All of Us Began with Marta Harnecker

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2133 ... June 26, 2020
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All of Us Began with Marta Harnecker

Miguel Enrique Stédile

During an interview, then-Bolivia Vice-President Álvaro García Linera and Spanish state parliamentarian Pablo Iglesias were exchanging ideas on classic texts and their own initiation into politics when the Spanish activist proclaimed: “All of us began with Marta Harnecker.” This statement is not only true for today’s young leftists but for thousands of people who have defended Marxism and socialism in the past four decades.

It is no exaggeration to affirm that Marta Harnecker (1937–2019) was arguably the most important disseminator of Marx and Lenin’s ideas among successive waves of activists in Latin America, starting with the publication of her “Booklets for Popular Education” in the 1970s and followed shortly after by The Basic Concepts of Historical Materialism. At the same time, her own political and intellectual trajectory is illustrative of the course of the Latin American left in the second half of the 20th century.

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