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, May 22, 2016

Venezuela - a last warning

Click here to access article by Jorge Martín from In Defense of Marxism

Martin's analysis of current conditions in Venezuela impress me as being the best that I have seen. The discussion of the rightward move of major countries of South America is strangely mostly absent from leftist observers and intellectuals who follow events in that continent. This article is a major exception, and I think it is exceptional in its clarity of observations and reasoning.

What his analysis demonstrates is that there are no half-way measures in seeking a just society. One either supports an egalitarian social order or one supports a class dominated order. There are no half measures like social democracy (Venezuela) or reformist capitalism as we've seen in Brazil and Argentina that can last over the long run.
What has failed in Venezuela is not “socialism” as the capitalist media likes to highlight in their propaganda campaign. It is precisely the opposite. What has clearly failed is the attempt to introduce regulations in order to make capitalism work, even if only partially, in the interest of working people. The conclusion is clear: capitalism cannot be regulated. The attempt has led to economic dislocation on a massive scale.
The deteriorating situation is leaving revolutionary Venezuelans with the ultimate choice that oppressed people have faced throughout the history of class war expressed in slogans such as "Revolution or death!", "Patria o muerte" (Cuba), and "The people united can never be defeated" (Spain, Nicaragua, and other Spanish speaking countries). Other Venezuelans must decide either to join revolutionaries or else experience the gross exploitation and social injustice they've gone through in earlier periods.