From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Fri Jan 02 2004 - 12:05:18 EST
In reply to the administrator Levy: 1. Chavez winning elections does not make a popular movement. I have not been condemning true popular movements such as worker actions in Argentina or the Zapatistas. Suffice to say, such movements are not trying to deploy a rentier state for this or that end. 2. Chavez's popularity has dropped. His rallies have attracted fewer people over time. 3. Chavez's popularity was strongest among street vendors, not any part of the industrial working class. 4. There has been no question that Chavez has courted foreign investors in downstream operations with sweet deals, that the state oil company is exporting less oil, that he has strenghtened the executive vis a vis the legislature, etc. 5. The facts that the supporters of Chavez on this list have cited have not constituted very strong evidence of his progressiveness. For the most part, Chavez has been judged progressive because his enemies are not. I don't find this a very strong form of argumentation. 6. Your own posts give us no reason to believe that Chavez's actual policies are on the whole progressive. Rakesh >Where there is a major class confrontation in which imperialism >is on one side and millions of workers and peasants fighting for >wealth redistribution, land reform, and sovereignty are on the >other side, it seems to me that there should be little doubt >as to which side of the class war fence Marxists (and progressives >in general) should be on. *At the very least*, progressives >have the *responsibility* to make sure that they have accurate >sources and a thorough knowledge of the situation *before* >they condemn such a popular movement. This is part of what >solidarity means. > >In solidarity, Jerry > > >> this is >> definitely at least partially my fault as I have only read a few >> pieces on Chavez's govt.
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