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Anarchists Vs. Dictatorship: FEJUVE and Bolivian Dictatorships


I previously wrote about a mutualist anarchist community of over 600 neighborhood councils called FEJUVE - which is short for Federation of Neighborhood Councils-El Alto. This anarchist community, as I previously stated, is still around in Bolivia to this day and has survived over two generations, lasting 43 years since this article was written. On top of that, the population of the society is about 114,000 people. For context, that population is around the same size as the Federated States of Micronesia, so you pretty much have a small libertarian nation within Bolivia with a large population living in harmony without needing a monopoly on violence to keep things in line. All of this makes FEJUVE one of the idea anarchist mass societies that I am proud to write about as a form of generational anarchism.

However, I forgot to mention that FEJUVE had to spend a lot of their earlier years battling the dictatorship that was in charge of Bolivia for a decent chunk of the nation's existence. When FEJUVE was made into a community in 1979, Bolivia was under a military dictatorship where Alberto Natusch Busch, after a bloody coup, ruled with an iron fist. Then, after his reign, another dictator named Luis Garcia Meza was in charge from 1980 to 1981 and Celso Torrelio became the dictator of Bolivia after him. This dictatorship eventually ended with Guido Vildoso as the final dictator of Bolivia in 1982 as explained in the book Poder y Fuerzas Armadas, 1949-1982 by Gary Pardo Salmon.

During this time and plenty of other times afterward, this de-facto community had to create a defense force of volunteers that did not have a monopoly of violence or a series of powers that put them above the common man to defend themselves against a dictatorship that would love to see the community forcibly shoved back under authoritarian rule and - it worked! The anarchists, thanks to their informal mutualist economy, had the resources to resist government tyranny and remain an independent reminder of how libertarian ideals and community defense can go hand-in-hand!

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