Franz J.T. Lee, August, 2005
This is why Yankee magnicide permanently threatens President Chavez Frias!
President Fidel Castro Ruz always underlines the historic relevance of his university study of political economy, and how it has helped him and his comrades to understand Socialism better, and how to apply this knowledge victoriously to Marxist praxis and theory, to the Cuban and Latin American revolutionary processes. On the other hand, here in Venezuela, like elsewhere, traditionally the basics of political economy were not treated in primary, secondary and university schools ... something that the various, current, educational, Bolivarian missions definitely have to include in their programs.
Many erudite scholars still argue that modern economics and politics are not intimately inter-related ... already Aristotle formal logically gave politics a superior role, hence relegating economics to a subordinate inferior existence ... nowadays, as a result of the triumphant emergence of "intellectual labor" and of the progressive demise of "physical labor", some social scientists even claim that economics has been integrated into the social superstructure itself.
In this way, ideologically the real social functions of politics, of the State, of capitalist, bourgeois democracy, are hidden from the already heavily mind-controlled world public.
Of course, among other ruling class interests, all these attempts are directed against dialectics, against the social interests of the "wretched of the earth", slaves, peasants, serfs and workers, against social class analysis, against the class struggle, against the method of political economy; in the last analysis, against scientific and philosophic socialism, against Marxism.
For Venezuela, for Latin America, for the Bolivarian Revolution, that have to fight against world economic exploitation and global political domination on various historical equal, unequal, combined and transcendental levels, degrees and spheres, in order to create socialism of the 21st century, for us, it is imperative to know, and to know how to apply the Marxist politico-economic method, the powerful emancipatory praxis and theory, the formidable social weapon of popular self-defense, of Citizens' Power.
Here, as brief commentary, we will just introduce this Marxist conditio sine qua non for the construction of any scientific and philosophic socialism today on a global scale.
According to Marx: "It would seem to be the proper thing to start with the real and concrete elements, with the actual preconditions, e.g., to start in the sphere of economy with population, which forms the basis and the subject of the whole social process of production."
This revolutionary method analyzes the social base, the sovereign, the citizens, the population of Venezuela, of Latin America, then it focuses on the obvious division of this population into antagonistic social classes, a historic result of oligarchic puntofijismo, into those that live near Plaza Francia, in Altamira, and into those that vegetate in the slums of the big cities, in the countryside, also into those impoverished millions who have nothing left except their cheap, physical, labor force to offer in unequal exchange on the capitalist labor market, that has reduced 80% of them already to critical, chronic poverty, to unemployed or sub-employed, to street children, to prostitutes, to informal, economic beggars, to the real, true, modern base of future, socialist revolutionary creation here in Latin America, in Venezuela, and elsewhere.
If we succeed, fine!
If we don't, also fine: at least, as incorruptible socialists we will have tried everything possible with all our might ... less we should not do, more we cannot do ... and will therefore have no excuse whatsoever for not having given our utmost best, our most sacred weapons, our very lives to rescue billion-fold Humanity from the mortal fangs of Globalization, from the lethal pangs of World Fascism.
This is why Yankee magnicide permanently threatens President Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias!
Hence, in political economy, having departed from true people, living in a global class reality, that is, from the population, we now continue to analyze Venezuela's seas, lakes, rivers, beaches, gas, oil, minerals, flora and fauna, biodiversity, the different branches of production, especially the oil industry, PDVSA, exports, imports, inflation, prices, annual production and consumption, etc. This is precisely what President Chávez does every Sunday in his program "Ola Presidente."
Why, by studying only the "population" as such ... the Venezuelans, the people, the sovereign, the human beings, even the "Children of God" ... the concept itself becomes a mere, generalized, empty abstraction?
For the simple reason that the whole population of Latin America is composed of different social classes; one must be totally blind not to notice this obvious phenomenon. However many ministers, professors, students, even part of the intellectual Left creme de la creme, very seldom talk or write about severe class struggles in Venezuela, in Latin America. Some do not even use the concept "capitalism" anymore, instead of using the method of political economy in their works, they hide their anti-Marxism behind the "market economy", their anti-socialism behind fraudulent "democracy" or stale "social democracy", some even hide their ignorance behind Greek or Latin word manufacturing.
As such political economy itself will stagnate, unless we revolutionize it urgently.
