[Marxism] The Only Road Is Practice Michael A. Lebowitz

PoliticNow at aol.com PoliticNow at aol.com
Mon Jun 9 20:44:01 MDT 2008

The Only Road Is  Practice
Michael A. Lebowitz  
I am certain that, like many people these days, the first thing on your mind  
is the question of the referendum on reform of the Bolivarian Constitution—
what  the defeat means and where do we go from here. What I want to talk about 
today  is not on that topic specifically, but it is related.  
Some people have said lately that they don’t know what the word socialism  
means. That was certainly a question raised about the proposed reforms. There  
were people who were determined to generate confusion and fear, and they were  
asking, what is all this talk about socialism in the constitution? Are we  
talking about Stalinism? Are we talking about an authoritarian society?  
No one who knows President Chávez’s speeches, however, should be confused  
about the specific socialist path that he has been stressing: it is a humanist  
socialism, a democratic socialism, a socialism from the bottom up. Look, for  
example, at his closing speech at the January 2005 World Social Forum in Porto 
 Alegre, Brazil, when he surprised many people by saying, “We have to 
re-invent  socialism.” At that time, Chávez emphasized that “It can’t be the kind of 
 socialism that we saw in the Soviet Union, but it will emerge as we develop 
new  systems that are built on cooperation, not competition.” Capitalism has 
to be  transcended, he argued, if we are ever going to end the poverty of the 
majority  of the world. “But we cannot resort to state capitalism, which would 
be the same  perversion of the Soviet Union. We must reclaim socialism as a 
thesis, a project  and a path, but a new type of socialism, a humanist one, 
which puts humans and  not machines or the state ahead of everything.”   
(see link for rest of article) 

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