Lair Of A Squirrel Red

One party, one vanguard. by korakious
March 28, 2007, 3:35 pm
Filed under: Chavez, Venezuela

A couple of days ago, Hugo Chavez publicly called for the dissolution of the constituent parties of the government coalition into a single united, revolutionary socialist party. Chavez argued that the Bolivarian Revolution is entering a new phase of increased intensity that will “sharpen the contradictions” and that in order for the revolution to be successfully pushed forward, a new, strong and united socialist party must be established in order to reduce sectarian in fighting and be thus more effective in fighting the state bureaucracy which is, correctly, seen as the main enemy of the Bolivarian project. 13 of 24 parties that make up the coalition immediately agreed to the proposed unification, while others have required more time to internally debate the subject.

Sujatha Fernandes reports that the proposition has been met with mixed public sentiment. While many support the project, others have expressed concern about
its top down character, arguing that unity should be the product of grassroots processes rather than leadership directives. This is in line with the general criticisms of the Bolivarian process as a Bonapartist project of the Venezuelan national bourgeoisie.

I would say that first, we are not aware as to what extent this has been discussed at the base. As far as we know, Chavez’s announcement might have well been discussed internally. In fact, it would be rather odd for the majority of the coalition parties to agree to a unification upon its announcement, if it had not already been considered within their appropriate party structures.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with establishing a united socialist party, putting forward a revolutionary programme. As long as it is structured in a democratic manner, allowing a multitude of opinions to be expressed and affect policy formation, I believe that such unitarism is in fact a goal to strive to. It could also be argued that the dissolution of current parties within a new socialist and radically democratic formation can help destroy a large chunk of the cancerous bureaucracy that plagues the movement. I don’t think that one of the parties that reacted less than enthusiastically to the proposal was the Communist Party of Venezuela is coincidental. Such a merging, if carried out, will cost many a “professional revolutionary” his job.

Despite my instinctive hostility to “great leaders”, I do have high hopes for this endeavour. Chavez stated that the party will be “democratic and humanist” – I’ve no idea what the latter’s supposed to mean – and given that his record in government is one of constant democratization of the Venezuelan state, I do not, yet, have any reasons to believe that he is a hypocrite.

Contrary to other populist leaders, Chavez has not only delivered what he promised, but he constantly presents in himself in an ever more radical light. It could be that the social processes in Venezuela are pushing him leftwards and that he goes along with the current for opportunist reasons, or it could just be that he is indeed a man of principles that found himself in a position of supreme power. The future will show.

What’s certain is that Chavez deserves our active support for every step he takes against the bourgeoisie and our criticism for every unnecessary delay and/or retreat.


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