Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Chavez Makes His Move


As an adolescent, I found it difficult to accept the idea that civilizations collapse and disappear, sometimes even from memory. Weighed against the experience of a dozen or so years, the world and its structures clearly seem to be enduring. Every new day has the same buildings and businesses and ways of going about life.

The socialists are all excited about the changes in Venezuela. George Ciccariello-Maher is a Ph.D. candidate in political theory at UC Berkeley, so he conveys his euphoria in the in-crowd mumbo jumbo unintelligible gibberish that passes for academic writing. The two most coherent paragraphs are as follows.

Beyond Chavistas and Anti-Chavistas: A myth has long existed in commentary on Venezuela, which goes something like the following: when discussing the Venezuelan revolution, the relevant actors can be expressed through the binary “Chavista/Anti-Chavista.” … But the errors facilitated by such a binary framework are too many to count. These include, for example, the facile view that Ch├ívez is little more than an autocrat running a personalistic movement bent on centralizing power in his own hands.

Things are immediately more complicated, but also more palpably revolutionary: we have broken the analytical stranglehold that the long history of oligarchic domination has imposed upon our concepts, a domination in which 10 percent of the population count as much as the remaining 90 percent, and in so doing, we perform theoretically precisely the same gesture that the Bolivarian Revolution has performed politically.

To the tenure track mind, human knowledge is simply composed of myths and the myth of the moment is that the wealthy dominate the masses to the detriment of poor. Having won his most recent election, Hugo Chavez increasingly abandons restraint in pursuit of his pure Marxist vision of equality through government control of society. Fausta's Blog and Publius Pundit have many links to the end of civilization as it has existed in the oldest democracy in South America.