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New Left Review 64, July-August 2010


JACOB COLLINS

LINK ARMS!

‘Sisters and brothers, indigenous peoples of Bolivia, of Latin America and throughout the world’, began President Evo Morales’s inaugural address in 2006. ‘Today begins a new day for native peoples, in which we seek equality and justice; a new millennium for all peoples. Brothers and sisters, I undertake this commitment here, in this sacred place.’ Perhaps it is only fitting that this ringing example of a contemporary fraternal appeal should be drawn from Bolivia, where Régis Debray spent three years in prison in the 1960s in the service of brotherhood with Che Guevara, Castro and the Latin American Revolution. Debray’s latest book, Le moment fraternité, though not lacking in the deadly sarcasm or contrarian political sensibility that has distinguished so much of his work, sounds an unusually hopeful tone. [1] Régis Debray, Le moment fraternité, Gallimard: Paris 2009, €21, paperback 384 pp, 978 2 07 012462 6 Fraternity has always been a strong leitmotif of Debray’s work, but now it becomes the centrepiece for a positive theory of political and social organization. Life lived exclusively in the first-person singular is damaged life, Debray reminds. But how is the fraternal bond to be reconstituted, in an age in which ‘the individual is all, but the “all” no longer means anything’?

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