Archipiélago Chávez / Colette Capriles

Chávez Archipelago

It seems that Maduro’s words in the National Assembly were redacted by a kind of Ciceronian aspiration, as if to place the clumsy and dyslexic reader in the position of the tribune anguished by the moral health of the republic. There appeared mentions of what any Wikipedia article could have suggested as pillars of classical republican thought, from civic humanism: Aristoteles, Machiavelli... Contaminated of course not so much by the orator’s oceanic ignorance but by the rain of allusions to ramshackle or improperly cited authors, in a typical example of the postmodern hubbub that furnishes the head of the “intellectuals” hired for the occasion.

In the field of intentions, which is in any case what we have to look at, it would have been better to mention directly Robespierre and The Committee of Public Safety; the speech, the occasion, the antecedents, the rhetoric, even the moments of babbling, all of it wants to communicate the beginning of a period of Terror that might substitute the charisma lost and buried as a principle of authority. An authority that is escaping from he who presides de Presidency and that must be reconstituted with internal ends, for recomposing the Chavista cadre, and be strategically directed toward repressive action against political (and non-political) factors that can (and are actually doing so) galvanize the deception, the hangover from the disappeared and broken mirage that the regime’s mafias are trying to snatch for themselves.

One cannot insist enough on the pathological irresponsibility of Mr. Chávez for obstructing all initiatives for institutionalizing his own factors of power and for having propitiated an archipelago of voracities in the form of tribes, clans, families (consanguineous or not) that turned the public into the private and particular patrimony of a few capos. These now look for some form of equilibrium by means of purges and shifts that could be successful, if this is understood as their survival in power.

But there are the elections. And there is something else, what isn’t framed exactly within the political but rather in the end of the world sensation that permeates everyday life. Because of this we infer from what Maduro emitted in the Assembly and in previous actions, in that Red October Plan that has been announced, the matter passes through constructing the regime’s “irreversibility”, that is, to install the message that things will no longer be, effectively, as they were before. Politics give way to the brutal threat of repeating, not just metaphorically as they’ve done up until now but in actuality, the menace of actually existing socialism. The redistributionist and rentier outline would have thus reached its end so as to install an economy of perpetual scarcity in which the only salvation will to to connect oneself to the system of privileges of the government apparatus.

But once again: there are the elections. Turning them into a mere acclamation of Chavismo isn’t possible, there’s not enough human material for that; but creating, with the message of irreversibility and the repressive operations that can be exercised, the toxic atmosphere that might strip it of its political meaning, this might be possible. Because if all that pre-political strength (to give it a name) that one breathes in the weariness and frustration to be found on the street, passes onto the political act (which on this occasion is to vote, and which on other occasions will have another expression), the archipelago is rendered quite compromised, and the measurements of opinion are registering this overwhelmingly. The efficacy of the vote is now measured in another dimension: that of repudiation, and the message that must be given in December is that the only thing that is irreversible is the will to change of a society that doesn’t want to be the property of a caste.

{ Colette Capriles, El Nacional, 10 October 2013 }

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