Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Chavez Proposes Changes to Venezuela’s Constitution to Pave Way for Socialism

By: Kiraz Janicke – Venezuelanalysis.com

Caracas, August 17, 2007 (venezuelanalysis.com) – On August 15, the third anniversary of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s victory in the recall referendum of 2004, and the 202nd anniversary of Venezuelan independence hero Simon Bolivar’s famous oath of Monte Sacro, where he swore not to rest “until the chains of oppression are lifted from my people,” tens of thousands of Venezuelans turned out to an extraordinary session of National Assembly to hear the president’s proposed constitutional reform.

Recounting the experiences and achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution over the last eight years, including the Constituent Assembly and referendum of 1999, which founded the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the opposition military coup on April 11th, 2002 and its “victorious defeat” on April 13th and the oil industry lockout which nearly crippled the Venezuelan economy in early 2003, Chavez confessed, “I am emotional today, because I believe this proposal will open doors to a new era.”

The 1999 constitution was “ambiguous” he said “a product of that moment. The world is very different today than 1999.” The new constitutional reforms are “essential for continuing the process of revolutionary transition,” he assured.

New Geometry of Power,
Outlining his far-reaching proposal for transforming the Venezuelan state, Chavez called for “a new geometry of power.” Key to this is an amendment to article 16 in the constitution, which states; “The national territory is divided into states, the Capital District, federal dependencies and federal territories. The territory is organized in Municipalities” to be replaced by; “The territorial political division will be determined by the organic law that guarantees municipal autonomy and political decentralization.”

Declaring that, “regionalism, is dogma, that impedes change, [and] we can not accept situations that create Caudillos,” he said the new law would allow for the creation, through popular referendum, of “federal districts” in specific areas, which could then be categorized as states and assigned all or part of the respective territory.

This proposal, he maintained, is “profoundly revolutionary,” and necessary “to remove the old oligarchic, exploiter hegemony, the old society, and, in the words of Gramsci, to weaken the old “historic block.” “If we don’t change the superstructure, the old superstructure will defeat us,” he continued.

The proposal also allows municipalities, “with the acceptance of the people within the municipality,” to create territory or land in common, which would be under the direct government of the community and, according to Chavez, would constitute “the basic nucleus of the socialist state.”

Chavez also said unions or federations of self-governing communes, could be created through popular referendum, through the communal councils, and aggregations of communal councils.

Additionally, through the incorporation of the social missions into the constitution, “functional districts,” could be also be created by one or more municipalities, where the social missions would function as alternative administrations to the traditional bureaucratic institutions.

Chavez declared it was necessary to re-order the country in view of increasing population growth, saying, “one day Venezuela will have 40-50 million people.”

In light of this, he argued it was also necessary to “restructure Caracas,” in terms of urban development, construction of roads, environmental recuperation and measures to achieve the optimal levels of public and personal security, strengthen systems of health, education, sport and culture, as well as the formation of small and medium satellite cities.

Another key aspect of the “new geometry of power” would be the ability of the president to declare special military zones in any part of the country with the strategic aim of defense, and decree special authorities in situations of contingency such as natural disasters.

Popular Power
In addition to the previously existing “public powers” recognized in the constitution such as the judiciary, legislative, executive and so on, Chavez also called for the incorporation of “popular power” into article 70, saying there was a need to decentralize and transfer power to the organized communities to create the best conditions for socialist democracy.

Article 70, Chavez assured, would also “reaffirm means of participation and protagonism of the people in direct exercise of their sovereignty for the construction of socialism,” through election to public positions, referendums, popular consultation, recall of elected officials (including the president), constitutional legislative initiatives, and open assemblies.

“Sovereignty rests with the people,” Chavez continued, “and should be exercised directly through the organs of popular power.” According to Chavez, popular power would be expressed through “the organized communities,” in various forms such as the communes, self-government of the towns and cities, the communal councils, workers councils, campesino councils, student councils, and others councils indicated in the law.

Political Sphere
In a move vehemently opposed by Venezuelan opposition parties, Chavez also proposed an amendment to article 203, which would allow for unlimited presidential re-elections, (countries such as France, Australia, Germany, and England allow for unlimited reelection), a move the opposition claims would lead to ‘dictatorship’. The proposed change would also extend presidential terms from six to seven years.

According Venezuelan vice-president Jorge Rodriguez, the opposition campaign against unlimited reelections is not out of concern for ‘democracy’, given that they supported a military coup against Chavez’s democratically elected government in 2002, but rather a tacit recognition of their inability to compete with Chavez in the electoral sphere.

