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'Communal Councils' in Venezuela

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bastarx
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Jan 15 2007 23:07
Dundee_United wrote:
My problem was with the fact the guy that wrote it hails from an organisation which has 'no membership' whose logo is a fucking hammer and siccle and a circled A, which doesn't exactly inspire confidence, and casts doubt on the guy's piece. The fact that you have proudly now described the group as insurrectionist... Well... Do I need to say anything more?

First retard, I didn't describe the group as insurrectionist. It is clearly influenced by insurrectionism along with some other currents, do you understand the difference?

Because you don't approve of the group's politics this automatically casts doubt on the article? You must be a very doubtful guy given how thin on the ground platformists are.

Quote:
I'll give you that platformism/especifismo has more in common with the politics of many Trot groups than it does with insurrection, but so does every other kind of anarchism; that's because we all see the working class as actors in history. Insurrectionism's contribution to the mass politics of class struggle has been summit hopping and random acts of terrorist violence.

Platformism's contribution to the mass politics of class struggle has been fuck all. So has that of most currents lately. I'm not a fan of much of what is described as insurrectionism - the infantile ultra-leftism of the Greeks is a prime example - but I'm not sure how much this actually has to do with the more theoretically inclined insurrectionists. I quite like some of the stuff written by insurrectionist groups such as La Guerra Sociale and Killing King Abacus, who have incidentally criticised summit-hopping.

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Joseph Kay
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Feb 9 2007 20:46

bump to check it's working properly

edit: seems to be. yay smile

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Lazy Riser
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Feb 9 2007 21:29

Hi

Quote:
I am not convinced of this. Even if it is possible in the short term, it is certanily not viable in the long term.

They should appoint Chavez as King, they'd have like a Latin American Norway.

Love

LR

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kiwi hirsuta
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Feb 10 2007 07:42
Demogorgon303 wrote:
jonnyflash wrote:
How might you consider Chavez a fraction of the bourgeoisie?[...]

Chavez is a fraction of the bourgeoisie both historically and contingently. The guy was a general in the Venezuelan military for years... Chavez has both reinforced the bourgeois state and done it in a way to bolster his own personal position....

Petty point (forgive me) but Kropotkin+Bakunin were both aristos, whilst Marx and Engels both came form capitalist families. The point about reinforcing the state is whats up for discussion here, I've already made my thoughts clear on that, and about to do so again!

Demogorgon303 wrote:
Others have already mentioned his analysis of the Bolsheviks, hinging solely on the misconception of Lenin as some kind of personality cult. He clearly sees himself as some kind of new Lenin - or rather the Lenin presented by Stalinist mythology.

RE: Chavez' take on Bolsheviks - I didnt notice that in the thread - I would appreciate a link to the relevant post.

The way I understand the political process in Venezuela is as an updated form of pre-Leninist communism: Populist, opposed to terrorism , democratic, gradualist, commited to evolutionary socialism - perhaps more the heir of Aleksandr Herzen, who also sought a model based on co-operation (based on peasant society).

What is the long term outcome of such an approach? To my knowledge it has never been tried because more militant revolutionaries tend to loose patience with such methods and change the course entirely.

I ask anarchists to imagine what such policies might do to a country after 20, 30 years? A more educated working class, a culture of empowerment of workers power through institutions, etc.,

I utterly understand the point that this perpetuates the state - yes, it will be there for decades to come - the process proposed is slow and gradual, but definitely moving in the right direction. I support it and am keen to see where this experiment leads.

Demogorgon303 wrote:
In fact, per capita income has declined by 4% since Chavez took power. Unemployment has supposedly fallen from 16% to around 10% but this seems easy enough to explain by the fact that the state now counts street vendors and those studying in the Bolivarian missions as "employed".

I have heard comments from party sympathisers regarding such stats - they do not deny that unemployment has barely gone down, - but crucially standard of living has gone up (which measures access to education, health, amenities etc.,) - I have seen the stats for standard of living but I forget who puts them together so cant check them - is it the UN?

there is a lot of infastructure to put into place. We are talking about a poverty striken, uncared for country. THis is why I believe this gradualist approach makes sense: build up the foundations and infastructure at the grass-roots. I think the statist means justify the immediate ends.

