Franz J.T. Lee, November, 2007

From Constitutional Reform to crossing the tevolutionary Rubicon

Like in 1998, heavy dark clouds are rolling towards Venezuela, station themselves and quietly await new instructions from Alaska. All over the country referendum fever is raging. The National Electoral Council (CNE) has everything under control to launch a clean electoral campaign.

The moment of truth has arrived in Venezuela. For all the forces concerned, it is now or never. The atmosphere is tense.

The attacks on Chavez' life are magnified, 'magnicide' looms in the air of violent conspiracy; CNN has already asked: Who killed Chavez? The CIA, the paramilitary forces, the snipers are all ready to strike, each one of them has a list of 'terrorists' to target.

Treachery, high treason, corruption and greed fill the tropical air; earthquakes, starting in Sucre, await their turn. Baduel accuses Chavez of a political coup, the 'opposition' itself declares the very constitutional reform as a coup. Across the globe, the huge mass media amplify their diatribal attacks, are heating up the epicenter of international imperialist attacks against Bolivarian socialism.

The ruling powers never bothered about Venezuelan killers in the pre-Bolivarian epoch; they supported Batista, Somoza, Mobutu and Pinochet. However, they hate the very guts of Fidel and Chavez. Things have changed. Again we are facing the worst of times, the best of times. We live in the age of darkness, in the era of light. We have nothing before us, we have everything ahead of us. It is the age of global class struggle, of scientific socialism, of ever green innovating marxism.

Like Phoenix, Simon Bolivar is reborn from his ashes, has multiplied himself a million-fold across the Americas, joining the revolutionary march of Marx, Rosa Luxemburg, Trotsky and Gramsci, his destiny is to eradicate the imperialist 'plague' forever from our continental soil, from the very solar system.

However, with Chavez, bolivarian socialism and socialist bolivarianism are crossing the Rubicon. Why? What is meant by this?

In December 2006, in one of our latest books, edited together with Jutta Schmitt, titled 'Venezuela: La Revolucion Bolivariana pasando el Rubicon', we explained this phenomenon already.

In detail, let us describe this historical, political phenomenon. We could cross the Rubicon in several ways, however, all of them have a logical, nodal, transcendental point of no return, not only an exodus in space and time, also in essence and existence.

A typical example of political 'crossing the Rubicon' is precisely the historical event from which we have inherited this praxical expression, namely, that of Gaius Julius Caesar (born on July 13, 100 BC and assassinated on March 15, 44 BC). With Crassus and Pompey, he formed the first Triumvirate, and eventually became at odds with the conservative faction of the aristocracy. In those days, as a boundary, the small river Rubicon was very significant as Roman law forbade any general from crossing it at the head of an army. As such it marked the boundary between the Roman province of Cisalpine Gaul to the north and Italy to the south. This law thus protected the Roman republic from internal military strife.

Within the context of severe power struggles, in January 49 BC Caesar as Roman proconsul together with his troops crossed the Rubicon river in order to confront Pompey in battle. On the northern end of the bridge, finding himself on the horns of a dilemma, Caesar paused and was debating whether to cross or not.

However, he had Hobson's choice: It would have been a crime against Rome for him to have brought his troops in from the province, but if he didn't, then he would have been stripped of command and prosecuted.

After serious reflections, at last, he uttered the famous phrase alea iacta est ("the die is cast") and crossed the Rubicon as an act of war against his enemies. In other words, he took the irrevocable step that committed him to a specific, definite course and thereby launched a civil war, which in reality was a ferocious, ancient power class struggle.

The relevance of Bolivarian socialism currently 'crossing the Rubicon' under the revolutionary guidance and leadership of President Hugo Chavez Frias, the Online Wikipedia explains as follows: "The phrase 'crossing the Rubicon' has survived to refer to any people committing themselves irrevocably to a risky and revolutionary course of action – similar to the current phrase 'passing the point of no return.' It also refers, in limited usage, to its plainer meaning of using military power in a non-receptive homeland."

Precisely this 'point of no return' will be reached on December 2, 2007, when Venezuela has to vote in a referendum to approve or not a reform to her current democratic constitution.

The Bolivarian Revolution faces its decisive moment, it is really the choice between socialism or barbarism, between Chavez and Bush. At the moment when President Chavez has launched the reform to the current constitution, in order to give greater popular power to the poor working classes who sustain the Bolivarian revolution, hell is breaking out in Venezuela: the national and international enemies of Venezuela themselves also cross the Rubicon, bringing forth a conflict situation, whose disastrous limits we cannot imagine as yet.

We did cross the Rubicon that separates socialism from barbarism. We find ourselves in new land, in a realm that nobody has entered before. Anything new is unknown, even to itself. As we approach this ocean of 'transvolutionary' possibilities, the New itself becomes, approximates us. In all the speeches and addresses of Chavez, directly and written between the lines, we can detect the natural revolutionary flavor and emancipatory social fragrance 'of the obsolete not yet totally dead, and of the new not yet completely born'.

President Chavez, with all his human weaknesses, 'thank God', is not a saint; that would be fatal. He is the living paradigm of a possible new man; he was born just in time before corporate, imperialist capitalism could bomb the very planet to blazes and out of human existence. Definitely, he will be crossing the Rubicon on December 2, 2007, on the wings of millions of people from the humble classes. Apart from Fidel, and so many true heroes of the 'miserables' and 'wretched' of the earth, finding today a popular and beloved president like Chavez is like searching for a needle in the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

At the time of multiple crossings of the Rubicon, of the global deepening of class struggles, as Immanuel Kant explained, things become as clear as daylight, persons show their true character, they become fully recognizable.

This is happening now in Venezuela. The ruminated chaff separates itself from the germinating seeds, the traitors from the authentic fighters, the turncoats from the militants, the real old from the true new, the reformists from the revolutionaries.

'Crossing the Rubicon' is a serious, dangerous step. Civil war and assassination of leaders are cruel, inhuman acts. We did not invent violence. In master-slave class relations we are born into violence, we live in violence, we die violently. The road of violence, of genocide by state and world order, was constructed by the accumulation, exploitation and domination of capital.

We are at the crossroads, at the transhistoric junction of socialism, the destination of Rosa Luxemburg is scientific, philosophic socialism, is marxism; the direction of Kautsky and Bernstein is bourgeois, capitalist reformism; the highway of Stalinism leads towards a horrible caricature of socialism, marxism and the new, of the true negation of capitalism.

The corruption of the best is the worst of all corruptions; the betrayal of those whom we have considered to be our nearest and dearest comrades in arms, is the worst of all betrayals. The truth is that they all will and can never cross the Rubicon, on the contrary, at the eleventh hour, they become tragic cases of intrigue and terror.

The year 2008 will show with scientific clarity who is crossing which Rubicon, who will advance to the emancipatory horizons, who will fall into eternal corruption, decay and decadence, that is, will stay forever in the capitalist sewerage system, in the quagmire of imperialist genocide.

George Orwell gave us the invincible weapon to eliminate traitors: 'In Times of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth will be a Revolutionary Act.'

Bertolt Brecht informed us how to cross successfully the Rubicon from utopian to scientific socialism, to Marxism: we should not only be good Bolivarians, we should make this world a better place to live in, that is, we should emancipate the whole globe, ourselves.