|FROM HERE MAY COME THE FUTURE|
Hugo Chavez is dead.
Here's the deal while I couldn't help but enjoy Chavez as he tweaked the nose of the USA and I will not deny that he did a lot of good things for the people of his country, I was never a huge fan of the guy or the way he went about business. Yes, he was better then what has been, but that shouldn't always be the bar. Chavez was a populist and that was it, folks.
Chavez was not building a communist future for his people, such building can only be done by those people, not by some leader in a red beret who "fights" imperialism by hanging with the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Chavez was not actually dismantling capitalism, he was busy building his own petrol populist regime and his own legend.
Chavez also was far from interested in smashing the state. Instead, he was strengthening it. Reforms he made, but he did not get rid of the old structures. The old continued to exist and is not gone.
The problem with the style of "building" of Hugo Chavez is aptly demonstrated by the lack of a clear future now that he is dead. How many of you can tell me right now, without googling it, who is running Venezuela, what individual, what party, who. Answering simply, well, the Vice President will not be accepted.
Not knowing would be fine if it were because Venezuela was being run by the working people of Venezuela, but it is not.
No, I am not celebrating his death. The future is too unclear. The possibility of a reactionary coup too great. But that is the deal and it is the deal because when a movement is built around a "leader" or a vanguard, when the leader is gone, the movement is a mess. But that isn't the only problem or even the biggest problem. That would be reserved for the fact that when one man or one vanguard party is at the top of the heap "acting" on behalf of "the people" then you can pretty much be absolutely sure that "the people" are not the working people, but rather at best some mishmash of classes with their own competing interests, or worse yet, the bourgeois or the petty bourgeois class acting in their own particular interest. In fact, the Bolivarian revolution itself was certainly divided by class.
Today, the leaders of the USA are happy to see Chavez dead. He was a thorn in their side to be sure, but he was no threat to the Empire itself. Today is a dangerous time for the poor and working people of Venezuela. It is also a time of possibilities never before seen.
Marx was right. Only the working class can emancipate the working class. During the struggles that brought Chavez to power and during the years of the Chavez "revolution" the working people of Venezuela have become more conscious of themselves. That is where the hope lies.
The following is from lib.com