THe expectation of uneducated and desperately poor peasants and their equivalent to be Anarchist revolutionaries, and take on the rich and the powerful is a fight even more uneven than it was in the past, IMO. Many would be slaughtered without the state to act as buffer. This seems to me to be the best way to move forward class interests at this time.

jonnyflash
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Feb 20 2007 01:38

Considering the conviction that:

Quote:
Demogorgon303 wrote:
In fact, per capita income has declined by 4% since Chavez took power. Unemployment has supposedly fallen from 16% to around 10% but this seems easy enough to explain by the fact that the state now counts street vendors and those studying in the Bolivarian missions as "employed".

,
Perhaps Demagorgon303's figures were found in the bottom of a tequila bottle.

Interestingly (for a retirement website), a very nice income breakdown by class can be found here:

http://www.bulletproofretirement.com/public/274.cfm?sd=2

Their analysis states that:

Quote:
For Social Class E, they've seen their household income go from 437,613 Bolivares per month in 2004 to 680,419 Bolivares per month in the first quarter of 2006. Likewise, for Social Class D, their household income rose from 768,333 per month to 890,990 per month, and the lower half of Class C saw it's income rise from 1,415,099 in 2004 to 1,765,000.

(see the original text for their lettered class category definitions)

And more broadly, their research finds:

Quote:
58% of the population has seen their household income rise by over 50% in the last 2 years, and for the most part they support Hugo Chavez. One might very well ask the question: can you blame them?

Kiwi, I couldn't agree more with your opinion that:

Quote:
THe expectation of uneducated and desperately poor peasants and their equivalent to be Anarchist revolutionaries, and take on the rich and the powerful is a fight even more uneven than it was in the past, IMO. Many would be slaughtered without the state to act as buffer. This seems to me to be the best way to move forward class interests at this time. - Kiwi Hirsuta

A look across the Columbian border shows the ability of the US to (at least for now) indefinitely stall and circumscribe the progress of all-out class-warfare communist tactics using air support and drug cartel paramilitary networks. Annual US (military)aid of 600 million dollars buys alot of sophisticated weapons, defoliants, intelligence and people. Clearly, Venezuela's alternative to that: popular referendums-to-alter-constitution strategy(with an increasingly empowered and awakening peoples movement to back it up) is the one making the quickest inroads against their domestic elite, and the imperialists.

jonnyflash
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Feb 20 2007 02:17
Quote:
jonnyflash wrote:
We need both to advance quickly.

Quote:
Joseph K - well this is the thing, it doesn't make sense for 'both to advance' - if i accept at face value for a moment your premise that what's good about Chavez is he creates political space for grassroots action, what needs to advance is grassroots action to take advantage of such space. a dual power situation is fundamentally unsustainable, particularly when production maintains a fundamentally capitalist/class character.

Clearly, incremental changes to the characteristics of Venezuelan production are being accomplished. In my view, both Chavez's group and the social movements are driving the changes forward. Rather than dual power, I see working class power being flexed from above and below, each safeguarding and opening up new fronts of struggle for the other.

(Joseph continues:)

Quote:
...grass roots w/c power dependent on the state isn't grass roots w/c power - symbiosis in this case means the binding of one to the other. i really hope the Chavez-supporters are right and Chavez is the first politician in history to willingly preside over his own demise; but if he is, we need to be building independent grassroots w/c power to succeed the state, if he isn't we need to be building independent grassroots w/c power to abolish it.

I don't see Venezuelan grass roots power as dependent on the state. The state's new role of elevating the literacy, nutrition, health and morality(and therefore hope) of the Venezuelan people. Oh, ya...and refraining from hunting and killing us like the states controlled by capital tend to do. Oh, and throwing millions of dollars and delegating state functions to mass, neighborhood-based federations of working-class people. ..I see conscious Venezuelan popular forces who chose a vehicle to advance their interests, and stepped in when the 2002 coup threatened that vehicle. Nobody honest can deny that such advancement is occurring. The state has never been less monolithic there than it is right now, with people like us struggling against people like Tony Blair within it.

