Re: Economist slips up over Venezuela

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Thu Sep 23 2004 - 14:37:43 EDT

again briefly. Alejandro, if you want this discussion to stop, please
say so.  I was trying to respect the seminar format.

At 10:34 AM +0100 9/23/04, Paul Bullock wrote:
>you certainly did insist that the bosses lock out was a 'strike',

I did? And if so a strike by whom?

>and accused
>Chavez of being just another populist

So I didn't say it was a popular strike?

>... and ran him down..

On what grounds? That he was a populist or that he wasn't a populist?

>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.

this is not very helpful as a reply to what he did write, is it?

>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.

Didn't read his analysis of Argentina. Or don't remember it now.

>  In this sense, with another example,
>Michael is making a similar point.

Nor is a criticism of his Cuba analysis very helpful in understanding
the limitations of his Venezuela analysis.

>   Nevertheless, I would rather we had many
>hundreds more of  people like Petras, than those who pointlessly malign
>those like Chavez.

So his criticisms of Chavez are on point?


>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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Sep 24 2004 - 00:00:04 EDT