[Marxism] Obama endorsed by Chavez and Chomsky

Stuart Munckton stuartmunckton at gmail.com
Thu Oct 4 19:11:03 MDT 2012

No, not at all

On 4 October 2012 23:04, Andrew Pollack <acpollack2 at gmail.com> wrote:

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> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
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> Stuart, forgive me if I'm misreading you, but with one exception -- the
> true and crucial mention of (isolated) grassroots struggles -- every single
> sign of progress you cite is a promise by Chavez, a pledge to take action
> if the elections are won.
No, not at all. The process of change has made quite significant gains and
significantly increased living standards. These have been done against
capital. Or did you miss the hundreds of nationalisations, the
expropriation of land and redistributtion of it, the development of key
programs and distribiution points outside of the market, which have often
involved nationalsation of food companies and distributes that have tried
to sabotage it.

Also, did you read the article on the complicated struggle for workers'

It is not a question of Chavez "promising" action. There has been plenty of
action. The problem is one of the strength of the mass movement and its
capacity to push a drastic deepening on attacks on capital. Much of the
actions has been essential preparation -- the development of the missions,
of new productive forms like the coopertives, the experiments in workers'
control, the development of forms of popular power such as the communal
councils (and then communes, which communal councils elect reps to and
cover a wider area), all of these things strengthen organisation of the
oppressed, lay ground work. And, not insignificantly, have been key parts
of big gains for the poor.

The movement suffers from some key weaknesses, and one not insignificant
one is weakness of the workers' movement. Overcomign this is a key part of
having the strength, the social force, to actually push much deeper, to
turn natio0nalised industry into induistry truly at service of society
(which is the essence of the struggle for workers' control in heavy
industry spelled out in the article I linked to). Chavez cannot solve that
problem. He endorsed the plan the workers' drew up, but hey have to win it,
something Chavez has often said.

At every point in Venezuelan process, nothing has been won by a policy, la
or setting out of a program. These thigns have just been guidelines of
things to fight for. The gains of the new constitution adopted in 2000 were
won on the ground, or remained just words int he constitution. But the
constitutional gave a framework and a guide to the struggle to win those

The platform Chavez is running on,m the significantly deepen the process of
change, to build  on what has already been won with radical advances, will
be a guideline to fight for. You can pass a law for workers' councils, for
instance, it doesn't make the workers' councils a reality. A workers
movement that is too weak, too divided and up against strong entrenched
bureaucracy is seeking to make them a reality.

And around this program setting out proposals for radical advances,
hundreds of thousands of people just took over the streets in seas of red.
It is partly defending what has been won so far, but the elections more
than that. It is a contest with one side proposing a decisive push towards

I'll take the gains of the Venezuelan revolution, and the fact it is
opening up struggle to go much further, over talk any day.

Frankly, as leader of Venezuelan Revolution, Chavez has outdone Ben Bella.
I am not sure there is ever much value in such comparisons in such
different places and times, but the process has survived, nay gains are
consolidated, and it is posing fundamental questions.

For the record I think, in the short term, it is going to be hard for big
advances rapidly in Venezuela due to weaknesses in the Bolivarian movement.
But the struggle is on, and it is only through waging it that the
weaknesses can be confronted and overcome.

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