Quote:
jonny, the example i'll repeat to emphasise the mutual exclusivity of working class power and state(-capitalist) power - would you support a strike for class demands under Chavez, or would you denounce it as 'counter-revolutionary', 'objectively pro-imperialist' etc?

It would depend on the character of the demands. There ARE strikes and demonstrations and factory/office occupations all over Venezuela. Most of them are seeking to focus attention on shit the government needs to clean up or change. Rather than antagonistic to Chavez, the vast majority of these are done with the assumption that the government will not only fail to supress and repress (true), but that they are carrying out the clean-up and social transformation of the Venezuelan state into a vehicle for popular interests. (Also true). More concisely: Chavez himself not only supports strikes for class demands(except the oligarchy and pampered professionals), but actively encourages such actions.

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Joseph Kay
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Feb 20 2007 09:09
jonnyflash wrote:
It would depend on the character of the demands.

ok, so in principle you'd support a strike for class demands in one of the nationalised industries for example? (of course many strikes in the private sector may be against the immediate bosses and pro-chavez, and he may support them either from revolutionary authenticity or realpolitikal 'my enemy's enemy ...' opportunism)

jonnyflash wrote:
Interestingly (for a retirement website), a very nice income breakdown by class can be found here:

http://www.bulletproofretirement.com/public/274.cfm?sd=2

Their analysis states that:

Quote:
For Social Class E, they've seen their household income go from 437,613 Bolivares per month in 2004 to 680,419 Bolivares per month in the first quarter of 2006. Likewise, for Social Class D, their household income rose from 768,333 per month to 890,990 per month, and the lower half of Class C saw it's income rise from 1,415,099 in 2004 to 1,765,000.

(see the original text for their lettered class category definitions)

those figures don't look like they're inflation-adjusted (it doesn't say they are which is standard practice when giving 'real terms' figures not actual ones). so a few sums: (edited to fix denominators, results only minorly different, same conclusions)

Inflation was estimated at 16% in 20051 and 18.3% in January this year2, so i'll take 17% as an average.

Social Class E (58% population; "the extreme poor")
437,613 Bs (2004) x 1.172 = 599,048 Bs (2006)

680,419 - 599,048 (i.e. the real terms change)
----------------------- x 100 = +13.6%
599,048 (i.e. the base year figure at present value)

Social Class D (23% population; "the working class or the 'working poor'")
768,333 Bs (2004) x 1.172 = 1,051,771 Bs (2006)

890,990 - 1,051,771
------------------------ x 100 = -15.3%
1,051,771

Social Class C (~16% population; "the middle class")
1,415,099 Bs (2004) x 1.172 = 1,937,129 Bs (2006)

1,765,000 - 1,937,129
-------------------------- x 100 = -8.9%
1,937,129

There's no stats on the upper classes proper, so assuming the veracity of these statistics the poor majority are clearly better off in real terms, though this may be at the expense of the middle (working poor and lower middle class) or both the middle and top, without class A/B data we can't be sure.

A few more caveats;

(i) inflation is calculated on a 'basket of goods', if it contains imported consumer goods and the like whose prices are relatively stable, this could mask a higher rise in basic provisions (i.e. real terms inflation for the poor could outstrip the headline measure). again, we don't know, but this is a common problem, and Chavez has been talking of nationalising shops who ignore price caps and raise prices on basic foodstuffs3, so this is likely a problem, which means the real-terms increase in the poor's income would be somewhere below the +18.5% calculated above.

(ii) GDP growth is running at around 9.3% p/a4, so it would be a reasonable approximation to take across-the-board income increases of 9.3% per year (19.5% compounded over two years) as a base expectation if everyone is sharing equally in economic growth - which is fuelled mostly by high oil prices (i.e. derived from oil rents) - roughly a third of GDP is petroleum-related and so is half of all state revenue.

Some provisional conclusions:

The income growth of the poorest 58% was outstripped by GDP growth by somewhere more than 5.9% (19.5%- lessthan13.6%), meaning their relative share of national wealth actually fell. however, there was a real-terms absolute increase in income of somewhere lessthan13.6%.

The (negative) income growth of the working poor (23% of population) was outstripped by GDP growth by around 34.8%, meaning their relative share of national wealth fell dramatically. They also suffered an absolute real-terms fall in income of around 15.3%.

