Voices from Russia

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Chavismo Will Be Socialist or It’ll Cease to Exist



The English in this sucked. I asked a friend with a facility in Spanish to help me “crack the code”. She helped me to put this into order.


“Made in socialism”… that slogan resonated a lot in Venezuela a few years ago. It was on chocolates, yoghurts, oils, posters, embedded in a heart logo, and the inevitable red five-pointed star. Later on, it became elusive, more exception than the rule… every ministry was “of the people’s power”, and each bakery or route began to be “socialist”. Chávez questioned it on national TV by saying that calling things “socialist” doesn’t make them socialist. If there was something he longed to build, it was a transition to 21st-century socialism. Chavismo must be socialist.

It wasn’t like that from the beginning, at least publicly, perhaps, because he hadn’t yet reached that conclusion. Or, it might’ve been because in the political arena the idea was to reach that conclusion collectively… for the people to move in that direction, developing the historical subject, the epicentre of politics, to create a desire for socialism, which Chávez mentioned for the first time in 2005. Until that moment, in his first writings… for example, the Blue Book… there were strong hints, combining and coming together. It was like the recovery of the betrayed independence project… Bolivarian popular nationalism. It was a vindication of the nation carried out by the humble, with a Latin American dimension… the ethical re-establishment of a devastated country plundered for decades by a corrupt political/business class. The tricolour flag, the red beret, the military authority… plebeian, national, and social liberation in the same movement. Those were converging lines of progress in a country in organic crisis, with the masses in a movement from the Caracazo in 1989 to the emergence of Chávez like a thunderbolt in 1992.

Socialist Roots

The issue… here we can trace socialist ideas before their announcement… was to build that project through the implementation of central mechanisms, spaces for the exercise of participatory democracy, multiplication of popular organisation, tests of parallel institutions articulated to the state, a mission, a confirmation, of a political subject able to face those tasks. The strategic centre of gravity was in the humble classes, the construction of a people’s power took different forms over the years. The state must regain power and regain the economy, and then transfer it to the organised people, who were in the process of learning how to exercise that power. It was a complex architecture, virtuous, possible, and necessary. The socialist scenario appeared before the announcement of the socialist character. It wasn’t about reforming the neoliberal order to stabilise a better-distributed capitalism, but about looking for ways to overcome the order of capital. Chávez explained:

This revolution raised the banner of socialism and that requires and demands much more than any other revolution. We could’ve stayed in a national revolution, but behind that often-undefined term are hidden statements that end up being reformist, they end up toeing the line.

The definition of 2005 coincides with the formulation of communal councils, followed by the communes. Chávez postulated a communal road to socialism, which meant building a new state based on the political, cultural, and economic power of the communes. He left it in writing… the bourgeois state had to be pulverised, and for that, he wrote a plan with steps. It meant building another, on a participatory and self-managed basis, in parallel to the democratisation of the inherited state, a key part of the analysis of Istvan Meszaros. He defined it as a socialism from below, endogenous.

State Socialism

The socialist proposal of Chávez was in tension with another idea, one not formulated openly. It can be summarised thusly. The central role should fall on the state as protector and actor/main subject of the process, forms of popular organisation should be subordinated to institutions and cover limited and controlled areas. The state power should make agreements with old-guard or emerging businessmen, to bet on the creation of a national bourgeoisie, whether external or from Chávez’s trusted political allies. A state socialism on the margins… with capitalism with redistribution of wealth, without removing capital’s foundations. You can ground this debate on concrete policies. This debate is what Chávez did on a national scale, in mass pedagogy, and in his cabinet. Maszaros said:

The measurement of socialist achievement is to what degree the measures adopted contribute actively to the constitution and consolidation of a deeply-rooted substantial democratic process, of social control and general self-management.

The way to build is different if the objective is efficient management of the state, or if, along with that, the advance is towards the recovery of power in the hands of organised communities and the implementation of a new state. The subject of the revolution isn’t a minister or a mayor, but the popular classes in the process of organisation within a power strategy. Chávez then raised a socialism of the 21st-century, communal, with the development of social forms of ownership over the means of production. He left years of trials in that direction, politically and economically, whose balances are still pending.

