[Marxism] those rich Chavists, etc

michael a. lebowitz mlebowit at sfu.ca
Tue Dec 5 20:11:09 MST 2006

Walter wrote:
"Clearly there are more than one element within the Chavez camp, a
broad national alliance with diverse and in some ways conflicting
interests. Nationalist movements and struggles are composed of just
such broad and diverse elements. These are some of the ideas Mike
Lebowitz was addressing in his new book BUILD IT NOW, where he takes
up and distinguishes between those forces who are backing Chavismo
but could live without the talk of socialism and on the other hand,
the forces who favor socialism are less enthusiastic about Hugo
Chavez. The various ultraleftists fall into this latter category,
some of whom post materials to this list from time to time."

         Actually, I don't recall saying anything about "various 
ultraleftists", and I CERTAINLY didn't say that "the forces who favor 
socialism are less enthusiastic about Hugo Chavez." On the contrary, 
they are rather unenthusiastic about many people around Chavez and 
about party and state bureaucrats who they see as sabotaging the 
revolutionary process. So, naturally, they are very enthusiastic 
about Chavez announcing upon his victory that the first task now is 
to struggle against bureaucracy and corruption. It's the point I made 
in my concluding chapter about the need for a cultural revolution (a 
struggle in particular vs clientalism and corruption), without which 
the revolution would inevitably be deformed. And, yes, I did talk 
about a cluster of supporters who want "chavez without socialism"--- 
some of whom are not merely the visible capitalists described in the 
WSJ article Walter forwarded but their silent partners in various 
government positions. In an interview soon to come out in Socialist 
Review (UK), I note a "growing divergence between a would-be new 
Bolivarian oligarchy and the masses of exploited and excluded", and I 
indicate my view that these contradictions within the Chavist camp 
are "the most immediate threat to the progress of the revolution."


Michael A. Lebowitz

Professor Emeritus

Economics Department

Simon Fraser University

Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6

Currently based in Venezuela.


Can be reached at

Residencias Anauco Suites

Departamento 601

Parque Central, Zona Postal 1010, Oficina 1

Caracas, Venezuela

(58-212) 573-6333, 571-1520, 571-3820 (or hotel cell: 0412-200-7540)

fax: (58-212) 573-7724

More information about the Marxism mailing list