The (negative) income growth of the lower middle class (16%) was outstripped by GDP growth by around 28.4%, meaning their relative share of national wealth fell. Their absolute real-terms incomes also fell by 8.9%.

Therefore, while the absolute incomes of the poor majority have risen by lessthan13.6% (whilst falling by greaterthan5.9% relative to GDP), the relative share of national wealth of 97% of the population has actually fallen by 16%. the left bits with numbers above and below ----- are divisions. [/i]) 0.58 (----- x -5.9) + 0.97 0.23 (----- x -34.8) + 0.97 0.16 (----- x -28.4) 0.97 = -16.5% " href="#footnote5_hg2fsj2">5, meaning that the oil-rent bonanza of high oil prices is fuelling a concentration of wealth in the country's richest 3%. Furthermore, the incomes of the 'working poor' have fallen by 15.3% in real terms and 34.8% relative to national wealth, and this in a growing economy where the richest 3% are accruing the lions share of the gains, meaning there is a clear basis for class demands/strike action etc against this attack on venezuelan workers.

note: the less than and greater than symbols fucks up the formatting as it's an open html tag, hence me writing 'lessthan' and 'greaterthan'

bbbbb
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Feb 20 2007 10:16

Hello y'all.

What I would like to know is, how easy is it to emigrate to Venezuela? This is a crucial question when we want to consider how strong this ideological beast called 'nationalism' is, in what's going on.

Some kind of a welfare state is being introduced in Venezuela at the same time in history when it is being got rid of in places like Britain. This is to do with both some boss interests and presumably the whole of the working class in that area wanting it to happen. (Yes, even the oil workers). Which was also true in 1945 in Britain.

To what extent it is driven by working class self-assertion is a big question. But whatever the answer is, one has to welcome the increase in working class living standards and the introduction of a welfare safety-net in places where only a few years ago, there wasn't one. (Only some kind of purist ultra-leftist ideology-head would think otherwise).

Re. nationalism, you get it practically wherever politicians do their stuff. This is because politics is about alienated power, and alienated power is exercised both at different hierarchical levels and competitively. Working class struggle is something else IMO.

One thing the so-called 'anti-capitalist' movement, which is deeply political, will never 'get', is that a nation is a brand. A brand in the literal, advertising-industry, commercial, public-relations, money-making, idiot-conning sense, just like Coca-Cola or Nike.

So - I would be interested if anyone could tell me how easy it is to emigrate to Venezuela. Anti-nationalism always means openness to people from elsewhere.

I am a working class person and I find conditions in Britain to be increasingly unbearable, so I am not asking this question for idle reasons.

Also, if anyone has got any info on the more 'educational' of the 'misiones', I would also be interested. National-statism has always gone together with building up of a propagandistic 'educational' system. On the other hand, it is clearly a good thing if people learn how to read and write etc. What are the contradictions here? How do they compare, for example, with conditions in Russia in say the mid-1920s?

bbbbb the anti-State communist, anti-political miserabilist

jonnyflash
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Feb 20 2007 23:12

Looks like you took a lot of time for that Thanks for your interest and sincere desire to get to the bottom of this stuff, Joseph. This is exactly the kind of debate that clarifies issues, and avoids ad-homonym and factional infighting among communists.

You have a good analysis of GDP-related events in Venezuela, although , like the mainstream corporate media sources cited, omission of the unprecidentedly massive non-cash economic gains, fact that over half of Venezuelans live in "informal" housing, and a lack of interest in the (inflation-adjusted) poverty line have had the effect of circumscribing and mischaracterizing the economic facts to conform to preconfigured ideological goals. A very credible and laudible study of Venezuelan poverty and corporate media fibs regarding such found that:

"most of the news reports and articles alleging an increase in poverty under the Chávez administration are analogous to comparing winter temperatures to spring temperatures, and concluding on that basis that there is no global warming" - Mark Weisbrot, Luis Sandoval, and David Rosnick

At the end of the article, the authors have a run-down of the more common mainstream media attacks on our perceptions of the very real and support-worthy social gains in Venezuela. We didn't believe them about WMD. Why should we be confused into helping them by disparaging the Venezuelan social project among sectors in which those mainstream media memes don't resonate, such as the anarchist and communist community?

