necessarily entailed reaching agreements to rally together, which weakens the resistance: to resist separately is to resist weakened. 

Now, in the face of the right-wing onslaught to exploit identitarian approaches in order to advance the neoliberal agenda (Thesis 1), it gave way to the strengthening of the demands of feminist, ecologist, Indigenous and animalist social movements in the last five years. Although the first wave of popular governments had a markedly redistributive component, the empowerment of social movements in the face of the fascist conservative agenda has strengthened their presence in the public sphere. It is clear that the demands of the struggles of the working class movements must be central to the demands of the social movements, where the defense of the material conditions of life must always be a backbone. Not only that. It is tactical and strategic, in addition to the convergence between social movements and political movements, also the convergence of the struggles of social movements. 

Now, we need political parties that understand the social epistemic change that the region is experiencing. Just as it can be said that the vanguard in the 20th century ceased to be the organic intellectuals or think tanks that defined or proposed the destiny to be followed, in the 21st century the collective social intelligence takes center stage, defining the ideas and actions that have most effectively driven proposals to solve the crises our peoples face — such as, the feminist movement that has acquired greater power in Latin America in the new millennium. The political parties must know that they ceased to be the vanguard to define political roadmaps that any project needs. In this framework, if in terms of epistemic change there is a need for rearguard theoretical and epistemic tools, there is also a need for rearguard parties that know how to accompany the creative resistance of social movements (Ramírez and Guijarro, 2023). Part of the crisis of representation of the parties lies in the fact that they are distant from the social reality of the people. As long as social issues do not acquire political relevance, the institutional and representation crisis will be difficult to overcome. 

In fact, one of the great challenges not only for the anti-neoliberal agenda but also for societies of good living or tasty living is the convergence of the struggles of the ecological movements, with those of the feminist movements, with those of Black and Indigenous movements, among others. Redistribution, recognition and sustainability must march together. 

It is clear that in the transition, there will be de facto coexistence with contradictions. Deconcentrated accumulation does not always coexist well with radical defenses of ecological systems. But it should be clear that if we agree that seeking the necessary wealth to guarantee rights is a political issue, it is necessary to take into account that the main problem is to see ecological struggles not only as a sustainability or economic question, but also as a political one. If we do not reach agreements on the ecological transition, it will be difficult for social movements and political parties to march together. Long-term political sustainability implies a mode of production with ecological sustainability. In this framework, it should be clear that the horizon must start with a way out of extractivism. Furthermore, with the discovery in the region of the main lithium deposits in the world, although it is strategic to promote an organization of lithium exporting countries to coordinate policies and prices, it is essential not to fall into the trap of accumulation by defossilization, where the energy transition would only deepen the colonial export model of the region. It should be in the forefront of the debate in the region that the transition from the fossil to a post-fossil techno-productive paradigm should not have the same logic of a corporate mercantilist energy transition. 

The convergence of struggles must be articulated with the public visibility of shared utopian horizons: your struggle is my struggle, seen from another perspective. Within the frame of the temporal thesis and without detriment to other convergences, we can say that the struggles of resistance of the different social movements can be articulated as larger struggles for temporal emancipation, their meaning, and the search for a harmonious coexistence of the multiple temporalities that coexist in a specific political community. For example, the workers' struggle is not only so that no one exploits or appropriates the workers' time, but also so that working time is not precarious or alienated time. In other words, it is the struggle to delimit boundaries and that, in its maximum expression, the world of work and the world of life coexist in the same instant — flourishing, not alienating. Feminist struggles have been and still fight for an equal distribution of time throughout life, for the non-existence of violent or fearful times, and for society to take into account on equal terms the rhythms of their time and that of all genders. The struggles of Indigenous and ancestral peoples are struggles so that their multiple temporalities can live and coexist harmoniously among all the socially existing ones. The struggle of environmentalists — in the final analysis — is for the non-separation of time from space. In other words, where anthropic time can coexist with the times of ecological and biological cycles, guaranteeing an intertemporal justice of human and non-human lives. The struggle of migrants or exiles is to be able to live harmoniously and fully the time of their space in another space (Ramirez, 2022b).

