Can People’s Power Save the Bolivarian Revolution?

… rightists’ election victory poses major threat to Venezuela’s advances – Published 0n The Bullet, Socialist Project’s E-Bulletin No. 1211, by Richard Fidler, Jan 25, 2016.

Seventeen years after Hugo Chávez was elected Venezuela’s President for the first time, the supporters of his Bolivarian Revolution, now led by President Nicolás Maduro, suffered their first major defeat in a national election in the December 6 elections to the country’s parliament, the National Assembly … //

… A Decisive Majority for the Opposition Rightists: … //
… Why the Opposition Victory? … //
… Economic Crisis: … //
… Corruption and Inaction: … //
… Some Immediate Responses to Election Verdict: … //
… Communal Parliament: … //
… MUD Aims for Destabilization – and Overthrow of Maduro: … //

… A New Stage – and a Challenge:

Apart from the role of the Supreme Court (itself threatened by the opposition-dominated National Assembly) in trying to restrain the Assembly within constitutional limits, there are now three powers contending in this conflictual context: the President, head of state and supported by the military, who have confirmed their loyalty to the Constitution and the Bolivarian Revolution; the National Assembly, at loggerheads with the President and determined to replace him and all he stands for as soon as possible; and what is commonly referred to as the People’s Power, the grassroots mobilizations of ordinary citizens organized territorially in communal councils and communes or politically in support of the “process of change” – a force that is diffuse and still lacking a coherent structured national leadership. It is unclear at this point what role this relatively new force can play in helping to overcome the current economic and political crisis. The governing party, the PSUV, is largely an electoral machine and somewhat discredited by the implication of some leaders in corruption and bureaucratic manoeuvres. It needs a fundamental overhaul.

There is much talk among Chavistas of answering the crisis by “deepening the revolution,” taking a “qualitative leap” as Chávez himself advocated in his Golpe de Timón speech.

In a remarkable essay, Venezuelan militant José Roberto Duque of Misión Verdad issues a challenge. If, he says, the Presidency and the Assembly are determined to prevent each other from fulfilling its role, “then it will be technically and procedurally impossible to to legislate (the Assembly’s mission) or to govern (the executive’s mission) in Venezuela.

“As such, we will be on the threshold of a situation in which a third actor, the most important and decisive amongst state subjects (popular power, citizens, you and I) must take a position with respect to the legitimacy of the actions of our representatives….

“Today we Chavistas unanimously support the ‘Communal State’ project proposed by Chávez. How many of us are prepared to keep building that Communal State even when the National Assembly eliminates the Law of Communal Councils and the Law of the Communes in one foul stroke? Will we have the stamina to keep building the other society clandestinely and illegally? Or will we submit to bourgeois laws that order us to give the entire productive apparatus up to private business?”

Duque explores these and related questions and concludes:

“The communes should be structures that are capable of surviving at the margins of the state and government, even functioning as areas of rearguard and resistance at the moment of an institutional collapse – when the Bolivarian government ceases its functions because of either legal or illegal means.

“We must be capable then of creating and consolidating self-sustainable and self-sufficient structures. We are in a very early stage of our communard history, and that is the reason why a ministry still exists that is in charge of financing the launch of productive projects in the communes. But in the future it would be an aberration for the communes and other organisations and means of production to continue to be dependent on state financing and other entities.”

I think this is the fundamental challenge facing the Bolivarian Revolution in the coming period. But it must be accompanied by measures at the level of the existing state to overcome the economic crisis – through implementation of an emergency program that can provide immediate relief to the masses of Venezuelan workers and campesinos.

(full long text).

(Richard Fidler is an Ottawa member of the Socialist Project. This article first appeared on his blog Life on the Left).


Some Migrants in Germany Want to Go Home, on WSJ, by RUTH BENDER And MOHAMMAD NOUR ALAKRAA, Jan. 24, 2016: disenchanted with job prospects and unsettled by cultural differences, a number embark on return journeys;

Paris to promote lifting of anti-Moscow sanctions by summer – French economy minister, on RT, Jan 24, 2016;

USA, WY: free tax service begins in Cheyenne, on Casper Star-Tribune, Jan 24, 2016;

Heute Show 22. Jan 2016, 62.25 min, von Fernsehkunst am 22. Jan 2016 hochgeladen;

Un progrès de la démocratie participative via Internet, dans numerama, par Guillaume Champeau, le 22 janv 2016;

Comment transformer les robots en un bienfait, dans data news, par Bram Vanderborght, le 22 janv 2016: le spécialiste de la robotique Bram Vanderborght de la VUB plaide pour un agenda des robots inclusif, afin que tout le monde puisse bénéficier du bien-être engendré par ceux-ci. Ou comment transformer la malédiction en une bénédiction;

Le digital labor, une question de société, dans INA, le 22 janv 2016;

14 astuces pour booster sa retraite, dans Le, le 22 janv 2016;

500 families returning home as ISIS & Nusra jihadists withdraw from Damascus suburbs, on RT, Jan 21, 2016;

I am worthy: strength coach rebuts body shaming in Facebook post, on Today/health, by Meghan Holohan, Jan 18, 2016: … today this is a body that is loved, adored and cherished by the only person whose opinion matters — ME.
This is a kind of freedom I didn’t think I’d ever experience, and it feels really, really good …;

The Bail-in = Financial Collapse To Steal Your Money – The David Icke Videocast, 21.47 min‌, uploaded by David Icke, Jan 15, 2016 … (member sign up);

Geometry and Chaos Theory – Manuel Delanda, 11.15 min, uploaded by Tuigen Heim, Jan 2, 2016 … there are a lot of representations of chaotic attractors on the Internet, and a lot of ink has been spilled about them, with either no explanation or a bad explanation. Here, Manuel Delanda explains the nature oft he chaotic attractor in simpel, straitforward terms, a basic history of how the idea evolved, and also gives examples of attractors of different kinds in the real world;

Website: Plant; /Impact of Construction;

… and this, from Japan:

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