However, as with all other aspects of the constitutional reform, which are required to be ratified through a popular referendum, Chavez affirmed that “reelection is the sovereign decision of the constituent people of Venezuela.”

Social and Cultural Rights
Chavez also called for the revision of article 100, to recognize Venezuela as a product of a diverse historical confluence of cultures and recommended the implementation of programs to promote equality for indigenous peoples and peoples of African descent. Additionally, proposed alterations to article 87 (which relates to social rights and rights of the family), would guarantee the right to work and promote the development of policies to generate productive employment. The state would also create a Social Stability Fund for ‘non-dependent’ or self employed workers such as taxi drivers, fishermen, and artisans, among others, to guarantee them the same fundamental rights as other workers such as retirement pensions, paid vacations and prenatal and postnatal leave entitlements.

Economy
The proposal calls for the constitution to promote a diverse and independent mixed economy to guarantee the social necessities of the people. While article 115 would continue to recognize and guarantee different forms of property, including private property, it would promote the development of social production and social property including direct/communal social property and indirect/state managed social property.

Chavez also called for the promotion and self-management of communal property, communal micro-financing organizations, cooperatives of communal property (which he distinguished from capitalist cooperatives) communal savings banks, networks of free associated producers, voluntary work, and community businesses as mechanisms toward the implementation of a new social system.

While monopolies would be banned under article 102, the following modification of article 302 would guarantee state control over the oil industry, closing off any potential loophole that would allow privatization of this resource; “The State reserves, for reasons of sovereignty, development and the national interest, the activity of exploitation of liquid, solid, and gaseous hydrocarbons as well as the exploitation of goods and services of public interest and strategic character.”

Other key changes in the economic sphere include the removal of “any vestige of autonomy” for the Central Bank of Venezuela and the elimination of the Macroeconomic Stabilization Fund under articles 318 and 321. Chavez has previously described the autonomy of the BCV as “a neoliberal idea.”

Chavez also plans to modify article 90 of the constitution to reduce the workday from eight hours to six, saying, the objective is that workers have sufficient time for integral and moral development of their personality, for participation, education, spiritual and recreational pursuits.

The reduction of the workday, he argued, would oblige businesses to open new shifts and therefore increase levels of permanent and productive employment, allowing time for volunteer work and contribute to the reduction of the informal economy and unemployment currently at 8 per cent.

Redefining the Military

Chavez also proposed a redefinition of the role of the military through a modification of article 328, which currently states “The National Armed Forces constitute an essentially professional institution, politically unaligned, organized by the state to guarantee the independence and sovereignty of the nation.”

This would be replaced by, “The Bolivarian Armed Forces constitute an essentially patriotic, popular and anti-imperialist body organized by the state to guarantee the independence and sovereignty of the nation” and the “application of principles of integral military defense and popular resistance war”

Declaring that “the old structure of the Reserves had many legal, structural and financial limitations,” Chavez proposed the amendment of article 329 to transform the Reserves into the Popular Bolivarian Militia constituted as the fifth official component of the Bolivarian Armed Forces, alongside the Bolivarian Army, the Bolivarian Navy, the Bolivarian Air Force, and the Bolivarian Territorial Guard (currently the National Guard). The role of the Territorial Guard would be integrated with other components of the armed forces. “The said bodies would be structured in combined garrison units, combined training units and combined units for joint operations,” signifying the “fusion” of the Armed Forces, he explained.

Summarizing his proposal as follows, “In the political terrain, the deepening of popular Bolivarian democracy; in the economy, the preparation for the best conditions for the construction of a socialist production model; in the field of public administration; incorporation of new structures to leave behind bureaucracy; in social matters, to increase the rights of workers in all imaginable spheres, and in the cultural the inclusion of our peoples of indigenous and African descent, the deepening of our anti-imperialist and patriotic consciousness,” Chavez called for a “grand debate in all areas of society.”

“Some pollsters try to manipulate public opinion, formulating questions such as “do you support democracy or socialism?” “But the people aren’t stupid. Only through socialism can you construct true democracy,” added Chavez.

The proposed constitutional reform, which aims to change 33 articles, or approximately 10% of the 1999 constitution, is set to be debated in three extraordinary sessions of the National Assembly over the next two-three months before going to a popular referendum.RENEGADE EYE

65 comments:

Farmer John said...

Well there you have it. A "right to work"... which will serve to expropriate capital ala Sanitarios Maracay. Congratulations, folks. The right to work now trumps the one's right to property.