What form of organization should the sum of these popular forces take? Social movements, local organizations and political parties all need to reinvent themselves. Reinvestment is not easy. It is not easy even within their own sphere of action. But it is clear that staying exclusively in their own sphere of action is a historical mistake. It is necessary to read the strategy in the certainty that the condition of possibility for my struggle to prosper as a party is only possible if the struggles of the social or local movements prosper, with all the vice versa required. Not only that, feminist struggles will hardly succeed if the ecological, workers' and Indigenous struggles do not flourish. 

However, it would be a mistake to let organizational logic fall into a capitalist logic of accumulation. This means that we cannot believe that synthesis is simply the sum of demands. A political community project is not equal to the sum of individual preferences. A progressive political project is not the sum of the demands of the activists, of the social movements, of the local, neighborhood or district committees. If we want to live together we will know how to define the core of the transformation, the transition to achieve it, and of the strategy of how to organize ourselves so that our blows will be more accurate. The slogan is clear: march together to strike together — knowing where we are marching and how we will strike.

But within the political and social organizations the challenge is no less important given that they must systematically seek democratization in decision making, representation of the social plurality, organizational consolidation, transparency in their financing, ideological coherence, constant training and internationalization to support the struggles of the subalterns across the region and the world. A major issue is the constant struggle to ensure that capitalist logic does not invade the parties and that party militancy is not replaced by political marketing consultancies. 

Given the intensity and force of social polarization in our societies, it seems that the tendency is towards the creation of fronts, not only with political parties but also with social and territorial movements. It would be a matter of reinventing the political and social United Front policy as a scalar policy: not to renounce the demands of each organization, nor the divergence of interests, but to accept them in a gradation of objectives. Ultimately, reforming the organization from the logic of incremental demands can contribute to translating the organizational demands that can still be fulfilled in neoliberal society into a counter-hegemonic grammar of needs located beyond the current social framework. This is the logic of constituent popular power, which has allowed the dissemination of post-neoliberal projects in Latin America such as the society of buen vivir (living well), sumak kawsay, alli kawsay, living to the fullest, vivir sabroso (living tasty).

Adopting such a program would also render the confrontation between reform and revolution useless: because if the objectives are inscribed in terms of ascending gradation, the domination that shapes the neoliberal state should be transformed into hegemony that shapes a transitional state.

This new political form will also make it possible to aggregate: a change based on sectoral interests is no longer conceivable; it is necessary to appeal to the new collectivities and their citizens, which already contain the premonition of a new social order. Within this framework, political education is fundamental as the backbone of the consolidation of political projects. 

In this direction, it will be necessary to appeal to the intermediate subjects, the enigmatic 'middle' class that is not usually defined in politics. At a transitional juncture there are always those at the top who cannot dominate as before; those at the bottom, who do not want to be dominated as before; and those in the middle, who hesitate. And in uncertain times, there are more of them; they must be won for the progressive cause. Such an objective is even more fundamental when popular governments are the ones that have systematically benefited these classes while right-wing governments have harmed them. It is necessary to break the myth of the Stockholm syndrome of the middle classes (Ramírez, 2022, Ob. Cit.). 

Here the danger of aggregating to the left would be to reduce the demands to the lowest common denominator: against this must be placed the weight of the program, of the organization, of the cadres and their discipline. Above all, the party must be reaffirmed, which with this strategic reorientation, would go from being an electoral machine to win votes to become a matrix to transform subjectivities. A revolution will only be possible when there are revolutionaries to promote it.

But this does not mean that one can look down on the aspirational classes, qualifying them simply as 'right-wingers'. The right-wing in Latin America does not yet have the organizational capacity that fascism had to mobilize the masses. Perhaps they do not need it either: ideology is a historical determinant, which can be pushed to extremes if social crises worsen. It is the mission of the united front of the left to prevent them from moving to the right, as seems to be happening in a portion of society.

