[Marxism] Bernie's last dance with the Dems

Chris Slee chris_w_slee at hotmail.com
Sun Feb 2 16:59:41 MST 2020

The New York Times article does not show that Maduro is a dictator.  What it shows is that the ruthless US economic blockade has been effective.  It has forced Maduro to make concessions to the capitalist class.

Whether it has totally destroyed the revolution is less clear.  For a different view, see:


For socialists in the US and its allies such as Australia, our main emphasis should be on opposing the blockade rather than denouncing Maduro.

Chris Slee

From: Marxism <marxism-bounces at lists.csbs.utah.edu> on behalf of John Reimann via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
Sent: Monday, 3 February 2020 6:42 AM
To: Chris Slee <chris_w_slee at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Bernie's last dance with the Dems

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Just because somebody says something doesn't make it so.

Sanders is denounced for calling Maduro a dictator? Well, yes, he actually
is a dictator and who is benefiting from it is made clear in this NYT
article that I've been trying to post. (I'm guessing it's too long.)

It's the bolibourgeoisie, which is living it up now that dollars are
allowed to be repatriated and the Venezuelan economy has been officially

The "phony Russiagate narrative"? Yes, Russia/Putin did actually intervene
in the 2016 elections. Did their intervention cause the Democrats to lose?
Of course not in and of itself, but according to the book "House of Trump
House of Putin" it influenced something like 3% of the vote - possibly
enough to swing the vote in several key states.

The author writes: "Similar principled differences can be seen in programs
like free tuition, and cancellation of medical and student debt."
Differences over a reform program doesn't make those principled just
because Kavanagh says they are.

Sanders a "social democrat"? Social democracy developed as a wing of the
working class movement. For all its faults and outright betrayals, at least
it is based on the working class having its own party. In contrast, there
is a wing of capitalist politics that advocates granting some reforms to
the working class in order to help contain the class conflict. That wing
was known as "liberalism", a term that came under disfavor in the late '70s
and rebranded itself as "progressive". Since the collapse of the Soviet
Union and Stalinism, it's now being rebranded as "democratic socialist".
Just because Sanders calls himself a democratic socialist doesn't make him
a socialist of any sort. Nor does Kavanagh's repeating the claim make it so.

I looked up some of Kavanagh's other scribblings, such as one which calls
Soleimani a "respected general". Kavanagh should try asking the Syrians
about that one. He also seems to have few criticisms of this century's
worst tyrant - Assad.

Oh, yes, and one last thing: Calling somebody by their first name normally
implies having some sort of personal connection with them. Sanders lives in
part off of his kindly old uncle image, of which being known as "Bernie" is
an important part. But just because Kavanagh falls into that lingo doesn't
make it so. My guess is that he's never met Sanders, never will meet him,
and Sanders won't be over at Kavanagh's table for this year's Thanksgiving
family dinner.

John Reimann

*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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