Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Fri Sep 27 22:48:41 MDT 2002

>>I think the reason  that Chavez looks so novel to us today is that we have
been through a  period of such deep reaction that Nasserite or Peronista
figures are hard  to come by. But through the 1930s through the 1950s, they
weren't. I just  printed out Ellner's article and will probably have more to

I *think* the reason Chávez looks so different to those of us who come from
the SWP "alma mater" isn't that it's been such a long time since Nasser or
Perón, but rather that the SWP had a sectarian and ultraleft attitude
towards Peronism. I know nothing about Nasser and Nasserism so I won't
venture an opinion on that.

But on Perón and Chávez, what is totally missing from the SWP's analysis,
then and now, is what the movement represents politically. And for that, you
have to look at the class forces in motion.

In both the case of Peronism and Chávez, it could not possibly be clearer
that these are *national* movements that have unleashed an explosive class
struggle. Imperialism, the Venezuelan capitalist class and its hangers-on,
have all arrayed themselves solidly against Chávez, as the similar class
forces did against Perón.

Working people, and especially the most oppressed and exploited, the more
class conscious workers, etc., have all solidly arrayed themselves *on the
other side*, behind Chávez (now) and Perón (in the 1940's and 1950's).

The important thing to note is the character of the *movement*  and its
relationship to the leadership and, yes, "the" leader. This, frankly, has
zero correlation with the political and class dynamics in France 150 years


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