See full text and data here:
http://www.rethinkvenezuela.com/downloads/ceprpov.htm

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Joseph Kay
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Feb 21 2007 07:19

i'll check out that data from work. luckily economics stuff looks enough like what i'm meant to be doing that i can fire up a spreadsheet and blatantly sit there doing it black bloc

i mean in simplest terms, on those stats absolute income poverty for the poorest 58% has decreased, while it's increased for the next poorest 23% and 16% bands. however, relative poverty for all these groups (97%) has increased. obviously this is all on the terrain of bourgeois economics - venezuela has a big informal sector that escapes GDP measures, and it makes no reference to social solidarity networks/mutual aid etc which may have increased or decreased. but nonetheless this puts some truth in the both claims that Chavez is lifting the poorest out of absolute poverty, and also that industrial workers conditions are under attack and wealth is being concentrated in the elite 3%. arguably what we're seeing is trickle down economics, with the crumbs of the boom being thrown to the poorest to keep them on board.

the question then is, what form is the increased absolute incomes of the 58% taking and does it increase their autonomy or bind them to the state? I'm guessing a bit of it is the 'housework wage', i don't know if it's mostly benefits or increased incomes from work or what, which is important in determining the point about whether the working class (broadly understood as at least groups E and D and maybe C) is becoming dependent on the state.

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Feb 21 2007 20:48

Hi

Quote:
Some kind of a welfare state is being introduced in Venezuela at the same time in history when it is being got rid of in places like Britain. This is to do with both some boss interests and presumably the whole of the working class in that area wanting it to happen.

Thanks to having lots of foreign currency for all the oil. “The Norwegian parallel was not mere flippancy”, as the song goes. The UK’s welfare state was funded by a U.S. loan and then an IMF loan, if I’m not mistaken. I doubt there’s much ideological difference between Denis Healey and Hugo Chavez, in the UK imperialist constraint drives policy rather than a free running philosophy of economy.

Chavez’s “nationalism” is actually autonomy through economic self sufficiency (even if by trade arrangement), the precise strategy we adopted in the past to create civilisation and the one we should adopt again to re-create it.

It’ll last as long as Venezuelan oil is protected by international property law and the modern penchant for curtailing U.S. destabilisation of “socialist” regimes. If Chavez is a reactionary force, then he is currently ordering his own gallows built. Just as he should.

Love

LR

jonnyflash
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Feb 21 2007 23:15

Hmmm...Lazy Riser doubts theres much ideological difference between Deni Healey and Hugo Chavez. The following was culled from the Wikipedia article on Healy.

"Healey's decision, taken in conjunction with then-Prime Minister James Callaghan to seek an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan and submit the British economy to the associated IMF supervision. Within some parts of the Labour Party the transition from Healey Mark I (which had seen a proposal for a wealth tax) to Healey Mark II (associated with a government specified wage control) was regarded as a betrayal.He attacked left-wing opponents of his policies as being "out of their tiny Chinese minds" early in 1976[3], meaning to imply that they were Maoist, but offending the Chinese community.he received a life peerage as Baron Healey, of Riddlesden in the County of West Yorkshire in 1992. In July 2006 he argued that "Nuclear weapons are infinitely less important in our foreign policy than they were in the days of the Cold War" and that "I don't think we need nuclear weapons any longer".

Hmm, I'm sure Chavez loves the IMF too, and would choose to submit Venezuela to a SAP. Chavez is not anti-Maoist, nor anti-Chinese. Chavez would doubtless resist being Baronized, and furthermore vocally supports a multi-polar world including "rougue states' rights to become nuclear powers.

So, in sum, I find little ideological affinity between the two.

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Lazy Riser
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Feb 22 2007 01:00

Hi

Quote:
So, in sum, I find little ideological affinity between the two.

Healy’s left wing credentials are impeccable. The thing is Healy’s decisions weren’t ideological, but necessary. A necessity that Chavez does not bear, due to Venezuela taking a self-sufficiency based course backed by its oil rather than using it to service foreign loans. I wonder if they’ll develop “Dutch Disease”, perhaps they already have.

