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

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Thu Jan 01 2004 - 15:29:23 EST

Dear Paul,
I don't think we are getting very deep in this discussion; this is
definitely at least partially my fault as I have only read a few
pieces on Chavez's govt.

1. Re: new constitution. you don't really say anything but as far as
I can make out; there has been a consolidation of executive power
vis-a-vis the legislature.
2. coups are never consonant with Marxian politics. Neither for that
matter are Bolshevik Party forms.
3. I do not equate the Cuban experiment with Chavez's rule.
4. I have not advanced an blanket case against nationalism.
5. Whoever called the strike does not matter now; Chavez cleaned
house of indigeneous technical talent, leaving Venezuela dependent on
foreign help and foreign investors whom he has treated very well
indeed; the state oil industry is now even weaker. Despite his
rhetoric Chavez's policies are often neo liberal in content.
6. You do not deny that Chavez circulates very simplistic ideas about
the power of OPEC to set the price of oil.
7. You argue that all the trade union leaders are corrupt. Fine, but
the rank and file industrial workers do not seem to find much for
themselves in Chavez's govt whose strongest electoral base seems to
be street vendors.
8. You argue that leftist opposition is never leftist. This is
argument by definition: loyalty to Chavez is leftism.
9. I don't know much about well paid academics--and what is well paid
in your opinion--do you know what rent is like in the San Francisco
Bay Area?
10. How are you defining labor aristocracy--any worker who does not
demonstrate fealty to the Party or the leader? Actually David's ideas
about the motive forces behind imperialism seem closer to Karl
Renner's than Engels'. Are street vendors the true proletariat as
opposed to steel workers?
11. You never did specify the source of the rent that Chavez hopes to

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