'Communal Councils' in Venezuela

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Tojiah
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Mar 3 2007 08:28
jonnyflash wrote:
Well, I think flying atomic bombs around in planes does scare people. It's just not nice.

Yeah. But flying regular bombs around in planes is also faux pas. Those are the ones that usually get dropped on people, by the way.

jonnyflash wrote:
But don't pretend for a moment that poor countries have some environmental obligation to keep that rich countries don't.

Don't put words in my mouth. I said that nuclear weapons aren't relevant in warfare, and, moreover, that they cause environmental harm. I thought it would convince you that your bourgeois buddies in 3rd-world countries should have no good reason to invest in nuclear armaments.

jonnyflash wrote:
It's not like they are the ones fucking up the globe.

They're doing their share. And will do much more if they get a leg up. You seem to think, for some reason, that if someone is brown, or black, or yellow, or red, that it's somehow morally superior for them to fuck up the ecosystem than it is for someone white. I guess if Obama becomes President, you'll become pro-US overnight.

jonnyflash wrote:
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.

I wasn't going there. Do you even bother reading what people write, or do you skim it and then free-form what you please?

I think that capitalism has to be torn down. You seem to think that capitalism has to be spread around more evenly. That makes you a capitalist, not me.

jonnyflash
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Mar 4 2007 00:48
Quote:
jonnyflash wrote:
Well, I think flying atomic bombs around in planes does scare people. It's just not nice.

Judas: Yeah. But flying regular bombs around in planes is also faux pas. Those are the ones that usually get dropped on people, by the way

Oh, sorry, I thought we were specifically discussing whether Nukes are so dangerous that capability to produce them should never be developed, even if that means getting bullied by a country that has em.

Quote:
jonnyflash wrote:
But don't pretend for a moment that poor countries have some environmental obligation to keep that rich countries don't.

Judas: Don't put words in my mouth. I said that nuclear weapons aren't relevant in warfare, and, moreover, that they cause environmental harm. I thought it would convince you that your bourgeois buddies in 3rd-world countries should have no good reason to invest in nuclear armaments.

Sorry, Judas, I coulda swore you said "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".

I guess this is turning into a whats more important; protecting your environment or deterring Nuc Club members from bombing u into the stone age. It's not much of a choice, and conventionally used depleted uranium weapons are as damaging than emissions from Nuc plants.
I would suspect that most regimes would choose to arm. Welcome to the monopolar world. I know, it sucks.

Quote:
Judas - They're(poor people of color) doing their share(to wreck the world). And will do much more if they get a leg up. You seem to think, for some reason, that if someone is brown, or black, or yellow, or red, that it's somehow morally superior for them to fuck up the ecosystem than it is for someone white. I guess if Obama becomes President, you'll become pro-US overnight.

If you l;ooed at that link, the underdeveloped countries are NOT doing their share, although they may in the future if nobody offers them access to cleaner technology.
Like most with a communist analysis, I'm well aware that the elite will eventually offer us an electoral "option" of a pregnant, parapelegic black lesbian, as long as that candidate is sufficiently spineless and/or dedicated to the current system. Remember Judas, it is the rich countries' unwillingness to assist the underdeveloped countries through the environmentally damaging industrialization process, now that those industrialized nations have had enough time to develop technology to have technology to impact the environment less. Not that they are using it themselves. If you can turn off your adversion to state-level organization for 30 seconds, read about Cuba's incredible feats in this area.

When you wrote "So if you're in favor of more threats to the environment in 3rd-world countries...", I assumed that you know as I do that poor countries are forced to rely upon extremely (enviro) damaging technology. Then I assumed that your opposition of and dedication to environment over revolutionary struggle (by regimes) would naturally lead to the opinion that the world can't sustain the development of the underdeveloped world, as is common in the enviro movement. There is a grain of truth to that, but it assumes a western style of development, which I think is a big mistake. I beleive that underdeveloped nations dont have to choose between standard of living and development, ideally.

Humanitarianism doesn't neccessarily mean consigning much of the world to cringe and cower at Imperial nuclear power, deployable with impunity. No ill will or capitalist-calling required. BTW, what movement is now breaking and broking the IMF?

