[Marxism] Obama endorsed by Chavez and Chomsky

Stuart Munckton stuartmunckton at gmail.com
Wed Oct 3 02:23:30 MDT 2012

On 3 October 2012 01:16, Andrew Pollack <acpollack2 at gmail.com> wrote:

> ======================================================================
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> ======================================================================
> In the last few days I've seen all kinds of entries on Facebook about
> Venezuela's latest turn to socialism. Having heard this so many times, and
> the news having always amounted to so little, I couldn't be bothered to
> read beyond the headlines.

Well no doubt this refusal to actually engage with what is happening is
useful in some way.

Of course, I imagine, if you *did* actually seek to find out what was
happening, the articles would give you some context. And that is that this
"socialist turn" is the fact that there are elections coming up in which
the Venezuelan people, as is their constitutional right, will vote. And in
this vote there are various candidates, of which only two really matter.

And these are Henri Capriles, the right-wing candidate who says one thing
in public, because the gains of the revolution are popular, but whose
leaked program is for the reversal of the gains of the process of change so

The other is Hugo Chavez. Who is running on a 39 page program, which is
summarised very well at this Venezuela Analysis article. (Which as you can
see is far from just a blind "whatever Chavez says" take): Planning the
next six years of the Venezuelan

So, what the all this talk is about is a vote in which one side -- the
campaign lead by Chavez, is seeking a popular mandate for a program, that
if *actually implemented*, would amount to very serious inroads into the
economic and political power of capital, deepening those inroads already
made quite drastically.

"But I have heard this all before!" complains Andrew...

Yes. you might have heard it all before in 2007, when the revolutionary
forces pushed the constitutional reforms to create a legal framework for
drastically deepening the revolution. You might also recall it lost, for
all kinds of reasons (including serious weaknesses in the movement and the
ongoing power of less radical and far more bureaucratic forces within the
movement that helped demoralised and confused much of the popular classes)

After this, the focus, by and large, was on consolidating the gains and
seeking to overcome internal limitations and advancing in a more gradual
way, in preparation for bigger battles. This is marked by big internal
struggles, in which more bureaucratic forces very often are dominant.

Part of the reason you have "heard it all before" is because the talk is
not of "having created" these huge socialist advances, but of "wanting to
create" them... things which are NOT POSSIBLE by presidential decree or any
other speech, but only by struggle from below, by the strength of
organisation and consciousness of the oppressed.

So... why is Andrew's Facebook feed being taken over by all these stories
he simply cannot be bothered to read, having read them all before
apparently, because we all know in a revolution things basically just stand

Because in this election the movement headed by Chavez is seeking a popular
mandate for a series of changes that, if implemented, would serious
undermine capital's power.

If this is won, it WILL be something new. You know why? Coz why radical
changes of this sort have already been endorsed by *ANDREW* they have NOT
as yet, received popular endorsement by the Venezuelan people. In fact, the
last time they were offered the chance to endorse them... the VOTE WAS LOST.

So *if* endorsed by a good majority in these elections, this will give a
great basis, great momentum, to the struggle to make these changes a

And this in a context were far greater gains in building a mass movement
towards socialism has been created than pretty much anywhere else. Where,
even after the 2007 defeat, the mass movement has worked steadily at making
impressive gains, at breaking key elements of capital resistance ( to food
shortages and prize freezes), to bringing more and more under the control
of the state (itself contested), of more and more land put to poor farmers
and cooperatives to push national development, of more attempts to build
and consolidate popular power.

This is a complex struggle, and this wonderful (but long) article on the
very difficult and contradictory struggle for workers' control over state
industry captures some of it.  http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/7151

But hundreds of companies have been brought under state control, a wide
range of programs to the benefit of the oppressed have been strengthened or
initiated. All of this, I am sure Andrew can point out, is a long way short
of a socialist revolution. But SHOULD THE VENEZUELAN PEOPLE give a large
mandate for a drastic deepening on October 7, then there is a great mandate
for the struggle to deepen these already very impressive changes.

Then again, I am sure there are more important things on your Facebook
feed, like maybe a lot of really great developments on Farmville,

I am aware that a socialist revolution is much more convenient if all the
battles play out in a decently short time frame of a a couple of months or
a year or two at most. I mean, we all have other things to be checking on
Facebook. It doesn't change the fact that in Venezuela, voters are about to
go the polls with the option of endorsing an extremely radical program to
basically so severely undermine, in fact really destroy, the political and
economic power of capital, any less a fact.

More information about the Marxism mailing list