[Marxism] Venezuela: oil royalties versus capital flight

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Thu Aug 19 16:01:16 MDT 2004

Respuesta a: [Marxism] Venezuela: oil royalties 
Remitido por: David McDonald
Fecha: Jueves 19 de Agosto de 2004 
Hora: 10:44

> >Yes but it still seems to me that the rent that Chavez is
> appropriating is a pure value transfer from the world working class. A
> populist revolution built on the appropriations of a rentier state is
> not generalizable to the rest of the world.
> Well, of course it is a value transfer, insofar as it represents rent,
> i.e. monopoly, and not value created in the production process.
> What I fail to understand is what Chavez ought to be doing, according
> to Rekesh, instead of TAKING BACK the value appropriated by the
> imperialists. Should he give it to the United Nations for
> re-distribution? Should he lower Citgo's prices to remove the rentier
> part of the price? Put the money in trust for the first REAL
> revolution that comes along, with Xxxxxx and other schematists in
> change of distribution? What?

A wonderful set of questions.  When global rent issues are involved, 
there is no escape to the Catch-22.  Either the imperialist 
bourgeoisies capture it, or the semicolonial country, usually through 
state power, keeps it for itself.

In the second case, even if this country remains capitalist (which 
yes, of course, keeps the risk of a Thermidor alive --but it is of 
bad taste to moan at the weddings and to smile at the funerals, and 
we are very very very far away from a funeral in Venezuela!) the 
construction of an integrated capitalist economy is in itself a blow 
into the interests of the imperialist bourgeoisies, at least due to 
two reasons:

a) the portion of extraordinary surplus that they reap from the Third 
World thins down

b) in the same way that no grocer likes another grocer to open shop 
across the street, no bourgeoisie likes another bourgeoisie to enter 
the competitive race (and if this bourgeoisie -please understand in 
countries such as Venezuela it is usually the state that takes the 
place of the bourgeoisie- has a competitive advantage in the global 
rent of oil, much worse).

The necessities of revolution tend to bring it upwards from national-
democratic to socialist.  But the necessities of imperialism make it 
already a good point to have a national-democratic revolution on the 

Many observers (yours truly included) believe that the Aug 15th 
election in Venezuela has had a truly global impact and character.  
Just imagine a similar process taking place, say, in Saudi Arabia.  
Would it not resound from Morocco to the Zagros?

The effects of this consolidation of Chávez are still to be seen.

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar

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"Sí, una sola debe ser la patria de los sudamericanos".
Simón Bolívar al gobierno secesionista y disgregador de 
Buenos Aires, 1822
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