[Marxism] Further on the Venezuela referendum
dwalters at igc.org
Sun Jun 6 16:00:43 MDT 2004
Fred, I enjoyed reading your analyses of the Venezuela referendum. It
is hard to disagree with anything you state, or rather, anything
observe going on there.
I had to laugh when you used the expression "bourgeois nationalist
bonapartist demagogue" as the recluse of the sectarian left. However,
once might say "bourgeois nationalist bonapartist anti-imperialist":).
I think you hit on something very important, and something
fundamentally different than Nicaragua (and Cuba, etc). I don't mean
the transformation of the state, per se, but rather the way in which
Chavez came to power versus the FSLN/NJM/J26M.
This is why, when you say the odds stacked against the working class
because there has been no fundamental change in the state, is very
true. A true workers gov't, brought about mass struggle of the working
class in it's own name, would of handed power to the majority of the
working class specifically, where Chavez does have a majority. However,
it's telling, too, that in fact the left has to look at something you
raised...the counter-revolutionary opposition is not some small group
of conspirators, but is *mass-based* itself, even if it's not an
absolute majority, which, clearly, it might become if the revolution
Venezuela has always had a large 'middle-class', and layers of poor and
working people that identify with the bourgeoisie, not unlike in the US
and in Chile. In this sense Venezuela is severely divided, down the
middle, more or less. But I'm convinced the majority of the working
class is with Chavez and that's where 'democracy' is best expressed and
why, I believe, the revolution with putter out if Chavez continues to
straddle between his honest adherence to the poor and working masses
and his loyalty to maintaining the Venezuelan state as simply the same
but him in command.
Chavez, in my dime-store opinion, made his biggest mistake a few years
ago when he refused to accede to his own supporters in the Constituent
Assembly to make it sovereign. The movement for this, to take power as
an executive from both the Supreme Court and the Congress, was
motivated by some of his own supporters, and independents elected from
the oil region in northwest Venezuela. He caved in to international and
domestic capitalist pressure to limit the authority of the Constituent
Assembly. It was, in hindsight, a huge mistake.
I think Chavez will have to step down if he looses the referendum. As
you state, he is a man of his word and has argued repeatedly that he
defends the recall process.
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