Re: [OPE] Latin America

From: paul bullock <>
Date: Sun Nov 30 2008 - 16:06:33 EST

I am very happy to support the present Cuban Government UNCONDITIONALLY. I also condemnd the US blockade and EU interference in its internal matters UNCONDITIONALLY. I also tend to think that going on about matters negatively when you have no hope in any way of changing matters is rather a waste of time, ie I am not a philospher, and I approve of Marx's theses on Feuerbach.
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Alejandro Agafonow
  To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
  Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2008 3:29 PM
  Subject: Re: [OPE] Latin America

  Paul B., What does this demonstrate? Is ‘democratic theory’ a result of hundreds of years of reflexive thought or a product of what millions of people worried about how to survive in the dangerous streets of Caracas think?


  You are a philosopher, aren’t you? Here is a question that you had to face during your studies: What prevent us to consider as democratic the massive popular support that Hitler enjoyed?


  Note that I think that Hitler fascism and Chávez populism are not comparable, except for the philosophical problems arising from the defiance that a majority of people pose to democratic principles and institutions.


  So, does your change of focus from Cuba to Venezuela mean that you accept that Cuba is a dictatorship?


  I openly accept that Venezuela is still a democracy. With very weakened democratic institutions, but a democracy after all. Might you be so straight?



  A. Agafonow

  De: paul bullock <>
  Para: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <>
  Enviado: domingo, 30 de noviembre, 2008 15:33:04
  Asunto: Re: [OPE] Latin America


  2005 Latinobarometro Poll Results

  [For a printable version, click here for html or here for pdf.]

  More people in Venezuela consider their country "totally democratic" than any other nation in Latin America, according to region wide survey results released this week.

  The poll, based on 20,000 face-to-face interviews in 18 Latin American countries, found that Venezuelans tend to be far more optimistic about their economy than other nations, less turned off by the political process, and more likely than most other Latin Americans to be happy with the direction their country is headed.
  * Venezuelans are more likely than citizens of other Latin American countries to describe their government as "totally democratic." On a scale of 1 to 10, the average Venezuelan gave her democracy a 7.6. The regional average was a ranking of 5.5

  * More than three in four Venezuelans prefer democracy over all other forms of government--the second highest ranking in the region.

  * Perhaps more crucially, Venezuelans have the second highest satisfaction level with the way their own democracy functions.

  * Venezuelans are far less worried about becoming unemployed than others in the region. While three in four Latin Americans in general worry about job losses in the upcoming year, less than half of all Venezuelans share this fear.

  * Venezuela is the second most optimistic country in Latin America about the direction of their economy. Only powerhouse Chile ranks higher in this regard. More than half of Venezuelans say their economy is progressing, in a hemisphere where less than one in three have similar confidence.

  Politics and Corruption
  * While most Latin Americans think that politics is too complicated to understand, only 2 in 5 Venezuelans share their frustration. Of the 18 countries surveyed, Venezuelans are the least likely to say they are confused by politics.

  * Venezuelans are optimistic that their government is effectively dealing with corruption. It ranks third among countries that believe that things have improved in the last two years.

  What Does This Survey Mean?
  Clearly, Venezuelans are generally more content with their government and economy than the vast majority of Latin Americans. Perhaps there is some cultural tendency that makes Venezuelans more optimistic by nature? A year-by-year analysis of Venezuelan opinions indicates that this is not the case.

  Latinobarometro polls from 1996-1998 indicate that in the three years before President Hugo Chavez was elected, Venezuelans had a much lower level of satisfaction with the way their democracy functioned.

  Data is not available for 1999, President Chavez’s first full year in office, but by the year 2000, satisfaction levels jumped a full 20 percentage points. Levels dipped a bit between 2001 and 2003, a time period which included the coup d’etat against President Chavez and a nationwide oil strike, yet even during these bleak times, satisfaction levels were still higher than the pre-Chavez years. Satisfaction really began to climb again in 2004, and by 2005 they’ve reached their highest levels since Latinobarometro began issuing their annual report ten years ago.

  Another obvious conclusion is that more Venezuelans believe their country is "totally democratic" than do citizens of other Latin American nations. Perhaps Venezuelans define democracy differently than a North Americans would? You may remember that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has referred to "democratically elected leaders who govern in an illiberal way." But when asked to describe the most important characteristics of a democracy, Venezuelans were far more likely than citizens of any other country in the region to prioritize civil liberties over elections.

    ----- Original Message -----
    To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
    Sent: Saturday, November 29, 2008 9:28 PM
    Subject: RE: [OPE] Latin America

> How it is possible that after 10 years of Chavista government the level of anomie in Venezuela
> keeps among the highest in the region, is a problem that Chávez’s sympathizers have to face
> instead of evading the reality.
    Hi Alejandro:
    There are a number of factors. First and foremost, the level of poverty - especially in urban
    areas. It is a reality - which can not be evaded - that much of Venezuela's wealth is owned by
    a small capitalist and landowning oligarchy. Another huge factor in promoting violence
    is the "opposition" which has incited violence and (with CIA financing and logistical help)
    is responsible for the (failed) junta and more recent acts of treachery. Then, there is the
    US which _wants_ (and pays for) instability and lawlessness in Venezuela. This is a tried
    and tested imperialist method for destabilizing "unfriendly" governments. The answer to _all_
    of these questions is a mobilization of the masses and a quicker march towards socialism.
    The recent elections have given Chavez and the PSUV the mandate to do just that.

> In the case of Cuba the reasons must be the police like regulation and a system of

> indoctrination that fosters the acceptance of an institutional order contrary to basic

> socialist values like freedom and autonomy.

    You jumped illogically to a conclusion which was not supported by your argumentation

    when you wrote what "the reasons must be" - and that, if I understood him correctly,

    was a large part of what Abelardo objected to. There is nothing _logically_ which supports

    such a strong conclusion. Your 'process of elimination' type 'deduction' has not

    considered all of the possible explanations (such as social cohesion in Cuba) _and_

    accepted without question or criticism all of the claims (by right-wing, anti-Castro,

    anti-socialist) in propaganda directed at Cuba. Your posts on these topics are also, imo,

    too filled with with what mainstream social scientists call "loaded terminology" - e.g.

    "indoctrination". Of course, left-wing and Marxian theorists are not immune from

    using loaded terminology either, but we do not generally (?) uncrtically accept the stories

    promoted by the bourgeois press, reactionary communities (like the right-wing

    Cuban exile community in the US) and the U.S. State Department.

    In solidarity, Jerry


    ope mailing list


  ope mailing list

ope mailing list
Received on Sun Nov 30 16:09:00 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Dec 03 2008 - 15:07:39 EST