:: Friday, February 04, 2005 ::

A New Viewpoint

I see that International Viewpoint has a new website. Looks very good but more importantly the content is thoughtful and of a high standard. There are other comprehensive Marxist news sites like In Defense of Marxism and the World Socialist Web Site, but frankly you could write most of the articles by computer programme.

Included in the new site is a report on the World Social Forum, which saw controversy over the path taken by Brazilian President Lula, whose PT dominates the forum.

Bob Crow of the RMT recently visited the Scottish Parliament and told the story of his visit to the WSF. He was billed to speak at one of the big rallies. Immediately before Hugo Chavez. No pressure then.

Chavez' speech is interesting. Here is a little excerpt.

"Everyday I become more convinced, there is no doubt in my mind, and as many intellectuals have said, that it is necessary to transcend capitalism. But capitalism can’t be transcended from with capitalism itself, but through socialism, true socialism, with equality and justice. But I’m also convinced that it is possible to do it under democracy, but not in the type of democracy being imposed from Washington," he said.

"We have to re-invent socialism. It can’t be the kind of socialism that we saw in the Soviet Union, but it will emerge as we develop new systems that are built on cooperation, not competition," he added.

Chavez said that Venezuela is trying to implement a social economy. "It is impossible, within the framework of the capitalist system to solve the grave problems of poverty of the majority of the world’s population. We must transcend capitalism. But we cannot resort to state capitalism, which would be the same perversion of the Soviet Union. We must reclaim socialism as a thesis, a project and a path, but a new type of socialism, a humanist one, which puts humans and not machines or the state ahead of everything. That’s the debate we must promote around the world, and the WSF is a good place to do it."

He added that in spite of his admiration for Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara, he said Che’s methods are not applicable. "That thesis of one, two, or three Vietnams, did not work, especially in Venezuela."

The President cited Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky by saying that "each revolution needs the whip of the counterrevolution to advance." He listed actions by the opposition and the U.S. government to drive him out of power. "But we resisted, and now have gone into the offensive. For instance, we recovered our oil industry... In 2004, from the oil industry budget we utilized $4 billion in social investments, education, health, micro-credits, scholarships, and housing, aimed at the poorest of the poor, what neoliberals call waste of money. But that is not a waste of money because it is aimed at empowering the poor so that they can defeat poverty. He added that "that money before stayed out of Venezuela or just benefited the rich."

He criticized privatizations by saying that "privatization is a neoliberal and imperialist plan. Health can’t be privatized because it is a fundamental human right, nor can education, water, electricity and other public services. They can’t be surrendered to private capital that denies the people from their rights."

:: Alister | 10:28 am | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


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