bounced from Jay Moore

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Sep 6 15:53:22 MDT 1999

Comrades -- I'm back at the computer catching up after a short but restful
week away.  One piece of email I received while gone was from Steve Ellner,
whom I had a chance to meet and interview earlier in the summer at that
lefty camp in New Hampshire and who's back now at his university post in
Venezuela.  I sent him some bits and pieces of the discussion we had
previously on this List about Hugo Chavez, etc.  FYI below is what he has
now had to say in response.  He promises to send an article he is preparing
for "Z Magazine", which I will post as soon as I get it.  If you have any
questions for him, send them to me and I will try to forward them.



I enjoyed very much reading the comments from the List group. In spite of
differences I think there is an area of agreement among those who wrote in,
that Chavez is to the left of Peron, in spite of some similarities.I
personally consider those similarities of a more limited range than some of
those who wrote in. I agree with Jose Perez in saying that the Bonapartist
category (which apparently the SWP supports) refers to revolutionary
situation which the Bonapartist leader attempts to divert from its course,
or slow down. One writer used the term stalking horse. In the case of
Chavez, no revolutionary situation existed. Radical political activity was
confined to the electoral arena. Another difference is that Chavez was a
Jr.. military officer who plotted a coup for as long as 10 years, which was
designed as a "civico-militar" movement from the outset, that is, his group
made a conscious decision (after some debate) to draw in civilians on equal
terms, no mean feat for military conspirators. MIchael Pearlman also made so
very insightful statements regarding the political buildup prior to Chavez's
electoral triumph. I agree that the Causa R's politics helped set the stage
for the current situation. In contrast, I do not think, that the MASistas
contributed much to the process due to their writing off of class issues and
economic transformation and concentration on political reforms.

Louis Proyect

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