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Tojiah
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Mar 4 2007 12:30
jonnyflash wrote:
Oh, sorry, I thought we were specifically discussing whether Nukes are so dangerous that capability to produce them should never be developed, even if that means getting bullied by a country that has em.

That's what happens when you don't bother reading through what other people have to say. Here it is, again:

tojiah wrote:
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.

Maybe I'll rephrase my position: I contend that nuclear weapons are not useful as bullying tools, and I cite the Israeli situation as support for my contention.

jonnyflash wrote:
Sorry, Judas, I coulda swore you said "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".

I guess this is turning into a whats more important; protecting your environment or deterring Nuc Club members from bombing u into the stone age.

Can I see an example of a non-nuclear-club country being bombed into the stone age by a nuclear-club country using nuclear weapons?

jonnyflash wrote:
It's not much of a choice, and conventionally used depleted uranium weapons are as damaging than emissions from Nuc plants.

Rubber-coated steel bullets can be more damaging than emissions from nuclear plants, and don't require nuclear armament.

jonnyflash wrote:
I would suspect that most regimes would choose to arm. Welcome to the monopolar world. I know, it sucks.

Yeah, it does. Only, you think that a multipolar world would suck less. Maybe you should ask people about the glories of the Cold War. That should put things in perspective.

jonnyflash wrote:
Quote:
Judas - They're(poor people of color) doing their share(to wreck the world). And will do much more if they get a leg up. You seem to think, for some reason, that if someone is brown, or black, or yellow, or red, that it's somehow morally superior for them to fuck up the ecosystem than it is for someone white. I guess if Obama becomes President, you'll become pro-US overnight.

If you l;ooed at that link, the underdeveloped countries are NOT doing their share, although they may in the future if nobody offers them access to cleaner technology.

Western countries have access to cleaner technology, and like you said, they contribute a lot more to world pollusion that the disenfranchised nations. Could it be that the absence of greener technology is not the problem? Could it be that there is a need for a more radical change of the situation, rather than spreading technology around more evenly?

But I guess the real solution is for every country of color to have its very own nuclear reactor. roll eyes

To make my point clear: the reason I cited environmental concerns in the first place is by default, since nuclear weapons have no other effect, other than, of course, to create more jobs and more reasons to throw money away, and to further terrorize the world proletariat.

jonnyflash wrote:
Like most with a communist analysis, I'm well aware that the elite will eventually offer us an electoral "option" of a pregnant, parapelegic black lesbian, as long as that candidate is sufficiently spineless and/or dedicated to the current system.

Well, at least you're not completely superficial. The next step is for you to realize that Hugo Chávez is the same kind of "option".

jonnyflash wrote:
Remember Judas, it is the rich countries' unwillingness to assist the underdeveloped countries through the environmentally damaging industrialization process, now that those industrialized nations have had enough time to develop technology to have technology to impact the environment less. Not that they are using it themselves. If you can turn off your adversion to state-level organization for 30 seconds, read about Cuba's incredible feats in this area.

Rich countries are more than glad to "assist" the underdeveloped countries through processes that further underdevelop them. I'm surprised that you, allegedly an anti-colonialist, would be calling for any more of that neo-colonialist "support".

jonnyflash wrote:
When you wrote "So if you're in favor of more threats to the environment in 3rd-world countries...", I assumed that you know as I do that poor countries are forced to rely upon extremely (enviro) damaging technology.

See comment above. While poor countries are "forced" to rely upon them, rich countries "choose" so freely. It's all global capitalism: the environment isn't as important as the profit motive, and if you want to be competitive in a global market, however many poles it happens to have at the moment...

jonnyflash wrote:
Then I assumed that your opposition of and dedication to environment over revolutionary struggle (by regimes) would naturally lead to the opinion that the world can't sustain the development of the underdeveloped world, as is common in the enviro movement.

Of course, because it's much easier to think for other people than it is to read what they write, or hear what they have to say.

