Re: [OPE] Venezuela again

From: paul bullock <>
Date: Thu Jan 29 2009 - 16:15:35 EST

AA is asking us to compare the practices of liberal regimes in developed countries ( ie essentially imperialist countries that sponge off the 'developing' ) with 'current socialist regimes'... This is quite ridiculous as a matter of principle.

PM Brown here has been trying to lock us up without right of trial (only a prelim hearing) for 90 days here in Britain!!!.. but alas can only manage 40...( in the USA it is 1 day, even if they fix the judiciary as with the Miami 5) ...... well well very liberal in a state which constantly boasts about Magna Carta etc. The string of increasingly tight UK Prevention of Terrorism Acts since the 70's were envied from the very start by Vorster in Aparthied South Africa!

What would have happened in the USA if the Washington Chamber of Commerce and parts of the armed forces had kidnapped the President because he eg 'conserved' ( ie quasi nationalised) the big banks?

Remember NO ONE in that motley crew in Venezuela who were involved in the failed coup was shot!! (- only the unarmed supporters of Chavez outside the presidential palace... by killers from the coup side.) ...most have been released.. and in one case elected to Regional Governorship in the recent elections.

The Cubans made it a principle never to brutalise any prisoner... how does that compare to a US President publicly defending 'water boarding' or mass training at 'The Farm' over so many years? ....

... AA's questions and answers seem to me blind to any balanced assessment of the facts. It is impossible to take these comments seriously.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Alejandro Agafonow
  To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
  Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2009 7:04 PM
  Subject: Re: [OPE] Venezuela again

  Claus, I’m not referring neither to you nor to anyone in particular. I don’t know who you are at all indeed. I’m just highlighting the fact that there are values and institutions in liberal democracies of which some Stalinists take advantage, and that these institutions must survive in Socialism.


  If these scholars were banned from liberal universities, I’m sure they are going to fiercely denounce the repressive nature of this practice, but they are not willing to recognize the repressive nature of this and other discriminatory practices in Cuba and increasingly in Venezuela.


  I’m going to answer you with another question. Having in mind the long list of items required to judge the “poliarchical” nature of a regime, which I shred with the list on the occasion of another discussion about Venezuela, can you really say that current socialist regimes are less repressive than liberal regimes in developed countries?



  A. Agafonow


  P.S. I’m not loosing my temper. I’m discussing. That’s what we do in a discussion list.

  De: "" <>
  Para: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <>
  Enviado: jueves, 29 de enero, 2009 13:25:18
  Asunto: Re: [OPE] Venezuela again

  Hi Alejandro,
  you should not lose your temper so easily, only because I think
  differently from you.
  In the first place, my personal source of earning is not of your concern,
  this is not what is being discussed. And second, you are wrong if you
  think we live in a liberal paradise where Marxists can express their ideas
  "without fearing retaliation", especially in Latin America. You should
  read the history of the class struggles in Latin America (and of all over
  the world as well) at least since World War II.
  Now about what matters: isn't the liberal democracy what is called
  bourgeois democracy in Marxist terms, which is conceived of as being a
  class dictatorship based on the exploitation of labour power by the
  capitalist class? Can you go beyond liberal democracy without
  extinguishing its material basis? Do you think it is possible to maintain
  a system based on the exploitation of one by the other without maintaining
  a system of repression?

