Franz J.T. Lee, May, 2006
What Chavez meant when he stated that he cannot do it all alone!
What do we understand by "culture"? What is meant by a Cultural Revolution within the Bolivarian Revolution? Let us just summarize fundamental issues of this immense task awaiting us:
Although already much too late, why in 1966 did Mao Zedong launch a "Cultural Revolution" against the "Maoists without Mao"?
How did he try to circumvent the corrupt bureaucracy of the reigning Communist Party?
He directly gave political power to the people, via the popular version of "Bolivarian Circles" ... the Chinese "Red Guards" ... the youth, the future leaders of the country. This "revolution in the revolution" led to the destruction of a great part of past Chinese ideology and practice, of China's ruling class cultural heritage.
Unfortunately the counter-revolutionary capitalist forces eventually gained the upper hand and this superstructural revolution was quickly nipped in the bud.
Now, let us see what a Cultural Revolution in Venezuela would imply.
There are many definitions with regard to the concept "culture." however, what concerns us here are its specific social, ideological, moral and religious dimensions that impede the creation of a revolutionary social class consciousness, a prerequisite for global human emancipation.
The word "culture" comes from the Latin root colere, which originally meant to inhabit, to cultivate the soil, to care for nature, to honor what is fertile and feminine, to treasure what gives birth to life, to love what is creative, aphrodisiac and erotic; in short, to further all things that are socially revolutionary and humanly emancipatory. This means that originally this concept was used to refer to still not yet alienated human activity. Only much later, over the last millennia, in perverted class society, its social contents changed radically and ideologically it began to reflect precisely its opposite, the body, mind and thought control mechanisms and devices of the current bourgeois, capitalist "dying culture" (Christopher Caudwell), that is, of the genocidal labor process, of exploitative wage labor, of the gigantic process of giga-profit production in the current mode of imperialist, military self-destruction, that is, in corporate globalization.
In current Venezuelan society, a radical cultural revolution would precisely be directed against the latter, against the archaic "opposition" against its decadent "culture."
It would re-establish on a higher emancipatory plane Bolivar's daydream, that is, an original human and humane non-alienated, classless society in South America, that would have its utopian forerunner already in pre-Columbian America, long before the Conquest, before colonial plunder and vandalism, before the introduction of alien religion, beliefs, norms, customs and morals. Till today these are playing havoc with Venezuelan politics, are generating and cultivating counter-revolution: triumphalism, pacifism, class consensus, corruption, greed, treachery, treason, insatiable consumerism, big lies, heinous murder, avarice, egoism and vices, in a word, total alienation.
Deepening the Bolivarian Revolution simply means that culturally we have to revise our continental integration patterns of social, political and economic behavior inherited from the era of puntofijismo, that is, we have to review our daily thoughts, communication methods and tools, our language, our swearing and cursing, our "Gracias a Dios," "si Dios quiere, "Dios mediante," "Bendicion Mama," ... our moral values and educational institutions.
"Revolution in the revolution" culturally is not a jolly ride, a Sunday afternoon window-shopping spree, it means to change radically our colonial, capitalist modus operandi and modus vivendi, much sacrifice, patience and tolerance, even what we wear and tear, our attitude towards women and children, and vice versa, towards men, to cast away our machismo, complexes, our beauty contests, alien religious beliefs and rituals.
Furthermore, we have to revise all our saints and popes, scrutinize our angels and devils, investigate our gospels and epistles, discard quite a lot of our favorite social manners, including boozing, carnival, pan et circenses, prostitution, sabotage, yes, we will have to eliminate bull-fighting, gambling, lotto, our dominating symbols, statues of Christopher Columbus, the Day of the Race, our cell phone culture, our drug culture, our CIA culture.
All these have to be surpassed by means of a new, original, authentic and modern revolutionary acculturation, with emancipatory symbols and signs, with proletarian poetry and music, people's arts, crafts and and scientific inventions, that is, with a praxical science, a theoretical philosophy and a creating, creative logic.
In the same way that we have no alternative, but to be victorious, similarly, we have no substitute for the above, we have to develop and create the necessary arms of self-defense at top speed before it is too late. We have at our disposal all the necessary natural, social and human sources and resources to accomplish our emancipatory objectives, to transcend this globalized vale of tears, to cross this imperialist Dead Sea, to erase the writing on the wall of Jericho, to cross the Rubicon towards Human Creation and Creativity.
In this way, we, the Bolivarian revolutionaries, the masses of Venezuela and Latin America, ... and worldwide there are hundred millions of us ... can develop and apply our own social complex of emancipatory values, logics, ethics, aesthetics, emotions, sentiments, feelings and mores, can we collectively act and cooperate in our own social institutions, our own independent missions, schools and universities, can we internationalize, globalize our cultural revolution, our Bolivarian Revolution.
This is what President Hugo Chavez Frias meant when he stated that he cannot do it all alone!
As such, taking a "Great Leap Forward" in the emancipatory spirit of Mao Zedong, the Bolivarian Revolution can still create its own cultural revolution, can become a human pre-figuration, a trans-historic reflection, a real possibility, a world paradigm for the organization of real, true people's power, of a proletarian vanguard of the working masses of the globe, of an international revolutionary party, of a transitional emancipatory program, that could still guide mankind threatened by North American, global, fascist extinction, from capitalist production towards human inter-galactic creation.