Anyway, there's no such thing as revolutionary struggle by regimes. Regimes have by definition incorporated the power of the people into the hands of the few, and a victory for them is a defeat for the people.

jonnyflash wrote:
There is a grain of truth to that, but it assumes a western style of development, which I think is a big mistake.

It's not a big mistake to contend that any kind of development, produced under the aegis of any kind of capitalism --- whether American, European, Chinese or local --- would lead to the same place. It is a big mistake to contend that supporting one over the other will have any beneficial, long-term environmental impact.

jonnyflash wrote:
Humanitarianism doesn't neccessarily mean consigning much of the world to cringe and cower at Imperial nuclear power, deployable with impunity.

Read above. Nuclear power is a bogieman which has had no relevance in actual power relations since the Cuban Crisis.

jonnyflash wrote:
No ill will or capitalist-calling required. BTW, what movement is now breaking and broking the IMF?

Is anyone breaking and broking the IMF? It seems to be doing quite well, last time I heard. Moreover, even if it does fail, that fact, in and by itself, will not mean the fall of the interests behind it.

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Lazy Riser
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Mar 4 2007 13:43

Hi

Quote:
Is anyone breaking and broking the IMF? It seems to be doing quite well, last time I heard.

IMF wrote:
http://www.imf.org
An international organization of 185 member countries. It was established to promote international monetary cooperation, exchange stability, and orderly exchange arrangements; to foster economic growth and high levels of employment; and to provide temporary financial assistance to countries to help ease balance of payments adjustment.

Judging by the number of homeless beggars in the High Street, it's not doing well at all. Unless, by that we mean the successful avoidance of generalised civil disorder.

Love

LR

baboon
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Mar 6 2007 12:49

Chavism, lauded by leftism as positive for the working class has, in fact, been a victory for the Venezuelan bourgeoisie, not least for locking the working class into the trap of elections, democracy and inter-bourgeois faction fights. The anti-Americanism of Chavez, again lauded by leftism, has strengthened the grip of nationalism on the Venezuelan proletariat and contributed to exporting nationalism, and thus the attack on the workers, to Bolivia, Equator and Nicaragua.
Chavism has, since 2003, been supported by the Venezuelan military, the left and leftism and, with its "missions" and "revolution", represents a considerable strengthening of state capitalism and nationalism in the USA's "backyard". With its public worker's, "bonuses" (paid just before December's election), heavily subsidised food, its various plans to "eliminate poverty by 2021, a la Tony Blair, the Venezuelan state has built up a time bomb that threatens to explode across the region.
Behind the lies of the attenuation, or progress towards, the elimination of poverty, is growing misery and pauperisation in the towns and countryside. Caracas is the most dangerous town in the region and the rate of criminality in Venezuela has led it to overtake Colombia for crime. Malaria, Dengue Fever, infanat and natal mortality are all on the rise. While inflation rises (04, 19.2%; 05, 14.4%; 06, 17%) the workers in the state run cooperatives receive less than the minimum wage - and that's when they receive any wages at all. These workers and those of the "missions" are used to bring down the wages and conditions of regular workers - a trick of capitalism the world over and refined by state capitalism.
A party that calls itself "socialist" doesn't necessarily mean that there is anything socialist about it or is any way positive for the working class. Being "anti-US imperialism" means nothing positive for the working class given that most nation states are anti-US imperialism. The "elimination of poverty" is something that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown say they aspire to. The capitalist subsidies of the Chavez regime are gradually being cut after the election and will increasingly be cut with the development of the crisis. The regime will blame the "yankees" and the "capitalists" or other factions of the Venezuelan bourgeoisie and will use these as a cover for the development of greater austerity and greater repression directly against the working class.

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Mar 7 2007 06:44

Got to stay current, my friends, the IMF's loans in Latin America are 1/80th of what they were in 2005. The Venezuelan government has stepped into that breach with loans related to oil, bartered products from the other nations, and outright buying of national debt but without the SAPs. . The IMF is falling on hard times, selling it's gold reserves to stay solvent. Poor guys. hehe. A little payback for how they did Argentina.

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/01/31/america/NA-FIN-IMF-Finances.ph...

Ooooh yeah. I like that.

baboon
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Mar 7 2007 13:36

The only poor guys here jonny are the working class and the peasantry under the Chavez regime.

