Thursday, February 14, 2019

Good Intentions?


Venezuela is now the focus of people internationally. From the standpoint of a better world, to lovers of freedom, the world picture is blacker today than ever before. People forgetting the events of the past is a wonderful thing for politicians and the media will certainly not remind its audience of what catastrophes previously happened when a super-power tried to set the world to right. The government that armed Nicaraguan terrorists and sponsored death-squads across Central America is now hailed for its humanitarian mission to feed the hungry of Venezuela. The media speaks daily of the chaos while Washington fuels the discontent. Capital has fled the Venezuelan economy and financial restrictions blocks any new foreign investment.

In its approach towards Maduro’s Venezuela is America defending democracy or protecting capitalism? Surely it must now be clear to many that the U.S.A. cannot carry out a democratic foreign policy as long as capitalism holds sway. There is not a shred of humanitarianism involved in the American sanctions against Venezuela. The current U.S. aid mission serve as a pretext for a hidden political agenda. The claim of the US to be concerned with the restoration of human rights and democracy is a veil that covers completely different purposes. Sanctions are an attempt by the US to break a weak government overseeing a divided country where a number of rival power centres seek dominance. The US clearly sees itself in the role of reinforcing the interests of the Venezuelan capitalist class. 
Prediction in this situation is a dangerous procedure. One thing is sure, however. The involvement of the US will not produce in any way benefits for the millions of either the poor or displaced Venezuelans. Any alleviation of suffering that happens under U.S. auspices in Venezuela is secondary in relation to what this intervention is all about. 
The U.S. is battling to get rid of Nicolas Maduro but as yet the popular displays of hostility so far have not been enough to disempower Maduro. The ferocity of the Venezuelan ruling class assault on the Maduro government is not some peculiar feature of politics. It is worth remembering that the attempted coup of 2002 against Chavez.

Like his predecessor Hugo Ch├ívez Maduro is also an aspiring Bonapartist and as Marx quipped, "History repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce." While he was democratically elected, Maduro has tended to rule by decree. The problem for Maduro has been that he was required to discipline and control the entire working class—not just the upper layers that he can denounce as reactionary—in order to maintain the nationalist Bolivarian project. He is not for ending exploitation and oppression. What some call “socialism” is still within the framework of a capitalist nationalist development, except that it includes radical rhetoric, a necessary feature of populism.  Populism even if left-wing is not a path to class consciousness but a barrier.
“21st Century Socialism” stands explicitly for the maintenance of a mixed economy, albeit with a big role for the state in management of major industries like oil. As the New Yorker magazine put it:

“If this is socialism, it’s the most business-friendly socialism ever devised”

The Socialist Party has been opposed to every war but one: a war that we are willing to wage with enthusiasm and determination, and that is the worldwide class war.


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