[OPE] Venezuela is the most democratic country in Latin America

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date: Thu Feb 26 2009 - 15:53:15 EST

I don't see it as my prerogative to pontificate about the Bolivarian revolution, but I would think people are going to judge Mr Chavez mainly on whether he shows evidence of being interested in a living dialogue with other people, and doing what that requires, or whether he mainly wants to tell other people how the world is, in a ranting monologue.

Of course the New Marxist Exploiting Class and the rest of the parasitic Left is going to be an uncritical "cheerleader" for Mr Chavez's more "dictatorial" styles - their own privileges, authority, raison d'etre or status, if not their salary, depend precisely on powerful figures and exemplars like Mr Chavez giving reality to their aspirations. Obviously, there is an enormous difference between Mr Chavez in Venezuela, and Mr Mugabe in Zimbabwe, but the basic social logic remains the same, in this regard.

Suppose that, like Mr GW Bush, you regard the law in practice as an "ass" (despite a theocratic rhetoric of "infinite justice") and, in a position of power, effectively just make up the rules to suit yourself as required. What is the consequence?

Well, people are going to have little confidence anymore in the efficacy of the law to deliver them anything much, never mind social justice. The long-term effect is going to be, that you can make up all kinds of rules according to your own idea of what is desirable, but people aren't going to take much notice - in particular, because they realize that other people aren't taking much notice either.

And in that case, all you have to persuade people to follow you, are "carrots" (people get access to resources, if they follow you) or "sticks" (the threat or use of force, if people do not obey). And you hope people will acquiesce to your rule, on the basis that the cost of rebellion is higher than any possible gain rebellion could obtain.

That's also a lesson re-learnt in Iraq. In the USA, there is one law for the rich, and another one for the poor; that is the main reason why the USA has almost a quarter of the world's entire prison population, and obviously if there is no justice at home, obviously you cannot force it into existence in an imperial neo-colony like Iraq either. You're just going to reproduce the same injustices you already have at home.

The problem is, that any kind of socialist society (or any kind of social efficiency) is not going to function, if people do not even believe that they can obtain fair, reasonable and equitable treatment from the rule of law. Whatever else you mean by socialism, it requires a high level of intelligent cooperation, and that cooperation is simply not going to occur, unless people feel that, at the very least, their rights as citizens are secure, and that disputes can be settled in a just, fair and objective way. If they don't feel that, they are not going to provide the kind of information that can make any effective social planning possible. In that case, you will just get people "policing" other people. The result is worse than in a market society in which people are indifferent to the fate of other citizens, because at least if they are indifferent, they leave you alone, rather than inspect and "correct" you minutely for any sign of political deviation.

That Marxist philosophers of technocracy just think of these problems in terms of abstract mathematical formula's about inputs and outputs, theories of value, and democratic proceduralities, but "we" (i.e. the people who have to make this work effectively in practice) think about it in terms of how and on what basis people are really relating to each other, how they experience their humanity, what kind of moral conscience they will have, and if they don't have that, why that is, etc.

Marxism isn't a good guide there, because it covers only a few aspects of a social totality which is much richer in content, than what Marxist ideology can envisage. Marx never had anything like a finished theory of human existence, but Marxists act as though he had. Consequently, they must necessarily blot out all those areas of human existence which Marx or Engels had nothing to say about, or else, doctrinally and ideosyncratically, substitute the sayings of some or other Marxist-Leninist dictator or "orthodox" sage to fill the "gaps".


ope mailing list
Received on Thu Feb 26 15:55:11 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Mar 24 2009 - 20:30:37 EDT