Franz J.T. Lee, September, 2005
What is really happening to rhyme and reason in Venezuela? What do the 'Chavistas without Chavez' have in mind?
Currently, here In Venezuela, many of us are discussing the "process," the "deepening of the revolution"; we refer to the "revolution within the revolution," we fear the current "counter-revolution" within the very Bolivarian Revolution.
Many of us already ask: What is really happening now?
Should we prepare ourselves for the next military coup?
For the next oil sabotage?
For coming massacres of "chavistas"?
What is really happening is that the ship of state of the Bolivarian Revolution is leaving the calm doldrums of the past year and, true to its historic mission, is now sailing towards a sea of troubles, entering stormy waters again, filled with political man-eaters, social sharks and economic bloodsuckers ... in a word, filled with a myriad of counter-revolutionaries with red berets as disguise.
What are the scientific and theoretical differences between revolution, counter-revolution and emancipation?
If we don't know the answers, our answers, how are we going to confront national capitalism and global imperialism? How will we introduce a new socialism of the 21st century?
As always, here are just some "practical" food for serious theoretical thought.
Firstly, dialectically, there does not exist a social revolution that does not contain its own counter-revolution within itself, and vice versa. If we experience a counter-revolution in Venezuela, then we really and truly are making a Bolivarian revolution here. The more virulent and brutal the counter-revolution becomes, the more humanist and emancipatory the Bolivarian Revolution advances.
Revolutionaries do not fear counter-revolution, dialectically, they continually create it anew, it is their emancipatory natural habitat. It is their measuring rod of success, of whether they are still on the straight path towards human liberation.
Currently the "whip of the counter-revolution" is omnipresent, it is in the barrio, in Altamira, in the casino, in Miraflores, in the ministry, in the radio and TV programs, in school, in the Bolivarian missions and universities, in the national assembly, in the offices of the governors, of the mayors, of the counselors, in the beds of the compatriots.
But, learning from concrete, recent, historical experiences, what really is counter-revolution, to what does it refer?
Is it pro-capitalist or anti-socialist, or is it simply an intrinsic, inalienable part of bourgeois, democratic revolution itself?
With reference to the dramatic events in Venezuela, between April 11 and 13, 2002, in their article "Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Venezuela," Alan Woods and Ted Grant wrote:
"The class interests behind the coup were obvious. The head of the counter-revolutionary government was a wealthy businessman, Pedro Carmona -- the chief of the bosses' association. His first action was to rescind Chávez's so-called anti-investment laws - that is, all those laws intended to defend Venezuela's interests and raise the living standards of the masses. The corrupt and rotten Venezuelan bourgeoisie is incapable of playing a progressive role. Its plans would signify putting the country and its considerable oil wealth firmly in the grasp of US imperialism."
Beyond doubt, all modern social revolutions concern global class struggles, class interests; hence, in the case of contemporary Venezuela, piquantly the authors did explain the national and imperialist gist of the current revolutionary-counter-revolutionary contradiction within the Bolivarian Movement.
For the authors, the global, globalized context of the Bolivarian Revolution is also crystal-clear: "The coup was headed by the Venezuelan bourgeoisie and their cronies in the armed forces (FAN). But the hand that pulled the strings was clearly in Washington. This plan was born and bred in the United States. The Bush administration, delighted at the thought of Chávez in handcuffs, was preparing to take over the Venezuelan oil industry through the back door, allowing 'aid' to go to the new Caracas government - in the form of oil investment. This is part of the broader strategy of US imperialism after September 11 to intervene aggressively everywhere."
Today, all this is even more valid and true than ever.
In other articles we have explained that by means of imperialism, colonialism and "neo-colonialism" ... nowadays also called "neo-liberalism" or "global fascism" ... the mode of capitalist production and reproduction has internationalized, globalized itself by means of its inherent, dialectical, revolutionary dynamics, by means of universal, systemic exploitation, domination, racism, militarization and alienation.
To achieve the latter was precisely the historical goal, the social objective of capitalism, of capital accumulation, profits and power: of the global realization of its democratic revolution, of the French and Industrial Revolutions. From its point of view, seen from its perspective of Reason and Capital, anything else was and still is counter-revolutionary, is the very counter-revolution, the negation of capitalism, is socialism, is communism, is Marxism, is terrorism.
The trillion dollar philosophic questions for us really are:
* What do we understand by Counter-Revolution?
* Do we really want to make a Revolution within the Revolution?
* Or, are we talking about an exodus, about a Creating, Creative Force, about "Human Emancipation" (Marx)? However, firstly, this issue we have to settle with the Good Lord.
*About something new, really brand new, for the 21st century, about that which will transcend both capitalist and imperialist revolutions and counter-revolutions?
Our future, the future of mankind needs delicate clarification with reference to these urgent historical issues. We cannot afford to commit or even to repeat the fatal errors of the revolutionary 20th century again. We all are on the brink of annihilating humanity within the next decades.
Significant for the Bolivarian Revolution, among other thinkers, for example, Simon Bolivar, Simon Rodriguez or Francisco de Miranda, it is imperative to study the revolutionary works of the social democratic bourgeois scientist and radical socialist philosopher Karl Marx and of his socialist followers very well. . Very early, in his youth, Marx has pointed out the decisive, incisive "praxico-theoretical" difference between capitalist revolution and socialist (human) emancipation, between intra-systemic dialectics and the logics of extra-systemic exodus.
We explained: "Having studied Hegelian objectivist, idealist philosophy, British national economy and the French, British and German utopian socialists and communists, Marx evolved his theory of social and socialist revolution in the years 1840-1844."
