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

From: paul bullock <>
Date: Sun Mar 01 2009 - 09:06:29 EST

This is an open appeal to pacifism as the best way to achieve socialism, and seems to ignore the fact that M Luther king was assassinated.
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Alejandro Agafonow
  To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
  Sent: Saturday, February 28, 2009 6:29 PM
  Subject: Re: [OPE] Venezuela is the most democratic country in Latin America

  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

  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
  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
  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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