That is why battles must be fought on many simultaneous fronts, instead of focusing on the state as an imaginary center of power —without ceasing to dispute it,  because it is undoubtedly an accelerator of change. It will be on these fronts — in struggles for land, water, education, health, justice, democratic participation, etc. — where the post-neoliberal transition will be played out.

And for this, subjectivities must be prepared in advance. So that formal attributes of power accompany change, and not the other way around. 

Here it is worth remembering what differentiates hegemony from domination: the capacity to orient society in a direction that not only serves the interests of the group, but which is also taken on by the subordinate groups in accordance with a common interest.

This is the task of the united front: to gain the social credibility that allows for the swelling of power as a hegemonic current.

Thesis 8: Contradiction is inherent to the transition from counter-hegemony to a new hegemony. 

The change that the world is experiencing as it passes towards a new hegemony inevitably implies contradictions within those political projects that seek to establish new common sense. This is fundamental to understand regarding processes of social transformation. A new hegemony is being contested. Progressive struggles are fighting for the peoples' subalternity to become hegemonic. In this framework, there is not only confrontation between conservative, neoliberal and right-wing projects versus national-popular, progressive or left-wing projects. In what seems to constitute the counter-hegemonic spectrum, there has been a confrontation between what is labeled as a dichotomy between the 'social left' and the 'political left': that is, between an anti-state autonomist left and progressive political forces that through political institutions seek to democratize liberal democracy and society.

This diagnosis is distorted: it focuses on the means (agendas, organization, protocols and practices), which undoubtedly differentiate to a large extent both the forms and the expressions of movements and parties; but it overlooks what unites — or should unite — emancipatory forces: the objectives.

The progressive, popular and national forces must be clear that the autonomist left is subaltern by its origins (in situations of exploitation, domination, subordination and systemic discriminations and violations), and can potentially be activated in a counter-hegemonic sense to become anti-capitalist, anti-imperial, anti-patriarchal, anti-colonial and ecological. However, from a certain sectarian point of view it would seem that the autonomist left should not constitute a new hegemony. However, the question is clear: is it possible to fulfill the objectives of social transformation without hegemony?

To answer this question, we must conduct an exercise of historical reconstruction. The transition from dictatorships to the restricted democracies that eventually emerged in Latin America in the early 1980s could not avoid the imperative of implementing the neoliberal program. The political alternatives of the left — most of them, at least — were absorbed by the partidocracy during those so-called "lost" decades. On the one hand, the right wing directly implemented the neoliberal agenda; on the other, during a long period of ideological adultery in the region, the left negotiated programmatic principles with the right in exchange for its survival, but at the cost of eroding the people's confidence in a reformist left option.

These circumstances led to a real divorce between the collaborationist parties and the people, who during the 1990s entered a phase of resistance, articulated mainly through social movements, and some strongholds in universities, progressive areas of the nonprofit sector, and in some minor forums and publications.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the disastrous social consequences of the neoliberal agenda made it possible to join forces for a new anti-neoliberal consensus. The historical moment demanded a shift from resistance to offense. At the beginning of the new millennium, radical leftist options were able to democratically enter government and promote public policies or, more radically, constituent movements rooted in genuine popular bases.

Nevertheless, some segments of the left opted to continue in resistance and to question those who decided to take up responsibilities and challenges in the realm of institutional politics. In practice, this option of the autonomous left was based on normative principles, which are often linked to maximalist agendas that, nevertheless, translate into specific objectives. In this framework, they negatively assess progressive governments and their protagonists for departing from such principles. In fact, they argue that, by participating in elections, gaining access to government and using public institutions, they are already violating part of those precepts insofar as they are making a pact with the state, which upholds the foundations of the capitalist system.

This criticism, regardless of its intentions, has shown some connection with the neoliberal discourse that since the 1990s has extolled "civil society" against the State — considered the great bête noire and associated with "totalitarianism" by the historical radical left. In this simplistic and Manichean vision of the world, according to the neoliberal paradigm, the state is the source of all social ills, both inefficiency and corruption, which is part of its formula to dismantle all capacity for public management, regulation and provision of public goods and social services in favor of market liberalization that favors the same old oligarchies.

