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Theory in the practice of the Nicaraguan revolution /
Bruce E. Wright.
Athens, Ohio : Ohio University Center for International Studies, c1995.
xii, 272 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
0896801853 (alk. paper)
More Details
Athens, Ohio : Ohio University Center for International Studies, c1995.
0896801853 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 245-267) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Bruce E. Wright, Professor of Political Science at California State University, Fullerton, has visited Nicaragua in a number of capacities, ranging from being a member of a school construction brigade to Academic Representative in the United States of the Nicaraguan Institute of Economic and Social Research (INIES)
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-03:
An excellent basis for understanding the Nicaraguan Revolution primarily as a Sandinista revolution, this book is first-rate analysis. The author draws on extensive reading of revolutionary theory as well as in-country experience, 1986-91 at INIES, the Nicaraguan Institute for Economic and Social Research. He argues persuasively that the Nicaraguan Revolution be interpreted in "Nicaraguan terms," as an alternative revolutionary model grounded in the theoretical and historical traditions of Sandino and Fonseca and in the internal class relations of the country. It is "a new model of a democratic, yet revolutionary, transition to socialism." The global demise of Marxist systems and the 1990 electoral defeat have not delegitimized the Sandinista model, which remains rooted in political pluralism. Participatory democracy combined with the popular vanguard role and class hegemony of the main revolutionary party has protected fundamental revolutionary gains. In this important sense, "the Nicaraguan revolution continues even if one sees the Sandinista revolution as having ended." A most readable and carefully constructed and argued thesis that provides a comprehensive overview of Nicaraguan political events since 1979. Highly recommended for all readers. W. Q. Morales; University of Central Florida
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 1996
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Main Description
Even in the period following the electoral defeat of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in 1990, the revolution of 1979 continues to have a profound effect on the political economy of Nicaragua. Wright's study, which is based on interviews with people from all walks of life -- from government and party officials to academics and campesinos -- as well as on the large volume of literature in both English and Spanish, focuses on the FSLN understanding of the relationships between the state, the party, and mass actors, and the nature of social classes. Wright considers the topics of agrarian reform, the development of mass organizations, the role of labor, and other aspects of the Nicaraguan political economy in order to assess their significance in theoretical as well as practical terms. Book jacket.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
Theory in the Sandinista Revolutionp. 10
The Nicaraguan Revolution in Perspectivep. 13
The Last in a Series of Socialist Revolutionsp. 13
The First in a New Series?p. 15
The Internal Basis of the Nicaraguan Revolutionp. 19
No Counterrevolution by Electionp. 21
The FSLN in Oppositionp. 23
The Continued Legitimacy of the FSLNp. 27
The Election as a Sandinista Victoryp. 27
Foundations of the Continuing Revolution in Sandinismop. 30
Making Sense of the Election Defeatp. 32
FSLN Self-Criticism and Internal Reformp. 33
New Revolutionary Actors: The Revueltos Emergep. 38
Labor as an Independent Revolutionary Actorp. 44
Sandinistas in the Streetsp. 47
Development of the Political Ideas of the Nicaraguan Revolution: From Sandino and Fonseca to the Triumphp. 49
Fonseca and Sandinop. 49
Lessons from Cubap. 53
Politics, the Armed Struggle, and the PSNp. 55
