Published: Sunday, September 25, 2005
Bylined to: Franz J.T. Lee
What is really happening to rhyme and reason in
Venezuela? What do the 'Chavistas without Chavez' have
University of Los Andes (ULA) professor Franz J. T.
Lee writes: Currently, here In Venezuela, many of us
are discussing the "process," the "deepening of the
revolution"; we refer to the "revolution within the
revolution," we fear the current "counter-revolution"
within the very Bolivarian Revolution.
Many of us already ask: What is really happening now?
Should we prepare ourselves for the next military
For the next oil sabotage?
For coming massacres of "chavistas"?
What is really happening is that the ship of state of
the Bolivarian Revolution is leaving the calm doldrums
of the past year and, true to its historic mission,
is now sailing towards a sea of troubles, entering
stormy waters again, filled with political man-eaters,
social sharks and economic bloodsuckers ... in a word,
filled with a myriad of counter-revolutionaries with
red berets as disguise.
What are the scientific and theoretical differences
between revolution, counter-revolution and
If we don't know the answers, our answers, how are we
going to confront national capitalism and global
imperialism? How will we introduce a new socialism of
the 21st century?
As always, here are just some "practical" food for
serious theoretical thought.
Firstly, dialectically, there does not exist a social
revolution that does not contain its own
counter-revolution within itself, and vice versa. If
we experience a counter-revolution in Venezuela, then
we really and truly are making a Bolivarian revolution
here. The more virulent and brutal the
counter-revolution becomes, the more humanist and
emancipatory the Bolivarian Revolution advances.
Revolutionaries do not fear counter-revolution,
dialectically, they continually create it anew, it is
their emancipatory natural habitat. It is their
measuring rod of success, of whether they are still on
the straight path towards human liberation.
Currently the "whip of the counter-revolution" is
omnipresent, it is in the barrio, in Altamira, in the
casino, in Miraflores, in the ministry, in the radio
and TV programs, in school, in the Bolivarian missions
and universities, in the national assembly, in the
offices of the governors, of the mayors, of the
counselors, in the beds of the compatriots.
But, learning from concrete, recent, historical
experiences, what really is counter-revolution, to
what does it refer?
Is it pro-capitalist or anti-socialist, or is it
simply an intrinsic, inalienable part of bourgeois,
democratic revolution itself?
With reference to the dramatic events in Venezuela,
between April 11 and 13, 2002, in their article
"Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Venezuela," Alan
Woods and Ted Grant wrote:
"The class interests behind the coup were obvious. The
head of the counter-revolutionary government was a
wealthy businessman, Pedro Carmona -- the chief of the
bosses' association. His first action was to rescind
Chávez's so-called anti-investment laws - that is, all
those laws intended to defend Venezuela's interests
and raise the living standards of the masses. The
corrupt and rotten Venezuelan bourgeoisie is incapable
of playing a progressive role. Its plans would signify
putting the country and its considerable oil wealth
firmly in the grasp of US imperialism."
Beyond doubt, all modern social revolutions concern
global class struggles, class interests; hence, in the
case of contemporary Venezuela, piquantly the authors
did explain the national and imperialist gist of the
contradiction within the Bolivarian Movement.
For the authors, the global, globalized context of the
Bolivarian Revolution is also crystal-clear: "The coup
was headed by the Venezuelan bourgeoisie and their
cronies in the armed forces (FAN). But the hand that
pulled the strings was clearly in Washington. This
plan was born and bred in the United States. The Bush
administration, delighted at the thought of Chávez in
handcuffs, was preparing to take over the Venezuelan
oil industry through the back door, allowing 'aid' to
go to the new Caracas government - in the form of oil
investment. This is part of the broader strategy of US
imperialism after September 11 to intervene
Today, all this is even more valid and true than ever.
In other articles we have explained that by means of
imperialism, colonialism and "neo-colonialism" ...
nowadays also called "neo-liberalism" or "global
fascism" ... the mode of capitalist production and
reproduction has internationalized, globalized itself
by means of its inherent, dialectical, revolutionary
dynamics, by means of universal, systemic
exploitation, domination, racism, militarization and
To achieve the latter was precisely the historical
goal, the social objective of capitalism, of capital
accumulation, profits and power: of the global
realization of its democratic revolution, of the
French and Industrial Revolutions. From its point of
view, seen from its perspective of Reason and Capital,
anything else was and still is counter-revolutionary,
is the very counter-revolution, the negation of
capitalism, is socialism, is communism, is Marxism, is
The trillion dollar philosophic questions for us
* What do we understand by Counter-Revolution?
* Do we really want to make a Revolution within the
* Or, are we talking about an exodus, about a
Creating, Creative Force, about "Human Emancipation"
(Marx)? However, firstly, this issue we have to settle
with the Good Lord.
*About something new, really brand new, for the 21st
century, about that which will transcend both
capitalist and imperialist revolutions and
Our future, the future of mankind needs delicate
clarification with reference to these urgent
historical issues. We cannot afford to commit or even
to repeat the fatal errors of the revolutionary 20th
century again. We all are on the brink of annihilating
humanity within the next decades.
Significant for the Bolivarian Revolution, among other
thinkers, for example, Simon Bolivar, Simon Rodriguez
or Francisco de Miranda, it is imperative to study the
revolutionary works of the social democratic bourgeois
scientist and radical socialist philosopher Karl Marx
and of his socialist followers very well. . Very
early, in his youth, Marx has pointed out the
decisive, incisive "praxico-theoretical" difference
between capitalist revolution and socialist (human)
emancipation, between intra-systemic dialectics and
the logics of extra-systemic exodus.
We explained: "Having studied Hegelian objectivist,
idealist philosophy, British national economy and the
French, British and German utopian socialists and
communists, Marx evolved his theory of social and
socialist revolution in the years 1840-1844."
