Re: (OPE-L) Re: Paresh Chattopadhyay 'Capital, The Progenitor of Socialism'

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Tue Dec 30 2003 - 14:40:57 EST

>--On Tuesday, December 30, 2003 10:45 AM -0800 Rakesh Bhandari
><rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
>>I'm sure that not all the people fired by Lt. Col. Hugo Chavez were
>But you said 18,000 "workers".

So I was wrong by just a bit. Most were doubtless workers.

>>I think Michael L. suggested that most however were
>>technicians. Despite the good fortune of strong oil prices for this
>>rentier state, even the official unemployment rate had increased
>>under the Lt.Col's rule--electorally maintained, to be sure, but then
>>so was the rule of Fujimori and Menem.
>Now, why would anyone refer to "Lt. Col." and not "President", his
>twice-elected position?

Oh, I don't know--a distrust of military leaders. And we will need to
investigate how the Constitution is being changed.  Moreover,
electoral validation is not in itself proof of the progressiveness of
the leader.

>  And why would anyone claim that President Chavez
>is responsible for the rise in the unemployment rate in the circumstances
>of a massive bourgeois campaign against his government reminding one of
>nothing other than the experience of Allende in Chile in the early 1970s?

And why would that campaign be fully or even mainly responsible--oil
prices were high? Is Chavez to be protected from criticism?

>One doesn't have to claim Allende and Chavez make all the right moves to
>know where the principal problem lies.

Perhaps the principal problem is a rentier state, however that rent
is distributed. We haven't yet discussed the problem of Dutch
disease; Terry Karl does discuss it a bit, but does not clearly spell
out its workings.

A social democrat, Allende was not in charge of a rentier state, and
he did have an actual program of land reform and worker rights.
Chavez's program is very difficult to decipher. A lot of symbolic
politics in the international sphere, charged rhetoric about Bolivar,
delusions about the power of OPEC to set the price of oil, a friendly
regime for foreign investors, and some minimal programs for the poor
coupled with an assault on seemingly the last vestiges of good
working class, 'technician' jobs. Allende was not a demagogue.

>For a commentary such as we are seeing, either the writer doesn't know what
>he is talking about and writes anyway, or ...
>Enough said, Paul

Well if you look at what you have written, you have hardly said
anything at all.


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