Venezuela: Crisis, protests, inter-bourgeois political struggle and threat of imperialist war

– Venezuela is in crisis because capitalism is in crisis; or rather, the world capitalist crisis is expressed in Venezuela in a plain, raw and scandalously visible shape, not only at the economic level, but also at the political, social, ideological and probably at the geopolitical-military levels here and now as well as in the future.

Submitted by Guerre de Classe on August 4, 2017

– The current situation in Venezuela is a demonstration of the failure of the governments of “21st century socialism” to successfully manage the capitalist crisis. What happens is that Capital and its crisis are unmanageable: it is Capital that governs society and therefore the State, and not the contrary. To believe the opposite is illusory, whereas pretending to do so is reformist.
– The government of the Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), as a good capitalist, can only “discharge” or push the proletarians to “pick up the pieces”: shortages, inflation, underemployment, unemployment, and impoverishment. That is to say austerity and misery. Logically resulting in new street protests against such material conditions of existence, as those of February-April of this year (and as those in February last year, of course). This government, according to its role, can only opt for repression: e.g. “exceptional” repressive laws passed by the Congress (as the resolution 008610, which authorizes the police to shoot on protesters with real bullets), resulting in the death of some young demonstrators caused by the police, etc. Despite the fact that the government of Maduro justifies itself while saying that it acted against “the destabilizing and putschist right wing, which plots with the Yankee imperialism” and even that it “regrets the death of these students”, it is obvious that this government – like all the leftist governments – is not at all revolutionary. (Once again, it should be mentioned that Rousseff and Correa do essentially the same thing in their respective countries.)
– Although in the protests last year our class did claim its material needs through direct action against Capital and the State (looting, barricades, stones throwing, attacks on parties’ headquarters, etc.); although this year it did once again take to the streets to protest against the scarcity and “against the regime”; and although the misery and repression that it now suffers from may drive our class to shake off so many years of “Chavism” and “social missions”, the problem is that the proletariat in Venezuela – as in many other parts of the world – is still weak. That is to say, it didn’t succeed yet to reorganize itself and to act with autonomy and power, with its own demands and organizations, as a real social force, as a class of negation. But this doesn’t mean that the possibility of an explosion of uncontrollable proletarian rage for both the government and the opposition, that the emergence of a savage proletariat in Venezuela should be ruled out, precisely because of the harsh conditions in which our class currently lives there. After all, our human needs as proletarians, unsatisfied or negated by private property and money, are in total and material opposition to the needs of the accumulation and administration of Capital; so that the structural and latent antagonism between the capitalist class and the proletariat may sooner or later break out; especially in a situation of crisis, since it can in turn reheat this “breeding ground” for the proletarian struggle against Capital and its State.
– The low-income students, the unemployed and the “informal” underemployed in the streets, who in Venezuela – and in Latin America in general – proliferate in misery, and who are furthermore those who live in the suburbs and peripheral settlements… As well as the “indigenous” and “peasant” proletarians from other provinces, who have repeatedly confronted the oil, mining, and coal companies, all of these latter being backed by the forces of the 21st century socialism order… Without forgetting the various sectors of the working class that have protested about demands: layoffs, wages, services, etc. All of them constitute the proletariat in struggle, and their presence in the streets, setting up demonstrations of revolt, proves this. Consequently, it is utterly stupid to generally consider the protests as if they were a homogeneous amalgam that exclusively obeys the designs of the Democratic Unity Roundtable. “Fascist opposition” or “imperialist agents” are some of the ridiculous mottoes that we see daily in all the rancid left medias to designate those who struggle against their miserable conditions of existence… It is necessary once and for all to break with all those false reductionist interpretations that only defend at all costs progressive reformism adorned with anti-colonialist flags.