Venezuela is headed for a return to officialista serfdom of the mini-state caudillo. Enjoy the show! I know I will.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Declaring that, “regionalism, is dogma, that impedes change, [and] we can not accept situations that create Caudillos,”

So, Chavezuela isn't going to allow more than one caudillo...

Renegade Eye said...

Chavez could by decree, implement the new program. Instead the proposals will have to be voted on.

Term limits are anti-democratic. In the US, they were created out of fear of Roosevelt's popularity. The best way to limit the term of a politician, is to beat him in an election. I wouldn't object to your guy Bush running again.

Dave Marlow said...

I freely admit to having lost faith in Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution but it seems I was severely mistaken. Most interesting about these proposed reforms to the Constitution is that they have a federalist quality about them, much as I wrote about in my pamphlet.

Where is Fox News? Where are the reporters of CNN? Where is the story of expanded Venezuelan democracy in America? Strange how President Chavez's critics cannot be found when it isn't as easy to propagate falsities about an event, as was the case with RCTV.

Aaron A. said...

Instead the proposals will have to be voted on.
Exactly.

And as far as propagate fantasies, Globovison and RCTV,
have some great ones (link from the blog Musing on Society).

Graeme said...

I wouldn't object to your guy Bush running again.

Me neither. I don't understand why people get so hung up on term limits.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

I'd rather the damage done to the US Constitution by the Democratic Party (the 12th and 17th Amendments) be repealed before we go mucking around with repealing the 22nd Amendment.

Get rid of the 12th Amendment and the guy who comes in 2nd place in the Presidential elections becomes the Vice-President. What better check on the President could there be than his election opponent decided if a divided Senate swings his way or not.

Get rid of the 17th Amendment, and state governments have a voice in Washington. Imagine if your US Senators were loyal to your state legislature rather than a national party.

Fix the major damage first.

sonia said...

History is repeating itself...

Farmer John said...

Ooooh, talk about a pot-sweetener for labour. A 25% work reduction! All you've got to do is vote Chavez!

Farmer John said...

I must have missed reading about that little bribe on my first pass reading the list of proposed Constitutional Changes.

León said...

Excelene Trabajo, Que bueno que haya gente que no crea todos los cuentos malos y las mentiras que inventan de nuestro paìs. Good Blogs, Congratulations.

Dave Marlow said...

Ren, if I could get your e-mail address I can send you "Federal Socialism". Would this be a good time to have a look at it?

troutsky said...

So Margaret Thatcher was wrong, there ARE alternatives. The wingers are stuck in 1950 Stalinism, they havent noticed the change in conditions.

Is it just me ,or can no one else access my comments section on thoughtstreaming?

Renegade Eye said...

Troutsky: I had no problem at your blog. Your best bet is to republish.

Beamish: Conservatives are supposed to be for regionalism. Nothing is more hypocritical than a liberal saying something like, Massachusetts may support gay marriage, but Arkansas will not. Regionalism doesn't answer problems. Like pollution from a smokestack in norhern Minnesota, doesn't turn around at the Canadian border. Problems need international solutions.

Farmer: Not a bribe. It is an audacious challenge to the capitalist system as a whole.

Sonia: No matter what Chavez does, he is called a dictator. Everything about the constitution is opening up the system, not closing.

OT: See tango.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Renegade Eye,

I'm not arguing for regionalism. I'm arguing for a restoration of the original framework of the US Constitution - the result of which would compel people to be involved in their state and local governments and politics - if your state legislature chooses who will vote to ratify international treaties, confirm federal executive appointments, etc. - you're damned right you'll want to influence your state's politics.

And if the VP was the runner up in the Presidential election - say Gore became Bush's VP or Kerry did.

Do away with "running mates." Keep gridlock at the executive level, where it belongs ;) Why forever doom America to political factionalism because Aaron Burr was a dickhead VP?

If you fix these things back to where they once where, you wouldn't need term limits. Anti-incumbency sentiments would actually be effective.

Brian said...

Most of my thoughts were echoed at various points above. This only reinforces my impression that he's just another egomaniac turning his country into yet another cult of personality state. Every proposition began: Chavez wants this, Chavez proposes that, Chavez said something else.

The Chavez administration doesn't think anything. The Venezuelan government doesn't want anything. It's Chavez, Chavez, Chavez.

Real revolutions are supposed to popular movements. They should be autonomous of and able to outlive their titular head. If the Leader thinks the revolution will collapse if his munificent wisdom leaves the scene, then it's a failed revolution.

Evo Morales isn't perfect but I have a lot more respect for what he's trying to do in Bolivia.

Brian said...

Oops, I take that back. His vice-president did have one minor comment.

Farmer John said...

