Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

December 27, 2015

Venezuela, Greece and the prospects for a new left

Filed under: North Star — louisproyect @ 10:15 pm


After the Venezuelan elections, what is to be done?

After an extended period of relative quiescence in which the North Star editorial board has been continuing to assess the progress (or lack thereof) toward the creation of radical, nonsectarian formations on the left, we hope to begin publishing relevant content again. To some extent, this is an unavoidable task since the defeats in Greece and Venezuela of such parties has led to widespread discussion of whether they were oversold to begin with.

While the emphasis for people who believe in the North Star type approach has always been on organizational questions (what Lenin really meant, etc.), there is no avoiding the programmatic aspects of both Syriza and the Bolivarian revolution. In the first case you are dealing with a party that ostensibly refused to live up to its promises. With Venezuela, the issue might be one of whether the ruling party could have done anything to stay in power given the dire economic situation triggered by falling oil prices.

full: http://www.thenorthstar.info/?p=12407

1 Comment »

  1. Haven’t had the opportunity to read your article in full, but one thing that gets missed is that the Bolivarian Revolution was not about building socialism in one country, it was about someday building socialism in South America by traveling a Keynesian road.

    Brazil, which goes unmentioned from what I have read, was the critical linchpin, the country that was going raise all surrounding boats through foreign direct investment in its neighbors, Paraguay, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia and Uruguay. Brazil was going to liberate South America from its dependence upon US and European investment. Brazil has become a substantial exporter of capital in the last 15 years, most of it going to other South American countries and Africa.

    As a consequence, Chavez and Lula were very close. If this approach had succeeded, the shortages that brought down Maduro and PSUV would have been less severe or non-existent. But the defeats of the PSUV in Venezuela and Kirchner in Argentina suggest that it has failed, and even the PT risks losing power in Brazil as well.

    Of course, this was a soft form of imperialism, as chronicled by Zibechi in the “The New Brazil”, and one can understand why many of the left objected to it. But an understanding of the process and its limitations provides more insight into the defeats of the PSUV and Kirchner and the challenges ahead for the left.

    Comment by Richard Estes — December 29, 2015 @ 7:37 pm

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