evolutionaries (was Bolivar, San Martin, Mitre y Billiken)

magellan magellan at west.com.br
Mon Sep 10 21:09:56 MDT 2001

	1.  Two suggestions about the use of this list

	2.  What means to be a revolutionary leader? 

--Original message--

Date: Sun, 9 Sep 2001 
From: "Xxxx Xxxxxx" <xxxxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxx.xxx>


Can Latino comrades clarify the controversy over Bolivar?  I don't
understand Spanish..  is he a revolutionary?


1.  Two suggestions about the use of this list


	Comrades !!   I know that tongues other than English are allowed in this
list, but I think that whenever possible we must endeavor ourselves to
overcome the heritage from Babel.   English   --I believe--  is known by
everybody here.   So Nestor could gift us with his wide knowledge but
writing in his Shakespearean English...    Or would you prefer to talk with
the mirror?   Spartacus probably spoke in the language of the Empire, Latin
(or Greek), in order to be understood by all his fellow rebels, which came
from every part of the Mediterranean area.

	 ¡¡ Camaradas !!    Yo sé que en esta lista se admiten otras lenguas que
no el inglés, pero pienso que siempre que posible fuere debemos hacer
esfuerzos para vencer la herencia de Babel.  El inglés  --así lo creo--  es
conocido por todos aquí.  Y así Nestor podrá regalarnos con sus amplios
conocimientos en su inglés shakespeareano...    ¿O prefieren vosotros
conversar con el espejo?   Espártaco probablemente hablaba en la lengua del
Imperio, el latín (o el griego), de manera a ser comprendido por todos sus
compañeros rebeldes, que venían de todas partes de la área mediterránea.

I would also like to suggest to you to eliminate diacritcs  (accents,
diaeresis, tilde and cedilla)  from the subject line.   These Anglo systems
are not meant to understand the Romance languages and so San Martín turns
out as an outrageous  =2C_San_Mart=EDn=2C  and Reação as
=?Windows-1252?Q?Rea=E7=E3o   It hampers the research in the list files,
besides making the subjects almost illegible. 

2.  What means to be a revolutionary leader? 


Comrade Xxxx Xxxxxx's question is not easy to answer.   We should begin
with the concept of revolution, but I will deal with it in another message.
  By now it suffices to say that revolutions are not just rebellions but
the crucial moments of the third law of dialectcs  (Aufhebung, sublation).
Do  you agree? 

I don't have now in my hands my edition of Bolívar's "Escritos Políticos"
(Political Writings, an anthology) but I am sure that Nestor will answer
Xxxx quite well.  Oh, he has already done at the moment I'm writing:   the
man really is very speedy! Nevertheless, I will enlarge what Xxxx is
asking:  should all the  _libertadores de América_   [*]  and their
predecessors in the 18th and 17th centuries be deemed revolutionaries?    

			[*] roughly "those who have freed America" both in
Spanish (rather: Castilian) and Portuguese (Galician), but also the name of a
continental soccer championship...

I will enlarge Xxxx Xxxxxx's question once again:  should all the great
popular (but non-Communist)  and by chance anti-imperialist leaders of the
XXth century peripheral world as Kemal Pasha Atatürk, Gamal Abdel Nasser,
Ahmed al Arabi  (XIXth century), Jawaharlal Nehru, Ahmed Ben Bella (alive),
Muhammar al Kadaffi (alive), Juan Domingo Perón, Getúlio Vargas, Lázaro
Cárdenas (the father) and a lot of others, should all them be deemed

If comrade Xxxx Xxxxxx had asked us about Lenin, Mao Dze Dong or Ernesto
"Che" Guevara the immediate answer would have been  "yes, of course they
were revolutionaries, any doubt?"   But as to those other names the answer
is difficult, perhaps a  "no, but..."   --isn't it?   So, the question is
already answered without having been fully explained, have you got it?   