– We have said that a proletarian revolt in Venezuela is a possibility and not something “inevitable”, because to think the latter would be mechanistic and keep false expectations. In addition, because it would be absurd and irresponsible not to notice that both the Venezuelan government and the Venezuelan right wing can – as always – fish in troubled waters or frame the mobilization to demobilize the whole movement. Indeed Maduro’s government de facto is already taking advantage of the US threat against Venezuela to further shield its State machinery and to hide or to relegate to the background the crisis and the internal class struggle, calling for “patriotism”, “sovereignty”, “anti-imperialist solidarity” and in passing to exhort to sacrifice for “national economy”. And the Venezuelan right wing (represented by the Democratic Unity Roundtable – MUD), because it is obviously backed by US imperialism and because, it would, in case of invasion, restore its political power. Regional and world political history shows that the things happen this way and there should not be doubt about. Against this, we clarify that the proletarian rupture and autonomy that we consider necessary to appear in Venezuela would not only be outside and against the left-wing government of Maduro or the “Bolivarian” bourgeoisie, but also outside and against the Venezuelan right-wing opposition, this “oligarchic”, rancid and ultra-reactionary bourgeoisie. Not only outside and against this or that faction of Capital-State, but outside and against the whole Capital-State itself. All this in this concrete case means and implies not to participate in the inter-bourgeois political struggle government versus opposition, not to play their game, but on the contrary: to overflow them, to break with them, to assume the class struggle to defend, generalize and impose our human needs on those of Capital, our own class demands through our own structures of struggle. What in turn could lead to a revolt and then to assume the need to struggle for social or total revolution; not for a political, partial, bourgeois revolution (where the right wing restores its political power or the left wing keeps its own one), and much less so that it leads to imperialist war that makes the proletariat serving as cannon fodder (in the case that the US would invade Venezuela). The existence or emergence of militant and active revolutionary minorities in Venezuela – of which we still have no real and convincing signals – should be one of the main tasks at the moment. Or maybe that the proletariat in Venezuela – including its radical minorities – will react and struggle against its mortal class enemies only when the war will be killing thousands of proletarians on the streets and frontiers, not only from starvation but from bullets by both States? The real class struggle will be the one that will have the last word.
– All the socialist, nationalist and anti-imperialist governments that have existed have been, are and will be capitalist, the “Bolivarian revolution” leaves intact the national State, private property and foreign and domestic mercantile trade, which are fundamental elements of the capitalist system. Leftist and progressive governments are different in form but not in content to their right-wing and imperialist rivals. Their struggles, including their wars, are inherent, inevitable and necessary for this system to function and survive: capitalism cannot exist or be such without competition and without war. (In addition, there has been no war of defense of national sovereignty and/or national liberation that has not been a part of an inter-imperialist war.) But these inter-capitalist struggles will only continue to play the leading role until the proletariat reappears in the forefront with force and autonomy in defiance of the existing order. Then both bourgeois sides, now adversaries, would without shillyshallying unite as one single party – the party of order, reaction, and democracy – against our class, because they would rather prefer to become allied than to see tottering the system that assures them power and domination.
– Such a budding picture would be even more catastrophic if China and Russia decided to support Venezuela even militarily, not because of “ideological affinity” or “anti-imperialism”, but because both Eastern emerging powers have strong economic and geostrategic interests to care for in that country as well as in South America in general. For their part, as in recent times the US have lost ground and power in other regions, today they return to their usual “backyard” to play it as a “trump card” in their declining unipolar supremacy policy. Thus, not only oil and territorial control would be in dispute, but also a part of the very world hegemony. Libya, Iraq and/or Ukraine in Venezuela? Maybe. Be that as it may, imperialist war drums resound in South America, or rather those of the American military invasion into the territory of the Venezuelan State.
– The “violation of human rights” by this leftist government – as if no State used its repressive terrorism! Hypocrites! – is nothing more than a plausible pretext to raise a discourse about the “lack of freedom in Venezuela”. The US has already used similar excuses for that purpose just a few years ago on Libya and Iraq [and now in Syria] – and it did so on the eve of some wars during the twentieth century. No, it is not a “lack of democracy”, but everywhere it is the same democracy that represses us, imprisons us, tortures us, and murders us; because democracy is actually the “legal and legitimate” dictatorship of Capital over the proletariat. Let’s remember that also with this pretext the US has already made several wars in different peripheral or “non-Western” regions of the planet. So you want to do it for oil? Yes of course, considering the large reserves of “black gold” possessed by Venezuela, as well as the large oil business agreements between the “Bolibourgeoisie” and Chevron, in the sense of monopolizing the international oil market in this region (as Marx said, competition and monopoly are not antagonistic but complementary poles, the two sides of the same coin, and as the bourgeoisie and its economists say: “in business there are no friends”). Further in the background, considering that oil is energy and energy is the blood of the economy, that is to say it is a lucrative business per se as well as an outlet for the current global capitalist crisis. Something that, however, will be “more expensive” and catastrophic in the future due to the current “oil crisis” and all the disasters and conflicts that it entails. However, oil is not yet the main cause of this drama or international tension in the region.
