AUDIO: Reflections on Venezuela - Bolivarian Socialism

Feb 2019
This is a reflection on the current situation in Venezuela and background history of the Bolivarian Revolution, the ideas of Simon Bolivar and their relationship with communism, capitalism and Western thinking by someone that has lived for 20 years in South America.”

Marx was a man of theory, Bolivar one of action: 'All theory is gray, my friend. But forever green is the tree of life.' said Goethe. The European intelligentsia in Marx’s time believed that Latin America was too backward to undergo a communist revolution as it had not passed the supposedly essential stage of the emergence of industry and the bourgeois.

Europe has produced a lot of political theory, many ideas, but a Eurocentric world view in which the only possibilities of social organization are the theories of European intellectuals is just another form of the colonial mentality. Bolivar, on the other hand, saw that Latin America’s situation, it’s problems, required a Latin American solution rather than some system imposed from outside.

He was not a political theorist and he didn’t formulate the exact means of social organisation, this he left for later Latin American thinkers. He attempted though to achieve in practise his vision that the Latin American states should unite and form a great federation. This was much like Hugo Chavez’s vision as well, Chavez certainly wasn’t a European Communist and his Bolivarian Revolution was not a Marxist revolution.

Now we see that Chavez’s revolution is falling apart, the country is in a terrible state and people are fleeing left, right and centre. Why has it fallen apart, what is the problem? For one we must look to Maduro, who clearly doesn’t understand how his egotism is playing into the hands of counter-revolutionary reactionary forces. It always happens when something like the Bolivarian Revolution is attempted, it is attacked from two sides: those who have fallen under the spell of Marxism-Leninism, the enemy within, and the capitalist powers (in particular the USA), the enemy outside. Thus the best intentions and efforts are sabotaged.

This illuminating podcast deals with these subjects along with others relating to Latin America’s unique situation, providing fundamental insights that you won’t find in university textbooks, from someone who has lived and experienced the campesino life in various Latin American countries.