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Mar 11 2007 16:15

BBC article:

Quote:
I visit Temir Porras, a senior adviser, in a government building in the centre of town. He is a charming man of 32 - multi-lingual and cosmopolitan. He is sitting in a white room with no windows, a rickety desk and a computer, organising the revolution's first management school. With disarming frankness he explains that when you are taking over large swathes of private industry and running it from here it is quite important to have people who know what they are doing.

does sound an awful lot like state-capitalism ...

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Mar 11 2007 17:24

Hi

Well from that you couldn't rule out any of varieties of socialism. It might be a Castoriadian plan-factory. Don't blame you for doubting it though.

Love

LR

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Mar 12 2007 01:20

Babboon: The only poor guys here jonny are the working class and the peasantry under the Chavez regime.

Jonny: Funny how they have been consistently re-electing Chavez for years. You must fly down there n explain how bad off they are. Consider it part of your burden.

Joseph's BBC Quote:

I visit Temir Porras, a senior adviser, in a government building in the centre of town. He is a charming man of 32 - multi-lingual and cosmopolitan. He is sitting in a white room with no windows, a rickety desk and a computer, organising the revolution's first management school. With disarming frankness he explains that when you are taking over large swathes of private industry and running it from here it is quite important to have people who know what they are doing.

Joseph's comment: does sound an awful lot like state-capitalism ...

I would agree with Porras, that it is important to have people who know what they are doing. Working class people have the right to run shit from any type of room they wish. If a centrally organized economy bothers you, that's OK. Some things bother me too, such as cat dander. When your movement is as popular, organized and goal-oriented as the Bolivarians, chances are Porras in Venezuela isn't gonna shit-talk your initiatives and strategies. Joseph K, I personally challenge you to build a social movement that acheives gains relatively equal to the Bolivarians, starting with (but of course not limited to) fully socialized healthcare and education, and ending international economic/military aggression by your ruling class. You're looking at a 30 year process, minimum. Get out there, mix it up, prove your ideas. I suspect I know to whom you will come for advice in the event you live long enough and succeed.

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Mar 12 2007 08:47
jonnyflash wrote:
I would agree with Porras, that it is important to have people who know what they are doing.

we're not talking about 'people' in general, we're talking about graduates from management school. you can't have self-management and one-man management at the same time, again unless you identify the class absolutely with the state and its managers, which you might well do i suppose ... (not that self-management under capital is preferable to militantly organised workers against capital, but the proponents of Chavismo claim that self-management is flourishing)

jonnyflash wrote:
Working class people have the right to run shit from any type of room they wish. If a centrally organized economy bothers you, that's OK.

it's not the job of communists to cheer-lead whatever working class people do en masse - i mean the working class mobilised behind fascism (and churchill) quite emphatically, but we don't start praising fascism. if most venezuelan workers genuinely want a centrally run state economy (which is entirely possible), they're making a big mistake in substituting state power for working class power, and i'll continue to say so, for all the difference some cyber-opinionating makes.

jonnyflash wrote:
Joseph K, I personally challenge you to build a social movement that acheives gains relatively equal to the Bolivarians

wtf?! firstly, are you crediting Chavez with personally building a social movement? secondly social movements are not the product of any single individual. the clue is in the words. thirdly, i am involved in organising, but even the most ardent acolyte of the 'great men of history' thesis recognises that you can't just create something from nothing, which is pretty much where organised class struggle is in the UK at the moment after several decades of pummelling. fourthly, your criteria for success appears to be state power (you slagged off the zapatistas vis FARC for not trying to seize or set up a state), in which my only interest is its destruction, so on your criteria a global libertarian communist revolution would apparently be a failure anyway. of course, we learn from venezuela, but unfortunately it's more a case of 'what not to do' with millions of working class people in the streets.

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Mar 12 2007 08:54
jonnyflash wrote:
Funny how they have been consistently re-electing Chavez for years. You must fly down there n explain how bad off they are. Consider it part of your burden.