In fact, when President Chavez always speak about a "positive, middle class", then, at least, we still will have a "negative, middle class", also an upper and a lower class in Venezuela, whose class interests definitely differ. All these determine the severe class struggles in Venezuela, that have trans-historic, anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and pro-socialist features. That we still have no socialist vanguard or even strong anti-capitalist cadres worth mentioning, does not alter the revolutionary essence of these volatile, social, class conflicts.
Political economy teaches us, that historically, in Venezuela, in Latin America and the Caribbean, different social classes have different social interests, that epitomized in violent class struggles. In Europe, there exists even inter-class struggles, some already terminated in global class struggles, in inter-imperialist, fascist World Wars, some over-spill into the current "New Bush Wars", that already involve Venezuela as a major oil- and gas-producing country.
Having identified the various, real, concretely existing social classes of Venezuela and Latin America, we will discover that these classes in themselves also remain empty, unless we analyze their social relations, fill them with the political and economic factors on which they depend. Some classes produce masters, others slaves; some possess the means of production and communication privately, others only possess their physical labor force; some have capital, others receive wages, etc.
In fact, at a closer glance, we notice, that capital is nothing without wage-labor, without exchange or surplus value, without cost and prices, that if capitalists would disappear, then wage-labor would also vanish; if no worker or laborer exists, no capitalist can survive. As such we concretely learn the dialectical method of political economy.
Yes, as many believe, so little as Marxism is archaic, so little all these common truths, that we live and see daily around us, are obsolete. And yet, who teaches us political economy?
Having launched the tremendous revolutionary task of sending all of us to invent, to experiment, to create the New Socialism of the 21st Century, President Chavez of Venezuela, in fact has asked us to develop our own Latin American world outlook, our own Venezuelan Science and Philosophy, our own Global Logics, our own Socialist Politico-Economic Method.
This still "correct scientific method", completely valid to analyze any social phenomenon of current imperialist, corporate capitalism ... as was globally verified by the three excellent economic treatises of the late Ernest Mandel ... Marx himself, over 140 years ago, described it as follows:
"The seventeenth-century economists, for example, always took as their starting point the living organism, the population, the nation, the State, several States, etc., but analysis led them always in the end to the discovery of a few decisive abstract, general relations, such as division of labor, money, and value. When these separate factors were more or less clearly deduced and established, economic systems were evolved which from simple concepts, such as labor, division of labor, demand, exchange-value, advanced to categories like State, international exchange and world market. The latter is obviously the correct scientific method."
Marx has explained that no social structure radically changes unless all its possibilities have been realized, have been materialized; only then, the reigning productive relations, the property relations, become chains of the productive forces, starting to brake them, only then the old mode of production has become obsolete, and a new epoch of social revolution sets in.
More than ever, the above is valid for Latin America and Venezuela, for the Bolivarian Revolution, but, even more so, for Marxism and Socialism themselves. In Globalization, the objective, subjective and "transjective" conditions and factors are given, as was explained in the Communist Manifesto, for Permanent World Revolution, for Socialism of the 21st Century.
The real, true, emancipatory iron-test for Marxism has just begun. The Bolivarian Revolution should not confound "real, existent" caricatures with revolutionary science and emancipatory philosophy, should not mistake "social democracy" or "real, true democracy" for Socialism, should not exchange the reality of the Marxist politico-economic method for Platonic, Christian, virtual metaphysics.
To survive the current, fierce Yankee attacks, we ourselves have to act, to think, to excel, our Socialism of the 21st Century, all of, by and for ourselves.
Only thereafter, we will be in a position to unite and integrate ourselves with all other global, Marxist and non-Marxist, socialist, experiments and projects.
One thing is sure, we will not allow another Intellectual, Metropolitan Conquest, another Northern Mental Holocaust, to overrun us again.
In conclusion, let us allow Marx himself to explain to us this revolutionary truth, the raging battle of ideas, the ferocious class struggle between Northern capitalist ideology and Southern socialist theory, that is so fundamental for the immediate future tasks of the Bolivarian Revolution:
"The Christian religion was able to contribute to an objective understanding of earlier mythologies only when its self-criticism was to a certain extent prepared, as it were potentially. Similarly, only when the self-criticism of bourgeois society had begun, was bourgeois political economy able to understand the feudal, ancient and oriental economies. In so far as bourgeois political economy did not simply identify itself with the past in a mythological manner, its criticism of earlier economies-especially of the feudal system against which it still had to wage a direct struggle-resembled the criticism that Christianity directed against heathenism, or which Protestantism directed against Catholicism."