We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Venezuela: Challenges of 21st century socialism

condensed version from Green Left Online, original from Znet. This is an interview with William I. Robinson, from the Latin American and Iberian Studies Program at the University of California.
We should recall the lessons of the Nicaraguan and other revolutions. Multi-class alliances create contradictions once the honeymoon stage of easy redistributive reform and social programs reach their limit. Then multi-class alliances begin to collapse because there are fundamental contradictions between distinct class projects and interests.

At that point, a revolution must more clearly define its class project — not just in words or politics but actual structural transformation.