All the personalities of the former group of statesmen above  --call them
strogmen, if you prefer--  were full of contradictions.   Nothwithstanding
this in some moments  (or even in many moments)  they played a progressive
role, a  _transformative_  function in their countries and even abroad and
even beyond their own deaths.   But personalities are nothing outside the
frame of their space and time  -- i.e., outside the living daily history
(evolution and revolution) of their national societies (peoples):  our past
in our present and our present as the maker of our future, whatever future
it may be.   Also in politics, space (static) and time (dynamic) are the
fundamental dialectical pair of reality.

People like them belong to the height of those moments which Antonio
Gramsci referred to as:   "the past is already dead, but the future was not
born yet."   They individually synthetize these social moments rather than
they lead them.  Every leader is a prisoner of his own leadership because
the social forces have made it.  An artist may reject his work and a
scientist may recant, but a leader may not. There is no leader without a
strong psychic relation with thousands or millions.  They clearly realize
each other's needs.   The unexplainable contradictions (incoherences) of a
great political leader are the knowable contradictions of his national
society.   His incoherences are just apparent the most part of the time
because they are coherent when examined under the light of the social
reality of a certain concrete moment.  

Do you remember that passage by Engels when he makes a mockery of the
jurists who cannot scientifically define the moment when a baby may be
deemed to be a living human being   --what is technically important as
regarding to the laws of heritage, crime etc.--  except by a legal
determination that is today a universal standard:  "born alive"?   Engels
then stress that  modern science necessarily works dialectically with the
concept of   _process_.   _Process_  is  the permanent transformation of
reality, Heraclitus' river, history, evolution or a beautiful Romance word:
  _porvenir_  (not just the future but roughly:  what is incessantly
coming).   The same applies to the words of Gramsci that I have quoted
above and to the concept of a revolutionary leader or hero.   

Thus, all of them, including Simón Bolívar  (1783/1830), were
revolutionaries at some moment, however quite limited revolutionaries.   In
other moments they were conservative or even reactionaries.  No one of them
ever intended to make a thorough  transformation of society, nor they did
it, what would have implied the wide radical change in the relations of
property and work.  Their partial revolutions may pave the way  to other
deeper revolutions in the ever-changing  _process_  of reality because
they, however limited, were mass actions, the Idea in the hands of the
people.  So, for instance, the   _Revolución Bolivariana_  that Chávez
romantically preaches may by chance lead to another kind of real
revolutions all over the continent that neither Chávez nor Bolívar never
dreamt of.   

Similar statesmen   --name them strogmen, if you prefer--  would seldom
play such a progressive  role in the imperialist countries, even
momentarily:  the only one I can remember is Charles De Gaulle.  Even so, I
think of him because he created contradictions in a large scale:  he broke
the US hegemony over Europe and consequently the world strategy of
imperialism.  Olof Palme tried it too, but Sweden is a small country and
Palme was  _misteriously_  killed, as they had tried several times to get
ride of De Gaulle.   Sweden never was the same after Palme.  Another reason
is to have De Gaulle fought twice decisively against the most reactionary
elements of France, in such dramatic circumstances as  in 1939/1945,
against Pétain and the collaborationists, and at the very edge of a civil
war in 1958/1962, against the _pieds-noirs_  of Algeria and the OAS
(Organisation de l'Armée Secrète).  

French Communists hated De Gaulle but Latin American Communists loved

It is remarkable that a good deal of the statesmen that I have mentioned
above are military or former military.  It is not a coincidence.   This
does not happen regarding the true revolutionaries:   Lenin was a lawyer;
Mao Dze Dong a grammar school teacher;  and  Ernesto "Che" Guevara a
medical doctor.   Maybe in a future message we could talk about it.
Having time, I will also draw a sketch on the concept of revolution.  Maybe
next week.

I would also like to make some comments on the quite interesting historical
observations made by Nestor, but time, as well as your patience, are
running out.

In solidarity,

Roberto Magellan

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