Re: Economist slips up over Venezuela

From: Paul Bullock (paulbullock@EBMS-LTD.CO.UK)
Date: Thu Sep 23 2004 - 05:34:01 EDT


you certainly did insist that the bosses lock out was a 'strike',and accused
Chavez of being just another populist... and ran him down..

Michaels points are  something completely different.  Petras's articles are
usually quite on the mark...a recent one exposing the history of  Carters
Peace organisation / circus is really excellent.. But I do find that he
doesn't dig deep enough at times and this can be misleading. Thus on
Argentina he correctly pointed  to the sectarianism that  characterised  the
'piqueteros',  but without demonstrating why it arose,  the social basis for
its existence, the role of the police,  the government etc... which  then
leaves an incomplete picture behind. In this sense, with another example,
Michael is making a similar point.  Nevertheless, I would rather we had many
hundreds more of  people like Petras, than those who pointlessly malign
those like Chavez.

Paul Bullock.

----- Original Message -----
From: "michael a. lebowitz" <mlebowit@SFU.CA>
Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2004 6:47 AM
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Economist slips up over Venezuela

> At 17:34 22/09/2004, Rakesh wrote:
> >>but ...thats    the problem  with  happily  quoting the millionaires
> >>editorials so uncritically.
> >
> >
> >I don't think I did. I did send an analysis by James Petras to which
> >Michael L replied by pointing to Petras' criticisms of Cuba's recent
> >economic policies. ? I don't think you had anything to say about it. ?
> Just for the record--- the 'Rectification' period began in 1986 and marked
> a rejection of the exclusive emphasis on material incentives
> of the Soviet economic model that had been installed and instead a focus
> a return to Che's ideas. Among other things, it involved the resurrection
> of microbrigades, which had been discontinued as 'inefficient', and the
> encouragement of voluntary labour. Petras' idiosyncratic analysis was that
> the discouragement of work that was yielding bonuses but no use-values
> (such a familiar characteristic of Soviet bonus structures) and the stress
> on moral incentives was speed-up, wage-cutting and neoliberalism meant to
> prepare Cuba to compete in the world market. My point was that I give his
> interpretation of what is happening in Venezuela the weight it deserves.
>          michael
> PS. the Rectification period unfortunately was supplanted by 'the special
> period' once Cuba lost 80% of its trade.
> ---------------------
> Michael A. Lebowitz
> Professor Emeritus
> Economics Department
> Simon Fraser University
> Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
> Office Fax:   (604) 291-5944
> Home:   Phone (604) 689-9510

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