> There are Marxists and non-Marxists socialists in this list that are not
> Stalinists. Besides, I am open to revise liberal institutions. I myself
> think that we can go beyond liberal democracy and the welfare state.
> Â
> But not at the expense of liquidating the values an institutions that let
> anti-system scholars like you express your ideas without fearing
> retaliations, and even having very wealthy positions in liberal
> universities of capitalist countries.
> Â A. Agafonow
> ________________________________
> De: "" <>
> Para: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <>
> Enviado: miércoles, 28 de enero, 2009 19:45:56
> Asunto: Re: [OPE] Venezuela again
> Hi Alejandro,
> you take a curious position in this debate, not accepting the validity of
> the opinions of people that do not agree with your own ideas. It is clear
> that the debate here is not only about different opinions, but about
> opinions based on different theoretical concepts about society. In this
> case it's difficult to come to relevant agreements, you should know that,
> counting as you do on the impressing "theoretical resources that during
> centuries liberal theorists have built". The problem is that those
> resources do not have to impress people whose ideas are based on different
> theoretical resources.
> You do not accept Marx's theory, that's ok, but you will not be able to
> discredit it simply by calling every Marxist that disagrees with you a
> Stalinist or referring to their theories as "shapeless ideas". This seems
> to me to be a are very poor way of debating.
> comradely,
> Claus.
>> Dear Jerry:
>> ÂÂ
>> This is the dichotomic logic that leads you to support the dictatorship
>> in
>> Cuba, and that will lead you to support any other Stalinist regime that
>> comes in the future.
>> ÂÂ
>> You, some Marxists, have not even properly developed the normative
>> foundations of this institutional order. I suspect that the reason is
>> that
>> you suspect that essentially these dictatorships are deeply
>> anti-socialists.
>> ÂÂ
>> Here I am, ready to willingly display the theoretical resources that
>> during centuries liberal theorists have built, debating with someone who
>> doesn’t want to even try to deepen into the normative
>> contradictions of
>> the shapeless ideas of the founder fathers of Marxism.
>> ÂÂ
>> I hope you understand why I can not continue with this partisan
>> discussion. If I want to involve in this kind of discussions I’ll
>> go to
>> the Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela, not to OPE.
>> ÂÂ
>> Sincerely yours,A. Agafonow
>> ________________________________
>> Para: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <>
>> Enviado: miércoles, 28 de enero, 2009 16:11:29
>> Asunto: RE: [OPE] Venezuela again
>>> A serious analysis has to start explaining the socioeconomic
>>> foundations
>>> of the evolution of the two-party
>>> system in a regime that doesn’t have formal entry barriers in
>>> the
>>> electoral competition.
>> ÂÂ
>> Alejandro A:
>> ÂÂ
>> No, a serious analysis has to begin with a historical analysis,
>> including
>> class analysis.ÂÂ
>> One has to scituate the current struggle in Venezuela, not in abstract
>> statements about
>> democracy and whether term limits are desirable, but in the actual
>> struggles
>> and material conditions of workers and the poor. One, additionally, has
>> to
>> grasp
>> the nature of the opposition and whether they are as pro-democratic as
>> they claim,
>> not by their propaganda but by their actions. Frankly, the whole
>> discussion by Chavez's
>> opponents - nationally and internationally - about whether there should
>> be
>> term limits
>> is a ruse: they couldn't care less about an abstract principle, they
>> just
>> want to see Chavez
>> gone by any means. What is 'hilarious' sometimes are the
>> inconsistencies
>> and hypocrisy of
>> these opponents: e.g. an editorial of _The New York Times_ÂÂ
>> supported
>> term limits in
>> Venezuela and said that Chavez was an undemocratic tyrant for opposing
>> them. One
>> would think then from that editorial that _The New York Times_ was
>> committed to the
>> principle of term limits, but that is not all the case. In New York, the
>> people of the
>> City voted twice for term limits. Yet, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg
>> asked
>> that
>> term limits be done away with (not through popular vote, but through a
>> vote of the
>> City Council), the _NYT_ supported Bloomberg's demand to get rid of
>> term
>> limits
>> on the Mayor even though polls showed that the overwhelming majority of
>> New
>> Yorkers were opposed to this. Of course there are many other
>> examples as
>> well,
>> most notably the fact that many of the same forces which conspired
>> against
>> democracy by supporting the 2002 coup d'etat talk about how
>> "undemocratic"
>> Chavez allegedly is.ÂÂ
>> ÂÂ
>> In solidarity, Jerry
>>Â Â Â _______________________________________________
>> ope mailing list
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Received on Thu Jan 29 16:17:39 2009

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