Love

LR

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OliverTwister
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Feb 22 2007 01:44
Quote:
vocally supports a multi-polar world including "rougue states' rights to become nuclear powers.

Even if everything else about him were absolutely amazing, this alone would be reason enough to oppose him.

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OliverTwister
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Feb 22 2007 01:45

And speaking personally, Jonny, you need to think long and hard about whether you can support both the working class (or "the people") and the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

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Feb 22 2007 08:44
jonnyflash wrote:
Chavez would doubtless resist being Baronized, and furthermore vocally supports a multi-polar world including "rougue states' rights to become nuclear powers.

you see this is why you get called a nationalist, as in lieu of class analysis you support the 'rights' of states. what difference does it make to communists if the viciously anti-working class regimes in Tehran or Pyongyang get the bomb? I mean particularly in the case of Korea, the workers in the south 'under US imperialism' are in a far better position to organise than those in the North under Kim Jung-Il's 'anti-imperialist' state, and the collapse of his regime would be a good thing for workers. to simply define yourself as for whatever america is against is classic leftist ressentiment/slave morality. whether the power of bourgeois states is unipolar or multipolar is not of particular concern in comparison to the status of the international working class as the latent superpower, a power that has little or nothing to do with the bomb.

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Joseph Kay
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Feb 22 2007 09:04
jonnyflash wrote:
See full text and data here:
http://www.rethinkvenezuela.com/downloads/ceprpov.htm

that report wrote:
Poverty rates are very sensitive to expansion and downturns in the economy ... For example, if we look at what happened to poverty in Argentina, where a similar amount of growth took place during 2003-2005, we find a much steeper reduction in the poverty rate.

the report tends to support what i said based on the other stats, namely that the reduction in absolute poverty is a reflection of economic growth which is a reflection of high oil prices. the report authors point out that Argentina, no bastion of new socialism, achieved even greater reductions in income poverty off similar economic growth, all of which points to venezuela as capitalism as usual.

like i say, on the earlier stats the reduction in absolute poverty is happening alongside a concentration of relative wealth in the richest 3%, while the incomes of the working poor and lower middle class are under attack both absolutely and relatively. So actually it seems the poverty reduction in venezuela isn't even social democratic redistribution, but neoliberal trickle-down, and as such does little to prove Chavez's alleged revolutionary credentials.

The stuff on non-cash standards of living is important, and is an area traditionally overlooked by bourgeois economics which sees only (legal) market transactions. however, while free at the point of use health care is no doubt a big gain for its recipients, it's no more revolutionary than Clement Atlee, who similarly ceded the NHS in the face of a potentially unruly working class.*

*Interestingly, the Beveridge Report's rhetoric wasn't that far off Chavez's, but presumably you don't think 1942 britain was bravely on the road to socialism in the face of german imperialism ...

The Beveridge Report wrote:
A revolutionary moment in the world’s history is a time for revolutions, not for patching.

The Beveridge Report wrote:
social security must be achieved by co-operation between the [bourgeois] State and the individual.

and kinda unrelated, but one for the biopolitics trainspotters:

The Beveridge Report wrote:
The second fact is the low reproduction rate of the British community today: unless this rate is raised very materially in the near future, a rapid and continuous decline of the population [i.e. labour power] cannot be prevented.

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Feb 22 2007 12:44

Hi

Indeed. The ideological similarity allows us to see how the same plan plays out against a different international financial framework. So is Venezuela encouraging immigration? Dunno. But Chavez’s socio-economic programme wouldn’t be a million miles away from the BNP’s if it took a hard line against people entering the country looking for work.

Love

LR

petey
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Feb 22 2007 15:37

(deleted)

jonnyflash
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Mar 2 2007 08:01

Dear Oliver Twister,
knowing about the WW2 atomic bombs, seeing how Israel uses nuclear threats during wars to cow the natives, and seeing what happens to countries that DONT have nukes (Yugoslavia, Iraq, ...) , although I recognize the ills of nuclear weapon storage, I vastly prefer it to their use. I see those as the options right now. Ideally, I'd want em all gone, but Bush just won't answer my emails.

jonnyflash
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Mar 2 2007 08:05

The leaders of good tries like the Sandinistas, FMLN, Tupamaros, and of course, Teflon Fidel.
I'm sure none of them meet your standards of purity though. A little too .....effective? A little too reluctant to tailor their movements to the purpose of inciting "moral outrage" in liberals, a little too keen to "take power", rather than write poetry and get militarily encirled?

jonnyflash
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Mar 2 2007 08:17
Quote:
urch: I haven't read the ICC piece yet but i've bookmarked it and will read it from work when i can.