Just a couple of years ago, Chavez changed the Venezuelan Consitution and waved it around like it was the Holy Bible. Now he's changing it again after refusing to live up the terms of that "new" Constitution (like accepting petitions for redress of grievances from the spontaneous student groups formed following the RCTV closure). Is there anyone here who believes he'll live up to the terms of this one? He is a dictator/ caudillo. And that is ALL that he is.

Farmer John said...

An audacious challenge to the capitalist system?

Can conditions in a country improve if less labor is applied? Only if the division of labour is more efficiently and creatively applied to increase productivity. Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations"...

But this proportion must in every nation be regulated by two different circumstances; first by the skill, dexterity, and judgment with which its labour is generally applied; and, secondly, by the proportion between the number of those who are employed in useful labour, and that of those who are not so employed. Whatever be the soil, climate, or extent of territory of any particular nation, the abundance or scantiness of its annual supply must, in that particular situation, depend upon those two circumstances.

The abundance or scantiness of this supply too seems to depend more upon the former of those two circumstances than upon the latter. Among the savage nations of hunters and fishers, every individual who is able to work, is more or less employed in useful labour, and endeavours to provide, as well as he can, the necessaries and conveniencies of life, for himself, or such of his family or tribe as are either too old, or too young, or too infirm to go a hunting and fishing. Such nations, however, are so miserably poor, that from mere want, they are frequently reduced, or, at least, think themselves reduced, to the necessity sometimes of directly destroying, and sometimes of abandoning their infants, their old people, and those afflicted with lingering diseases, to perish with hunger, or to be devoured by wild beasts. Among civilized and thriving nations, on the contrary, though a great number of people do not labour at all, many of whom consume the produce of ten times, frequently of a hundred times more labour than the greater part of those who work; yet the produce of the whole labour of the society is so great, that all are often abundantly supplied, and a workman, even of the lowest and poorest order, if he is frugal and industrious, may enjoy a greater share of the necessaries and conveniencies of life than it is possible for any savage to acquire.

The causes of this improvement, in the productive powers of labour, and the order, according to which its produce is naturally distributed among the different ranks and conditions of men in the society, make the subject of the First Book of this Inquiry.


---

Venezuela is more likely "regressing" into savagery then "moving into the light" of enlightened and productive capitalism.

Farmer John said...

This is no "audacious challenge" to capitalism. It is a "denial" of the laws of economics which capitalism exploits.

The Pagan Temple said...

Beamish-

You're the first person I've known of besides myself that advocates returning to the Senators being appointed by the states. Great idea. That might finally get more than a third of the people voting in state elections. It might even raise it up to well above the fifty percent turnout rate.

I don't know about the twelth amendment, though. You've given me something to think about. That actualy makes a good deal of sense.

By the way, I'm glad to see you acknowledge that the 12th amendment was perpetrated by the Democratic Party-way before the days of Andrew Jackson.

Farmer John said...

btw - What ever happened to that great model for worker control and expropriation, Sanitarios Maracay?

Oh, they tossed the workers out and gave it back to the original owner.

Why should Chavez have to worry about pennies (Sanitarios Maracay) when all the nickels (AES-Electicidad de Caracas, CANTV) and quarters (PDVSA) are already in his pocket? Was this surrender a concession to the "local oligarch's"? Could be.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

PT,

I think if Jefferson lived long enough to make a choice, Jefferson would have turned out a becoming a Whig rather than joining Jackson's Democrat. But that's another argument happening elsewhere. :)

roman said...

Can we equate the term for the lone "caudillo" to that of "fuhrer"? Both terms imply power through "populist" approval and support.

Also, Chavez explains that Article 70 would allow "popular power would be expressed through “the organized communities,” in various forms..."
Another way of describing this power structure is by the term "soviets". How does the Union of Socialist Soviets of Venezuela sound? Map printers, get ready for more business activity.

Dave Marlow said...

Ren:

I'm from Florida, America's own little political hell. I sent the invitation to read to your e-mail.

Daniel said...

Funny how Western politicians and Wealthy Capitalists go weak at the knees at any mention of socialism.

The idea that 'the people' should have real political power and should share equally in any abundance is anathema to them.

Viva La Revolution!

Farmer John said...

...for the same reasons that the inmates don't typical run the asylum's...

nanc said...

who pays for the "socialism"?

Renegade Eye said...

Brian: The cult of personality is more the problem with the writer than with Chavez. It has been decades since a president in the US, had approval ratings and popularity like Chavez. It is a potential problem, something to guard against.

Beamish: Gridlock is not something in itself to be opposed. You like it and I like it. Bipartisianship is most honestly not in your vocabularly or mine. We are both partisans, and understand fighting for a position is what politics is about.

