Re: [OPE] Venezuela is the most democratic country in LatinAmerica[MESSAGE NOT SCANNED]

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Sat Feb 28 2009 - 13:59:56 EST

paul bullock wrote:
> you said : "In a general case, it is quite obvious that what citizens
> decide in a democratic manner can have anti-democratic consequences.
> For instance, the NSDAP was elected into power." Now certainly the
> vote rose for Hitler 30% to 37% , but getting into power was another
> story as I indicated. I think it very careless to talk of Hitler being
> voted in... it was a political fix at the top, with the help of the
> big banks.

They could not have entered power without the massive electoral support.
That was a precondition. Moreover, I'm *not* comparing this with the
situation in Venezuela, just pointing out that the implication Jerry
made was wrong.

> What I find surprising in these exchanges related to Venezuela is that
> if matters had stayed the same as before Chavez's election in 1998
> for 99, it is doubtful if the country would be being discussed here in
> this way. Why should that be? What is it in the extraordinarily
> democratic Constitution, the defeat of privatisation plans for PDVSA,
> the defeat of a neo fascist coup, or the building of a mass workers
> party and a vote for socialism by the mass of the people for the first
> time in Latin America History outside of Cuba, that has caused this
> anti-Chavez, fear of 'dictatorship' , analogies with Napolean etc???
> The sudden appearance of 'democratic' sentiment directed against
> Chavez makes me thoroughly suspicious of the class interest that is
> actually being expressed. I hope you won't think me too blunt.

Well, I for one am not an advocate of liberal parliamentarism but
classical democracy. I readily recognize the advances that the
Bolivarian movement has made and the external challenges it faces by the
Right and the US. My concern here is the long-term internal stability of
the socialist project. How to strengthen the power of the
working-classes, not only as a goal, but as a means in the struggle
towards a socialist society. And in the long-term, how to preserve its
internal dynamism. I simply think the term-limit removal is a step in
the wrong direction. The power of the state aristocracy has to be
weakened in favour of state institutions under direct popular control.

As Paul C has put it: "The socialist movement has never developed a
correct constitutional program. In particular it has accepted the
misconception that elections are a democratic form."

//Dave Z
ope mailing list
Received on Sat Feb 28 14:01:58 2009

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