However, the transformations carried out without taking central state power only occurred at the micro-local level. It is necessary to understand that a political project cannot be a question of summation, but rather requires the joint construction of shared futures. The fragmentation of the "social" into narrow redoubts is the strategy of the right wing: to divide and conquer. The left must therefore recover the common good as the first point on the agenda for radical change, incorporating the historical struggles of resistance.

But the question concerning the scale of struggle is constitutive, more than programmatic. No revolution can survive on the resistance of a limited sphere of influence. A historical lesson of neoliberal hegemony is precisely that the revolution will be global or it will not be.

This is something that has been understood by national-popular processes that seek to extend the transformation to broader spheres: national, plurinational, regional, global.  The scale of transformation also means the need to build (counter)hegemony. However, such construction starts from the old hegemony that is yet to be overcome, which involves — unavoidably and necessarily — living with contradiction in order to overcome it.

For example, it would be naïve to believe that an alternative system to capitalism can be built by fighting outside capitalism. If one wants to transform capitalism, during the counter-hegemonic moment one will have to fight in the domain of capitalism. Since the state is a key piece of capitalism, it can hardly be left uncontested. Not only that. It is difficult to build hegemony without the State apparatus, and — once again — without hegemony, no transformation is possible.

In this context, counter-hegemony will coexist, in the transitional conjuncture, with the institutions that shape the hegemony that is to be overcome. It is impossible to achieve another mode of accumulation — including the possibility of non-accumulation — without accumulating enough in the transition to generate the new material conditions necessary for social transformation. Even Marx and the classical scientific socialists, who although they are not our main ideological antecedents are always rightfully referents for the left, were clear that the shift towards socialism would take place in a society of material abundance, not scarcity. In this framework, it is inevitable that contradictions exist in the search for structural transformation. The dispute for a new hegemony will not be exempt from dialectical processes that even — due to historical preconditions — border on a relative "betrayal" of the original project of transformation.

We must clarify this: "betrayal" is understood here in a political rather than a moral sense and with a very specific meaning. The future hegemony must not only include those who are part of the counter-hegemonic projects, but also those who have become convinced to support them, and even defenders of the hegemony to be defeated. The new hegemony must lead as well as convince and seduce. Ultimately, although it may be uncomfortable for a good leftist, we must exercise control, we must dominate. We must occupy that uncomfortable political space and praxis. In other words, there will hardly be a new hegemony if only the subaltern and counter-hegemonic forces participate; that is to say, those with whom there would be prior political convergence. 

However, this contradiction becomes a desertion of the project if the new hegemony does not include those most committed in its political program. To leave them out is to ignore the need to ensure against these contradictions and tensions compromising the emancipatory project.

At a time of splintering consensus, the great majority of the population — especially the diffuse middle strata — is characterized by ideological doubt and uncertainty, which are the breeding ground of populist equivocation. Just as it is a challenge to build new common sense among those convinced of counter-hegemony, it also seems to be a challenge to unite the autonomist forces with the progressive ones in a constructive sense that has implications for the 'apolitical', in order to awaken them from their lethargy and attract them to the progressive camp.

Therefore, in our present conjuncture, the identity of the united front of the left must take its shape by counterposing itself to its objective class enemy: finance capital. At the apex of the system of neoliberal expropriation is the banking system. The whole regime of accumulation is corroded by parasitic banking, which concentrates capital, lives off interest and thus blocks accumulation through production. Even criminal organizations, which grow as parastatal entities where privatization has destroyed the state, are subsidiaries of the financial system that channels the flow of dirty money.

The contradiction contained in constructing a new hegemony cannot be a justification for abandoning the path from counter-hegemony to a new hegemony. This may well be happening in some progressive projects. In the name of pragmatism, and knowing that one must contend with the system, one ends up being part of the system — real betrayal, without quotation marks. In this case, the project mutates and the means (taking state power) are put before the ends (building a new emancipatory hegemony for society). If the conservative interregnum after the so-called first Pink Tide of progressive governments has taught us anything, it is that pragmatism can kill utopia/ucrony. But without it, there is no possibility of building a new hegemony. This means that material distribution and redistribution necessary to generate a new hegemony cannot be separated from the construction of a counter-hegemonic subjectivity that channels new hegemonic common sense.