Jason: I don't know enough about Italy to comment, though obviously anyone who couples nationalism and socialism sets alarm bells ringing ... on that note:

Rule by decree passed for Chavez - apparently to force through the nationalisations (i.e. state take-overs) and remove the limit to how long a president can serve. this seems like the kind of thing the minority current in the CRA were on about - a right-wing leader would never get a compliant population whilst centralising power so blatantly. however, iirc Chavez's own bolivarian constitution does allow for citizen-initiated referenda on decree powers (though his decree powers allow him to change the constitution wall ). i guess the problem seems not to be chavez per se, but that a lot of venezuelan workers identify revolution with the state and not their own power, a view mass nationalisations and a cult of personality tend to promote.

Except that the decree powers are subordinate to, and cannot supercede the constitution, which was voted in. And also, the powers are related to 11 specific areas. And also, there is a tradition of Venezuelan presidents requesting the decree authority in order to do things like raise the minimum wage. Cult of personality? If you had the guts/sack to organize a coup within the army of a traditional US buddy nation in Latin America, people would like you too. even iof youi failed, they would like that you were brave and had demonstrated leadership abilities combined with a will to make real changes. I have a Chavez T-shirt or 3, made by people who see him as someone on the level of Che Guevara. Venezuelans know like us that change comes from people power. Chavez is loved because he is creating great conditions for a people power strong enough to last when the conditions turn less favorable.

jonnyflash
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Mar 2 2007 08:28

Wow, some of you guys are really funny. You keep on working round to a CNN line, albeit by a circuitous route. Chavez is like Mussolini, like Hitler. Way to work hard to badjacket the Bolivarian social process. It's like you just can't bear to see a brother ideology (socialism) making great strides, while we are stuck in the muck. Just admit it...say it with me.....the Bolivarian movement is not a threat to my ideology. It's successes do not make me fee like a failure, because I, too can build something effective where I am. Did you really say it> I hope so.

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Joseph Kay
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Mar 2 2007 08:44
jonnyflash wrote:
It's like you just can't bear to see a brother ideology (socialism) making great strides

i assume we're not talking about wealth distribution here? i mean, the poor majority are having their incomes raised on the back of economic growth, which is primarily the result of high oil prices. the RAAN article pointed out previous populist governments have used high oil prices to similar effect without claiming to be socialist, and the article you linked with the income data analysis commented that argentina has seen similar results off similar economic growth, again without any pretence to socialism. however, relatively speaking everyone except the top 3%'s share of the (growing) economic pie has been falling - wealth is being concentrated in the elite while some absolute gains trickle down to the poor. Is trickle down economics socialist?

So you must mean the nationalisations are the "great strides" right? A question to clarify your meaning - do you consider Cuba socialist?

jonnyflash
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Mar 2 2007 10:16

Once again Joseph, pure numbers don't factor in the Bolivarian projects of mass socialized healthcare, national wholesale food purchases, mutual aid trading for thousands of tonnes of beef, chicken, milk, and bartering for advice and urban planning tips, so much of what that movement is doing is not visible in the numbers alone. Direct oil for _________ deals are entirely off that screen.
Q: What does mass volunteer and televised literacy work contribute to the immediate GDP?
A: nothing at all.
Value to one recipient:L priceless.

Esteem in which I hold Joseph K over-reachingly grasping at straws to try to publicly discredit and villanize the Bolivarian government, and redbait Jonny: falling.

