[Marxism] Honduras: Unequivocal signs of coming repression,

S. Artesian sartesian at earthlink.net
Thu Nov 26 23:03:10 MST 2009

I wouldn't want anyone to think I had nothing else to say in response to all 
the profound insights into the situation in Honduras... just had to wait for 
the clock to get past midnight here in NYC.

So.... "Right," says Fred, "We always said the issue was more than just 
Zelaya's presidency."

Good.  Did any of those who always knew the issue was more than Zelaya's 
presidency translate that knowledge into actual programmatic content?  I 
mean constituent assembly has a nice sound to it, but what really is it's 
content in the 21st century, when Honduras has a constitution, a 
legislature, a supreme court?  What's the mean of a constituent assembly? 
To establish a liberal democracy?

Do we have a recent example of a constituent assembly working effectively to 
augment, quicken a social revolution?  We have a recent example of a 
constituent assembly not working effectively in Bolivia-- so ineffectively 
that it deadlocked and Morales took action unilaterally on dozens of items, 

Is such a constituent assembly even possible?  Or is it that Zelaya's 
presidency and the demand for a constituent assembly will automatically lead 
to the "next stage" of the revolution?  OK, let's say it will.  What is that 
next stage?  How is the transition accomplished?

Certainly it's possible to work with class-based organizations agitating for 
a constituent assembly-- but the demand, like the institution itself, is 
powerless, obsolete even before birth without other more conscious demands--  
like maybe immediate withdrawal from CAFTA, back wages for all workers 
dismissed, or unemployed by actions taken by companies in response to 
unionization, like maybe disbanding of the Cobra Squadron, opening of the 
police files, abolition of the supreme court, confiscation of the largest 
landed estates, etc. etc. etc? How about dismissal of all charges against 
those arrested for protests since the coup?  How about shutdown of all 
prosecutors offices, with release of all information regarding actions taken 
against militants who have been imprisoned, or disappeared?

How about something about all the big agricultural growers having to pay a 
special tax with the funds to be administered by councils of urban and rural 
poor to provide clean water and proper sanitation to the majority of the 
population which has neither?

How about-- how about since an election was going to be held-- how about 
raising the issue of organizing a party to run candidates in that election 
with a program something like "how about"?

You say demanding a constituent assembly will bring all those issues into 
the open?  Then why not bring those issues to the front now, if, as we seem 
to agree, those are the real issues to be resolved?

And since any action, any candidate, any demonstration around these issues 
will bring the full repressive power of the state down on it, how about 
clandestine development of self-defense forces?

Now maybe that's being done. I certainly don't know. But I sure haven't 
heard a single word about even the possibility of such demands from Fred, 
Nestor, or even David.  All I've heard is the "possibility" of such issues 
being raised, of a can of worms being opened.   Why not propose the content 
rather than the form of the struggle?

Notice how the word "socialism" hasn't popped up once in that "how about" 
list?   Of course, the word democracy hasn't shown up either, and that is 
certainly by design, as the term is used in Honduras to confine the struggle 
to a certain stage, not effect a transition to the next stage.

If "only a mass insurrectionary strike is going to return Honduras to the 
status quo and Zelaya to power"-- than all those Marxists who have endorsed 
Zelaya as the representative of "popular sovereignty" have to explain the 
fact that all that was accomplished was a return to the status quo, that in 
fact a mass insurrectionary movement has been squandered in the maintenance 
of exactly the same social relations that existed before and after the coup. 
Are we going to say that the "material conditions weren't developed enough"? 
Are we going to say that "There is no alternative."?

If, in our discussions of China, it was evident, at least to some, that 
confining a class struggle, at any stage in its development, to the program 
of the "liberal, democratic bourgeoisie," subordinating that struggle to a 
"anti-imperial" struggle without specific class content, without 
articulation and action for social revoluton,  is a recipe for disaster, why 
is it now not so disastrous?

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "nada" <dwaltersMIA at gmail.com>
To: "David Schanoes" <sartesian at earthlink.net>
Sent: Thursday, November 26, 2009 1:09 PM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Honduras: Unequivocal signs of coming repression,

Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.

I think Fred has a better handle on this than S. Art. The starting
point, other than an objective analysis of the Zelaya personality and
role, is where the masses themselves have struggle for.

At not point, *whatsoever* have the masses stopped demanding a
restoration of the Presidency. At the core, this is the main immediate
issue that hasn't faded at all. Secondly the call for a Constituent
Assembly the MAIN underlying opposition by the US and the Golpistas
because, unlike S. Art. IMO, they understand that this can open up a
huge can of worms including but not restricted to constitutional
expropriation of all natural resources in Honduras, thorough going land
reform WAY beyond the limited version first articulated by Zelaya and
massive socialization of various aspects of Honduran political economy.

I have mixed feelings about the actual agreement, of course, because at
a certain point, only a mass, insurrectionary movement/strike is going
to return Zelaya to the status quo. But the masses were literally
dancing in th streets when the announcement was made about the
agreement. You have to deal with that.

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