[Marxism] and how ourepigones react...

dwalters at marxists.org dwalters at marxists.org
Sat Apr 29 13:22:54 MDT 2006

I think Walter's posting of Alarcon's comments were interesting. I did not read
the whole link but did parts of it. I will say that he states some serious
truths about socialism (as he defines it) in the 3rd paragaph down. He raises
the question of the capitalists and how they get rich in Venezuela and are
still the enemy.

I think there is a problem with his endorsement of what he believes to be
Chavez's "Socialism in the 21st Century" on the grounds that it's "open" (the
last paragraph, actually, of the entire interviw). I'm not sure what this means
or where he's going with it. If it implies there is a dynamic where capitalism
will be overthrown (when it hasn't anywhere in continental South America) or if
"they" (the 5 progressive Latin American gov'ts he refers to)are doing fine and
things can continue as they have.

I infer from his interview that he places a lot faith at the level of the heads
of gov't. He states, for example: "Likewise, it’s very common for social
movements to complain about the FTAA, but let’s not underestimate the fact that
they stopped it right there at the conference. And it was stopped by five Latin
American governments. Not by the piqueteros, the Cuban communists or the trade
unionists, but five Latin American governments, any differences with them
notwithstanding. Let’s ask Bush what troubled him the most: what happened
inside the conference or outside behind the fences. He was unable to return to
his country with the victory he needed so badly at the time, a schedule to
gradually implement the FTAA. It was not only Chávez; alongside him were other
Latin American governments that came together for that purpose. I’m not judging
the behavior and strategy of the various social movements, but we can’t overlook
the fact that the FTAA was brought to a halt. Kirchner’s opening speech was
unusual, which accounted for [Mexican president] Fox’s criticism: a host is
supposed to bid welcome and contribute to the success of the conference."

Hmmm. It appears to me that Alarcon's view as that all we need are
"progressive gov'ts" and the problems of capitalist political-economy
disappear! That these 5 heads of gov't acted on their own and that the role of
the mass movements *against* the FTAA were irrelevant. This sort of half-truth
about the role of the masses in competely blind. It points to *diplomatic*
solutions to the problems of global capitalism, and away from *revolutionary*
solutions. Even later when he gives credit to the "social movements" in
Bolivia, or repeats, rather, Evo's giving them credit, it still looks to me
that election is the end game for capitalism, as if electing a "socialist" is
all that may be needed.

For me this is one of the big problems of this whole Mercosul/ALBA perspective:
it's discussed and developed over the heads of the masses when there was
*never* a mass movement for either of them, especially the former. I think
there is *now* support for this, obviously (at least in Venezuela, in other
countries there is little movement behind it). The reaction of the audiance to
Chavez in Buenos Aires was positive (although not as loud as it was for his
denunciation of Bush).

Another point I agree with 100% that Alacron makes and that we can *certainly*
model ourselves on:
"I was present at two events: the Summit of the Peoples and the rally where Hugo
Chávez spoke. In both cases, there were people in favor of and against some
Latin American governments. They carried pictures of presidents, and some were
handing out leaflets attacking Kirchner’s and Lula’s governments and so forth.
What impressed me was the level of civility; the march passed off peacefully,
despite the presence of people opposed to the organizers and carrying big
signs, but no one was pushed because of that. That’s important."

David Walters

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