RE: [OPE] Venezuela and the goal of Socialists.

Date: Fri Sep 26 2008 - 12:19:24 EDT

> When I want to act as an activist I go behind barricades. But the barricades in
> the social sciences are a lot more delicate, carefully built and, what is more important,
> constantly dismantled to reinvent them again.

Well, Alejandro, the 'barricades' in the social sciences - in times of intense,
heightened class struggle especially - are often not at _all_ delicate or subtle.

When we take a position on a struggle we put ourselves 'behind the barricades'
- on one side or the other: the class struggle itself forces us to evaluate situations
and pick sides.

These are real struggles in which millions of workers and others participate,
effect, and will be effected by. What we say and do about Venezuela et al
*tests* us - it tests our commitment to workers' movements, it tests our
revolutionary and socialist principles, and it tests our consistency. History
itself will determine whether we pass or fail these tests.

Also, _others_ watch to see how we perform in these tests. It is part
of the process by which solidarity is built: others take note of when we
offer solidarity and then offer solidarity in return. This is true whether we are
academics or not: _all_ of us are tested in struggle. Even when we say nothing
- especially, when our principles say that we should say something - is a test.
Indeed, silence can under certain circumstances be even more damning than

I can understand the positions of some others on the Left who are critical
and/or skeptical of the Bolivarian revolution. But, I wonder sometimes if they
are aware of who is listening to what they say, who will be encouraged by what
they write, and whether their words and actions will advance or retard the
actual struggles of working people.

In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Fri Sep 26 12:24:13 2008

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