Re: Chavez's Speech: Ready for recall vote he had himself proposed!

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Sat Jun 05 2004 - 17:48:13 EDT

At 4:20 PM -0400 6/5/04, Paul Zarembka wrote:
>Remember "Civil War in France";
>Remember "recall" of public officials;
>Remember who proposed it for Venezuela;

May I remind you that there is both far left and social democratic
opposition to Chavez? With forward of Sonntag site I indicated an
expression of the latter type--you have not spoken to what he
actually wrote; perhaps through your links with the Venezuelan masses
you know about the specific criticisms made by Bandera Roja (led by
Gabriel Puerta) and Tercer Camino (led by Douglas Bravo). Why have
they argued that Chavez has been effective through the use of
demagogy in implementing IMF austerity like programmes? Where does
the privatization of oil, gas and basic services stand today? What is
the nature of price controls?  What do you think of Chavez's earlier
relaxation of capital controls and use of hard currency to support
the bolivar? Did the latter exacerbate Dutch disease like problems?
What has been the class content of his many decrees regarding public
sector workers? What's the history of his regime in terms of
mediation of industrial class conflict in the private sector? Has he
made good use of the bonanza of oil wealth that high prices have

How will the Civil War in France help me or anyone answer such questions?

>Note who has happily accepted such a referundum about himself:

A popular referendum will not answer the above questions. For
example, I cannot determine the class content of Schwarzenegger's
worker compensation reform from his having won a referendum or even
his present widespread popularity. That requires actual analysis of
actual policies.

>Reject Bush's, Kerry's, Rakesh's, et al. references to "Chavez's
>authoritarian regime".

criticism from the right is not the same as criticism from the left.
But you seem intent on muddling things so that clear answers to the
above questions don't have to be given.

By the way, you seem to have interpreted Althusser as writing the
exact opposite thing that he did write.  See Reading Capital. That's
what my last message was about, so I was not expecting this renewal
of the Chavez debate.

>  History is in the making!

My idea of history in the making is not the winning of a referendum.
What do you think Max Adler's distinction between political and
social revolutions; I think it's still illuminating. It's in Austro
Marxism, ed. Bottomore and Goode.


>Paul Z.
>Vol.21-Neoliberalism in Crisis, Accumulation, and Rosa Luxemburg's Legacy
>RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY, Zarembka/Soederberg, eds, Elsevier Science

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