- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Latin America has a number of semi-industrialized states

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on January 30, 19100 at 20:33:09:

In Reply to: Look at the big picture posted by Stoller on January 29, 19100 at 12:35:28:

: : For a glorious 24 hours last weekend, from Friday to Saturday, the people of Ecuador seized control of their country from an unpopular leader in thrall to International Capital and ran their own affairs... No blood was spilled- Barry should take note of this...

: : Unfortunately, the coup was reversed the next day, thanks possibly to meddling from the United States...

: I think you deconstructed your own argument here, NJ.

: Like the Seattle protesters who 'stopped the WTO for a day,' the bloodless coup in Ecuador that lasted a day is only a sign, an indication, a prehension, that the real struggles ahead are gaining momentum.

: My concern: does Latin America possess enough large-scale industry (socialized labor albeit under capitalist private control) to sustain socialism (i.e. material abundance that quells dissent without massive coercion)?

First of all, Nicaragua became socialist in 1979, and would still be socialist today if it hadn't been for American terrorism. You keppe overlooking this, that the collapse of the Sandinistas wasn';t due to internal economic factors, but rather to external subversion.
Second of all,some countries in Latin america are definitely semi-industrialized and also have a historical context favorable to socialism. Uruguay, for example, is a heavily urbanized, semi-industrial nation with a long history of welfare-state social democracy followed by Marxist urban insurrection followed by an extremely reporessive right-wing dictatorship. Today the coatlition that includes Communists, Socialists, Trotskyists and teh former urban guerillas (Tupamaros) is one of teh biggest political forces, actually I believe they may have won the last election. Uruguay's electorate has roundly rejected privatization or cuts in the welfare state. At one point uruguay was one of the most advanced welfare states in the world.

Venezuela is probably the most promising ground today for socialism. Lt. Col. Chavez, the former coup leader, denies she is a socialist or communist, but he also rejects capitalism in principle. He is full of praise for Castro and hails Cuba as a paradiuse of social justice. He has just pushed through a new Constitution that guarantees housing and free education through the college level, and that rules out further privatization of teh oil industry. Ironically, one of Chavez' plans is actully to REDUCE urbanization, by relocating urban slum dwellers to rural plots of land.

The SPartacist Leaugue in Boston is roundly against Chavez, calling him, as I recall, 'a right wing populist in the Cardenas mold', referring to the progressive president of Mexico in the '30s who reinstated peasant communes and nationalized the oil industry. Personally, I think that there are much wosre things to be than another Cardenas. I think Latin America could use another Cardenas, seeing as the other options seem to be more and more Mahuads and Fujimoris.

What's your view on Lt. Col. Chavez, Barry?

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