Roman: The analogy is ridiculous (see Caracazo Massacre). You should never be casual about a Hitler analogy.

Dave: I didn't receive any email yet.

Farmer: All of these changes are being brought before the public to be discussed and voted on. Do you think that would be done in China? Colombia?

The workers lost at Maracay. In Colombia the workers would have been assasinated. They showed they were capable of running a factory under workers control, with elected leaders subject to recall. I've said it before on this blog that the main enemies of the Venezuelan revolution, are not the pathetic isolated rightist opposition. The main enemies are within Chavez's government. This movement is bigger than Chavez the individual.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Renegade Eye,

I consider myself more anti-leftist than rightist. I agree with and support some things on the conservative side of the spectrum, but can't honestly say I've ever encountered a leftist position that made me actually believe leftists are capable of rational thought. If that makes me "partisan," so be it, but I prefer the term "functionally realistic."

troutsky said...

Renegade Eye is correct to identify the entrenched bureaucracy (left over from Perez)as an obstacle to reform as well as the Left opposition, which few realze even exists.Would US citizens re-elct someone who provided objective gains in social production (health, education, participation, etc)? Someone like FDR for instance?

Farmer John said...

Saniatrios Maracay was based upon a judicial ruling... and Chavez had alread purged the judiciary of most opposition members.

What Venezuela suffers from under Chavez is "officialismo". Each head of one of his little "projects" or "departments" is a little tin-horn caudillo that has to be bribed to do anything.

None of his boys are "idealists". They all require "grease" to move. And the poor don't have much "grease".

As for votes on Constitutional changes in China and Columbia... China, no... and Columbia... I don't know.

Farmer John said...

On the Venezuelan judiciary...

Dave Marlow said...

Farmer John, the article you posted is from 2004. A little over three years and the Washington Post's Orwellian predictions are no more true than they were when they were made.

roman said...

Ren,

There is no such thing as the "Caracazo Massacre". Only Chavenistas call it a "massacre" because this was the excuse Chavez and his followers needed for his attempted coup to violently overthrow a duly elected head of state. Perez instituted some necessary economic reforms which many Venezuelans in Caracas did not like. When armed mobs rioted and caused violence and destruction in the city, the resulting showdown in quelling the rioting caused casualties on both sides. How this can be called a massacre is a bit of a stretch. This sounds to me like historical revisionism by leftist apologists unwilling to condemn the attempted overthrow of a democratically elected leader.
Also, depending on which country you're in, the common terms for charismatic populist leaders who gain power employing a type of personality cult carry the same meaning in their respective monikers. In Italy it was "Il Duce", in Germany it was "Fuhrer" and in Spain and much of Latin America the term "El Caudillo" is synonymous. I know that the term fuhrer conjures up an immediate connection to Hitler but it was never my intent to compare Chavez to Hitler as you seem to have concluded. Later when Chavez starts to use the power of decree to countermand constitutional rules to insure a totalitarian governance of the state, we will be able to make such negative conclusions. He is not there yet. Close though.

Farmer John said...

Dave,

Has Chavez's grip on power gotten weaker since 2004? He rules by decree...

Dave Marlow said...

Chavez's presidency can no more be called "rule by decree" than any other modern political leader. The Venezuelan workers have found a voice in economic matters through self-management and syndication. Referendums are used on most political actions, including the ratification of the changes to the Constitution. I get the feeling that you would chastise every leader who makes a decision within the realm of his/her office a dictator, for part of the Presidency is making executive decisions. Quite frankly, I find it more interesting that Chavez has not allocated more power and has instead left most decisions to the people, aiming to keep the state as decentralized as possible.

Renegade Eye said...

Beamish: I consider myself more anti-leftist than rightist. I agree with and support some things on the conservative side of the spectrum, but can't honestly say I've ever encountered a leftist position that made me actually believe leftists are capable of rational thought. If that makes me "partisan," so be it, but I prefer the term "functionally realistic."

I think defining yourself by what you are against, rather than what you stand for, is a great idea. I recommend you continue. I'm looking out for what's best for you.

Roman: I'm willing condemn Chavez's coup attempt. Are you willing condemn 2002?

When I hear the word "Fuhrer" the first thing that comes to mind is Shirley Temple. Give me a break. You used the word as thin veiled Hitler reference.

The military was responsible for far more of the violence at the Caracazo Massacre. Some officers refused orders to attack their own people. At the time poverty was at 44%. It is more than the Venezuelan government that calls it a massacre. Propaganda?