The various Chavismos in Chavismo watched that project… rather heterogeneous, and, since 2014, with an economy on the ropes. The revolution found itself at a crossroads, with two possible paths… one being a defensive and conservative response, with possible regressions of conquests, close to the historical vision of the community road. The other path was to deepen the changes initiated, with, for example, the “expansion of the fields of action and decision of the people’s power”. The two possibilities are guides to think about the predominant view of the interior of Chavismo… but which Chavismo? Some seem to have opted for the first option, strengthening the agreement with the business community and going back on the communal bet. This debate stirred up history in the present. The analysis, like the actors, has desires, interests, and class tensions. They coexist within the same Chavismo, which somehow stays united. Where is socialism? Expressed in specific experiences that carry power, in dispute as a project within Chavismo, and threatened by asphyxia imposed by a war of attrition and bureaucratic tendencies that disbelieve the historical subject and believe… what do they believe?

Chavismo will be socialist or it’ll cease to exist.

11 May 2018

Mario Teruggi



Saturday, 12 May 2018

12 May 2018. Brother Ajamu on Fighting in the Oligarchy’s Wars


Their wars aren’t our wars. Do note that the loudest proponents of imperial war are yellow cowards who never served in battle… tells you a lot about Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, Pat Buchanan, Rod Dreher, Mike Pence, and Bill O’Reilly, doesn’t it?


Friday, 11 May 2018

Dr Jill: The False Russiagate Narrative


I’m breaking months of silence on the targeting of our campaign by the political establishment… both Democrats and Republicans… in their investigation of alleged Russian election interference. Let’s be clear… this was a baseless and politically motivated act of intimidation against an independent political movement that both Establishment parties see as a threat. However, we’re used to that sort of thing. Therefore, having been dragged into the battle over election interference, we have an incredible opportunity to fight for critical solutions to the very real problems that threaten our elections… and to knock down the Establishment’s false solutions of warmongering, censorship, and repression.

Please take a moment to read my statement on Russiagate and help spread the word by sharing it on Facebook and Twitter. You may be getting tired of the media’s obsession with Russiagate… believe me, so am I. That’s why it’s so critical that we seize this rare opportunity to focus the discussion on real urgent threats to our elections… many uncovered by the 2016 recount effort… and how we can fix them. Moreover, we must push back against the effort to twist legitimate concerns about election interference into a campaign of warmongering, censorship, and political repression. Thank you for all that you do to build the movement for peace and real democracy.

It’s in our hands!

26 April 2018

Jill Stein


Sunday, 8 April 2018

The Bright Resurrection Brings Us a Day of Hope, Solidarity, the Affirmation of Eternal Values, and the Triumph of Justice


Dear brothers and sisters, my comrades and friends!

We celebrate the Bright Resurrection of Christ, when life triumphed over the tragedy of death. During the upcoming Bright Week, we ever more clearly feel the unity of our citizens, so different, yet equally and passionately lovers of our Motherland, our history, our traditions, and our culture. Let us be united in joy and in sorrow, patient in trials, and persevering in our noble aspirations.

Recent events revealed the essence of all that accompanies us on the ascent towards Truth and the affirmation of the Good. Russia’s return to its mission as a great power sparked fierce opposition from our long-time enemies, whose weapons are lies, threats, defamation, and slander. However, we’ve already gone through that. One hundred years ago, 14 countries launched an intervention against young Soviet Russia. At that time, the new country issued a “Decree on Peace”, which was a call for all countries participating in the brutal war to begin peace talks immediately. The answer to this was intervention, an iron fist punched at our country. The ultimate goal of the intervention was to tear the country into pieces and have the forces of the interventionist countries control the remainder. However, from the taiga to the sea, the Red Army proved to be stronger than its foes were. Moreover, it was a new workers and peasants army, inspired by ideals of equality and social justice. The victory came not only from members of the oppressed strata of society, but tens of thousands of former tsarist officers, honest representatives of the once-well-to-do classes, and many foreigners united under the slogan “Hands off Soviet Russia!”

