Bonapartism, SWP, imperialism (Re: A question for Jose P.)

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky nestor at
Wed Sep 1 15:36:24 MDT 1999

El 31 Aug 99 a las 21:35, Michael Pearlman nos dice(n):

> Jose, perhaps you can shed some light on the following:
> How do the Barnesites explain and justify their
> differences with Castro,
> for example on Chavez in Venezuela.  I saw somewhere that
> Fidel called the victory of the Chavez slate in the
> Constituent Assembly elections a red letter date in Latin
> American history comparable to the victory of the Cuban
> revolution, while the SWP calls Chavez a bonapartist (and
> not a very left one at that) and has nary a good word to
> say about him (other than the fact that he talks to
> Fidel). --

Perhaps I can shed some light myself, as a triumphal
reapparition on the lists.

There is no difference, in fact. Castro also believes that
Chaves is what the SWP calls a "bonapartist".  Only that
the SWP does not understand what does "bonapartism" mean in
Latin America.

Bonapartism is the usual way in which national
revolutionary leaders manage the situation:  by putting
State power above the classes, thus concentrating the
strength of the oppressed classes in order to establish a
single, hard, full fledged national power that opposes
imperialism and their domestic hirelings.

There are risks and dangers in such a situation, of
course, but this is the best situation -short of taking
power ourselves- Latin American revolutionary Marxists may
find in order to establish themselves as the true
torchbearers of Revolution. And this is why these
"bonapartists" are welcome by Castro and true Marxists in
Latin America.

As to why the SWP does not welcome them, well, behind all
the chatter there may linger some unyielding and pervasive
pro-imperialist deviation (using the word in the sense of


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