Farmer: Chavez is stronger than 2004.

The Maracay incident wasn't ended by the judiciary. It was actually the Ministry of Labor sided with management.

To answer both about the judiciary and Maracay, is that Venezuela is still a bourgeoise state. The institutions are capitalist, with left overs of the oligarchy in all institutions.

To the Maracay workers, they feel they were only temporarily setback. That's where the real revolution located.

Tina said...

Renegade said: "I wouldn't object to your guy Bush running again."
A-fricking-men to that.
No no no... I'd L-O-V-E to see Cheney as the GOP's choice in '08..... IF..... elections were held where every citizen had the same equal access to cast a vote and every citizen's vote was actually counted.
Aaaah... a liberal girl can dream, eh?

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Renegade Eye,

I'm serious. While I still extent the courtesy of patiently listening to a leftist's point of view, I can't honestly say a leftist has ever argued me away from my well-aged premise that leftists may not actually be capable of rational thought. Certainly none thus enabled have ever popped up in the chronicles of human history. Maybe they sank with the crew of K-129 down Winston Smith's memory hole. Whatever the case, contemporary leftists are standing on the shoulders of 200 million corpses and trying to raise a stink. To me, that's ironic.

Maybe you're hiding all the intelligent leftists here. We'll see.

A wise man once told me that if your views are challenged and they survive the process, they're worth having.

I'm here for the challenge.

Bastar said...

does the constitution of any country stops the atrocities on the underpriviledged?

In India our constitution provides so many special right to the aboriginals but still they are killed and displaced in the name of development daily...

Té la mà Maria - Reus said...

A very deep article and constructed good, congratulations.

We have happened to greet you after a few days of vacations

frolix22 said...

"Whatever the case, contemporary leftists are standing on the shoulders of 200 million corpses and trying to raise a stink."

That many millions of people have died in conflict arising out of political disputes is obvious. But surely someone can just turn your comment around and say: "Whatever the case, contemporary rightists are standing on the shoulders of 200 million corpses and trying to raise a stink." Or perhaps I am just missing something here.

Farmer John said...

Yes, you are. 200 million corpses acquired while at relative peace with our neighbors. Most of your corpses were acquired during a period of NO external conflict. They were causalties of your own 'peace' policies.

Farmer John said...

The Maracay incident wasn't ended by the judiciary. It was actually the Ministry of Labor sided with management.

I seem to recall a story about corrupt judges and arbitration, but I could be misremembering it.

To answer both about the judiciary and Maracay, is that Venezuela is still a bourgeoise state. The institutions are capitalist, with left overs of the oligarchy in all institutions.

And appear likely to remain that way. Chavez's decision not to expropriate looks like a backing away from socialism and more towards some form of state-capitalism.

To the Maracay workers, they feel they were only temporarily setback. That's where the real revolution located.

Given the current struggle between a party dominated labor union (PSUV) and and independent labor union, independence seems to be taking a back seat. I think this means like the workers at Sanitarios Maracay and other "small business units" will be likely sucking hind tit for quite a while.

Dave Marlow said...

Ren, I've used the e-mail address in your profile like you said. I'll resend the invitation again. You might check your spam box if you still are not getting anything. Sorry for the trouble.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Frolix22,

But surely someone can just turn your comment around and say: "Whatever the case, contemporary rightists are standing on the shoulders of 200 million corpses and trying to raise a stink." Or perhaps I am just missing something here.

You're missing a list of rightists who, once they aquired the reigns of government in their nations, racked up a grand total of 200 million kills of their own citizens.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

reigns = reins... onamotatypepwrongkeyszo...

Renegade Eye said...

Beamish: Of the people who comment, even including other writers on this blog, who come from the same political tendency as of myself, there are only three people. Most of them don't often comment.

I don't visit rightist blogs to be devil's advocate. I visit blogs who support mine by commenting or linking to me. That is reflected in my links. I have links to every political tendency in blogdom.

My blog gets linked to, often by blogs I never visited a few times a week. I link back in return.

It's an important question why visit blogs you don't agree with. I don't know many blogs that are like Sonia and mine. I think someone should post on that subject.

I'm always in the minority on my blog, not being a pacifist, anarchist, liberal or conservative.

For me having opposition helps fine tune my positions.

Some subjects I think opposition have no business commenting on. If on your blog you posted a discussion about what is the best strategy for the GOP, I would stay out of it. Beak intervened on a discussion about strategy for the antiwar movement on Graeme's blog. His opinion doesn't matter. Mine doesn't on GOP strategy. Some discussions are not for everyone. It is a courtesy not to comment.

