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

From: Alejandro Agafonow <>
Date: Sat Feb 28 2009 - 13:29:40 EST

After the open contradictions and excesses of the communist left, it is time for socialists to try an apparently more ingenuous way. After all, Gandhi and Luther King seem to be offered more endurable and coherent legacies than the communist leaders.   It is time to oppose any strategic concession if it betrays socialist principles.   A. Agafonow ________________________________ De: GERALD LEVY <> Para: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <> Enviado: sábado, 28 de febrero, 2009 17:53:28 Asunto: RE: [OPE] Venezuela is the most democratic country in Latin America >[...] no socialist should tolerate seeking the protection of allegedly strategic considerations. [...]     Alejandro A:   *Without 'strategic considerations' there can be no socialism*.    Underlying your objections are different perspectives on the state, classes, and political power.  Evidently you think (despite all historical evidence to the  contrary)  that the ruling class of Venezuela will agree to have its power and wealth taken away from them without a 'no holds barred' fight.  One doesn't even have to be a Marxist to appreciate this: Lord George Brown (hardly an example of a Marxist or a revolutionary) wrote: "No ruling class in history has given up its power without a struggle, and that usually meant a struggle with no holds barred."   Of course, there _must be_ 'strategic considerations'!  It would be utter folly to attempt to bring about socialism without a recognition of what one's class enemies have shown that they are willing to do to protect their wealth, privileges, and power. It would be folly to think that a genuine socialist movement can be successful without, in the process, confronting imperialism. The US and the Opposition in Venezuela have already shown - many times over - that they are willing to do ANYTHING to preserve their power and destroy the Bolivarian movement.  That is simply a FACT, a fact that socialists must deal with.   Does it mean that socialists must deny democratic rights to the "Opposition"? No, but it means that they must ALWAYS be aware of the above.   The bourgeoisie will always squeal and cry about the "lack of democracy" whenever their "rights" (such as the "right" to privately own and control the means of production and wealth of the nation and their "right" to "free enterprise") are allegedly or actually been taken away from them. O how they howled in Chile after the nationalizations by the Allende government!  Every _real_ step towards socialist democracy will be hailed by them as a step towards dictatorship because a socialist society would mean an end to BOURGEOIS democracy - the only form of democracy that they accept as legitimate.   If you want to know some of their tactics, look at what happened in Chile under the UP government _before_ the coup (especially the disruptions to civil society planned and paid for by the CIA). If you want to know some of the tactics of the "Opposition" in Venezuela, look at some of their actions (developed in coordination with the US) _before_ the 2002 coup _and_ afterwards. They have shown *by their actions* that they are capable of any atrocity and lie.   To say that the opponents of 21st Century socialism have engaged in a disinformation campaign against the Bolivarian movement is simply a statement of _fact_.  The reality that they control the international press as well as most of the mass media in Venezuela is also clear.  Unfortunately, some of this disinformation has been accepted as fact by a segment of the international Left. For some reason their ability to recall the many historical examples of disinformation campaigns by US imperialism and the bourgeois press in Venezuela and internationally is absent. But, thankfully, the Bolivarian revolutionary movement in Venezuela has a historical memory and that informs its actions.   To defend the revolution against its bitter enemies is seen always by those enemies as "undemocratic", but  SELF-DEFENSE is a necessary component of any genuine revolutionary movement.  Without SELF-DEFENSE by the majority of the people (which _is_ the  majority of working population and the poor) there will be no socialism OR genuine democracy.    Let us be clear: working people defending themselves from their class enemies is no more 'violent' than women defending themselves from rape. To say that workers should prepare to defend themselves through practical means is no more a call for violence than would be a call for women to attend classes in self-defense.   If you don't share the above perspectives, it is because you are not a Marxist and don't have the same historical and class perspectives that Marxists do.  Marxists are MORE committed to socialist democracy than other socialists, I will claim, because they accept the principle that working people must be prepared to do what becomes historically necessary to make a socialist democracy a reality.   After the coup in Chile in 1973, the Left in Latin America said "Never Again!". They must take practical measures - what you call 'strategic considerations' - to ensure that it NEVER does happen again!   In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Sat Feb 28 13:31:55 2009

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