The working class in the UK kept electing Thatcher for years. Should we have supported the 'Thatcherite revolution' too?
Devrim

petey
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Mar 12 2007 16:03
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The working class in the UK kept electing Thatcher for years.

and reagan twice in the US.
so, what's up with that? this is the sort of thing that's a test case for the concept of consciousness. are so many workers bamboozled, or do they know perfectly well why they do as they do? (i don't say 'the working class' as some who answer to that descriptor made signs that read 're-arm hinckley'.)

sorry, off topic perhaps, but an important question to me.

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Mar 12 2007 19:32

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Quote:
sorry, off topic perhaps, but an important question to me.

It’s more relevant to the Venezuelan situation than arguing the ideological predispositions of random bourgeois. We have random bourgeois of our own. Answering your question is Reich’s “The Mass Psychology of Facism” and Pallis’s “The Irrational in Politics”, bringing us neatly back to this thread’s earlier split…

http://libcom.org/forums/history/brintons-the-bolsheviks-and-workers-con...

Love

LR

petey
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Mar 12 2007 20:00

i'll take you up on pallis. i see it's in the libcom library, helpfully prefaced with "N.B. There are some patriarchal and offensive comments in this essay."

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Mar 12 2007 20:04

Hi

Quote:
"N.B. There are some patriarchal and offensive comments in this essay."

Offensive for sure. Those are the best bits actually.

Love

LR

bbbbb
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Mar 19 2007 02:03

Lazy Riser, employing litotes, writes:

"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."

Agreed. But what is the policy on people who want to emigrate there?? That's what I'd like to know! For that matter, what is the line on people who just seek to be guestworkers, sending money back home elsewhere?

baboon (ICC?) writes:

"The anti-Americanism of Chavez, again lauded by leftism, has strengthened the grip of nationalism on the Venezuelan proletariat"

Anti-Americanism is good, baboon! It would probably be more accurate to write that the government have attempted to boost nationalism in order to recuperate popular anti-Americanism, although I shouldn't imagine they have had much success. Most people don't live in the world of ideology. The important questions, to my mind, are why have living standards risen, and what conditions are necessary to raise them further. Or indeed, to prevent them falling again. If this is not considered basic, one enters the alienated world of politics...

Regards,

bbbbb

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Mar 29 2007 22:25
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bbbbb: The important questions, to my mind, are why have living standards risen, and what conditions are necessary to raise them further. Or indeed, to prevent them falling again

That's an interesting question, bbbbb. From what I gather, every advance in Venezuela has been in spite of the best hampering efforts of the bureaucrats within Chavez's own coalition. Recent developments make me suspect that the Bolivarian movement has realized it must bypass opportunistic party bureaucrats in order to consolidate and advance further. How can a movement marginalize the representative democracy charade of the old political class, and give real and direct power to the citizenry? Mass popular assemblies might be a good start.

jonnyflash
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Mar 29 2007 22:28
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Baboon: "The anti-Americanism of Chavez, again lauded by leftism, has strengthened the grip of nationalism on the Venezuelan proletariat"

Baboon, what constitutes anti-americanism? Do you mean being against specific policies of the US government?
I've been seeing that phrase alot in the media, and hearing it in my Soc classes.

hummingbird
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Apr 6 2007 21:28

Scrolled most of my way through this discussion without finding many answers to the question of the 'communal councils'. Let's hear more about what's actually happening with these councils - no matter what you think of Chavez...

petey
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Apr 22 2007 16:03

chavez to arm the community councils

jonnyflash
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Jun 26 2007 21:32

According to a journalist in Venezuela, as of June 21/2007,

-There are currently 18,000 communal councils
-the councils will be integrated into larger "Popular Power Federations", and protected in the constitution.
-There are elements of Liberation Theology in the speeches of Chavez. (see Bishop Romero et al)
- 2.8 billion USD has been allocated for the councils this year for local housing/social projects
-meetings of elected state reps from local councils are discussing and envisioning how the new popular organs will take part in Venezuelan society, and the specific characteristics of the communal state to come.

link: http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news.php?newsno=2336

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Jun 27 2007 03:24
bbbbb wrote:
Anti-Americanism is good, baboon! It would probably be more accurate to write that the government have attempted to boost nationalism in order to recuperate popular anti-Americanism, although I shouldn't imagine they have had much success.