Fonseca's View of Nicaraguan Historyp. 57
Contemporary Consequences of Fonseca's Theoryp. 73
The Three Tendencies and Theoryp. 74
FSLN Principles of Governmentp. 78
From Corporativist Pluralism to Electoral Democracyp. 81
The Vanguard and Pluralism in Marxism-Leninismp. 81
The Development of the Concept of Pluralism in Western Liberal Thoughtp. 83
The FSLN, Pluralism, and Hegemonyp. 85
Plural Actors in the Anti-Somoza Strugglep. 88
Pluralism, Hegemony, and the Revolutionary Statep. 91
The Governing Junta of National Reconstructionp. 93
The Council of State: Functional Representationp. 95
The Mass Organizations and Pluralismp. 96
The CDSp. 97
The Military and Hegemonyp. 100
Theory and Practice in the Consolidation of the Revolution: A Critical Analysisp. 107
Construction of Nicaraguan Pluralism by the Vanguard: Problems of a Conscious Hegemonic Agent
The Theory of Advance to Socialism: Pluralism and a Mixed Economyp. 113
Fashioning New Rules for the New Economic Elite: Separating Patriotic Producers from Counterrevolutionariesp. 121
Participation of the Masses in Pluralismp. 126
Sandinista Defense Committees: Towards Demobilizationp. 127
Setting the Limits on the Role of Unions
The Agricultural Workers Dividep. 131
Urban Unions, Incomplete Consolidation; Controlling the "Left"p. 144
Pluralism and Participatory Democracy Through the 1984 Electionsp. 150
Some Guidelines for Assessmentp. 150
Some Dangers in Successp. 151
Problems of Guided Pluralismp. 152
The 1984 Election Strategy: Success through Explanationp. 153
Popular Organizations and the Vanguardp. 157
Demobilization, not Dictatorshipp. 158
Political Pluralism, Participatory Democracy and Classp. 159
The FSLN on the Place of Mass Organizationsp. 161
Critique of the FSLN Positionp. 163
The Revolution in Survival Mode: Rewarding Enemies and Losing Friendsp. 169
Priorities Shift: City-Country, Social-Private Producersp. 169
Facing Down the Colossus of the Northp. 170
The U.S. Sets the Economic Part of the Trap: Nicaragua Refuses to Enterp. 171
The Owl of Minervap. 175
Political Successes in the 1985-1990 Periodp. 175
Some Paths Not Followedp. 177
Pluralism and Economic Analysisp. 179
Losing the Electionp. 180
Priority to the Countryp. 182
Distinguishing the Countryside from the Cityp. 182
Loss of Base in the Countrysidep. 183
How the City Had Been the Priorityp. 183
Campesino Unhappiness with Losing Old Intermediariesp. 185
New Directions for Agrarian Reformp. 186
The Move Toward Individual Productionp. 187
The Worker-Campesino Alliance before 1985p. 188
Rethinking the Worker-Campesino Alliancep. 189
Giving Priority to the Individual Campesino Producerp. 191
Economic Rationality Replaces Revolutionary Logicp. 199
Reaching the Bottom of the Barrel and Costs of Warp. 199
Economic Adjustments 1985-87p. 200
With the Promise of Peace Comes Economic Austerityp. 201
The 1990 Election: Everything Will Be Betterp. 207
Class, State and Partyp. 211
Sandinista Theory and the Rejection of "Orthodoxy"p. 211
The Third Force as Social Subject of the Revolutionp. 212
The Vanguard and Social Forcesp. 213
The Too Orthodox Nature of FSLN Class Theoryp. 214
Class Complexity and the Vanguardp. 215
The Proletariat Must Suffer, Other Classes Get Preferencep. 218
The Third Force Must Suffer, Toop. 219
The "Forces" and the Working Classp. 220
The Party as Intermediaryp. 221
Sandinista Theory as Developmentalist Marxism: State, Class, and Partyp. 222
Agriculture as Guided Developmentp. 223
Class Division, Not Class Consolidation in Agriculturep. 224
The Economics of Large Scale Agriculturep. 226
The Urban Dynamicp. 227
Marx on Classp. 229
The Immense Majorities as the Working Class in Nicaraguap. 229
Can Grassroots Movements Replace Class?p. 230
The Vast Majority as the Working Class in Nicaraguap. 231
Reducing Differences among Workers as a Classp. 232
New Opportunities since the Electoral Lossp. 236
Conclusionp. 238
Referencesp. 245
Indexp. 268
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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