Tocqueville, Alexis de (2018). Democracy in America. Critical edition and translation by Eduardo Nolla. Madrid: Editorial Trotta. 

González Casanova, Pablo (2006) Colonialismo interno, in Sociología de la explotación, Buenos Aires: CLACSO.

González Casanova, Pablo (2007) Colonialismo interno (uma redefinição), in Teoria marxista hoje. Problemas e perspectivas, Buenos Aires: CLACSO.

Ramírez, R. and Juan Guijarro (2023) "La parte por el todo. Trayectos, aprendizajes y desafíos para los partidos progresistas en América Latina" in Ramírez, R. (2023) Tomar partido. Trayectos, aprendizajes y desafíos para los partidos progresistas en América Latina, Buenos Aires: CLACSO-FES (in edition).

Ramírez, René (2022a). Who divides and distributes, does he keep the best part? Las derechas y las izquierdas en la distribución del pastel en América Latina, 2000-2020. Buenos Aires: IPET-UNLA. 

Ramírez, René (2022b). Life and time. Apuntes para una teoría uchronica de la vida buena. Buenos Aires: CLACSO.

Ramírez, René and Guijarro, Juan (2022c) "Ecuador: de la esperanza a la ira. Historia y repetición del neoliberalismo en Ecuador" in García Linera, A., Ramírez, R., Sader, E., Pochmman, M (coord.) (2022) Historia contemporánea de América Latina*,* Madrid: Akal.

Ramírez, René; Guijarro, Juan and Gallardo, Gabriela (2022d). From the labyrinth of loneliness to the paths of companionship. Mexico City: PUEDJS-UNAM.

Ramírez, R. (2021) "Ni larga noche neoliberal, ni corto interregno de gobiernos progresistas", in Ramírez and Ackerman La disputa por la democracia en América Latina. Perspectivas y desafíos en una era de transformación social global, PUEDJS-UNAM, Cámara de Diputados: Mexico City.

Rosa, Hartmut, (2016). Alienation and Acceleration. Towards a critical theory of temporality in late modernity, Buenos Aires: Katz. 

Santos, B. de S. (2014). Epistemologies of the South: justice against epistemicide. New York: Routledge.

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René Ramírez Gallegos is an Economist, PhD in Sociology of Inequality from the University of Coimbra, Portugal and Researcher PUEDJS-UNAM.

Twitter: @compaiRene

Photo: Flickr


Si existe crecimiento económico puede darse acumulaciones concentradoras incrementando en términos absolutos el bienestar de todos pero sin disminuir distancias indignas.
Esta tesis focaliza en una arista del colonialismo interno ligado a la práctica cultural del modo de acumulación de la oligarquía y plutocracia de nuestros pueblos. No obstante, el fenómeno es más profundo dado que está ligado al racismo en un continente plurinacional y a una cultura neoliberal que genera procesos de aculturación.
En el peor de los casos aunque no es mayoritaria la lógica liberal salvaje (ver Ramírez, et.al, 2022d), las instituciones vigentes potencian tal cultura. Esto implica que sin pensar alternativas institucionales que potencien el florecimiento de la solidaridad y cooperación difícilmente se podrá superar la cultura liberal salvaje.
Para un análisis del significado de materiales activos ver Fratzl, Peter, Friedman, Michael, Krauthausen, Karin and Schäffner, Wolfgang. Active Materials, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2021.
Solo deberá ser un “ingreso ciudadano universal” si la legislación garantiza la ciudadanía universal. Caso contrario, es mejor nombrar simplemente “ingreso universal”.
Esta sección se basa en el artículo Ramírez, R. y Guijarro, J. (2022c).
Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, México y Perú controlan más del 67 % de los recursos mundiales de litio.
Para un análisis de la convergencia de las luchas en su relación tiempo y democracia ver: Epistemologies of the South - Las luchas por los tiempos (el tiempo de la democracia y la democratización del tiempo (de las vidas).
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