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(en) Venezuela, EL LIBERTARIO #38 Editorial, june-july 2004, Venezuela

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 12 Aug 2004 21:10:45 +0200 (CEST)

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Against wind and tide, this newspaper from the Anarchist Relationships
Commision from Venezuela is out on the streets, fighting the phony
manicheism which dominates the country's political scene today, and
advocating alternatives based upon freedom, equality and solidarity.
With the call for a referendum which would revoke the mandate of
the President and many deputies, we begin an election period
which will last -taking all its stages into account- at least three
years. And so begins a dark time for all social movents in the
country, because turning the crisis into an election only legitimates
the leaderships of the two neoliberal camps (chavism and its media
oposition) competing to control the country. This has many
consequences, but we shall discuss only two of them: the
worsening of uncritical "us" vs "them" mentality, and the
subordination of concrete, popular demands to the supreme logic of
political party power grabbing.

One of the achievements of the guardians of power on both sides, is
to have manufactured the consensus of a political polarization of the
venezuelan people; a false manicheism, since both of them favour
international capital, presenting towards foreign investors an image
of stability, governability, and democratic formality. With a
discourse empty of proposals and content, every side demonizes its
opponent and promotes itself as the guarantor of abstract values
-"the revolution" or "freedom"- promoted through the media. If we
see every conglomerate as a political party, we can easily see how
every one of them demands blind allegiance from its followers, and
that every mistake or blunder is always due to an eternal conspiracy
from the other side. Self-critical questions, whenever arise, do so in
a whisper; if mentioned too loud, your own peers shut them up with
the retort "don't give ammunition to the enemy". So, with Esprit De
Corps, honest grassroot militants have perverted themselves, by
justifying the unjustifiable or, at their worst, tolerate within their
own ranks the actions they claim to oppose from the others, in
order to achieve the "final victory". If even the slightest dissidence
used to be quickly labeled as "treason", in the coming days they will
be effectively self-censored from the start.

The political elites on every camp need their followers to participate
- when it suits them. The goals of every social movement, as well
as their autonomy, are sacrificed in order to follow policies decided
from above. Every one of them concentrate their efforts in
legitimating their side as "the majority", delaying their own goals
until a future time that will never come: the so-called "deepening
the Revolutionary Process" or "winning Freedom back". The true
popular movements have yielded to blackmail, and have become a
mere cog in a machinery that legitimizes the State and its
institutionalized participation mechanisms; a very short-legged
participation, we insist. After the learning experienced since 1992
-after the Caracazo, with an increasingly rebellious
attitude-, since 1998, venezuelans are consulted only to perform in
the election circus, stick posters, and recruit voters. The political
autonomy of the oppressed collectives -and their own political
agenda- is set aside, when it isn't being explicitely co-opted or
stifled. In that sense, aborted experiences like the occupation of the
Central University in March 2001, or the nine factories "taken" by
the workers, the so-called "Oil Constituyente", the squatting of
urban buildings, and the assemblies of neighbors, should teach us
which is *not* the way.

The most important work to be done now is to reinforce the social networks
of ordinary people, of the oppresed and the minorities, building here
and now the social relationships which shall liberate us from all the
miseries that afflict us. To denounce those who aspire to persuade
us to choose the "lesser evil" and to postpone out desires until a
hipothetical tomorrow as what they are: bureucrats, - actual or
aspiring ones - seeking only a piece of the pie. To revoke a mandate,
leaving the structures of domination intact, is to allow Power to
rebuild itself in new forms, perpetuate misery, unemployment,
social insecurity, and sell out our salaries and wealth to global
capitalism, so well represented by the two struggling camps.

Self-government, autonomy and self-management, ¡Now!

[Translation: Rubén]

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