The former vice president of Bolivia Álvaro García Linera affirmed this Friday that “knowledge must be a weapon for social transformation”, and considered that in Latin America there are “new rights that are racist, supremacist and anti-feminist”, speaking in a public talk on knowledge production and political commitment held in the Auditorium of the General Sarmiento National University (UNGS).
“When I had to review Hegel, Gramsci, Althusser or Zizek, it was not with the desire to play with words but with the desire to use the word as a tool for social change. Knowledge is there to be a weapon of social transformation,” Linera pointed out at the beginning of his dissertation.
The leader of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) who seconded Evo Morales in the leadership of the Plurinational State of Bolivia between 2006 and 2019, praised the quality of Argentine national universities, stating that “they are one of the most prestigious on a planetary level.” , even above the house of higher studies such as the “Complutense of Madrid and the Sorbonne of Paris”.
“We take it almost as a natural thing that the university is public,” said Linera regarding one of the characteristics of education in the country, where “a son of a peasant or worker can enter without saving thousands of pesos.” .
In this sense, he affirmed that the university, in addition to “provide the technical tools” so that people can have “a social ascent”, it must also provide “critical thinking, which opens up other horizons”.
Linera spoke together with the secretary of Evaluation and Educational Information of the Ministry of Education of the Nation, and rector of the Ungs, Gabriela Diker.
During the meeting, which lasted almost two hours, the former president made reference to the commitment to social transformation when power is exercised.
“If you are in the State and despite what you have done, there are still poor people, discriminated against and injustice exists, there are things that you are not complying with. There is a duality that runs through the revolutionary when he reaches the Government. There are those who ask to legitimize what exists so as not to give strength to the right and those who want to transform what exists, at the risk of losing what has been achieved. There are some comrades who say we’ve made it this far and others who say no,” he stressed.
Regarding this duality, which in his opinion is usually present in progressive governments, Linera added that “There is a risk” that these debates of the popular forces “strengthen the right”, but he evaluated that “not daring to make that transformation is betraying” the mandates of the citizens.
García Linera also made a self-criticism of the progressives in the continent, who, despite the fact that “in the last 15 years they have lifted 70 million people out of poverty”, encounter difficulties and “do not know how to speak to the ascending popular sectors”.
– UNGS (@ungsoficial) April 29, 2022
“The popular now has other aspirations and other information circuits,” said the intellectual.
On the other hand, García Linera stated that during the coronavirus pandemic, “the State has saved a market that no longer serves to explain the world.”
The former president recognized that the feminist movement is one of the “main actors of the transformation in Latin America” and that, in the face of advances in rights by women and indigenous people, “the new right-wing movements are becoming racist, supremacist, anti-feminist.”