However, as we underlined, the Communist Manifesto, the 1848 program of the radical Social Democrats, was intended to continue the French Revolution, specifically to realize the retarded "bourgeois-democratic revolution" in Germany, the not yet "socialist or communist revolution" on a world scale:
"We should note that it was intended to be a program for the bourgeois-democratic revolution, then overdue in Germany.
According to Marx and Engels, who edited the Communist Manifesto in 1848, Germany's historical time lag as compared with her Western-bourgeois neighbors (England, France) offered the German revolution a unique historical chance not only to make up for the 'political emancipation' (Marx) that had been brought about by the Jacobine revolution in France, but even to surpass it in a 'human emancipation' (Marx) which would go so far as to overcome the contradiction between citoyen and bourgeois."
However, by formulating the trans-historic proletarian process, departing from political towards human emancipation, Marx scientifically differentiated it from bourgeois, capitalist revolution. Thus, the historical objectives of revolution and those of emancipation are not identical, in fact, they radically differ. The one remains within the labor system, the other one transcends towards human creativity and creation, a sphere that the ruling classes hitherto have only reserved for the god-men and gods.
As mentioned above, in contradistinction to the global human emancipatory process ... as was expressed later in the Second International and more precisely in the Comintern before Lenin's death ... in their Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels hopefully still described the revolutionary essence of capitalism, how it eventually would globalize itself, and resolve the social problems of all humanity. However, they also explained how it could eventually terminate in "barbarism", unless it is not being negated successfully by means of scientific and philosophic socialism, a precondition to surpass towards possible "human emancipation."
Furthermore, Marx explained that in the very same dialectical way how across the ages revolutionary capitalism and imperialism had expanded globally, similarly, their own socialist negations have internationalized themselves. It is true that the majority of the social revolutions of the 20th century, in praxis and theory, did not make this radical distinction, did not include this transcendental reality in their concrete, earthly, historic programs; consequently, nearly all fell back into revolutionary, democratic capitalism, or even into "real, existing socialism", into tragic caricatures of real human emancipation.
Current Bolivarian "praxis and theory", two concepts, of which President Hugo Chávez Frías lately continuously speaks in his national addresses, have to study these revolutionary and emancipatory aspects very carefully.
Across the 19th and 20th centuries, very often the above was not intended, not stringently debated in socialist praxis and theory, also not in Latin America, where dependency theory and theology of liberation mostly preoccupied the revolutionary minds. Much later, in the 1970s, the "Praxis" Marxist groups of Yugoslavia, together with the Marxist philosopher of hope, Ernst Bloch, discussed such creative, emancipatory issues.
Nonetheless, socialism, as negation of capitalism, correctly was seen as an international process, as "permanent revolution," but not yet as the creative, non-productive exodus towards global "transvolution," towards possible human emancipation.
Until now, strongly Influenced by all varieties of liberalism, Gandhism, pacifism, religion, and even "democracy," many promising emancipatory efforts just could not globalize themselves. Due to the lack of unity and integration, in the face of an aggressive, brutal, international imperialism nearly all were nipped in the bud.
However, their trans-historic anticipatory daydreams are reflected and preserved in the current global Bolivarian Revolution, in its inexorable forward march towards Latin American integration and economic independence, towards the ALBA, towards human emancipation.
After bitter anti-colonial and anti-imperialist class struggles, in the many bloody battles, having lost many heroic compatriots ... especially those millions of starving workers and pauperized peasants who were decimated by genocidal colonial wars ... later many erstwhile "freedom fighters" became turn-coats, "escualidos", traitors, who helped to pave the counter-emancipatory road towards current "neo-liberal" globalization.
Were they counter-revolutionaries? Or did they fulfill the capitalist tasks of democratic revolution, of the French Revolution?
What do the Venezuelan "Chavistas without Chavez" have in mind?
As Carlos Ortega explained: Do they want to introduce 10 or 20 years of fascist dictatorship in Venezuela?
Like in Chile and Argentina, will they fill the base-ball and football fields with Bolivarian emancipators and massacre us, the Bolivarians, by the thousands?
This is what Mario Silva warned about in his evening program, "La Hojilla," a few nights ago, in which, by telephone, President Chavez himself intervened.
Will that be counter-revolution?
If we really want to stop this possible, coming butchery, then we better start right away!
The stark, dark social reality can be described as follows.
Currently, in Venezuela and elsewhere in revolutionary Latin America, Africa or Asia, interiorized colonial culture, master-slave relations, inferiority complexes, ruling class oligarchic megalomania, subservient religious mentality, political racism, Mafia vendettas, crude nationalism and capitalist democracy are playing havoc with the emancipatory struggle and, among other crimes, generate the negotiation of the peoples' revolution, the signing of secret gentlemen agreements with the local and foreign bourgeoisies, bureaucracy, triumphalism, opportunism, lies, disinformation campaigns, corruption, sabotage, theft, murder, assassination, etc.
These are forming a "revolutionary" cancer that is devastating many real, socialist and truly emancipatory movements; unfortunately, many comrades are thrown out of the emancipatory process, or they themselves are leaving the sinking ship of state.
What remained on planet earth, after the Cold war, were mostly ideological caricatures of Marxism, of socialism and communism.
Now, in the era of Bush's Hot Wars, urgently this counter-emancipatory tendency has to be stopped, at whatever constitutional price, at whatever armed means necessary.
If not, we will lose the most beautiful creation that we ever had, that we ever have created ourselves in Venezuela.
The only revolutionary path is Socialism, the only emancipatory Rubicon is Exodus, is Creation, Human Creativity.