Furthermore, the solidarity of the working people and their love for the oppressed and besieged Fatherland prevailed over the interventionists. We stood and we won. In less than two decades, a new aggression leapt against our country, with most of the states of so-called “civilised” Europe taking part, whose leaders cowardly indulged the forces of evil, leading many to march under the banner of Hitler’s fascism. Again, we didn’t bow to their diktat, and as the great Pushkin said about the Napoleonic era in Europe, “our blood redeemed Europe with liberty, honour and peace”. Three-quarters of a century ago, at the Great Victory, again our state called for peace… “peace” was the first word written by Soviet children in their notebooks. The biggest sin is betrayal, but unrepentant sinners are even worse. Forgetting about their sins during the fascist era, our neighbours now trample on the past in hatred and insult the glory of their heroic compatriots who wiped absolute evil off the face of the earth at the cost of their blood. This is what F M Dostoyevsky said, who wrote about our nearest neighbours in The Diary of a Writer in 1877:

Maybe, for a whole century, or even more, they’ll tremble for their freedom and fear the power of Russia; they’ll curry favour with European states, they’ll slander Russia, gossip about it and intrigue against it … Of course, in a moment of serious misfortune, they’ll all certainly turn to Russia for help. No matter how they hate, gossip, and slander us in Europe, flirting with her and assuring her of love, but they’ll always instinctively feel something for us (of course, in a moment of trouble, but not before), that Europe is the natural enemy of their unity, it has and always will remain such, and if they exist in the world, then, of course, it’s because of the fact that Russia acts as a magnet, drawing them all to itself, which constrains their integrity and unity.

In our history, we aren’t the first to face furious pressure from our neighbours to our country. Moreover, we usually didn’t have to fight off the dark forces alone. Now, we don’t feel any support from the working people of those countries under the thumb of financial and oligarchic capital. The people remain silent, victims of social engineering and sophisticated methods of controlling the mass consciousness. Political technology replaces politics, information replaces knowledge; naked calculation and profit, not conscience, measures the actions of individuals and peoples. In such a situation, it isn’t easy to stop the procession of evil in the world. Being in the ring with multinational ill-wishers, as Russia’s philosopher Ilyin pointed up, the individual Russian and the Russian nation rallies and thus answers the challenges of the time. We are fully satisfied that the ideas of equality and social justice are at the forefront of our struggle and that the people’s expectations increasingly push the authorities to implement measures that facilitate the implementation of these requirements. We should say that the authorities try to respond to the urgent demands of the people. However, these are piecemeal measures; we need a long-term strategy.

We understand that half-hearted, partial, “cosmetic” measures won’t help us to transform the State into a truly socialist people’s state, when decision-makers aspire only, as Mayakovsky said, “to protect the safety of their familiar places”. It requires a hard-nosed attitude towards those who neglect the interests of the people and the state, which hinder the development of the country, which condone the plunder of its riches. We’ll continue to seek relentlessly to bring forward a humanistic view, to demand the implementation of the equality of all citizens of our state, to fight for equal access to its wealth, and to make those in power answer to the people for everything that happens in the country. Again, Russia needs to focus itself. For the sake of the good of the country, we must unite all our efforts and thoughts.

Congratulations on the Bright Resurrection to the clergy and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church, all Orthodox Christians, and to all people of goodwill! I wish peace to the peoples, happiness and family harmony to all citizens of our country, and new achievements on our path to revive our Motherland! Let the bright ideals of goodness, equality, justice, solidarity, and dignity, the eternal values of the Christian faith, become our communist ideal.

To the Resurrection of Christ!

7 April 2018

G A Zyuganov

Head of the KPRF faction in the RF Gosduma

Chairman of the TsK KPRF


KPRF official website


« Previous PageNext Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.