Peace and Social Justice?

The lesson of history is that the lessons of history matter little to those enthralled with the idea of complete equality.

Chavez’s Venezuela: A Fighting Chance for an Egalitarian Society?

No it’s not Ward Churchil, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the writer is an ‘Associate professor of Latin American History and Women’s Studies at the University of Rhode Island’.

For the Left, socialism isn't dead. It hasn't been tried yet. By the right people. With the right tools. In the right way. Under the right circumstances. Too many forces have stood in the way and undermined the progress of 'peace and social justice'. Like the Plutocracy we call the United States; an arrogant, Imperialist, and oppressive regime that makes war all over the world in order to enforce its immoral, rich, capitalist desires, spreading commerce and technology and raising the standard of living willy-nilly across the globe just to make themselves rich and incidentally destroy the environment.

Both President George W. Bush and the Democratic challenger, John F. Kerry, have characterized him as an "anti-democratic leader" but considering Hugo's program and achievements in office, one can only wonder what common meaning "democratic" can have to two men who profess to disagree upon so many issues. If, by democratic, they mean a government run by a small plutocracy that controls all of the country's wealth, then I suppose that Chavez is anti-democratic. If they mean leaders who funnel the people's money into the pockets of their friends, then I suppose he is anti-democratic. In fact, if they mean men who identify with the poor to the point of putting programs in place that will lift the entire society in a generation, then Chavez is certainly anti-democratic. It might be nice to live in an anti-democratic country if this is what democratic means in the Alice-in-Wonderland parallel world of American presidential politics.

But if democracy means to be by, for, and of the people, then Hugo Chavez might want to take a turn as U.S. president when he has cleaned up Venezuela.

Benevolent dictators always seem to run the proletariat revolutions, don't they? Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Mao, Pol Pot, Chavez. The result is generally the same. The fact is that more have been killed in the name of 'Social Justice' than by all the wars of the 20th century combined and Hugo Chavez is following in the footsteps of this 'revolutionary' history.

To top it all off, Chavez is now organizing a new army, one loyal to him personally. This is part of his plan to create "Bolivarian Circles of Venezuela Frontline Defense for National Democratic Revolution." These are political clubs all over the country, particularly in poor areas, where Chavez has the most support. Chavez expects to have 2.2 million members, who will be the backbone of the "democratic revolution unfolding in Venezuela." What upsets the armed forces is Chavezs decision to pass out infantry weapons to these political clubs, so that his new political clubs can use force to "defend the revolution." There are believed to be Cuban advisors involved in this effort. This sort of mass organization has been used before in Latin America, by both leftist and rightist dictators (pro-fascist Juan Peron of Argentina, and communist Fidel Castro of Cuba.) But by passing out guns to his most dedicated followers, Chavez is angering the military, making the middle class even more nervous, and setting the stage for a bloody civil war.

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Venezuela has confirmed that it is buying 100,000 AK-47 rifles from Russia next month. Pentagon officials said the number of weapons could reach 300,000 - for a nation whose national guard and army total 62,000.

US intelligence reports conclude that the Chavez Government is in the process of buying new warships and as many as 50 Russian attack helicopters, defence officials told reporters on condition of anonymity. Mr Chavez is also discussing the purchase of 30 MiG-29 fighter jets, a defence official said.

Communism and socialism are dead. So why do I bring up this silly nonsense? Simply because so many still believe in this nonsense, or some variant of it, that men like Chavez can actually replay the errors of history all over again without a peep of opposition from those who loudly protest against the US. Who proclaim that war is murder, but only when the US is at war.

It's not a coincidence that International ANSWER, organizers of every major Iraq war protest in the United States, (and let's not forget before that every Afghanistan war protest), is in fact a communist organization.

What I wonder is why did the left not see this as compromising their integrity? If conservatives attended any rally organized by neo-nazis would that not compromise their integrity or throw up some red flags for anyone? Keeping in mind that communism has slaughtered at least 169 million innocent people outside of war in this century. To clarify, that's 169 million who were not involved in armed conflict, i.e. people dragged away and executed in the name of social justice.

The International Communist Movement hasn't disappeared, it's changed costumes. They are anti-capitalists now, against the ravages of 'globalization', anarchists, eco-anarchist, or merely advocates of 'sustainable development' and social justice.

We have to invent the new socialism for the 21st century. Capitalism is not a sustainable model of development. Hugo Chavez, March 4, 2005

Once again, this tragedy will play out. Leaving destruction and destitution in its wake. And the apologists will once again say that if it weren't for the terrors of capitalism none of this would have happened. That the great equality waiting just beyond our sight has still yet to be tried. All the while calling Bush a dictator and claiming that he has taken away their rights.

It reported that Chavez, whose government has now won nine elections, survived a military coup that briefly put the head of the Chamber of Commerce in power, and a two-month “strike” by big business, addressed the forum, urging the participants to go on an offensive against capitalism “in the defence of humanity”.

According to Venzuelanalysis reporter Robin Nieto, writing in an article posted on December 6, Chavez spoke of the need to return to the ideas of Russian revolutionary socialist Leon Trotsky, who argued that it was not possible to construct socialism in one country, but that a worldwide revolution was required.

Nieto reported the conference ended with a mass meeting attended by 2000 people. At the meeting, Chavez announced the plan for an “anti-globalisation” network, saying: “Let's take this network everywhere we go, in the valleys, the mountains, the barrios, the workplace, the study halls, the military barracks and extend this network across the planet Earth.” -(reprinted from Green Left Weekly)

Posted by Eric Simonson at March 31, 2005 3:02 PM