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Joseph Kay
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Mar 2 2007 10:40
jonnyflash wrote:
so much of what that movement is doing is not visible in the numbers alone

quite possible, likely in fact, as i said when discussing the stats, but you're the one who brought them up, i was wondering if the numbers were the "great strides" you refer to...

jonnyflash wrote:
socialized healthcare, national wholesale food purchases

staples of all good social democrats ... i'm not saying they're bad things and venezuelan workers should be left to drown in market forces, but britain has socialized (nationalised) healthcare1, and probably bought food wholesale during the post-war rationing years. it's called social democracy, a mode of capitalism often deployed to contain powerful working classes.

  • 1. 'tis being privatised though since we've so far entrusted it to the state and not our own power, though there are murmurings of a movement to defend it
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OliverTwister
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Mar 2 2007 19:52
Quote:
Dear Oliver Twister,
knowing about the WW2 atomic bombs, seeing how Israel uses nuclear threats during wars to cow the natives, and seeing what happens to countries that DONT have nukes (Yugoslavia, Iraq, ...) , although I recognize the ills of nuclear weapon storage, I vastly prefer it to their use. I see those as the options right now. Ideally, I'd want em all gone, but Bush just won't answer my emails.

You fucking shitbag. There is no socialism on a dead planet.

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Tojiah
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Mar 2 2007 23:27
jonnyflash wrote:
Dear Oliver Twister,
knowing about the WW2 atomic bombs, seeing how Israel uses nuclear threats during wars to cow the natives...

This nuclear threat business didn't seem to be very useful during the October War (what is called in Israel the Yom Kippur War, October 1973). It didn't stop the Egyptians and the Syrians from successfully engaging Israel, especially as far as Egypt was concerned, since they got a refund on Israel's gains from the Six Day War.

Frankly, the only people to have suffered from Israel's nuclear armaments are those Israelis who either work or live near the place where they are stored and developed, as they are the ones who get cancer, or the ones whose water will become polluted in case Israel's aging reactors start leaking into the soil.

So if you're in favor of more threats to the environment in 3rd-world countries, then go ahead: support the nuclear armament of whoever you like, whether they are the Iranians or whoever. Just don't pretend to be a humanitarian while you're at it.

jonnyflash
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Mar 3 2007 04:41

Dear Oliver Twister,
knowing about the WW2 atomic bombs, seeing how Israel uses nuclear threats during wars to cow the natives, and seeing what happens to countries that DONT have nukes (Yugoslavia, Iraq, ...) , although I recognize the ills of nuclear weapon storage, I vastly prefer it to their use. I see those as the options right now. Ideally, I'd want em all gone, but Bush just won't answer my emails.

You fucking shitbag. There is no socialism on a dead planet

Nor any other ism, save maybe one the roaches eventually make. But the roaches would be having a ball, even the ones with their heads blown off (9 more days to party). Hey, I'm really with you, but like I said, Bush is being really consistent about not listening to "moral authority" from any quarter, let alone ours. New approach required.

jonnyflash
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Mar 3 2007 04:53
Quote:
"This nuclear threat business didn't seem to be very useful during the October War (what is called in Israel the Yom Kippur War, October 1973). It didn't stop the Egyptians and the Syrians from successfully engaging Israel, especially as far as Egypt was concerned, since they got a refund on Israel's gains from the Six Day War.

Frankly, the only people to have suffered from Israel's nuclear armaments are those Israelis who either work or live near the place where they are stored and developed, as they are the ones who get cancer, or the ones whose water will become polluted in case Israel's aging reactors start leaking into the soil.

So if you're in favor of more threats to the environment in 3rd-world countries, then go ahead: support the nuclear armament of whoever you like, whether they are the Iranians or whoever. Just don't pretend to be a humanitarian while you're at it."-tree of judas

Well, I think flying atomic bombs around in planes does scare people. It's just not nice. But don't pretend for a moment that poor countries have some environmental obligation to keep that rich countries don't. It's not like they are the ones fucking up the globe. The US alone emits over 25% of the world's greenhouse gas, with just 5% of the world's population.
check it out.

http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:TprnJhWHwEcJ:www.net.org/warming/doc...

That whole..."the ecosystem will collapse if we (have to share)let _______ have a modern lifestyle" line coming out of parts of the environmental movement is a sham that only the neo-malthusian Sierra club attempted-coupsters can deliver with OOMPH!. So don't even go there.