Socialismo del siglo XXI (y IV): ZOOCIALISMO REAL / Teodoro Petkoff


If Chávez’s plans were to be accomplished they would create an institutional and political context that would allow him to accelerate processes already in motion, by which the State and the government have been invading social spaces where, up to now, State tutelage has been discreet and even nonexistent. The State control of sports, which already took the step of joining the National Sports Institute with the private Venezuelan Olympic Committee, under the aegis of the Ministry of Sports; the progressive regimentation of cultural affairs set forth by the Ministry of Culture; the supervision and control of NGOs, in particular those concerned with Human Rights, which already have under approval a law in its early stages that annuls them and subordinates them to the State; the utilization of the educational system to indoctrinate students, which will undoubtedly receive a boost with the designation of Adán Chávez to that ministry and with the approbation of the Education Law; the increasingly concrete threat of eliminating the autonomy of universities, which they will attempt to concretize with the Higher Education Law; the definitive transformation of the Armed Forces into an institution belonging to one party, thoroughly immersed in the ideology of the supposed “values of the revolution;” the increasingly major reduction of spaces for the exercise of freedom of expression, which will obviously increase twofold with the cancellation of the broadcast license of RCTV – where would all this take us, if not to the reproduction of what was called with involuntary irony “actually existing socialism”?

It could be that Chávez will insist with his words that this is not what he wants, but the inertia of his actions guides him, if the country does not stop him, toward the materialization of this somber landscape. The conjunction of the regime’s militaristic nature with the shipwrecks of the Marxist-Leninist left – which by nature is authoritarian and even dictatorial –, united with the increasingly visible fascist inspiration, indelibly marks the Chavista project. No democratic design can emerge from that amalgam.

And it turns out that historical experience loudly demonstrates that without the instruments of democracy, including those disparagingly called “formal,” the power of the people, for the people and by the people, which is supposed to be consubstantial to socialism, becomes a fiction. Even worse, with the representative and/or participative mechanisms being fictional, there are no means of correcting errors – especially the economic ones, which can be so serious. Each “collectivization,” each “sugar cane harvest of ten million,” each “cultural revolution” left the masses in greater poverty. Power only hears itself and only hears what it likes. That is the source of the economic and social catastrophes that have characterized the totalitarian “socialisms.” There is no democracy nor is there any well-being. There is no liberty nor is there any justice either. Poverty, backwardness, underdevelopment, injustice, the police State and fear have all been historical constants in countries where in the name of socialism there was an attempt to create that mythical abstraction denominated as the “new man.” Which has definitely ended up being the same one as always, but worse.

{ Teodoro Petkoff, TalCual, 12 February 2007 }

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