[Marxism] Lebowitz on Chavez's enabling law "Why Aren't You in a Hurry, Comrade?"

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 2 07:43:17 MST 2007

I like Michael's article but would just add a couple points that he may want to include or address in future versions.
  1. I think it would help to find parallels in the US regarding what the  Executive branch can do by issuance of regulations, rules, etc. While  every President abuses this on behalf of business, 99% of this  regulation issuance is just the normal, efficient way of doing business  under a bourgeois government. I suspect some of Chavez' new powers  would not go beyond those bounds, but we should find specific  parallels. Of course under a genuine soviet government, in which the  executive is a creature of the legislature, this wouldn't be nearly as  much of an issue.
  2. Michael's quotes from activists in the communal councils are the key  to the whole dispute, especially their desire to get around the  bureaucrats -- i.e., the state officials -- who have been stonewalling  the revolution. What this does not address, however, is why the new  parliament couldn't just approve the same regulations. We need to hear  more on that. More fundamentally, if the councils take root in every  workplace and neighborhood, and gather into a national body, then, as I  mentioned above, the executive's regulation issuance would be at the  behest of that soviet-style body. In the absence of that one can  understand the activists' impatience.
  I remember, by the way, hearing a TV report in 1979 about how the new  Sandinista government was postponing elections to the National Assembly  and having a knee-jerk reaction assuming there was something  undemocratic about it (later, of course, they convened (for a short  while) a parliament MORE democratic in the sense that it represented  social sectors as such). As embarrassing as this admission is, it  speaks to how easily even we lefties can be fooled by the bourgeois  media.
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