– The American bourgeoisie and the Pentagon are not stupid neither they sit idly by. It’s just the opposite. If neither a left-wing government nor the right-wing opposition has been able to manage the capitalist crisis in an important part of their “backyard”, there is also the “risk” in this country that the proletariat (that “ghost” feared by the whole bourgeoisie) re-emerges with explosiveness and out of control, as a genuine, autonomous and indomitable force. A potential “hunger revolt” and revolt against the State in Venezuela? In the face of such a threat, the US cannot fail to fulfill its role of world gendarme and police: this is one of the needs for an armed intervention in Venezuela. And perhaps we should not wait for such a potential revolt to happen, but we would rather anticipate the movements aiming at “preventing it”. In conclusion, the imperialist war consists, as always, in crushing any revolutionary attempt and repolarizing the power of the bourgeoisie. War is always the war against the proletariat. In this specific case, it is a question of “neutralizing” the fundamental and real contradiction: the class antagonism and all attempts of a radical revolution.
– Moreover, it’s not only because of the threat of a savage proletariat in that country that the US would wage an imperialist war against Venezuela, but because it already has a potential problem “at home”: the movement of protests and riots unleashed in the cities of Ferguson, Baltimore, Oakland and Charlotte over the last four years. In other words, the US would also wage war in order to strengthen and to win the war against the proletariat that lives and struggles within its own territory: for example, while enlisting young proletarians in the ranks of the army – blacks, Latinos and whites – to kill and die in other countries, and thus to avoid them hanging about the streets like “vagrants” and “vandals”. What paradoxically could be transformed into a boomerang, and there are already a few indications or samples of this. This is another fact that justifies the importance of the international relationship between Venezuela and the United States today. As well as the internal situation in both countries, in the sense of manifesting the historical and concrete dialectics between class war and imperialist war.
– By that very fact, the only one that can stop and reverse the imperialist war conducted by the US in virtually all the world, is the proletariat not only of the countries at war – real or potential ones – but the proletariat of all countries and all regions, of all “colors” or “races”, acting as a single world and historical force against a single enemy: the World Capital-State. The only way to genuinely and radically get rid of war and capitalism is the world proletarian revolution. But for that, first it is necessary that our class assumes itself as such, as proletariat, as a class antagonistic to Capital… A class that overcomes the separations (national, racial, sexual, ideological, etc.) imposed by Capital… A class that re-appropriates its historical program and struggles to impose it… A class that fights for its own demands with its own forms of association and methods of class struggle… A class that assumes it has no country and that practices proletarian internationalism, while struggling against “its own” bourgeoisies and national States, as well as against all nationalism and regionalism (which are ideological and identity strains so entrenched in Latin America)… A class that opposes imperialist war with revolutionary defeatism and turns war into revolutionary and world class war. A revolutionary subject is needed. But it will only be reconstituted in the heat of the class struggle and, as history showed it, after many defeats. How many more defeats will be needed, proletarian brothers from all over the world?
– Perhaps we are ahead of the facts, but if such a thing does not come to fruition, or if the US doesn’t invade Venezuela, we would exclaim in the same way and would continue to exclaim because today, as always, no matter where you look, we are at war. Capital and its State have always been, are and will be in permanent war against our class to keep us exploited and dominated, divided and weak, annihilated and destroyed as a class. Then, to defend and recover our lives, it is time for the proletarians to take up the class war and go on the offensive against their enemies. Everywhere and until the end…

Proletarians living in Venezuela and everywhere else:
No government, no opposition, no invasion!
No sacrifice for any nation!
Against the inter-capitalist and imperialist war: autonomous, anti-capitalist, anti-State and internationalist class struggle!
World Proletarian Revolution or Death!

Proletarios Revolucionarios
[Revolutionary Proletarians]*

* (We have slightly modified the wording in some paragraphs of the text in order to stimulate its reading, of course, always without altering at all the content and the positions exposed, since we fully agree with them). [Editor’s note]