Farmer; It looks like you figured out to some extent Chavez's government is not a monolith by any means. I think he is popular because the push and pull is allowed to happen.

You shouldn't use words as state capitalist without precision. Maracay is back in the owners hands. When they die, it goes to their next generation. That is just capitalism.

Farmer John said...

But what about PDVSA? CANTV? EdC?

The state can't possibly run EVERY mom & pop store in Venezuela. But PDVSA is 85% of all exports. And CANTV and EdC is the entire state infrastructure (Phones & Electricity). If Venezuela is not a model for state capitalism, then there is no such beast.

And the new constitution allows Chavez to seize the assets of any business for the state at a moment's notice. Sanitarios Maracay was not "strategic". There wasn't enough $$$ in it for it to be worth his trouble... scaring off any hope of foreign investment he still has left. Plus, every Venezuelan businessman would immediately send every penney they earned into an offshore bank account. Result... no domestic investment of capital, either.

Farmer John said...

Besides. The new Constitution turns control of the central national bank to Hugo. If want capital, you'd better go see Hugo with your hat in your hand.

beatroot said...

Look, there is nothing wrong with doing away with term limits. If someone keeps on winning elections then that means they are POPULAR WITH VOTERS.

Me, I am from the UK. We vote for parties who put forward prime ministers. In theory Maggie Thatcher or Tony Blair could have gone on and on and on getting elected if voters wanted them.

The only problem with the UK is that we have NO TERM LIMITS FOR KINGS AND QUEENS.

As Chavez is not proposing he becomes Prime Charles or Queen Lizzie then I don’t see the problem.

But the title of this post is nonsense.: “Chavez prepares for socialism..’. Don’t make me laugh. The group that has done best from Chavez has been the nation’s bankers.

http://www.economist.com/world/la/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9621513

beakerkin said...

Lets see Ren has now advocated fascist speech control on blogs that he doesn't own.

When has my right to freedom of speech been abrogated? Moreover, the blog owner G understood the basic critique of a comment that still eludes your grasp.

You need to stop crying victim and start dealing with reality. The reality is that Commies like yourself need to form front groups to avoid the stench of your history.

G understood the critique and agreed with some of its points. However, G does not reflexively cry victim every two seconds.

An extension of your inane illogic
would advance the following reasoning. As an advocate of a movement whose goal is the overthrow of the existing economic system (Trotskyism) you should be disenfranchised.

Renegade Eye said...

Beak: I have no idea what you're talking about.

My point to Beamish, is that certain discussions are best left/left and right/right. If you posted about what is the best strategy for Giuliani as a question, wven if I have the right to comment, my opinion would be a distraction. In the same way nobody cares, or wants to know, what is best for the antiwar movement.

Front group? Out of the 1950s playbook. People of any political stripe are not moved to action on the basis of a 30 point program. Coalition on a single focused demand is what works, to get movement. That is called strong principles and flexible tactics. I agree with Graeme about Iraq. Do I have to be an anarchist to work with him?

Beatroot: Some of the article was good, some is off.

Farmer: If the reactionary elements in Chavez's government stay in power in the PSUV, then you'd be right.

beakerkin said...

Ren

G understood and agreed with the very points that elude you.

As an American citizen you may offer your opinion about anything.
Moreover, given where you are politically your criticism would only boosts Rudy's campaign. How about a promise to emigrate if Rudy wins?

G understood the points that were not very complicated. Moreover, the fact that you are still crying over them months later proves how shallow you are.

Hmmm lets see who are the leaders of Code Pink, ANSWER and UPJ. Communists still create front groups to avoid their stench today.
I have likely attened more anti-war freak fests than you. Few of the marchers know that the protests are organized by Communists. Most are horrified and alarmed when they find out.

Sorry if genuine facts and logic elude you.

Renegade Eye said...

You brought this up first. You said you were at more demonstrations than me. What were you doing there?

What I said is reasonable. Some subjects are best
discussed right/right and some are left/left. If Beamish posts what is the best strategy for conservatives, I would choose to say nothing. I think he would want his peers to comment. A lefty has no place in that discussion. That is not an insult to him.

Rudy is the lesser evil to Hillary. They are more alike than not.

Locally the antiwar activity is run by pacifists and religious people. It's highly decentralized.

Even my blog is coalition, Some writers are anarchist and third camp socialists. Of those who comment here only two are from my political group. and they don't often comment. I have more than a token dissenter.

Obviously your red baiting is not working. Republicans are running away from being labeled pro-Bush or pro-war. The Democrats are pretending as well to be critics.

