[Marxism] Tariq Ali on Chavez (was: NYT spinning the news from Venezuela)

Lueko Willms l.willms at jpberlin.de
Wed Aug 18 01:52:36 MDT 2004

.     Am  17.08.04
 schrieb  ffeldman at bellatlantic.net (Fred Feldman)
      in  000001c4841c$a3dc21c0$6401a8c0 at fredpc
   ueber  RE: [Marxism] NYT spinning the news from Venezuela

FF> In my opinion, a profound revolutionary process has already taken
FF> place in Venezuela and, obviously, is still taking place.. It is
FF> worth keeping in mind that Tariq's description of Chavez's views as
FF> social democracy is not Chavez's interpretation, but Tariq's.

FF> And I think [Chavez] speaks, as he insists,  as a revolutionary,
FF> not as a "social democrat,"  certainly not as that term has come
FF> to be understood since the rise of imperialism.

    Sure, but I think that you read too much into that comment by  
Tariq Ali; to me this statement does not look as if Ali wanted to  
belittle the movement lead by Chavez.

   Look at this statement from another interview with Tariq Ali (which  
had been reproduced on this mailing list, I believe):

--------- schnipp -----------------------------------------

But I think, once Chávez wins the referendum, and then the local
elections I hope, and the mayoralty of Caracas in September, I hope
then a big offensive is made for the rest of Latin America too.

>From that point of view, the model of the Cuban doctors is a very good
one. I mean, a Venezuelan doctor -- in five years Venezuelans will
come back [from Cuba] as doctors, they can help both their own
country, and they can go to other countries to work in the
shantytowns. They are small things, but in the world in which we live
they are very big things. Fifty years ago they would have been small,
today they are very big. And that's why we have to preserve and
nurture them.

[found on http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/articles.php?artno=1223]
------------------ schnapp --------------------------------

FF> Chavez says that we are not in a period of proletarian
FF> revolutions. Who can argue otherwise at this point in time?  There
FF> have been no new socialist revolutions since Vietnam.

FF> Is it possible, domestically and internationally, to overthrow
FF> capitalism in Venezuela today?  Is the only problem the lack of a
FF> leadership that wants to do so?  Are the working class and
FF> peasantry ready for this? Is it realistic to throw everything into
FF> insisting on socialism now?

   When Juriaan's numbers of voter participation are correct, that  
only 65 percent of those entitled to vote went to the polls, than the  

FF> Or should they conquer the ground they can as revolutionaries,
FF> as Chavez suggests?

   is on the prime order of the day. I thought the mobilization was  
much higher, with a participation in the 90ies. a 58:42 margin out of  
only 65 percent participation is still quite week a position. 80:20  
out of 90% voter participation would be rock solid.

FF> Is the Chavez leadership obstructing the road to socialism or
FF> leading the masses forward in a struggle that leads toward the
FF> road to socialism.  I think Chavez is helping to reopen the real
FF> road to socialism by what he is doing today, whatever his own
FF> opinions about Marxism and the prospects for socialism may be..

  The fact is that Chavez lead the actual leadership of that  
revolutionary process, and by that he and the movement which follows  
him is "helping to reopen the road to socialism".

  What will happen in the future years will be known in exactly those  
future years. Today is today.

  One should also think back on how Fidel Castro's Rebel Army looked  
like in the 1950ies -- "History will absolve me" does not state  
opposition to US-imperialism or imperialism in general, and Fidel  
explained in interviews that he was not a communist (which was for me  
little 11-year-old a relief to read that in the conservative daily  
which my father had subscribed to). Also think of José Martí's  
statement that it is neither wise nor necessary to always say  
everything one has in mind regarding ultimate goals, and that some  
things have to be done covertly.

  And let me remind what important leaders both of socialist  
revolution as imperialist capitalism like Cuba's Fidel Castro and  
Germany's Bismarck stated repeatedly:

  politics is an art, and not a science.

Lüko Willms
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