[Marxism] Notes on Henwood interview with Tariq Ali

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sat Nov 25 22:55:32 MST 2006

While the link to the written transcript of Doug Henwood's interview
with Tariq Ali did not open up, the sound file did and what a delight
it was to listen to. I highly recommend it to everyone here, above
all for what Tariq Ali had to say about Hugo Chavez. First, it had
little in common with what Louis Proyect said it said, so you'll want
to listen to Tariq Ali himself to hear just exactly what he DID say.

But a few notes:

Tariq Ali described the reforms which Chavez has undertaken in
Venezuela as a mixture of New Deal and social democratic reforms
of the kind which were undertaken in Western Europe after World
War II. Chavez said that it wasn't possible to leap over the process
toward a proletarian revolution, and that it's necessary to learn from
the experiences of the past. The phrase Tariq Ali used was that we
are not living in an epoch of proletarian revolutions. He said we are
cautiously trying to build up new structures. Ali said that there are
problems, but Ali called them good problems. He said that among
the problems are lack of political cadres and lack of people who 
can think things through.

The biggest problem which Tariq Ali speaks to are the lack of 
certain kinds of political institutions which are necessary to give
the people the kind of power that would not depende on one man.

Tariq Ali also spoke at length about the role of the Cubans, about
how when the doctors went on strike, Cuba filled the vacancies
with Cuban doctors. About the political advice which Fidel gave
Chavez about not being a martyr. Fidel told Chavez we've had
enough martyrs, and urged Chavez to follow a careful path.

I'm not going to give it all away, but I again thank Louis for the
reference. It was an excellent interview. The book PIRATES OF
THE CARIBBEAN is also an excellent read, which takes up far
more than we've had discussed here on Marxmail.


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