However, as we underlined, the Communist Manifesto,
the 1848 program of the radical Social Democrats, was
intended to continue the French Revolution,
specifically to realize the retarded
"bourgeois-democratic revolution" in Germany, the not
yet "socialist or communist revolution" on a world
"We should note that it was intended to be a program
for the bourgeois-democratic revolution, then overdue
According to Marx and Engels, who edited the Communist
Manifesto in 1848, Germany's historical time lag as
compared with her Western-bourgeois neighbors
(England, France) offered the German revolution a
unique historical chance not only to make up for the
'political emancipation' (Marx) that had been brought
about by the Jacobine revolution in France, but even
to surpass it in a 'human emancipation' (Marx) which
would go so far as to overcome the contradiction
between citoyen and bourgeois."
However, by formulating the trans-historic proletarian
process, departing from political towards human
emancipation, Marx scientifically differentiated it
from bourgeois, capitalist revolution. Thus, the
historical objectives of revolution and those of
emancipation are not identical, in fact, they
radically differ. The one remains within the labor
system, the other one transcends towards human
creativity and creation, a sphere that the ruling
classes hitherto have only reserved for the god-men
As mentioned above, in contradistinction to the global
human emancipatory process ... as was expressed later
in the Second International and more precisely in the
Comintern before Lenin's death ... in their Communist
Manifesto, Marx and Engels hopefully still described
the revolutionary essence of capitalism, how it
eventually would globalize itself, and resolve the
social problems of all humanity. However, they also
explained how it could eventually terminate in
"barbarism", unless it is not being negated
successfully by means of scientific and philosophic
socialism, a precondition to surpass towards possible
Furthermore, Marx explained that in the very same
dialectical way how across the ages revolutionary
capitalism and imperialism had expanded globally,
similarly, their own socialist negations have
internationalized themselves. It is true that the
majority of the social revolutions of the 20th
century, in praxis and theory, did not make this
radical distinction, did not include this
transcendental reality in their concrete, earthly,
historic programs; consequently, nearly all fell back
into revolutionary, democratic capitalism, or even
into "real, existing socialism", into tragic
caricatures of real human emancipation.
Current Bolivarian "praxis and theory", two concepts,
of which President Hugo Chávez Frías lately
continuously speaks in his national addresses, have to
study these revolutionary and emancipatory aspects
Across the 19th and 20th centuries, very often the
above was not intended, not stringently debated in
socialist praxis and theory, also not in Latin
America, where dependency theory and theology of
liberation mostly preoccupied the revolutionary minds.
Much later, in the 1970s, the "Praxis" Marxist groups
of Yugoslavia, together with the Marxist philosopher
of hope, Ernst Bloch, discussed such creative,
Nonetheless, socialism, as negation of capitalism,
correctly was seen as an international process, as
"permanent revolution," but not yet as the creative,
non-productive exodus towards global "transvolution,"
towards possible human emancipation.
Until now, strongly Influenced by all varieties of
liberalism, Gandhism, pacifism, religion, and even
"democracy," many promising emancipatory efforts just
could not globalize themselves. Due to the lack of
unity and integration, in the face of an aggressive,
brutal, international imperialism nearly all were
nipped in the bud.
However, their trans-historic anticipatory daydreams
are reflected and preserved in the current global
Bolivarian Revolution, in its inexorable forward march
towards Latin American integration and economic
independence, towards the ALBA, towards human
After bitter anti-colonial and anti-imperialist class
struggles, in the many bloody battles, having lost
many heroic compatriots ... especially those millions
of starving workers and pauperized peasants who were
decimated by genocidal colonial wars ... later many
erstwhile "freedom fighters" became turn-coats,
"escualidos", traitors, who helped to pave the
counter-emancipatory road towards current
Were they counter-revolutionaries? Or did they fulfill
the capitalist tasks of democratic revolution, of the
What do the Venezuelan "Chavistas without Chavez" have
As Carlos Ortega explained: Do they want to introduce
10 or 20 years of fascist dictatorship in Venezuela?
Like in Chile and Argentina, will they fill the
base-ball and football fields with Bolivarian
emancipators and massacre us, the Bolivarians, by the
This is what Mario Silva warned about in his evening
program, "La Hojilla," a few nights ago, in which, by
telephone, President Chavez himself intervened.
Will that be counter-revolution?
If we really want to stop this possible, coming
butchery, then we better start right away!
The stark, dark social reality can be described as
Currently, in Venezuela and elsewhere in revolutionary
Latin America, Africa or Asia, interiorized colonial
culture, master-slave relations, inferiority
complexes, ruling class oligarchic megalomania,
subservient religious mentality, political racism,
Mafia vendettas, crude nationalism and capitalist
democracy are playing havoc with the emancipatory
struggle and, among other crimes, generate the
negotiation of the peoples' revolution, the signing of
secret gentlemen agreements with the local and foreign
bourgeoisies, bureaucracy, triumphalism, opportunism,
lies, disinformation campaigns, corruption, sabotage,
theft, murder, assassination, etc.
These are forming a "revolutionary" cancer that is
devastating many real, socialist and truly
emancipatory movements; unfortunately, many comrades
are thrown out of the emancipatory process, or they
themselves are leaving the sinking ship of state.
What remained on planet earth, after the Cold war,
were mostly ideological caricatures of Marxism, of
socialism and communism.
Now, in the era of Bush's Hot Wars, urgently this
counter-emancipatory tendency has to be stopped, at
whatever constitutional price, at whatever armed means
If not, we will lose the most beautiful creation that
we ever had, that we ever have created ourselves in
The only revolutionary path is Socialism, the only
emancipatory Rubicon is Exodus, is Creation, Human
Franz J. T. Lee
Yahoo! for Good
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