Of COURSE anti-Americanism is good. Just like being guilty for being white. Oh god! Or living in the West. The First World. Eating food whilst poor starving kids are dying. Why god, why???!!! Bono, where art thou, Bono?

Who's a very naughty boy? I'm white and I'm American and I'm male - I'm a very naughty boy! Well, do you know what happens to very naughty boys?

jonnyflash
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Jun 27 2007 06:01

We should keep in mind that the (now suddenly popular) concept of anti-Americanism, much like the currently dominant concept of "political correctness", originates among the pro-elite intellectual strata, and has been both imbued with meaning and propagated via the mass media. The term anti-americanism automatically shifts the playing field in the imperialist's favor, by painting a picture of a mindless, unquestioning xenophobia. When reactionaries use the term, they are attempting to translate the general worldwide recognition that the US government's policies are reducing the quality/duration of life for a great many people in the world, translate that knowledge into a mindless "trend" of anti-Americanism with no logical roots or reasons.

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Jun 27 2007 08:05

whereas 'good' anti-americanism hails true anti-imperialist resistance like kim jong-il. at least he's not a pig-dog yankee imperialist lackey!

jonnyflash
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Jun 28 2007 00:23

Thank you Joseph, for reinforcing my point that many of those who call themselves leftists in the imperial core countries have uncritically digested a rabid anticommunism that rivals anything the far right has to offer, with a telltale symptom being the inability to admit that, despite some obvious failings and issues I myself have with the ways in which currently existing self-defined socialist/communist states are run, the are undeniable and compelling victories for our side that have been won by organized workers outside of the metropoles, including victories against both Japanese and German fascism. I find any philosophy that induces such historical amnesia regarding the laudable victories, and attempts to semantically separate worker's organizations into categorical and binary good and bad depending on where they are situated, or by the fine details of their brand of revolutionary politics, rather disturbing.

Imperialism101: check out the few-hundred US military bases worldwide. Ask yourself why they are there now that the previous justification of the Soviet threat is gone. You seem like a bright and creative guy, Joseph K.

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Jun 28 2007 15:14

your definition of communism is pretty much my definition of leftism, and yeah, your leftism is rabidly anticommunist and anti-working class.

jonnyflash wrote:
the are undeniable and compelling victories for our side that have been won by organized workers outside of the metropoles, including victories against both Japanese and German fascism.

you're saying Stalinism was a victory for "organised workers"? tell it to the dead workers of budapest, fuckwit.

jonnyflash wrote:
Imperialism101: check out the few-hundred US military bases worldwide. Ask yourself why they are there now that the previous justification of the Soviet threat is gone. You seem like a bright and creative guy, Joseph K.

whereas the jackboot is fine if it waves 'your' flag. the proletariat has no fucking country, jonnyflash has no fucking clue.

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Jun 28 2007 15:36
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the proletariat has no fucking country, jonnyflash has no fucking clue.

Indeedy.

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Jul 1 2007 17:06
Quote:
Mr Chavez arrived in Tehran on Saturday, calling the Iranian leader his "ideological brother", AFP news agency reports.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/6258924.stm

jonnyflash
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Jul 3 2007 03:20

While various mainstream media attempts to ideologically associate the Venezuelan president with Osama Bin Laden, Al Quaeda, etc.have been comical, there is some substance to this charge. Chavez's confluence of interests with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad includes a $2billion USD "anti-imperialist fund" to assist with projects deemed as undermining the hegemony of the only superpower, including grants to underdeveloped countries with a view to fostering self-sufficiency. Another thing the two leaders share is that their names as well as those of the countries they preside over are at the top of the US hit list, and they both represent large oil exporters. The ideological affinity doesn't extend into the domestic political field, where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is markedly anti-leftist, rivalling perhaps even Joseph K. The crimes of the Iranian government against Iranian leftists are notorius, while Chavez sheilds Venezuelan leftist organizers and sympathisers from the security services/army/death squad treatment so common under previous administrations.