ANSWER I'm told is run by Workers World. If they organize a demonstration, that doesn't mean you have to agree with their position on Hungary 1956.

You totally misunderstand my main point. It's nothing to do with rights to comment. It has to do with respect to the blog owner. If Craig comments about asking people what is the best strategy for Fred Thompson to take as a question. I would stay out of such a discussion as a courtesy to Craig and to myself. I don't give advice to opponents.

A red baiter has no say about the direction of the antiwar. Red baiting is a tool to cause division.

beakerkin said...

Here we go again with the victimization cries. The familiar cry of red baiting is worn and tired.

Communism is a criminal ideaology that has produced nothing but death, misery, refugees and excuses. Your continued denials of the repeated disasters every time Communist run anything is akin to Holocaust denial.

Moreover, communists have a lengthy history of treason, espionage and deception in US history. I wouldn't march in a parade organized by the KKK, Mambla, Neonazis or with other assorted political criminals.

If you are so unafraid of the stench of your own history then what is the need for groups like Code Pink, ANSWER, UPJ. Why not just openly march as Communists and see how many people would associate with you.

Moreover, feel free to talk about the greatness of Trotsky in Greenpoint or Brighton Beach in NYC where the locals are very familiar with his crimes. Please pay up any life insurance premiums beforehand. I love watching Cuban Americans, Poles and Russians reactions to your continued advocacy of a pathology they are familiar with.

Sorry Ren but I am still an American citizen and have no desire to have my freedoms curtailed. Maybe you can migrate to Venezuela, Cuba or North Korea where your kind restricts freedom of speech. My comments on any subject on a blog you do not own are not your concern.

Oddly you now recognize a blog as private property. It seems your rhetoric never quite matches your ideals. Ask the Duck, G or even yourself if I have ever censored a comment.

You need to stop crying victim and man up.

Tell me how your rebranded Communism is any different from the disasters that have been attempted.

Do rational people have reason to loathe communism?

Renegade Eye said...

I asked you a direct question. You said you were at more demonstrations than me. I asked you what were you doing at them?

Maybe someone else can answer.

beakerkin said...

Ren just as the antiwar protestors have their freedom of speech so do I. I have always been curious to see how many people knew these events were organized by commies and their reaction.

I have asked hundreds of people and very few were aware. Peope who attend these rallies have a right to know who they are marching with.

This is another case of commies abusing a cause to promote themselves.

Now onto my question.

1 Do rational people have reasons to be anticommunist given the repeated disaster and self evident
history?
2 How is your brand x communism differednt from that of Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Jim Jones, Ayers and the Red Army factions.
3 What did Lenin say about lying to further the cause?
4 What is revolutionary defeatism?
5 Have communists commited treason in the USA and lied about it for decades?

The USA is not Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela. I go where I please and am protected by the first amendment. You certainly know about that amendment it is the one commies abuse when practicing revolutionary defeatism. Then you are ready to practice the fifth amendment if the political winds change.

Have you practiced the fifth amendment in between bong hits?

As a courtesy I restricted my comments off the active post at the top.

You need to stop crying victim and let things go. Rational people loathe communists and laugh at anarchists. Sorry if reality is painful but you need to accept it.

I have never seen a person cry victim reflexively. So what are you a victim of your own history?
Was your blog ever spammed? Were you harassed for years and called a pedophile? Were you mocked for surviving a terrorist attack? Were you ever threatened? Were your children threatened? Were you subjected to racial and ethnic slurs?

If the answer to any of the above is yes it was certainly not by me.
I have endured years of this and you don't see me crying.

thepoetryman said...

Speaking of countries the US hegemony has plans for....

beakerkin said...

Ren

The comments you describe were not on your blog. The owner of the blog understood the points and agreed with a few.

You have a infantile habit of crying about comments written long ago on other blogs. You need to man up and quit crying. Your antics are amusing for someone who labeled Junglemom as thin skinned.

Feel free to ask the duck or whomever if they have been censored.

You need to quit crying and man up.

Remember, you have largely been left alone and your wishes respected. Contrast that to the behavior my friends have endured from John Brown for three years.

Maybe you should look at your friends more closely.

I kept my comments here off the main post in respect of your wishes.

Renegade Eye said...

I wasn't complaining, only making a simple point. Some discussions are best with whom you agree.

I don't visit blogs to be Devil's Advocate, all the time.

If some rightist blogger who has a blog I visit posts about who is better for conservatism, McCain or Romney, I might choose most likely to say nothing. I have the right to say what I want. I think the blogger would be happier talking to friends.

Farmer John said...

On topic... Sign's capital is fleeing Venezuela bigtime...

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