Dilemas de extrema izquierda / Cantórbery Cuevas

Far Left Dilemmas

The fatigue of concepts and actions such as revolution and socialism today doesn’t merely follow, within national boundaries, the overwhelming abundance of currency which isn’t the product of actual work and which is conducive to blandness, at the very least. Or a structure mined by corruption and – now more than ever, since there’s no longer any autonomy of powers – by unchecked impunity. The universal weakening of revolution and socialism is the result, as some think, of how the initial conditions didn’t exist for a “superior” economy that, in the end, could live alongside and eventually displace the already existing market economy; or as others suppose, it’s caused by how the entire wealth of democratic conquests was thrown overboard once power was attained. Or, as even others assume, given the reactionary nature of the modern State, nothing less than anarchy could alternate with it. Perhaps each one of these annotations is valid.

The fact remains that the last real revolution we had news of was the Cuban one, which today lies in a state of coma. The Chinese and Vietnamese ones have swiftly ceased to be revolutions, in the measure that they openly and successfully embraced the cause of mercantile prosperity, which seems to be the only possibility, and that success, naturally, comes at the expense of many people and of a balanced ecological system.

The tentacles of contemporary capitalism find easy footing in each and every one of the world’s cracks, in the manner of Hokusai Katsushika’s octopus approaching the naked and ecstatic white damsel in one of his most famous erotic lithographs (“Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife”). Or, if one prefers, according to the delicate metaphor of The Liberator [Simón Bolívar] in a love letter to Manuela: “I want to possess you through all your conduits.” The economy also abhors emptiness, and lacking any penetrating organs more plausible than its own, it occupies any available orifice.

The world’s radicals oscillate between various anguishes today. When they aren’t bemoaning the death of revolution (a fact that shouldn’t make them lose sleep; God died a century and a half ago, and there we have him once again, stronger than ever), they devote themselves to resuscitating it in its most outmoded forms. And there are those who still align themselves with Count Kropotkin. The drama of the Venezuelan revolutionaries now in power is limited to weathering corruption (which likewise respects no hole). The petrostate they manage swallows them, with no end to the waste and fraud dragged into the consumerist vortex that gathers a brutal force here amidst a growing poverty.

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The conquest of higher levels of institutional quality and democracy – a goal more distant today than yesterday – would be a notable advance towards superior states of distributing currencies in a more equal manner. But, then again, that has nothing to do with revolution.

{ Cantórbery Cuevas, TalCual, 10 May 2007 }

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